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“General Lee” – Part 3 (complete)

I mentioned in Part 2 of this thread that this is the worst kit EVER. I’ve really wanted to post about other things, but I prefer to finalise one thing before moving on – otherwise my brain freaks out and I lose track of what I’m up to. The sad thing is, this kit (and the build) was SO frustrating, that even the thought of taking photos of the finished model turned me off writing. So sorry it’s been so long between posts, but you can blame AMT for that!

The turmoil I had with this kit is that I still like to do my best, but when you’re being blocked at every turn, it gets you down. I tried to be motivated to fight back, but it just broke me down, lol. So I wired the engine and I cut and rebuilt the role cage, and I redesigned the rear window, but I decided against wasting my effort polishing it or using BMF.

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Posted by on February 24, 2013 in AMT, Cars


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“General Lee” – Part 2

OMG, worst kit ever! I had SO much trouble with this kit, that just thinking about it depresses me. I’ve never been more happy to see the end of a build. But despite that, I didn’t just pay this off. I did the best that I could, which included making some MAJOR mods.

Here’s some examples of the issues that I faced:

The actual car body was NOT the same as the TV car (mentioned in Part 1);

The roll cage sat low (didn’t reach the roof), and didn’t reach the sides of the interior; and

There were pieces missing, as well as pieces that could be used (like the fuel tank that didn’t fit).

The rear window was the biggest mod, followed closely by fixing the roll cage. Here’s the way I fixed the rear window:

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Posted by on February 15, 2013 in AMT, Cars


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“General Lee”

About six months ago, I decided that rather than just building random cars, I needed a theme. So I came up with the idea of TV and Movie cars, hence some of the choices in my gallery. Recently, I’ve been building muscle cars (since I enjoy those old cars), but this time I thought I should get back to my main theme. One model I got my hands on recently – from my mate Jim – was the AMT General Lee from Dukes of Hazzard (the awesome TV series, not the crappy movie!)

General Lee via scalemodelworld

I was looking forward to this kit, since it’s both a TV car AND a muscle car. But last night while I was looking for ref pics of the TV General Lee, I discovered that there’s a major problem. And one I’m kind of scared to address, but in the interest of making this car look like the one on TV, I have to step outside my comfort zone and do some significant work to the body.

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Posted by on February 5, 2013 in AMT, Cars


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Scale Modelling Starter Kit

At the time of writing this post, I’m away for Christmas, so I’m suffering some major withdrawals. I can’t build anything, and I can’t take any photos to write a post about, and I can’t really do anything. It’s only been two weeks, but I’m going out of my mind!

So this morning my amazing wife came up with the idea of doing a post for those starting out (or RE-starting) their modelling hobby, by giving some advice on a “starter kit”. It can be a bit daunting, especially if you’ve been on any forums, like Model Cars Magazine Forum and you see what other people are doing with their kits. But what it all boils down to is getting the right tools for the right job.

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Posted by on December 30, 2012 in Cars, Tamiya, Tutorials, Uncategorized


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Scale Model Opening Doors

Wanting to take my models one step further, I researched how to make the doors open. I got the idea after building my 1958 Plymouth Belvedere a.k.a “Christine“, where I removed the trunk in order to hold a 9v battery. After scouring the internet, looking at tutorials and having a go at Doctor Cranky’s door hinges, I got too frustrated with the whole thing, so I designed my own. While not as sturdy as Doctor Cranky’s, they are easier to build and easier to install.

Before you begin this project, you need to commit to it. Removing the door pieces is one thing, but once the doors are off and the hinges are made, you will need to actually build yourself a door. This means getting some thin styrene to scratch build the “body” of the door. For the hinge, I can teach you how to put it all together, but building the door is a seat-of-the-pants kind of thing, where you need to be able build a template and then creatively design and build the door for yourself. If you’re a bit scared, start with an old or cheap kit and just see how it goes. After all, if you spend $20 on a kit and the doors fail, you haven’t lost too much.

My hinges work on a single arm which attaches to the outside of the interior tub, and the interior of the “outer” door, as you’ll see below. It’s not overly difficult to build these hinges, but getting them just right CAN be a bit fiddly. Lots of taking the door on and off the model, and it CAN get frustrating. The trick is to work slowly and carefully. When you feel the tension building up inside you, take a break and come back to it later. Just keep in the back of your mind that your car’s doors will open and close, and you should stay motivated to keep working!

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Posted by on December 16, 2012 in Cars, Tutorials


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1958 Plymouth Belvedere – a.k.a. “Christine” – Part 2

As I was putting Christine together, I was firmly focussed on how I was going to wire her up. Since the trunk was going to be filled with a battery, I decided to use 4 LEDs – 2 white and 2 red – so I set about putting my circuit together.

I spoke to a bunch of guys at work who have experience with this kind of thing, and asked them to help me design my circuit. You’d never believe it, but it took about 4 months to come up with a final solution! I got my hands on the parts and made a “mock-up” of the circuit to make sure it all worked.

Once I had it sorted, I had to then work out how this circuit was going to fit in the car. The LEDs are wired in parallel, meaning my circuit starts with the battery, runs to a resistor and then splits in two. Each line then has a white LED followed by a red LED and then joining back together to return to the battery. The problem with this is that the battery is at the back of the car, while the white LEDs are at the front.

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Posted by on December 5, 2012 in AMT, Cars


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1958 Plymouth Belvedere – a.k.a. “Christine” – Part 1

Ever since I saw the movie Christine, this car became the “Holy Grail” of model car kits for me. I hopelessly tried for a few years to track one down, but it never eventuated. In 2011, my dreams came true when I managed to get my hands on a kit from my new best friend, Jim. If he doesn’t have one available, just e-mail him and he will let you know when he gets one.


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Posted by on November 29, 2012 in AMT, Cars


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