1941 Plymouth 4-Passenger Coupe Issues & My Fixes

The following are problems and issues I found with the AMT 1941 Plymouth 4-Passenger Coupe and how I fixed them or modified the kit. When I started building this kit I wasn't thinking that I might want to keep track of issues and problems because all kits have "something"; it's part of model building. However, there were so many problems and issues with this kit I started keeping track of them. Because I started keeping track during the build, I don't have pictures of most of what I found and what I did to fix it, but I will do my best to describe what I found and what I did to fix it.

  1. The back of the front seat did not fit well.
    1. The back of the front seat was not quite wide enough and not quite tall enough to fit the front seat. It required a-bit of fill to make it look like it was part of the the front seat. As a modeler I understand having to putty areas, but this part was WAY out of whack.
  2. There is so much flash on the steering column that cleaning it all would have destroyed the column.
    1. There was so much flash on the steering column that all I could do was take some of the sharp edges off, otherwise there wouldn't have been a steering column left. The other thing I could have done was make my own steering column, but because it's very hard to see inside the cab and actually see the steering column, I left if as is.
  3. Injector pin marks on the back set and cab floor
    1. The back seat has two large injector pin marks, one on each seat cushion. To remove them, destroyed the seat pattern, and to not remove them looked like there had been buckets setting on the seat that left a huge mark where they were setting. I sanded them off and than used a scribe and a needle to put random marks on the sanded areas in an attempt to make it look like cloth. I could have made a blanket to lay on the back seat, but that's not how a car coming off the assembly line would have looked.
  4. Window cranks and inside door handles are molded in and barely visible
    1. The interior tub needs a ton of work. The window cranks and inside door handles were just very thin lines molded into the door panels. There was barely enough detail to paint them to at least give an illusion of them being there. The next time I build this kit I'll try to find after market cranks and handles, kit bash another kit, or make my own. At this point even making my own would have been better than the molded ones, but I left them and used a #00 brush and Tamiya X-11 Chrome Silver to paint them.
  5. Arm rests are molded in and barely visible
    1. The arm rests looked more like there was a vary small glob of flash than an arm rest. I barely touched it with a #00 brush and some brown paint in an attempt to show them. The next time I'll use some styrene and make my own.
  6. The front of the body and front body panel are warped requiring a ton of work
    1. The front body panel was slightly warped. What made it worse, was that the fender alignment mark on the body fender on the right side was not in the correct location. Since this mark is molded into the fender, either the mold is defective or the molding process had a hiccup. To fix this I filed off the alignment tab only to find that the fender was also warped. It wasn't bad enough to have to heat and bend, so I used a thick, slow setting glue, put the front panel in place and then bent and clamped the finders to match the front panel. I let the glue set for well over 24-hours and then started sanding and filing. I lost the panel lines so I then used a Tamiya fine line engraving tool to scribe the panel lines back into existence. While scribing, there were voids in the glue line, therefore I filled the lines with glue, let it set and scribed them again. I did this until I had smooth panel lines between the front panel and the fenders. The photo in Figure 1 show this in progress.
    1941 Plymouth front panel
    "Fig 1 - Front Body Panel"
  7. Refer to Figure 2 for a view of the rear suspension as the instructions instruct us to build it. That shown...

    The upper mount for the rear shocks are totally wrong, and not only are the mounts wrong, the mounting location is wrong. The kit has one end of the shock mounting on a leaf spring. I'm sure that can't be correct and doing some research, it's not correct. The shock should be mounted to the rear axle. I'm not a suspension guy, but even I know that the shock should be independent of the leaf spring. When I came to this realization, I already had the shocks modified and mounted.

