NEWS AND NOTES:
1999 Vol 1 No.1
Informal Newsletter for Fred's Model World Customers
i get here
miss attempt jr.
review - revell trailer #7570
are blown off
For those of you who wish to contribute to the next newsletter, the
deadline for copy submission is August 15, 1999. Don't forget, if
I use your article you get $ 10 off your next order! Please contact
me with any questions on article subject, length and other editorial concerns.
FRED'S NEW EMAIL
Please note that my email address has changed.
I am now at firstname.lastname@example.org. Mail to my old email address
email@example.com will be forwarded to me but may be delayed a day or two.
Please pass this information on, as some ads I have on the net haven't
changed the email yet. Thanks!
|SCENE AND HERD!!
"Glueheads stick together'
"Life is in the details"
"They can have my modeling knife when
they pry it from my cold dead hands"
DID I GET HERE?
By Fred Sterns
The above question
could refer to the dreaded one an adolescent asks his father, with the
response being "go ask your mother." In this case, however, how did I get
here refers to my evolution from an office clerk to owning a business in
I can trace my love
of cars to age 3, when I began pointing out convertibles to my mom as we
drove around town. Around that same time, I began to draw the same
cars I saw on the road. One day, lacking writing paper, I drew our
station wagon on the side drawer of my nightstand. I recall getting
in a bit of trouble over that one, and I've kept that nightstand as a living
testimonial to the risks I took that day. The drawing, although crude,
shows great detail and an obvious passion for what I was drawing.
As a child, I developed a
passion for reading. My favorite subjects: cars and sports, I read
everything I could find on both subjects, sometimes many times. My
mom took us to the library once a week. Today, my wife does
the same with our kids. My mom began to buy me books on cars and sports,
most of which I've kept to this day. My favorite is a Tad Bumess
pictorial miniature book showing cars from 1890 to 1967. I now have
about a dozen Tad Bumess books, which I use daily to help identify built
On my eleventh birthday,
I received my first model kit. I wish I could recall who gave me
this gift, but my memory has long since failed me. That first model,
a Mack R model and gravel trailer, was one heck of a project for a novice
builder. It took me two weeks too get it done, and it came out surprisingly
well. I used spray paint for the first time (forgot the primer, though)
and discovered toothpicks work great for applying glue.
From that point on, I couldn't
get enough models to build. I built few semi trucks after that, but
managed about one car kit of some type per week for the next several years.
I discovered all the brands: MPC, AMT, Johan, Revell and Monogram.
I soon developed a liking for MPC and AMT kits that stands to this day.
My building quality varied from poor to very good. I lost patience
with several projects. These quickly found there way into my model
car graveyard. The success stories found there way onto my bookshelves,
where they stayed for many years.
A turning point in modeling
came when I started driving the real thing. I found that to be more
exciting than model building. Busy with driving cars and high school
activities, I built less and less cars. When I left home for journalism
school in 1977, my model building decreased even further. I built
a few kits in college, then stopped altogether when I met my wife to be
my senior year in college. Cars suddenly became the last thing on
I didn't touch a model kit
from 1980 to 1988, when I hurt my back and was laid up for one week.
My wife suggested I go to the store and buy a kit to build, since sitting
didn't hurt but standing did. I bought a Monogram 55 Bel Air Street
Machine, built that in one day, and rediscovered my passion for building.
The current kit scene in
1988 was boring, so I tried to find a way to get some of the kits I'd had
in the early 70's. I quickly found that the prices had increased
to a ridiculous level. I ordered lists from several prominent dealers,
and was dismayed to learn I could only afford current kits. There
were some local shows where I was able to find some older kits, but competition
was fierce for anything desirable. I was relegated to buying older
builts and low end kits to build, for the most part.
After college, I went from
one office job to the next, finding little satisfaction. I could
not see spending the next 40 years of my life doing this, but there didn't
seem to be any other answers at the time. In April 1997, 1 lost my
job due to a downsizing. It quickly became apparent that unemployment
wasn't going to get the bills paid. I made a hard decision to sell
most of my collection, which was up to 100 or so kits.
