Sunday, June 29, 2008

25 T Kitbash--the Project Rolls On....

Another week by in a flash! I continue to hammer away at work while I practice piano, and to tune both of those out I continue to build these odd toys out of plastic....

So we're on week 2 of the 25 T kit bash. Read last weeks' post to find out what main kits I'm using for this. OK, the body....from the "Switchers" Kit I talked about last time, had some huge mold lines, and oddly, two inexplicable holes near the rear of the doors. These holes must be for mounting something but I don't know what--there is nothing in the instructions about what these holes are for, and no parts I could find that you put in there....

No problem--I could file off the mold seams and fill in the holes, but I am curious--what these holes for, and how come you don't see them on the picture of the T on the box artwork? Did the guy who made the red T on the box kit art fill them in as well?

I wanted to get an pearl/ivory color for the interior with red/white carpet and blue highlights. It was a lot of work to get the look as good as it is, and IMO the interior tub doesn't look all that good. I ended up priming with Duplicolor sandable white primer and then mixing up 80% Jacquard airbrush metallic white and some Jacquard Pearl EX Pigmets #651 Pearlwhite and airbrushing that on. I sanded the primer a bit with #600 wet and dry so the Jacquard would "stick" better--I had some flake and peel issues with this same kind of paint during my last build, so, live and learn. I also dried the painted tub with a blow drier--the Jacquard documentation talks about blow drying as a way to seal up the acrylic hobby paint--along with a light coat of Testors Dullcoat #1260. And this sanding/drying/sealing worked--the Jacquard paint fused on solid.

However I had a heck of a bad time getting the blue hilights right--in this case I wanted the "stitchwork" on the interior upholstry to be blue. But the wash just wouldn't stick where I wanted it to! I ended up putting a light blue wash on (using "The Detailer" blue) then spraying with Testors Dullcoat, then while it was all still wet rubbing off the upper layers of paint off the upholstry with a qtip. It worked, sort of. I also put in some red carpeting, let it dry 24 hrs, and then covered it with a wash of the same pearl I used on the interior shell. If you blow up the photo here you will see tiny flecks of carpet that ended up on the seat. Some of that is just flecks that landed there recently, that I was too lazy to brush off before snapping the photo. But some others are stuck in the paint. As for the latter, I have no idea how that happened, but, I have to live with it. Next time I mask EVERYTHING before I lay in the carpet!!! Also, I think next time I will take the time to cut the "grooves" in the upholstry deeper, that should make the wash look better.

The dash that came with the switchers kit (bottom dash) was pretty uninspired so I cut down a dash from a '40 Ford I had in my parts bin (top dash). It has a way to go, but it fits in the body shell, so I just have to add some guages and whatnot and it's ready to paint. This was a fun part of the build so far....using later Ford parts on early rods is a common hot rod practice in the 1:1 world and it's cool besides, so why not do it here.....

As I said last time, the frame is from an AMT Parts Pack I got off Ebay, and the engine from the wonderful Revell 29 Ford pickup kit. Both are built straight up stock, except I stole large "Stovebolt" carbs off an AMT 51 Chevy, and used the undocumented 4-banger straight pipes from the Revell 29 Ford Pickup kit. Good old Revell--always throwing in more parts then you need. The fuel pump came from the parts box, as did the alternator, both added to give a bit more "bling" to the bare side of the engine.

OK so much for this week. Next time--hopefully--wheels and tires. That's something I am dreading a bit for this build, because it's important to the look and I am not exactly sure what I'm going to use or how to make it all work. I bought a couple of open wheel CART cars to steal the tires off of....maybe that will be a step in the right direction.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

25-T Kitbash--Kitbashes Come in Threes....

I swore off doing any more open-wheel hot rod builds and kitbashes for a few months, so I started on an AMT Chevy this week but found my mind drifting back into the world of old Ford Hot Rods. I was in Fort Lauderdale Florida a few weeks ago visiting relatives and some guy was tooling around the main drag in a candy purple 25-T. It inspired me to get out some of the Model T parts I've had around for a bit and try to do something like it.

So much for "swearing off" things.

