On the Bench 256: Huey’s Hut Rod from Tom Hering part 1

Huey’s Hut Rod part 1 by Tom Hering

“Huey’s Hut Rod” and “Daddy, the Way-Out Suburbanite” were my favorite Weird-Ohs as a kid in the 1960s, and they’re still my favorites today. But I’ve always wanted a Huey that looks more like Bill Campbell’s original box art. So the goal of this project is to finally have that Huey by modifying the kit’s parts. (The kit is currently available from the new Hawk Model Company, and of course, the CultTVman Hobbyshop.)

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The first thing to tackle was Huey’s head. For comparison, Figure 1 shows an example of the stock kit head, Figure 2 shows my modified head, and Figure 3 is Bill Campbell’s art.

Modifications (Figure 2) began by cutting off Huey’s nose, and sanding down his eyeballs. Then a new “uni-eye” was formed with epoxy putty. The uni-eye was outlined with polyester cord (tacked in place and then soaked with super glue) and the face was built up around the outline with more epoxy putty. The upper lip was narrowed and reshaped.

All of Huey’s fangs were removed, and new fangs and molars were fashioned from sheet styrene. Sheet styrene ears were added as well.

Huey’s tongue was beefed up with epoxy putty, and shoulder straps for his bib overalls, made from very thin sheet styrene, were added. The right strap will hide the seam when Huey’s arm is attached later (after his head and body are installed in the hut rod).

The molded hair was cut off the brim of Huey’s hat, the surface of the brim was evened out with epoxy putty, and the edge of the brim was reshaped all around. Then the front of the brim was cut off, reattached in a flopped down position, and blended in with more epoxy putty.

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Two holes (Figure 4) were cut in the back of the brim, so the hair I’ll add later (made of plastic brush bristles) can stick out behind the hat (as it does in Campbell’s art). A ragged hole was made in the peak of the hat with a Dremel tool.

Finally, a generous mounting tab was added to the bottom of Huey’s body (Figure 2), because the kit’s provision for mounting Huey in his hut rod is extremely flimsy.

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An upper door half, clasp, and hinges (Figure 5) were added to the hut. These were made from sheet styrene, styrene half-round, and stretched sprue. Screw head details in the hardware are represented by drilled holes.

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The ends of the rear axle (Figure 6) were bent down slightly, so the tops of the drag slicks will tilt out (positive camber) when mounted.

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The chimney (it’s a heated outhouse!) was heightened with 1/4″ styrene tube (Figure 7).

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The tailpipes were repositioned 1 1/2″ up on the back wall (Figure 8). Their exhaust bells were replaced with new ones made from the tips of ball point pens.

On to part 2

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