Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Hotwheels Ferrari 599xx Custom Police car

So I again haven't posted in a long while, (I feel I should just start every post that way) but had a project or two that I have recently completed that I wanted to share.

The first is this one here... A custom Ferrari 599xx Police Car.
This started as a project for the local Meet and Trade day that happens once a month.
A whole group of us get together and buy, sell, and trade what we have found in the past month, or looking to get rid of....
But separate from that, is an on-going, themed custom contest.

Themes in the past have been pick-up trucks, Rat-Rods, but two months ago, the chosen theme for the meet in December was Ferrari.
As a long time Ferrari fan I was excited, but also a little worried. As Ferrari and Mattel had ended their relationship, there would be no more Ferrari's available on the shelf, so I had to dig a little to find some to open.

The Ferrari 599XX seemed like a great candidate... Now I just needed find a way to make it stand out.

And again, a little searching, and I came up with the idea for a Police vehicle... but not just any Police vehicle... this one would be a fantasy car from the Dubai Police Force.

I was also doing some experimenting with custom decals... so I got to work.
The film I have is a white background, rather than clear, so that meant the car had to be white, which was no problem in this case.
I "stole" the light bar off of a Matchbox BMW police car, and was pretty much done.

A good bit of fiddling with the artwork, proper sizing, and I thought I was good.

The decals are printed on a color ink-jet printer, which leaves a little to be desired for color fidelity, but for a first experiment, I thought it came out great.

There were lots of other little symbols and logos which were also added. I made up placement and some of the smaller design based on Google searches for similar cars in the Dubai fleet.

Now that I had the car done, and still had two weeks left until the meet, I decided to go extra crazy, and create a whole custom card.

Based on a regular Hotwheels card, with a few changes and additions to reflect my sense of humor, and make it a little more custom.
Things like the QR code in place of the SKU code will actually take you to this blog!
A little bit on the back of the card...
All printed at the local office supply store, for a high quality finish.
They are adhered using simple spray adhesive, to a cutout section of a cereal box.
Then carefully cut to shape with an exacto knife.
Not perfect, but again, great for a first attempt in my opinion. I learn as I go, and will hopefully have the next one turn out better.

Up for January's meet is a Porsche.... So look for that one to come soon!
Thanks again for stopping by my little slice of the internet!

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Almost 6 months later - Revell Ferrari Enzo

Wow! Has it really been 6 months since my last post?
I would guess that might mean that I have been busy, which I have, and have several completed models as a backlog that I will work on getting posted.
The first one up is Revell's Ferrari Enzo....
Mainly because I have the most "in progress pictures" for this one.
I picked this kit up for a pretty good price, and planned to do a comparison against the Tamiya kit of the same vehicle. While probably not a fair comparison given the many differences, I was quite pleased with the outcome.
Here are the contents of the box. All molded in a neutral white color, with the exception of some clear parts and red parts. There is also a small number of chrome plated parts.
Construction begins, like most kits with the engine.
Not really a lot to see here... but the next picture I have shows the power plant much farther along.
It all fit together well to this point, and some small detail painting, and various shades of silver and black help create the mult-piece look.
And here is the completed engine, along with the rear suspension and driveline all attached to the chassis.
The next picture I have taken is clearly much farther along in the assembly.
The front suspension is hung on the chassis, and the interior tub, seats, and dash is all in place.

So these are the last of the pictures I have that I "found" on my camera.

Which leaves me wit the pictures I just took of the completed kit as it sits in my display case.
I chose to paint the exterior white after some internet surfing, and felt that it added to the clean, modern shape of the car.
Evident here are a few small pieces I have left off, such as inside the engine vents, just behind the doors.
Unlike the Tamiya version, the doors and trunk area (in the front) do not open on this finished model.
The rear engine cover does however open, and causes it to not quite close flush. I didn't have anything for a "prop-rod" to display the cover in the open position.

All in all, as I mentioned, I was quite surprised at how well this kit came out. Everything fit together really well, and came together without any real issues. All the pieces were well molded and I had virtually no excessive flash to clean up.
The only thing I took issue with was the bright chrome of the wheels. I chose to dullcoat the chrome and got a result that appeared closer to the images I found on the internet.
I say GOOD JOB Revell, and will likely be looking for other releases in the future.

I have several more kits that I have finished over the past several months, and will work to get some photos of at least the finished kits to share.

Thank you as always for looking!

Monday, March 16, 2015

Mustang II has defeated me....