So this time I'm using the engine out of Revell's really fine 29 Ford Pickup #85-2085. Like some of the Revell '32 Ford efforts, if you're building early Ford hot rods in 1:25 scale this kit is a must-have--there are lots of great parts to steal for whatever. Also I'm using the cool all-chrome chassis I got from an AMT parts Pack #8435 "Custom and Competition". This Parts Pack isn't made any more as far as I know, but I found it on Ebay for about $20. Finally the body is coming out of AMT's "The Switchers" 1925 "T" Rod #38018. The box art on this kit is pretty ugly I think, but inside are some very nice old-school looking T parts.

So here's what I have so far. I'm not doing as much prototyping before this build since I want to see if I am more creative if I use less planning (probably a bad idea, but I want to try different creative approaches to a build....). The initial look is what I'm after but I see tough times coming as far as getting the stance right and finding a good set of wheel/tires. The rear tires on the 1:1 rod in Florida were small in diameter but wide, wide, with tiny retro-drag-car fronts. This gave the 1:1 car a very slick if it was ready to turn some 200MPH laps!

But...for the kitbash modelers of the world....where in the world can we find something like this at scale that will work? I might have to buy some old open wheel racers and toss everything but the tires?

And how will I glue them to the suspension, get them straight and true, and not make a mess?

The four banger engine is a first for me--I have only built V-8s in the past so this should be a fun change. The motor mounts in the Part Pack frame mandate a ridiculously narrow block--maybe 8 scale inches wide if this were a 1:1 chassis--so I had to grind down the Ford block to make it fit, and add back some styrene rod, but, it should come out just fine.

Stay tuned--more engine work this week.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

37 Ford Flatbed--Finished!!!

I have heard a work of art (not that you can consider many model cars works of art) is never finished, just abandoned. Well that's what happened here.

Since the paint never really came out right on this one--there was some flaking due to bad binding between the Jacquard Lacquer gold and the Testors "One Coat" copper undercoat, this model was never going to be a showpiece.

I just went around and got bits and pieces out of different kits to finish it off. A lot of body bling came from the Monogram 40 Ford Pickup 2720 which is the same place the chassis/frame came from. The headlamps came out of the Lindberg Boattail Auburn kit #72324. I married these lamps to shocks out of the Revell 57 Henry J Gasser 85-2036 (reissued by Model King). Thank goodness for CA glue or I would have never gotten these into the model--it was a real pain but I felt the car needed "bomb shaped" headlamps.

I am simply out of time to put more work into this. It came out OK and I guess the styling is growing on me, but it seems too high and slow looking to really appeal. If I were to do it again I'd either chop the top or get rid of it entirely--styling wise the cab seems too high and bulky for the rest of the build. I wanted it to look "sporty" or "fast" and it came out looking more like a 60's Jeep pickup or something.

Oh well live and learn I guess. I did experiment with mixing camera lights for these final shots--a combo of incandescent and a Nikon 800 flash--and I guess the lighting is a bit better then "beauty shots" I have taken of other finished prjects, but focus-wise the pictures aren't quite as crisp. But with all the paint issues it's not that bad a thing.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

37 Ford Flatbed (not a pickup)--Paint

So here's the build in progress. The interior and glass are in....masking the frame on the glass and applying silver paint was a real pain, but I didn't ruin this week I concentrated on trying to do something interesting with the paint on the current build--a 37 Pickup Hot Rod based on Revell's 85-7627 kit of the same name. Not to ever try anything "easy" I decided to try to do a 3-tone paint scheme, colors influenced by some "Inca" colors I saw recently at an art exhibit.

First off I primed the whole body/radiator/shell/flatbed with Duplicolor primer. Oh yeh I ditched the pickup part for a flatbed--I liked the way the flatbed looked better. Then I applied Testor's one coat lacquer. The paint works great! It is the no-muss no-fuss paint that anyone who's in a rush (like me) is looking for--you squirt it on, and sure enough, it covers great in one coat and dries in a few minutes. I usually bash Testor's a lot, but I really like this one coat lacquer!

