Jolly Rodger

Built by: Mark Rollie of Crystal, Minnesota

This is the AMT repop of the MPC Jolly Rodger, which grafted an old sailing ship to the back end of the Granny's Hot Rod. I never even knew AMT put this one out again until I saw it last year at the 2006 GMO NNL show, tucked away with other kits from a vendor. It may have been the same vendor I finally bought the kit from at a show earlier this year. I've never seen this in any of the local hobby stores around town.

The AMT cover art for this, featuring a photo of a built-up prototype, is pretty bad. Parts glued in the wrong position or left off, and the paint job is a quickie "let's get this done & in front of the camera in one hour" disaster. I used the original MPC art as a basis, but only for ideas ... for this one, I was just going to paint it what I wanted to, as this time I didn't have to worry if its close or accurate to a real car or not.

Most of the engine & chassis parts were done in Alclad. The engine is Alclad Stainless Steel, with the chassis Alclad Magnesium. Alclad Copper was used for the mufflers. I was trying to keep a paint theme that would be like old sailing ships -- using metal 'colors' for the chassis, like iron & steel, and gold-type colors for Pirate Treasure. Stainless Steel was also used on the rear axle, and Cooper used on the leaf springs.

The body is a mixture of different paints for different areas. The front of the car, and parts of the ship as well, were painted with the 2-part Testors Honduras Maroon paint, with a couple coats of the Gloss Clear. Railings and the front posts were painted Tamiya Flat White, then sprayed with Gloss Clear. The upper side panels of the ship were painted Tamiya Flat Black, and the middle section of mix of Tamiya Blue, Flat Red, and Flat Black, for an off-green color. That too was sprayed with Gloss Clear, and then the top panels had the details painted in good ol' plain Testors Gold, done in the time-honored tradition with a toothpick!

Alclad Stainless Steel was used for the cannons, the anchors, and the support for the lifeboat at the rear. Tamiya Clear Yellow for the lanterns. Tamiya Red Brown for the deck, and a mix of that and Flat Black for the masts.

Most of the kit is box stock. What's been added is a windshield, just cut from a sheet of clear plastic; the pirate flag, from some material my wife had as I didn't want to use the glossy paper 'flags' the kit came with; the rigging, which was a thicker threat I found at Michael's that matches the color of the car, and the clothes for the skeleton.

The skeleton originally had his right arm molded to his head, so it looked like he was either relaxing while driving or striking a pose. AMT's box art also has the skeleton's driving arm raised up!! I cut the arm off, glued it back on in a different position, but this meant no hand, as the right hand is molded to the back of the head. That was filed down, and I created a hook hand for him by using a piece of a Testors gluing tip and some wire. The clothes were both toilet paper and paper towels, wetted down and placed on the body, then torn, followed by brushing over them with white glue. After that was dry, I just painted the clothes with thinned out paint (to soak into the fabric) and did some black washes on them and the bones to weather them.

My wife was the one who urged me to buy the kit when I was showing it to her, as she liked it. As it turned out, she now says this is her favorite out of all the ones I've built. I thought at first this would be more of a fun thing to do but nothing to take seriously. Then it turned out the more I worked on it, the more fun I was having, and the end result was something I think turned out to be a whole lot more than what my original intentions were. This one was a lot of fun!

Click image above to SUPERSIZE it!

Click image above to SUPERSIZE it!

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