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Chopping a 32 Ford - Kitbash

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1Chopping a 32 Ford - Kitbash Empty Chopping a 32 Ford - Kitbash on Sun Jan 25, 2015 9:50 am


i have been asked a few different times to make a tutorial on how i chop these.
i have just recently acquired one of the revell kits which i plan to build at a later date but since chopping the top will be necessary anyhow i am pulling it out of the box to show my technique.
this is the kit i am starting with
Chopping a 32 Ford - Kitbash IMG_3476_zps63206140
stock body profile
Chopping a 32 Ford - Kitbash IMG_3448_zpsb1f31d7b
i plan to eliminate the stock hinges so for the chop process i will use the upper hinge as a guide. the goal here is to keep as much of the window and door detail as possible so there will be less filler work later.
first thing i do is to map out where i want to make my cut lines, some people use 1/8 striping tape to get their lines, i prefer to do things by eye as i can make adjustments where necessary.
side view of cut lines
Chopping a 32 Ford - Kitbash IMG_3449_zps4476f857
the rear cutline does not go straight across, the reason for this is that i want to keep the rear window looking as uniform as possible without destroying the lower lip of it in the process.
Chopping a 32 Ford - Kitbash IMG_3450_zps666044f0
the first cuts i make are the rear vertical cuts where it steps for the rear window. i do this using the scribing method with the backside of a number 11 hobby blade. taking my time to make the cuts as straight as possible will ensure less filler work later.
Chopping a 32 Ford - Kitbash IMG_3452_zps98b25400
next i move on to the front a pillars, using a razor saw and cutting on the uppermost line first. it is far easier to make the second cut if it is attached to the larger body than it would be if you left it on the smaller roof section once detached.
Chopping a 32 Ford - Kitbash IMG_3453_zps775afd90
i then cut through the rear pillars the same way until things look like this
Chopping a 32 Ford - Kitbash IMG_3454_zps194c9c65
once you make it all the way through on the top line you will have removed the actual roof from the car like this
Chopping a 32 Ford - Kitbash IMG_3455_zps7ff3da01
next we will take care of the step in the rear window, the upper line on the side of the body turned into the lower line on the rear window area. so now we use our razor saw to carefully cut to the vertical lines we had already cut with our hobby knife earlier.
Chopping a 32 Ford - Kitbash IMG_3456_zpsa58c81e9
once the body side is done we move to the roof side and trim out the step so things fit together nicely
Chopping a 32 Ford - Kitbash IMG_3457_zps8dcb62a2
once you have the steps trimmed out you can take the roof and set it on a sheet of sandpaper on a flat surface, using a figure 8 motion i square up all the edges to make sure everything is true
Chopping a 32 Ford - Kitbash IMG_3458_zpsc33e692c
this is close to the fit you want to see once the notches are done and the mating edges are sanded true
Chopping a 32 Ford - Kitbash IMG_3459_zps8f584f36
now if you look close, when you line up the rear panel lines
Chopping a 32 Ford - Kitbash IMG_3460_zps69f59af0
the front no longer will line up properly
Chopping a 32 Ford - Kitbash IMG_3461_zps3b6facef
this means we have to make another cut to rectify the problem
i make this cut about 1/2 inch back from the front of the roof, that gives me plenty of area for filling and sanding if i need it later
Chopping a 32 Ford - Kitbash IMG_3462_zps7a7373d5
now begins te process of reattaching the roof to the body, i start by bolstering the rear joint areas with thin strip styrene, this will give the joints a larger gluing surface area allowing a better, stronger bond.
Chopping a 32 Ford - Kitbash IMG_3463_zpsf0fb95e0
using a clothespin to hold the strip in place inside the body, i flow some liquid cement into the joint and let it dry
Chopping a 32 Ford - Kitbash IMG_3464_zps750da0ee
after the bolsters are installed you can glue the rear half of the roof in place, notice here on the rear of the door window opening, you can see a small bit if the thin styrene i am using for bolster material. it will make no difference and will be cleaned up in the next couple steps.
Chopping a 32 Ford - Kitbash IMG_3466_zps7961a846
2 ways you can glue the front roof back on, you can add a thin shim along the entire roofline to keep the front window area at the stock angle. or you can lean back the window slightly as i have here as i prefer the look.
line up the front door seam lines and glue the top in place
Chopping a 32 Ford - Kitbash IMG_3467_zps91fc3b60
this is what the new chop looks like so far from the front
Chopping a 32 Ford - Kitbash IMG_3468_zpsf9669b3a
i always prefer to use styrene as a filler over putty whenever i can, so i use the same thin styrene strips cut down in little pieces to fill any gaps and bond them all together with a drop of liquid cement. ( make sure most of your "shims" are on the outer curved edges, mush easier to trim and finish on the outside surface than they are if left long on the inside.
Chopping a 32 Ford - Kitbash IMG_3469_zpsd3d3b2cb
i did the same for a couple small gaps i had at the rear
Chopping a 32 Ford - Kitbash IMG_3470_zps424dcde1
once the glue dried, i used a file to remove the excess plastic on the outside of the vehicle
Chopping a 32 Ford - Kitbash IMG_3473_zpsa7dca60d
Chopping a 32 Ford - Kitbash IMG_3474_zps93bd0ca1
that is the kind of fit i want, thats without using any body filler.
i next grab my putty and apply it to areas i want to smooth out a bit more like the roofline and 2 small areas at the back
Chopping a 32 Ford - Kitbash IMG_3475_zps13eda935
99% of that filler will end up sanded off by the time i am done but its nothing to worry about.
later when i am ready to start working on this actual build i will get into priming and final sanding but i have accomplished what i wanted to here.
we have kept the details we wanted and lowered the lid.
2 repeat shots for comparison

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