Building the Opala SS 1976 from Salvat publisher 1/8 scale

by Mario Covalski © Modeler Site

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This is the 1/8 Chevrolet Opala SS 1976 from the Salvat Publisher. It’s basically an Opel Rekord born from the fusion between GM and Opel during the ’70. As far as I know, it was only manufactured under the name Opala in Brazil, in two versions, 4 cylinders and 6 cylinders. It looks like a big car for a 4-cylinder engine but you have to consider that it had 2.5 liters of displacement and 80CV. It was available with two types of engine: 4-cylinder "Iron Duke", and 6-cylinder 250 cubic inches, both derived from the Chevrolet Impala offered in USA. According to its manufacturers, this combination was the one that gave the name to this car, since “Opala” can be presumed as an acronym of the name “Opel Impala”, because the Opala was an Opel, with Impala engine.


The model is provided in 100 weekly fascicles, each one includes history and parts to build the model. The model is mostly made of diecast and plastic parts, is heavy as 9 or 10Kg, but lacks of details, mostly in the engine bay area, and some parts are odd represented. So I added lot of them, fuel lines wiring...etc. The body and other diecast parts are already painted, very well. I got the full collection and here a photo array of the WIP, which demands almost 200 hours, more having in account that I didn’t have the 100 booklets with the instructions and I built using as guide some poor videos from youtube. Finished is a beautiful and impressive model.

The most relevant details added were

I replaced all the spark plug tubes for real cables.

I completed the distributor following the pictures of the real motor.

The wiring and pipeline were added also having as guide real pictures.

The engine oil dipstick was represented using alu tube and steel rod.

Bolt heads were added in different areas which lacked them.

Parts were painted, and weathering was made on the exhaust manifold and other parts.

The battery was also detailed and a wash was applied on the terminals.

All the brake lines were represented with different materials.

The brake pump was painted and detailed, as well as the brake servo.

The front and rear springs were shorted in two turns, which allows the suspension to work under the weight of the model. This is an strange point as the model was represented as if was elevated, but with very hard suspension, so the model was very high.

The exhaust tube and silencer were repainted and weathering was applied.

The parking brake was represented using pictures of the real car as guide.

The transmission shaft was cut from the universal joints and replaced for plastic rod.

The radiator received brass mesh in both faces, then the whole was painted matt black.

I spent several hours trimming the front suspension in order to get the steering works correctly, anyway looks fragile.

White letters were handpainted in the tires, using Humbrol acrylic matt white paint.

The doors were adjusted for a smooth working.

All the body was polished using 3M polish compound and wax.

Many paint details were applied and you can see them in the below pictures.

Big size photos are only available in our PDF format.

Las fotos de gran tamaño solo están disponibles en el formato PDF.

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