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Thinking Inside the Box - Above, Beyond & Different


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#1 Casey

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Posted 17 March 2013 - 08:48 PM

I was trying to think of some new ideas and details which could be added to a model, without adding a bunch of new/"upgrade"/more detailed parts from another kit or an aftermarket source. Basically, constraining your build (for the most part) to work with and improve what's inside the box.

 

Maybe these have all been done, but I like seeing things on models which set them apart from other similar models, without going to the extremes or spending a bunch of money on additional parts. Things such as:

 

1) Adding exposed/open headlights on cars with hidden headlights such as a '69 GTO, '70 Superbird, '67 Coronet, etc. I know these were sometimes optional (in the case of the GTO at least) on the real cars, but in kit form the Monogram '69 GTO Judge kit never gave the builder that option. Ditto for both the 1/25 JO-HAN and 1/24 Monogram Superbird kits.

 

2) I was considering scribing completely through the door and trunk gaps on the '69 Dart I'm working on, with the idea that once these panels are free, the doors and trunk panels wouldn't be made removable, but instead re-attached (possibly slightly askew to imply hinge pin wear), with the gaps backed up with black styrene strips to provide natural shadow lines without the need for "artificial" filling in of the gaps via paint or ink. I still think the gaps would nee to be narrowed to be more realistic after the panels are reinstalled, but I think it could work.

 

2B) A similar idea involves scribing through cowl panel vent slots, then adding a plenum area under the cowl, to allow for a a natural shadow effect. I don't think I'm brave enough to try that, considering how thin the cowl ribs are and how perfectly parallel the slots would need to be for it to look good, but I know I've seen someone use a photoetched piece for this purpose, so maybe that factored into my thought process.

 

3) It's often suggested to replace the overly thick kit supplied clear "glass" parts with acetate sheet or similar for a more realistic appearance, but has anyone tried thinning the kit glass by sanding it thinner? With a polishing kit in hand I think it's definitely possible, but is anyone crazy enough to try it? My thinking is that the kit supplied "glass" is designed to fit (though never is a perfect fit) the car/truck body, while you need to take extra steps to positively and securely mount the acetate, and ensure it stays in place permanently. Clear styrene is very durable, and much less prone to warping over time compared to softer, more flexible materials, but I'm not sure the styrene could be thinned enough to a scale realistic appearance without breaking while being thinned. Flat or nearly flat side windows would be easier than a compound curved windshield from a '57 Ford, but later windshields would be easier.

 

4) Thinned or removed moldings such as windshield trim is another area I've been thinking about. Using a '68 Camaro as the example in this case, and trying to emulate the real car's windshield trim, the thickness of the Bare Metal Foil should accurately replicate the thickness of the real trim, which means the molded in trim should be sanded until it's flush or the same height as the body areas around its perimeter. Then, BMF is applied, adding enough thickness to represent the real Camaro's trim. Now, I understand on real cars the windshield sealant bead is never perfect around the full perimeter, and thus the windshield height can vary in relation to the body's sheetmetal, but I think that variance is insignificant when scaled down by a factor of 25.

 

5) The "squishing" of tires to replicate how they look while supporting the vehicle's weight is another example of something subtle which adds realism but doesn't require any extra parts or expense. I think this would be one of that hardest things to do, as it would require a great deal of restraint and if you're working with vinyl tires, perfect application of heat. I've seen lots of junkers and beater will fully deflated tires, but I'm not sure if I've seen one with fully inflated, "squished" tires.

 

6) I think the tip for scribing new front valance panel-to-fender gaps on the 1/24 Monogram '71 'Cuda and '70 Challenger T/A kits is fairly well known, but this idea can apply to cowl-to-fender gaps and lower fender-to-rocker panel gaps (or lack thereof), too. The opposite applies to dutchman panel-to quarter panels also. 