So I bought this kit some months ago at a garage sale because my sister had a 1978 Mustang II when we were growing up. It was her first car, was pale yellow, had a tiny 4 cylinder engine and three speed automatic.
I always liked the shape of the car, but the performance was quite lacking for something carrying the Mustang name.
This one promised to represent a little more "performance modified" example.
As I showed earlier, I started painting the body with a white primer that had gotten too cold, and the paint came out like atomized tooth-paste.
Not exactly the finish I was hoping to start with. Plus you can see where the red in the plastic is already starting to seep through, and had turned the white a pink color.
So I started sanding it all down, got it smooth again (I thought) and went to one of my secret weapons..... Silver spray paint. I find that silver spray paint usually creates a nice barrier and prevents the "bleed through" of the plastic underneath.
So I set the new silver body and hood aside and started on the rest of the kit.
Which is where I started to encounter other problems.
The chrome plating on some of the parts was horrible. It's a little hard to see here, but one of the front wheels is half white, and half chrome. Again, out came the spray paint, and figured I can deal with aluminum wheels as opposed to chrome plated wheels.
The interior built up pretty nicely, and the 5 piece roll-cage went together without too much fuss.
Next came the engine.... And more headaches.
I have the block and heads assembled, with the oil-pan, intake, and carbs on top.
The engine pulleys don't line up correctly, and won't even contact the water pumps in the correct place..... So I decide I'll just glue the hood on, and not even worry about the engine.
My patience was running thin, and I just want to get this one done.
So out comes the silver body, with three coats of a light yellow to match the color of my sister's Mustang....
The body looked pretty good. Still needed a little work to get out some bigger flaws, but was looking like it might be done soon...
And then there is the hood
Apparently even with the silver barrier coat, the red still came through the 4 coats of paint...
So last ditch effort, I decide I'll just complete it with the hood off. I can re-work the pulleys and get that to look okay. Maybe add some spark plug wires, and detail the carbs a little and add some interest.
See this little hole on the bottom of the oil pan....?
It's supposed to line up with this little peg on the cross member....
But the engine won't sit far enough back. The transmission tunnel is on the way.
Again, neither of these is a major hurdle that I can't overcome... I just don't have the patience to try anymore.
This little Mustang has fought me more than any kit in recent history.
I keep telling myself I am glad I didn't pick this kit as a place to start when I got in to modeling, I may have never gotten past this one.
So it will go back in a box, and someday, a long ways off, I may decided to pull it out, strip the paint, and start over.
More likely,  I will cannibalize it for wheels and tires, and a few other bits, and call it done with.
Certainly, I am ready to be on to the next project.
And heading towards a kit I know will go together much, much easier.

Monday, March 2, 2015

Connie Kalitta's Mustang Funny Car - Bounty Hunter

So this isn't the same Mustang kit that I started and had trouble with the paint. I had yet another Mustang Funny Car in my stash of unbuilt kits, and it was the one that my wife picked out from a list for my next project.

This is a 1/25 scale kit that comes from MPC. I don't really know the history of the kit, but given it's retro graphics and instructions, I am assuming this us a re-release of an older kit.

For me the beginning of this kit comes with the gigantic rear tires.
The come nicely printed with raised white lettering from the factory. A really nice touch.

I also like to scuff up the tread surface of the tires with a fine sandpaper. Gives them that slightly used look, and takes of the sheen of a brand new tire.
This kit is a relatively straight forward build with a minimum number of parts.
Another nice feature with this kit, is that the tube chassis comes molded in one piece. After some clean-up and nice coat of semi-gloss black from a spray can, here is where we hang everything else off of.
At the heart of any competition car is the engine. In this case a massive engine with an giant blower to force even more air into the engine.
At this point it is missing the actual hat that sits at the very top and a few other bits. It looks to have Hemi style valve covers, but that could just be every early funny car had this type of arrangement. I am just not as knowledgeable on the subject as I could be.
The body is also a one piece affair, and required very little clean-up. The proportions are all stretched as with any funny car, but it is still quite recognizable as a Ford Mustang.
Giant colorful decals are also part of the fun when it comes to Funny Cars. The kit supplied decals went on smooth and laid nice and flat. I only had two small problems. One of the large billboard decals running the entire length of the side was torn during my attempts to place it. A little extra water and some effort got it right back in place. I also tore the left side stripe on the hood, and didn't it re-aligned quite as successfully.
The engine fitted to the chassis along with the tub style interior. A few pieces here were a little tricky to get in the right place, and I changed the order some of the parts went on, to help ease the fitting.
As you come towards the last steps in the instructions, here are the two halves that get mated together to form the finished kit. The interior "bulkhead" that gets glued to the underside of the body fought me quite a bit at this point. This piece represents the safety shield that separates the driver from the engine inside the car, and on the kit creates the rear hinge that allows the body to be positioned open or closed. It was just too big. Several tries with sandpaper and a file were necessary to get it all together.
In the end it was worth the effort. Though I feel the body still sits a little too high over the chassis, it does all come together.
It looks ready to make a fast pass down the 1/4 mile.

