Wednesday, August 08, 2018

Tamiya Mercedes AMG-GT3 progress

All of a sudden, I am all fired up.  Airbrushing holds no fears, using aerosol spray cans is becoming common place and I am keeping much better track of the progress.

One thing that I have started to do is to use Tamiya Fine Surface Primer as my basic primer. I like the Vallejo black polyurethane primer but I have never got on with the white equivalent, even though I have tried relative makes such as AK Interactive and Mig. When making the Hawker Sea Hurricane, I used this spray can and it worked fine so I have carried on with it throughout the AMG build. It goes on quickly and easily, smells a bit but dries quickly.  I am a big fan of Wheeler Dealers, a UK TV program where they rebuild old cars. The mechanic in that program, Edd China, sometimes uses an aerosol can and he using a special technique of quick sprays across the surface rather than trying to spray a large area in one press. Using this technique has saved me a lot of stress getting all of the parts coated with primer.

My first task was to build the chassis. One thing to mention here is that the model is, what they call, a "curbside model". In other words, it has a minimal suspension - just enough to show when turned over, for instance - and no under bonnet (hood) details so no engine and drive train. This suits me as I have never subscribed to the view that "even if you can't see it, I know that it is there".  Anyway, the chassis looks like this:

That's it. Basically, you get enough to hang the wheels on and to show through the wheel arches. The suspension itself is quite well detailed - although I now see that I have to touch up some of the paintwork after the handling required when putting it all together.

The black chassis looks a bit bad but, of course, so one will see this. The underneath is also painted black but has been sprayed with some Humbrol gloss varnish - out of an aerosol!

The body and all the parts that are body coloured are another matter. Hiroboy make a special Zero paint for this car that is colour matched to the original. Apart from the small, which Valerie always complains about, the use of this paint is extremely easy. I always where blue nitrile gloves and make sure that the room is very well aired. The paint is described on their web site as follows:

All the paints are Pre-thinned for Airbrushing. The paints supplied are called "Basecoat Paints" which are a solvent based paint (similar to Cellulose but different) which dry with a matt finish and require clearcoating. As they are solvent based they need to be applied over a suitable primer, they can be Solid, Metallic, Mica, Pearl or Candy colours.

They dry almost immediately so are very easy to use. I find that Liquid Reamer is just as good as a clean up as their specialist Airbrush Cleaner but I have a large can of the cleaner to hand so I use that. Mind you, the can is currently in storage following my move out of my hobby room so I may be forced to used the Liquid Reamer on occasion. 

Anyway, I went through the instructions and marked each part on the sprues that needed to be sprayed. I have found in the past that if I miss a part it is a right faff to get the airbrush out again just for that one bit. This time, I marked each item on its sprue with some red marker and now I have every part sprayed. All the other parts can either be hand painted or sprayed with normal acrylic paints, which are easier to use and clean up from.

Now, I have every part sprayed and having given the body a good colour coat both inside and out, I can get back onto construction.

One last comment as a reminder. All the images are taken using my Canon 80D body with my Canon 24mm USM lens (note, no zoom). The quality of images through this lens mean that I can enlarge small areas easily without any loss of detail. The camera is held on a Manfrotto tripod. I use a technique called "focus stacking" which involves taking a range of images with varying points of focus around the wanted item and then using some clever software (Helicon Focus) to tack all of the images and use only the bits that are in focus - very clever

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