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Okay, on to my next project: Daisy's Plymouth!  I much prefer the look of the SECOND car used, the one that went over the cliff (actually I prefer how it looked BEFORE, but nevermind).  It just looks sleeker to me, plus it was used in more episodes (14 vs 9).

First, let's dispel some rumors and falsehoods:

     -Rumor # 1: Daisy's second car was a Plymouth Roadrunner, either '71 or '72 depending on where you read.

     -The Truth #1: Apparently it was probably a '71 Plymouth Satellite Sebring with some '71 GTX features including a non-Sebring hood.  Therefore, it shall henceforth be referred to simply as "Daisy's Plymouth".

     -Rumor #2:  Daisy's first car ('74 Plymouth Satellite) was only used in the first five episodes, the ones filmed in Georgia.

     -The Truth #2Actually, the '74 Satellite was retained for the first four California Episodes (Swamp Molly, Luke's Love Story, The Big Heist & Limo One is Missing).  The Sebring/GTX's first appearance was in Episode 11, "Money to Burn."  It made a nice first entrance on this episode.  It finished the first season, and was used in 14 episodes of Season 2.

     -Rumor #3:  Except for the dive off the cliff, Daisy's car was never really used much for stunts.

     -The Truth #3 Actually, besides spinning wheels and fishtailing to Daisy's fantastic driving, it was used for a jump in Season 2 Episode 2, "Gold Fever".  Additionally, before its tragic dive off the cliff to destruction, it did a 2-wheel bank between the Hazzard Sheriff cars.  

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Under expert automotive guidance from the good folks at Modelcarsmag.com forums, I procured a Revell '71 Plymouth GTX as the base kit, and ordered the correct hood from Harts Parts resins.  I decided to make this a fully detailed build rather than the "curbside" closed-hood builds I've done for much of my Dukes of Hazzard fleet.  It will feature a fully super-detailed engine bay, similar to what I did with The General.  

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Hollywood almost always uses more than one copy of any featured vehicle due to tight filming schedules plus mechanical issues.  Some features on these cars are often fictional.  This said, in my Dukes builds I try to balance or combine the sometimes fictional features with reality. 

I went through all the episodes in question searching for even one photo of the hood up on Daisy's car, maybe parked in front of the farm with the boys doing some minor maintenance.  Couldn't even find one; this actually made things easier; it means whatever I do can't be proven wrong.  I did find one scene with the hood up on the earlier-used '74, from the episode "Limo One is Missing," but of course it was the wrong car, and we couldn't see much anyway.

It was suggested that Daisy's character might have driven the Plymouth variant with the smaller engine, with a blue engine block.  I'm not sure if any muscle car kits actually offer smaller, "tamed" small-block engines, so I went with what I had.  Had to strip the paint and redo it in a more correct color.

I added a few details for the wiring, plus an aftermarket set of belts and pulleys.  Alternator came from Revell's '68/69 Charger.  There will be more hoses and wiring added after it's installed.

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I also removed the molded-on battery and water reservoir from the engine bay.  See, the trouble with molded-on details is that they LOOK molded on, and therefore more toylike.  So once removed their respective areas were rebuilt.  Those specific items will have separate items installed to replace them.

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One more for today.  For the filming, all identification logos/scripts on the vehicles were removed (i.e. all the "Charger" logos, the "FORD" from above the grill and tailgate on Jesse's truck, "PLYMOUTH" and "DODGE" from the Sheriff cars, etc).  Most of this is easy for Daisy's Plymouth, except for the grill and in front of the hood.  We'll deal with the grill later.  

For the removed emblem in front of the hood, there is a recessed area that was left untouched once the emblems were removed, and then painted over.  

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I tried removing the bit inside the recessed circle with a roto-drill, but I couldn't make it into a flat disc surface.  So I cut a tiny circle of sandpaper, smaller than the target area, and glued it to the end of a toothpick.  This, with a tiny dab of putty, exactly did the trick.

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There was CONSIDERABLE bodywork to be done with the Front Body Pan; this appears seamless with the rest of the body, so I wanted to install it before painting.  The rear one will be blended in after assembly and carefully retouched.  Additionally, the Front bit didn't completely fit, and the trim around the wheel well had to be rebuilt onto it and everything blended together.  

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Well, unfortunately I'm totally ditching the engine....finally the evidence was overwhelming that I needed to go with the smaller-block engine, finished in blue.  So I purchased the engine parts from the AMT Duster.  Starting over. :duh:

In the meantime, here's what happened with the interior.  

Two modifications to be made: the steering wheel and the air vents.  In one episode (Gold Fever S2E2) the instrument panel is visible, showing the dashboard to be the style with two air conditioning vents.  I discovered this after I'd started painting, so, strip the paint, add the parts and start over.

