Owens Corning Corvette by Mike Sells
This Revell body was originally a rather poor snap-tite coupe kit. I threw away the interior, chassis, wheels and tires as unusable, retaining only the grille, body and glass for this project. Monogram's '78(?) Corvette kit provided much better components for the discarded parts. Even the "street machine" exhausts found on the Monogram kit are correct for the racer when cut off and remounted closer to the body. Body modifications were fairly extensive, including the removal of the roof and replacement of the rear roadster deck, an enormous hood scoop, a new lower nose valence and tail detailing. Incidentally, while I had some magazine photos of the car as restored (not quite the same as originally raced) I also acquired a Monogram 1/24 scale kit for reference. I used the kit to check the detailing, copied the decals to 1/32 scale and then passed it along to another modeler who was looking for the 1/24 scale version. This is not a bad idea if the larger scale kits are available and not too expensive. "Model Racing Replica News" also covered the car very well in a brief article with drawings showing the alterations. The first step was cutting off the roof and window posts flush with the cowl and rear fenders. Sheet styrene was cut to fill the openings left in the body behind the seats after being curved to match the rear fenders. The fenders peak higher than the new deck but the curve is much the same. After the deck panels were installed and filled, I scribed the soft top cover lines into the panel. A ¼" hole was drilled in the deck as shown in the photos and a square of sheet plastic installed inside the body for the racing fuel filler. A new lower nose panel was cut from the Monogram '78 donor kit and glued in place on the now roadster body. The spoiler along the bottom edge was reduced slightly to match the racer. The tail panel was increased in thickness along the bottom edge by gluing 1/8" square styrene strip inside, then blending everything together with a smooth curve. The original bumper holes were filled with more strip and a fine square strip added above that to match the photos of the actual car. 0.0040" styrene strip was curved over an exacto knife handle and blended into each wheel opening making them smaller to match the decals. The most daunting part on this model is the hood bulge but once I figured it out, it was much more tedious than difficult. Using the Monogram 1/24 scale kit as a guide, I measured the scoop and reduced the measurements to ¾ size for 1/32. Thinking of the scoop as two parts, an inner bulge and an outer 'U' shaped section made things go a lot easier. Start with a piece of 0.0020" sheet plastic larger than the scoop in all directions. Glue two lengths of ¼" x ¼" styrene strip sheet together along one edge so you end up with a solid chunk ½" wide, ¼" high and about 1 ½" long. This is the inner bulge so shape it at the front and top to match the full size Corvette. The Monogram kit or photos would be very helpful at this point. Cut two more ¼" x ¼" strip longer than the first two and glue them to the base plate so the center bulge fits snuggly between them but don't glue the bulge in place yet. Cut and glue two more strips on the base between the vertical legs of the 'U' and let dry completely. Working from underneath, grind a hole in the base and shape the inner surface of the 'U', basically just a vent for hot air from under the hood. The angle should match the nose of the bulge. Shape the outside surfaces of the 'U' with a sanding block of vibratory sander until the shape is correct, then finish sand using wet or dry paper. When you have the outer and inner parts complete, glue the bulge on the base between the legs of the 'U' about 1/8" behind the forward opening. When the joints have set up completely, shape the bottom of the bulge until it fits the contour of the hood and is the correct height above the hood surface. I marked the location on the body and removed the hood inside, leaving only 1/16" all around for gluing. This step makes it much easier to match the bulge to the hood. Get the best fit you can, grind or file the rear edge of the bulge away (another hot air vent) and glue it to the hood. Fill the joints with your favorite filler, sand and prime, sand and prime, sand and prime until you're ready for the final refrigerator white finish color. The decals on this model are by Fred Cady Design but the original 1/24 scale markings, suitably reduced, would have worked as well. Duct tape strips on the headlights are represented by decal film painted aluminum, then cut into thin strops and applied. The cockpit is pretty much stock except for some racing instrument changes, seats cast from a Monogram Lola GT coupe and a roll bar made from brass rod. Seat belts are 1/16" red crepe tape with silver painted buckles and the fire extinguisher is a parts box item. Wheels are resin castings mounting slot car tires.