 

Now granted, #1 would require some donor parts, so that sort of falls outside the "keeping it within the box" idea, but it's close. I think I was going to try this very idea on a 1/24 '69 GTO a few years ago, and IIRC Marty (tuffone?) in AZ sent me some dual headlights to use, but my idea never got off the ground. Seeing this picture of a real '70 Superbird with its eyes open may have reignited the spark, and I think it's a detail which really sets the model apart, especially from other '69 Daytonas and '70 Superbirds which are rarely if ever seen with the headlights exposed:

 

1970-Plymouth-Superbird-White-df-sy-1.jp

 

 

I suspect the "squished" tires might be noticed by a few others, but the thinned glass and modified trim, if done successfully, might not, and that's kind of the point. For that reason alone it might not be for everyone, but I think it would be worth trying, and if you have picture of someone who's already done it...which is highly likely, as I freely admit my ideas above are nothing groundbreaking.

 

Better yet, if you have similar ideas, please share them.



#2 gtx6970

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Posted 18 March 2013 - 01:21 AM

I've done the thin the hood area where the cowl vents are on a 1970 Challenger kit. it's actually not that hard to do and makes noticible difference



#3 dmk

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Posted 18 March 2013 - 05:04 AM

 The "squishing" of tires to replicate how they look while supporting the vehicle's weight is another example of something subtle which adds realism but doesn't require any extra parts or expense. I think this would be one of that hardest things to do, as it would require a great deal of restraint and if you're working with vinyl tires, perfect application of heat. I've seen lots of junkers and beater will fully deflated tires, but I'm not sure if I've seen one with fully inflated, "squished" tires.

 

Unless you are trying to replicate tires that are under inflated, car tires really don't squish that much. Especially lighter cars.  I don't think it is noticeable in scale. Look at that Charger in the picture for example.



#4 Draggon

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Posted 18 March 2013 - 05:24 AM

Interesting topic Casey. For #3  someone, I think on this forum, sanded off molded in windshield bars ( ala nascar ) from a windshield, then polished it up, so thinning on would certainly be feasible. For #5 I have seen several times where a model has had the bottom of the tires sanded flat to give the impression of a bit of squish. I  have never seen anyone create that slight bulge youre talking about. Im sure not gonna try it, I have a hard enough time getting all four tires pointing the same direction!



#5 plowboy

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Posted 18 March 2013 - 07:20 AM

#1 is a good idea and IIRC, Bill Geary did that to a Superbird or Daytona. They would open or close.

#2 would work pretty well IMO. Of course you have the people that would say "look! he's got the door on crooked!" I scribe my panel lines until they are almost through. If you get them that deep, there's no need for a blackwash at all and it does have a more natural look.

#2B I open up the cowl vents whenever possible. It is some tedious painstaking work,but worth the effort. I've never added the plenum under them. It could give a good effect,but how many would notice?

#3 I'm certainly not brave enough to attempt that one! I have found a sheet of really thin clear acetate that so far, has allowed me to make at least one curved windshield for a '57 T-Bird without fogging at the curves.

#4 is a good idea although I haven't built many models that the trim was higher than the body. One exception that comes to mind is the Revell '65 Impala. I could have really used that idea then! I scribe a line around window trim to give them separation from the body. Plus, it makes foiling them so much easier.

#5 is one I've not tried very much. I tried to make a flat tire once by taking a hollow AMT Good Year Polyglas tire and putting crazy glue inside, then squishing it together. But, it severely deformed the wheel opening, so that was a fail.

#6 is something I always do. It really bugs me to see a really nice model and it still has the fenders molded to the cowl and rocker panels. :rolleyes: IMO, it makes a huge difference in the appearance of a model and only takes minutes of research and work to accomplish.



#6 Edsel-Dan

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Posted 18 March 2013 - 09:25 AM

I remember reading in that 'other' mag Many years ago where some one cast his own tires

out of a Very Soft resin/rubber, and the models own weight was enough

to create the desired effect.

