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Ultimate guide for the Revell / Monogram 65 Chevrolet Corvette Sting Ray 1/8 scale

By Lars Wahlström  

In 1977, as a Christmas gift from my brother, I got a model kit of a 1965 Chevrolet Corvette Sting Ray in 1/8 scale. The kit was made by Monogram, but the same kit was later also released by Revell. There were editions with the body in both red and blue plastic. I noticed quite immediately that the detail level was low, lower than many models in 1/25 scale. Not even the doors were operable and the chrome-plating quality was really poor. Comparing with the French Heller's super detailed 1/8 model kit of the Citroen B15, which I built earlier, the Corvette was toyish and a real disappointment for an experienced modeller. But I decided to take it on anyway.


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Ultimate guide for the Revell / Monogram 65' Chevrolet Corvette Sting Ray 1/8 scale English BODY {display:none}

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Ultimate guide for the Revell / Monogram 65' Chevrolet Corvette Sting Ray 1/8 scale

by Lars Wahlström © Modeler Site

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In 1977, as a Christmas gift from my brother, I got a model kit of a 1965 Chevrolet Corvette Sting Ray in 1/8 scale. The kit was made by Monogram, but the same kit was later also released by Revell. There were editions with the body in both red and blue plastic. I noticed quite immediately that the detail level was low, lower than many models in 1/25 scale. Not even the doors were operable and the chrome-plating quality was really poor. Comparing with the French Heller's super detailed 1/8 model kit of the Citroen B15, which I built earlier, the Corvette was toyish and a real disappointment for an experienced modeller. But I decided to take it on anyway.

 


To take the project to a decent level, I realized that it must be a major operation, with many new details made from scratch. I got in contact with GM, and they were kind enough to send me The Illustrated Spare Parts Catalogue with many, but unfortunately not all, details pictured.

I made the engine half-finished and some work on the frame. Then I gave up and spent my time on career and other things in life. The model kit remained in the box until 2019. Almost 42; years!!

 

 

By some reason I Googled the model kit and saw that others had built it, adding details and with opening doors but yet not the detail level I was looking for. It should be as good as the Heller Citroen, or the fantastic Amalgam models. If could be done...
Nowadays the Internet presents great opportunities which were impossible in 1977, so I made a careful research and got a lot of information, photos, drawings, etc. as basis to take the project on again.


Building

The following documentation shows, step by step, how the work progressed, in which order and how I solved emerged problems. Surely it could have been done in other or even better ways, but this is how I did it. I decided to work on several fronts to make it easier checking parts to fit.

I started with the engine. The block, the injection house, the air- and fuel meters was already put together, with certain misses i mould detailing, but I let it pass. Due to the research it was possible to see how to route all hoses, cables and pipes. The ignition cable shields, under the exhaust manifolds, were completely missing, so i made them of plasticard from scratch. Also the gear linkage and clutch arm were remade.

 

 

The vacuum advance, fuel pump and fuel filter was made new. Hoses are most easily done using electric cables of adequate dimension. They can be difficult to bend to the right shape, but it is easier if you replace the thin copper wires with a coarser brass wire that is pressed in and bent to the right shape. Hose clamps were made from an aluminum pie tin. Authentic decals were scaled down from the original to decal paper.

The valve covers and the cover on the injection house is actually cast aluminium, but I chose to let the original chrome details remain since these in this case was OK. A little custom bling doesn't hurt.

 

 

The throttle mechanism with its return spring behind the air intake was new made of brass sheet. The accelerator pedal link is not yet mounted. The crankcase ventilation pipe can be seen underneath just above the valve cover.

The big shield behind the engine contains the distributor, ignition cables etc. The chrome-plating of the kit was so poor that it couldn't be used. I painted it in silver 1977 and glued it in place. Today I would have used foil, Alclad- or Molotow-chrome, but since the rest of the new made cable shields was silver painted, I let it be.

 


The hooks of the air cleaner were made new, as well as brackets to the air intake adaptor.

Later I had to shorten the rubber bellow and make new hose clamps to make place for the air cleaner package between the inner fender and intake adaptor. The front pipe towards the radiator wall should have a little bend downwards, but I followed the kit and left it straight.

 

 

The chassis was molded in one piece with a lot of details missing or inaccurate. The frame profiles had inaccurate shape and had the top open.

I started with the front inner fenders. These were molded together with the chassis, had inaccurate shape and didn't connect to the body fenders. The photo also shows the gearbox frame bracket and exhaust pipe bushings, which also were made new of plasticard.

 

 

I let the original inner fenders remain as templates in height, because they support the body. To make the fenders inside towards the engine, I needed to mold plasticard to the right shape. This was done with a template of wood which I filed to the correct shape and then carefully heated plasticard over which could then be shaped into the right look and be glued to the inside of the existing fender, but not to the frame. It was quite tricky.

 

 

Then I could cut away the old fender inside. After that I made the fenders rear connection to the body. It had to be quite a lot of adaption to get the right shape to fit both towards the body and frame.

Then both fenders could be cut away from the frame and the front parts of the fenders were built up with plasticard.

 


With plasticard, putty and wet sanding it was possible to get it good enough. Now the hood hinges and grille brackets remains. The fenders are then ready for painting and mounting in the body. But I will wait for that. Other parts should be tested in place first.

 

 

When I was still on the body, I thought I could do some rough work on it. Mould lines, sink marks and poor fit between mould parts were striking. It had to be a lot of sanding.

 

 

Time to cut up the door openings. without destroying the doors. I slaughtered a thin, fine-toothed Xacto saw, so I go tree different saw blades. At first I tried with a jigsaw blade on a test piece, but the low blade had a tendency to "pull away", so a higher blade was needed that could still handle the bends. There are also thin razor saw blades that are useful.

 

 

I started with the straight sections, where the larger blade was used to scrape with, so that I came through the goods. It is important to hold the saw blade in right angle to the body. The low blade were used at the bends. The work needed patience and carefulness.

With the doors open, I began to think about how the door hinges and locking should be done. More about that later.

The body side louvers should be open at front. I drilled/sawed/sanded the holes and made new inserts to make it look right.

I also sanded the entire inside of the body to a smooth, flat finish. But much bodywork remains.

 


A dry fit of the engine compartment. The new inner fenders made the space a little narrower so the rubber bellow of the air intake has to be shortened a bit.

 

 

Radiator detailing started. The bracket that attaches the fan cover was molded into the cover and had inaccurate shape. A new one was made of brass.

 

 

The radiator's support plate was adjusted sideways to the inner fenders. The upper crossmember was missing so a new one was made.

 

 

The horns were made of plastic strips and were filed to shape and then warmed with a heat gun and rolled to its shell form.

 

 

Crossbars and horns mounted. The fan cover is hanging loose so far. It will be fixed I place when the engine compartment is to be finally assembled.

 

 

Voltage regulator and horn relay had to be redone. The old ones were cut away. Electrical wiring with adequate color was made of copper wire from electrical cables. The cable harness should then be painted black like reality insulation wrap.

 


The firewall had cast cables etc. These were cut away. Connections to the side of the body were missing.

There were also incorrect structures on the drivers side, this was fixed with plasticard. The heater was only partially included. The wiper/washer motor was clumsy cast, but it will not appear so much behind the ignition shield, so it could remain but was supplemented with hoses to the washers.

My Stanley knife, which I got from my dad as a 10-year old in 1964, has done work on all my models. Funnily enough, my first model kit was also a Corvette, a 1963 in 1/32 scale by AMT.

 

 

The hood lock was completely missing, both on the hood and on the firewall.
The firewall latches were made new of brass and supplemented with return spring and stop bumper.

 

 

The parking brake wire runs through a pulley (2) that were made new of brass. Other things to be found in the engine compartment are expansion tank (3), which got a neck under the lid, brackets and hose connections. Tubes and container for washing fluid (4) including its brackets as well as the blower motor (5) were completely made new. So also the firewall frame brackets. The brake cylinder (6) is supplemented with missing details. Cable harnesses with tie straps and connection to the fuse box were made new.

