Sunday, October 19, 2014

Audi R8: Pain in the Glass Part II

I am (still!) building my 1:25 Revell Audi R8 and have spent the last 3 weeks or so pondering a serious issue: how to glue in the glass without making a total mess?

Last time I tried to mask off the glass and use paint all around, but it didn't look "scale" so I got the glass out of my "backup kit" and drew the outline with Sharpee.  That looks much more "scale", but, Whatever.  Glad I had a backup kit.

So here's the problem.  Take a look at the drawing here.  The bevel where the glass goes is covered with semi gloss black paint. The glass itself has Sharpee simulating the black lining that surrounds modern automobile glass.   So I need to join paint to paint. Was this great planning?  No.  But it's done. 

I found out early on with this silly hobby: no glue, anywhere, can penetrate hobby paint.  Not Testors' stinky red; not Testors' liquid glue, not epoxy, not watch crystal glass.  And of course you can't use CA, that will ruin the plastic glass and turn it a smoky white (which makes me wonder what it does to my brain cells!!).  

For this glass glue-up, there is no way for me to remove the paint anywhere without things looking bad, and there seemed to be no way to glue it down without making a huge glue bomb mess.  I tried using clear enamel paint, but it didn't form a tight enough bond and the glass would pop out.  I tried the same thing with acrylic clear, same results.  I needed something stronger!

I ended up using this glue, from Microscale Industries; Micro Kristal Klear.

(From here I am going to call it MKK since I am lazy.....)

I have used this glue before, but never so much, or for such a critical and fully visible part of the build.  It's a white glue but dries like plastic.  Neat stuff.  I still have no idea if it can help painted surfaces stick together, but so far so good.  My test cases worked, using junker parts from my parts box, so what the heck, it's another 3 weeks gone, and I have to move forward.

I carefully (!!) applied a bit of MKK then used tape and weights to try to seal the deal. After leaving one side on one piece of glass dry for about 24 hours, I MKK'd another, with a bit more glue on a sharpened craft stick, slowly working my way around each window.  That's 24 hours between each gluing, so it's taking a really long time.  But so far it's worked.  We will see if the glass stays in there, or pops out!  And BTW,  an accidental discovery: Tamiya Acrylic thinner thins MKK but the MKK will still stick after being thinned.  Good to know.  So my glass is in, it's not perfect, but it's not as bad as it could be.  Hazzah!

The next issue that I pondered is the rear view mirror.  There seems to be no way to do this without making a huge and fully visible glue blob since the mirror glues directly to the windshield.  Revell is kidding me about this right?  Are those guys NUTS?  But, MKK to the rescue.  I stripped the paint off the surface to be joined to the windshield, used some MKK on the windshield side, and let things get tack.  Then I put the mirror on and let it dry for about 24 hours.  The result is a well glued mirror that looks like it's been oddly scraped before being glued.

So I put a bit more paint over the white part on the outside of the windshield.  It didn't come out perfectly, but it's OK, and I might be able to clean it up with thinner still.

And here's the final challenge for this time.  The taillights needed to be foiled and painted.  As you can see, some of the paint flowed over the surrounds, which is me being sloppy.  But to save the day:

Testors MM Acryl Dry Paint solvent to the rescue.  I put some of this on a bunch of q-tips and erased the paint that had splotched over.  But a lesson learned the hard way: once a bit of red paint is on the q-tip I have to throw it away or I end up with paint all over the place.   So you need a whole bunch of qtips to make this work.

Here's the result (this is an extreme macro shot--the lens is maybe 1mm across, and unlike some of the hobby mags, I never, ever retouch my photos!)

Hmm.  Ready for the Smithsionian?  Nope.  But for me, that's good enough! Time to move on. Once everything is dry it might be time for final assembly.  Could it be true?

Sunday, September 7, 2014

AUDI R8--the Devil is in the Details

Still baffled by how I am going to glue in the glass I turned my attention to some detail painting for the Revell of Germany Audi R8...let's look at the engine cover:

This is a tricky part, paint wise. The box art has the whole thing Matt Black but I thought it'd be more fun to do a black/white "two tone" to match the rest of the car.  The black side pieces are masked using Tamiya yellow tape and Future floor shine, same as I used on the glass.  But how to paint some of the smaller details like the indentation towards the bottom without making a huge mess?

Acrylic wash to the rescue! The more time I spend on this silly hobby the more I find myself using this technique!  I use X20A thinner, a stolen Mexican restaurant plastic salsa cup and some Tamiya acrylic.  You can use different paints and different thinners but you should stick to acrylic I feel.  For instance, I have used Testors Acryl and Windshield wiper fluid, same idea.

I put about 1/3 lid of thinner and 4 drops of paint into the cup, then stir it up with a wood stick I stole from a coffee shop.  (Notice how in hobby mags they always show the tool with the paint to add drama?  Here's my attempt at the same thing....)

