Friday, December 24, 2010

66 Olds 442: BMF and ClearCoat

For the past several months I have been trying to create "clean" build of a 1:25 scale Olds 442....there are two things working against this: clean builds take a lot of time, and I don't have a lot of time; and, being a bit absent minded and sloppy, doing things in a "clean" manner doesn't come very easily to me.

Last time I wrote about the color coat, using a mix of Jacquard acrylics I whipped up, applied with a cheap airbrush to the body.

Now it's time to add the trim...for this I used something called "Bare Metal Foil" or, as the hobby magazines sometime call it, "BMF".

This comes in a single 4"x8" (?) sheet and costs about six bucks. Think of rice-paper-thin, uber-fragile tin foil with a semi-sticky adhesive on the back and you have a sheet of BMF. You cut out strips with a #11 Xacto knife, stick it over what needs to be chromed, tamp it down with something like a toothpick, and, using a very (very!)sharp knife, carefully, and I mean carefully, cut away what you don't want. You can spend hours with BMF--it is not for the faint of heart. For me, the windshield surround you see here is about the best I can do. It seems impossible to me, and I've tried, to get a really smooth finish out of this stuff, but it's better than nothing.

I have read articles in hobby mags about using BMF, and one writer I remember said it's not that hard to use--I have news, it is. Very hard to use. Very, very, frustratingly hard.

I will say, however, that it looks better than trying to mask and using something like Alclad II or one of the other "real metal" paints. I couldn't get that to look decent at all.

Once the BMF was tamped down, I brushed over it with some Future Floor Polish which is basically clear acrylic paint. Besides dulling the brightness of the foil, which I've found makes things look more realistic, it means breathing on the BMF doesn't lift it off. So I'm now up to about 5 coats of clear. When I hit 7 or 8, it's time to polish, another frustrating and difficult thing to do well. Merry Christmas!

Sunday, November 28, 2010

66 Olds 442: Color Coat at Last!!!

I can't believe another month has gone by! Here we are again--after Thanksgiving already. Where does the time go?

From last time: still working on a 66 Olds, with an emphasis on a "clean build"--something that doesn't come easily to me!

This morning the body was still in primer (I've taken to using Plastikote T-235 Gray--seems to orange peel less than Duplicolor's similar product). If you've followed previous posts, the '66 Olds kit (AMT/Ertl 6268) was mastered with trim for a vinyl top. I used vinyl on the last two builds--and didn't much like the way either came out. So, off with the vinyl trim. But, it turns out, it was a lot (I mean, a LOT!!) of work to grind and sand away the large trim strips that run the length of the body. After weeks of sanding and finishing I figured the body work was as good as I could get it.

And: with a brief break in the rainy weather I figured it was finally time to apply the color coat to the body.

But what kind of paint? I've tried different paints over the past couple of years--enamels, acrylics, and lacquers, mostly, trying to figure out what works best.

After returning to the hobby after a 35 year absence, I started out using enamel--that's what I used growing up. Turns out enamel takes a long time to dry and is intolerent of when follow up coats are applied (you have to apply second costs right away, or wait about a week--if you don't, you end up with paint that never really dries).

On the plus side, enamel is the defacto hobby paint for plastics(still), self-levels, has little or no orange peel issues to deal with, is easy to polish, and with patience, can come out looking great.

Next up: lacquer. I tried a fair amount of lacquer finishes, but dealing with the fogging and orange peel associated with lacquer, and after enduring some catastophic failures due to bad primer, I have decided perhaps it's not worth the trouble.

This said, I have settled (I think) on acrylic, and specially, acrylic paints by Jacquard....Jacquard may be what I use from here on out--best to just know one thing well, maybe. I have written about Jacquard before, but to reiterate, as a craft paint it has a lot going for it: it's easy to mix, easy to airbrush, a breeze to thin, cleans up quickly, sticks to almost any primer, and best of all, is non-toxic and doesn't stink up the house. Just the fact that it's not poisonous makes Jacquard acrylic get my vote going forward.

I had some Jacquard purple I mixed up a few months ago but never used--so I used that....first up, a the mist coat. It took about 30 seconds for this to dry.

After the first color coat, things are already looking me, a notable thing about Jacquard is that a Jacquard color coat looks radically different depending on the light that hits it.

After the second color coat, in very bright light the Olds looks red/pink/copper. I didn't much like this at first--it seems too feminine for an old muscle car like this, but it's grown on me.

In low light the 66 Olds looks downright purple/maroon, and looks great. OK, Jacquard it is, from here on out. Will I miss out on some other great paints? Maybe, but, at least my wife isn't yelling at me for stinking up the house!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

66 Olds--Trial and Error....

So from last time, I'm gearing up to paint a 1:25 66' Olds "Clean Build". And what could be more clean then a snarky candy paint job?