I placed a few ads and sold most
of my kits, thus keeping us afloat until I could find work again.
That was a real eye-opener for me, finding there was a market for reasonably
priced obsolete kits. I mentioned to my wife on several occasions
that doing this full time would be great. At that time, I considered
it a remote possibility.
In November 1997 I was hired
for what turned be an awful office position in poor working conditions
with a temperamental boss with bad body odor. Complaining to my family
about this, I found they had an answer for me, a modest amount of money
to buy a small collection and try to make a go of model dealing at least
Of course, I said yes.
As timing would have it, I got a call from my modeling friend Rick Brunner
in West Virginia. Rick had found a good 60's collection in North
Carolina and wanted to know if I wanted in. How could I say no.
A few weeks later, I sent the list to what few customers I had from the
summer disposal of my own collection. The response was amazing.
I sold most of the 200 pieces in about two weeks, leading me to believe
there were possibilities of something real actually happening.
To make a long story short,
I have since used what I've learned to continually expand in the number
of models bought and sold and customers gained. On March 26, I walked
out of my dreaded office job for the last time.
Without sharing all my secrets
to success, you have likely already discovered there's something different
going on at Fred's Model World. That something is lower prices, better
service and a dealer who actually has been a builder for almost 30 years.
I have taken all the good things I've learned from my mother, who started
a business on our dining room table and now has over 100 employees, as
well as the many negatives I've seen in model car dealing and tried to
create a pleasant way for modelers to get kits and builtups.
I'm not in this to get rich. Greed
is not in my vocabulary. As long as I can pay my bills and hang in
there with the rest of the middle class, I'll be a happy camper.
Feel free to offer any suggestions for this newsletter and the way I do
business. I try to keep an open mind and want everyone to go home
happy with the models they want.
Welcome to Fred's Model World!
MISS ATTEMPT JR.
By David Pye -
There is more than one
way to skin a cat, it's said. That has to be scary if you're a cat!
If you're a model building "kat," another scary subject is the price of
vintage model kits. That is why re-entering car modeling after a
30 year hiatus quickly became scary. Not because I had to skin a
cat, but that the price of models went from $1.50 to $2.00 in the 60's
to $ 100 or more. What was I to do? If one is able to get past
building an exact copy of one of those great old kits, there are alternatives.
For example, take the "Thunder charger," one half of the Revell Fiat double
kit. Its Dragmaster chassis, blown and injected Chrysler 392 Hemi
scream 60's! How could a model be built on a reasonable budget?
The answer lies in the Revell 22 Jr., Attempt 1 and Miss Deal kits.
Thus, the name of this
vehicle; "The Miss Attempt Jr."
The Attempt 1 kits
builds into a very nice replica of one of Mickey Thompson's early 60's
land speed record cars. Shed that skin and you have a Dragmaster
chassis. Exit the Pontiac four cylinder engine that came with the
kit and enter the 392 Hemi from the Miss Deal model.
Okay, engine and chassis
procured. But, there are a few flaws with just swapping the Hemi
into the Dragmaster. First, the front suspension was designed for
land speed record running; dragsters use a longer front axle. At
the rear, dragsters use two brakes (the Attempt 1 used only one spot disc)
and different front and rear tires and wheels. Second, for some reason
Revell omitted the fuel pump in the Miss Deal Hemi.
Enter the 22 Jr. kt.
It has a very nicely done front suspension of the type we are looking for.
Also, its tires and wheels fit perfectly into the Dragmaster. The
22 Jr. also has a fuel pump, a better blower drive belt, and disk brakes.
I wanted an open blower
drive setup and the Miss Deal Hemi had a drive belt cover. The blower
drive from the 22 Jr. was a mite too short to work. There are two
choices to remedy the problem. Either sand the Hemi's intake manifold
until the pulleys align properly or do a little cutting on the blower drive.
