On the Bench 257: Huey’s Hut Rod from Tom Hering part 2

start with part 1

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The kit’s undersized drag slicks were built up with epoxy putty (Figure 9) and given a cartoonish, speed-deformed shape (oval). Then they were faced with 3/16″ ABS sheet, creating a bigger, recessed wheel. Wheel inserts were made from sheet styrene and include a strip that runs around the inside circumference of the wheel, which supports a blank disk, which supports a five-spoke mag and hub unit. There’s also a circular insert for the rim of the wheel. (I want the rim of the wheel to have the same magenta color as the box art, and I figured it would be easier to paint as a separate piece.)

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The undersized blower on the kit engine (shown in front of the engine, Figure 10) was replaced with a taller version scratchbuilt from ABS sheet, sheet styrene, and styrene half-round. A new distributor, scratchbuilt from sheet styrene and 1/4″ styrene tube, was drilled for wiring. The valve covers were also drilled for wiring. The drive belt was detailed and repositioned higher up (which is okay, as it’s a cartoon engine). Last of all, I decided to leave off the kit’s headers – or headers of any kind – as they don’t appear in the box art. Not even exhaust ports for headers are shown! But I decided to at least scratchbuild those, as the exhaust needs some way of escaping. So … what connects the exhaust to the tailpipes? Nothing. It’s my guess that the “tailpipes” are actually some kind of rocket assist – fueled by outhouse methane!

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The drive shaft was lengthened 1/2″ by adding the front of a rear axle housing (Figure 11), made from a steel washer and another tip from a ball point pen.

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Bill Campbell has said that Hawk’s moldmaker only loosely followed his original art, on all the Weird-Ohs kits. With “Huey’s Hut Rod,” this is most apparent in the way it became a short hot rod, instead of the long rail dragster Campbell depicted. So I lengthened the frame rails 1″ (Figure 12) by inserting 1/2″ sections of sheet styrene, fore and aft of the engine mounts. The square holes for the front axle were filled, because the axle will be repositioned under, and all the way forward to, the front end of the rails. I made a steering arm (Figure 12) from steel rod and a piece of the front axle (see Figure 13).

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The front axle (Figure 13) was narrowed to 1 3/8″. The end pieces were then cut to 1/4″ and reattached at a slight down angle, so the front wheels will tilt out (positive camber) when mounted (same as the drag slicks). A mounting plate for the steering arm was made from sheet styrene, as was the tie rod (a piece of lumber). The pins were made from stretched sprue. Two notches were cut into the top of the axle where the frame rails will be attached.

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The bent nails molded onto the front wheels were sanded off (Figure 14). The hubs were extended with pieces of thick sprue. These were drilled, and bent nails made from stretched sprue were inserted.

That’s most of the modifications. A new, S-shaped shift lever will be made from steel rod. (We all know what that corn cob knob was used for in an outhouse!) Coiled tubing and a cork will be made for the jug. (“Pluto Water” was an early, 20th century brand of mineral water with strong laxative properties.) Only the brace connecting the hut and the frame rail on the right side will be used – there is no left brace shown in the box art.

See the completed model

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