Article written by Les Foran:
Construction Article: Lindbergh 1948 Lincoln Continental Convertible.
Once upon a time, in the late 1950's, not all model car kits used the familiar one-piece envelope bodies we are familiar with today.
Way back then, a line of classic cars were offered that included the 1937 Cord, 1948 Lincoln Continental, and several others.
I seem to recall the original manufacturer to be Renwal. Lindberg (another survivor from the early days) has repopped several of
these kits. I have seen the 1937 Cord, an Auburn Boattail roadster, and the Lincoln. As I had already built the Monogram 1941
Lincoln Continental (an excellent kit) I was attracted to the 1948 version.
When selecting this kit in a store in Ft. Smith, AR, a voice behind me in the aisle said "You know, you have to build the body in that one", trepedation in his voice. I was taken back a bit that a perfect stranger would try to warn me about my purchase, but I assured him it would be all right.
After ripening a few months among my unbuilt models, I decided to give it a try. I took out the body parts (2-piece front fenders, one piece rear fenders, trunk, package tray, body left and right sides, and cowl). After removing minor flash, casting sprue lugs, and the occasional knockplug on the seam line, I glued the fenders together, and added body sides, package tray and cowl to the
rear fenders/trunk assembly. I used a thin superglue for this. Seam lines were then filled with Squadron White putty. The front
fenders were assembled but left separate from the body at this stage to enable them to be handled more easily during sanding.
When assembling the body, I found it helpful to use the frame as an assembly jig, to aid in getting the sides on straight. Also, the
firewall should be placed on the frame and the cowl and sides glued to it (do not cement the firewall to the frame at this point).
This will keep the cowl and sides in correct alignment, and give support to the assembly.
The seams were then sanded smooth with progressively finer grades of Testors' sanding films. Dipping these in water keeps them fresher and helps prevent scratching.
At this point, you will notice a gap between the leading edges of the rear fenders and the body. You could fill this with putty, but it would be very difficult to sand such a tight area smooth without removing desirable material. What to do?
The answer lies in following the prototype. Many years ago, I was the proud owner of a 1948 Ford. This used the same production technology as the Lincoln. On these cars, the gap between fender and body was filled with a bead of welting material.
To model this, use a piece of embroidery thread. This is one of my favorite modelling products. It comes as a six ply "rope" that
can be reduced in thickness to several different diameters by removing individual strands. For this, I used it full strength, but it probably would have been better to have removed two strands of thread first. Dip the thread in water and soak with Testors' clear parts cement. This is actually an acrylic varnish. Lay it on the seam, push it into place with a sharp hobby knife, coat with more clear parts cement, and trim the ends square with a sharp blade. This welting should stop at the top of the fender just forward of the joint between the side and trunk. The ends can then be nailed down with small drops of superglue. I used black thread, but the glues will seal it and it can be painted along with the rest of the part.
The major weakness of this kit is not the multi-piece body, but the engine. This is a chrome-plated, rather amorphous representation of the 292 cubic inch flathead V-12. To help this, I went about the following: first, I cut away the plastic panels on the frame on either side of the oil pan, forward of the point where the floorpan kicks up to the firewall ( the engine is separate only from the oil pan up). This makes the engine appear to be more of a separate unit. The heads and intake manifold are one piece.
Cement this to the block and sand as much of the chrome plating off as possible, leaving the intake manifold bright.
The chrome lumps on the heads that represent the plug wiring are removed with a flat file and sharp knife. The file can then be used to break the sharp outer edges of the heads. The air cleaner bracket can be removed and saved, any resulting hole puttied and sanded.
Drill out six holes in each head at the plug locations, and adjacent holes next to the molded-in wiring harness leads. Using a small size square stick of Plastruct styrene and a razor blade,slice off about fifty thin segments. These will be your cylinder head bolt heads. Glue these to the head as follows for each side: a row of six, one above each spark plug hole. Another row of six, each between and slightly below each pair of plugs. A row of seven along the lower edge, one below each plug hole and a seventh
next to the bolt below the second cylinder from the front on each side.
The engine can then be painted, dark gloss green for the block and pan, silver for the heads and intake manifold. Paint the carb
The fan belt setup in the kit left a lot to be desired, so I substituted the belt, pumps, and generator from an AMT 1940 Ford engine. The fan in the kit is undersized. I substutited the fan from the AMT 1934 Ford. You will need to cut away some material from the chassis at the front of the engine to clear the new pulley and fan. Take the fuel
pump from the 1940 engine and cement it to the top rear of the intake manifold. Cut the distrubutor off the 1940 engine (it is that
knobby thing just above the crank pulley) and cement it to the V12 so the molded in plug leads contact the caps of the distributor.
