By: Gerhard van Vuuren
In this issue I will be building and finishing the interior, including the scratch building of a load bed. I will also do some work on the motor as well as the fitting of new Corvette engine parts. Well, there is a lot of work to cover, so here goes.
Seats, door panels and dash
The stock interior will be finished in white and coral blue to match the exterior finish of the car. After cleaning up the dash top and bottom, steering wheel and column, front seat and door panels, I gave the whole lot a good coat of Tamiya Fine White Primer. After the primer dried, I gave every interior part (except the dash, steering column and steering wheel) two coats of Tamiya Pure White. Once the white dried, I masked off the parts of the door panels and seat that had to remain white and then sprayed everything, including the dash, steering wheel and column, Tamiya Coral Blue. After the blue had dried for about 15 minutes, the masking was removed and the painted parts set aside to dry completely for 24 hours.
After the paint cured I painted the centre buttons on the backrest of the seat silver and highlighted the recessed detail in the pleats with a light blue pencil (Fig 1). I detail-painted the various handles on the door panels in silver and added the top trim on the doors and the air vents in the kick panels in semi-gloss black (Fig 2). Lastly, I assembled the dash top and bottom after sandwiching the chrome centre piece between them. I added a black wash to the chrome panel to highlight the details and picked out the dash knobs and switches in silver (Fig 3). I also painted the horn ring, turn signal stalk and gear lever silver.
To create a load bed for the car, I first glued the rear seatback into the folded position on the floor. I then applied masking tape to the whole area and trimmed it to shape with a sharp hobby knife to create a template for the load bed (Fig 4). I then carefully removed the tape template and transferred it to a piece of plastic sheet (Fig 5), and carefully cut out the shape from the plastic, using the template as a guide. In Fig 6, the cut-out load bed is test-fitted to the floor. After finessing it with a sanding stick, I proceeded to paint it to create a wood effect as described in my article on the F100 Cobra truck build some time ago. I created a woodgrain pattern in the plastic using a piece of 200 grit sandpaper. I also scratch-built a headache bar from plastic beam and rod to protect the driver from cargo flying forward during an emergency stop and painted it coral blue. In Fig 7 you can see the finished load bed. After that, I flocked the carpet in black Detail Master flocking and assembled the interior (Fig 8).
Radiator and motor
I painted the Corvette radiator in aluminium and added a black wash to give some depth to the detail. The radiator shroud was painted semi-gloss black and the electric fan yellow to create some visual interest. In Fig 9 you can see the finished assembly. I then carefully epoxied the assembly to the radiator wall using the five-minute curing time of the epoxy to make sure the assembly was perfectly square and in alignment (Fig 10).
At the last moment, I decided to use the TPI fuel injection setup of the donor Corvette motor. I reasoned that in real life it would be a bit more reliable and fuel efficient as well as provide a few more horses. Modifications to the stock injection will be restricted to a resin- cast high-capacity cone air filter (Fig 11). The drive belt of the serpentine drive was painted in rubber black and the power steering and air-conditioning pumps in titanium silver. The pulleys and inlet manifold were painted aluminium and the chromed fuel injection runners received a coat of semi-gloss clear to create a polished aluminium effect. I wired the HEI distributor with yellow wrapping wire after I painted the distributor black. The oil filter was painted orange to simulate a Fram filter. I also picked out the oil filler cap on the Corvette valve cover in semi-gloss black. In Figures 12 and 13 you can see the assembled motor. At this stage, the intake plenum still has to be fitted as well as the exhaust manifolds.
In the next issue, I will wrap up the build, covering the suspension, brakes, wheels and body trim and final assembly.