If you decide to do the cutting to extend the belt, fashion two 1/16" long
pieces made from.020 x.080" styrene stip stock, and splice them under the
top pulley. After sanding and painting, the splice is not noticeable.
Other fabricated parts
were fashioned from styrene: a drag link made of.30" rod, and motor mounts
were made of .20" x .060" strip-although a full mounting place of .020"
sheet is an option. The clutch from the 22 Jr. was adapted to the
bell housing, and the throttle linkage was scratch built. Some small
wire replaced the plastic parts in the 22 Jr's in and out box shifter linkage.
Driver safety was assured by using .20" sheet for a bell housing scattershield,
and disc brake mounts were fashioned from .020" x.030" strip. A mounting
plate for the 22 Jr.'s parachute was made from .020" sheet. Several
sizes of nut and bolt plastic castings by Grandt Line, a model railroading
firm, added detail in several places.
Other bits and pieces
of styrene became the various mounts, brackets and other parts need to
mate the 22 Jr.'s front suspension to the dragster frame. Both models
used torsion bars up front, so that saved a search for a front spring.
I simply shaved the torsion bar mounting points from the 22 Jr. axle and
fabricated some basic mounting. A few minutes later, the radius rod
mounts were built and glued to the frame. I thinned the disks a bit
with a fingernail file to more closely resemble the thickness of the real
thing. A short piece of .040" rod was secured in the front of the
blower drive, and the fuel pump from the 22 Jr. was glued to the end of
that rod. After fabricating the necessary
pieces, the plated parts donated form all three kits were dechromed and
sent out for replating. In the meantime, other parts were painted
and subassemblies built. When the parts returned from the chrome
plating service, a few aftermarket details were added, including complete
engine and chassis plumbing and wiring. The total cost for the three
donor kits was about $45, about 1/2 to 1/3 of a double kit. There
was a complete 22 Jr. model included in that price.
Shortly after this
project, I finally saw one of the highly sought after double kits.
In comparison, the combination of the three kits yielded a better, more
detailed model. I still want to build those Bantams, Fiats and T's,
and several resin casters offer the bodies needed. So, with more
22 Jr. kits in hand, off I go to my next project.
REVIEW:REVELL TRAILER #7570
By Roger Weigelt
In their "Trucks of
the 50's" series Revell of Germany has issued a 2-axle trailer as completion
to their heavy Buessing and Krupp trucks.
The chassis is all new and
based on a 1946 12-to-Hanomag trailer. Honomag was one of Europe's
most important machine works, located in Hanover, building locomotives,
tractors, ploughs and trailers. The trailer is well detailed and
fits well. The body is identical to the Buessing and Krupp.
Both axles have double tires plus a spare. The kit totals about 150
pieces. There are parts in the box which 'indicate that a 3 axle
trailer may be issued later. Decals match the existing Buessing and
The trailer is fun to build
and offers many chances for conversion. Revell did not announce alternative
bodies. The trailer is also available with the Buessing truck, featuring
new matching decals, however this kit is more expensive than both single
kits. One negative; the box is made of only one piece, so storing
parts is not easy. Revell should return to two piece boxes.
Roger Weigelt is a model builder who
resides in Regensburg, Germany
SOCKS ARE BLOWN OFF
By Ray Denney
Reprinted with permissionfrom the Model
Car Collectors Association Journal
In the new products column
of our last issue, I reported on Ertl's new AMT Snapfast Slammer Chrysler
Concorde kit with great enthusiasm. As some of you know, I'm very
big on Concordes. I bought one early on, trade it for another, and
am contemplating a third new one later this year. This is the best
value for the money Detroit offers; nothing else compares in the price
range and above. I honestly don't know how Lexus stays in business
when Chrysler sells a car like this for half the price. If you haven't
driven one, it's like getting out of a Piper Cub and piloting a starship.
Seriously, take a test drive and see for yourself
Modeling opportunities have
been lean for the Concords. Brookfield offered a diecast in 1993,
which I tore down and repainted to match my first one. Now, Ertl
offers a snapper in plastic, and hopefully will do more with the tooling
later. The new kit is easy to find; mine came from Wal-Mart for $7.96.
