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'39 Ford "China Girl" gasser by popeye the sailor - FINISHED - AMT - PLASTIC

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2007835808_boxart.jpg.12ac42c67238f75f6e087540926ea6ee.jpgwhile looking for a victim for the 283 small block I had bought,  I intended to use this model to house it.......but the admiral eyed the 1923 coke mobile,  and the rest is history.   just as well I think......this one is very strange.  I have been trying to find it in the original AMT box,  but have only found it in the stock variant.  not only that,  there are a few parts that are not in the instructions.......and a right side running board is included as well.  it's not needed,  since the running boards are already part of the lower body half :blink:  {I've been using this face a lot today}....it does have some extra parts.....like a tow bar,  the hook up to tow something,  and an engine stand.  if one was building a garage diorama,  this would be one model I would suggest,  just for that reason alone  ;)    the model does build up to either the '39,  or '40 Ford sedan.......but pictures I saw of a '40 ford,  has a horizontal strip of grill running across the base of the center grill....the model does not have this.

    back in the day,  ford didn't name their cars the flashy name they give them today.  they were sold as models.......standard or DeLux.  so the product name for this particular vehicle would be '39 Ford DeLux Model 92 A Sedan.......or Ford Standard Model 91 A Sedan.  these cars were updated as a luxury car,  to keep in pace with Lincoln / Zephyr {when was the last time you heard that name?}.  this was the year that ford introduced the seal beam headlight.......and the hydraulic mechanism for the rag,  for their convertible models.   this model features two engines......the stock 136 CID / 2.2L engine and an Olds 394 CID / 6.5L....I think we know which one I'll be using  ;) .   I've already started to clean up some of the parts.......I've also sent some of the chrome parts to the 'dip'.


I'll build both engines,  just for the fun of it.....the 2.2L is on the stand at the moment.  I didn't bother to do a contents review,  since I've already bagged some of the parts I won't be using {the humble beginnings of my spare parts bin}.   for those who might be interested in finding the kit,  Round 2 boxed it as a Gasser.


there is a box size card included,  in case you want to frame it and put it on your desk....or you can hang it on the wall ,  next to your mother in law {that will win you some bonus points with the admiral ;) }.  {HA........only if your Tim the Tool Man!}  the decal sheet come with a few names for your creation.......I didn't care for any of them.....even the box art.  I was mind listening to a David Bowie song.....yaaaaa China Girl......that's where I got the idea for the name...silly me.  the molds are old.......I will caution you.......I had to clean some heavy mold lines off of the front fenders.  I cemented the drag grille cover in place already.


see the front suspension beside the body.......note the visible 'line' on what would be considered to be the disc rotor {or backing plate}.  that is a heavy duty mold line........I worked diligently on both front suspension parts {one is raised and one is lowered}.   the chrome one was just as bad as the unchromed one......the chromed one got thrown in the 'dip' too.  I'll go over the front fenders now with some fine sandpaper to get rid of any scratches the rougher paper left.   on most of these older kits,  if a wheel well is to be enlarged,  it will have a line depression,  denoting where and how much to remove.  this was the case her with the rear fender wells......I removed the excess to allow for the drag slicks.


the hood was cleaned up and fitted.....there is a small gap on both sides of the hood I need to fill in.


the 2.2 L on the stand


the hood for the '39 will be used.   the hood scoop was cemented in place,  and the opening outline was drilled,  to make removing the excess plastic easier.



the opening is all cleaned up now...flush with the inner surface of the scoop.   it saw it's first paint around this time....the 394 CID is painted flat Blue.   the 136 CID is painted in British Scarlet.......never heard of British Scarlet....it's a Humbrol color.



so......this is where I am now.  still more cleaning to do though....I promise to stay busy  ;) 

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Cool, Denis.   I would suspect the tow bar was for towing this beast.  Back then a lot of guys didn't have trailers so they threw some street tires on the rear, hooked up the towbar and off the track.  Once there, they put on the slicks.


The "scarlet" looks more like a Chevy orange from here.  

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I agree with Mark


Either that or International Orange. Either way I like the color.


Is the larger CID engine a flathead as well?


Taking up my seat, I see that you left my drink and nameplate right where it was when I sat here for your last build. 

