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1996 Monogram 1/24 Scale Grand Sport Convertible


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#1 Jdurg

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Posted 28 May 2012 - 05:13 PM

So I recently completed the 1988 1/16 scale Corvette Convertible, and the itch to build another Corvette has already hit me. :) Going on E-Bay, I was able to find the kit that I enjoyed building the most when I was younger, and that is the Monogram 1/24 scale Corvette Grand Sport Convertible. The details on this kit are fantastic, and the build is generally quite easy and fun to put together. So I got the kit a few days ago and have already gone and gotten quite a few other items to help me out. I picked up the Detail Master nickel-silver photo-etch detail set for the 84-96 Corvettes which includes the Grand Sport emblems needed for the sides of the hood, as well as the nose and gas cap emblem. I also got some proper scale ignition wire so that I can wire the engine since the distributor is easily accessible on the front of the engine and very easy to attach wires to. I picked up some red seatbelt material to create the seatbelts for the interior, and also got some photo-etched pedals to create the proper pedals in the kit. (I'll go into why I need these later).

I found an online retailer that sells automotive touch-up paints for every make and model car you can think of. (http://www.automotivetouchup.com/) They offer paints in larger cans, small touch-up bottles, and 12 oz spray cans. The colors are sold by the manufacturer's color codes and are specially made for each order. Wondering if they would work on the standard styrene plastic used in model cars, I e-mailed the company to ask. They responded very quickly and said that they aren't sure if the paints will cause any issues with the plastic. I told them that I was going to try and spray these over a Dupli-Color primer, and while they said that it shouldn't react with that primer, they couldn't guarantee it. They also wanted me to let them know if it did indeed work straight over the styrene, as well as over the Dupli-Color primer in case any other customer asked them with the same question. It was refreshing getting a company responding to a model building question without laughing it off.

The paints are $20 each for the color coats, and only $8 for the same sized can of clear-coat and primer. Just to be safe, I picked up the primer to use since there shouldn't be issues with the same company's primer and color coat. The paints should arrive this week (hopefully tomorrow and not on Wednesday-Friday as I'll be in NYC on business travel). I'll let you guys know if it works as I saved some sprue and spare parts and will try it out on that.

My initial goal when building this kit was to open up the doors and hinge them so they could open. After starting up on the kit, I decided not to do that. The kit is detailed very well, and I just don't think I have the skills I need at the moment to properly open up the doors. Perhaps I'll pick up another one of these kits and try it again in the future, but for now, I just want to build a details standard kit.

Earlier I mentioned that I had to pick up some pedals for the kit, and here's why. For some reason, when Monogram made this kit, they used an automatic transmission on the engine assembly, and the interior only has brake and gas pedals. The stick-shift is properly represented, but the fact that the transmission is wrong (NO LT4 Grand Sport engines had auto trannies. They all had the 6 speed manual transmission) and the clutch pedal is missing is really frustrating.

Thankfully, a very generous member here on the forums (TurboKitty) is sending me the engine/transmission combo from the 1995 Corvette ZR-1 kit from Monogram. On that kit, they included the correct 6-speed manual transmission. I'll be able to use that and with the photo-etched pedals be able to properly represent the transmission on this kit.

I've already started some assembly/painting. Got the wheels and all other parts on the kit de-chromed and the wheels have been repainted with gloss black for the five-spoke center, and silver chrome paint for the rims. The tires and wheels on this kit were molded incredibly well. The only issues I've faced thus far is a TON of extra flashing on the kit and some poorly placed mold-release marks that have needed to be sanded and in some cases puttied up. But overall, it is going together quite well. I need to go and find myself another brand of red-paint to use on this kit. The gloss red Testors Acryl paint I have just isn't doing the job covering up the metallic-blue plastic the kit was molded in. The flat black has gone on PERFECTLY and covers everything, but the red is going on too thin and allowing the blue to show through. In addition, it does not cover any type of edge like the flat black does. I like using the acryl paint for the quick drying and easy clean-up, but it just isn't covering well. Perhaps if I go and get a flat-red acryl paint it will cover like the flat black does and I can then just put an acrylic clear coat over the top to get the semi-gloss or gloss sheen I want.

For the center stripe on the kit, I'm still debating doing one of two things. One is to go and initially paint the body in the proper Arctic White Dupli-Color Perfect Match paint, then mask off the areas that need masking and put the Admiral Blue Metallic paint over the top. To do this, I would need the Admiral Blue Metallic I picked up from that website to not react with the Arctic White. The other idea I have, and one I am likely to go with, is to go and take the white decal film I have and cut out the proper sized strips for the center stripe and the pinstriping alongside it. For this to work, I'll need the white decal film to not react poorly with the clear coat I'll be spraying over everything. I have plenty of the decal paper so I'll be able to test this out before going gung-ho with it.

Anyway, I'm going to be fairly busy this week and won't be able to make any updated with photos, but figured I'd get the thread going. Thanks for reading my little novel here, and I look forward to completing this build!

#2 Jdurg

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Posted 08 June 2012 - 04:46 PM

Alright. As promised, here are some photos of the build thus far. This paint supplier I found is AWESOME! I was in the process of putting the clear coat on the hardtop to see if the decals would survive, when the nozzle malfunctioned and the can started spraying fountains of clear coat and noxious fumes all over my driveway. (Sprayed the stuff outside because it was beautiful, and the odors on these things are super potent). Happily, the decals did not react and while the clear finish I applied isn't perfect, this paint does a great job of leveling out as it dries. I called the company I got the paint from and told the customer service person what happened, and they immediately sent out a replacement can free of charge! Now the cans can only be shipped ground and the place is located in New Orleans, but by the tracker it will arrive on Wednesday. I'm taking some vacation time next week so this means I'll have a long weekend to spray.

As said in my first novel, heh, the 12 ounce cans of primer and clear cost about $8.00, and the 12 ounce custom mixed colors are $20.00. From how I've seen it work, that is well worth it. The paint dries super fast, but takes some time to "cure". So it becomes non-tacky within minutes, but the paint levels out and binds to itself and the surface over the course of a few hours. After light sanding with 2000 grit sandpaper, I see that it does not run away from the edges like other auto paints I've gotten do.

In the picture below you'll see the hood on the left after one coat of Admiral Blue Metallic. I have lightly sanded the finish and used some rubbing compound to level off some of the orange peel. I'll be applying two or three coats overall to the car to deepen the color. It looks INCREDIBLE in the sunlight. In the middle you'll see the hard top that is erroneously provided in the kit. I used this to test out the kit decals and the kit plastic with the paint. It's all a success. The kit decals are kind of thin with regards to the white, but if I apply another layer of the Testors white decal film to it, it looks perfect. Because of the thin pinstriping on the Grand Sport, I couldn't successfully do a proper white undercoat and mask off the areas where the stripe remains. So I'll decal the car using the kit decals after wiping away the orange "gunk" that the glue on it turned into. The clear coat seals the decals to the body and keeps them there, and it does a great job of blocking out the blue undercoat. The clear gives the Admiral Blue Metallic a rich, deep gleam to it. I LOVE this paint. Over on the right is the primer. The primer binds strongly to the plastic and has a fuzzy feel to it that is easily sanded smooth with some 1000 grit sandpaper. The way it fills in flaws and sands so that you can see low spots, it is a fantastic primer.

Anyway, I'll be getting more done this weekend, and I can't wait to get this thing built up. I LOVE this paint and will be buying all of my body paints from this place in the future. :D


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#3 Jdurg

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Posted 08 June 2012 - 05:23 PM

Found my camera so I took some better photos.

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First is the hard top where you can see the amazing blue color, and how the kit decals needed help with white decal paper in order to be fully white. I'll just have to live with the pin striping being semi-transparent. Hopefully the Testors paper will survive this awesome paint I'm using.

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Here's a better front on view of the hood. I love this color.

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Side view of the hood.

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Primed body which looks more yellowish than gray like this photo makes it out to be. For some reason, the iPhone camera I've been using captures the color better.

#4 Jdurg

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Posted 09 June 2012 - 09:16 AM

Got the body and rest of the body-colored parts painted today. The major downside to these cans of paint I'm using is that they are designed for painting full scale automobiles so the spray pattern is quite large. This means that even though the can holds 12 ounces of paint, a large amount is used when you spray. Thankfully, the paint cures pretty solidly so that I can lightly sand and buff out the basecoat and only the two coats of paint that I've used were needed. I'll post pictures later once the paint has fully cured and I've had a chance to buff it out. I then get to go and start putting the decals on and the body work will be done. I just need to wait until June 13th when my replacement clear coat aerosol can arrives so that I can test out the Testors decal paper and make sure it won't have issues. I'm getting pretty psyched at how this will turn out.

#5 Jdurg

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Posted 12 June 2012 - 02:19 PM

The replacement can of Clear Coat arrived today. Fantastic customer service from this place. Since it is raining heavily outside, I had to do a very quick test spray in a ventilated basement this evening. The test was a complete success! The Testors Decal Paper is fully compatible, and the deep clear coat on the hard top looks great! When the sun shines this weekend, I'll be able to give everything the clear coat it needs. I also got the transmission from TurboKitty yesterday, so my build will progress quickly. This paint is incredible. The blue is so rich and beautiful that I want to buy a gallon of it and paint my Honda Civic with it. Lol. I am incredibly happy right now. :lol:

#6 Jdurg

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Posted 15 June 2012 - 04:58 PM

A sad update here. The only place the decals worked was on the hardtop, which I won't be using, and the hood. On the main body and the front fender, they didn't work right. So I had to use masking tape and Arctic White Duplicolor touch-up paint on the body and front fender. It didn't turn out right. It just turned out "barely acceptable." I'm going to just have to deal with it. The bulk of the model is coming out just fine, so I'm going to have to deal with these glaring imperfections. It's just too darned difficult to mask off the paint lines properly when the pinstriping is so small. Oh well. It's not worth stripping and re-painting. (And considering how hard the paint I used for the Admiral Blue Metallic cures, stripping is not possible.). I'll just deal with this as a learning experience and make a 80% good enough model. :(