Now put the lid on a surface where the indentation is level and fill it up.  Easy!  Now the hard part. Don't bump it, don't move it, don't pick it up to admire you work, or anything else, for at least 12 hours!  Or else the paint will spill out!  I have some overflow here, I will touch that up when everything is dry, but it's looking not too bad already.

When it's dry you end up with all sorts of cool detail painting, like some of the wash I put on these brake pads.  And it's really easy!

And here's the best part--if you are washing acrylic into enamel or lacquer, you can use acrylic thinners like the Dried Paint Solvent above to clean up any spills, overflows, or other count chockulas without attacking the base color coat!  COOL!

And windex will remove ALL of it in case you screw the pooch! Just use the thinners sparingly.  For the R8 the color coat is acrylic as well so I can't use my thinners to fix wash issues, I have to touch up.  Oh well, live and learn.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Audi R8: Pain in the Mask (or) Pain in the Glass!

Ever since I started building model cars again I discovered working with glass is really hard.  How do you work with "plastic glass" in a manner that doesn't leave glue visible, smudges and junk everywhere and generally things looking terrible?

Turns out--I don't know!  I still don't have a foolproof way to work with clear materials that looks great all the time. If someone has some secrets let me know.  In the meantime I'm working on it!

OK....anyway, it's time to start working on the glass for the Revell 1:24 R8.  Like most modern cars, the window trim isn't surrounded by chrome, rather, a black finish.  So that has to be painted!

To start with, I bought "HOBBY DESIGN" masks for the 1:24 Audi from StradaSports.  The "mask kit" didn't come with instructions but turns out, it's simple: cut out the mask, take the backing off, stick it down, and paint.

If things were really that easy!  Getting the mask centered on the window is tough! I had to redo (lift and reapply) a few times. And from having masked other models, as soon as you lift and reapply a mask it's not as effective as it needs to be.  At least that's how I see it….

Let's motorize this pursuit! I use Tamiya masking tape for whatever isn't covered by the mask kit. I figure I need to seal the masks, so for this I use Future Floor Polish (which I have poured into a leftover airbrush glass jar, 2nd from left) applied with a crappy brush.  Future Floor Polish is essentially acrylic clear paint. 1001 uses! So I cover the edges with that.  Let it dry, and then paint with Tamiya Color Semi Gloss black (which is NOT acrylic!)

So OK, I spray the black, let it dry, then lift the masks off.  Sure enough, I can see the acrylic seal all over the glass.  But not to fear!  Some Window cleaner removes that, even once it's dry.  Since I used enamel paint (the Tamiya SG black), the window cleaner only removes the acrylic yucky seal, and NOT the paint.  It worked!  But I also have some more clean up to do in the pictures above--not done yet!

I used the same technique on the body panel above but for this I didn't use the window cleaner.  The white paint is acrylic and would have been attacked by the window cleaner. I also touched up with some enamel semi gloss black. Is it perfect? No, but it will have to do.  I am going to need a lot more practice to get this one right.

And note the bubbles in the acrylic white--to the bottom right.  I have no idea how this happened, it seems bad in certain light but not noticeable other times.  I figure it's a function of using so much PearlEX but I am not sure. As much fun as it is, I may stop using acrylic for body colors going forward. to me lacquer and enamel seem a lot easier to work with.

To get a crisp look for the body panels, I used the same technique, but didn't use the seal; again, I used acrylic white for the body, so there was no good way to remove the seal once it was down.  So I just skipped that step.  The 1:1 car has gunmetal trim, not black, but for drama I am taking some liberties with the paint on this.  Besides, if you were buying a 1:1 R8 I figure Audi will paint it any way you want, if the check is big enough?

Next up--how to glue the glass into the body without making a mess. For that I need bare plastic on bare plastic, which means removing some of the paint on the edges to get a good seal.  So I have no idea how I will do this.  Sometimes I wonder why making a finished model takes so long, and some of that time is spent pondering how to do things like this.  I am stumped.

Monday, June 30, 2014

Audi and Chevy. Another Month's Dabbling in Blog B-land

So I got a bit bored this month with just working on the Revell 2010 Audi so I went into the parts box and found and old AMT 58 Chevy Impala.  Slapped the body and front facia together, primed it, and puttied.

Then in amongst all the painting struggles with the Audi, I shot the Chevy with Tamiya Matt Black, and then to remain sane I Bare Metal Foiled, fast FAST, but it didn't come out too bad....

So there is lots to do here, but it will be an distraction while I work on the Audi, which is a good kit, but not an easy build.  

Back In AudiLand, I decided to use acrylic, Jacquard products, a longtime favorite of mine, for the color coat, and mixed up a really nice Silver Pearl using their ready to airbrush paint, along with PearlEX: Silver and Pearlwhite.

But!  To save time I didn't use 2 part clear. I just didn't want to muck with all the mixing, all the cleaning all the poison etc.  Instead I used a rattle can clear coat I have been messing with for non-model car related crafts, Rustoleum's Triple Thick Glaze.

