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.