Tuesday, September 12, 2017

BMW M3 almost ready for decals

I am getting along nicely with this. I sorted out my airbrush troubles and have given the body a couple of coats of diluted Vallejo Foundation White on top of some AK Interactive White Primer.

Next step is a couple of coats of Johnsons "Kleer" and then onto decals - all 100 of them!

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Is it really 10 months?

Almost to the day! 11th December last year was the last time I actually touched anything approaching  "scale models".  I have done quite a bit on my model railroad, including some plastic kits but that isn't quite what I mean.

I have dumped the Mustang as it wasn't going anywhere. I have now taken up the Revell DTM BMW M3 "Martin Tomczyk" (RV7082) in 1:24th scale.

I started this out a few weeks ago doing everything with brush painting as my Iwata airbrush wasn't working and I couldn't get my brain round fixing it. Why, what was wrong?

Quite sever arthritis, radiotherapy damage on my bl****r and miscellaneous issues that have left me feeling a bit out of it due to pain killers. On top of that, I had two Open University courses going on at the same time - and I needed one to finish the other so there was quite a bit of pressure. I was studying a course on writing phone apps (amongst there web related stuff) which I needed to complete the final - ever - OU course - a project that needed a 10,000 word report at then end and, hopefully, some working software. The project was to build a routing package for freight cars on my model railroad and present the workings on an Android tablet. Well, it all got finished (on Friday) so I am free - free - freeeeee. It only took 42 years for me to complete my degree but I should have my final result in November.

Anyway, I have got the chassis built for this DTM racer.There isn't much to worry about as there is a solid underbody, an enclosing interior and no lifting bonnet so you can't see much of the works. I spent some time this afternoon getting the airbrush to work and now we are back "cooking with gas"!

This is so far.

(Click on either for a slide show).

There is a huge decal sheet and it is going to be complicated to get some of the decals on but I am a dab hand at decals nowadays. I used to hate putting them on so always rushed it but I have got slower in my old age so they tend to go on quite well nowadays.

Sunday, December 11, 2016

The Mustang is benefitting from a delay in my studies

I should be doing 10 hours a week studying for my Open University degree but they have yet to release the next two units for the current study block so I am cruising along with nothing to work on. The Mustang is benefitting from that as I have now spent most of today working on it. Being a Revell kit, it doesn't have the part count of a Fujimi one so it isn't taking that long.

I have also decided to stay with the chrome plated parts to save the effort of stripping the chrome and then repainting - first with a black primer and then with Alclad. It always used to be necessary because the manufacturers always put the chrome plating onto black sprues so any cut points always showed and it was almost impossible to hide them. Nowadays, the chrome is plated onto white sprues leaving the tiny cut marks almost imperceptible.

So the first step was to build the engine. I am painting the car in Tamiya metallic blue so I used that on the engine block.

I painted the cylinder heads with Tamiya semi-gloss black and then wiped it off, leaving the paint in the grooves. I think that worked quite well. The chassis is the easy bit, given the fun that I have had with Tamiya and Fujimi suspensions. No such effort here. It is all moulded in one!

The next stage is to make the dashboard. This is where I made my big(ish) mistake. I put the decals into the dash upside down. Mind you, once the dash is in place and the body on, no one will ver be able to see the results.

Once I had fitted the steering wheel, the problem was almost out of sight.

I am now working on the body shell and the main interior.I hope to get a lot done this evening and finish the whole thing off tomorrow - three days? I must be concentrating at last.

Saturday, December 10, 2016

More Lotus 49 and some great service

I am working my way through the suspension of the car. I have managed to get the front suspension done OK. Note: I have yet to spray the etched radiator so you can see the super glue remnants through the grille.

It all seems to work, including the steering but it is very tight so it won't take too much messing about.  I have also completed the cockpit - remember, no seat belts in those days!

Following all of this, I started back on the engine, which meant attaching the rear suspension. This is where it all started to go wrong. A few days ago, I had put together both sides; realised that I had got some of it wrong so took it apart; put it back and found that one of the suspension arms was stuck when it should rotate. I got this moving. When I came back to it, I had to attach a link to that arm and found that it wouldn't come out of its mount sufficiently far for me to carry out the step. In trying to coax it out, it broke off. I decided that I would worry about this later and got on with the rest of the work only, when pressing down on the bottom wishbone, I heard a small crack and another part had broken off. Here are two images of the damage. (I will explain where the good ones came from next).

