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 GUEST BUILDER- RANDY KOGER  

STINK RAY

Another excellent build-up from Randy. Here is the story he provided describing his latest wonder:

"The Stink Ray was my third Deal's Wheels kit, and is another one of my favorites in Dave's car kit series. I always loved the sleek lines of this model, and felt that Dave did a superb job of capturing the stance and visual presence of the real car, but in a warped cartoon manner that really works aesthetically.

I found this model at an antique show, (for a very reasonable price!), and although the kit was complete and unbuilt, the box was in pretty sad shape...which certainly did not deter me from purchasing the kit, as I buy all the Deal's cars to build, and consequently am not especially interested in MIB sealed examples of the kits. I much prefer to "rescue" original built-up kits, or build less-than-mint examples of these models.

The kit was built mostly box stock, with the body of the car being altered only minimally (Dave Deal already did a great job on the body alterations anyway, so I wasn't about to monkey with it!) but there were a few minor alterations to other parts of the kit I felt were necessary...at least for me.

As mentioned, the body of the car was pretty much left alone, with the exception of drilling out the taillights and filling the resulting holes with red MV lenses. Looks like real taillights, and much better than the molded lights of the stock kit. Originally, I attempted to paint the "HOT 454" on the molded license plate, but it ended up looking like crud, so I sanded off the molded letters with a Dremel tool and placed a 1/16 rechromed license plate from AMT's reissued Nomad kit over the area where the letters were. It fit perfectly, and dry transfer letters were used on the plate to replicate the "HOT 454" designation of the original kit. The body of the car was painted Testors Boyd's metallic purple, and sprayed right over the purple metalflake plastic of the kit body. (The photos make the car look pink, but it's really a light grapeish-purple color.)

As with all the Deal's kits I build, the tires were narrowed about two tread widths, to tuck them under the body of the car and make a more pleasing look than the "roller skate" wide tires of the stock kit. The original blower and hood scoop were used, and a small vinyl hose (sold at hobby stores, and usually used to wire spark plugs on car kits) was glued in place of the linkage of the original kit. The chassis of the car also sports a chin spoiler, which was fabricated out of sheet styrene and simply painted flat black and glued in the appropriate spot. (Many thanks to Michael for his suggestions about adding the spoiler and linkage cable...two little touches that add lots of visual interest to the car!)

All the chrome parts were stripped with oven cleaner and polished to remove any sprue marks and mold lines, and were mounted and sent to Chrome Tech, USA for replating. The chassis was unaltered (save for sanding the "Revell 1970" molded letters off the bottom) and was painted Pactra flat metallic gray.

The front of the car has a 'Vette decal from a junker kit from the '70's, and the back 'Vette emblem is also a decal, and is surrounded by a photoetched bezel normally used for a model car dashboard. The front license plate is also a decal from some 1/32 kit (don't remember which; it was in my parts box) and says "I B FAST", which seemed cartoony enough to fit the theme of this car!

This particular Deal's auto really doesn't have much of an interior - and who cares, as the shape of the car is so squished you can't really see into it anyway - so I just used light gray Funny Fur to simulate carpet and made sure that the paint job on the driver "read" well against the interior color, as he's sitting in pretty cramped quarters! And speaking of drivers, this particular driver is one of Dave's least inspired ones, with virtually none of the goofy facial features of many of the car dudes in Dave's other kits, and with his eyes covered up by sunglasses. (I don't like it when the drivers don't have eyes that you can see...I much prefer to paint the eyes than a pair of glasses, as the eyes are the part of any figure kit that makes the model come alive...but hey, whatcha gonna do, right? I gave him a pair of mirrored glasses, and moved on.)

The door lines on the car body were traced in with thinned India ink, as were the slats in the front bumper area, and the holes in the chromed exhaust dumps were painted flat black, as were the indentations in the hubs of the wheels. (They weren't molded open, so I added black ink to make them look like holes.)

This car gets a lot of attention at the shows Michael and I display at, and is another Deal's automotive jewel that I am very pleased to have in my collection. Hope you enjoy it too!"

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