For the top half of the body I used Jacquard Airbrush metallic yellow (40%) mixed with Jacquard Pinata color bright yellow (10%) and water. I used a Badger 200 airbrush and sprayed it over the Testor's one coat. I discovered two things: first, the Jacquard paint doesn't bond well to the lacquer (I should have sanded it first--or maybe not used it as undercoat at all) so a bit flaked off here and there before I could clear coat it with Krylon Crystal Clear. Second, it appears that Jacquard Airbrush color and Pinata color don't mix!!! One uses soap and water to clean up, the other alcohol or something a lot like it (the thinner/cleaner is pictured here). So don't mix them, and don't assume all paints by a single vendor can be mixed however you want! It ain't so. The result was a bit of clumping and some clogged crud in the airbrush that was a giant headache to get rid of.

Overall the "yellow" came out OK but not great. It is bright and vibrant which is what I wanted. I am going to have to live with it.

Next I tried something new--for the beltline I wanted something really dramatic so I tried Alclad's "Prismic" color--they call it "Primatic Scarabeus" # ALC 201. This is one of those paints that changes color depending on the light in the room and your viewing angle (something like that?). In this case it morphs from green to blue. I painted it over Duplicolor Enamel/Acrylic came out great, and was surprisingly easy to apply. Very heavy flake though, so you might not want it for everything. I am going to use it more, but I'm not sure what for.

I also tried some new stuff for the tires. I sanded them down pretty heavily and then applied Shabo transfer letters, followed by Testor's lacquer dullcoat. It came out way better (and was not that hard to apply) then trying to use decals or hand-painting the letters on the tires. The wheels BTW came out of AMT/Ertl's 34 Ford 3 n 1 kit 38405. If you don't have this kit you should get it before AMT goes out of business (again) as it's loaded with parts that you can use on lots of hot rod projects.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

37 Ford Pickup Continued

I've been out of town past couple of weeks which means no time at the bench. I thought maybe some time away would give me a fresh perspective on things but it doesn't seem to be that way.

So we're back to the old 37 pickup. The build marches on....

The more I use "The Detailer" Products the more I like them. I bought the masking "Detailer" as an afterthought and have started to find it very useful. It's extremely thin and dries to an odd purple when it's set, which makes it easy to identify--and it's easy to remove, but not too easy to remove accidentally. I used this on the belts for the engine and it came out better than the MicroMark liquid mask I had been using--I could mask with better detail. The washes are excellent, and remain better than any wash I can make myself out of paint and thinner.

The interior is getting done too. The mint green was created with a light blue acrylic, some Jacquard Pearl EX gold powder, and Future Floor polish. It airbrushed over easily. I added some blue detailer to it to highlight some of the interior, but chances are no one will ever notice. The polymer clay seats came out OK, but, I should have used flat paint on them, as Testors Dullcoat wouldn't tone down the shine, even after multiple coats; I have no idea why, but it didn't work. The seat belts are photoetched buckles with painted masking tape for the belts themselves.

The carpet matt came out the best of anything so far in this build. It started with a very thin sheet of polymer clay that I cut and scored. Then I put it in the oven and actually overcooked it (it came out sort of burned looking.) To my surprise it was still pliable, which meant I could bend it slightly around the floor, which of course a real rubber matt will do. It had not turned into the fired-clay, rock hard material I expected. In spite of its overcooking, it still took paint OK (flat black acrylic in this case, which ended up looking how I wanted--flat). I epoxyed it to the floor which of course means it won't bend anymore. The fact that overcooking polymer clay leads to a flexible rubber type of material is very useful to know about. I am going to experiment with this surprise discovery more.

The dash still has a bit to go, but it was painted with the same mint green as the interior. I am probably just going to use the stock decals behind the bezels for the gauges. As usual in a project like this I am getting a bit impatient and feel it might be time to move on.

The engine/chassis isn't looking too bad. I tried to make some fuel lines out of "winding wire" from a small electronic transformer but didn't bend it as accurately as I wanted. I started to try to incorporate some photoetched carb linkages but it was proving too difficult--I will need to build a "junk engine" to practice gluing the itty-bitty photo etched parts in place before I am ready to use it for something serious like a build that's this far along.

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