 

 

The firewall is now ready for installation in the body. But so far just for trial assembly.

 

 

The battery was supplemented with details such as mounting tray, bolts, hold-down frame and heat shield. The battery cable shoes were filed from 1 mm brass plate and provided with plastic hexagon profile screws.

Paint work will be done after the cables are mounted.

 

 

To be able to make the hood hinge mounts on the inner fenders, the hood needed to be accurate detailed first. The reinforcements on the inside of the hood were only indicated in the casting. Hinges, locks and opening support needed to be made more realistic. In the kit, the hood should be mounted before the chassis and body are assembled, but it will not work due to possibility of access to the engine compartment for the final assembly.
The hood reinforcements were made of 2 mm plasticard which was cut, sawed, drilled and filed to the correct shape. The middle part are bent according to the radius of the hood. Apparently, the model kits proportions don't quite match those of reality, but I adapted to the kit's reinforcements.

Towards the windscreen side there is a rubber seal, which was made of circular styrene rod, bent to correct shape. It is not mounted in the photo below, but since it is not of soft rubber as in reality, it must fit inside the fold.

 

 

The hinges were made of brass plate and screwed in place with small screws. Loose pins allow installation afterwards. The opening support telescopic bar was made of brass profiles and works just as in reality. The lock assembly were turned of steel and supplemented with spring and washer.

 


The kit's poor detailing is clearly visible in the chassis. Everything is molded in one piece. I had to saw and cut to separate the parts so that the frame was clear. Some of the cut away details will be useful later. The Internet offers lots of information about how the frame looks like. There are also photos of wheel suspension and other details.

 

 

Both front and rear suspension requires rebuilding due to the rough casting of the original kit. The lower arms of the front suspension were assembled with a frame part and have to be separated. Joints, suspension and frame brackets were made new.

Rear wheel suspension was partially assembled with the chassis. See photo above. Some parts could be saved but had to be supplemented with frame brackets and other details. More about wheel suspension later.

 


The frame was now almost finished and ready for painting

What was done is:

1) The frame beams have been given tolerable correct structures and profiles. The exception is the middle side beams which on the inside should have a sloping profile, the cross member with holes for exhaust pipes where the holes should be placed higher up and the front side of the cross member should have a rounded top profile. The side beams over the rear suspension should wriggle a little more on the inside. In all these cases, I used the model kit's finished casting. After all, this is a Monogram model... however, a lot had to be fixed with saw, knife, file, sanding, plasticard and putty.

2) Brackets for the body.

3) The crossmember for the fuel tank.

4) Reinforcement plates between side- and cross beams.

5) The front parts mostly made new with lower cross plate, brackets for swing arms, shock absorbers and a number of nuts and screws. See more about front and rear suspension later in the text.

6) Brackets for the radiator package.

7) Brackets for the gear box.

8) Brackets for the steering damper.

9) Brackets for the idler arm.

10) Brackets for the parking brake linkage.

11) Brackets for brake lines.

12) Brackets for the rear shock absorber.

13) Bumpers for the rear trailing arm.

14) Brackets for the differential cross member.

15) Brackets for the clutch linkage cross shaft.

And a lots of holes, partly for mounting brackets, brake and fuel lines, and other holes in the frame that should be there for e.g. mounting, rust protection and drainage. As the wheel suspensions are rebuilt, the wheelbase, frame height, etc must be carefully measured first by "dry-building" before the original brackets are cut off Sanding has been done with grit 400- and 800 wet paper.

 


Front wheel suspension details

Upper and lower A-arms have been supplemented with details and some inaccuracies have been cut away. New springs have been done by aluminium wire with the old ones as template. Shock absorbers have been inserted into the frame section.

The steering spindles have been detailed and slimmed to accurate shape. Brake calipers and shields have been supplemented and fitted with holes for the brake lines. The small pointed details are rubber dampers that should be placed under the upper A-arms. Screws, washers and shims remain.

 

 

The kit's detailing at the A-arm frame attachment was very inaccurate. The upper A-arm should be slightly angled, higher forward and lower back. Also the details around the shock absorbers were poor. This area had to be rebuilt completely. The photo is taken before the frame's fine sanding.

 

 

The rear suspension of the kit leaved much to be desired. Lousy detailing on trailing arms, drive shafts and differential. In addition, everything was cast with open top except the differential which was cast in two parts with no back. The drive shafts and slip yokes had to be redone. The differential was supplemented with details and accurate shape on all sides. The Trailing arms were supplemented with details, brackets for brake lines and accurate design at the top and back. Careful measurement was done before cutting everything apart.


The differential before painting. New structure on the back, new missing details bolts and brackets for front frame mounting.

 

 

The differential painted and finished with front frame bracket. The steering box also wanted to be included in the photo. I have used Tamiya's Dark Iron XF-84 as color for cast iron details. When looking at pictures from the Internet, there are a lot of different colors on the same details. I have chosen to be consistent and use a few different ones: Silver, Gray Metallic, Dark Iron, Molotow or Alclad Chrome, Semigloss- and Flat Black.

The little red flare is a small sign on the oil plug that tells you which oil to use.

 

 

Slip yokes for the drive shafts. Compare with the kit's original. There are several different models of yokes depending on where they are located. They are made of styrene tubes and filed to the right shape. The U-joints are made from pieces of sprues from old model kits. I never throw sprues as they can be used for a lot.

The shafts were made of styrene tubes. The exact length was adjusted when mounted later.

 

 

The package with strut rods and brackets, which is mounted under the differential, was molded in one piece and needed to be filed down so that you see the rod joints towards the center bracket. The bracket was supplemented with screws and mounting bolts for the rods. The shock absorber brackets were cut away and replaced in a horizontal position. The spindle

support were filed to separate the arms holding the strut rod.

The spindle support square part was missing and were new made of plasticard but as a separate unit, which actually should be merged with the arms, but were made separate to facilitate later assembly.

 

 

The rear suspension leaf spring was poorly detailed and also open on the top side. A new spring package was made of plasticard and was given new details so that the brackets and bolts matched the differential. Adjustments should also be made to the brackets on the trailing arms.

 

 

Test mounting of the leaf spring to the differential.

 


Bodywork

Before mounting the inner fenders, I have to figure out how to install the rotating headlamp housings. The original kit's solution is a fixed bar around which the respective lamp housing is mounted in two parts. This causes problems with the future paintwork because I want the entire red part of the housing as a finished part at the final assembly. So I must find a solution that allows this. And that also looks better and gives a more accurate rotation. This was solved with two brass tubes that fit exactly into each other, like a telescope. The larger pipe is split so that it becomes brackets in both the body and lamp housing, the smaller pipe can be pushed from the side of the nose during assembly.

It was difficult to get it all aligned properly, but making the holes for the body brackets a little larger, the pipes could be adjusted properly and then glued with epoxy filling the gap. Many test assemblies were needed.

I made a small pin on the lamp housing, with a corresponding slot on the body nose, so that the lamp housing were stopped in the correct opened and closed position.

The body casting does not match the size of the lamp housing, so I had to thickening the bottom of the nose to make it all align towards the grille. Later, the lamp housing motors, the grille brackets, a cross bar and three vertical bars will be made and installed in the nose.

 


I now began the coordination of the bodywork and the frame with the floor pan. This part too, was very simply kept in the kit and required detailing to be satisfactory. Parts of the floor pan were included in the chassis and were cut away earlier (see here ). The lower parts of the seats must be cut away, door openings coordinated with the body, inaccuracies corrected and a lot of other stuff.

The kit's floor pan compared to realities. Note the pits under the seats and behind the seats. These are found on the cutoff. frame part and must be assembled with the floor pan when the seats are cut off. The rear pits are compartments for tools, jacks and more and are hidden under a board. I let the model's board remain. A lot of complementary fiberglass details are inner fenders and connection details to the body. In order for assembly to be carried out on the model, it was required that some of these details were made on the body, others on floor pan.

