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Phantom Henry J Gasser in 1/24 scale by JCT


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Another drag racer...this time a gasser, this is an old glue bomb Henry J that had been disassembled a while back.  The plan always was to strip and rebuild but again like the Funnies it was backburnered and then stuck in storage....


The base kit was the Revell issue of the Henry J gasser "The Saint", I can find no evidence that this was ever anything more then a model...i.e. no 1:1 Saint gasser every existed, least not in my research, so finishing this rebuild as a phantom wont be out of line 


To start the body was striped of all existing paint by soaking in Purple Power for about 6 hrs...then scrubbed with a stiff toothbrush...


...this stuff works real well and leaves the plastic intact...IMG_9695.JPG.3cbc235255f4ffe34233832b1d0ef745.JPG

After scrubbing it down with dish-washing detergent two coats of Krylon white primer was applied 


this will dry for a couple days before being sanded out...it may receive another coat, depends on the finish after sanding


The engine that comes with this kit is a blown Ford 427, I think. but I wanted something different...so I dug through my spares box...years back I used to build model cars under commission. Clients would want scale models of their real rides, the toughest part of this was finding a model to convert, well anyway I had a dude that wanted a 68 Plymouth Belvedere with a 340...left me with a really nice 426 Hemi in the spares box, this is from an AMT Roadrunner kit..


The AMT engine is a really nice molding, though the intake manifold is the staggered duel carb versionIMG_9693.JPG.efcbd083f7ca51cf21f3de6da0d598cc.JPG

I'm gonna build this as a supercharged version, but with duel carbs and velocity stacks...so I've made a few blank off plates to fill the voids, and dug through the spares box for a blower


Once these dry I'll start build up the engine proper, it will need some scratch build stuff...plug wires gas line carb linkage etc.   Well that's all for now



Edited by jct
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An update...finished all the primer work on all but the front clipIMG_9697.JPG.5c0b833b761d3f0cb27dc53366c8347a.JPG

which will require more work after its face lift...the kit comes with one piece headlight lens/bucket assembly all chromed, I always thought they looked really cheesy, so a raid on the spares box yielded a set of buckets from god knows what...so the fenders were modified to fit these new accessories, lens will be formed from microscale Kristal KleerIMG_9699.JPG.18a1695326654fda10a154f7f5c071f4.JPG

been rethinking my decision to do this as a blown hemi...the twin carbs just don't fit the supercharger correctly, it would be really noticeable with the detail I plan to do on the motor...so I'm gonna go with a normally aspirated duel carb setup, I've got two manifolds an inline and a cross ram...leaning toward the inline, cause the carb linkage on a cross ram is super complicated to scratch build...and this is a zero budget build!! No PE allowed.  You can see the evidence here that the decision was a real hair puller...and damn if it ain't one of the dark ones...may even be the last one left:o


moved on to the distributor and plug wires...needed to make a new shaft from rod and the wires are wire wrap wire...I've used this stuff for plug wire forever...for the longest time I used to drill each knub on the cap separately, which took forever, resulted in many finger stabs, and when it was done and the wires added you couldn't see it anyway.  So now I just drill one big hole in the middle, bundle the wires and glue um in...if your gonna try this a word of cation...use gel ca, thin stuff will creep up the wires and leave you with one huge mother lover of a wire:blush:



completed and read for paint


reworked the motor mounts and trans cross brace


Next up is paint for the engine...hopefully tomorrow, depends on what the admiral has planned



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I had quick run through the memory bank..  nope, no Henry J that I recall at a track.  Many of the gassers of that era (but not a majority) were the Willis. I suspect it had a bit longer wheel base and possibly a bit more "engine room".  Wheelbase gets a bit short and high horsepower does make the car real squirrelly. 


I thought the cross-ram option was to allow it to be used on the NASCAR circuit?   

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Did a little digging...seems the bathtub intake was the NASCAR deal 


different from the cross ram...they look very similar 



hers a nice shot of the cross ram in Sox and Martin Cuda


Ronnie Sox was my hero back in the day "King of the 4 speed"   I think I'm changing my mind again...the cross ram is calling to me

Edited by jct
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Did some interweb searching after our  interaction yesterday....primarily George Klass's site, found some HJ gassers, not many when compared to other makes and some appear to be pre fire suit days,  a few guys driving in t-shirts...looks like most of these are B and C class there are a few A's


you gotta love a ride named Super Pickle...

Edited by jct
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3 minutes ago, CDW said:

Wow, some great Henry J pics!

For a no-graphics/no-decals car, that 6th picture down from the top is a great looking Henry J gasser, for sure. For a name, got to love the Mr. Nasty gasser. His flames are sub par, but I like the old school look of that one, too.

Ya the flames look home brew....but the pinstripes on the deck look cool...wish I had a color shot...I ordered some decal film so I'm going to add some...toying with a name, that will stay a surprise until the finish

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Have you run across anyone who is making/selling resin engine kits? In the late 90's, early 2000's, there were several cottage industry people making really nice race engine replicas. Now, I have not seen any around. They were not cheap back then, but they were very nicely done and would give a whole lot of extra to any scale racing model. 

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off to a heck of a good start with this one   ;)  I looked at the links you posted.......I've never worked with resin,  but the parts look real neat.    nice array of parts to work with too........


now.......just because I have been under the weather,  doesn't mean I haven't been scheming....hee...hee .. if the budget director gives me the nod,  I should have something cook'in real soon.  first the General though.


sweet project :) 


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Thanks for the likes and comments...some pics of the engine details...

painted out the base colors



then weathered/grunged up the motor a bit, gave it a wash of black acrylic and dry brushed with substantiate coats of a lighter orange, I want this to represent a small race operation, so the engine should show some use...have to go back in and clean up the details, I'm a little sloppy with the washes.

