Plymouth 'Cuda Buildup
I hadn't done a
project car for a long time, or a group build off. So this
one seemed like a car I could tackle on the limited time
about anything goes.
while I like Mopars, I don't know a whole lot about them
when it comes to 'Cuda's, so the choice of a specific kit
wasn't too hard.
quick trip to the local hobby store, and I ended up with
a kit that is not a convertible. It also included centerline
type wheels (and a pair of rear slapper bars if anyone is
interested in those for a project -bnow you know where to
I had the kit. But what direction to go? First, I wanted
it to be a daily driver. No drag racer or custom. (I hate
body work, so that kind of modification was definitely not
going to happen). For the most part, I wanted it to be an
easy, low stress project.
wanted the car to be able to handle. After all, if you drive
it around everyday, and it's packing a Hemi, you still want
the car to be able to take a curve. Like a street version
of a TransAm
racing car. Maybe a modern version of Pro Touring.
would mean, the old torsion bar front end just wasn't going
to cut it. There's not much there to work with, and not
many ways to make that kind of suspension better. With some
internet searching, I found a company online that actually
makes a new front end (Tubular K-member) for real Cudas,
hot setup. It's a bit complex to replicate in 1:25 scale,
but gave me a good baseline on what to do. With upper and
lower control arms, and coil-over shocks, that gives you
several ways to tune the front end. Just the idea I was
this in mind, I cut off the torsion bars from the kit. I
used a cross member with upper and lower control arms from
a Testor's Boyd Hot Rod (there are 3 Testors Boyd kits,
all have the same suspension, so anyone of them will do).
I did have to cut the cross member to make it work. This
cross member had the spindles molded in as well, one of
the reasons I chose it. I also cut and used coil-over springs
(from my parts box) between the control arms (too small
to see, but they are there).
used a rack and pinion off a Revell 2005 Mustang. The stock
K member was retained, without the torsion bars, and I had
to cut / modify the front sway bar. I made new connections
for the outer tie rod ends on the rack.
important thing here to remember is to get it all lined
up. Try and get the spindles to be just where the stock
ones would have been. Same distance apart (width) and same
height. You want to make sure your wheels will fit (whichever
you choose) and that the car sits right (hopefully level).
below I have primered some of the chassis.
eventually painted the entire chassis with a coat of white
primer. I then painted on the car / body color (Tamiya Orange).
From this picture, you can see the final result of the front
end with some detail painting done.
mentioned, the exhaust system on this kit is molded into
don't always use primer, but there were many various parts
made of different color plastics used, so to give it all
a uniform color, I needed a uniform base. Orange is a light
color, so I used white primer.
I sort of skipped around here. I actually did the rear suspension
setup before painting the chassis. But now we can focus
on just this portion of the build and move on.
would have liked to gone with a coil-over rear suspension,
or maybe just coil instead of leaf springs. but the molded
in exhaust and gas tank location hampered those ideas.
could have gotten down and ugly with the exhaust and dremeled
it all off, but I just didn't feel that would look good
enough, so the solid rear axle had to stay.
that doesn't mean we can't improve the handling back there.
started by adding staggered rear shocks and a radius rod
/ pan hard bar (all off of a Revell 2005 Mustang). I then
found a sway bar I could alter from my parts box, and installed
that onto the rear as well.
we're ready to take on some corners !
sway bars are painted red (similar to what Herb Adams used
to do) and the shocks are KONI reds.
when I figure out the tire rim combination, all four corners
with get photoetch disc brakes.
that the chassis is primarily done except for maybe some
more detail painting and odds and ends, let's talk about
getting the same color, a Tamiya Orange (I already had this
paint, and I thought it would look good, so what the heck).
body on this kit is molded in white, so any color would
work. I first shot the engine bay, so it would match the
outside of the car. After that dried, I taped on the hood
and front fascia and grille. I do this so I can get a nice
even color all over the car. I don't want to paint them
separately and come out with different shades of orange.
that I did not use any primer here. I usually don't with
model paints, unless I need to use it as a base to cover
colored plastic, or if I use automotive lacquer paints.
the most part, the Timiya paint came out well. It's out
of a can. I also paint models outside in the sun so I can
se any imperfections. In this instance, I did get a tiny
spec of dirt (probably from a slight breeze) on the rooftop,
but I can live with it. I did not use any clear coat (yet).
I will let it dry for a day or so and see how it looks.
It may not need clear.
this point, I have done the interior. My orginal plan was
to have a white interior. But I wasn't happy with the way
the white paint job came out. I had also painted the carpet
red, and that was even worse, so I went ahead and shot it
all flat black.
painted the dashboard orange (body color), I thought it
looked good that way. The front bucket seats are from a
2005 Revell Ford Mustang kit.
roll bar came with the kit, and is painted the body color.
I painted the chrome trim on the front and rear windows.
The engine has also been put into the chassis.
4 rims and tires are from 2 Testor's Boyd car kits. The
kits come with big and littles, but I did not want to use
the smaller versions, so by having two kits (one built)
I robbed the tire/rim combo from those so I can have some
nice fat meaty tires all the way around on this project.
front and rear lower valance / fascia panels have been painted
rims and tires were actually trimmed a bit to make them
a little bit thiner, so they would fit into the wheel wells.
But they are still plenty wide. And now fit like a real
am just about done here. Save for some details. I used the
spoiler on the rear, I thought it looked good. The wheels
and tires are on.
is the underside of the model. Just some detail painting.
You can see the new style front end with the rack and pinion.
I have added some rear panel PLYMOUTH decals I had in my spare
decals box. I have detail painted the door handles and such.
just did some detail painting on the engine, and attached
the mirrors. Some dab detail painting here and there.
front lower valance panel looks like it came loose a bit
in the photo, I will have to go back and redo that. But
overall, it came out well for a basic no frills build.