Sunday, November 29, 2009

71 Roadrunner 1:25th Scale--Color Coat

I'm happy to say the 71 Roadrunner 1:25 vintage build has its color coat! Finally! This marks the second psuedo-vinyl top I've created, and also maybe the second body I've tried to paint with my new airbrush setup....

After trying different airbrushes--including some fairly expensive ones--I think I've settled on the right one for this kind of job. It's a Paasche H0708, single action, external mix. It's inexpensive and simple to clean, perfect for painting model car bodies. To me double action and even internal mix airbrushes seem overly complex for paint jobs this basic. This one gets the job done.

As I said in an earlier post: I replaced the putt-putt Testors compressor I was borrowing from a friend with a Iwata Studio Series "Sprint Jet". That's made a huge difference as well. The ability to dial in and view the PSI's of the paint "session", then try the pressure on some scrap, make adjustments, and paint, has made my color coats look a lot better.

Paint for this build is "Dodge Y1 Top Banana". I chose this because I have applied lots of different color coats over the past couple of years but not yellow. This is the first body I've tried to paint with color...their website says this is acrylic paint which, to me, seems easier to apply then lacquer.

Before painting I tried an additional step: I poured the paint through a cloth sieve, to remove any paint chunks that mixing and stirring didn't get rid of. The result was no blotches and splotches when spraying. Joy! I almost forgot to paint the side mirrors (not shown) but remembered at the last minute....

So here is the painted body so far. I've been here before with other builds, and have a long way to go. Still, applying the color coat is a milestone. Still to do: carefully 1500 grit sand the color coat (after letting it dry for a week!), Bare Metal Foil, decals, clearcoat, and then figure out how to put headlights on the grille.

Miles to go before I sleep? As I get (slightly) better at this, I also see things becoming more and more work. I can devote more time but it also means each build takes longer and longer, and I generally don't have hours each evening to work on these things. Cue up Sly Stone's version of "Que Sera Sera" earthy and funky that you drop the needle and nasty body odor starts wafting uncontrollably out of the stereo speakers...whatever will be, will be.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Roadrunner Continues--and the Next Build....

Onward and upward....after a couple of bad weeks I am trying to get to the end of a 1:25 71 Roadrunner stock build. As I've said before, it's not hard finding a GTX in 1:24 scale, but 1:25 RR's are few and far between, far harder to find and thus more challenging....but to make this build not too difficult I also glued the hood shut. So once again I am not quite sure where my head is at with this build....anyway, the 71 Roadrunner sits in the paint booth awaiting more primer.

I have found that letting the booth blower run for 30 minutes before I start painting helps get some of the dust out....I did a lot of test fitting and made sure the side mirrors and bumpers had the means to be glued to the body without making a mess. The Gerald Wingrove book espouses doing ALL the building, testing fitting, and prep work before any paint and finish work, and that sounds like a great idea to me. I always seem to struggle to get trim and finish parts to fit, and if they are already painted it just makes things worse.

And now for something completely different....

The larch....the....LARCH.

Usually about now I start tinkering with my next build; for the Roadrunner I'm into watching-paint-dry mode, and don't want to just sit around staring at the supid thing.

I was thinking about finishing off one of the customs ("Kustoms") I started several months ago, but something came up on Ebay I couldn't resist--a unpainted (well, almost) glue bomb of a 1:25 66 olds 88 Dynamic.

Growing up I always LOVED this car--especially in convertible form. Like some of the big caddies, the Olds 88 got me into the "I wish I could drive" mode.

I have never seen this in boxed kit form anywhere, although 442 kits aren't hard to find. I also have never tried any sort of glue-bomb-to-slightly-less-of-a-glue-bomb type kit restoration.

In the end I just had to buy it--Joy! I won the bid for about $33; it showed up looking exactly like the Ebay photos. Nothing got broken in transit--the seller did an excellent job packing it up. The bad news is that whoever glued it really went to town, so getting everything apart to start the restoration is going to be tough. Also one of the crazy side pipes is broken, and the custom hood is chipped in one corner. So I not entirely sure what look I am going to go for. Stock would be nice, but it seems a bit dull after the last couple of stock builds I've done. This must have been a "2 n 1" originally and thus, just for nostalgia's sake, I might go for the "drag" version.

Man that's a cool blown engine!

A lucky break: the seller had some spare 66 Olds parts, including an entire additional engine with blower and dual carbs, which he included. I wonder where he got all these parts?

Sadly: someone had taken a soldering iron or firecracker or something to the original build. The ebay listing said someone had melted off the wheels (and you do see some heat damage inside the wheelwells, but fortunately what is visible is OK.) There are also a few burn marks on the body, like someone was trying to torture the poor thing, but nothing too bad.

The seller also threw in some really nice Olds hubcaps and a nice set of scale Firestone white wall tires. I just went through my entire collection the other day picking out tires for the Roadrunner; I have nothing like these 1:25 Firestones, and they are extremely sweet.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

71 Roadrunner: Vinyl Top

It's been a tough couple of weeks and sadly it's made me reconsider why I am doing any of this hobby. It's now apparent to me I'm not going to spend hours and hours on builds, and I will never be great at this; or maybe even good. Part of it is because I have a real life and a real job, a family that I am serious about, and am emotionally more invested in things that seem more important the glue and plastic. I read about the model car world of NNL and "Fierce Competitors" and it makes me laugh--I have zero desire to travel all over the country to compete, like the "master modelers" do....the whole thing reminds me a bit of "Best of Show"....competing? Why? What do the competitors hope to accomplish? If they're after the girls, I got news, good buddies....

But I just can't let myself build whatever comes out, I have to keep pushing to get better I guess--but, why? It's been a good learning experience, maybe. It's relaxing, sometimes, but maybe not often enough. Perhaps I am preprogrammed to try to be good (obsessively good?) at whatever I do, and maybe this is the universe's way of telling me I don't have to do that. Perhaps it takes a real gift to be satisfied with being mediocre at something that has no purpose other than relaxation.

I got a book by Gerald Wingrove on how he builds what I'm pretty sure are considered the best car models in the world. The book goes over, in extreme detail, HOW he builds his model cars. But it avoids a much more compelling question--WHY does he do what he does? Yep, Gerald's builds are impressive, really impressive, and man does that guy do some crazy stuff to build them (if you don't believe me, get his book). And he got to meet the queen!! But I have to ask--to the rest of the Gerald Wingroves of the world--why? What urges you on? The 12 year old kid from China playing the hell out of the violin: why? Did you listen to Paganini as a 4 year old and say--by god, I want to play like that! Be honest now: is it an early onset of OCD? Or a parent beating crap out of you if you don't practice?

This whole endeavor makes me ask what I've always wondered, and always lacked: what motivates some people to be obsessively good at one thing?

So enough of Gerald, and all the kids at Julliard. And back to the world of mediocrity: about this '71 Roadrunner....same as it ever was: I decided to add a vinyl top.....I used plastic strips to imitate the vinyl creases in the top; used Tenax glue for that, and sanded it down with a nail file.

Masking is obviously critical. I am effectively doing a 2 tone job here.

bare metal foil and Tamiya tape are used.....

There are two coats used for the Model Master's vinyl system, basecoat and finish coat, this is the second time I've been though this, first time was on the 69 Superbee, complete with crooked bumpers and the wrong side mirror. Avast!

There you have it. If I were Gerald Wingrove, I'd still be masking the first damn A pillar. Whatever floats your boat.

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