In this chapter of the 1956 Chevy Sport Delivery build, I am going to drop the front suspension and detail-paint the chassis.
By: Gerhard van Vuuren
Dropping the suspension
In this chapter of the ’56 Nomad build, I am going to drop the front suspension and detail-paint the chassis. I am also laying down the primary two-tone paint scheme on the body and related parts, as well as the engine and gearbox. The kit I’m working on can only be built stock. A subsequent reissued version of the kit has optional suspension parts to build a model with lowered suspension.
Due to the fact that I want it to have a slight rake, I am only going to lower the front and keep the rear end a stock height. I have decided on a white and turquoise blue two-tone paint job and I will be using the TS range of Tamiya spray paints, namely TS-26 Pure White and TS-41 Coral Blue (Leyton house F1 colour). As a final eye candy coating, I will cover the entire lot with a few coats of TS-65 Pearl Clear to add some sparkle.
Lowering the front
In the kit, the entire front suspension and lower part of the suspension cross member are moulded in one piece. Now, to lower the front you can cut off the spindles and reposition them higher but that is a lot of work, so I figured out an easier way. I just trimmed away the front and rear walls of the top half of the cross member, which is moulded into the chassis, for an instant drop.
In Figure 1 the cross-hatched area shows which part of the cross member must be trimmed off. The lower cross member was glued in place and the coil springs that fit between the two halves were shortened accordingly. Figure 2 is a comparative photo of the stock suspension on the left and the modified lowered one on the right. I achieved a scale of 2” drop this way.
I gave the body a few coats of white primer which, once dry, was lightly sanded smooth with 2000 grit wet and dry paper can see the painted body and body panels.
Adding detail with paint
Now that the chassis and rear suspension are painted, however, it still looks a little bland. What to do? Well, making a dull-looking part more interesting can be achieved with carefully detailed painting. First I tackled the rear suspension. Using Tamiya enamel paints and a fine brush I first painted the rear axle in X-18 Semi-Gloss Black. The leaf springs were painted XF-56 Metallic Grey and the front part of the differential and the shackle plates in XF-16 Flat Aluminium. All the nuts and fasteners were then picked out with X-31Titanium Gold to simulate cadmium-anodised parts.
The results can be seen in Figure 6. Next, the frame (which is moulded to the chassis) and the complete front suspension were painted in X-18 Semi-Gloss Black. I then picked out the chassis and the suspension bolts in X-31 Titanium Gold. The fuel tank and steering tie rods were painted in XF-56 Metallic Grey in Figure 7 the results of the exercise can be seen, resulting in a visually attractive and interesting to look at chassis. I think you will all agree that it looks much better and more interesting than in Figure 3.
I wanted to colour-code the engine too but was afraid that it might get visually lost in the sea of coral blue under the bonnet, so I decided to paint it in Tamiya Cobalt Green aerosol. It does not have a TS number yet as it is a custom colour they brought out to use on their Vaillant Kremer Porsche 934. This is in the same colour range as coral blue but slightly greener and a tad darker. After the paint had dried, I painted the gearbox and bell housing in X-16 Flat Aluminium.
I finally applied a black wash to highlight the shaded/deeper areas of the assembly. The painted short block and gearbox are shown in Figure 8.
Next time, I will tackle the interior, engine bay, and final assembly of the motor and the radiator.