My trial of using a metallic paint (in this case Krylon Metallic Gold), covered by acrylic color coats, is a disaster. The paint did not spread correctly and resulted in a splotchy finish....

I tried a variation of this a second test body, this time the psuedo-metal finish was covered with clear "acryl red" from Testors, shot with an external mix airbrush at 20 or so psi--same results--everything beads up, nothing spreads, and it looks awful.

Back to the drawing board.

In the meantime, final prep work is going on on the body. I am down to little dings and nicks here and there......

....circling problem spots then trying to correct them with superglue and some careful sanding and filing.

As long as the CA glue is out: while waiting for things to dry I continue to work on an "Orange Crate" body; I have no idea what this might be used for some day, but it's always fun to chop some top. See ya next time!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Still working on 66 Olds--Paint Test!

What happened to August? For that matter what happened to September? Time hurries on....I wanted to do something different for paint on the 66 Olds build, so I am trying to use a different undercoat, and some transparent acrylics over them. Instead of just using plastic spoons or whatever, I thought I'd use the bodies left over from the 71 RoadRunner build.

The first body came from Ebay, and since it smelled like ciggies, the second one came from Ebay too....

I used Plastikote primer and after 24 hours sprayed on a single coat of Krylon Real Gold Metallic. The paint covers very well and covering with a single coat was no problem.

One of the unexpected results was that this gold paint shows up defects in the body like no one's bizness--like this huge sink mark on the hood of one of the bodies. It was interesing that many of the sink marks--and there were lots of them--existed in exactly the same place on both bodies. I guess there was a problem in the molding process, and no one cared enough to fix it....glad I'm not using these bodies "for real" because filling in all the sink marks would be a pain.

Overall the bodies are looking like they're ready for a color coat. I have a feeling that some masking/candies and then some metal flake sprayed over is going to look really good, assuming it spreads out OK and doesn't peel. I really have no idea what will happen.

Next time: and hopefully sooner than this time: some transparent coatings--see if we can do a multicolor "candy" finish.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

66 Olds 442 "Clean Build"--More Time to Dry!

The bad news is that I continue to have time for not much of anything....hobbies and crafts being a couple of those things.

The good news is that allowing lots of drying time really helps a painting project!

Take the Alclad process. If you've followed this blog or any hobby mags--this is lacquer paint that will make non-metal surfaces look like they are made of metal--and it really works! Any sort of model builder--planes, trains, dioramas, whatever--is going to need this. You apply black enamel first, then airbrush over the Alclad lacquer. Only during this build have I realized that it's critical to let the enamel undercoat dry and gas out completely (a week!) or else the Alclad will look pitted or have other problems.

These are wheels I cast in resin and then Alclad coated with "Stainless Steel". On the bench they look better than they do in this photo--sadly I didn't have a lot of time to set up the shot--I am reasonably happy with how they came out.

Same thing with this aircleaner. It doesn't look so bad on the bench. The lighting in the photo leaves a bit to be desired....

The other item is scale "carpet". I have tried various means to get this into the build fast (because I never have time for any of this--remember?) but I have found that the best way to apply flocking is slowly and carefully--allowing the white glue several days to dry after its application.

Here it is. The seats and interior trim will cover up the yellow lines I drew as carpet "boundries". Maybe this weekend I will have some time to put together some of the subassemblies--we will see.

Monday, July 12, 2010

442 Olds "Clean Build"--Engine

So here we are a month since the last post--not much more time for hobbies and crafts, but hey, a bit of time here and there is better than no time at all....

I'm taking a bit of a break from customizing and focusing this time on a "clean build". We're talking less runs, drips, fingerprints, smudge and so on, and for me it doesn't come easy! One thing I've rethought is how I brush paint--no more dipping paint into bottles and dragging big clumps of goo onto the build. Instead, careful stirring, pouring into small plastic containers I stole from the local burrito place, and going from there.

Also a bit more attention paid to little things, like putting the lids back on the paint so it doesn't dry out or spill on some other part sitting on the bench. Simple, but, I wasn't always doing it!

So here's what I have so far. Not the clean room sort of thing you see in some of the hobby mags, but for me, it's a lot better.

As I said last time, I got some magnifying glasses I can wear, so I can see details a bit better. It has been a huge help, one of the best investments I've made in the pursuit of the "clean build". Now I can see details that need to be fixed before the camera picks them up.

But is it fun? I don't know. For me, it's different. I am always rushing around, trying to get more done at work, trying to get more done around my house, just trying to do more, more, more. Here, it's good to slow down and concentrate on something monumentally unimportant, for a change.

Next I have to apply the metalizing paints to parts of the chassis and put together the interior. After priming and sanding I have put aside the body for now--a clean build on that will be tough indeed!