And did I test it first?  Naw, I just sprayed it on there.  Did it react (badly) with the Audi acrylic?  Yep.  Bubbled up, orange peeled, etc., The horror!!!  I was thinking OK now I have to strip the Audi body and start over.  But lo and behold, after some drying, it leveled a bit, and now I think i can polish it out.  Yeh!

And the chassis/engine is pretty much done, other than some decals and other finish work....hard to see in this pix, but as always the PearlEX came out great, a sort of ghost silver when in sunlight.

And here's the chassis/interior.....

So this copming month, maybe I can get something done?  Who knows?

Saturday, May 31, 2014

41 Willys Hot Rod Project--FINISHED

Finally!  Got something done.  This was a partially built kit (Revell 85-2371) I had stashed at my parent's house, literally for years.  t's the kit that got me started building models again, maybe 4-5 years ago.  So here's the story.  I was visiting my parents (They live about 90 minutes drive away) and we went, along with the nephews, to a now-defunct hobby shop to look for model rocket parts.  I didn't have much to do that day so I bought this kit, along with an exacto knife and some enamel paint.  The next day it rained and I spent pretty much the entire day building.

The next day I had to leave, so it remained partially built. I went back a few months later and laid down the body paint (Testors Plum Crazy, I think, with enamel Testors clear) straight out of the rattle can.  I remember covering the wet body with a glass baking dish and hitting the road again, maybe for another year.  So again, the project was shelved for quite some time.

OK fast forward a few years (!) and I am building again, I had a few kits under my belt, and had learned about the polishing kit trick where you start with 1200 grit pads and work your way up to 10,000 grit. For a nice, simple, rounded body like this, and thick enamel paint that polish system works great!  The paint on this build, even though it was sloppy rattle can, was brought to life with polish, and the paint and clear coat looks pretty good.

This is box stock, and is a good, easy kit.  I used a photo etch grille because the kit one didn't "look scale" and also left off the rear license plate, again, it looked too "fat" at 1:25.

So from there was a matter of bringing the parts home, foiling the body, and finishing it all off.  Since it was what started me building again, it felt right to finish it.  Now, if only I can get some time to finish anything else!  Will this be the last model I ever finish?

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Audi R8--Lost And Found

It's been a tough week/month for the model making pursuits.  I was making some good progress on the Revell Audi R8 only to discover that during the painting process I lost a critical part!

So what's wrong with this picture?  Part 23, one of the spindles, is GONE.  I must have knocked it off the tree while I was painting.  I spent time searching for it, but no, it's vanished.  So what to do? I could scratch build a replacement, but who has time? I ended up getting a spare kit from Ebay. I'll steal the missing part from that. Who knows, I may need more spares if I screw up the body, which I haven't started to paint yet!

The one piece chassis was a bit tricky.  I had paint it black (like the song) then mask, and put apply Alclad II on the A arms.  The rest of the fake aluminum is bare metal foil.

The interior is done.  Lots of photoetch on this one.  Didn't come out too bad.

The engine is shaping up as well.  Lots of Alclad II on this one.  Still needs photoetch and a few decals.

So as far as what's found: I was visiting my folks and found in a closet a really old Willy's build I started a long time ago, maybe before I "got back into modeling".

 I didn't do too bad a job on it so far.  It needs a bit of clean up and some TLC but is actually close to being finished.  I brought the thing home so I could foil it, and then finish it off.  Stay tuned.

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Audi R8--Photoetch Thoughts

From last time--still working (and not making quick progress as always!) on a Revell Audi R8.  Supposed to be a group project with a young nephew, but he's off playing video games, so I am building it myself.  Maybe he'll want the finished model as a gift?

A few years ago I would have just started building, but my standards have gotten (much!) higher....and now I almost dread each step, because I can't just build, I have to be obsessive!

Let's take the Audi hood Logo for instance!  On the box art, the master modeler (not me!) didn't to paint the Audi logo at all.  That's not right!  For me, I see that and think "time for photoetch!"  From past builds, a real metal logo will look a lot better than any amount of 00001 brushing I can do.  So to buy this one logo, I got in touch with Stradasports and they sold me the entire photoetch rig for this kit. Made by "KA models" it has everything--including a serious series of "real" metal grills that you can up build bit by bit.  I will skip the grills and use the kit plastic.  The former will take too much time and I have keep moving!  I am not that obsessive--not yet!

So what's the project's progress so far after 6 weeks?  Not much!  I have painted the aluminum parts using Testors classic black shot through an airbrush, followed by a 1:1 mix of chrome and aluminum paints from Alclad2 

And then I painted up the semi gloss black parts using the "Donn Yost" mix: 1 bottle of Testors flat black enamel mixed with 1/2 bottle of cheap lacquer thinner, then shot through a decent airbrush. Everything was pretty carefully prepped, cleaned, and primed first.

So I'm making some progress, just not a lot.  I don't know; there seems to be a lot of other things to do these days!  But I am hanging in there and it's raining out so I might work a bit more on this today…..  Maybe.