Pretty dramatic, don't you think! Well, I thought so too but then a memory came from my SBX days. 

On Tuesday, I called up the Hobby Company, in Milton Keynes - they are the Tamiya importers. Giving them the kit code, I asked if they still can supply replacement sprues. "Yes", came the answer, "we can". I wanted the chrome sprue "D" so off he went. Whilst he was looking, I checked on their web site and there was no mention of the Lotus 49 kit so I presumed that it had been retired (again). He came back to tell me the bad news that they didn't have that sprue. I noticed that they did, however, still have the Gold Leaf TL 49B that had been re-released recently. Of course, as I discussed with the Hobby Company guy, that had the same engine and suspension. He, being of a similar era (but a lot younger than me, I guess as he was still out at work - smile), agreed with me. We sorted out that kit number and back he came with the good news. For the princely sum of #11.50 plus postage, I could have it shortly. 

In fact, it came on Thursday. In the meantime, I took the sprue from the 49B kit and got on. Now, I think that that service was as good as you are going to get from a kit importer and they should get five gold stars, if there were such things. So, back to the two images above - that is where the good versions came from. I am now a happy bunny once again and getting on with the build. Well, not quite. I don't find it gripping putting these suspensions together so, yet again, I am putting the kit down for a week or so. I have dragged another kit from the shelf. This time - sorry Dan - I am making a Shelby Mustang 350 for myself!

This is going to be painted in Tamiya metallic blue - a colour that would have been impossible a few months ago as there was nowhere in town where I could buy Tamiya paints but now there is Hobbycraft! Yippee!

Monday, December 05, 2016

Alfa Romeo Finished and onwards with the Lotus 49

I had some fun spraying the Alfa with the Jaegermeister orange. These Zero paints are brilliant, so long as you don't have to touch up anything as they will not brush paint. I had to paint around all the window surrounds in black - to simulate the rubber - and a few bits ran over the orange. Luckily, I had a bottle of Vallejo flat orange which is nearly the same shade, so I used that. I have asked Zero/Hiroboy for some advice but nothing has come back yet.

Anyway, the rest of the car went together beautifully. I did have one little bit where I kicked myself for my disbelief in Tamiya parts fitting. When putting the roll cage together there was on strut the went from the top back to the chassis. This has a pin on it but there was no attendant hole in the chassis. I thought for a few seconds and then cut the pin off. In the past I have told my wife "if something doesn't fit on a Tamiya kit it is because I have done something wrong!" On scanning the instructions just making sure that I had fitted everything, I came across one more strut for the roll cage. This fits in low down into the same slot as the part mentioned above. Guess what. It had one flat side and ---- a hole for a pin to go into!

One last surprise was the little radio aerial on the roof. Rather then moulding one, they tell you to use stretch sprue. Now, if you haven't come across this idea before, this is what you need.

You light the candle with the cigarette lighter. Then you cut off a piece of the unwanted sprue and hold it, gently, over the flame. When it begins to soften - and don't let it get too soft - pull easily apart and you end up with some really thin plastic rod. Once I had done this, I had to cut it to 10mm, glue it in place and paint it black. Why didn't they mould one?

With that sorted, I got on with the decals. There are plenty of them and, unlike the BMW recently, they went on like a dream. One final coat of 2 Pack Gloss and it was ready for showtime.

One thing is wrong - isn't there always one thing? I didn't put the aluminium protection above the exhaust pipes. They supply a small square of self adhesive aluminium sheet which you cut to size and the cut the slot for the towing ring. It looked like something I would screw up so it was safer to leave them off. If the bonnet (hood) looks a bit out of place, that is because I haven't glued it to the rest of the body as, this way, I can take the body off to show the interior. I am very pleased with this.

I have a BWM 635CSi (like the one I finished recently) in Jaegermeister colours. I am hoping to get a Tamiya Porsche 934 in the same colours for Christmas. It seems that Revell make a VW van in Jaegermeister colours as well, so I will try and add that.

