Work in Progress

The Popemobile

Posted by Santi Pérez on 18 Sep 2021, 18:07

Finally, I have been able to find time to begin this much desired project. :winky:

First stage: research

As everybody knows, the popemobile is a “specially designed motor vehicle used by the Pope of the Catholic Church during public appearances. It is usually considered the successor to the antiquated sedia gestatoria and was designed to allow the Pope to be more visible when greeting large crowds.” (Wikipedia).

The first of them was used by Pope Paul VI in 1965. From then to now there have been a lot of different popemobiles belonging to the different Popes. Apart of those owned by the Vatican State, it’s a normal custom that every country visited by the Pope puts at his disposal a locally prepared popemobile. This implies that there are a great variety of vehicle marks and models that are and have been used as popemobiles: Mercedes-Benz, Ford, Toyota, SEAT, FIAT, Range Rover, Land Rover, Jeep, KIA, GMC, Dacia, etc.

All the popemobiles have in common a space behind the driver's cabin, open or covered (usually with armored glass since the terrorist attack against John Paul II in 1981), where the Pope can travel standing or sitting, alone or accompanied.

The popemobile is painted in “vatican mystical white” colour and its registration plate has the letters SCV (Stato della Città del Vaticano = State of the Vatican City) followed usually by the number 1. The vehicle also carries Vatican City flags along with the coat of arms of the Vatican City printed on the car body.

Below I include some pictures of different models of popemobiles, some of them older and others more modern.

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The next chapter will be dedicated to the choice of the model car that will become the popemobile. ;-)

Santi.
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Santi Pérez  Spain
 
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Posted by Peter on 18 Sep 2021, 22:52

No ferrari or fiat? :-D
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Peter  Belgium

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Posted by Santi Pérez on 21 Sep 2021, 20:11

Well, Peter, in fact the last picture corresponds to a Seat Panda that was used by Pope John Paul II during his first visit to Spain in 1982. The Seat Panda was based on the Fiat Panda, although including some modifications respect the original.

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John Paul II used at least another Fiat model, concretely this Fiat Campagnola.

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And the same Pope also traveled sometime in a Ferrari, as this graphic testimony illustrates, although this car didn't have the typical look of popemobiles.

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I hope I have satisfied your curiosity, Peter. :mrgreen:

Santi.
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Santi Pérez  Spain
 
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Posted by sberry on 22 Sep 2021, 07:09

So the car you are going to build is probably not this one - flashy, but a bit un-Popelike:

Santi Pérez wrote:Image
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Posted by Ochoin on 22 Sep 2021, 08:22

His Holiness *does* like a nice drive.

Santi this would have to be among the more unusual projects here. I very much look forward to seeing your efforts.

Are you going to include a figure or more? Where do you get a Pope figure? And which one would it be?
I do like the incumbent but I'm not sure you can be picky.

donald
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Posted by Michael Robert on 22 Sep 2021, 19:17

Great project, Santi
Sure you will modify some figure into the pope. Maybe a Persian torse or a senator
Fiat lux, I ´ld say
Greetings
Michael
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Posted by huib on 22 Sep 2021, 20:53

Great topic! Difficult to make a choice, I would say. But you can make several different types, of course.... ;-)
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Posted by OwenChpw on 23 Sep 2021, 01:52

I love the background research on this, so much detail and handy reference photos. Look forward to seeing progress!
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Posted by Susofrick on 23 Sep 2021, 09:13

Really like this topic. I expect it to be a cool conversion as usual! And a pope-figure? I don't think that would be a problem for you.
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Posted by Kekso on 23 Sep 2021, 17:06

Car and figures look very realistic... especially Pope :xd: :xd: :xd:
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Kekso  Croatia

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Posted by T. Dürrschmidt on 23 Sep 2021, 19:41

What an unusual and interesting project! Very very cool!
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T. Dürrschmidt  Germany
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Posted by Santi Pérez on 23 Sep 2021, 20:16

I'm glad you like this new project and thanks so much for your encouragement, my friends sberry, Donald, Michael, huib, Owen, Susofrick, Kekso and T. Dürrschmidt. ;-)

huib wrote:Great topic! Difficult to make a choice, I would say. But you can make several different types, of course.... ;-)

Ugh, too much work, huib. A single car will be more than enough. :mrgreen:

sberry wrote:So the car you are going to build is probably not this one - flashy, but a bit un-Popelike...

