Thursday, July 30, 2009

69 Charger Scrapper-FINISHED!

Time to wrap up the 69 Dodge Charger street racer built out of parts leftover from the Vintage Charger 500 build....It was a race to the finish, but I really wanted to get this build done by the end of the month....and I did. The results came out pretty wife said she liked the blue and gold colors and the stance. The paint finish is a bit ratty again--I rushed through the polish stage in an effort to get this done by the end of the month--but I doubt a 1:1 match racer would have a really mirror finish to it. Overall it was a fun build and did bring back the spirit of the good old days, way back when, building models with my brothers.

The only tough part finishing this was dealing with the rear wing. It came off a AMT/Ertl 71 Charger. Getting the wing to sit straight and situated correctly on the trunk lid turned out to be more work than I anticipated. The 71 AMT Charger was purchased as a donor for the next build (a vintage 1:25 71 Roadrunner, which I already started). To make matter much worse, wing-wise, I dropped one of my photography lights on the model right before this photo shoot and the wing broke off! So it had to be reattached!

But that's what glue is for right? Anyway this was very quick build--only a few weeks from start to finish--especially considering that the interior and engine compartment was scratch built. And how busy I am doing other non-model-making things right noiw. The alacrity of this build makes up for 6 months of pain and suffering to build the Vintage Charger 500!!!

The hood doesn't hinge or come off in a clever way--again something I did to speed up the build. I will probably display this "hood off". More finish problems: some of the decals on the hood rippled up after a week or so of gassing out--maybe some sort of interaction with the Future Floor Polish? But it's not that noticeable.

Overall I might not be getting better at custom builds but I am getting faster!

The engine compartment was detailed out with craft wire and very small diameter plastic rod bent into shape. I paid little attention to how realistic things are in terms of 1:1 function. I don't even know what some of the parts I bolted to the firewall are supposed to do, not knowing that much about cars. I just put them on because I thought they'd look good, which is exactly what I did 35 odd years ago. As I see it there's nothing wrong with any of it.

So next is yet another Mopar. A 1:25 Early 70's Roadrunner or GTX seems to be a vintage model kit holy grail of sorts--I see promos going on Ebay for $100!! When is someone going to reissue this bad boy? Anyway I already prepped the body of a 71 Roadrunner (bought on Ebay, yes....) already have some primer on it and have the donor kit open, which I am already pilfering. So I am committed, but am still looking around for other ways to get this next build done.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

69 Charger Scrapper--Decals and Clearcoat

I'm almost finished with a 1:25 scale 69 Dodge Charger street racer built out of spare parts....

I realized as I was applying the decals from Slixx that it's been almost 35 years, maybe more, since I've applied a lot of decals to a scale model. Growing up we'd put decals on everything we built, and it seemed easy, but now years later it doesn't seem as easy as it was back then.

I am not sure why--perhaps I am just pickier now about how it comes out, and maybe that's not the best thing.

It was helpful to use Badger "Model Flex" Decal Setting Solution and Decal Softening Solution. I discovered these during the 32 Texas Old School Hot Rod build...the first helps the decal stick and the second helps it conform to the tricky curves and whatnot. I found (once again) that's it's dangerous to overdo the application of solset and solsoft--the decals will crack and split. Also a good tip is to apply solset and solsoft alphabetical order--because it's a very bad idea to start with the softener, doing so will pretty much destroy the decal every time; it did for me anyway.

Afraid of melting the decals with lacquer or enamel clearcoats, I once again chose Future Floor Polish ("Pledge with Future Shine") as the clearcoat for this build, so I brushed on in 2 heavy coats 8 hours apart.

A major breakthrough was the clearcoat/solvent relationship between Future and another household product: Windex glass cleaner. Last build I had issues with Future whitening and pooling up in certain tight spaces on the body. On the 69 Charger 500 build I sanded out the Future goo and tried to live with it. It turns out Windex is the perfect solvent to get rid a build of Future clearcoat problems, and it doesn't wreck the lacquer color coats below. So if the Future acrylic goes wrong (dries cloudy, dries white, won't dry no matter what, pools up and looks ugly, and so on) just spray or brush the affected area with Windex, wipe if off with a lint free cloth, let it dry, reapply the Future polish and keep going. I had to redo the "hood scoops" because Future pooled up in them and dried white, so I removed about small section of clearcoat with Windex and reapplied Future just over the area. You could never tell I touched up the clearcoat. If only everything else was like that!

Saturday, July 4, 2009

69 Charger Scrapper--Paint, and the Next Build

The "hot" 69 Charger, built up out of scrap and left over parts continues....

This week I thought a lot about what paint scheme would look good. I wanted something retro looking, but not "stock". I had some Duplicolor royal blue and gold mist lacquers around....

After taping off with Tamiya tape, I came up with a simple two tone scheme. So far, so good. But I am usually impatient when it comes to applying the Bare Metal Foil, decal, polish and what not. This time the lacquer is going to gas out for at least a week before I continue.

In the meantime I am starting the next stock Mopar build. For this I purchased an MPC/Ertl Roadrunner kit on Ebay for about $40. But is it "safe?" The last "vintage" stock build, a 69 Charger 500, took nearly 6 months to complete and was fraught with fear and loathing from warped rooflines, clearcoat eating through the color coat and front grilles that didn't fit; in general, a much harder and more time consuming build than expected. So let's see if this one takes as long--and if I learn from my mistakes.

As far as the kit (MPC/Ertl 6282--there is no reissue I know of that can be purchased new, and Revell's offering is a GTX in 1:24 scale, not a 1:25 Roadrunner): it was in good condition, unbuilt except for the engine which someone had started; the body was in good shape; like the Charger 500 build I'm going to steal the engine and other critical components from more recently tooled, better detailed Mopar kits....

The 71 Dodge Charger (#30053) is such an offering from AMT/Ertl. What a difference in detail between modern tooling of the 71 Charger and the older Plymouth kit! I got this from Ebay as well for about $15; I am pretty sure it's not that hard to find elsewhere if you look around.

Repeating the same process I used to spice up the 69 Charger 500's engine compartment, I hacked the inner fender walls from the '71 Charger and grafted it into the older kit....

It's not that hard a process to do...surprising easily actually.....I finished off the engine compartment "sheetmetal" using sheet styrene shims and thick superglue to fill some of the gaps.

Getting the hood to stay up was tricky. I tried supergluing styrene posts to the hood and then shoving the posts into enlarged holes in the firewall, only to find that there was no friction to hold the hood up--the hood would slide back down and shut every time! I needed to cut ridges into the posts, but at first I couldn't figure out how to do this. After some thought I came up with a solution: I softened up the styrene posts with plastic weld and then with the plastic soft and I pressed a scored piece of metal onto it. This left ridges in the soft plastic, and when the glue dried I had a sort of plastic ratchet. Now the hood stays up due to the ridges on the posts. I am probably going to display this hood up, so having the hood stay up isn't a bad thing!

Paint for this will be from I want to see how their paint compares to MCW's, especially the clearcoat. I will probably have a chance to paint the 71 Roadrunner before turning back to the Charger "scrapper" so stay tuned....

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