 

 

I intend to coat the floor with a real textile carpet, about 1 mm thick (more on that later), and to have a nice connection to the center console the top of the console is cut o. and replaced with plasticard so that it later can be put back neatly over the carpet. The cut must be carefully done.
 


I did the work in the following order:

1) Cut the seats off. but left the door sides so the pan held together with the right dimensions for the time being.

2) Mounted the chassis pan plate with the pits and supplemented the floor at the crossmember, behind the seats and on the sides of the wheel housings.

3) Cut off the center console and replaced with plasticard.

4) Connection to the firewall, It was quite tricky to get the angles right.

5) I cut up for wheel houses and built new ones of plasticard. The inner wheel houses were missing on the kit.

6) Adjusted the side panels between the rear window and the doors to the same slope as the window post.

7) Made a tighter connection to the body inside around the rear window.

8) Thickened with 2 mm plasticard under the back floor, behind the back wall and on side of the front floor pits to get the right thickness and appearance from below. I also added two stiffening creases under the back floor.

9) Cut the door openings and carefully checked with the body openings and pictures from reality.

10) Built the front of the rear wheel houses. Much test mounting against the body and frame was required. I made the small hatches for body mounting access.

 

 

The rear wheel houses should also have a splash guard between the pan and body.

These can only be glued in place after the interior unit is installed in the body.

More interior details later.

11) Built up the inner thresholds.

12) Supplemented with reinforcements for the frame brackets at the rear edges.

13) Supplemented with details for the rear coupe ventilation, a bulge in the left wheel house and a drainage opening in the front of the same wheel house.

14) Filled and sanded several times.

 

 

The rear coupe wall is in reality placed a little further back. This was one of the details I discovered during the research work. This can hardly be seen, so I let it be, which I later came to regret (see here) and made the wall a little thicker instead.

The pan's fittings and guides, one on the back wall and two on the front side, will be removed later when everything is fitted into place.

 

The interior in reality, note below the folding of the carpet under the removed center console.

The rear wheelhouse in reality, the hatch in front of the wheel is for access to the bolts of the body mounts and should of course also be on the model.

 

The door steps were built to the right profile. I also added a part of the frame that forms the bottom beam in the "birdcage" frame. These are brackets between frame and body and emerge in the engine compartment and form brackets for the firewall to the frame. It should be attached to the front bracket on the frame. (see (2) here).

 

Image 1

 

The lower profile in the photo above is part of the plastic strip that seals the gap between the frame and the body under the threshold. It is as high as the body part threshold, but is low in front of the firewall and here forms a bracket for the upcoming outer splash shields between the frame and the body under the engine compartment.

 

The door step profile is mounted on the body. The "birdcage" step part can be seen on the photo above close to the floor pan. Carefully fit towards body and rear wheel housing.

The upper threshold plate in place. Compare with reality. The inside of the door have a sealing profile which is not soft on the model and therefore must fit in the fold.


The door thresholds are not yet built up in the images above, but they are in the image 1. I wanted to wait until the thresholds of the body were finished, to coordinate the height. The kit's floor pan had the same height on the thresholds as on the floor over the frame crossmember (the one with holes for the exhaust pipes), which is incorrect. The thresholds should have their upper side at a higher level, the same as the body's thresholds, see image 1 on the previous page, but minus the floor carpet thickness. The joint is then covered by a profiled threshold plate.


Test assembly

Those of you who are reading this, far probably wonders why I jump between the different parts of the model. It is for being able to "dry-build" and do test assembly. I have had to tear up and redo details a lot of times because they didn't fit properly when I did dry assembly. This applies especially to the frame, body and interior unit. For this reason, I've also been waiting to paint these details. Where parts of the model are depending on other parts, I want everything to be completely ready and "dry-built" before painting.

It will also be more enjoyable to intersperse some jumps between the segments. However, I meticulously planned the different parts and conducted thorough research. I have a CAD application on my computer, so I sketched out some of the complex sections to have better control. Prior to sketching, I took precise measurements.


Before continuing with the doors, I was thinking of doing something else. The grilles under the windshield wipers were improper on the kit's original casting, as well as the ventilation louvers in the rear window posts.

These details are in reality separate metal units, fitted into the fiberglass body.

 

I started with the wiper-grilles. After careful measurement, I used styrene profiles to build up the new grilles, 1,5 x 0,8 for the pins and 1,5 x 1,0 for the spaces. It became exactly the right measure and number of glitches.

 

 

Then re-cutting, fine-sanding, cutting off the old grilles and adaptation for precise fit. Wiper mounts, washer nozzle and a bottom under the grille remains.



The side grilles were cut from 2 mm plasticard. The louvers were made of 0,4 mm plasticard and glued in place. Then fine sanding. On the back, between two of the louvers, sits in reality a screw mount that was also made of plasticard.


The fuel tank was completely missing in the kit

Although it can be seen on the chassis unit behind the spare wheel carrier, but it is incorrect in shape. I built the tank of plasticard in two identical halves.

The concave pits on the side were made from drop tanks from a slaughtered aircraft model that I found in the "good-to-have-detail-box". I'm amazed that I saved on everything all these years.

The tank was supplemented with the rubber boot, which seals to the inside of the body around the filling tube. It was made from a plastic foot to a chair leg. I also made the overfill hose, outgoing fuel lines, sensor cables and fuel cap. The straps that secure the tank to the frame were made of 0,25 mm black plasticard.

 

 

The spare wheel carrier was partly recoverable from the chassis unit.

But it was incorrect at some points. To remove the kit's chassis unit from the mold, the back side of the tub side was heavily tilted. I cut away that part and made a new one which was supplemented with the opening for the locking bracket.

I cut away the kit's original brackets that hold the tray and made new ones in the correct dimensions and detailing. I also made a new bottom on the tub and sanded the edges to match the original. The carrier should be painted the same color as the body inside, which is raw fiberglass. I chose a flat dark grey, Tamiya XF-24 or Humbrol 27, that I think will look best despite the fact that the raw fiberglass color varies in reality.

The bracket was painted in semigloss black as the frame. I took most of my color decisions from a YouTube video with close looks on a fantastic almost over-restored -65 Corvette.

 


The exhaust pipes and mufflers were molded with the top open. In addition, one of the rear pipes was incorrect. The first bend on the driver's side should be further forward. I guess it has to do with space for the parking brake wire. In addition, one of the bends on both pipes had a strangely angled shape. I cut the pipes and turned one bit around. The pipes were rebuilt with plasticard to a round shape. Then I test assembled to get exactly the right bends and angles before they were glued together. The mu.er rear brackets were made of styrene profiles. The front pipes were supplemented with heat shields, made of brass, and mounting brackets. The bracket shackle is mounted at the final assembly.

 

 

At the front brackets of the exhaust pipes there are ground straps. Such are found in several places on the Corvette due to the fiberglass non-existent insulation abilities. They are made of braided copper wire. I made my own of 0,1 mm copper wire from an old coil. 4 threads were twisted into a thin wire. 6 such wires were then braided into a strap, which was provided with aluminum sheet pads that were glued with CA glue, drilled and cut to correct length.

 


The exhaust pipe outlets are inaccurate on the kit. The pipes should go through a chromed bezel fitted to the body. It also turns out that the kit's body is inaccurate under the bumpers. There should be a slight elevation in line with the bumper's upper and lower side, which is missing. In addition, the center section below the number plate should have a larger backward displacement compared to the sides. This was corrected quite easily by sawing up a slit and glued back the lower part with a slight displacement, and glued a styrene strip to the rear body panel for the elevation. Later it would turn out that I also had to cut up to separate the rear body panel, to be able to assemble frame and body. Just as in reality. The bezel around the exhaust pipe was made of a styrene pipe which fitted in the existing holes which were drilled up.
 


