Friday, September 8, 2017

1951 Belair: Mating the resin body and styrene chassis, Part I

As mentioned in a recent post, the BMCP resin kit is a lot better looking than a typical Jimmy Flintstone unit, which you would expect given the price differential. Apart from the body and hood, the kit comes with a rear floor pan, two inner door trim pieces and an inner tailgate as well as replacement dashboard, firewall and front inner fenders. I am not sure why the replacement parts are included, because they seem to be identical to the styrene parts (on the right in the photo).

There are also replacement bumpers (to save you stripping the chrome off the styrene units, presumably) and both head and tail light assemblies.

Finally there are 3 seats, the middle one narrow to allow access for people (presumably small people) to scramble through to the rear-most seat. Seats for 7 or 8 is possible if luggage is not an issue, speaking of which a luggage rack might be a nice addition.

Some trial fitting shows that the usual resin fit problems are going to arise, perhaps just not as severe as with a Jimmy Flintstone kit. For instance the inner door panels are a good 0.100" taller (2.4" at scale). The issue arises as to where to take the cut since the top of the door sills, which looks like it might actually be meant to be wood, is about 0.090" high. Cutting it out of the bottom on the other hand may require carving out the wheel well opening.

Furthermore the resin body is thicker than the styrene one, as expected, and the chassis doesn't fit. The Dremel will be required to hog out the rear inner fenders, or to cut down the chassis.

Given I want the suspension lowered, I'll have to assemble the chassis and interior and get it all to fit into the body prior to setting up the stance. Plan A is to modify suspension mounting points; the kit does come with two kingpins, one with offset axle; the offset kingpin can be mounted so as to lower or raise the front. I would still have to hack a lowered rear axle. Plan B is to set the entire body and interior higher into the body, essentially a fake channeling. To be determined. So next is to get the suspension and floor pan assembled.

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