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The story about my 1:12 Studebaker Avanti
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The story about my 1:12 Studebaker Avanti The story about my 1:12 Studebaker Avanti The story about my 1:12 Studebaker Avanti The story about my 1:12 Studebaker Avanti The story about my 1:12 Studebaker Avanti
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    1. Kit: , by (Yearly Subscriber) Roger Zimmermann is offline
      Builder Last Online: Sep 2019 Show Printable Version Email this Page
      Model Scale: 1/12 Rating:  Thanks: 1
      Started: 06-10-19 Build Revisions: Never  
      Supported Scratch Built Completed

      Since a boy, I was always fascinated by cars. There were some cars in the small village at the countryside where I grow up, especially VWs (I will never understand why this ugly thing, noisy, unpractical was sold in such quantities). I believe that one of both grocers from the village had a early fifties green 2-door Chevrolet; this was probably the king of the village!

      Ironically, my parents had no car et never had one. If by chance a Studebaker was parked at one of both cafés from that 300 inhabitant's village, I could stay hour(s) to look at it. The 1950 model was the one which started it all.

      We are going forwards for some years: in 1963, the Studebaker Avanti was shown at the Geneva Show; I'm sure that I was a nuisance for the stand's personal as I could not away from this stand!

      I will not relate here all my attempts to recreate cars during my youth using cardboard and a frame done with the Meccano kit. The last vehicle done with this hybrid material was a 1963 Chrysler. I did for this model an innovation: by wetting the cardboard, it could be better shaped in both directions at once.



      After the Geneva show adventure, I had to replicate this Avanti. At that time, I was 18 years old; my father, a wood worker, had not the right tools for my needs. Anyway, I began to do a frame using as a guide the image from the sales catalog I reluctantly got in Geneva. My father had some galvanized sheetmetal; I used that for that frame.
      Why did I choose the scale 1:12? Probably because the available skinny Meccano wheels were suitable for that scale. The construction went muck quicker than what I did in the recent years; there were less details and the resemblance was...marginal at best!



      I was proud from my front suspension and steering system miles away from the reality:



      The main idea was to do again a body using my "new" technique with wet cardboard. However, one of my colleague at the apprenticeship told me that I would get much better results using polyester and fiberglass (he was living in a town and me in the countryside, what a difference!). It was totally new for me and I had to do my experiences with that product. A small story about it I still remember: the instructions stated that it was important to have about 25°C to allow the polyester to set. I waited that my parents went away a Sunday afternoon to heat like hell the furnace in the living room using wood to get the desired temperature, even more, for my first experience. As it was probably autumn or winter, all windows were closed. I still hear the exclamations from my parents about the heat and the bad smelling when they came back!
      I learned quickly enough that a positive mold was necessary as first. Then, as a second step, a negative form should be done using the positive mold. Finally, the negative mold is to be used to get the final part. How easy it was with cardboard: not overheating needed, no bad smell and quickly done!
      How could I do the positive mold? I choose probably by accident the plaster. Not the one used by the sculptors but the cheap one to do walls and ceilings!
      It's easy to work with once it's dry (sometimes too easy) and it's doing a lot of dust. This later aspect was not important, the shop from my father was full of wood dust. A little more did not matter.

      The first result:



      Me at work, probably 1965 or 1966:




      The story about my 1:12 Studebaker Avanti
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  1. Roger Zimmermann's Avatar Yearly Subscriber
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    Roger
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    January 31, 2009

    This is a critical job: sanding The story about my 1:12 Studebaker Avanti the body. Usually, there are 3 steps forwards and 2 ˝ backwards. It’s incredible how many imperfections and errors I’m discovering, even not so minor. Then, after the shape is satisfying, I have to sand The story about my 1:12 Studebaker Avanti with a 1000 sandpaper to have some gloss which allows seeing unwanted waves at the light. This is at this moment when unwelcomed surprises are seen.
    The kitchen is the perfect boot to sand The story about my 1:12 Studebaker Avanti , without dust as the water is near!



    One of the various corrections.



    March 11, 2009
    There is almost nothing to show lately, unless you like to see the sanding The story about my 1:12 Studebaker Avanti water! I’m getting slowly satisfied with the general shape, but I still have a couple of corrections to do. While the various products are drying, I’m doing something else. For example, the script “Studebaker” which is on the trunk lid. I did a new one for 18 months but I had the impression I could do better. The first script is the one I did 40 years ago, still glued on the lid as you can see the excess glue.



    The new ones:



    The one I did 18 months ago is on top; the new one is in the middle and the last one is indeed the support to do the real one: I soldered a thin bit of brass on a thicker one, allowing the required actions without destroying the part. Once satisfied, I separated both parts.