 You'll notice that I went with the inline intake, I had fitted the cross ram I mentioned earlier but found that is was too wide with the carbs mounted, would not clear the hood opening and I think it is wide enough already, so the inline it was.  I think it will still look good 


while this dried I started scratching out some details...started by drilling out some plastic rod 


this was used to make a distributor coil


this is one piece of rod inserted into the other and a strap added from card stock, paint finished it off


rod was also used to make a fuel distribution block


this piece needs painted...block will be gold and the fuel lines silver.

The carbs received a base coat of gold


once dry these got a dark wash and dry brushed with a silver/gold mix to pop the details

Still have to build up the linkage but the return spring is done, you can see the finish paint of the carbs here as well



Early on I had test fit the block to the chassis, I was not surprised to find the block and bell-housing to large for the trans tunnel 

so it was opened with a rotary tool sander



once the block fit a new tunnel was scratched from card 


which was stiffened with liquid ca 


it will be coated with putty and sanded out before mating with the floor pan







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Thx for the likes and comment...more detail added to the engine...

this will become the dipstick

IMG_9719.JPG.df6bfbc32e574e5ff50ae2153fc330b2.JPG IMG_9720.JPG.7f46a099331246b1a91b86ee0bd410fc.JPG

IMG_9726.JPG.46ae0b807392683596f3579b9087c2b1.JPG here it is in place, carbs are mounted too

Next I turned my attention to shaping the fuel rails...IMG_9729.JPG.1012447e6d87bb1c47644ebe04760283.JPG

it was then trimmed and mounted   IMG_9730.JPG.90528cfe57e7956f015a14e2fa4cd678.JPGIMG_9740.JPG.46b845838716cd4798f5ddca83e7c70a.JPG

from there the linkage went on....just some bent up wire here, added the return spring as well IMG_9736.JPG.eaabd99058b6b8b9ae4e7cee839eb778.JPG

then the distributor and plug wires went on...IMG_9745.JPG.4c1ce5e38bff958743afeb7a554e21f8.JPGIMG_9748.JPG.9dafdf8bfb38d15e4505fcec9e05c106.JPGIMG_9749.JPG.7fed73b4dd84cff1a19914e5540be6ac.JPGIMG_9750.JPG.27dd297209e159f72decd439cc452188.JPGIMG_9751.JPG.ab0191d36d978bdedc77ac6ae174a186.JPG

the firewall will be drilled to accept the throttle cable and it will be trimmed to size then, headers will be added after the block is in the chassis...this assembly will sit for a few days...I'll go back in and touch-up when everything has set

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THX for the likes and kind comments...with the engine all but complete I turned my attention to the body...everyone that's ever built this kit knows the flip front end has fitment issues and is sloppy at best...so instead of monkeying with it I decided to mount the front fenders and open the hood...

IMG_9753.JPG.a5390aaf54842c17f5d54aeb3818fdb3.JPG they were separated at the hood joint and...

IMG_9755.JPG.a03523eb0961dbec008e80db08907a78.JPG ...the fenders fixed to the body, this was put aside to setup

next the firewall was relieved for the hood hinge   IMG_9756.JPG.572c4873b8936536aa28bcd18602a416.JPG and work started on the hinge mechanism

I used aluminum rod and a straightened paper clip for this, you could use plastic tube if you like, this is just what I had on hand, three pieces of tube are required a long one to mount on the firewall and two shorter pieces that will ultimately mount to the underside of the hood


Insert the wire into the long tube and bend both sides to 90 degrees

IMG_9757.JPG.5347d7de1857ac2b79610b98181b35b2.JPGIMG_9758.JPG.af436f2179f74b58aa51426116fd635f.JPG then turn the assembly and bend both sides 90 degrees these bends are perpendicular to the first bendsIMG_9759.JPG.57288c8d90e8b8b970d97a38cdea6b77.JPG now the hinge loop is formedIMG_9760.JPG.c814418d4a49bc7e506cb30908cf13f2.JPGIMG_9761.JPG.d26433228bcb48f44a3faf641af13aad.JPG

and two more 90 deg bends IMG_9762.JPG.be00403bbf7a167b00b4a0ea5303d601.JPG

IMG_9763.JPG.ef26d173584f1e321e3f714fee1c4edc.JPGslide on the short tubing pieces and trim the wire to length...IMG_9764.JPG.7949674b25a4882598ade5280a26fb68.JPG


and that's it...I'll be sure to include pics when I mount this so you can see how it mounts...I've used this technique on past builds and it works well, whats critical is the loop size it needs to be of sufficient diameter to clear anybody work above the firewall...on a modern body that would be the vent valance, in my case here the hood ends right at the firewall so they can be fairly tight, be prepared to experiment 



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really nice progress J........nice bit of work with the hood.  I usually don't do much with it.......if there isn't a way to set it up,  I usually don't.  I will have to try that  ;)    nice engine set up too......look'in pretty darn good!  


these older kit are so cool......lots of potential.   I'm feeling better.......I did pull the trigger on that engine.


I also bought the Sox and Martin kit for like $22.   there are others that I'd like to get,  but the 3 in 1 kits are insane ....they want anywhere from $30.00,  to over $175.00 for an older kit!   I know that these are the original kits....some of them are indeed rare,  I just can't see paying that much for them.   since the emergence of Round 2 models,  I can go to any craft store...Michael's,  Hobby Lobby,  HobbyTown,  and pick up some of the old AMT / MPC  kits for under $25.00.   once I get this engine kit,  I'll go pick out the victim.   thanks to the links you posted,  I can get some of the add ons to enhance it.   I could have sworn that I saw something like this in 1:16 scale........that would have been an interesting project....to be sure :) 

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