So, now I am back on the 1:12thLotus 49. I have put the fiddly front suspension together and painted - and decalled - the dashboard. 

The kit comes with etched instruments but they are all solid nickel silver colour and didn't look right so I went with the decals. I think that they look just the part. Now, I have the rear suspension to fit together. Not a lot left to do, actually. I am quite surprised at that.

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Tamiya Alfa Jaegermeister - don't you just hate it when...

I decided, after I had got this far with the Lotus:

that I would have a bit of a break and do something that might result in a finished article for next Thursday's Christmas meeting (1st December 2016) of the Clacton club. I bought this kit recently from Hiroboy. I have a BMW 635CSi to do in Jaegermeister colours but I have just made one 635 so I thought that the Alfa would be different.

Well, it is! I have built the kit with some care and, so far, I haven't broken or mislaid anything. That must be some kind of record for me. I am well prepared because I have the correct orange as a Zero Paint in stock - I bought it for the above mentioned 635CSi. That isn't what makes it different, though. I have laboured long and hard on this. First off, I gave every sprue a coat of Zero Paints grey primer. This is 2 pack stuff so it comes with a primer, hardener and thinner, all of which needs to be mixed in the right proportions for the airbrush. Well - it was either too runny, in which case I put some more primer in - and then it was a bit thick. So thick, in fact, that I had to run it through the airbrush with the needle pulled out of the way. With the needle in place, it just wouldn't come out.

That done, all of the aluminium and the chrome parts got a shot of Alclad. I have bee playing with the Vallejo Metal Colour but I find that this doesn't spray as well as I like. I do use it to touch up though as Alclad cannot be brush painted. The upside of Alclad is that it dries almost instantly but the down side is the smell! What with the stench of the 2 pack and then the Alclad, my wife was a little annoyed at the overall smell in the apartment. I don't have an extractor and, initially, I forgot to open my window.The window is partially blocked by the model railway so it is a pain to open and close - but under the slight (ha!) pressure from SWMBO, it was opened - as was the bedroom window and we got a through draft going.

Anyway, to the nitty-gritty. With everything set up, I started and found, to my joy, that this was a true Tamiya kit. The instructions were clear, there was no flash and everything went together as it should. I worked my way through the engine carefully and made it without mishaps. I was quite pleased with it. Then the suspension went in along with all the underside parts and then I found that the underside of the engine/suspension was covered by a plate so nothing was to be seen. I turned the car over to finish the engine bay to find that a cover went over the whole top of the engine, so no point in spending the time painting up the cylinder heads, for instance. At that point, I checked the body and, guess what, there was no opening bonnet(hood) so, having done all of this work, almost all of it was never to be seen again! Now I wish that I had started taking photos a little earlier.

This is where I have got up to. I am just about to start the inside of the car so I thought that it was a good time to stop and take stock.

Wednesday, November 09, 2016

Lotus 49 Engine

I have been working hard on the engine. There are 8 fuel pipes and eight distributor leads that have to be connected up at both ends. I find that I need to put the end of the vinyl tubing into some hot water to soften it just a tad before offering it up to the pin. Even so, I have used a drop of Zap-a-Gap CA glue to make sure that that stay in place.

Everything was going great until I came back the next day to find that one of the tips of the fuel injectors had broken so there was nowhere to attach the fuel pipe. I was at a loss what to do when I thought I could, maybe, scratch build a replacement. Out came the candle and lighter. I managed to stretch some sprue until it was the right thickness for the lower part. I then drilled a small hole through and inserted some fine brass wire. Lastly, I had to drill a new attachment hole in the engine casing. Once fitted with the pipe in place, unless you look closely, it looks pretty much the ticket!

and a close up of the replacement part.

As you can see, I have also fitted a set of "Air Funnel Mesh" which I obtained from Hobby Link Japan as Hiroboy was out of stock. I tried to fit these using super glue but they didn't stick. I took them off and replaced the glue with Gator's Grip Light. I then found that one of the items had stuck to the cutting board It is a little damaged but I don't have any more:-( so it will have to do. I think that the engine looks better for that.

Here is the final engine ready for inspection.

I think that it looks the business.