Sunday, January 24, 2010

71 Roadrunner 1:25th Scale--Polish

From last time: still working on a 1:25 scale 71 Roadrunner. This is a "vintage" kit that hasn't been released in many years, making parts hard to find....

It's time to polish up the body--after applying 4 coats of Future Floor Polish (actually just an acrylic clear sealer) I let things dry for about a week--I've been busy with work and haven't had much time at the bench anyway.....

As I mentioned last time, there are issues where the hood (which doesn't lift or come off) joins the body. From previous builds I know that little problems become big problems after polish and finish are applied....for some reason I thought I could get away with the subtle issues, but no, once again, it wasn't meant to be. The roughness around this part of the hood looks pretty bad, and I have to think about what if anything I am going to do about it--if anything can be done. Stripping and repainting at this point is out of the question. The lesson learned is that prep work (Careful! prep work) has to be done before the color coat. Once you get to this stage, you're committed, and have to live with how things come out.

From the rear end, things don't look quite as bad, although I did have some issues with the primer (gray) showing through a bit, especially noticable on the trunk. Next time I paint something a light color I have to remember to use a white primer!!!! The bare metal foil trim job isn't the best either, but it's going to have to do.

After I took these pictures I removed the Bare Metal Foil from the drivers side A-pillar; while I was polishing the roof "caved in" and bent up the foil. Perhaps in the future I need to support the roof during polishing, but in most builds I don't think a roof will cave in.

My general finishing process: a) Future Floor Polish; 3-4 coats. The clear finish starts to shine a lot better after the 3rd coat or so. b) 2000 grit automotive sandpaper. I was very careful to not remove any paint, but here and there (around the hood especially) I did. Damn! c) Tamiya "fine" and "finish" polish d) Novus 3,2,1 plastic polish and clean.

In general, I never spend that much time on polish and finish, and it shows. Unless I quit my job and give up other interests, it's just not going to happen. For the amount of time I've spent so far, the build is coming out OK, but it will never look perfect. Perfection takes time. That's true of a lot of things, and that's true about model building.

Monday, January 11, 2010

71 Roadrunner 1:25th Scale--Body Odor....

I had a pretty relaxing XMAS/New Years but now it's back to work....

I have been building a 1:25th scale 1971 Roadrunner from a vintage (and somewhat hard to find) MPC kit. The hood came off a resin kit whose body I otherwise destroyed and I cast the front bumper, using a NASCAR stock car bumper as the master, since the front bumper/grille that came with the MPC kit didn't look, well, right.

I am feeling I may have overextended myself a bit--this build is turning out to be beyond my skills level. That's the way to improve right? Well, maybe. I am taking a fresh look at my builds and finding little problems everywhere, problems that seem to come up again and again....and so far I don't have good solutions.

At least I am getting better information about what needs to improve....

First up: painting within the lines. I have never been very good at this. For the Roadrunner I figured painting the side lights would be easy but it wasn't in the end; as you see here, I had trouble keeping things neat. In retrospect, I should have used baremetal foil and/or masked; it was silly for me to think I could flow paint into the side lights and have them look OK. I'm not sure how I will fix this, maybe some touch up paint and polish?

Surprise: the rear emblem decal came out looking....bad! This should have been easy but ended up looking smeared. Not sure what if anything can be done about this, in the future I need to take care to completely sand off the molded emblem I am replacing before applying a decal or photoetch.

Another issue that plagues me: lines I cut into things look crooked, rather than neat and straight. Door lines, hood lines, trunk lines....if I need to create these I am in big trouble. Hood lines are especially troubling. Above you can see a where glue is visible through the crack in the hood. That really bugs me, but I am not sure what at this point I can do about it; maybe scribing it with a #11 blade and then applying some black wash.

Finish issues exist where the front bumper I cast meets the body. This is a strange one. The bumper was mounted to a piece of thin sheet plastic, then glued to the rest of the body as a unit. But the line joining the two pieces isn't clean; in the photo above, you can see that part of the joining line has vanished entirely. I don't know why this happened; perhaps the glue melted some of the joined plastic and ruined what should have been a crisp line.

What all this really means is that I need to spend a lot more time getting things right before I paint. The bumper-join issue was probably fixable at some point, as well as the hood, but not once I've painted the color coats. I am thinking I need to work on a process where I use a master, like a piece of brass fixed to the body, to server as a guide around which I scribe things like door lines.

I am getting a bit better with Bare Metal Foil, but things are still not perfect. In addition to tiny bumps here and there--not sure where they came from, as I am tacking the BMF down to smooth unpainted plastic--the place where the BMF and trim end often look bad. Maybe I need a tiny bit of glue so I don't end up with a small terminating blob, as you see here?

More BMF issues with where some of the trim joins up. In general, the rear window frame came out OK, but this particular corner didn't. Not sure why.

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