Big things with little cars
Big things with little cars

Another project complete.....this time a convertible

Back when I was in collage, like 20yrs ago, YES I’m OLD, I bought this diecast 57 Chevy convertible. I really don’t remember if it was off eBay or actually purchased in a store. But it came exactly like in the picture below:

Illustration for article titled Another project complete.....this time a convertible
Image: ebay,com
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LOOK how rare 1 of 10,000 I know, I know, how could I even consider opening it up or, heaven forbid, modifying it!!! (BTW, this image is for one selling right now on eBay so I’d say 10,000 is a LOT! Since it’s buy it now with shipping for under $20.

As you can read on the box, what you are looking at is a 1:43 scale 1957 Chevrolet by Road Champs Collectibles. It has opening doors and trunk.

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Illustration for article titled Another project complete.....this time a convertible
Illustration for article titled Another project complete.....this time a convertible
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In the below photo, you can clearly see all the details are there in the interior.......they just happened to be all red.

Illustration for article titled Another project complete.....this time a convertible
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After having the white wall party this car was sitting in a spot near where I would work and I’d look at it from time to time and think, man I really should detail this car!! So when I was done my current project I did.

The Interior

The Plan:

  • Paint the floor black
  • Detail the seats and door panels with silver and chrome paint
  • Detail the dashboard
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Here I stripped the car down but stopped short of removing the interior and trunk floor from the chassis since there really was no need for this project.

Flocking

For this model I decided to try out my newly purchased Flocking Kit!!!

Illustration for article titled Another project complete.....this time a convertible
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Flocking is very small fibers that you stick to wet paint and it is supposed to simulate capering. It can be used in jewelry boxes etc, instead of gluing down felt or velvet. Yes, it’s true, a real ‘57 Chevy has a ribbed rubber mat in the trunk but I figured, it would be cool to ‘flock’ the trunk as well for this model.

Here is how it looks after I used a tea strainer and dropped an excessive amount of flocking down onto the wet paint:

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It took me about 3 tries to get everything covered and it’s not very even, but I guess it looks okay for my first flocking job. Note, I didn’t flock the floor mats or pedals so I could paint them gloss black.

Illustration for article titled Another project complete.....this time a convertible
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Seats

I detailed the seats, and door panels with silver paint. I really need to find a nicer matte silver to do interiors but this is all I could find at the time. I feel like you can almost see every brush stoke!! But I guess it looks okay.

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Illustration for article titled Another project complete.....this time a convertible

Door Panels

On the door panels, the raised lines separating the silver from the red have been chromed. I know it’s very hard to tell the difference from silver and chrome in the photo, so you’ll just have to trust me.

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Illustration for article titled Another project complete.....this time a convertible

Dashboard



I was all set to detail the steering wheel and dashboard that came with this model when I had an epiphany. I had all these parts left over from a Franklin Mint 1/43 sale build I did a few months back....not sure if I will go back and do a write-up on that project.

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Here is a comparison of the two dashboards:

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Of course, the Road champs version seen here is after I detailed it all up. The gauges are just supposed to be approximate since I didn’t have any decals and really couldn’t print anything out that small that would look like anything. I was honestly shocked, when working on the Franklin Mint model, how bare the dashboard is of details.

Steering Wheels

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I had already chrome painted the Road Champs steering wheel and had planned out approximating the center emblem with paint when I decided to switch over to the Franklin Mint version.

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Here is the completed dash with steering wheel

The Exterior

The exterior was really already pretty good, all the chrome trip was present just a few small details to do.

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Convertible Top Boot

For the life of me, I could not get the convertible top boot off the car with out damaging the paint or breaking it. So I bit the bullet and decided to mask it as best as I could and paint it in place.

you may be interested to note, a red convertible 1957 Chevy only had one choice for a color of the convertible top cover (boot), red. This is one of the few times I will differ from stock due to my personal preference.

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Also I painted the sun visors the correct silver instead of red.

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Trunk lid

I figured that I should add as much detail as I could, so I detailed the inside of the trunk lid too. I even painted black to simulate the rubber gasket

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Illustration for article titled Another project complete.....this time a convertible

Headlights:

OMG, the headlights oh the headlights. So really the body on this car was pretty much already done. Then while I was working on it, I noticed one of the headlight lens was not on all the way. I attempted to push it in farther and.....PING....to my horror, it broke off and went flying, never to be seen again.

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Illustration for article titled Another project complete.....this time a convertible

This is what really why I started using some of the Franklin Mint pieces on this model in the first place. As you can see, the Franklin Mint headlight lens and bezel are far mode detailed. The only problem was getting them to fit.......

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Illustration for article titled Another project complete.....this time a convertible

As you can see I pretty much had to remove the entire back of the bucket. Unfortunately the contour to the body still didn’t match and I didn’t want to modify the body since it was already painted.

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I ended up using some putty as you can see below behind the top edge.

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Here both sides with the putty chromed. It turned out okay, remember this is 1:43 scale so it’s not super noticeable.

Illustration for article titled Another project complete.....this time a convertible
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White Wall Tires:

If you recall during my White Wall Party Post there was an unsightly gap between the tire and the hubcap. I addressed this issue by painting that portion of the tires with white paint. At first I tired to paint the entire white wall but it just NEVER seemed to dry and get on my hands no matter what I did. With this solution I figured it would be less likely to get touched.

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Illustration for article titled Another project complete.....this time a convertible

Here is is installed on the vehicle:

Illustration for article titled Another project complete.....this time a convertible
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Here is a nice before and after picture, not perfect but MUCH better after installing a narrower vinyl white ring:

Illustration for article titled Another project complete.....this time a convertible
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The Grille:

As described in an earlier post I detailed the grille by first painting it gold and then with black wash.

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Illustration for article titled Another project complete.....this time a convertible

But look at that grille emblem it’s all off center. I had to make a new one. I maximized the size instead of keeping the correct aspect ratio. It’s done on my inkjet printer, so unfortunately that’s as fine as it can print:

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Tail Lights

I had to paint the center backup lights and then the blacked out area at the bottom.

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Illustration for article titled Another project complete.....this time a convertible

Interestingly, the blacked out areas at the bottom were originally intended to be the exhaust exit, but after the ‘55 Caddy’s chrome bumper started to get tarnished, the design was changed for the ‘57 Chevy to have it exit out below the rear bumper.

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COMPLETE:

Illustration for article titled Another project complete.....this time a convertible
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Illustration for article titled Another project complete.....this time a convertible
Illustration for article titled Another project complete.....this time a convertible
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Going from top to bottom:

  • Original
  • Vinyl white wall tires
  • Full detailed
Illustration for article titled Another project complete.....this time a convertible
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Here is a nice 3/4 front view of original and fully detailed:

Illustration for article titled Another project complete.....this time a convertible
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Thank you for reading!!!

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