Research

During the research, which continued throughout the work, I noticed that there are a number of variants of the Corvette C2 (second generation 1963-67). It is also evident from the documents I received from GM in 1977. The -65 model was available with a lot of different equipment, colors and interiors, which all can be found on the Internet. Monogram's kit is a pretty simple variant with standard wheels (a bit of a shame, because there were more attractive wheels in my opinion), the small block engine with injection (last year), simple brake cylinder, no air condition, power lifts, power steering or power brakes. I chose to go for the "Rally Red" body color, red interior and not to equip the car more than standard of origin.

The research also made it possible to learn a lot about peculiarities with the car. Good and bad qualities and differences between the annual models in the C2 generation.

Another thing that made it easier was that I made contact with the local Corvette club and was able to visit a member who had a -65, which I was given opportunity to look at, photography and measure.

There are a couple of books that are "must-have" if you want to dig really deep. They are quite expensive and some of the content in them are available online. I managed without them.

During the research, I discovered several times that I had done earlier mistakes. Most of them I could fix by breaking it up and redo, but in some cases I let it be. Probably no one will discover. And if... no one is perfect.

 


There are different tires depending on the kit version. I thought the ones in my kit were OK. They are reasonably similar to the Firestone Blackwall that existed as standard up to the -64-year model, however not 1965. Then the design of the tire tread and side was changed. The kit's tires are marked 600/15. It should be 670/15. I decided to use the tires anyway. However, I wanted a white wall. It was fixed with a white marker, but should on Firestone Whitewall actually be thicker and closer to the rim.  

I did not come up with a good way to do this nicely, so I made it easy for myself and painted on the raised part of the tire side. I should have spent more time on this and maybe I do that someday.

Part of the rim shall be visible outside the hubcaps, so the outer ring was painted semi-gloss black. The hubcaps shall have flat gray fields around the holes and knock-o. spinners shall have the emblem painted.

 

 

Shortly after this tutorial was completed, I posted pictures of the model on various forums for model enthusiasts and received many very nice reviews that made me happy and proud. But a couple of the comments were about the tires, where sharp eyes discovered the deviation from the original. It was very easy to fix. I used a circle cutter, cut out the white tire walls from white self-adhesive plastic foil and scraped off the old white line.

I had also missed that the rocker panels is divided so that the upper, rounded strip is surrounded by a black field. This was also fixed.

 


Corvette C2 had different grille depending on the year model. The 65 grille had 3 black ribs. The kit crossbars is incorrect. The detached vertical bars must be cut away. Here should bars holding the bumpers run through and be attached to the frame through the inner fenders.

The outermost vertical bar of the grille was moved in line with the lower ones. Here, the grille side brackets are attached to corresponding brackets on the inner fenders. The grille is also attached to the body nose in the center bracket. There should also be two canted rods that stabilize the lower part of the nose.

 

 

On the inside of the body, at the hood front, is a stiffening beam in which the center bar of the grille is attached. The brackets for the headlight motors are visible in the nose. On the side are two small brackets for the hood hinge pin. I think it gets too picky and unstable with just a small pin connecting the hinges.

 


Back to the doors. I needed to figure out how the hinges should be designed so that the door can be opened like the original. See picture on page 15. The door pillars section doesn't exactly match the reality because of the kit's inaccuracy, but I want the overall impression to match, i.e. build the door pillars profile, locking mechanism, weatherstrips and drainage gutters so that it looks right to the eye.

The hinges were made of brass tubes similar to the headlight houses. The hinge parts were bent by 1 mm brass plate and it was all silver soldered together. The assembly was made so that the doors can be put in place after the body and doors have been painted. The hinge pins can then be pushed in through the slot in the hinge and be secured with a drop of glue. The small holes in the pins is to easier get them in and out when test mounting.

 

 

It was important to get the hinges correct horizontally and vertically.

The inside of the door tapers backwards, so the lower shank is bent to compensate for this. The reinforcements on the inside of the body and doors were adapted to exact vertical and lateral by the help of an angle hook against the flat table.

 

 

The body’s door posts were built up of several layers of plasticard and sanded to correct profile.


 

One of the front posts is now mounted. Sanding remains. I sometimes use thick Humbrol Enamel as filler in inner corners instead of putty.

Note that the gap between the dashboard and post has been built up. More on that when it comes to the interior and the door panels.

 

 

 

The material thickness of the doors needed to be thinned out properly in several places in order to be able to fit nicely into the openings.

 

 

The profiles of the door openings with its drainage gutters were built up of plasticard.

I have obtained a 2.5 cm thick absolutely flat steel plate which, together with angle hooks and clamping blocks, makes it easier to mount or edge cut exactly straight.

 


I made templates of the different layers of plasticard around the door openings. Three layers were needed to form the profile. Then I glued it in place and carefully carved to correct shape.

 

 

Everything around the door openings were puttied and wet sanded. Lock details will come later. There should also be some weather seals.

 


From the inside, it now looks like this. There will be more trims and mouldings around the windows and headliner, cover trims and the special "halo-panel" in front of the rear window. The cut out sections in the back of the rear door post are for the fuel line to fit. In reality, this line goes behind the small heel at the bottom of the rear door post on both sides, even though the fuel line is only on the right side.

The doors now had to wait a little. I wanted to do something else for a while.

 


The frame is now painted (Tamiya TS-29 or LP-5) and ready for assembly of details and other items that were previously made. I started with the brake- and fuel lines. I used stainless steel wire 1.2 mm for fuel and 0.8 mm for brake lines. The fuel line has a hose between the frame part and the fuel pump. The brake lines have blocks with screw fittings where the lines divide and also hoses between the frame brackets and calipers.

 

 

Then I assembled the front suspension. The steering rods lacked many details that had to be made new.

For example I made the steering damper, pitman arm, idler arm and all the grease nipples. The wheels are fixed in a straight position. This should not be a toy.

 


I mounted the engine in the frame and also did test assembly of all components in the engine compartment so that all hoses and other connections had the correct length. It will be very difficult when the body and frame are to be put together and all connections must be united. Everything must fit exactly and must be able to put together with tweezers through the hood opening and from below.

I mounted the battery in the frame as well as expansion tank and washer fluid jar on the inner fenders before mounting them into the body. Small parts as rubber seals where the steering column and clutch arm pass through the firewall must also be adapted. Most difficult is the small return spring to the clutch arm.

 

 

On the inner fenders I have mounted the rubber dust shields which close between the inner fenders, frame and upper A-arms. Those sitting over the A-arms were difficult. I tried different materials and used 0,25 mm black plasticard. Actually, the rubber flap should be folded down between the A-arm and shock absorber bracket, but a much softer material would have been required for that. At the same time, it would have been extremely difficult to do this connection when the frame and body units are being finally assembled. So I chose to make a compromise and do the flap a little shorter and let it rest against the upper A-arm.

 

The clutch links contain some springs that were tricky to get in place. The closest link should go through the firewall. The return spring, which is hanging loose, should be fixed to the firewall. Both of these parts are loose and will be mounted at the final body frame assembly.

 

 

The steering column was poorly molded and lacked details which needed to be completed, as the rag joint near the steering box.

 


Time to assembly the rear wheel suspension. To get the right height, width, dimensions of wheelbase and alignment of the wheels, I drew the frame with center line and lines for wheels and axles. With blocks, cardboard shims and angle hooks, I could adjust so that everything lined up. The differential and its crossmember with rubber cushions were mounted first, then the shock absorbers and package with rods and leaf spring. The shock absorbers had to be adjusted in height to match the authentic new brackets.

 

 

Then I mounted the remaining brake lines and the parking brake wires and links. Wires with spiral covers were made of a .042 gauge steel E-string from a guitar. The spiral cover can be peeled o. so that the wire itself is visible where it is needed. See photo at the bottom right.

