I start the assembly by gluing the tires on the wheel rims using 5-minute epoxy. I don’t take advantage of the fact the tires are molded in rubber as I end up painting them anyway. In my experience, I find that the tires often don’t stay on the rims well, so I glue them on now. Since I glue them, I just end up painting over them. I apply the epoxy to the inside of the tire and then install the rim and set them aside to dry.
Sometimes there are voids in the castings, but hardly ever on the bodies. They typically would be found on the seats and I fill them with Tamiya putty. When dry, I sand the excess away until smooth.
Next, I drill out the steering wheel center to accept the wire that makes the steering column (a starter hole is usually provided in the casting). I use a .020” drill and glue the entire wire to the wheel with medium CA, zapping it with accelerator. The sprue from the steering wheel is removed next with nippers and the vestige is filed away. If the car had a floor-mounted gear shift lever, I drill a hole for that too.
I cut a short length from the wire that is attached to the steering column and use it for the floor shifter and CA it into the hole. A small drop of medium CA on the end makes for the knob. I position the chassis against something so that the drop of CA on the shifter hangs down for drying. I often add a second drop to make the knob more prominent.
A hole is drilled in front of the driver’s seat floor – sometimes it is marked in the casting. The steering column is cut longer than needed and test-installed in the hole in the floor. Mounting the body, I then judge by eye how much to cut the wire, a little at a time until the steering wheel looks right through the windows.
For those who want to do more: this kit unfortunately does not come with a dashboard. I make this before gluing the steering wheel assembly in place. It is just built up strip styrene glued to the front cabin floor. I just estimate it by eye, step by step. First, I glue a slightly longer piece of .060”x.060” strip to the wall using CA, filing it to match the cabin wall when set. I mounted the body and looked down through the windshield openings. After seeing that it was not enough, I glued a .040” x .060” styrene strip on top of the last strip using Tamiya Extra-Thin cement. When set, I filed it to match the previous strip. After I checked again through the windshield openings, I saw that I was close and added the dashboard strip of .040”x .125” on top of the last strip, having the extra width up towards the windshield. Then it was a just a matter of test-fitting the body and filing the dashboard and testing again until the body sat correctly on the chassis. The dashboard edges were rounded with sandpaper for a smoother look. I added some very basic detail, using strip and rod styrene, to the dashboard using a 1941 Nash sales brochure.
The steering wheel can be fixed in place using medium CA. After dry mounting the tire/wheel assemblies, and checking the fit of the body over them, they can be glued onto the axles. A nice feature of Sylvan kits is that they provide for posable steering which adds a bit of realistic character to the completed model. Lastly, I CA a styrene “stick” to the body under the hood and one to the chassis in the engine compartment. These are handles for painting.
Now the body and chassis are ready for painting, but I always do one more step. I like to coat these two assemblies, including the tires, with Tamiya Metal Primer. Besides being very effective on photo-etch metal parts, I find that it seals in the resin and allows the paint to adhere better to the model. Application is fast & easy using the brush inside the cap; it self-levels, and, surprisingly, it dries to a clear gloss – this helps a lot when applying a light paint color as the body is cast in a white resin. It will dissolve Tamiya Putty so I avoid brushing those areas heavily.
I leave this to dry for an hour or so.