Edited by lmagna
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hi every one......welcome and hope you enjoy what I'm gonna do to this beast  :D   nothing spectacular really........I do have a couple thing I want to modify....this kit is an odd duck.  as mentioned,   there is no actual kit put out there by AMT.....they did have a stock version model kit at the time.  I also saw that Monogram put one out back in 2000.......I forget offhand when they merged with Revell.   there are other gasser models using this particular year and body........they were pretty popular with the racing community.   I think it's safe to say that Duster and Mustang bodies took over the field by the '70s.   the beauty of these older bodies was the frame........the the way {and how} it was constructed made them very strong,  perfect as the start of adding in the elements of racing......roll cages and such.   another aspect of this model is the suspension.......I'm use to seeing the dual spring set up,  rather than the central spring suspension.  if I had the spare parts stash I used to have {back in the day},  I could go nutz with it  ;) 


chances are your correct Mark......the decals depict the Mom & Pop race teams of the past,  where money didn't ruin the sport yet.  once it became to costly to keep up,  most of the smaller teams faded away.  back in the day,  some used to drive it there,  unhook the headers,  put on the slicks,  and toss out the admiral's hand bag {useless weight on the drag strip}.  I agree with your assessment of British Scarlet.....as if I didn't have enough Orange, as well as International Orange in my paint stash ;)   Lou............!


this is another color from the batch of paints you sent me Lou.   there was a small group of Monogram and Humbrol paints in the batch,  that I keep separate from the rest of the naval and armor paints {the white ensign stuff}.  I am trying to transfer these paint to bottles......I find the tins a bit cumbersome.   I have a habit of wiping the caps and lips of excess paint,  so I don't end up with sealed shut bottles......then having to ruin the caps with pliers.  the flathead V8 was the perfect 'poor man's' engine.......and is the basis for later racing engines.   the valve in block set up was less labor intensive when it came to pulling the 'head'.   I do find it kinda funny that ford first built the L6 engines,  went to the flat head V8 engines,  and then went back to the L6.   the flat head was more than perfect for truck.  when I was a lad,  we had a '59 ford pick up with a flat head V8.........damn good runn'in truck!

    the Olds 394 engine was produced in 1949,  although it saw the most use in 1959 thru 1964.   this engine was another engine that saw a lot of application in racing.  the valve train set up required it to have banked heads with two bolt on valve covers to shield the rockers and push rods, capping off the valve train chambers.  these engine also enabled the use of two and four barreled carburetors as a single unit,  rather than mount them as duals or triples.


hello Ken........yepper!  your places are both still there ;)     I don't move nothing.......I love company!!!


that reminds me of my old Chevelle CDW.....it had a 305 in it,  until I burned out some cylinders.  I replaced the two barrel carb,  with a four barrel carb {and intake},  and used to terrorize down town Manchester {we had a place to go to}.   that is.........until the cops would break us up.  but back then,  it was just us kids having fun.........not like it is today :(   any way.......our neighbor ran a small garage.......his only son had joined the army and I used to go up there to help him out {dad did too}.  I was working at the nursing home at the time.....his wife was the head dietitian there....and I worked in the Kitchen under her.  I got home to my father telling me to go up the hill.......Bill had something for me.  getting there,  entering the garage,  there's old Bill.......working and spitt'in the juice from his chew in a pepsi bottle.  Bill had an engine for my Chevelle..........I saw the small block 283 on the stand,  but no........that was Willy's motor...not the one I was to have.   he pointed to a tarp.......under it was the L6.....I forget what CID it was......I was bummed!

    but you know.......that was a damn good runn'in engine.  the only thing I ever had to do to it was adjust the choke thermostat for the seasons.  he rebuilt it......very tight and quiet for a six cylinder........usually you can hear the valve noise...but not this one.


I did some more cleaning up last night.......the mold line are very prominent on some of the parts.   I want to jack up the suspension,  but what's in the kit is making it hard to do that.  I'm in the process of checking the rear tire clearance.....here I ran into a small problem with the kit.  the rims are a two piece affair......the outer mag halves are all the same height,  but the inner bead rings for the front and rear are different,  due to the thickness of the tires.  they are a thick rubber and won't stretch outward to meet them.   I haven't tried the slicks yet,  but the front tires will have a very noticeable gap concerning the inner bead.  these rings need to be thinned down........I came up with a way to do it.  I'll tell ya in the next update  :) 

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welcome Sam,  Jack and J!    yes....my many projects.........and I'm constantly thinking of them too ;)   I know it's hard to follow,  but when I get an idea or solution,  I apply it right away.   it keeps me busy and the admiral's head spinn'in  :D    glad to have ya aboard Jack!

