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'62 Bel Air/ Impala AMT Cowl Hood




I thought it would be interesting to detail the construction of a model from start to finish.  I call this page Works In Progress.  Basically I will detail the process and highlight any interesting portions of the build. 


My first project for this page is the AMT '62 Chevy Bel Air.  For this build I wanted to open up everything.  The first thing I did was open each door by cutting along the panel lines.  I did the same with the trunk. 

I removed all of the Chevy and Bel Air badging as well as the trim on the trunk.  After removing the doors I made the door jams and hinges.  I then used plastic strip to make a lip where the trunk would close.  I bent metal rod for the hinges and used small cut pieces of plastic sheet to attach the hinges to the body. 

After opening the trunk, I used plastic sheet to make a lip where the trunk will rest when closed.

The door jams were made using plastic sheet cut to fit the contours of the body and doors.

I cut along the outline of the door panels on the interior bucket to separate the door panels from the bucket.  These will be attached to the completed doors permanently when painted.

I fabricated the trunk floor out of Evergreen sheet styrene.  A 1 1/2" notch was cut at the top of the forward trunk wall to allow room for the trunk hinge mechanisim.  The forward trunk wall was made from sheet styrene and then tucked snuggly between the rear wheel tubs.

For the trunk hinge mechanism I used plastic sprue cut to fit between the wheel tubs.  A small hole was drilled through the center of the sprue.  I then flattened the sprue on one side to make a surface to attach to the car body.  I used thin metal rod for the hinge by sliding it through the sprue.  I bent the metal rod using small needle nose pliers.  The trunk mounts can be made using sprue or plastic rod.  I drilled holes through the trunk mounts and then shaped them with a file.

I fashioned a cowl hood using the kit hood and sheet styrene.  After glueing the cowl to the hood I used my Dremel tool to cut away the hood material from underneath the cowl..  I used automotive glazing putty to fill the gaps.  Resin versions of this hood are available here at LSM

Next I removed the front inner fender wells and fabricated larger, deeper wells using Evergreen plastic sheet to accomodate the 23" wheels pictured. This gives the car a lower stance.  I could not acheive this effect with the stock fender wells.  To the right are pictured the modified body and a stock body.

Chassis and Suspension

As far as the rear end is concerned, I had to make tubs as the proper ride height could not be acheived using the standard chassis.  I used the same 23" wheels as the fronts with a taller profile tire.

I modified the kit supplied rear suspension.  I narrowed it slightly and cut the rear end mount arms off and moved them inward.  I relocated the rear springs and shortened them.  I also relocated the kit supplied shocks.

For the front suspension I used the kit supplied parts, though everything had to be relocated slightly inward to accomodate the wide low profile tires.  The springs and spindle mount were cut to lower the ride height.  The chassis was then painted Electric Blue Candy from Paint with Pearls.  For both the front and the rear I used vented disc brakes from Pegasus and brake lines from LSM.



The seats are from the parts box.  They were originally from the AMT '57 Ford Fairlane kit.  If you look closely you may see where I had to widen the rears on the sides to fit properly in the larger Bel Air. 

Video screens for the back of the front seats were made from plastic sheet. The seats were primed and then painted with Dupli-Color Linen White.  I then applied Paint With Pearls Blue Shimmer pearl pigment on the seats.  Blue flocking was used to simulate fabric inserts on the seats.  Photo reduced images were used for the video screens.   The seats were finished off with LSM seatbelt material.

I cut away the transmission hump and fashioned a custom console using the optional console from the AMT '58 Impala.  I shaped and lengthened the console using plastic sheet and automotive glazing putty.  It was shaped to fit against the kit dash for a one piece look and both were painted to match the seats. 

The shifter is from the aforementioned '57 Fairlane and the steering wheel came from the '67 Impala 427 SS Street Machine.  I used a decal for the dash from the Lindberg '61 Impala convertable.  The door panels and package tray were painted Linen White from Dupli-Color underneath the Blue Shimmer Pearl.  The accents were painted Electric Blue Candy.  BMF and silver paint finishes off the trim and door handles.

I detailed the trunk by adding blue flocking to match the interior.  I then added an aluminum nos tank with braided lines.


I used the kit supplied engine for this build.  The block was painted white and then I used Paint with Pearl Blue shimmer pearl in clear over the white.  I smoothed the kit valve covers and painted them Paint with Pearl Electric Blue Candy.  I used the super charger and belt assemby from the AMT '68 El Camino Street Machine.  The super charger was topped off with the shot gun blower from the AMT Yankee Challenge Challenger also painted Electric Blue Candy.  I added all necessary linkage to the blower.  I fabricated the distributor from aluminum tubing and used spark plug wire from  LSM.   The heater hoses are also from  LSM and the braided fuel lines came from MCG.

An electric fan came from the parts box and was attached to the radiator.  I smoothed the fire wall for a cleaner look and painted it and the brake fluid reservoir body color. 