Sunday, June 13, 2010

66 Olds 442--Starting to Paint

So who has time for hobbies and crafts? In the past couple of months not me! I finally got a few minutes this weekend to do some quick painting of the 442 Olds I've been building (or trying to find time to build) over the past several weeks. Painting is always my favorite part!!!

From past entries you may know that I LOVE paints from Jacquard. Although Jacquard primarily advertises their paint as being best for dyeing fabric and coloring ceramics, their acrylics are great for plastic--easy to mix and airbrush once they are thinned down, and best of all, they don't stink up the house.

The main trick is what to thin them with....and after a bit of trial and error I found that windshield wiper fluid works best (who would have thought?) I whipped up some metalflake silver/green by mixing some Jacquard powders and airbrush colors and got ready to spray....

Two light coats, applied with a cheap airbrush, was all I needed....

Next I mixed up some blue wash, using 90% wiper fluid and 10% "Dazzling Mettalics" ice blue crafts paint from Decoart, and applied the wash to some of the surfaces of the interior.

The chassis pan was painted with Tamiya Matte Black, one of my favorite flat blacks....

...and the chassis components were prepped for metalizing paint with Duplicolor Acrylic Enamel Gloss black.

The good thing about having no time to paint (or anything else...): everything gets plenty of time to dry!!

Friday, April 30, 2010

66 Olds 442-Body Work Part II

It's been a month and there's not been a lot of time at the bench....I continue to work on a "clean build" of a 66 442 Olds....

Well it turns out--a clean build takes a lot of time!!! As I discovered last time, the '66 442 Olds kit had side trim moldings that is great for a vinyl top build, but for a "normal" roof, which I am using here, they had to go. I have been sanding, filing, carving and sanding some more.

It turns out getting rid of the trim is easier said then done! We're talking hours of work. Finally....the trim pieces are gone, but on the 1:1 car there is a "crease" in the sheetmetal, down the side of the car, right underneath the side molding. It's proving impossible--or at least extremely difficult--for me to get a sharp crease here. After 2 weeks of knocking it around on the bench, I reached the point of diminishing returns; the more I sanded, the worse it looked....

And another problem: After removing the trim strips, the door lines needed to be carved out again. I was not sure exactly how to do this, so in "experimental mode" I used the sharp tip and back of an X-acto #11 blade, a Micro Mark reaming tool, and a bit of .020 plastic as a guide, that I taped to the door before carving.

I filled in some of the spots and holes and carving slip ups with superglue, which I then sanded down....

A lot of the rear trim had to go as well; it will be replaced by photoetch parts. From this photo I also notice that the styrene rod I put in place to help fix the rear window is visible from certain angles. It might be that once the headliner is in it will be harder to see. But it's something I hadn't thought a lot about, until now. I need to file that down, then, it'll be ready for primer-sand-primer- repeat.....who said this was going to be easy?

Sunday, March 28, 2010

66 Olds 442--Body Work, Part I

Still working on a mild custom 66 Olds....the goal of this build is to test fit everything and get everything entirely in shape before doing ANY finishing....

This is one of those AMTish things that drives me crazy. The instructions say if I'm building a non-vinyl top (I am) to remove the side trim pieces, a bit of which you can see here. This trim wraps around the front, sides, and rear. It all has to go. I haven't been doing this that long but I do know that removing a big old chunk of trim is a going to be a lot of work! But I need to do it; getting rid of the trim will make this look less like "your Mom's Olds" which is what I'm after here.

To make things harder there's a piece of body trim that can't be removed--this little crosshatch gizmo thing on each side. So I have to carefully sand and file around it. I ended up putting my finger over it to make sure I didn't accidentally scape it up. I have read of others "foil copying" this sort of thing, then sanding away the original, then gluing the copy back on, but I have never had any luck with that whole always ends up looking like a little blob of bird doodoo.

So that's for a different project.....

OK, after some filing and sanding here's the back so far. A new problem is cropping up--on the 1:1 car, about mid-door there is a nice sharp point where the body sheetmetal is bent at a 20 or so degree angle. The trim strip covered that, and with it gone, I have to try to get it back somehow.

And here's the side. It's getting there, but as with so many other crafts, to do a good job is going to take time. I just have to get used to it. It would have been nice if AMT gave optional trim pieces you could attach or not, depending on what you wanted the finished model to look like, but, nope.

I continue to do a lot of reading about how anyone working with minatures does his thing without losing his or her mind and going blind at the same time. One key is to have good magnification, that's comfortable to wear, so I'm told. To this end I bought a $40 magification headband thingy from Micromark, which seems to work OK, although you have to hold your work x inches for it to be in focus (no way around that I can think of)

But the best part is the instructions that came with. This picture of happy Mr. Science Guy rocks the front of the instructions and I just cracked up. I mean, this guy just had a frontal lobotomy and now he's ready to party! I liked it so much I cut out his picture from the cheesy manual and put it above my bench. These are visual aids for the truly inspired.

Blog Archive