Saturday, September 9, 2017

1951 Belair: Mating resin and styrene, Part II

I started by cleaning up the resin bits in isopropyl alcohol before putting on some Tamiya primer. No long brown stringy bits of goop surfaced, and the primer stayed on the resin bits, so that all worked out. 

The front end went together reasonably well. The AMT kit offers standard and dropped kingpins, but for some reason the kingpins don't have pins to socket into A-arms at both ends, just at one end. A 1/16" drill and some brass tube fixed that, but this would be a problem for a beginner. Also the tie-rods are glued in place, so while the wheels steer, they won't steer together -- both will have to be posed separately. The photo shows the underside of the front end, with the brass pins visible at the ends of the A-arms.

It's hard to see how low it will be, with the rear at its standard height, because the interior needs to be built up, and I suspect this will lead to lots of filing and resulting changes in the relationship between the body and the axles. 

But two things stand out at the start: the front track is wide enough that the front wheels can't steer (interference with the inside of the fenders); and the rear track is very narrow making the wheels look lost under the fenders. It's a porky little thing seen from the rear. Comparing the AMT and resin bodies, the resin body, measured across the rear fenders at their widest, is 0.150" wider (3.6" at scale) than the AMT styrene body. So lots of room in there for wide tires. At the front the two are the same, meaning the resin body is narrower inside the fenders due to greater wall thickness. 

I've also got a choice between two aftermarket sets of whitewall tires: the narrow whitewalls in the photos are the same height and width as the black tires that came in the kit. I've got another set with wider whitewalls which are both taller and wider. The wide ones are also going to raise it all, and in any case don't fit inside the front fenders. Finally I've got some whitewall slicks from the AMT parts packs. More decisions... I will say, though, that engine looks darned good! 

OK, it's not a small block V8, but it looks good, is unusual, and it probably made close to 200 hp with the headers and injection. (Wikipedia says the Blue Flame version of the 235, with hydraulic lifters, the siamesed head and a single carb, as used in cars with the Power Glide trans, made 136 hp, and 150 hp with three carbs as installed in the base C1 Corvette.)

Stay tuned. The interior will be next, with lots of trial fitting into the body. How low the body sits over the interior will impact the choice of tires, and whether I need to do some cutting to sit the rear lower over the leaf springs. 

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