Monogram 1970 Plymouth Superbird


I'm slowly working on this Monogram kit of the 1970 Superbird, a present from a friend (hi Eric!). I started construction with little hope to find detailed information on the Road Runner / Superbird here in Europe. But again I underestimated the information available on the internet! I found a set of fantastic restauration photos, that gave much needed inspiration, but they also showed that some of my modifications are not realistic. But the techniques I used may be useful to show.

Construction

First thing I did on the kit was to add a transmission/driveshaft tunnel. This was strangely missing on the kit, inexcuseable for otherwise such a nice kit. The rear part is simply curved thin plastic curved with some thin plastic strips. The front part (that sits over the gearbox) was rather more laborious.  
  Since this part had a complicated shape, I decided to make a simple mold and thermo-form plastic card over it. The mold was made from a plastic card base, a truck wheel that had the same diameter as the firewall opening, and the rest was built up with Milliput two-component epoxy. Three thermoforming attempts later I had a useable piece.
Next were internal fenders (lacking a better description). I have no idea what they look like on the real car (or whether it even has them, due to weight saving policy on this car). But I wanted them anyway. This parts too were thermoformed, as shown below. They fit nicely as you can see.

But! I found out much later that indeed there were no internal fenders on the Superbird (thanks C.R.!). So what you see here is completly bogus.. The body/chassis as molded by Monogram is accurate. Nevertheless I will explain below how I made them. I attached the inner fenders with super glue, so I can probably remove them without too many problems.
 
  I made right and left molds from balsa wood. These were easy to shape and sand, something needed when it requires a lot of fitting to get the shape right. After that they were given a thick coat of putty from a spray-can. The thermoformed part at the top is one of the rejected items.
The engine compartment too needs improvements. First I removed the ugly boxes that receive the hinges of the hood. I restored the affected areas with card, superglue and Milliput.  
  I cut off the moulded-on battery (on the left side) and two small fluid tanks (on the rights side). Because of the moulding process they extended down to the chassis, which was highly unrealistic. I restored the areas with card, superglue and Milliput. I made replacement tanks from plastic card.
The project was dormant for about a dozen years. In 2018 I got a request for some copies of the gearbox tunnel. I decided to upgrade the rough master, and use our club-owned vacform machine to make copies. That worked well, and the results are shown here.  



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