 


The fuel tank was mounted and its straps fastened to the frame. The outgoing fuel line and sensor cables were installed. The overfill hose should have outlet through the body at the right bumper bracket. The picture above on the left shows the reality and you can also see that the frame rear beam has a U-profile, which the model does not have, an anomaly that I perhaps should have corrected.

 

 

Then I mounted the exhaust pipes except for the chrome part coming out through the body. Note the shackles, heat shields and ground straps. Compare the photo on page 19 which is the same motive from above, but in reality.

 

 

The spare wheel carrier was then mounted to the frame between the mufflers. The long bolts that hold the V-bracket are visible at the bend of the exhaust pipe before the muffler.

 


The drive shafts with yokes and universal joints are now mounted. The metal finish on the shafts was made with a Molotow Liquid Chrome 2 mm pen. I let it dry for a day and dulled it a bit by gently pulling my fingers over the surface. It became very true to nature.

 

 

The chassis is now complete. It feels good enough, so I do a photo sweep over it.

 


I started the project in November 2019. As of this writing, it is late July 2020. I have not counted the number of hours I worked with the model, but I estimate that so far it is almost a thousand hours.

I now went to the interior. The floor pan was prepared for detailing and I started with the front part at the dashboard. There is not much that can be seen behind this, but if you open the doors and crawl down a bit, you can see some details that I wanted to include on the model.

I started with the fresh air ventilation grilles which sit close to the floor at the front door posts.

 

 

Then on to the heater, which is located behind the glove compartment. The heater has air ducts for the defroster and for passenger compartment heating in the centre console, which must be adapted for this.

 

 

Test assembly of the heater and the crossmember that holds up the dashboard and also is a part of the "birdcage".

 

 

The dashboard, as it originally looks, lacks details and needs to be adapted.

First I cut o. the plastic under the dashboard and glove compartment. Then I adjusted the sides of the center console, cut up for the heater outlets and added a small outlet on the driver's side. The right and the left sides are different.

Then i marked the joints between the upper part of the rounded pads and the flat middle section, cut up a slot for the defroster outlet, cut off the part with the speaker net and adjusted the pad sides to connect to the door opening.

I also cut up a slot for the grab handle on the passenger side.

 


I wanted the speaker net to look more realistic, so I made a new one from stainless steel mesh filter that can be bought from home brewing companies, 0,12 mm thread and 0,2 mm gap corresponded almost exactly to reality. The net meshes should run diagonally.

The upper frame of 0,3 mm plasticard was glued to the dashboard. The mesh and a black lower part are mounted from below.

 


The dashboard was ready for painting

The windscreen must be cut down to the correct size and adapted to the dashboard and the side posts. The work must be done extremely carefully.

Transparent styrene is often brittle and there is no room for failure.

 

 

The left and right dashboard inserts must have the same edge and surface, which the model kit does not o.er. The edge around the glove compartment was easy to make, but the structured surface more difficult. I chose a matte coarse with steel wool to get a structure and then pull with a polishing block over the surface.

 

 

The kit gauges shows an incorrect tachometer and lacks the orange and red markings. In addition, the pointers should be orange and the numbers a little greenish. I made new gauges. And also the manufacturing plates placed on the crossmember under the glove compartment.

 


Some parts should not be chrome-plated. The frame of the clock should be black light the other gauges, but with a chrome ring around. The glove compartment cover and the plate around the gear lever should be matt brushed with a chrome strip around. The chrome is fixed with a Molotow chrome-pen. Removing the chrome is easily done with oven-cleaner-spray. You put the parts in a bowl and spray over so that all details is covered, wait about 10 minutes and rinse off.

The photo to the right shows that I added material on both the instrument insert and the insert for the glove compartment to get the correct bottom profile. The radio display is painted with thin glossy black which flows out so that the numbers become legible. The knobs have got hats with the right look. The plate around the gear lever was poorly cast with pits. These were puttied before painting.

 

 

The steering wheel rim had cavities where the spokes are attached. I added the missing grip knobs before painting.

Steering column and turn signal lever mounted. The steering column should be extended to the torpedo wall.

 


Test assembly of all the parts for the dashboard. I made a "roof" of black plasticard to hide any gaps seen from under.

A small detail I also made is the switch for the power antenna. It is placed on the center console to the left of the radio.

 

 

The instrument cluster and the other dashboard inserts are now complete. The clock has even been given the small knob for time-setting. Under the panel I have supplemented with knobs for the fresh air intakes, power ventilation and the odometer reset button.

 

 

For the details under the dashboard, I decided to make some simplifications and only include things that can be seen when opening the doors. So I made the visible part of the pedal assembly with brake light switch and linkage for the brake cylinder and clutch. But it was still quite a lot of small work. The pedal assembly is mounted under the crossbeam. The wire to the right goes to the right fresh air intake and should be attached to the right knob. It will be a similar to the left. The hood opening handle is to the left and the bracket for the parking brake handle is to the right.

Only the footplates of the pedals are from the kit. The rest is built from scratch. Still just dry-assembly though.

 

 

As I mentioned earlier, I intend to have real textile carpets, about 1 mm thick, on the floor. I found a suitable one at a dollhouse retailer. It is also self-adhesive. I discovered later that I could have made the carpets with flocking fiber, which probably had been even more realistic and easier to do. Corvette had different sets of carpets depending on model year. The 1965 model had carpets molded to shape. Visible edges had vinyl strips. The driver’s side were reinforced with rubber under the pedals and up on the side of the transmission tunnel. I made the edges and reinforcement of plasticard that was glued to the floor. Then they should be painted in the carpets red color before the carpets are put into place. I also have made the side panels behind the door posts and the cover panel over the left wheelhouse hiding the power ventilation unit. I also had to make a couple of heels so that the side panels meet the halo panel correctly.

 

The kit's floor pan is incorrect at the torpedowall, which should not be a double wall. The floor should go all the way to the torpedo wall.

This is probably due to the fact that it was easier to manufacture the kit this way and it undeniably makes the assembly easier. I chose to let this error pass.

 


Before I continued with the carpets, I wanted to adjust the seats to fit properly. The cut off seats needed to be supplemented on the sides and also with fittings and control handles. The backrest of the kit lacked a small fold on the upper part, which i fixed with a small styrene profile. I supplemented the seats with the missing sides, which should have an inward-downward angle. I also made simplified floor rails to facilitate the upcoming installation. These rails will never be seen. And I skipped the carpets between the rails because they will never be visible either.

 

 

The seats were now ready. Note the control handle and the fittings. I mixed a semi-gloss color to imitate the leather upholstery. Only a little weathering in the seams. The chrome is made with a Molotow pen.

I made templates out of paper that I cut the carpets after and dry-fitted them carefully so that no gaps or seams would be visible. The rounded parts were tricky. There I had to cut the carpet so it could follow the curvature. The edging of the carpets was made of plasticard.


The carpets are now ready

I also made details like the net cover in front of the power ventilation unit at the left wheelhouse and the finger bezel on the board over the jack box, the foot switch for the headlights, the fuse box, accelerator pedal and cables for ventilation. Also note the side reinforcement on the side foot carpet at the front door post.

 


Here, the heater with the defroster duct and the crossmember with pedals, parking brake and hood lock handles are into place. The wires for the fresh air intakes are adapted exactly to correct length and location, so they can easily be connected when the dashboard is in place. The small manufacturing tags can be seen on the right of the crossmember.

The seat belts were made of 6 mm wide textile straps. I found ones with the right color and fairly natural texture. The buckles are made of plasticard and painted with a Molotow Chrome pen.

The center console with some details fitted. The speaker net looks really nice.

The center console floor section and rear side panels are in place.

A mirror is showing the dashboard underside with the ventilation wires and the steering column part between dash and firewall. The unit with gear shift lever and ash tray are also in place.

During test assembly, I discovered that adjustments had to be made at the windshield connection to get the interior unit to fit exactly. But it worked out, thank goodness.