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Steering wheel should be a more standard type instead of the stock racing item in the kit.  I started with the steering wheel from a Chevy pickup, carved down the central spokes, added a third spoke plus some other detailing.  The wood paneling color is done by painting it Military Brown, then going back over it with Tamiya Smoke.  This is basically a transparent black, and when applied unevenly over brown actually looks like wood paneling.

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An all-black interior is a problem since if you just paint it black, then almost zero details will show.  Here's how I bring it to life:

     -Flooring/carpet flat black

     -All the rest in semi-flat black

     -With a wide brush, drybrush dark gray all over the semi-gloss black areas to highlight and bring out the details

     -Mask carpet and then spray semi-gloss areas in a satin/flat clear mix

     -Drybrush dirt onto some of the carpet, especially driver's area.

Again, wood paneling done by painting first with Military Brown, then going over that with Tamiya Smoke transparent black.

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Scratchbuild a CD radio for under the instrument panel, and voila!

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6 hours ago, Andrew D Charger Chaser said:

The wood paneling color is done by painting it Military Brown, then going back over it with Tamiya Smoke.  This is basically a transparent black, and when applied unevenly over brown actually looks like wood paneling.

That reminds me of the way that Wheeler Dealers added painted "wood" panels to their Jeep Grand Wagoneer. You don't get to see much of the process in the video below, but the end results are clear to see.
 

 

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luxury off roading? What's wrong with this concept? Think about it. Off roading, " Roughing" it, etc.......luxury? " Well, I want to get down and dirty but I don't want  to get TOO dirty........I don't want to get " Too" " Down" either!..........HUH???? You either are or you are NOT!! YOU CAN'T BE BOTH!!

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9 hours ago, Andrew D Charger Chaser said:

Well, unfortunately I'm totally ditching the engine....finally the evidence was overwhelming that I needed to go with the smaller-block engine, finished in blue.  So I purchased the engine parts from the AMT Duster.  Starting over. :duh:

In the meantime, here's what happened with the interior.  

Two modifications to be made: the steering wheel and the air vents.  In one episode (Gold Fever S2E2) the instrument panel is visible, showing the dashboard to be the style with two air conditioning vents.  I discovered this after I'd started painting, so, strip the paint, add the parts and start over.

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Steering wheel should be a more standard type instead of the stock racing item in the kit.  I started with the steering wheel from a Chevy pickup, carved down the central spokes, added a third spoke plus some other detailing.  The wood paneling color is done by painting it Military Brown, then going back over it with Tamiya Smoke.  This is basically a transparent black, and when applied unevenly over brown actually looks like wood paneling.

sNcLTcT.jpg

mRoQ5ZI.jpg

 

An all-black interior is a problem since if you just paint it black, then almost zero details will show.  Here's how I bring it to life:

     -Flooring/carpet flat black

     -All the rest in semi-flat black

     -With a wide brush, drybrush dark gray all over the semi-gloss black areas to highlight and bring out the details

     -Mask carpet and then spray semi-gloss areas in a satin/flat clear mix

     -Drybrush dirt onto some of the carpet, especially driver's area.

Again, wood paneling done by painting first with Military Brown, then going over that with Tamiya Smoke transparent black.

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Scratchbuild a CD radio for under the instrument panel, and voila!

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This was the first pic I saw of this and I didn't see the front part.....I was just glancing through it. I thought this was an actual overhead shot  of a REAL one!!  

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The new engine arrived Friday; smaller-block engine from AMT's 71 Duster, will be heavily detailed and wired.  Still needed modifications to the front area with making an attached alternator and other mounts for the pulleys.  Also drilled out holes for the spark plugs and wires (very time consuming on a tiny distributor).

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Also modified the engine mounts so it could accomodate the smaller engine block.  Not a perfect fit, but it's better.

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A much larger problem arose; actually two related problems.  

     1) The suspension and exhaust system is all molded as one piece, looking toylike

     2) The rear suspension needs to be boosted to accomodate larger rear tires.  This will necessitate the total rebuilding of the aft ends of the leaf springs.

First, separating the exhausts:

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Then, adding to the chassis frame to accomodate the extended rear suspension....

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Also found the new engine was too short for the driveshaft; so the driveshaft had to be lengthened by 3mm.  Amazingly, the left exhaust also had to be shortened by the exact same length to fit the new engine.

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  • 4 weeks later...

K folks, it's been a tough end of the school year unlike any other, so I'm finally able to return to the project.  

Rear tires are slightly larger than the front ones, and going into my spare tires resulted in only mismatching tires of differing sizes.  Fortunately I was able to source tires of the same type/appearance and apparently correct sizes from Fireball Modelworks.  Fortunately they also fit the wheel rims that a fellow modeler was kind enough to send me.