When I got it, I decided to do my first one a little different. The
Concorde is not presently approved for Winston Cup, but there's no reason
why it couldn't be, with 4 door Tauruses all over the tracks and an engine
program running in the Craftsman truck division for the Dodge Supertrucks.
So, I decided to do mine as a current NASCAR stocker. It took some
work but turned out well, and so far no one else has done it to my knowledge.
The body, nose and tail clips
were all I used from the kit. I superglued the clips to the body,
puttied it up, and sanded smooth. I also puttied the holes in the
trunk for the spoiler and over the door handles, which I'd already sanded
down. Then, I sanded off the checkered, factory applied graphics
on the sides. They'll show through your paint if you don't take them
off. I opened the solid hood using a pointed scribing tool in the
seams. This is slow but eliminates a too wide gap, which you'll get
with an X-Acto saw. Them I cut the chassis mounting posts out of
the inside of the body and laid on a coat of primer. The kit provides
blackout glass, which you wouldn't use in a race car. I trimmed up
a Revell 1990 Third windshield to fit, and the back glass from any AMT
Nascar Pontiac falls right in. Cut side glass out of clear flat stock,
and grind a Monogram Nascar Lumina spoiler a little less wide to fit across
the rear deck. The chassis came form a Monogram Third, one of the
front steer ones, but a Monte Carlo or Pontiac chassis would work just
as well. It took a small amount of trimming to fit into the Chrysler
body; no problem, and I added my usual amount of painting and detail to
The engine took more research.
A trip to Joey Arrington's shop in Martinsville, Va was a big help.
Joey builds the engines for several of the Dodge truck racing teams, and
I got a good look at them. I used the block, heads and fan pulley
from Monogram's "71 Dodge Challenger kit, a high-per 340 small block.
Valve covers are also Challenger, with added oil breathers from a Monogram
sprint car. Intake is a reworked big-block Chevy, and a four-barrel
carb from a Revell ASS Camaro. Exhaust headers are big-block Chevy,
heated and slightly reshaped to fit. A pre-wired distributor and
fuel line were added, but any amount of detail could be applied.
Paint and decals were open, since there was no prototype to follow, so
I went with a bright canary yellow and the US Air #77 decal sheet from
Blue Ridge for the Tbird my old pal Greg Sacks raced in 1994. The
red numbers and red-and-blue graphics look good on the yellow car, I think.
Greg would be amused too ... unfortunately, he has no ride this year after
getting his bell severely rung at Texas last year. They never did
decals for the Thomapple Valley Taurus and I managed to build one anyway,
but that's another story.Maybe Chrysler will get back into Winston Cup
racing again, and if so, the Concorde would be the ideal thing to do it
Ray Denney is president of the Model
Car Collectors Association Journal. Join the MCCA for $15 a year
dues. This includes Ray's newsletter and free classifieds for members.
For more information, contact Ray at 5113 Sugar Loaf Drive SW, Roanoke,
VA 24018, phone 540-774-8109
WHO HESITATES LOSES
By Fred Sterns
Here's a few tips for customers who don't
want to miss out on choice items from my list:
1. Run don't walk-when you get the
list in the mail, try and call me the same day, if possible. The most ardent
modelers grab the list out of the mailbox and pick up the phone, ordering
as they scan the list. While I'm not suggesting you put your life
on hold to check out a 20+ page list, bear in mind that many of the most
popular items are gone after the first three or four days of ordering.
2. Have some alternative selections
in mind. Assuming you may not get everything you want, try and pick out
items that are also interesting and acceptable if other models are already
3. If the list takes more than five
days to arrive at your home, please let me know. I send out the lists in
geographical order: foreign customers first, followed by distant rural
areas, then major eastern metropolitan areas. Customers in Florida
did not receive their list for one week, so those will be sent out a day
earlier in the future.
4. Don't forget, I keep want lists
on file. If you have a number of kits you really want, send me a want list
with your name and phone number. If I get the kit in, I will contact