1928 Ford Model "A" Die Cast Issues & My Fixes

The following are problems and issues I found with the JLE Scale Models 4007 1:20 Scale Ford Model 'A' Town Sedan Die Cast model kit and how I fixed them or modified the kit. This was the first time, and will most likely be the last time, I ever build a die cast kit. It isn't a bad kit. I just don't like working with die cast.

  1. Engine assembly. The head did not fit well at all. I had to machine the head and block to get it to fit even remotely level, and then there was still a gap present between the head and the block.
  2. This is not actually an issue or problem but is worth mentioning:

    My spray booth does not vent to the outside world and therefore I use all water based acrylics. Even after cleaning all the parts with 000 steel wool, washing them with IPA and letting everything dry, then applying two coats of Vallejo 74.615 USN Light Ghost Grey Primer the finish coats of either Vallejo or Tamiya acrylic paints would not properly adhere to the surface of the die cast. Great care had to be taken because the paint would easily scratch off down to the die cast metal.
  3. The screws do not hold the parts together very well. Even after tightening them as much as possible, there was still some play at the connection. I solved this by using Loctite on those joints.
  4. There were two screw joints that caused me the most trouble. The screw that held the radiator in place could not be made tight enough and when the radiator hose was installed, the elasticity of the hose was enough to push the radiator forward, making it lean to the front. This was solved by positioning the radiator to the correct location and applying Loctite. The screw that holds the dashboard in place also did not tighten enough to firmly hold the dash in place. I again properly positioned the dash and used Loctite to secure it place.
  5. Not all the holes in the fender assembly were drilled. The dimples were there; however, the holes were not. I used a #42 (0.093") drill to drill them open.
  6. The fender assembly also had to be drilled for the transmission coupling to the shifter to protrude through the floor. I used a #1 (0.228") drill to drill that open.
  7. When assembling the two body halves there is only one screw on the firewall to hold the halves together. The right side of the body should have an "ear" with a clear hold in it that screws into an ear with a hole on the left half. The ear on the right half did not mold and was therefore missing, so that screw holds nothing. As before, I used Loctite along the seam of the body to secure it tegether.
  8. The holes for using the "B" and "C" screws were much too small. I drill them open with a #46 (0.081") drill.
  9. The rear seat screw post did not line up with any of the fender assembly holes. It is basically just press fitted in location.
  10. The headlight mounting bar needed some slight modification on the left side to fit it into the fender.
  11. The hood does not properly fit and although I think is can be made to fit, I did not take the time to machine the parts.

All-in-all, this was an interesting build and I think it looks good when completed. It was my first attempt at building a die cast model and again...I'm sure it will be my last. It's a nice kit, but working with die cast is just not my copy of coffee.

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Skip's Messy Workbench ⇔ Last updated: April 12, 2024