Saturday, December 14, 2013

Audi R8--Now for Something a Tiny Bit Different

My 11-year old nephew and I were supposed to build this Audi A8 kit but he didn't seem particularly interested.  Compared to video games, let's face it--model making is pretty dull if you're a kid!

So I figured I might as well take a crack at building it; what the heck, it's not the kind of kit I usually build.  

After having built kits now for a few years I am getting into a routine--first thing is to prepare the parts for paint--clean them up, get rid of flash and mold lines, and put them onto bamboo sticks with alligator clips on the end, ready for paint.

I am renting a new place and thus dedicated a corner of the dark-n-stinky garage to be my pseudo paint booth--we are ready to go…..

And presto, we are back, with most of the parts primed up and ready for color coat.  About two-thirds of the build will be painted semi gloss black, following the color call outs in the instructions.  I am not sure if those call outs match the real world--it seems like an awful lot of semi gloss back--but I don't really care, it's just a stupid model kit!  The other third of the parts will be finished with lacquer metalizers. Always fun!

Speaking of always fun, the body has some pretty big sink marks right in front facia that are very easy to see.  These puppies have to be filled in.  And of course (!) the gnarliest sink mark of them all is right  underneath the Audi Logo.  Getting that cleaned up as is would be almost impossible, so I will get a photo etched logo so I can just sand the whole thing out!

More sink marks by the headlights--wow, that's ugly!  This kit might have modern tooling but some of the casting the work feels a bit like ancient AMT to me!  Forget modern tooling!  Bring back the 68 Toronado!

Saturday, November 30, 2013

55 Chevy Badman--Finished--Better Late than Never

Let's face it--in the past few months it seems I have had better (?) things to do than sit at a workbench slaving away at some silly hobby. Like--seeing friends?  Like--earning a living? Hence not many posts.

So for that past several weeks--almost no progress at all on anything that would be salient to this blog.

I did have some extra time last weekend and managed to finish a box-stock build--well, almost-- something my brothers and I built about 100 times when we were kids--the Monogram "Chevy Badman".

Reissued by Revell/Monogram, this was an easy to build kit--not a lot of parts--and fun! I wanted something simple looking and clean, so, no decals, no not-to-scale dump pipes (I stole other pipes from my parts bin) and some very quick trim installation.

I wouldn't say scale building is getting easier, but I do find myself doing the same sort of things over and over--all clear coat is now 2 part polyurethane; every build to date gets a round of bare metal foil, and so on....

I am not sure where I am at with this hobby. I have a lot on my social calendar and it's hard to imagine having a lot of time to build. I bought some super car kits; which is a change of pace (?) for me, let's see where those go. I was working on a early Chevy Vette Gasser before putting it aside, and to my surprise, Revell just came out with a 62 Vette Gasser that, box stock, will probably kick butt of anything I can come up with after hours of kit bashing and "engineering" my own Vette Gasser.  Oh well.

So here's the most notable thing of all: when friends ask what I am up to, I never say "I build model cars".  If I was into 1:1 cars maybe I would mention it, they might like to go for a ride?  But this?  It's a legal vice, but beyond this blog, it's one I keep quiet about.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

40 Ford Hot Rod--Finished!

It's been a few months and I haven't been building at all--but I moved, I've going through some difficult personal stuff, and I guess I needed a break.  But modeling is like a patient friend, hanging around, and once I realized I could wake up a bit early and build for a few minutes before getting ready for work, I got right back into how relaxing and fun this stupid hobby can be.

So finally I finished the box-stock 40 Ford Hot Rod.  A pretty easy build and way fun! Not much to report here--this was a really straight forward kit, got some orange peel on some of the side panels, but otherwise it came out OK.

The trim took a lot of patience, I had to add a piece and then let it dry overnight, then add a couple more and let it dry overnight, and so on, but the patience was worth it--the more I build the more I realize that patience is everything when it comes to a decent finished product.  Nothing can be rushed!

And it was nice (and relaxing) to build something "box stock".

Now on to some of the more ambitious projects I was working on before I took this break!  Hopefully coming soon!

Monday, May 27, 2013

40 Ford--Parts Is Parts!

So here it's almost June already, and what have I been up to in terms of my time consuming hobby that squashes my obsessive compulsive disorder (sometimes?)

Still working on a box-stock 40 Ford.  Even hard for me to believe it's not done yet!

So I have a new house and have been busy at work--so when I have 15-20 minutes I run up to my work room and glue together a few more parts!

As I said before--this is a cool kit!  Fun to build!  Interior is silver lacquer with green acrylic accents...

Ready to be dropped in.....a few masking problems here and there, but good enough (and--I never retouch any photos!)

Really hard for me not to wire the engine--but I didn't!

Frame is coming out pretty clean--almost ready for final assembly.

Body is Testor's One Touch Lacquer--I used this paint to save myself time!  And--nice crud by the fender--that's just me being to lazy to clean the body before taking this pix--it will clean up OK.

OK, wheels/tires have a Shabo label treatment.  Like the super-low-rez photo eh? Whitewalls are dry transfer...didn't come out perfectly centered, but it's OK.  It will look good on the finished model--which hopefully I will be done with soon.  But I still have to prep all the body trim--arg!  That's probably the toughest job of all! Until next time--I'll be what I am, Solitary Man.....

Monday, April 15, 2013

Where Have You Gone Joe DiMaggio? And! 1940 Ford Street Rod

Joltin' Joe has left and gone away?

I missed doing any posts last month, first time in a few years I think, but I have a good excuse: I moved.

