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Like many customs I do they evolve over time, this Ford Thames Airbourne camper was one such project, I have done a few of these as straight forward restorations but this one I decided to do something different.
Some people would cringe at what I do to a prefectly good Corgi diecast model but I love creating new models which, could of been done by Corgi if they so wished.
This project involves some major cutting work and not for the faint hearted, so if you are a collector of a nervous dispostion your better off looking away now and finding another page!
I roughly marked out where to cut the body as this is to become a pick-up commonly seen in the 60′s.
Cutting was mainly done with a Dremel tool and cutting wheel.
Next I cut a new bulkhead for the cab and a floor for the pick-up bed from Plasticard, the pick-up bed was being lined with real wood boarding, in fact they are the stirring sticks you get for your coffee in many fast food outlets, the one below is the first dry run to gauge my board widths, layed out over the Plasticard floor.
Once I was happy with the fit the bulkhead was glued in place and extra triangle pieces added to the back as was the case in real trucks, the roof was filled where the top of the camper van roof used to be and a new rear tailgate was made from a scrap Matchbox horsebox body.
Next the finer filling done with body stopper I use on real cars, notice the copper wire fixed to one side of the body, I noticed I had cut one side lower than the other slightly and picked this up only when I fitted the tailgate, so yes I do make mistakes, but the art of making mistakes is knowing how to get around it, the copper wire won’t notice once filled and painted.
Next the paint, firstly the priming took a while, as filling had been done and I am fussy, I primed and refilled tiny blemishes about four times then lightly sanded the whole body with fine 500 grade wet and dry paper.
Then the colour, for this I chose a real 1960′s Ford colour, this I also used on the Matchbox Ford Thames vans.
Once dry the main assembly takes place, the glass and seat unit from the camper was cut to fit and the pick-up back window was cut from the remaining camper glass.
Next the side benches and wheel arch covers were cut from the same wood and fitted directly in place, these were likely to of doubled as tools boxes on the real pick-ups, a ladder bar was made from Plasticard and sprayed black.
The lights, grill and bumper was detailed on the front and some decals made to suit a builders truck.
Another thing I didn’t notice is the Corgi casting didn’t have rear lights and after a bit of research on Thames vans and pick-ups painted them on where they should of been.
Finally, with a custom made wooden ladder and other suitable items the builders pick-up from the 60′s is complete.