Li'l Coffin

Built by: Steven Simmons in Newport News, Virginia

I built my Li'l Coffin after being inspired by the work on this site. I had the pleasure of seeing Tory Mucaro's beautiful build in person at an IPMS regional show back in 2006. I decided to add some tidbits to the kit's sparsely-detailed engine.

A lot of the parts came from a Starliner kit. I also made a fuel bar from brass and used Pro Tech braided lines. The larger fittings are Detail master and the smaller ones are actually .032" hypo tubing. The distributor is from Arrowhead aluminum. I turned my own air cleaners on a lathe which was taking the easy way out as opposed to dealing with the ejector pin marks and seams on the original parts. The front suspension is lowered slightly to improve the stance.

The interior detail parts didn't really do much for me so I decided to try something on my own. The skeletal steering column and shifter are parts from Warhammer figures. They are small figures with huge hands so I attached two forearms together elbow-to-elbow and carved down one hand. The bone spokes and shift knob are made from stretched sprue. I also made a dashboard and instrument panel from a dense foam and sheet styrene. The gages are my own home-made decals. There is also a decal forming the skeletal footprint gas pedal. I've never liked the gold inserts so I painted the seats with a satin white.

The car is finished in House of Kolor apple red kandy over Duplicolor camel (a metallic golden brown). A friend gave me the HOK paint so I experimented with the base to get the dark red I wanted. The clear is Testors Ultra gloss lacquer. The chrome is done with Alclad II except for some small features which are Bare Metal Foil.

The headlights are actually tail lights from a Duesenberg. I used a AAA sticker that came in the mail for the tail light and painted it with clear red. I added a matching grill to the flat section forward of the windshield to cover an area where the paint was impossible to buff out. I had planned on some graphics for the top but what I printed out didn't work so it's just plain white for now unless I can come up with something I like.

This was a fun kit to build although rather challenging. I fixed the steerable wheels in place and whittled down the parts for a more scale appearance. I also did away with the exterior hinges. I couldn't get my hidden hinges to work well so I have a set that allows me to display the driver door open.

Considering that this kit was tooled over 40 years ago and how used the tools must have been before my copy was made you really have to give the folks at Monogram some credit for what was certainly a sophisticated kit for its day. The Li'l Coffin is one of the sharpest Hot Rods ever built and with a little extra effort this kit builds into a great model.


Click on the image above to SUPERSIZE it!

Click on the image above to SUPERSIZE it!

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