Saturday, December 24, 2011

75 Corvette--Aside--Foil Copy is Conquered!

Sometimes when I'm building I discover things--sometimes by accident. Those accidental discoveries are good things!

I was working on a 1:25 1975 Corvette build, using a couple of vintage Corvette from MPC,when I discovered the rocker covers are nothing like the 1:1 cars'.

Here's what MPC gives you.....

Here's the 1:1 engine (apologies to whoever posted this originally)

Besides not being chrome, the MPC mastered valve covers are nothing like the originals. I figured I'd modify them by casting them using Omurayu
to customize and "move things around"

Here's what I came up with....the casting is OK, and I could now sand it down and start moving around the filler cap and other items by cutting apart multiple castings. But right before I started I wondered--does CA stick to Omurayu? If not, I might be able to do something like the "foil copy" I have read about in hobby mags.

As I understand Foil Copy: you take a piece of tin foil and press it against a detail you want to keep, then fill the indentation in the foil with superglue. Let the CA glue dry, then remove the CA, trim, paint or whatever, and use on your kit.

I could never get this to work--the CA always came out like a little blob. I posted "how do you really do this?" on a couple of hobby forums and no one on the forums seemed to know either. Is foil copy some sort of myth?

Well, no. CA glue DOES NOT stick to Omurayu molds, and I made a PERFECT "foil copy" of the filler cap from it.

So here's how I did it: I cast the small item using Omurayu, poured in a dab of CA, let it dry a LONG time (for me, it took 24-48 hours), removed the dried CA from the mold using tweezers, trimmed, and painted. It works!

Here's the finished part and to give you an idea of the tiny size of the casting, the part vs. a guitar pick. This is like learning to use 2 part clear--for me, it will change a lot of things. And BTW, I will not use this tiny filler cap for the valve covers....the MPC 1980 Monte Carlo MPC-702, besides having a nifty little Honda Motorcycle included in the kit, has correct valve covers for a 75 Vette, and I will just steal them from that.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

75 Vette-Vintage Kit-Body Work....

I had a chance to buy a couple of vintage MPC kits off Ebay--MPC 1-7506, '75 Vette Roadster. This is before the ERTL days or whatever, and I remember back as a kid, MPC was "way cool"--they always made stuff that had the right look. Now that I bought these vintage MPC kits it means they will be reissued soon right?

Getting right down to work: body time. I love the lines on the 1:1 Vettes with this later body style. The front bumper assembly on the kit didn't fit quite right, but I am hammering it into place.

Besides getting rid of mold lines and all the usual steps, I disliked how MPC mastered the front grill for the model--just a blob of chrome with none of the European-looking refinement. Let's fix that....

Using the back end of a #11 blade I cut out the offensive inner facades of the one-piece front bumper assembly.

Tricky work, because the entire front bumper piece doesn't fit on the body that well to begin with and is pretty fragile.....after both inner panels were removed, I replaced them with blanks made from .010 styrene. Looking better already.

The actual mesh for the grillwork is presenting a challenge. Nothing is available in the aftermarket I can find for this, so I am trying to modify some leftover photoetch from an old GTO build. The guitar pick is in there to give you an idea of how tiny this work is, at 1:25 scale.

The other thing I didn't like was the vent in the top of the dash, so I found a more suitable vent on an Avanti kit from the parts bin....

I cast the vent in resin, and then cut it into the dash. I didn't quite center it right, but after some sanding it's probably going to be OK. I am still somewhat of a beginner, so this is as much about learning technique as anything else.

And of course! You have to get rid of the "1975" license plates....many kits that were derived from promos seem to have the year stamped on the plate, which obviously isn't realistic. Poof--sanded off--gone. Are we ready for paint yet?

Saturday, December 3, 2011

51 Channeled Chevy--Finished--The Good, the Bad, and the Fugly!

Free at last!--the 51 Channeled Chevy is done....some of it came out OK, some pretty bad, and some just downright fugly.....

What came out not so good--the hand painted flames on the side. I'm not going to try to do that again...from certain angles it looks OK but for the most part it looks sloppy and unprofessional. I give the handpainted flames a C-! If I had used masks (like on the hood) it would have looked much better.

I give the engine compartment a solid B (?) or not-so-solid B/B-? Maybe this was beyond my abilites, because cramming such a large engine into a small compartment was akin to building a tricky jigsaw puzzle! It's hard to believe that because I was too lazy to figure out how things would fit during the early stages of this, I basically built the engine up inside the finished engine compartment. Doh!

The fugly would be the stance. In Pat Ganahl's seminal book "The American Custom Car", he talks about the history of custom car stance--specifically hot rods are raked; customs, low front and rear, or even low rear and high front. So my build is a custom with a hot rod rake. To me, this doesn't really work. The build would have looked better if I had given the whole thing a more traditional "lead sled" low look, or, made it more of a hot rod as far as paint and trim (sponsor decals, dechromed, hood scoop, rear slicks, whatever).

The good is the interior. This is my best interior work to date, and the color scheme--ivory and flat green, with red trim, works well.

Overall--hey, it's done, on to other things. Thank goodness!

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