    The story about my 1:12 Studebaker Avanti
    QUOTE QUOTE #77

  2. Roger Zimmermann's Avatar Yearly Subscriber
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    March 30, 2009
    New batch

    This batch has the rear bumper on the right, the front central bumper bar almost in the middle, the name plates, etc. With that batch, the parts which were not well chromed are included. I had to polish them again and attach them to the tree The story about my 1:12 Studebaker Avanti . The second batch was perfect; I hope this one will be good too.



    I expect that this will be the last batch of parts to be chromed. However, 4 parts will have to be chromed, but much later: the ones responsible for all that work: the new wheelcovers. They will be done when the model will be practically finished.

    March 30, 2009
    What is the purpose of this strange thing? Yes, it’s related with the model.





    During the effective construction, I asked the people to offer suggestions. There were some who responded; one even found the solution.

    Since years, I had the letters O L D S M O B I L E ready, but I had no idea how to let chrome them. They were too small to be attached with a wire ; while I was at the plating company I asked how the screws from the watch industry were plated The story about my 1:12 Studebaker Avanti . He said that they are put into a basket ; if some are getting lost, it’s not a problem, there are enough. As I did not do more letters as necessary, I did a closed basket. The letters will have a nickel plating which is not too disturbing.
    Will the result be good ? The answer will come soon !


    The story about my 1:12 Studebaker Avanti
    QUOTE QUOTE #78

  3. Roger Zimmermann's Avatar Yearly Subscriber
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    April 20, 2009
    Paint!
    It’s only the beginning : painting the engine compartment. It will be done alone because with its complicated shape, the model must be held in different positions to be sure that all surfaces are getting some paint.
    When the body will be painted, the hood will be installed and closed and masking The story about my 1:12 Studebaker Avanti paper will be used at the underside to avoid that paint dust will go into the engine compartment.
    The whole model is covered with newspaper.



    After 13 grams of paint plus clear coat The story about my 1:12 Studebaker Avanti and a sag (will not be seen, the engine will hide it) the engine compartment is ready.





    Once the masking The story about my 1:12 Studebaker Avanti paper is gone, it’s not bad looking. The rods at the left in the compartment are for the battery.





    April 25, 2009
    For a long time, I was undecided about the paint job itself : paint the body without doors and trunk lid or paint the jambs and gutter, assemble the doors and paint all in once ?
    Finally, I opted for the second solution as metallic The story about my 1:12 Studebaker Avanti paint may have variations if elements are painted separately. Therefore, I had to continue with the preparation. The body is masked, there will be less surface to sand The story about my 1:12 Studebaker Avanti .






    The story about my 1:12 Studebaker Avanti
    QUOTE QUOTE #79

  4. Roger Zimmermann's Avatar Yearly Subscriber
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    May 07, 2009
    THIS IS THE DAY!

    YES! Today I painted the body. This time with unrelated surprise : the dog gave back his breakfast. As the incident was on a carpet, I did the cleaning between the color coat and clear coat The story about my 1:12 Studebaker Avanti . It was ideal to avoid rushing to spray the clear coat The story about my 1:12 Studebaker Avanti !
    You will certainly appreciate the spray boot, in fact the kitchen which has not yet been cleaned.

    Due to the shape of the car, I had to spray the paint up, on sides and from under. I found the solution to this problem by looking in a forum a modeler painting his model on a construction allowing the various spray directions. I copied the idea by using the base I had while building the Toronado and welding a tube. A steel sheet attached to the body and a bolt, welded to the sheet metal is allowing the model to be turned on the tube.







    I’m satisfied at 95% ; there are small issues and dust. A sanding The story about my 1:12 Studebaker Avanti and polishing will be done after the paint is completely dry.
    The same day, I pick-up the third batch from chromed parts.






    The story about my 1:12 Studebaker Avanti
    QUOTE QUOTE #80

  5. Roger Zimmermann's Avatar Yearly Subscriber
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    Roger
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    May 08, 2009
    Not the last batch of chrome

    The last one will be the one with the wheelcovers and two small moldings I forgot to add to the tree The story about my 1:12 Studebaker Avanti . Those moldings can be installed anytime; therefore this not a problem.



    There is another small tree The story about my 1:12 Studebaker Avanti : the molding for the rear window and the basket with the separate letters. I opened this morning; the result is half good : some letters are stuck somewhere; I will have to be careful by totally opening that cage otherwise I could cut one or more hidden letters.




    The story about my 1:12 Studebaker Avanti
    QUOTE QUOTE #81

  6. Egon's Avatar Moderator
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    How about a new project Roger ? Olsmobile F88, cool car and seen in different versions.
    Attached Images Attached Images The story about my 1:12 Studebaker Avanti-22627_front_3-4_web-jpg  The story about my 1:12 Studebaker Avanti-22627_rear_3-4_web-jpg  The story about my 1:12 Studebaker Avanti-22627_side_profile_web-jpg 
    QUOTE QUOTE #82

  7. Roger Zimmermann's Avatar Yearly Subscriber
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    Egon, this nice convertible was a dream car and never went in production.
    If you are looking at the main page from the "Classic and vintage" page, you will see that I'm writing about a 1932 Cadillac V-16 frame and engine. This is the new project!