 

I Flattened a Hollow AMT tire, but mounted it to the rim first, then heated it with a match.

when hot enough, I pressed it on a flat surface, It flared the sides out correctly too.



#7 mikemodeler

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Posted 18 March 2013 - 09:47 AM

I am lucky to get one started and completed and now you want finer details??????????????????????

 

Good luck Casey, I am happy to just get a snap kit painted and finished in 3 months time, let alone thinking about cowl vents and windshield trim! :D



#8 Tom Geiger

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Posted 18 March 2013 - 11:59 AM

I have two Opel GTs that I plan on restoring. I was going to open the headlights on one of them. Good idea. It's just scratch building some shapes.

 

You can add a lot of detail with very little cost.  For instance, if you have some extra scale ignition wire, drill a hole in your tire rims and add a short length as a valve stem. You can do the same on interior door panel tops as locks.

 

Masking tape --  If you spray the sticky side with Testors Dullcote, it neutralizes the glue.  Then paint the finished side colors and slice it thin to make your own seat belts.  You know those thick plastic seat belts that come in kits?  Cut off and thin down the buckles to use on your new masking tape belts!

 

Head rests and seats -- add interest to your interior. Mount your two buckets in different positions, like where the drivers seat would be all the way back on it's track.  If the car has adjustable head rests mounted on the seats, cut them off and mount them on bits of straight pin at different heights.  

 

Head liners and sun visors --  I have a stack of my old business cards that have a decent weave to the card stock. I cut these to size, paint them and install them as head liners in model cars and pickups.  I actually have an envelope of patterns for the headliners of my favorite pickups.  I just did one in my '34 Ford sedan.   A lot of kits don't include sun visors. You can make them out of flat Everygreen plastic. Cut two the same right size,  round off the corners and paint and glue them into place.

 

Kit supplied Glass-  Sometimes it's too thick or we're missing it.  I just used flat clear plastic on my '34 Ford that came from a clear plastic package that contained muffins. I cut all the straight flat sections, and found enough plastic that was nice, clear and imperfection free to use for the two small windows I needed.  Then I installed it with double sided craft tape from Michaels that cost around $4. for the roll I've been using all year.

 

There's lots of budget things you can do like this.



#9 Harry P.

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Posted 18 March 2013 - 03:26 PM

I think this is the first time in my entire life I've ever seen either a Daytona or a Superbird with the lights opened!



#10 Edsel-Dan

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Posted 18 March 2013 - 05:18 PM

Be careful with those Blister packs and Bakery containers. Acetate can Yellow Badly over time.

I know, The rear window in my 65 Grand Prix is doing that, and on a White car it is Very hard to Hide!!!



#11 pharoah

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Posted 18 March 2013 - 06:35 PM

I think this is the first time in my entire life I've ever seen either a Daytona or a Superbird with the lights opened!

Me too.  No wonder-it doesn't look good.



#12 MrObsessive

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Posted 18 March 2013 - 08:57 PM

Why indeed I did do that very thing to a Daytona! :D

 

When I was building this (circa 2000), I at that point had never seen a Daytona with its lights open as well. I remember as a kid, a neighbor of ours had a Superbird which I saw at various times with the lights on at night------but this was many years before when the car was new (1970-71).

 

So I searched high and low to find pics with one with the lights up...........and this was several years before I got a computer with internet access.  I used AMT's '57 Chrysler 300C kit for the basic headlight bucket shape, and MV lenses were used for the headlights themselves. Might have sought out more realistic lenses if I were doing this today, but back then it was all I could think of.

 

P5050293-vi.jpg

P5050301-vi.jpg


Edited by MrObsessive, 18 March 2013 - 08:59 PM.


#13 Chas SCR

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Posted 19 March 2013 - 04:21 AM

Your window detail if you are asking about with sealant made from epoxy and black paint.

 

 

 

 

 

 

484229_4565767956036_1030903518_n.jpg