Red Baron (kitbash)

Built by:
Tim Nolan
in Edgewater, Florida

"Der Red Baron Show Team" About three years ago, I woke up in the middle of the night, went to my desk, and sketched out the Red Baron Hauler from an idea in a dream. The design stayed in the back of my mind for this long, while I was on occasion modifying the idea, sometimes adding to it, sometimes taking away from it. I began gathering parts and tossing them in a box, and a few months ago I decided it was finally time to build it!

I actually built the minibike first, so I'll start at that point. The bike and the carrier are from the Vandal. I started out by lopping off the handlebars from the gooseneck, and fabricating new ape-hanger style bars from straight pins.

I put the handgrips off the stock bars on, and added brake wiring to the handles. A sissy-bar was also made from a straight pin and mounted on the seat. The entire bike was airbrushed in House of Kolor Kandy Apple Red over a silver micro flake basecoat, and a flattening agent was applied to the seat to make it look different from the rest of the bike.

The rest of the bike was built stock, with the addition of plug wire, headlight and taillight from the parts bins, photo etched inserts over the rims, and an etched gas cap as well. The tiny TD footprint decals were added to one side. The chain was painted in steel and some thinned flat black washed over it. I ended up spending quite a bit of time on it, but it was worth it! (I broke those damned handlebars off about 5 times in the process!)

The Hauler came next, and this thing flowed together like it was produced this way! It all just seemed to come to me! I started out by combining the frames from two Beer Wagons to create the lengthened tandem rear, and then grafted the minibike carrier onto the back of that. The front and re-vintage gauges from the Model Car Garage was fit to the dash, again with epoxy bubble gauge faces.

A tall nostalgia shifter was fabricated from a straight pin, and etched foot pedals were added, including a TD Footprint dimmer switch. The beer cask was dry brushed in various flat browns and flat black, and the matching steins were super-detailed with a microbrush.

The flatbed was next, and I heisted a diamondplate panel from an old semitrailer, and backed it with some sheet plastruct covered on both sides with bare Metal foil. I found the large Iron Cross decal in some old decals I had from the 60's and applied it to the top of the bed.

The tool box, tools, and floor jack are from Tamiya's garage scenes and the parts box. The rear lantern taillights are also from the parts box, and have lenses made from stained glass gel.

I hand-painted TD's signature on the rear chromed tag. Dave Mikrut provided some of the other kool vintage decals on the kit. The Red Baron itself was the last and most difficult part of this whole project. Trying to modify this car was nearly impossible. I once told Tom this thing was timeless in design, and I wanted to retain the key elements of the original design.

One thing I don't like, is the rear-end slung so far out behind the car, so my first modification was to move the entire rear axle assembly forward by notching out the bottom of the bucket body, and inserting the spring up inside the notched area. I also removed the entire front axle and notched the frame to accept a new front end.

The frame and body were sanded free of mold seams, and along with the engine block were all shot in HOK Kandy Apple Red over a silver basecoat. The interior was painted in Testors Flat Gull Gray highlighted with skin oil, and the floors flocked with black Kens Fuzzy Fur.

The molded floor pedals and center gauge faces were ground off, and replaced with photoetched TD Footprint pedals and photo-reduced vintage gauge with metal trim rings and epoxy faces. An etched 6-gauge dash plate done in the same manner was mounted on the smoothed dash.

I hate that straight-up steering column, so I made a completely new steering setup using a milled column from Parks with an etched column drop. If you look real close, you'll see an etched keyhole with a key in it on the column!

Aluminum tubing was used for the rest of the steering hookup along with some etched bracketry. The old column hole in the floor has become the nitrous switch, and has an etched toggle in it. The steering wheel from the Creepy T fit the theme perfect with its iron cross shaped center! Photoetched speaker grilles are on the side walls, and an etched shift plate was used with a parts box pistol-grip shifter.

After this was all assembled, I next went to getting the car sitting up on its tires. I retained the rear rims but left them plain chrome to resemble current-day billet rims, and mounted some of American Satco's Mickey Thompsons on them. The front rims and tires are from the Tweedy Pie 2. The entire front axle assembly from the Creepy T was used, and the Red Barons 4-bars were swapped front-to-back to accept the new wheelbase.

The motor is also from the Creepy T, and I had to modify the firewall and motor mounts a bit to get it in! I really wanted something radical for the motor, and the triple blower setup really did it for me! I added some Zoomy funny car headers from the parts box, along with some chrome valve covers with eagle insignia on them, milled distributor with pearl gray plug wires and rubber boots, and some protected pulley faces.

The "bomb" intake scoop was donated by a military modeling friend, and I drilled it out to fit the injectors and cut off the front to open it up!

On the rear of the car, I found the stock kit fuel tank with the unsightly mold seams unacceptable, so I cut down some chromed steel stock from an old golf club handle, filled it with resin, and foiled the ends. A milled gas cap was added, and underneath a milled nitrous bottle with plumbed lines.

The rear shocks were reversed to accept the new wheelbase design. Up top, the helmet was sanded smooth, and shot with Alclad chrome paint. Done. Easy huh?


Show Rod Rally Home Page | Gallery List