Thursday, August 14, 2014

Lincoln Continental station wagon

Every summer Debra and I drive up and down what TVO has dubbed The Lost Highway. There’s a place along that highway where three old Lincoln Continentals have been sitting for what seems like a decade or more. I’ve lost count of the number of years they’ve been there. They never seem to have been moved. It’s a shame. They started out in what looked like good shape, but the wind and rain and snow are taking their toll. They’re rusting into the ground. The only good news is my plastic Lincoln Continental station wagon model still sits on my shelf proudly ensconced in an acrylic box, free of rust and dust.
Unlike the Dodge Rampage and Dodge AT-AT builds, this one did get posted at retroDynamics, but I didn’t have as much fun building it as I did those other two. At one point it even got dropped on the floor during the painting process – a Freudian slip no doubt :-)  Although, I enjoy looking at it and the feelings of ennui experienced during the build have long disappeared. When I look back on the model building projects I’ve undertaken, my pattern seems to be that I can only stay interested in a project if it seems hard. Relatively easy ones like this Lincoln often lose their hold somewhere in the process, and then it’s fifty/fifty whether I’ll finish. But, through the magic of the internet, I can present all the instalments of the build with none of the moments of existential angst :-)

1965 Lincoln Continental Station Wagon - A start
11 April 2010
I think retrodynamics is losing its way and hopefully I'll get it back to the way I had originally hoped it would go: some models, some science and engineering, and some retro-culture.
I started this kit a week or so ago just to try the challenge of converting it to the station wagon shown on the box top. I don't think the Continental ever had a station wagon model, especially since in this kit the roof itself is 2/3 glass - it would literally be one hot ride on a sunny, summer day.
These are a couple photos of the initial cutting to remove the rear deck and open up the body for the wagon top. I'm in the middle of smoothing out the roof seams and priming the body for paint. More photos to come.
Lincoln primed
25 April 2010
I've finished the primer coat on the Lincoln body. I used Tamiya's Fine Surface Primer, and I must say that it does produce a nice, fine finish. 

I've also begun building-up the chassis. The hood has been glued to the body, so the engine isn't going to be seen other than the parts that can be viewed from below, and even the chassis isn't primary to the project, so, I decided to simply assemble the engine and chassis, paint the whole thing flat-black, and muddy it up a bit to simulate a little use. The picture shows the beginning of the weathering process.
The engine in this kit is very old-school and is one of those where the steel axle for the front wheels goes right through the engine block and the oil pan. With the whole underside blackened and dirtied, the visibility of this 'feature' is minimized.

Lincoln painted
5 May 2010
I sprayed the body with Krylon's Fusion Buttercream paint. The colour is pretty close to the colour of the station-wagon variant shown on the box. Also, I'm a big fan of the spray-head on Krylon's Fusion series of spray paints. Instead of a spray with a noticeable velocity and well-defined cone, the spray-head on a Fusion can creates a more mist-like spray with a lower output velocity. I find it easier to work with.
I used Krylon's Fusion Nickel Shimmer spray to paint the bumpers and hub caps.
These items are chromed in the kit, but I find the chroming a bit garish, so it was striped off by soaking in SuperClean. The embossed 1965's were ground off the license plate indentations on the bumpers. After washing in soap and water, and scrubbing with a stiff brush, these items were ready for painting.

Lincoln wrap-up
23 September 2010
I finished the Lincoln wagon. I must admit it was a bit of a slog, and I got to a point where all I wanted to do was finish and move on.

I think the project was so drawn out because when I started to do some detail painting on the body I dropped it on the shop floor and cracked the roof. I then had to backtrack and reshape, reputty, resand, and repaint to get it back to its original state. After that, I moved on to some other projects. I think I was depressed with this one after the big repair effort.
I wasn’t liking the glossy Butter Cream body colour either. But I fixed that up a little later.

Later in the summer I resumed work on the Lincoln – I thought it might make a good photo prop.

There were some fun parts in this build. Detail painting the body, along with the grill and bumpers was fun, as was the work on the interior. I used gray and brown pastel on the body to age it a bit. I wanted to give the impression that it was a little weary and had made one too many trips to the grocery store. The pastels were set in place with Tester’s Dullcote. I also used the pastel and Dullcote approach on the interior.
Final assembly wasn’t so fun. The upshot is that the window inserts, interior tubs and body don’t fit together into an integrated unit all that well. It was apparent that to make things more-or-less perfect fitting was going to require lots of filing and finessing. More than I wanted to do. So, I just fit things together to get a good-enough fit that wasn’t too horrible.
The worst parts are the gaps in the trunk area where the trunk tub, window insert, and body come together, followed by a little chassis overhang below the door-line. I think I might try making some model grocery bags to put in the trunk to disguise the gaps and add a little visual interest. Overall, with carefully staged photos, the problem areas won’t be too noticeable, but, as a free-standing model, it doesn’t stand-up too well to close inspection.

However, I’m glad I worked on this Lincoln. I was happy that I was able to accomplish the conversion of this kit from a convertible to a station wagon. The graft of the long wagon roof to the body went well, and has given me some confidence that I might be able to be successful with my long delayed kit-bash of a 1976 Oldsmobile Cutlass Supreme station wagon. I’ve collected a number of donor kits for that project over the years, but haven’t built up the nerve to begin. Maybe this winter.
Note: The Old's build still hasn't been started!


  1. I like those 3 in 1 kits.

    1. If I get another I'd try and build the convertible.