    The other thing that is not accurate on the rear suspension are the leaf springs. There should be mounting bushing's on each end of the spring as shown in the inset image in Figure 3. The inset image is of an actual 1941 Plymouth leaf spring. As with the shocks, I already had the springs mounted before I realized the bushing's were not provided. Adding bushing's would have been very easy by using some Evergreen 0.093"/2.36mm tubing.
    Rear springs and shocks as out of box
    Fig 2 - Rear Suspension Out of Box
    41 Plymouth new rear shock mounts
    Fig 3 - New Rear Shock Mount
  8. The front suspension had one mold problem in that one of the coil springs had a an indentation that looked like it could have been a bubble that burst, leaving a creator behind. I did not fix it because I rotated the spring so that it can't be seen.
  9. The ignition coil that came with the kit was molded into the sprue to the extent that removing it would have destroyed it. It didn't matter, because it was so small and so not to scale that I wouldn't have used it anyway.

    I used an aftermarket coil from Detail Master; DM-3052. The DM-3052, when mounted on the firewall in the correct location it is too long and interferes with the engine. To fix this I used a #43 drill (0.089"/≅2.25mm or 2.3mm) and drilled through the firewall. This drill size makes a compression fit for the aftermarket coil. I than pushed the coil into the firewall and allowed some of it to protrude out of the back side. see Figure 4. The protrusion through the firewall will not be seen because it is covered up by the interior tub. I then painted the coil and wired it to the distributor.
    Aftermarket ignition coil mounted in firewall
    Fig 4 - Aftermarket Coil Mounted in Firewall
  10. I had neglected to mount the windshield center post before painting the body. Normally this should not be problem. According to the instructions, it looks like the post should be glued to the body; however, there is no place on the body to key the divider, or to mark the center point. That's Okay and not a problem, these points can be easily determined. I wanted to put a small notch in the body on the top and bottom to hold the divider in place, but the divider is not long enough to allow for that. That again is Okay and I could have just made my own divider out of a small strip of styrene, but I didn't. Figure 5 shows that I applied some tape to the windshield to prevent it from getting any glue on it and then taped the windshield into the body. I then positioned the divider and taped it in location. Once in position I applied a small amount of glue on top and bottom. When the glue dried, the divider held for a short time, but fell out. I ended up gluing the divider directly to the windshield using some canopy glue, the very thing I did not want to do.
    Taping the windshield center divider in place
    Fig 5 - Taping the Windshield Center Divider in Place
  11. The antenna had so much flash, there would be no antenna left after cleaning. I did not use the antenna. I could have easily made an antenna using a small piece of soft drawn bus wire, but I like the way the car looks without the antenna.
  12. The body needs to be drilled out to accept the gas cap; not shown on the instruction sheet. If the body is not drilled out to accept the gas cap, the cap looks like a chrome mushroom growing out of the body.
  13. The tail lights, rear deck handle, rear license plate holder, side mirrors should be pinned. Figure 6 shows how I pinned the rear deck handle. The pin is a piece of soft drawn bus wire and will be trimmed when the glue dries. I did not pin the other body parts, but I should have. The left tail light rotated slightly as the glue dried. If I would have pinned it, that rotation would not have happened. The parts are very small and pinning will require pins with a diameter of approximately a 26 AWG (American Wire Gage) wire. The diameter of a 26 AWG wire is 0.0159"/0.4049mm. The parts can be drilled with a #78 drill (0.0160"/0.4064mm) or a 1/64" drill(0.0156"/0.39624mm).
    Deck lift handle pinned
    Fig 6 - Deck Lift Handle Being Pinned
  14. The front inner fender walls needed MAJOR modification to fit properly. Major filing, sanding and re-shaping had to done to match the shape to fit against the interior tub and to properly line up with the fender edge. Sorry, I don't have a picture of the amount of re-shaping.

These are just a few problems and issues I can remember having while building this kit.

It was a fun build, I enjoy scratch building. The kit is marked as a Level 2 kit. I would not recommend this kit for a beginner...unless the builder is not as anal as I am.

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Skip's Messy Workbench ⇔ Last updated: April 25, 2023