The interior unit is now fully assembled and ready to be put in place in the body. I mixed the semi-matt paint myself from Humbrol 60 (3 parts) and 19 (4 parts). But first, a lot of work remains on the body. Here is some snapshots of how the interior turned out. I even made a model of the model, i.e. of the kit's cardboard box, which looks nice in the luggage compartment.

 


I finished the bottom of the interior tub, which was painted in flat gray (Tamiya XF-24 or Humbrol 27).

The rear seat brackets were included in the moulding, but I had to supplement with the front ones and also the brackets for the seat belt attachments.

These should, at the final assembly, have safety wires attached to the frame. I also made the heat shield of aluminum foil at the transmission tunnel. It should be about 1 mm thick, so I folded the foil in several layers over a template of cardboard which I removed before I glued.

The drain plugs had to be supplemented. The front ones were missing and the large ones on the sides were incorrect. I also put a cover on the outside of the fresh air intakes, where in reality there is a seal.

 

 

Now back to the body. A lot of work remains with the interior headline, the inside of the doors and a lot of other details.

The image shows the mounting strips on the inside of the roof and around the windows. The tree narrow strips in the ceiling are for the headline to be glued and get the correct concave shape. The window panes are precisely fitted so they can be snapped in place without glue.

 

The headline, the "halo" panel, cover mouldings, inner lighting, mirror and sun visor, I made and tried out all these details before painting the body. The kit's mirror could be used, but the mirror part was upside down! I had to cut it apart and turn it right. The chrome-plating was so bad that I had to redo it with Molotow. I was extremely careful with the fit between the body, interior unit and frame. Everything must fit perfectly at the final assembly.

 


Back to the doors

Fitting them took a lot of time. Getting enough clearance around, and getting space for weather seals and to adjust the hinges so that everything lined up perfectly. There was adjustment work on both doors, and body, then mainly the drainage gutter (see here).

 

 

I had to remove more of the door material thickness to make room for the weather seals. These have in reality a profiled shape and are compressed when the doors are in closed position. I was looking for a very thin rubber tube that could imitate this, but found no suitable one. I also tried with a round rubber profile, but it did not work either. I decided to make the weather seals of black plasticard which I shaped into a suitable profile, adapted according to the placement on the door.

 

 

I had a long thought about how I would solve the "locking", i.e. to make the doors stay in closed position. In the end, I chose a solution with magnets. I got small neodymium magnets, 10 mm in diameter. These were powerful enough to work through the plastic and at some distance from each other. I made a bracket for the magnet inside the door and a ring of plasticard around the doorpost magnet. With the door closed in the exact position, the door post magnet, attached to the ring, found its proper place by itself and could be secured with glue.

 

 

The sides of the doors and inner mouldings around the windows were built up with several layers of plasticard and sanded to correct profile.

The slots for the side window were made of black plasticard to make it easier to look like the textile strips that are there in reality. I have intended to have the side windows partially in down position, so I made support for the windows inside the doors, which corresponds to the guides that are there in reality.

Careful inspection was required to get necessary clearance between doors and side posts and to get room for the locking mechanism.

 


To make room for the weather seals, which I made of plasticard, grinded to a diameter of about 1.7 mm, I milled out a groove in the door rim towards the drainage gutter.

Then I glued the strips bit by bit to get the bends in the exact position. Further adjustment was required on both the moldings and the body to make it fit exactly.

 

The door panels were different on the Corvette C2 depending on model years 63-64 or 65-67. The door panels of the kit, which were cut away from the interior unit, had no resemblance to any of them, so I had to make new ones. These were built up of layers of plasticard, which were filled and sanded to the right shape. Many parts were required for the rather complicated shape. It would undoubtedly have been practical to have a 3D printer for certain details, such as these. But I have so far not used 3D printing for anything on the model.


I made a drawing of the door panels with a profile section to make it easier to get the correct shape.

I formed plasticard strips that were glued in place in bit by bit and then filled and sanded.

 

The decorative trims were made of a low U-profile, the bends were tricky, but in the end it worked out. In reality, the trims are a bit submerged in the panel. I thought that would be too complicated, but to make it easier to shape the trims correctly and also have an edge for later cementing, I made the field inside the trims a little raised by cementing a sheet of 0.25 mm plasticard there.

It was very difficult to get the trims with exactly the right bends and a lot of finishing work was required with putty and glue fillings. A 3D printout of the trims would definitely have been preferable. It would also have facilitated the upcoming assembly of them. I made the trims in 4 parts per door, which they also are in reality.

 

 

During a test assembly with the interior unit inserted in the body and the doors with the panels and a piece of decorative trim in place, I found that the upper front arched part of the door panels and the front trim did not fit. The sides of the dashboard towards the door opening, where I had previously made an extension (see picture on page 23), were too close to the door opening. It would have been a good idea to sand down the sides about 1 mm when the extension was made, but since the entire interior was finished, I chose instead to file down the sides of the door accordingly. Then I also got better space for the armrests on the door panels.

 


During the test assembly, I also discovered that I missed fixing the gap between the dashboard and the door posts. In reality, there is a cover plate over the gap, so I did the same, but then discovered that the board did not cover completely, so I had to build up what was missing with putty and paint everything in the interior red color. That the width of the cover plate does not completely correspond to reality is due to the dashboard being a bit too wide, as mentioned in the text on the previous page. The picture on the right also shows the cover plate for the ventilation grille, recesses so that the upper hinge does not touch the side of the interior and that I painted black where the windscreen should be against the dashboard. It should be black in all the window folds, as this imitates the rubber seals.

 

 

The inside of the doors was supplemented with windows. Both the ventilation and side windows were made of 1 mm acrylic plastic. Around the ventilation windows there should be rubber seals and a chrome-plated frame as well as a slightly thicker

post against the side window.

The side windows, at least the driver's side, I intend to have in a partially down position.

The inside of all the windows' folds must be painted flat black before mounting the windows, which will be done after the doors have been painted.

 

 

The insides of the doors are now getting ready for painting. I have also supplemented with armrests and pull handles which was available both in chrome and in the interior color. The cranks for the windows were OK, but needed to be sanded a bit to get the cover plate correct. However, the opening levers were clumsy and incorrect. The ball should be forward on both doors. I made new bezels from plasticard. The balls, I made of pins with glass head. All painted with a Molotow chrome pen.

 

 

The door panels are now pained semi-matt, similar to the dashboard, Humbrol 60 (3 parts) and 19 (4 parts), and ready for installation. The trims were tricky to get there nicely. Some touch-up finishing were needed. I'll wait to install the cranks until the panels are mounted on the doors.

The photo does not show the thin chrome trim that runs along the window. I made it from aluminum tape of a slightly thicker type that can be bought at hardware stores.

 


On the whole, it feels as if the doors and what belongs to them have so far been the most difficult to implement. I also fear the painting of the body a bit, because I'm a little rusty on the air-brush, especially on units as large as the body. Taking up modeling again, after more than 40 years, has been fantastic fun, and I have received good feedback from other enthusiasts I have had contact with.
The headliner, halo-panel and cover mouldings are now painted and ready for installation. The headliner Is flat (Humbrol 60) and the other parts are semi-gloss (Humbrol 60 (2 parts) and 19 (3 parts). I have also painted black on the part of the back that will be visible through the window. The sun visors are painted semi-matt, similar to the door panels, and have been fitted with hardware.

 

 

I returned to the body for a while. Before painting this, I wanted as much work as possible with it to be ready or prepared.

The rear wiring for lighting etc was prepared by making the cable harness from twisted copper wires which were then painted with thick black paint. The harness is attached with clips, which I made from thin brass that was bent so that the harness can be put in later. The back of the rear lights is added later because they are also, on the model kit, part of the outside. It should look like the photo to the left.

 


I made the rear splash guards, with position between the interior back wall and the body side. They can be seen in the picture below behind the power antenna machinery. The antenna ground plate can also be seen on the underside of the body.