In the new place I set up a medium-sized room devoted to just building small things--I am not done setting up my "workroom" yet, but a table is already in place for model making.

The big improvements are improved natural light and a lot more storage space for parts, paint, tools, glues etc etc etc.  These were both serious issues in the old space.  Am I getting too involved in building silly little toys?  Perhaps!

To shake out the new room, instead of continuing to work on some of the "serious" projects I started before packing everything up, I decided to build something box stock in like 1-2 days.  So I bought this 40 Ford Coupe at the local hobby shop, knowing zero about it. Turns out this is a really nice kit!

OK, I guess I will never be able to build a kit in 1-2 days.  Especially in the process of moving every other thing I own.  This 40 Ford Monogram kit has "modern tooling"! Beautiful casting, great detail, great fit, very little need for parts cleanup. The frame/front suspension is pretty complex and just taking that off the sprues and gluing it up took maybe 2 hours.

But overall, it's going faster because I can find things quickly!  So--the question is the same as it ever was!  I have more space, but do I have more time?

OK!!! more to come soon.....

Sunday, February 24, 2013

53 Vette "Don Yost Build" Finished!

I took a break from a Vette Gasser project to try out some enamel techniques learned from an education airbrush DVD from Don Yost ....

Here's what I came up with. It's a box stock build of an AMT 53 Vette using some of the "Customizing parts".....paint is all Testors enamel, which is the only sort of paint Yost uses, it seems.

It's a pretty good kit, but like so many AMT builds, the suspension had to be dropped a lot....the hood doesn't quite fit....

Paint wise, Yost's technique is easy to use on every part of the build, and enamel paint, it turns out, is very forgiving.  To think I got rid of a lot of enamel paints a few years ago thinking they had no use....

Overall this build came out pretty well, if I had to do this again I'd work more on getting the hood to fit better, and spend more time on the ride height, both of which seem to always an issue it seems on these old AMT kits.  Other than the wheels from the parts box, everything else is "box stock".

Overall enamel paints have now worked their way back into my paint setup.  These DVD's from Yost, like 2 part clear, will change the way I build from here on.  I recommend the DVDs!  

Now it's back to the gasser, or maybe one of the other projects I've been working on.  Glad this one is done!

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Don Yost Paint Part II--Enamel vs. Acrylic....

From last time...I am experimenting with airbrushing enamel paints, something I have done very little of since returning to this hobby.

To date I have been using mostly acrylic and lacquer for color coats; Acrylic, at least Jacquard's, is water soluble and binds well to plastic; it won't attack styrene, and it won't stink up the house. Airbrushing enamels on the other hand have bad memories for me. Growing up I recall that enamels clogged my airbrush (my brother and I mowed a lot of lawns to buy the thing), literally to the point of tears! Enamel seemed impossibly hard to thin correctly, stunk up the house like no one's business, and was very difficult to clean up, especially when spilled all over the basement floor! 

Fast forward 4 decades, and enamels are back!  Everything changed after I bought a series of How-To DVD's by master modeler DonYost.  Turns out, Yost is an unabashed proponent of enamels as the best paint formula for modeling. It would be unfair for me to give away his technique--you need to buy his video to learn his secrets--but as advertised, he lays out his system for airbrushing enamels that's easy to follow and, from my tests to date, and done in the Yost style, gives professional results every time.

OK! Last month I had been building a 53 Vette and had been kicking around the "Yost Style" but was wondering how enamel stacks up against acrylic for primary color....So as a "control" I airbrushed a body in acrylic alongside the enamel covered Vette.  This was old Monogram Badman Chevy kit I bought online; this was a kit I built like 3 times when I was 10 years old....40 years later my eyesight isn't as good but I'm still doing the same damn thing!

The Badman paint job used no primer, just color coat and clear. I used Jacquard Airbrush ready to spray metallic opaque yellow with a large dose of Jacquard PearlEX Gold, the result is a nice golden metal flake that took about 10 minutes to mix and 5 minutes to apply.

Clearcoat was 2 part automotive clear, which was rubbed out (quickly!) with 2000/3200/12000 grit pads and Tamiya polish, followed by some Bare Metal foil for the trim. I used a Iwata SAR airbrush for the color coat and a Badger 350 airbrush for the clear.

This technique is nothing new for me.  The yellow looks good, but I have always had issues with acrylic laying down correctly; to me it always looks a bit blotchy and uneven.

The '53 Vette body used Testors flat white over a base coat of Testors German silver, all done purely in the Yost style.  In general Mr. Yost's method yields a much "thicker" color coat; as he says in his video, Testor's enamel has a self-healing property, so a small pit will get nicely filled in with paint and dry smooth--good luck doing that with lacquer! 

So the question is. which formula is "better"?

As far as I can tell, both paint formulas can give great results. The Yost/Testors/Enamel system seemed more forgiving, but the enamel color coat took longer to dry and stunk up the house (the paint uber-stink part hasn't changed in 40 years!)  I saw no orange peel with the enamel; the acrylic needed a bit more sanding and finishing, but, after this first enamel build anyway, and as quickly as the Jacquard paint went down, I felt I could get good results with either.

It's hard to say where I will go next.  Enamels are back in my paint locker with a vengeance  and for bodies, as well as engines, chassis, interior, the Yost method is great--it dries tough, looks good, and is an extremely easy and  forgiving airbrush method.  As I said last time: I recommend Mr. Yost's DVDs, and as I see it, these vids are must-views for anyone who wants to learn to professionally apply enamels to plastic.

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