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Then the inner wheel hubs had to be reduced in size to fit the tires; had to do this now so as to know exactly how far to raise the rear suspnsion.

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To make the extensions, I needed something thin yet strong....so just making them out of plastic strip wouldn't do it.  They might look the part but they wouldn't support the car past one sneeze.  Fortunately I keep unused Photoetched fret, and the slightly thicker part of the metal sprue just might be strong enough, especially if doubled up.  

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The main load will be supported by an inverted, angled "U" shape.  The height was kept accurate with plastic plugs.  Then the more visible parts of the brackets will be attached to the outside with more metal fret.

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The toylike one-piece rear suspension/exhaust system was separated, and both sides of the exhaust cleaned up until presentable on their own.  The exhaust tips were clipped off, as per reference views, and re-shaped and drilled.  Everything was painted and finally installed.  Eventually all of this will be thickly coated in Hazzard County dust.

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Late in Season 1 when they switched to the '71 Satellite, they painted it in a yellow to match the original '73/4 Roadrunner.  For the RR it had been a factory standard for that particular year, but apparently for continuity (and hoping the fans would not notice the change) they painted the new Satellite in the same shade of yellow as the Roadrunner.  Thus it was a non-standard color for a '71 Plymouth of any sort.

After much research, and following an online discussion, the color seems to have been "Yellow Blaze."  Fortunately Scalefinishes.com, who produces factory-matching colors for auto modelmakers, does carry this color...and when mine arrived I knew from the first glance that I had it right!  Once sprayed I left it for over a week simply because I wanted it 100% cured before I began to handle it over and over and over.  

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Okay, once the paint cures, it's time to fully detail the engine bay.  I use as many photos of the real thing as possible and try to copy what I see in them.  Since every one of them seems to be different, I end up just using the best possible features to scratchbuild and copy.  I keep a supply of 4-5 different sizes of plastic-coated wire in varying colors, plus fine metal wire.  Several details on the firewall as well as the water reservoir and horn were scratchbuilt.  Master cylinder & servo housing were painted with Alclad lacquers (Stainless Steel & Titanium)

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Thanks for all the kind comments!

Most folks know that auto glass has a slight tint to it, a sort of bluish-green.  I prepare a solution of clear acrylic floor polish (formerly Future), tinted with a few drops of blue and green food coloring.  Clean and polish the windscreen and rear window, and dip them into the solution.  Position them upside-down so the color settles slightly to the top of the glass as it dries and cures.  

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I never leave the tires looking unused/showroom-new, especially for a car that spends its days speeding up and down country roads.  I sand all over each tire with fine grade sandpaper, then with heavier grit on the tread.  Once done I take them outside and grind the tread surfaces through the dirt/dust in my front yard.  Wipe off the excess and voila, country-used tires.  

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Bigger problem is removing the GTX emblem from the grill.  All logos/emblems were removed for the vehicles in the show, apparently making Hazzard County Detroit-brand-free.  It was easy enough to remove most of the emblems from the body, but the grill was tougher.  First the emblem was ground down to grill level with a moto-drill.  Then, each rectangle in the grill was carefully cut out of the emblem....actually ended up easier than I thought.   

The result isn't quite 100% perfect, but not bad.  

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Finally, take both cleaned-up bumpers along with the rear-view mirrors and the donated wheel hubs and prepare for Alclad chrome.  First, primer.  Second, gloss black.  Third, allow 24 hours for the black to cure.  Finally spray the Alclad chrome.

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Thanks my friend!

Well, the replacement engine was finished (AMT '71 Duster), a small-block to replace the kit's big-block which apparently any smooth-hooded Satellite would never have had.  HOWEVER, many problems arose:

1) Drive shaft too short for the new engine (was lengthened, see previous)

2) Once installed, found it sat 'WAY too low.  Had to redo the already-redone engine mounts to raise it several mm.

3) Once totally installed, found it was still much too far back.  By this time I was far more committed....I would have had to lengthen the drive shaft AGAIN, and redo all three points the engine mounted to.  VERY disappointing to see the distributor almost touching the firewall.  Sadly, I gave in and went with it.

Remaining wiring was connected between the engine and the engine compartment.  Hopefully it looks busy enough to divert attention from the 2-3 mm the engine sits too far back.  Learn from this setback, kids....

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Now the rear body skirt.  The kit's has two half-circle openings for the high-performance exhausts, which the actual car(s) did not have (see reference).  Easier to plug a square-shaped opening in this case; so it was done with plastic, then sanded and blended to shape.

Then once installed, it was blended into the body, then primed and painted to make it look like it's all part of the body, totally connected.  Couldn't do it before the chassis was installed; it wouldn't have fit and it would have been torn apart in the process (only have to make that mistake once to know). 

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