Paint the distributor gloss black. I painted my plug wire harness red.
A good source of plug wires is the little wire inside a phone cord. I cut 12 pieces about 3/4" long. Bend these over a screwdriver shaft and cement one end in the holes by the harness. I used Shoe Goo for this. When dry, dip the free ends in Shoe Goo and bend them over into the spark plug holes. The wires can then be painted to match the harness. Follow up with some thick flat black or flat brown acrylic paint to make spark plug boots. The air cleaner can then be assembled and installed per the instructions. I left this chrome.
The engine does not come with exhaust manifolds. These can be made from straight sections of sprue. The crossover pipe goes below the oil pan at the front of the engine,you can use bent sprue or insulated wire for this. I used the crossover pipe from the 1934 Ford, extending both ends slightly. The connector pipe would connect with the crossover pipe at the lower right corner. This is best modeled with a section of brass tubing. File a vee on the inside of the bends with a three-corned file and it will bend easily. The crossover pipe will have to be installed later, when the body is installed. That will be the best time to install the dipstick tube and vent pipe. These can be cut from small diameter brass tube. The vent pipe should extend down on the right side of the engine about halfway back. Cut the lower end at an angle and install with the opening facing the rear. The dipstick tube is located opposite the vent tube. The dipstick itself can be made from thin wire (I use thin aluminum picture-hanging wire). It can be left removable if you choose. The same size wire can be used to model fuel lines and throttle linkage. Small insulated wire from the phone cord can represent choke cable, use the silver stuff. The throttle linkage attaches to the left side of the carb, the choke linkage to the right.
Radiator hoses can be made from a larger diameter insulated wire, or modify the 1940 Ford hoses. Keeping the wire core helps them hold their shape. Individual wire strands from multi-strand copper wire makes good wire hose clamps. A very light black insulated wire makes a good radiator overflow hose. Attach one end at the filler neck and let the other end hang loose over the right side of the tank and down to the bottom of the core.
Plastruct square rod can be cut into cubes and drilled out to use as the horn relay and voltage regulator. Using the black embroidery thread again, coat with acrylic varnish to stiffen about a four inch length. This will become the wiring harness. Install on the firewall and extend around the left fender well. By separating individual strands, you can have "wires" running to your horn relay and horns, battery negative connection (these cars had positive ground), generator, and headlight connections. The horns are large, chrome snails that should be painted satin black.
At this point you may be tempted to glue the engine to the oil pan in the chassis. Don't. You won't get the body on if you do.
I glued the inner fender walls to the firewall with plastic cement, and test fitted the front fenders and hood. At this point I realized I had put the cowl on incorrectly and had to break it loose. So don't glue on the cowl until you see how the hood fits!
I had considerable trouble getting the cowl to fit right. It required trimming back the ends and shimming. Make sure it is level when installed, use the hood to get a good match. The front fenders will have a gap at the back edges. This can be filled with Plastruct
strip and puttied over.
I painted the big chassis molding satin black. You may not be able to find this color, but it is easy to make. Just mix equal
amounts of flat and gloss black. I think this is a wonderful paint color, and keep finding new uses for it. This is also a good time to prime your putty lines and do any touchup on them.
I painted my model with Krylon dark green. Notice that the prototype car on the box has both the spare tire mount and the windshield frame painted body color, not chrome as they come. I overcoated my paint with Future Floor Polish.
The kit suggests a tan interior, but since my other Lincoln has this, I decided on a three-tone green interior scheme. I painted the carpet and package shelf Hunter green acrylic, with pastel green door and inner quarter panels. Dash was Hunter green with
gloss overcoat. The seats were painted with medium Hauser green acrylic, then coated with Future to simulate dyed leather. Steering wheel, brake handle and dash knobs were painted light tan and clearcoated.
The convertible top was painted light tan acrylic inside and out, left flat to simulate canvas. Top bows inside were painted brown and clearcoated.
The headlights and driving lights were coated with Testor's Window Maker acrylic. The small lenses alongside the headlights were painted white, with gold tips on the bezel.
A problem was encountered installing the headlights. If you install them per the instructions, they will be too low on the fender.
If you rotate them 180 degrees, they will sit too high. Cut off the mounting pins and use the box photo to correctly position the lights.