You're right, sberry. I had in mind to get a less flashy car, something like these:

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Kekso wrote:Car and figures look very realistic... especially Pope :xd: :xd: :xd:

Yes, Kekso, they're very much more realistic than mine will never be. :tongue:

Although many of you think this is an unusual and original project, I think I'm not the first to do it. Not only do scale models already exist (I trust they are not in 1/72), but even versions of Lego and Pixar Disney movie "Cars". :drool:

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Ochoin wrote:...Are you going to include a figure or more? Where do you get a Pope figure? And which one would it be?...

Michael Robert wrote:...Sure you will modify some figure into the pope...

Susofrick wrote:...And a pope-figure? I don't think that would be a problem for you.

My intention is that this car isn't in a diorama, although I will prepare some suitable figures to take the pertinent photos when I finish it.

Regarding the figure of the Pope, I have already made a conversion, although his final destination will not be to accompany this vehicle, but to be part of my diorama "Swiss Guard, Pope and Cardinals."

http://bennosfiguresforum.com/viewtopic.php?f=11&t=22759&hilit=Swiss+Guards%2C+Pope+and+Cardinals&start=40


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In the next post, I will show you the selected car. :winky:

Santi.
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Santi Pérez  Spain
 
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Posted by Peter on 23 Sep 2021, 20:31

Well I'm looking forward to the first photo's of your Popemobile! But I also like all the information you are giving us in this topic. Very interesting! :thumbup:
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Posted by Wiking on 24 Sep 2021, 16:48

The early version was bid underpowered and
the comfort was on the lower side.
:-D

Image
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Posted by Santi Pérez on 26 Sep 2021, 20:06

Wiking wrote:The early version was bid underpowered and the comfort was on the lower side. :-D

I can assure you, Wiking, that my version will be more powerful and comfortable than the first one. :mrgreen:

Peter wrote:Well I'm looking forward to the first photo's of your Popemobile! But I also like all the information you are giving us in this topic. Very interesting! :thumbup:

At least now you will know which car I selected to make it the popemobile, Peter. :winky:

Second stage: selection of the car

Looking at the pictures of the most common popemobiles, it was clear that the chosen model car should be a pick-up, with enough space behind the driver's cabin for the Pope.

In my collection of cheap models from Hot Wheels, Matchbox and Cararama-Hongwell, I only had this pick-up from Hot Wheels, a Datsun 620:

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But it looked too old-fashioned that I didn't like.

I had to do a wide internet browsing until I finally found this other vehicle, also from Hot Wheels, which seemed to me the most suitable. It's a Ford F-150 SVT Lightning:

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In the next post I will show you the first modifications made to the original model to make it ready for the paint job. ;-)

Santi.
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Santi Pérez  Spain
 
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Posted by Santi Pérez on 01 Oct 2021, 19:56

Third stage: preparing the car for painting

The Ford pick-up needed at least two basic conversions. First of all, I removed its original wheels, as I do always with Hot Wheels models, in order to substitute them for other more realistic ones once the car is painted.

Next, the rear platform needed to be completely horizontal. To do this, I glued a piece of cardboard and filled the irregular edges with wood glue to achieve a homogeneous surface.

This was the result of these little changes, leaving the model ready for the paint work. :-)

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Santi.
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Santi Pérez  Spain
 
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Posted by Egbert on 01 Oct 2021, 20:39

It's just wonderful how we can look over your shoulder to take a look at your fantastic works.
I love your research for every detail, no matter how small ...
Please show us mor my friend! :thumbup: :thumbup: :thumbup:
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Posted by OwenChpw on 02 Oct 2021, 01:26

I love the detail of the step-by-step build, it feels like a very involved process.
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Posted by Peter on 05 Oct 2021, 21:53

Why painting that car? It has a nice color. In fact it has te same color as my car! :-D
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Posted by Susofrick on 06 Oct 2021, 08:13

Peter wrote:Why painting that car? It has a nice color. In fact it has te same color as my car! :-D


This could very much be a very good reason to paint that car! :-D
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