I used to write for Model Cars. And Scale Auto. And Fine Scale Modeler. Now Amazing Figure Modeler.
Mods include the obvious (wheels, tires, PE steering wheel, guages) and the not-so-obvious - reworked suspension with scratchbuilt tube axle (front), new differential and axle (rear), Chrysler FirePower engine replacement (fully wired), disc brakes from a Tamiya Peugot 206 rally car, Scale Motorsport photoetched disc faces, LeMans Miniatures calipers, and more. All chrome parts were stripped and repainted with Alclad Chrome, and all other metal parts were painted with various shades of ALclad..
The paint is a custom woodgrain mix, brush painted with acrylics.
I first removed all injector pin marks and blemishes, then puttied, sanded, and primed all of the parts with Tamiya Fine gray primer. I base coated the parts with a light tan acrylic and sealed with Krylon matte finish. I thinned some Liquitex raw sienna with Badger extender and brushed it on using the rattiest 1/8 inch wide paintbrush I could find. This is one time that you want to see brush strokes! After the paint dried I sealed it and repeated the process, letting the brush strokes from the previous step show through.
Next I mixed up a thin wash of burnt umber and repeated the same technique using the ratty brush and random wood grain-looking stokes and sealing between the two layers. I only made two passes of each wash because like anything, its easy to overdo it. I liked the effect I was getting, so I quit while I was ahead and sealed with lacquer.
I then mixed up some of my â€œsecret recipeâ€ â€“ a bit of Tamiya clear orange, clear green, and clear red - and thinned it 50/50 with Tamiya thinner. The green and orange make a brownish color, and the red warms it up. I added a bit more red than usual because I wanted a red oak look. I shot two coats of this overcoat and set everything aside to cure for several days.
I painted the velvet curtains with Humbrol 85 semi-gloss black, then detailed the tassels with Model Master gold.
We are all saddened by Tom's sudden and unexpected passing earlier this month. He was a tireless ambassador for this hobby - where many of us beat our gums and give lip service to "passing the torch" to young modelers, Tom got off his ass and did something about it. He was single-handedly responsible for creating an after-school modeling club in an inner city school here in Houston that kept dozens of at-risk kids off the streets, away from gangs, and out of drugs.
He would recruit all of us old guys to come to the school and donate our time, energies, and financial resources to help elementary and junior high school kids learn how to build and paint model cars. He organized model car contests at the school where we would help kids build and display their cars, and every child received an award. Single-parent moms would show up with tears in their eyes, bursting at the seams with pride for their children and profuse with their thanks for Tom and his motley crew of middle-aged modelers.
I took Gregg to one of the meetings when he came to visit me several years ago, and he too was blown away by the generosity of spirit and passion that Tom had for these underpriviliged children. I remember taking dozens of photos with Gregg and the kids, and as I recall we did an editorial in the magazine - or a feature, I can't remember which - about Tom and his program.
Rest in peace, my brother. I know that you are helping the kids in Heaven build their Novas and Mustangs and lowriders. You made a difference in this world, and we are all the better for your selfless dedication to the cause.