I left the top removable to display the interior detail. You will need to make an inside rearview mirror and sunvisors. I made my mirror from scrap and cut the visors from .005 Plastruct strip. Use two layers and sandwich the fine aluminum wire between the front edges to represent the pivot rod. The outside mirror from the Monogram 1959 Cadillac is a close match for the factory side mirror. Drill a small hole for the radio antenna, be careful the drill bit does not slip on the curved fender surface. I made mine from fine wire and bent the lower tip to provide tension in the hole. The wire was them dipped into Shoe Goo and then into black paint before being inserted into the hole. This will create a black "grommet". The top of the antenna should be capped with a tiny dot of tube-type cement for a knob.
The model needs windshield wipers. These can be modeled using either thin plastic strip or wood. If you use wood, be sure to seal and sand before painting. The blades themselves can be made from wire or thin plastic with satin black "rubber" painted on.
That's it. My objective was to complete the Lindbergh model to a level of detail comparable to the Monogram model. Displaying the models side-by-side, I feel this objective has been met.
The following article was written and submitted by Les Foran
Bringing out cast-in details with paint on model cars.
So you just opened your new model car kit and want to do something to it to make it stand out? Here is an easy way to do it, and even beginners can get great results without having to add anything to what's already in the kit.
Take a good look at the cast-in detail on your molded plastic parts. You may be surprised at the tooling work that goes into even simple, mass-produced car kits. The injection molds that formed these parts were made by very skilled craftsmen and include incredible detail that you may not have even noticed. Take an extra close look at intricate moldings like instrument panels and engine parts. You are likely to find most all of the knobs and switches, gauges, and in many cases even the speedometer
numerals molded in. Engines are likely to have spark plugs, fuel pumps, and all kinds of bolt heads visible. Almost every car kit has these details, and you may as well make them appear in your finished model, after all, you paid for all this tooling!
I would't be afraid to bet that 95% of the model cars built have all this nice work ignored, buried under a coat of paint (or worse, not painted at all). All it takes for a plain, unmodified model to stand out is simply to make what is there all along become visible.
Before you dive into the paintbox, take a minute to reflect on how these details look on the actual car you are modelling. A quick look at the prototype will reveal the different colors applied to all these components. Think about the background colors of
the insruments. On most cars of the 1960's and 70's, they were flat black. Newer cars also use black, but also white, gray, or
some other color. Really old cars often use white or gold. You may want to ask someone who is familiar with the car you are
modelling, or look for a color photo in a magazine.
Engines, too used to come in different colors, often the same colors were used for many years and can be a quick way of providing visual identity of your type of engine. Beginning in the 1950's and continuing through the 1970's, these standard colors were used. Check with an auto parts store for exact shades, they can be a source of the paints themselves. In general, Ford
engines after 1964 were painted a medium blue (the color of the Ford Oval Logo). Chevy engines from the intro of the V8 for 1955 were a red-orange. In the mid-70's they changed to light blue. Mercury and Lincoln engines were painted the same as Ford after 1964, before then there was no real standard for Ford, different engine series were painted differently. Chrysler engines from the
late 1950's on were mostly light blue. Certain high-performance engines were painted a bright orange (Hemi orange, although not just Hemis were limited to this color). Pontiac engines were painted a light blue. Buick engines were a light green. Cadillac engines were painted dark blue (darker than Ford). Oldsmobile and AMC engines were usually painted bright red.
A small brush (check out the detail brushes at the hobby shop or in the craft section at Wal-Mart) can be used to paint spark plugs (paint them white to represent the visible portions of the insulators, distributor caps (gloss black or brown) interior knobs (chrome until the 1980's), and instrument bezels. Silver head bolts look great on hot-rods. Don't forget gold carburetors and fuel pumps, flat black radiator hoses, black ignition components on firewalls, flat black wiring harnesses, white water jugs for washers, etc. Pop the hood on your car for more ideas.
How the heck do you get things like speedometer numbers to show up? I use dry brushing with a small brush. Put a small amount of paint on your brush and wipe it on a piece of cardboard until it is almost dry, then lightly brush it over the details. Just enough paint should cling to the raised details to make them appear. This also works for bring out the texture in upholstery.
Keep a big supply of different colors on hand both flat and gloss. Acrylic paint works well for this, although there are some
colors that really don't cut it in acrylic (like metallics), so you will also need some conventional enamels.
Study the parts themselves closely under a strong light before you paint them. In addition to the details, you will probably see some mold parting lines that will need to be sanded.
When you are done, people may not believe you when you tell them your model was not superdetailed, but just used what was there all along.