 

 

I painted the inside of the front (Humbrol 27) because this will be difficult to access when the inner fenders are mounted. I also painted the inside of the body at the louvers between the inner fender and the torpedo wall and from the rear wheel housings and backward. The photo also shows that I have supplemented the sides of the lamp housings, a test assembly of the lamps motors and the front cable harness that is to be attached to the black crossmember. I have prepared with holes for the cables at each connection.

 

 

The power antenna is mounted on the left splash guard. I made it from plasticard and leftover sprues. It was painted in silver and then with clear coat with a little yellow in it. In reality, it is coated with a wax-like stuff in a yellowish color which varies from photo to photo in the research material.

 

 

Here a small dilemma arose. Since the rear wall of the kit's interior tub is too far forward (see here), the splash guards will be the same, as will the antenna machinery, which means that the antenna will also be too far forward, which can be seen from the outside. I chose to fake this and put the antenna correctly on the body outside. You will still never be able to see these details at the same time.

No matter how much you prepare, do research and test assemble, there may be times when you discover that you should have done things in another way. The best thing would have been to extend the interior unit's rear wall from the beginning.


The kit's door handles had several annoying properties

The locks were moulded together with the handles. They shall be separate. The castings of the handles were bad with mould lines and a large sink marks on top. I filled the marks and repainted the entire handles with Molotow chrome. In addition, the prepared holes in the doors were incorrect. The front ones were too far down, so that the handles leaned forward. I had to plug the holes and drill new ones in the right position. The photo shows the handle before the makeover, but with the door hole plugged.

The exterior mirror was also miserably cast and had to be redone in the same way as the handles.

 

 

I carefully test mounted the hood hinges and screwed them into place (see here). The hinges should be black on cars manufactured in St. Louis and cadmium-plated on cars manufactured by A.O. Smith. The support stand should always be cadmium-plated.

To be able to mount the hood last of all, I chose to compromise with the attachment of the hood hinge part, which should actually sit so that the joint is at the edge of the hood. But then I will never be able to get the sprint in (see here).

 

I started the paint job on the doors with the inside. Pink Tamiya Fine Surface Primer, then Tamiya Laquer LP-21, Italian Red.

I spray-painted the inside of the hood semi-gloss (Tamiya TS-29).


I continued with the preparation of the body before painting it with making brackets for the front bumpers. The original mounts were simplified, so I had removed them earlier.

 

 

The front bumpers are two-part with a bracket for the registration plate in between and are mounted with 3 brackets each. One on the outside of the body under the turn signal, one in form of a "sword" from the outside of the frame and out through the grille and one from the underside of the crossbar of the wheel suspension to the lower part of the bumper horn. In reality, there is also a steel reinforcement between the body side bracket and the same screw group that the "sword" is attached to, more or less integrated in the inner fender, but I omitted this because the inner fender I made had the front wall a little too far back, based on the kit's inner fender (see here). Of course, it would have been nice to get the inner fenders perfect from the beginning, but they have a very complex shape at the front that I did not get quite correct.

To get everything correct sideways and level, I made a matrix of cardboard. Then I made the "swords" of plasticard. These are different depending on the type of grill and on the 65' they are quite straight.

 

 

I made the side brackets from styrene profile and plasticard and, after extensive test mounting, made holes in the body where they should sit. On the bumper I made the corresponding brackets to the swords. I let the old brackets remain. The chrome on the bumpers was very bad, scratched and with mould lines. Due to this, I considered redoing the chrome later.

The lower brackets were included in the kit, but they needed to be bent to fit properly. There should also be a chromeplated connection between them and the bumper horn.

 


I also adjusted the rear body panel (see here) so that it fit perfectly in the folds (which I did before) on the body and that the holes for the exhaust pipes were perfectly centered. The panel also has holes for the bumper brackets. The overfill hose of the fuel tank should also go through the right hole (see here).

The picture also shows that I have adjusted the rear wheel arches on the body, which did not quite match the chassis wheelbase, so that the rear wheels would not look too far forward, I reduced the wheelhouse dimensions at the rear by about 2 mm. I also mounted the grilles that I made earlier (see here).

 

 

Since I made a lot of adjustments and filling work on the body, I wanted to make sure that these were smooth and without flaws. It is difficult to see this without the surface being painted, so I applied a thin layer of primer to the places I worked on and then did fine sanding where needed.

I made a holder for the body to stand on when it was painted and that I could also hold when I painted from below. There are holders to buy for this but I didn't found any for such large bodies and that felt sturdy enough. Then I masked everything so that no paint could leak into the inside of the body.

 

 

I primed the entire body, hood, headlights, rear panel and exterior of the doors with pink Tamiya Fine Surface Primer (spray can). The body color should be Rally Red, and I intend to use the Tamiya Laquer LP-21 Italian Red.

I had previously made a spray booth. The ones available to buy were too small. I connected a fan with air flow of about 400 m3/h and with a replaceable filter on the flexible duct. It is also important to use a respirator mask. Many of the colors are harmful to inhale.

I thinned the paint 40/60 (paint/thinner) and airbrushed in 3 thin coats. Then I applied 3 more coats, wet sanded where needed with grit 6000 between each coat and wiped with a piece of damp Wettex cloth and lint-free kitchen paper. I put the last coat as wet as I dared. The paint dries extremely fast and it is difficult to paint large areas.

It's easy to get orange peel and small splashes and since I felt a little rusty on the airbrush, it was best to be careful to avoid flooding. I used 0,4 mm needle and 15 psi. Then I improved with a small brush in some places out of reach for the airbrush.

Lastly I applied 3 coats of gloss clear coat, Tamiya LP-9, and let it dry for 5 days before polishing.

 


The paint before clear coat was not the best in the world with both splashes and orange peel.

With the clear coat on, it looked even worse.

After wet sanding with grit 3000, 6000 and 8000. I had be careful not to sand through corners, edges and protruding parts. I burned through on one of the light houses and had to repaint this.

After polishing with Tamiya's 3-step method: Coarse (red), Fine (blue) and Finish (white). Note my hand on the pictures. The result was reasonably glossy. Not the best professional job, but given my rustiness on airbrush, good enough for me. I will wax with Tamiya Modeling Wax after some details have been mounted.


At the time of writing, it is mid-November 2020 and it has been almost exactly 1 year since I started the project. I estimate that the work so far has taken about 1400 hours.

Then I made the chrome trims around the windows, divided into sections according to the original. I used a slightly thicker foil-tape than the conventional one used by modelers. Such as can be bought in hardware stores to be used for pipe insulation.

 


The doors are now ready for installation in the body

I waited to mount the outer handles, the lock and the rearview mirror until the doors were in place.

I had to paint the doors in batches to be able to mask the sealing strips and the black-painted folds for the side windows. I used aluminum-foil tape for the ventilation window and the trims around the side window. The ventilation window and its inside frame parts (page 42) as well as the inner panel were installed last. Also note the small angled drainage strip in the front edge of the door. It leads to a hole that leads the water through the inside of the door.

 

 

The side emblems that came with the kit were incorrect. They were for the 1963-64 model. Why could not Monogram do this correct? I had to make new ones. This was done using a 3D printer as the first and only part of this project. It was tiny to paint, but it worked.

 

 

I wanted to show the model year and also didn't think that the license plates were particularly nice as they were otherwise (top), so I made my own with simpler fonts of Letraset on thin white plasticard, which I glued in the chrome frame. I also made the lighting for the rear license plate.

 


I made light bulbs in the headlights. The glasses were glued with Micro Kristal Klear (PVA glue).

The taillights and turn signals are completely from the kit. Unfortunately, they were quite ugly cast and had a bad fit, but I still used them after some polishing. The turn signals were painted with orange clear coat. The black small bellows are for the electrical connection to the taillights (see here).

 

 

The emblems and the fuel cap were painted.

 

 

The headlight housings are now painted, assembled and ready to be mounted into the body. I also made the headlight housing motors that will sit in the nose between the headlight housings. I have already prepared their mounts.

