Saturday, June 27, 2009

69 Charger Scrapper--New Glues, New Paints

It's been a busy couple of weeks but I still have some time at the bench I'm happy to say. This time I'm continuing to build a scale 69 Charger using scrap parts left over from last month's 69 Vintage Charger 500 Build.

Since I've started up this hobby again I've read about the wonders of using superglue (or "CA glue", or "cyanoacrylate") to bond dissimilar materials together like styrene and craft wiring. But I've not had great results using CA to date. The pictured Pacer ZAP CA glue is what I've used for the past year or so since it's the only brand my local hobby shop carries. Results have been OK for some things: I used ZAP CA and CA accelator to build up the seats of the 32 Texas Old Skool Rod, and the ZAP CA and baking soda to craft the retro floor board for the 55 Chevy Gasser.

However beyond that ZAP CA seemed too runny to be very useful--it's the consistency of water. So for "normal gluing"--engine wiring details for instance--it flowed off the part and stuck to everything else (like, the workbench, or my fingers).

But reading the hobby mags and whatnot, others aren't having this issue. So what gives?

Turns out I was using the wrong glue for the job. CA's aren't all the same when it comes to viscosity. I ended up trying the super thick CA glue from and unlike The ZAP CA offering it's super thick and stays in one place, like Devcon Epoxy or other traditional hobby glues. Perfect!

So here's the Charger Scrapper engine so far. The engine block, exhaust pipes and valve covers for the scrap parts 69 Charger comes from Revell's 67 Dodge Charger 2 n 1 85-7669 but the rest is from the parts box.

It was a lot of fun digging through the parts box looking for cool engine parts I could use; The intake manifold was scratch built from styrene rod; the magneto came from the AMT BluePrint Parts pack; the carbs are out of from the MPC 32 Ford Switchers kit I used for the 32 Ford Highboy build way back when....but other things like the fan belt and pully assembly--no idea where that came from.

I painted the belt assembly with Alclad II and then detailed the belts with Floquil Engine Black.....lots of fun!

So let's talk wheels and tires.....turns out the MPC 69 Charger 500 has great racing tires and mags....I am finding that some of the older kits might not have the incredible detail and high parts counts that the newer computer-mastered kits have, but MPC's craftmen way back then knew how to create parts that looked great for sure. The rear mags are so deep....not realistic, rather bigger than life; and these optional "2-n-1" parts were treasured by my brothers and me as key additions to our scrap box builds...."cool!"

The MPC tires have nice raised lettering and offer an opportunity work on my "dry brushing" technique, such as it is. The idea is to put paint on a brush, brush out most of the paint, then lightly dust the brush over and over on whatever raised surface you want detailed.

It's not really that easy. I never really got dry brushing to work using acrylic paints like Tamiya flat white--it either ran (too much paint) or stuck to the brush (not enough paint).

I was at the office supply store and found these Elmers "Painters" paint pens so I bought a few. I hoped I could pen the white ink onto the tires, but that didn't work--it made a mess. So I removed the paint with enamel paint thinner. BTW I also discovered the Testors enamel effectively thinner removes Tamiya brush acrylics, better than isopropyl alchohol which I didn't know.

Next I put a blob of the white paint onto a yellow piece of styrene as you see here, then used a small flat brush to dry brush. It worked a lot better! These "Painters" pens seem to have paint that is the perfect consistency for dry brushing. The raised GOODYEAR letters on the MPC tires were done this way. I don't think the guys at Elmers planned on end users using their products like this but I have a feeling they won't mind.

Friday, June 19, 2009

69 Charger Redeux--Interior

The story so far: to revisit the "scrap box builds" of yesteryear I'm building up a 69 Charger out of left over parts from the 69 Charger 500 Vintage Build and whatever else I have in my parts bin.

As long as I am throwing parts box parts together I figured it might be a good time to experiment with new metal from Hobbylinc I got a few rattle cans of Testor's Metalizer.

As you've seen in other posts I usually use Alclad2 for metalizing, but Testors stuff is popular as well so I figure it's worth a comes in a rattle can which means not having to clean the airbrush every time!

The metalizer line didn't make a lot of sense to me at first--there's buffing, non-buffing, buffing sealers, non buffing sealers....hello? But it's easy. For the buffing varieties, you lay on the paint (no need for gloss black undercoat!) then once dry you "buff" it with a cotton swab to bring out the metal look. Non buffing is even easier: just spray, dry, and go. The sealer keeps the metal paint from coming off once applied.

The 69 Charger scratch built firewall and engine compartment were my first attempt at using the Testors Metalizers. So is it better than Alclad? I don't know. It's a quicker application process, and the buffing step indeed brings out a decent metal look. And, I didn't try the non buffing variety. However the sealer to me seemed to dull things a bit and without some kind of sealer Metalizer seems fragile--I scraped off some with a q-tip while trying to buff gently....and overall it doesn't seem quite as convincing as Alclad. I need to experiment more but at this point I see myself sticking with Alclad2.

The fun doesn't end. I was in Target with my wife and, bored out of my mind while she compared the features (?) of every single suntan lotion ever made, found a huge selection of nail polish on the next aisle. I have read that Nail polish, like some of the other goodies you find in the cosmetics department, has an established place in our odd hobby. Target had a lot of choices: wacky nail colors everywhere, in all shapes and sizes of bottles. I ended up getting a crazy electric grape and bright metalflake green from "Nicole by OPI". Very cool. But they weren't that cheap--$7.50 for each, and that's at Target (the good stuff costs!! says the wife). But you get a lot of paint in a small bottle--to airbrush it I'd need to thin it at least 2:1 thinner to paint, so it's going to go a long way.

I had this vision of the nail polish lacquer melting any plastic it was applied to, so I ended up laying down some Bare Metal Foil over the seats, applied a generous coat of crazy grape Nicole nail polish, and then trimming the foil. It was another one of those things that took about 2 minutes and ended up looking pretty good!

The rest of the interior treatment was standard stuff. I used my favorite flat black for some of it--Tamiya TS-6 Matt Black. Floquil Conrail Blue was used for some of the trim, and a host of Tamiya acrylics elsewhere. The seat belts are not very realistic, coming out of some unknown AMT kit, but it's just the thing I would have used for a 1970 parts box build up 39 years ago so it seemed appropriate here.

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