     I can count on you J,  to come up with some pretty cool stuff!   now you'll have me wondering if there are any upgrades for L6 engines.  I still haven't pulled the trigger on the corvair stuff.......curious to see what it's all about...the engine or just the upgrades.   the kit came with the two V8's.......the flat head and the 394 Olds........I'm going to use the Olds engine with Hilborn injection,  instead of the trip carbs :) 

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hello Steve.......welcome to the log :)   yep.......he's not one of my absolute favorites,  but I like a lot of his songs.  one in particular is 'let's dance'.......a funny story for ya......

    I was at work one morning....one bay had a trailer in it and one didn't,  which has a profound effect on the acoustics in the shop.  I was walking across the bay without a trailer in it,  when the song 'let's dance' came on the radio.   David uses his voice quite effectively on this song,  and I do like to sing along with it..........so I did.  I sounded pretty good with the acoustics {if I might say so myself},  so I kept going....


put on you red shoes and dance the blues........

to the song that's play'in on the radio..


just about ready to hit the chorus,  my manager comes out of the parts room..........."way ta go Denis!"   "You go......"  big smile on his face!

    we both started laughing..........of course....that killed the concert  ;) 


of course,  if you really want to hear something funny........I can do it in Elmer Fudd too ;)   as well as Popeye  :D  yas knows what I's mean?


anyway......I hope you enjoy check'in in here and there.....appreciate ya popp'in in :) 

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while I'm here........may just as well unload my progress.   I have some.......no need to overload the camera ;)    engines and tires.........I did more to the flathead......


the intake and heads are on the flat head.....the timing cover and valve covers are on the 394........a couple more parts to go......


a bit more paint can add detail to it.......but I'll hold off since I'm not going to use it.  I have a bigger problem that just cropped up.......the inner bead ring for the front rims.  as can be seen,  all four outer parts of the rims are the same height.   on the slicks,  this won't pose a problem.......but as for the front tires......


you can see that the rims almost go through the front tires....the rings,  being too thick,  would stick out from the tire and look terrible.  there must be a way to thin the inn edge of the ring,  saving the outer ring for the bead.   rolling a piece of tape in a small circle {sticky side out},  the ring was stuck to it,  and I was able to rub it on a sanding block.....anything flat really will do.   kept in mind to inspect frequently,  to insure it was sanding down evenly,  the inner part of the ring was slowly removed.


there is enough sticky side showing on the other side,  that it helped me to handle the movement across the block........it stuck to my fingers  ;) 

    I was able to use the same tape for the second one ........and the process continued until completion.  with this done,  it was time to assemble the front rims.   they will be trimmed and painted later..   


the height difference is very noticeable now.....I hope it is enough.   too late now if it isn't.   it's time to start adding to the 394 engine.


the Hilborn injectors are lying nearby........the intake need to be detailed.........the regulator and fuel rails


the headers are cleaned up and ready for paint.  after some drying time,  it was time to assemble the intake and injector tubes to the engine.


...added a touch of red paint on the tops of the injector tubes,  and that's the bulk of this engine,  aside from the headers and drive belt.  I will have to modify the drive belt for this timing cover.......it only shows it for the stock {custom} timing cover {the pins are different on this one}.   I did sand the finish off of the drag slicks.......I failed to do that for the Coke Mobile.....my bad :blush:   the slicks fit nicely.


huh......I just noticed.......Goodyear slicks.  the front tires are Firestone......I'll have to check the sponsor decals and see if there are decals for them.  I have one for Cragar rims........there's one for Goodyear.......no matter......I can make others.  I'm trying to make some anyway.......along the lines of China Girl.......I'll show you what I have so far soon.  the front tires are mounted........they came out good.......I'm happy  :) 


that's all for now.........I hope to have more {the admiral's hinting at errands....... :( }                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   

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IIRC, the straight 6's could be beefed up for many low dollar classes.  The flat heads were always popular up until around '65 or so (maybe earlier). Even the JC Whitney catalogs had hop up kits and parts for them.  


As for the sponsor ship decals... for the average racer on the local track they weren't a factor.   Only the national events has sponsor money to give out and that was only if you were in the top three.   So a lot of guys just didn't bother.  


The big Chrysler motors were always in favor because the magic word: "hemi".   There were machine shops would take an old Chrysler head and turn it into a hemi head.  Not 100%  but close enough. 


Sometimes I miss the old days, other days, not so much.

