Saturday, October 31, 2009

71 Roadrunner 1:25th Scale--Body Work!!!

The story so far: I've been building a '71 Plymouth Roadrunner, using a vintage 1:25 MPC kit (MPC/Ertl #6282) as the build's basis. To complicate things I found the MPC front grille/bumper to not be to my liking, so I cast a new one using a Japanese casting product called Oyumaru, basing the new bumper on a Plymouth stock car from Competition Resins. Never can keep things simple, eh?

Priming is essential to see "where things are at" when doing body work, since the primer exposes areas that still need attention. Until now I have almost exclusively used Duplicolor primers; reading about what some of the "big boys" use, Plasti-kote T-235 seems more popular, so I decided to give that a try.

So far I have liked it--it goes on smooth, sands out easily, and dries fast. HOWEVER! I have read that you need to MAKE SURE you use T-234, T-235, orT-237 and not one of their other primers--their other primers might melt your plastic!

It might be my imagination, but it seems a bit thicker than the Duplicolor primer I've been using.

I had a few different parts choices for the interior, having bought resin parts for the build from Bandit Resins as well as Modelhaus. And, of course I had the parts that came with the vintage MPC kit.

I found that the seats and/or interior tubs were essentially the same from all suppliers; all vendors apparently cast their parts from the same master (a Plymouth dealer promo?). So it came down to which part looked and/or fit the best. I ended up choosing the MPC tub because it fit the body well(the Bandit Resin's casting was crisper then the yellow plastic MPC tub, but there was a gap between the BR tub and the MPC plastic body). The seats from Modelhaus were perfect--crisp, no flash, great looking. The dashboard is from Bandit Resins--the casting is wonderful. Both Modelhaus and Bandit Resins do great work!

The hand-made resin front bumper has been glued to the body at last. I am finding cleaning it up difficult. But to me the extra 2-3 or so scale inches the new bumper adds to the length of the build makes this Roadrunner look a lot more like the 1:1 car. Let's see if I can clean up the custom bumper without ruining other things!!!

Overall the body is beginning to look good. Softening some of the sharp lines of the body (using a 300 grit sanding stick) has helped. I think with the right paint and stance this build is going to come out "cool".

I ended up gluing the hood (from the Bandit Resins kit) down. I couldn't figure out how to hinge it, as this is a resin hood being mounted to a plastic body. Besides, I am a bit tired of building the same 440 Mopar motor over and over. So in the hobby parlance this is going to be a "curbside" which means "look ma, no motor!" Most important, I'm not using the "air grabber" hood from the MPC kit; I like the look of the hood from the Bandit Resins kit a lot better.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

71 Roadrunner Dash--The Silver Lining?

The good news is that any sort of craft, like building models, is good for relieving work- (or life-)related stress. I think most everyone would agree to that. The bad news is that sometimes I'm working too much to have time to do the things that relieve stress. The past 2-3 weeks have been those sorta' weeks.

I tagged along to our local Target with my wife (she needed to return something--don't know what). While she was looking around at whatever is it she looks around at I went into the "back to school" section. There I found some interesting pens made by Sharpie--"Sharpie Paint". The blister pack art said that the pens had a metallic finish and would stick to plastic. Good for modelling? Hmmm....

Having about 10 minutes between bouts of remote access to work, I got a dash out of one of the 71 Roadrunner donor kits and covered the dash with Floquil Engine Black #F110010.

If you've read earlier posts you know that I just love Floquil paints.....I then applied Silver Sharpie Paint pen. You see the results here. It doesn't look 100% right, maybe it's 50% right? It's not perfect, but this was my first attempt. If there's a finer point it might work better, and maybe masking some of the long straight lines will help.

From a distance--and since this dash will be inside a model without opening doors, no one will be able to see much no matter what--it's OK. Good enough. Since I am doing this to learn about new crafts, and get away from work, good enough is, well, good enough.

Monday, October 5, 2009

71 Plymouth Roadrunner--Resin Body Destroyed!

Another troubled day in my model car world. From previous posts: I am trying to build a "vintage" 71 Roadrunner in 1:25 scale. The build in 1:24 scale would be easy--go to the local Hobby shop, buy the Revell 1:24 1971 GTX kit, and build it. But what fun would that be? There is, or was, a 1:25 resin body available, from Bandit Resins, so I scooped it up. It's a nice body: they already kludged a good firewall/engine compartment in there while mastering it. The BR resin kit is not too cheap--I paid about $45 for the body/hood/interior tub/seats/dash; if you get it, you still need a donor kit (Bandit recommends the AMT 71 Charger) to complete the build.

Here's what I ended up with. The body itself looks a whole lot like the MPC body I already have--it wouldn't surprise me if the MPC kit was the master, or they were both mastered from the same "promo" body at one point. And!! While trying to test fit the body to the donor kit (AMT/Ertl 71 Dodge Charger #30054, no longer in production, but easily found on Ebay), disaster struck: a big crack developed in the rear passenger side quarter panel, probably when I tried to stretch the body over the chassis. Lesson learned--be gentle with resin bodies! I tried to repair that with CA glue, which warped the entire body, and then I tried to repair the warpage with warm water and twisting, which popped the passenger side A piller off. Then I gave up; bottom line: the resin body is toast. When I told this sad story to my wife she couldn't believe I didn't scream when the A piller went flying. Well, I didn't, I must be getting mellow in my old age!

So it's back to the plastic body (from MPC #6282--pretty hard/expensive to find on Ebay...and really, not a great kit....)

Oh well, the plastic body will work; I am going to use the hood from the resin kit which doesn't have the air grabber scoop arrangement...which I like better. I debonded the air grabber hood that I had already glued down and removed it; happily the engine compartment I had shoved in there was intact, so at least at this time I have options. I still need to decide if I want to glue the hood shut. I should put an engine and hinged hood into the build, but, that would be a pretty big time commitment.

The front bumper/grille remains a problem. The one that came with the MPC kit doesn't look like the 1:1 bumper/grille so forget about that one. Here is the one that came with the bandit resins kit. To me, it looks the same as the MPC grille/bumper--it has the same problems. I assume they may have both been cast from the same source.

The bumper looks like it's about 2 scale inches less deep than the 1:1 bumper; there are also no bumper mounting bolt covers visible. And, to my eyes, the headlights aren't large enough. We can do better.

So here's the bumper I created, so far; I cast this from a 71 Plymouth stock car bumper I got from Competition Resins, and then cut out the grille using a dremel tool, leaving a bit of the original grille behind to have something to mount the new grille to.

I have to figure out the headlights and grille next. The Bandit Resins GTX grille is the top one; the other is the MPC grille. I am not too crazy about either but overall like the Bandit Resin's one better (although it's a GTX, not a Roadrunner....) Best would be to scratch build this somehow, but that would be a pretty big project. My biggest challenge right now is how to do this build in the time I have; I am very busy with about a million other things. I may have to take the quick way out.

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