And with the kit supplied brace, it can be displayed with the body open, showing off the engine inside.

All in all, this was a fun kit, and went together pretty easily. The lower number of parts meant that I was able to complete the whole thing in about a week's worth of spare time.

I do have the Impala done, I just need the weather to cooperate a little so I can get some good pictures.
6 degrees and blowing snow is not really ideal weather for taking photographs.
So look for those in the future.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

More Broken Parts

Making slow progress on my most recent project, mainly because it is really cold in my work area.
A small space heater just isn't able to keep up when it is 4 degrees outside!

But I had been making slow progress until this afternoon.

The current kit that I am working on is an offering from Revell, and has its "press-fit" or "snap-in-place" wheels and axle design.

I was smart enough to press the front wheels and brakes on prior to installing on the chassis.
But then came the rear-end.

Don't know if it was the cold, my slightly numb fingers, or simply my own amazing strength, but sure enough.....
Snapped the rear axle in three pieces. Broke it completely from the chassis and drive shaft, as well as tore out the rear springs and other small pieces as well.

Now hopefully the glue will hold the pieces together well enough that I can get them back under the car.
Already started gluing the rear axle housing back together here. Hopefully it will go back in smoothly and be strong enough to hold together. About ready to toss this one.
It has certainly been fighting me.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Williams FW-07 by Tamiya

So I decided over the New Year long weekend that I should start on something a little different than my normal kit. I have a couple of these Tamiya Formula 1 cars, and find them to be a fascinating build.
Not only are they completely different from any road-going car, the kits are also in a different scale (1/20 scale).

So this is the Williams FW-07 car as sponsored by Saudi Arabia Airlines and debuted in the 1979 season.

Powered by a Ford Cosworth DFV V8, this chassis was a real contender at the hands of it's drivers
Aluminum monocoque chassis helped to keep the weight down while protecting the driver.
It was at this point that I encountered the first of a number of problems I had with this kit. I have had this in the "to build" pile for some time, and not even sure when I acquired the kit. It appears that it was an original issue (1980), or very early re-issue. The decals had become yellowed and very brittle.
the green shown here is supposed to be a kit supplied decal.
Try as I might, I couldn't get it to lay down flat, and ended up tearing it in several places.
So I found some nice dark green spray paint, and masked off the areas that needed to stay white. (except of a little green that crept under the tape on the bulkhead behind the driver compartment)
Here is the top portion of the cowling. You can see where I further masked the rear portion for the green. The rest is kit supplied decals. Clearly evident here is the yellowing of the decals over the years.

It was all starting to come together.
The overall livery I found to be very pleasing. The dark green paint here is pretty close to the kit supplied numbers. Again the yellowing of the "TAG" logo against the white of the side skirt here is evident. I also found it interesting some of the sponsors placed here.......
Here is the finished piece, to the best of my ability. This one did fight me a little bit with the decals, and the overall final fit.

It looks good to me, and will look great on the shelf next to the other couple of F1 builds I have completed.
While not as wild as the Tyrell P-34, or as recognizable as one from Scuderia Ferrari, I am glad to have built it.
Now on to the next....
Something more American this time.

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Cold Weather painting

So just a quick post.
Finished up my first kit for 2015 (started in 2014), and decided to start another one.

Well, it's cold outside, and that makes it cold in my workspace as well.

Apparently my paint can got too cold, and it came out like textured paint.
Very frustrating.....
So I put the can in front of a small space heater while I went to town with the sandpaper.
Came out nice and smooth, and ready for a second attempt with the now nicely warmed paint.

The warmed paint worked for one side of the body, and then started getting clumpy again...

The additional problem I am having with this one, is the kit is older, and is molded in red. As you can see, I am still getting red tint showing through my white basecoat.

It is now back in it's box for a "time-out" and will try again in a couple of months.
I just wasn't up for the fight with this one.