'48 Ford Woody
Revell has been kind to auto modelers in re-releasing past Monogram car kits that have been out of production. This time the reissue is of the ’48 Ford Woody with Monogram’s name on the box top and on the instruction sheet. With 127 parts molded in white plastic, clear plastic and a sprue of chromed parts you can only assembly a stock Woody. You’ll use all the parts with none left over, except for a few decals.
The instruction sheet comes with twelve steps. The first four deal with making the engine and frame including all the suspension items. All the parts went together fine, but there are several things you’ll need to know that will help you build your Woody: In Step 1, the oil filter has an open back and needs to be filled. In Step 2, you have a choice either a) you can glue the X frame (parts 66 & 67) together first and use a lot of putty to clean up the joint then install the exhaust line or b) install the exhaust line first and try to clean up the X frame with the exhaust line in the way.
I did the first option and cut the exhaust line in two places (fore and aft of the muffler) and put it back together thru the X frame. Your choice, but either way will require some work. Also in Step 2 the right rear shock (part 77) needs to be glued on first as the rear stabilizer bar (part 70) attaches to it.
In addition, no clear position for the master cylinder (part 129) is given, but if you go to Step 4 you’ll see where it ends up on the frame. In Step 4 you assemble the radiator and glue it to the frame.
Later in Step 8 when you glue the frame to the body the radiator has to fit behind the little step (like a sub hood) so it sits higher than that. If it doesn’t the radiator hoses will have to be cut and the radiator pulled back for the frame to fit. (See photo 1).
The ’48 Ford was made from a lot of wood, hence the name "Woody". One has to have a method of painting this effect to mimic the wood. The interior and exterior require a lot of wood simulation painting and over the years I have found one system that seems to work for me.
Basically, I spray the part with some light tan color enamel. Here I used Humbrol 103 cream and let that dry (See photo 2). Then brush some acrylic brown (the 2-oz. bottles found in arts & crafts stores) onto a section previously painted. Move the brush back and forth developing a grain pattern, the more you brush lightly back and forth the finer the pattern. If you don’t like the results wet a Q-tip with water and wipe it off and try again (See photo 3). Once the piece has dried well I sprayed on several coats of Tamiya acrylic clear yellow (X-24) to seal the brown acrylic and to give it that varnished look (See photo 4). Later after the other painting had been done I went back and applied 3 or 4 light brush layers of Future to gloss it up a bit and as further protection.
In step 6 the windows will have to be installed. In this case I used simple white glue. Before this I masked each inside portion of the windows and painted the wood as the last paragraph mentioned. One also needs to paint the wood finish onto the header (part 202). Once all the parts are glued in I let it sit overnight. I then masked off these pieces as the insides of the front and rear fenders will need to be painted soon. Step 7 will have you glue in the firewall, the heater and the battery. The battery is open on the bottom and I used a piece of sheet styrene to close that up. You may want to do like wise.
At this point I painted the exterior. The outside of the windows were masked and then the wood panels were painted, allowed to dry then were masked over. The few light mold lines were sanded smooth and the metal surfaces; front and rear fenders; the engine compartment, and the roof were spray painted with a black epoxy primer to seal the surface from the lacquer paint. This also gave a good dark base color for the dark green to be applied. The epoxy primer was wet sanded smooth on the metal surfaces. The roof was masked as the black primer would serve as the final color (See photo 5). DuPont lacquer Mallard Green was spray painted on the exposed surfaces including the hood, fenders (outside and inside), engine compartment and the wheel hubs. The paint was given 24 hours to cure and then wet sanded up to 8000 grit (See photo 6). Step 8 has you glue in the interior, then the floor pan is glued to the bottom of the interior. This creates the complete rear fender and it also creates a gap between the two of at least 1/16”. I used Apoxie Sculpt, a two part epoxy putty to fill this gap. Once it had hardened, it was sanded and painted.
The frame assembly is next attached to the floor pan. The floor pan has two locating hole and the frame has two pins to position them together. It was during this phase that my difficulties with the radiator fit showed up.
The remainder (applying all the various small parts) went smoothly.
I must say I’m not pleased with all the sprue connections on the chrome pieces.Most were large, hard to remove without damaging the chrome pieces and numerous. In my opinion, it would be very helpful for the serious modeler if Revell would shoot another sprue or just didn't chrome this one. In that way, we would remove the parts, clean them up and use Alclad II Chrome to get the finish we want without having to strip the chrome and repaint them all to hide the cut off marks..
The kit decals that I used went on without any problems. You get a nice selection of travel and surfing decals along with three license plate decals.
While some modeling skills are required to produce a fine stock ’48 Ford Woody I can highly recommend this kit to anyone interested in classic post war automobiles. I want to thank IPMS/USA and Revell, Inc. for the opportunity to review this kit.