Spotlight Hobbies


Dodge D-50 Navy Pickup PIX

Yea, I've dug into my unfinished build pile and am finishing up some of those 80-90% finished models! There are ones I stopped working on out of frustration, and ones I have no idea why I shelved them. But I finished up the Valiant Stocker, the TROG Model A Phaeton and now this Dodge D-50 pickup.

Back in the day I worked in a convenience store at the New Jersey shore near Earle Naval Depot. We had a lot of navy traffic in the store and these little pickups were always scooting around town. I was told they were used because they were taken on the ships and saved space. So I decided to build one for my 24 Hour Build project in 2017. I had some setbacks during the build, some of which had to do with fit of this kit. It is a nice little replica and the chassis detail is super nice. In fact I noticed it slid right up into my '40 Ford sedan delivery.. can a Turbo street rod be far off?

What stopped me cold during the 24 Hour Build was the final fitment of the kit. After 20 hours of straight building, I just couldn't see where the issue was, so I called it quits. Coming back two years later with a clear head, I saw that the dashboard was too wide. I did some serious sanding on the ends and got the interior bucket to sit up in the body. That affects how the entire cab sits on the chassis. The rear pan on the pickup box was too narrow so I added some plastic to either end. I also did a lot of my drill and pinning to get the little pieces like hoses to fit and stay in place. The mirrors are also pinned in place.

The model came with low wide tires and mag wheels. I needed it to be stock for the US Navy version. This little Mitsu pickup came with six lugs, so I stole the wheels and tires from a '57 Chevy Black Widow kit. I made my own decals. The paint color that worked best is actually Duplicolor sandable gray primer, with clear coat over it. Then I gave it a semi gloss overall finish. The mirrors appear too large to my eye, but they came with the kit.

Part of the 24 Hour Build is to build something simple, not to add too much detail and try not to modify it a lot. It's also good to build a model that is expendable, so you aren't overly concerned about thrashing through a good kit. This D-50 fit the bill. It was for sale at my club meeting for the huge sum of $5, and I knew I had two more copies at home.

The kit came with clear red tail lights, but the actual truck had the red - orange - white lenses. I covered the red clear units with Bare Metal Foil, then used paints for the colors.

Stock Mitsubishi 4 banger under the hood. I didn't even wire it. There are a bunch of small delicate parts under the hood, so I did some detail painting on them.

Chassis is also fairly nice with a lot of detail and working steering. I think I'll take one of my spare kits and see how this fares under a street rod!

And my "I can't help myself!" detail was creating a dash insert. The interior was kind of stark and I knew I didn't want to try to detail paint the gauges. I started with a photo from a dealer brochure, and in the above photo you can see where I have deleted the steering wheel. The wheel was completely across the speedometer, so I copied the tach over into that space. In scale, and in the interior, nobody will notice it has two tachs! It's just printed on paper and white glued in place. If anyone wants a copy of the dashboard, I can email you a copy of the Word file I printed from.

One thing that did baffle me a bit was that I repainted the hood and it's a lighter tone than the rest of the body. Then I checked my primer against the pain on the bed underside and it matches... the culprit must've been the Testors clear coat. I believe it's yellowed casting a slightly darker gray. So I took the freshly painted hood and did the same clear coat on it. Hopefully it will age to match in time.

Hope you like it!

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