Paint (exterior)

Unfortunately I forgot to take pictures detailing the painting of the body but I'll describe the process in detail.  After sanding the primered body I used Dupli-Color Linen White on the body, doors, trunk, hood and bumpers. I then sprayed Paint with Pearl Blue Shimmer Pearl over the white using an air brush. 

After drying I carefully masked off the lower portions of the body, doors and trunk.  Again using my air brush I sprayed the unmasked areas Electric Blue Candy for the two toned effect.  After allowing the paint to dry I added BMF and then cleared the body with six coats of clear.  The body was wet sanded and polished to a mirror sheen.  Before attaching the body to the chassis I made the hinges for the reverse opening hood and secured them in place.  After the body was in place the bumpers were added.  I used the modified kit exhaust and made hangers to secure them in to place.  I then added stainless steel exhaust tips.

'71 GTX

For my next project I am building the '71 GTX from Revell/Monogram.  I am building it as another all out custom.  I began by opening the doors and trunk.  I also fabricated new inner fender wells to accomodate the larger wheel/tire setup that I will be using. 

Chassis/Rear Suspension

Although I started on the body first my attention quickly moved to the chassis.  I began the chassis by adding a "hump" above where the rear axle will be positioned to create clearance as this build will be lowered substantially.  I then tubbed the rear end using sheet styrene.

  I wanted to try something new for me on this build by fabricating a 4-link rear suspension.  I used only the center of the kit supplied rear axle and aluminum tube to create a narrowed one.  The pivots are made of hollowed styrene rod.  The brass nuts/bolts came from the local hobby store and I fabricated the link mounts using sheet styrene.  The links are made of aluminum tube and brass rod.   Finally "channels" were cut into the chassis to allow freedom of movement for the links.  This was necessary to maintain the lowered ride height.   For the coilovers I used two different sizes of aluminum tubing and brass rod with small disk of styrene on either end.  I made the springs using LSM ignition wire.  Along with the fabrication of the rear end I smoothed the chassis directly in front of and behind the rear end and on either side of the fuel tank.   I also began my initial front end mods.  I painted the chassis and rear end with the eventual body color which is a purple pearl nail polish.  After clearing and polishing I laid down the fuel and brake lines from LSM and added a detailed electric fuel pump that came from my parts box.  I then reassembled the rear end and mounted it in its permanent position.  The modified disc brakes are from Pegasus and the braided line is from MCG.

Chassis/Front Suspension

I began the front suspension by cutting the original spindles off.  I added styrene blocks to the frame to allow for the lowered ride height, then added new smoothed A-arms to them.  The new spindles are made of cut sprue and thin styren rod.  I  drilled holes in the sprue and used cut aluminum rod to attach the wheels.

The modified disc brakes are from Pegasus.

Engine & Supercharger

I wanted to try something a little different so I decided to drop the engine from the '06 Dodge Magnum SRT8 into this beast.  I did a little research and found that Kenne Bell makes a supercharger for the new Dodge Challanger.  So with files, sandpaper and sheet styrene in hand I began to fabricate my own version.

I began by cutting small pieces of styrene out in the general shapes that I needed and then sanded and filed into the desired shape.  A lot went in to fabricating the actual pieces that I won't document here.  Resin versions of the Kenne Bell Supercharger are available for purchase.



The interior of this build will consist of elements from several models including the Revell '06 Dodge Magnum SRT8 and the AMT Chrysler 300C.  I removed the package tray from the interior bucket because it interfered with the rear tubs.  Well one thing led to another and I had to remove the molded in rear seats and console.  I replaced the rears with the modified rear seats from the Dodge Magnum.  The console and sculpted package tray were made from sheet styrene.  The console will mate to the modified dash of the Chrysler 300C.  I made the sculpted arm rest using sheet styrene, baking soda and CA glue.


rear arm rest with sheet styrene, CA glue and baking soda.

On the dash I cut the 300c dash into three pieces.  This was done to I continue the lines of the sculpted package tray throughout the interior and so I could add material to it to lengthen  it for proper fit.

I cut the panel from the interior tub when I first started this build.  I used the reverse side of them to make the new sculpted arm rest and door handles.  the original right side is now on the left and vice versa.  I used sheet styrene for the arm rest and door handle pocket.

After building up the sculpted area under the arm rest with baking soda and ca glue I filled in the uneven area with glazing putty and sanded the door smooth. then I etched in door handles and shot them with primer.  I added the modified seats of the '06 Dodge Magnum.  I also added front & rear cup holders and cut out an opening for the shifter.

Stay Tuned. More to Come.



Works In Progress:

'62 Bel Air



Above, trunk floor & trunk hinge mechanism.

Scratchbuilt cowl hood.

Left and above.  Body with custom details primed and ready for paint.

Chassis and Suspension




Paint (exterior)

Completed Blown 409

'71 GTX Custom Show Car

Chassis/Rear Suspension

Scratch built coilover.

Chassis/Front Suspension

Stance with new front and rear suspension.

Engine & SuperCharger




Stay Tuned.  More to come.


You can also follow the progress of this build at: