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"Frankie Schneider" Modified Gremlin WIP


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#1 LacrosseBoss

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Posted 20 February 2013 - 10:10 PM

I'm not a big fan of race cars, mostly because I can't stand roll cages or decals. I have just started getting back into modelling though, and since I don't have a TON of money to dump into the hobby, I picked up 2 modified dirt-track kits from DTR at 2-for-1 last week: the Modified Vega, and the Gremlin. I do have some other projects on the go, but this looked too cool to just let sit, so I had to crack into it.

 

While I'm inspired by these forums to get into some of my own kit-bashing and scratchbuilding, I usually do all my models box-stock. In fact, if all goes well and I don't chicken out, this will be my first time ever trying to add sparkplug wires.

 

Onto the kit.

 

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This is what the kit looks like out of the box. The biggest thing I noticed right away was (1) the body is in pieces (not a fan) and (2) the tires are also in two separate halves and they're hard plastic, not rubber. I'll probably use them still since this is a build to kill some time and add variety to my shelf, but if you're going for realism, probably have to look elsewhere.

 

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The other thing about this kit, these writings/markings are all over the place. Nothing a bit of sandpaper or the hobby knife didn't fix.

 

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Here's the tub which, as you can see, has rivet markings around the edges, but also these circle marks (forget the technical term for them) everywhere. They're not just prominent here, but in countless parts around this build, especially the bigger body pieces. A real pain to sand out, especially on this piece since they're so close to the rivets. I think I lowered some of the rivets, but they're all still there. (This picture was taken halfway through sanding. The left side's circles are gone, but they're still in the tub and on the right)

 

548817_10151766828834899_119339064_n.jpg

 

The other issue I have with this kit is flash. Every piece has massive amounts of flash everywhere. This is not the worst sprue for it, and I've actually cleaned some of the shock support (bottom right) before taking this picture. So, if you enjoy cleaning flash, this is the kit for you! Be sure to lay a drop cloth or something before starting.

 

Ok, enough complaints, let's look at the actual build.



#2 LacrosseBoss

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Posted 20 February 2013 - 10:19 PM

I plan on building everything and mocking it up and then painting it all after.

 

I usually start with engines when I build cars, but I decided to start elsewhere here. (1) I have so many engines in different stage of completion around the apartment, the last thing I wanted was another one and (2) I usually stop building when I get frustrated, so I started with what usually frustrates me (the frame/rollcage) while I was excited about the build.

 

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The frame itself is 11 separate pieces with two big ones down each side and every cross-member/support/brace its own piece. Surprisingly, this fit together quite well, but again, there was a TON of flash that needed to be cleaned off.

 

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You can see more of the "circles" here. This is the hood support and it should be covered up so I didn't bother with them. The nose around the front was also a separate piece.

 

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As you can see, despite spending the entire night last night cleaning the flash, there's still some spots that need a touch-up (over the driver's seat). Unfortunately, this is also a semi-visible spot when the build is complete.

 

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Right now the tub and seat are just resting in place while the rest of the frame is glued. The seat was originally 3 pieces: all with flash and "circles". So far, despite the manufacturing issues everything fits well in this kit.



#3 LacrosseBoss

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Posted 20 February 2013 - 10:51 PM

Night #2: I decided to start working on the body tonight because I have no patience and wanted to see what it will look like. Also, I showed my wife the roll cage I built last night and she responded with "nice boat" :(

 

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The body is in eight pieces if you include the interior rear panel and the hood. One per side, one for the rear and roof, one for each pillar connecting the hood to the dash and one for the firewall. Everything fit together nicely save for the pillars which need a bit of sanding tomorrow when the glue sets.

 

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Here's the rear of the body. The interior rear panel is taped in for now just to test fit everything. Again, even with no guide lines, supports etc inside the body, this panel fits in nicely. I'm going to wait until it's painted before gluing since it may be hard to get in there later.

 

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Testing the body onto the frame, along with the hood. Looking good so far I think. The rear panel is a little low because of the tape I think which is pushing the body high, but that is an easy fix. I also see now that the body is a bit far back. I'll be sure to pay attention when I add glue ;)

 

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There is actually minimal detail in this interior - just a seat, a wheel and a dash with two dials. Here's what it looks like with what's been completed so far (just the seat). Again, these parts are just sitting there for now.

 

Time for bed. I'm hoping to get a chance to work tomorrow night but it may be until next week until I can update again.



#4 wheaton79chris

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Posted 20 February 2013 - 11:27 PM

the circles are ejector pin marks



#5 LacrosseBoss

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Posted 21 February 2013 - 07:45 AM

the circles are ejector pin marks

 

I knew there was a name for them. Thanks



#6 LacrosseBoss

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Posted 27 February 2013 - 04:47 PM

Off work since Saturday so I spent some time with my family Sunday, was sick Monday so I got to spend time with my models last night.

 

Researching this model I came across minimal pictures of the Frankie Schneider Gremlin but all the ones I did showed practically everything chromed in the kit painted. I tried bleaching the chrome parts for the first time. Either I did it wrong, or we buy cheap bleach because I read this process is supposed to take 10 minutes, maybe a few hours. But after 24 there was still chrome on some parts. I gave up and decided I'd sand/scrape off the remaining as I go.

 

Here they are in the bath with the few parts I will keep chrome (wheel caps to add a different look and exhaust dumps because they'll be cool peaking out).

 

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They came out of the bath on Sunday night but I forgot to take a picture and got excited and started painting. Valve covers are orange with a black wash (that had to be redone). Wheels will be blue as seen in a number of pictures online. The rest I have yet to sort out.

 

The first wash of black on the valve covers was done before the orange was dry (oops .....) so I had to brush some thinner on to wipe it out and start again. Also, there was some extra chrome in the wheels, plus my paint is a bit watery. I've since added a 2nd coat of blue which makes this wheel look WAY better than here.

 

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#7 Christopher J

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Posted 27 February 2013 - 05:00 PM

Looks like you're off to a good start so far.

 

For stripping paint I use purple power, you can buy it at Wal Mart for about $5 bucks a gallon, that grap a plastic bowl from the kitchen.........shhhhhh, don't tell the wife. ;)

For stripping chrome I use Easy Off oven cleaner. The stuff in the yellow can I hear works better, but due to odor you need to be in a well ventilated area. I've been getting the stuff in the blue can which has less odor/fumes and so far it's been working just fine for me, no issues. I try to avoid using thinner or anything that will attack the plastic.



#8 LacrosseBoss

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Posted 27 February 2013 - 05:07 PM

Wasn't sure where to go from the frame so I went to "old faithful" in my books, the engine. I don't know what it is but I love building and painting engines. Still a few minor detailing things to do and I'm debating whether or not I want to add sparkplug wires. This engine is quite visible so I really want to but I've never done it and I always chicken out. Plus, the alternator (labelled "magneto?" in the kit) is really small so I'm not sure how to do it.

 

The entire engine I'm doing is based on pictures I've seen online. I still want to detail the starter a bit with some silver or aluminum (maybe BMF but that stuff scares me too) for support straps etc. Worth noting here that the starter on this side and oil filter on the other were part of the engine block, not separate pieces, so the painting was tricky. Transmission has since been painted but here it's left so I can hold onto the model (obviously).

 

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Built up the sides while I waited to correct my valve cover mistake. Somewhere else on the forum I saw a tip where they used a 0.5mm mechanical pencil dipped in paint to do engine bolts. That's what I've done here. The first few made a bit of a mess I had to clean up but I eventually got the hang of it.

 

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Normally I make my oil filters white or orange, maybe yellow. But on this orange engine block I was torn. I thought I'd do something different and paint it blue. I'm not sure if there are companies out there that make blue filters but it's my model and I do what I want hahaha. Made a bit of a mistake I didn't notice until I took this picture. It was murder to fix (sand out the paint, repaint the spot, sand it down ... ... ..) but I did and it looks clean now.

 

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Front engine cover. Most of this will be covered by belts and fans and various paraphernalia. Having said that, not sure why I took the time to paint the engine bolts but I did and it looks cool.

 

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#9 LacrosseBoss

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Posted 27 February 2013 - 05:10 PM

Looks like you're off to a good start so far.

 

For stripping paint I use purple power, you can buy it at Wal Mart for about $5 bucks a gallon, that grap a plastic bowl from the kitchen.........shhhhhh, don't tell the wife. ;)

For stripping chrome I use Easy Off oven cleaner. The stuff in the yellow can I hear works better, but due to odor you need to be in a well ventilated area. I've been getting the stuff in the blue can which has less odor/fumes and so far it's been working just fine for me, no issues. I try to avoid using thinner or anything that will attack the plastic.

 

hahaha, she was already mad when she saw I used this tupperware container.

 

I'll have to look into Purple Powder, sounds cheap and good from other stuff I've heard here.

 

The issue with Easy Off is that we live in a basement apartment with one tiny window in our bedroom. I usually build in the living room on an end table I grabbed from someone's curb on garbage day. With my two year old, this also means whatever I do in one night after he's in bed needs to get packed away for the night. Anything with fumes probably won't work.

 

Thanks for the comment and the suggestions though.

 

A few more pics to come tonight. I've got others on my Facebook page (which I believe is public) for anyone interested.



#10 LacrosseBoss

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Posted 27 February 2013 - 05:26 PM

Here's some shots of the engine. Still without the carb, air cleaner, front assembly and exhausts. There are actually two pieces (one per side) which glue to the engine block to fit the exhaust pipes in. Pretty cool, but it will get in the way of any wiring I may want to do (the other reason I'm not sure).

 

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Here's the fixed valve covers. I'm not entirely sure if I'm 100% happy with them still, but I'm afraid to wreck them further. I went back and added a light touch of aluminum paint to the M/T logo.

 

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I think the passenger side is actually the better of the two. I may try to fix it. Probably not though. Matched up against the others skills on this site this isn't great but I'm ok with it. Well, I will be once I deal with the Q-Tip residue. Wanted to actually let the paint DRY first though lol.

 

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Tucked away in its new home.

 

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When the hood is on, it looks pretty cool through the side. Going to work on the carb and air cleaner tonight because I'm excited to see how it pokes through the hole in the top.

 

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That's all the updates for now. Going to do some more work tonight. Just waiting for my wife to go to bed so I can make a mess HAHAHA!

 

If anyone has any tips on washes for the valve covers for the future, or how to clean them up, I'd love to hear it.

Or if there are any tips on plug wires. I've never done it and I'm kind of afraid to, but if I'm going to do it, this will be the model since the engine (as you can see) is quite visible - hood on or off.

 

Thanks everyone for looking.



#11 Christopher J

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Posted 27 February 2013 - 06:31 PM

For your altenator wires look at either Detail Master or Parts by Parks, this will keep you from trying to figure out how to use the small kit one. :wacko: The Detail Master one is nicer but the other is pre-wired and a little cheaper, still looks good and adds a touch detail for sure. You'll need a small drill bit, like a #67 to drill the hole in the heads. You can use a Pin Vise or if you're patient just twist it in your fingers and take your time. I used Ca to set my wires.

 

Don't let the BMF scare you off from using it, if you mess up you can simply peel it off. You will need a small supply of new X-acto blades though depending on how much you are wanting to do. The tips will dull after a bit and tear the foil rather than cut it. I also have a couple of Q Tips and cheap toothpics handy when doing foil. I use the ones that have the rounded edges as they don't tear the foil when trying to set in contours.

 

Regarding the Easy Off using the stuff in the blue can shouldn't be a problem in your apt. I use in a section down in my basement with not problems. I get it to do it's job and go rinse off my parts in warm running water.

 

Once your valve covers dry use some tweezers to pull off the fibers the Q tip left. Don't worry about comparing your skills to others. Nobody got where they are overnight......a lot of kits had to be sacrificed :D



#12 LacrosseBoss

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Posted 27 February 2013 - 06:59 PM

Thanks Chris.

 

I have some BMF that I tried using and ended up scratching up a perfectly good paint job. I guess that just takes practice too.

 

I was going to invest in a pin vice and some precision bits. I guess now would be the time.



#13 LacrosseBoss

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Posted 07 March 2013 - 07:33 PM

Got some more work done earlier this week. The forum was down when I went to post progress pics though so I now have even more done.

 

Since this is just a fun build to waste time between projects I decided to see what I could do with the kit supplied wheels/tires. Each tire was two halves which required gluing together and was hard plastic. As seen in the front wheels, this creates a massive seam. I trimmed most of that with the knife but it still looked bad. So out came the rough sandpaper.

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And the rear tires .....

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This was the floor after the trimming. The sanding pretty much went everywhere else.

 

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The lettering on the tires is raised on both sides. I'm in the process of painting the letters yellow. I need a bit more practice on the smaller front tires but the letters are big enough on the rears to do a decent job. Good thing these are double sided so when I mess up one of the sides, I can hide it. Shown as well is a (now antique) Canadian penny for scale.

 

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I also got some colour on the frame. As per reference photos I found online, the frame is gloss black. Turns out the spray can I had of gloss black was only full enough for a partial coat on one side. As a result the remainder of the frame, as well as the seat (parts I usually spray) were done by brush since I'm not sure when I'll get to "Wheels & Wings" or "John's Hobbys" again (turns out I went today, but this was done). Here's a look at the frame with a body, engine, rear axle and rear tire mock-up.

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(sorry for the blur in the middle of all my pictures. My 30 month old son likes to look at pictures of himself and was nice enough to scratch the lens. I try where I can to position the scratches out of the way of the main focus of the picture. There's no money at the moment for a replacement camera so for now I apologize)



#14 LacrosseBoss

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Posted 07 March 2013 - 07:45 PM

After the frame and wheels came something to put the wheels on - axles. The rear was a quick change rear end, which I thought was cool, so I started there.

 

The middle portion is one piece with two halves for each side making a total of five pieces altogether. The two halves were interesting when I looked at them because the half on the right shows pins for placement/gluing, but there are no holes on the opposite side. I originally thought this was flash so I tried to poke around with a pin and the left half is hard plastic. Oh well, I shaved off the pins and glued them together, no big.

 

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Here's the assembled rear end. The cap and middle seam portion of the quick change rear end were originally chrome but they were part of the bleach bath above.

 

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I'm not entirely sure if it's actually painted this way, but I like putting at least a bit of the engine colour on my rear axles. It gives a bit of symmetry when you look at the chassis. The orange will get touched up tonight along with some flat black ends. As shown, the driveshaft is also part of this piece.

 

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I decided I'd test fit it into the back end of the car, but turns out there's a few pieces that need to be put in first before the axle .....

 

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#15 Henchmen4Hire

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Posted 07 March 2013 - 08:48 PM

I'm glad to read you're having fun detailing the engine, I just started building car models and it's been my favorite part so far. My engine didn't have so many bolts and rivets though, lucky you! Looking forward to how you do the wiring if you get to it.

 

I like your axle color idea, I was wondering why my underside looked a little bland.

 

The best painting advice I can give is to use small brushes to paint small things. It's not sarcasm, it's the best thing you can do! For example, you can paint all the little bolts with the mechanical pencil, but you get better results (no brush strokes or goop) by dotting them with a little brush, everything is about practice.



#16 LacrosseBoss

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Posted 08 March 2013 - 07:26 PM

I picked up some tiny brushes at John's (Danforth/east of Woodbine - Toronto) yesterday and started playing with them detailing the bolts on the hubcaps and I see the difference. I've always done as much detailing as I can with paint and a brush but I saw the mechanical pencil idea and decided to try it. I still like the paint/brush combo better though ;)

 

Thanks for the tips and thanks to everyone who's looked in. There are definitely way cooler builds on this forum but I wanted to share my work with others.



#17 LacrosseBoss

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Posted 08 March 2013 - 09:26 PM

I like your axle color idea, I was wondering why my underside looked a little bland.

 

I always felt the same, that's why I started painting the rear ends. Like I said, I find the symmetry aesthetically pleasing when it's the same colour as the engine.

 

Looking forward to how you do the wiring if you get to it.

 

I'm planning on it. Picked up a pin vice from "Wheels and Wings" (Danforth/west of Woodbine - Toronto). I just need to see if I have a drill bit small enough, or go get some precision ones when I hit the hardware store. Also going after some wire that's the right gauge. I'm still not overly happy with the valve covers so what I'm planning on is drilling holes through them to do the plug wires. There will be 4 per valve cover, 2 on each side of the M/T logo. That will take care of 2 issues with this build (1. what to do with the plug wires 2. how to fix the mess I made with the paint on the valve covers)

 

I'll be horrendously busy with work over March break so I'm not sure if I'll get another chance to update until after that. Probably won't get the stuff for the wiring anyway. I'm going to try to get some suspension components glued in if nothing else.

 

Almost 500 views. Thanks everyone.



#18 LacrosseBoss

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Posted 13 March 2013 - 10:10 PM

I kept wanting to see what the wheels looked like but they were never in the right position. So the next step was suspensions.

 

Here's the completed rear suspension installed. There's some paint screw ups that I didn't bother fixing. Once the body goes on these will be hidden.

 

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An overhead view of the rear end with suspension and gas tank/battery combo installed. The instructions were a little odd when the fuel tank/battery was to be installed so I misread them not once, but twice. This is the 2nd positioning of the battery to the fuel tank and actually the THIRD positioning on the frame of the fuel tank itself. I'm still not 100% certain it's right (I think it's upside down ...) but I'm not changing it again. This is actually what the picture says, so that's where we're keeping it.

 

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Ah, the front springs. AKA the small pieces from hell. The rear springs weren't overly easy to install either (I think the instructions for these were actually backwards, but everything is in so w/e). The front springs will hang outside of the hood and will be VERY visible so I wanted to make sure they looked decent. In order to fill some gaps I had to cut off the pin that didn't match the hole in the front axle. This caused the round edge of the shock to hit the axle so that got a trim too.

 

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They need a paint touch-up but, hey, they're in. Frame is gloss black, axle is aluminum, the details are flat black. The shocks themselves are flat black with red springs.

 


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A look at the entire front suspension assembly. Radiator is unpainted but being mocked up in behind.

 

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Now I can FINALLY mock the wheels in. This gives you a good look at the stance too. I popped the engine in because it looked dull without it, but it will be seated better when the interior is in. Wheels aren't quite finished as they need a touch-up on the yellow lettering plus a bit more sandpaper. They'll have disc inserts in behind and there's some chromed hubcaps that look kind of cool. The instructions claim they will keep the wheels on the axle but still allow them to spin. I'll believe it when I see it.

 

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Mock-up with the body in. It's sitting a little low and was leaning too far to the back since the interior isn't in this picture.

 

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To Do Checklist:

- glue in exhaust pipes (already painted)

- nerf bars all the way around (already painted)

- get some paint on the body

-- decals

- paint/install interior

- paint touch-ups on frame/suspension details

- display!

 

Over 500 views. This is my first ever post of one of my builds to this forum. I've shared a few on Facebook but no one there seemed to care so to share with so many fellow builders is incredible. Thank you all for looking. I've got a lot of inspiration from this forum and I hope you all like my work and are inspired by it as well.



#19 GerN

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Posted 14 March 2013 - 02:51 AM

For removing kit chrome and some types of paint, I've had good results with LA's Totally Awsome, available at Dollar Stores.  Its labelled an eye irritant, but otherwise seems pretty innocuous.  Welcome to the forum.



#20 LacrosseBoss

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Posted 03 May 2013 - 09:13 PM

The lack of updates here has been a result of mostly work, but also three main modelling issues:
(1) I had no red or white spray paint - the two main colours in Frankie Schnieder's gremlin

(2) The weather was cold and dismal in Toronto. We had a decent winter but not for painting.

(3) I'm a wuss when it comes to painting projects. If I'm going to mess up somewhere, it's usually here.

 

EDIT: I've picked up some tips here which have helped my results and confidence. So, thanks everyone! Most notably using some Clear Coat paint around my masking tape to prevent paint bleed. This is the first time I've done a big paint job with NO paint bleed.

 

Well, after getting some white spray a while ago, and finding Krylon on sale for $3/can at WalMart along with some incredible weather in Toronto I had no more excuses. Bring on the paint *fingers crossed*

 

944339_10151927479699899_34460177_n.jpg

 

(sorry, I can't remember how to decrease the size of pictures ..... the clicky thing in the corner didn't show up .....)

 

Here's the body masked up. It's also primed because I was told Krylon doesn't do well on plastic models. What I wasn't told was that Tamiya's White spray doesn't do well on primer (or at least my can didn't). I had to switch to Wimbledon White which isn't technically "right" but it's all I had and I just wanted to get this thing finished.

 

I forgot to take a picture of the white finished, red masked off but I imagine you all know how that goes.

 

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There are a few flaws (dust under the paint, a spot I missed). I'm actually ok with this for now. I wasn't looking for a perfect build here, just something to work on while I took some time off other things. Once the decals are on anyway the minor things will disappear.

 

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I'm going to need to do something about the rear end. I am considering using a brush to fill in the gas cap with red (I know, bad idea). I don't see the point in masking/respraying the entire lower half for a minor spot. I'm also thinking of doing something else with the gas cap/lights(?). Not sure exactly what yet. I'm trying to find some pictures of the actual car but so far nothing showing the rear end.

 

Getting close with this one.
To Do List:
- interior (paint/install)
- decals
- final assembly


Edited by LacrosseBoss, 03 May 2013 - 09:15 PM.