 

 

The headlight housings including electrical harness and support rods mounted in the body. The taillights mounted in the body including electrical harness.

 



I continued with the inside of the body. I glued black plasticard as a bottom behind the ventilation grilles on the side and the air intakes in front of the windshield. I inserted the windshield, which could be snapped in place without cement between the side moldings (see here). Then I mounted the headliner and the front cover trim, which I had previously glued to the headliner to safely avoid getting cement on the window because you cannot access with glue clips when the window is mounted.

 

 

The front window side moldings and the moldings over the doors were glued in place. Then I glued the "halo panel". The rear window could also be snapped in place. The cover moldings were then glued in place. In reality, the moldings are mounted with chrome-plated screws. I used pin heads.

 

 

The entire ceiling, including rear-view mirror, sun visor and interior lighting, is now in place.

 

 

I now test assembled the entire interior unit and the doors at the same time. Some minor adjustments were necessary for the doors to close properly, but fortunately nothing that affected the body's lacquered surface.

I also mounted an extra magnet on each door post so that the doors will have a more secure closure. This was done after the photo above where there is only one magnet on each side.

 

 

I made a few more details at the doors; a protective strip at the top, which I assume will prevent damage to the paint if you happen to slam the door too hard, and a draining rubber seal at the front door post and the sill plate that I made of plasticard and painted with Molotow. I also made locking details on the rear door posts.

 

 

The wipers were cast so that they could not be mounted correctly. The blades should be angled in relation to the arms. It was pretty easily fixed.

 

I also made the nozzles for the washers which are located next to the output shaft of the wipers.


Finally time to assemble the interior unit into the body. There was a gap at some joints, but I sealed with Milliput. It turned out perfectly OK. I also mounted the rear splash shields and the bushing which the rear cable harness comes through.

I improved the painting of the inside of the body by filling what was missing and then dry brushing with a slightly lighter gray color to better illustrate the raw fiberglass surface. The wheel arches should be painted flat black to resemble underseal.

 


Then the doors were finally assembled and got their external handles. The pins of the hinges were secured with a drop of CA glue (see here).

If the doors don't want to close properly due to that something is in the way, a good way to locate this place is by cutting a small strip of carbon paper and feeling where it gets stuck.

There you can pull in the carbon paper and where it leaves color behind, the right place is to scrape o. some material. Then you can touch up with paint.


Then the torpedo wall was mounted. The hood was test mounted to ensure the exact correct position of the hood locking mechanism (see here). I had to adjust a little from the original holes. It would have been better to wait until now to make those holes.

Then I mounted the antenna machinery behind the left splash shield and finished its cable connections and ground strap, which here should not be braided but a copper band which will later be attached to the frame bracket.

 

Now I test-mounted the chassis to see that everything was correct and to take measurements of the mounting cushions that should be between the frame and the body. Only those at the rear splashshields are visible.

 


I had a thought about how the chassis should be attached to the body. The brackets that the kit had were lost in the detail work and I estimated that the authentic brackets were too weak to hold the rather heavy chassis. Although it is not the intention for the model to be disassembled, I wanted to find cement spots that were effective without having to destroy what I put so much work into.

I made two fastening brackets of plasticard on each side beam of the body that could be glued to the top of the side beams of the frame, between the authentic brackets.

 

 

The front inner shields, radiator package and remaining engine compartment cable harnesses were mounted. I also did additional test mounting of the hood to ensure that all fittings worked and that it closed in the correct position. I had to make a small adjustment of the inner fenders' hinges. Luckily they were screwed in place.

Although I was careful to shape the side of the inner fenders according to the profile of the body, there were small gaps which I sealed with black Milliput.

 

 

Then I painted the wheel arches flat black and dry brushed the last layer with thick paint to get the surface of the underseal mass naturally. As you can see, I have also mounted the rocker panels on the lower part of the body. It was easier to get a grip for glue clamps before the chassis was mounted.

 


The time to join the chassis and the body had arrived. Countless test assemblies and small adjustments guaranteed a perfect fit. A lot of detail work will be hidden forever, but the knowledge that they are there is quite satisfactory.

 

 

The lower radiator connection had to be adjusted with a curved connection. I also made the radiator drain tap, which I completely forgot about before.

 


All cable and hose connections were put together. Here you can see the hoses for the heater and cables from the battery and torpedo wall.

Parking brake wire, steering column, brake line and rod with spring between the clutch pedal and the clutch mechanism (see here).

The link system between the accelerator pedal and the intake was fitted, as was its ground strap.

I also finished the safety wires that connect the seat belt mounts to the frame. I had made the interior unit brackets earlier.

 

Then I made and mounted the lower splash shields.

The left inner splash shield share the floor bracket with the accelerator pedal floor plate and has a notch for the parking brake wire.

 


The antenna groundstrap was attached to the rear body mount.

 

 

The fan cover with connecting hoses to the engine and expansion tank was mounted. The air cleaner with connection to the radiator wall was mounted.

The connection should actually have a slight downward bend at the front, but I used the kit parts with a couple of additions (see here). The engine compartment is now ready.

 

 

The rear body panel and license plate bezel were mounted. I could use the chrome exhaust pipe of the kit, but I had to cut off the brackets and grind up the inside so that the pipes became thinner. I also made brackets for the rear bumpers that come out through the holes in the panel and are attached to the frame on the inside. Through one hole also comes the overfill hose from the fuel tank. I have scraped off the paint where the bumper mounts are to be glued.

 

 

The rear bumpers have been given authentic mounts. I had to remove some material on the underside of the bumpers so that they would correspond to reality. See the tape marking on the left picture. The chrome plating was poor and had to be redone like the front bumpers.

 


The grill was mounted on the brackets of the inner fenders (see here) and to the middle brackets on the nose. It was just that it was possible to turn the light houses without them touching the grill.

Test mounting of the front bumper. The middle frame mounts are in place and the frame mounts for the "swords" (see here) are visible in front of the wheel. The bumper horns have been extended to the middle mounts.

 

Before redoing the chrome, I removed the old chrome plating with oven cleaning spray and letting it work for 5-10 minutes and then rinsing with water. Then I sanded and polished to a shiny surface. I tried several different chrome colors to get the best results when chroming the bumpers. I first checked on the Internet what other model builders' tests showed and then choose between Alclad II Chrome ALC107 and Molotow Liquid Chrome, which is available as a felt-tip pen in several tip sizes and in a refill bottle. It turned out that Molotow with airbrush was the best. The color is well covering, needs no black primer underneath and can be used directly without thinning. It will be best if you spray heavy, but not runny. I used 0.15 needle and 15 psi. If you do not get a refill, you can easily take apart a pen and empty it of paint. The surface becomes slightly fragile and fades easily when touched, but you simply have to avoid touching the surface. For small details, a felt-tip pen can be used to advantage, which I did during the entire construction where the poor chrome plating had to be repaired. Molotow dries very slowly. Especially with thick layers, as it must be if it is to be a mirror surface. I waited for 5 days before assembly.

A new radio antenna was made from scratch of thin tubes.

 


Then it was finally ready! On New Year's Day 2021, the photos below were taken. Overall, I am happy with the result, but it did not become super level at all. In part I can blame Monogram, but mostly on myself. In any case, I have had fun in the meantime and I'm looking forward to the next project.

 


I started the Corvette project in November 2019 and finished it in January 2021. I have not been so careful about counting the number of hours I worked with the model, but I estimate that it is about 1500 hours. I am retired, but work a few days a month in my old profession, as an architect. I also have a great interest in music and make my own songs and participate in others as a musician and producer in my own studio.

Alongside the Corvette project, which also includes this writing, in 2020, I released a record of my own, did mastering on another, participated as a musician on a third and did a couple of "backing tracks". So I've been busy, despite the Corona pandemic, which I have so far stayed healthy from.

My songs are available on Spotify, Apple Music, Deezer, Amazon Music and YouTube.


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