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1 hour ago, mtaylor said:

IIRC, the straight 6's could be beefed up for many low dollar classes.  The flat heads were always popular up until around '65 or so (maybe earlier). Even the JC Whitney catalogs had hop up kits and parts for them.  


As for the sponsor ship decals... for the average racer on the local track they weren't a factor.   Only the national events has sponsor money to give out and that was only if you were in the top three.   So a lot of guys just didn't bother.  


The big Chrysler motors were always in favor because the magic word: "hemi".   There were machine shops would take an old Chrysler head and turn it into a hemi head.  Not 100%  but close enough. 


Sometimes I miss the old days, other days, not so much.

I have seen some extraordinary straight six cylinder engines at the drags. Hemi's have always been a beast of a motor. Heavy as heck compared to others, and always expensive. They never have been an "average" racer's engine, but they darn sure can make some horsepower.


Speaking of straight sixes, an old fella I worked with was a round 'n round stock car racer from way back. Their motors were all straight sixes on the dirt, clay, and asphalt short tracks. Darned things ran great, too. He said the secret to building a great six cylinder race engine was to build them "loose". A tight fitting engine was a kiss of death. They would not last, blow up. They sure were fun to watch, but I never had the pleasure of driving/racing one myself. Always wanted to, just never got a round tuit. Takes a lot of hard work and money to keep a race car going through a season of racing.

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6 hours ago, CDW said:

Always wanted to, just never got a round tuit. Takes a lot of hard work and money to keep a race car going through a season of racing.


I remember the phrase from racing days.... "It's easy to become a millionaire in racing.  Start off as a multi-millionaire."

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yep....one definitely had to break a few eggs ,  to make it big ;)   I added a fan to the drive belt for the Olds engine.  the picture above reminded me that in quite a few cases, some substituted an electric fan and did away with it.  to save space.  I'll need to check and see what kind of space I have.

     the front axle is out of the dip and cleaned up.......I've been doing some tinkering ;) 

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as mentioned,  I did a little tinkering during the work week.......rare for me,  :ph34r:    first,  I wanted to see how the clearance would look for the slicks.


the tires being untouchable at the moment,  left it to my imagination.........I think I'll be OK.   then the clearance for the engine........I don't think the drive belt with the fan  will fit in there......


so off came the fan.......and I put it on the flat head engine.


the drive belt was added to the Olds engine,  after a tiny bit of trimming........it was then fitted again to see how it looked.


.....just makes it :Whew: here is the decal sheet that came with the kit.   you might agree why I decided to change it up a bit ;) 


...not too many in the way of sponsor decals.     but to start off with........here are some of the images I've come up with using the decal maker.  the dragon is one of the images it has in it.


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hee....hee........especially on Game of Thrones :wub:   I was tickled pink!   this decal program has quite a few images..some even comparable to the markings on your Mustang { but not as "connected"}.   if I get a chance,  I'll thumb through the images in it and show you.    the program is cool,  but it does have that nagging transparency issue,  that limits how they can be used.   some have been overcome with the use of white film paper,  instead of clear film paper,  but I have been able to expand the fix by changing the background colors.  I haven't done that to the name image yet......I'm still looking for a font that I like.  the only problem here,  is that if I do it....it affects the entire field........and if there are any decals that I don't want this to affect,  I can't have them on the sheet.  the big draw for me,  is the ability to import images and manipulate them to my liking. 

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you can buy the basic kit.......come with some decal paper,  the program,  and a can of decal bonder.  the only thing about it though,  is you can't import images into it.   




I did some digging and found the decal it standard edition.   it wasn't very expensive as I recall........the upgrade for it only cost $15.00


DecalGear.com - The hobbyist's source for inkjet decal paper and Decal Maker custom decal making software for modelers and hobbyists


I didn't get to do much today......the outside beckoned and I have to get our car ready for inspection.  I did do a little painting...hope to get more done tomorrow :) 

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thanks J.........I did a copy and paste to word pad.   there is a lot of good info there :)  thanks for taking the time!   I got in a bit of table time today....a little here and a little there.   the Olds engine is still in the works........I added the magneto and finished painting the headers,  the chassis has been painted flat black.  the radiator was cemented in place to better gauge the room left for the drive belt,  and the battery was cemented in place as well.



I'll have to do a dry fit in order to see if there is any more white showing.   suspension parts and other parts are drying at the moment.......I might get to assemble what I have later on.


this is where the model stands at the moment......the next update will be soon

Edited by popeye the sailor
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