    The story about my 1:12 Studebaker Avanti
    QUOTE QUOTE #83

  8. Roger Zimmermann's Avatar Yearly Subscriber
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    May17, 2009
    One of my side occupations is overhauling 1956 to 1963 Hydramatic transmissions. For the moment, I have 2: one from 1959 and another one from 1956. In between, I did sand The story about my 1:12 Studebaker Avanti and polish the Avanti body. I’m sanding The story about my 1:12 Studebaker Avanti with 1200 paper just to cut the orange look from the clear coat The story about my 1:12 Studebaker Avanti . That sanding The story about my 1:12 Studebaker Avanti paper is not very aggressive but anyway is removing material. My fear while doing that is to go past the clear coat The story about my 1:12 Studebaker Avanti which would be real bad. A spot repair is very impractical and both paint cans I have are almost empty. Yesterday I painted the body sill reinforcements using both cans: one has a slight tone difference. Therefore, minor differences are always possible with spray cans.
    The buffing from the body is then done with the various products I have for real cars. I have also added some chromed parts.





    June 08, 2009
    The headliner

    The headliner from the real Avanti is not quite conventional with a structure. For weeks I was searching a solution for that, knowing that I would not be able to reproduce it exactly. One night, I got the idea to use blotting paper. It’s about the same color and has some structure built in, of course not identical.



    The brass hooks at the joint will be used to attach the safety bar at the roof.


    The story about my 1:12 Studebaker Avanti
    QUOTE QUOTE #84

  9. markus68's Avatar VIP/Sponsor
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    . Great
    QUOTE QUOTE #85

  10. Roger Zimmermann's Avatar Yearly Subscriber
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    July 30, 2009
    For me, the summer season is not ideal for modeling. As this afternoon was overcast, I decided to finish the ceiling with all associated parts.

    On a French forum, there was a concern that the blotting paper could turn yellow. As you can see, it’s not the case, but it could get black if I continue to hold the body by putting my fingers on the ceiling!





    The quarter trim panel is not yet installed; this is the reason of the excess leather at the window opening.



    The small white lever just under the dash is the hood opening lever.

    August 07, 2009
    Carpet installation

    Prior to that, I had to install the console definitively.
    Then, the 5-pieces carpet was glued on the floor. It’s a difficult material: black velvet which is far from having some stability where it’s cut.
    Seat and dash are only there for the fun because the dash cannot be installed before the windshield: windshield wipers are attached with a nut from inside the model.



    The seats will be installed only when the body is definitively attached to the frame.
    The door’s sills are still missing: they will be done later.

    August 18, 2009
    The windows

    As it’s a task I don’t like, I postponed and postponed the installation of the windshield. However, as long it’s not put in place, I cannot finish the dash as the wipers are screwed from inside.
    I’m not a fan from silicone, but it’s the best way to glue windows. Once it was done, I had to glue the side and upper garnish moldings. I had some difficulties because the lower molding, glued with instant cement, was not correctly positioned; there was a gap between the molding and the body.
    What to do ? The wipers did hide the problem partly, I was not happy. With a cutter, I could separate the molding from the window. This required some cleaning and a new procedure to glue the moldings.
    First gluing The story about my 1:12 Studebaker Avanti with silicone the molding at the RH A pillar and the upper one. Those elements are held with tape during the time of curing The story about my 1:12 Studebaker Avanti . Then, I glued the lower molding with the instant glue and finally the LH A pillar molding was installed with silicone.
    As 24 hours are needed for the silicone to set, the model will stay that way overnight.






    The story about my 1:12 Studebaker Avanti
    QUOTE QUOTE #86

  11. Roger Zimmermann's Avatar Yearly Subscriber
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    Roger
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    September 03, 2009
    Another great day!

    It went however not without pain: today, the body was attached to the frame. Almost everything was at the right place, the screws at the frame torqued. I did know that the cooling fan could not be installed on the engine because the shroud was in the way. I believed that I could slip the fan between the pulley and the radiator; to my dismay, I realized that it was not possible. The correct process it to place the fan into the shroud, taking care that it stays there, then lower the body on the frame, looking that the emergency brake’s cable stay in place too and, finally, the screw the fan into the pulley with its central stud.
    I could not resist doing some pictures.
    If the engine compartment is not yet ready at 100%, the dash is now in place definitively. The steering wheel will be installed later.












    The story about my 1:12 Studebaker Avanti
    QUOTE QUOTE #87

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