I got the signals in the Black High Def Acrylate and they look good. There is a sort of ribbing on some sides and all along the bar connecting the two lights. Maybe just the orientation as I doesn't appear to be layer lines. I did a little sanding and it seemed to respond ... have to primer to see. The material had lots of very fine wisps off various places. I expect hitting with sand paper will knock them off. I is more like a rubber than the other material I tried.
These photos are extreme close ups. Most of what you see can't be seen with the naked eye. They look smooth.
I love bodywork and have used many things since the 60's .. Plastic Wood, Plastic Steel (Plastic anything from the 60's) and still have a large can of Evercoat from the 90's that about 80% full and runny. I have green, white and and every other Squadron Putty color. They all worked with differing degrees of success. I now use Bondo Professional Glazing & Spot Putty exclusive. The 2-part because it's as good as Evercoat but comes in 3 oz tubes! The 1-part comes in 3 oz tubes also and is comparable to Squadron putty for shallow fills. These two tubes do everything for me and are even available in local stores here in the mountains.These are modeler's sized tubes so there's little waste and cost around $5 or less!
I have Nikon D5100 and a D80 but I use the old D80 for all my model shots. Your hardware is better than most of those here posting their models. I do use a macro lens to let me get close ... all my Nikon lenses have poor close focusing abilities. But it sounds like lighting is your problem. You should have some lights you use for close ups. I just use two reflectors with small bulbs to light mine and it works better than I ever did before. They are only small spiral CFL bulbs .. don't remember the wattage but they are intended for photography. I also made a diffuse box to surround the model from pvc pipe and a sheet.. The small aperture you want to use requires a strong light to get properly exposed results. I know my Nikons will just take a dark photo is the light isn't enough.
I didn't want to start anything either when my build of my daughter's van was moved at 8 paged into the build when this first started ... it is a bit commercial, being used to sell beads at many Grateful Dead concerts, and it is a van .. but it IS mostly her daily driver. I just let it go but I see it's still in progress. I'm happy with just one category called Model Cars and Trucks and Anything Else since I only view by 'New since your last Visit' so I never miss anything!
Well, the bumpers have surfaced ... sitting in a metal bowl I recently got to put small parts in right on my bench! ... not to find my glasses .. I didn't go right to the Alclad as Shapeways has a new material that I ordered the turn signals in called Black High Definition Acrylate. High Definition Acrylate is made of a photo-reactive resin. It is printed using Direct Light Projection (DLP) technology which provides excellent resolution and accuracy. It is capable of fine details and is therefore ideal for miniatures and models trains. Additionally, the DLP process produces a smooth surface, making it well suited for painting. The material is heat resistant up to 120°C and is printed at 50 micron layer thickness. It seems like the new Go To for small model parts without the layer roughness ... we'll see when I get them back.
Sorry I don't know where you can obtain these parts directly, but I've been getting excited recently because I have the same question for many of my builds of cars I've owned ... odd parts to convert the model to another year just aren't available and are too complex to scratch build. Now the solution to this has become reality! I know it's not for everyone but I have had these parts printed in 3D. I have used 3D programs for many years making 3D parts to us in renderings, but now I can MAKE any part I want! Even with my experience, thou, this not something everyone wants to do and I have used my extensive 3D Automotive collection to find parts I can use or modify. There are many posts here about 3D Printing. I looked up your 1953 Pontiac at a 3D Model site and got this ..
Most 3D Automotive meshes go for around $100, so this one is pretty cheap. Remember, this is NOT a model car .. it's a 3D Mesh file and NOT a solid object ... unless you sent it to a 3D Printer
Hopefully 4 hours is working on the pain .. I have never see ANY pill that last 8 hours. It's the paranoid government that makes Doctors try that first, when the Doctor KNOWS 8 hours will be too long. Best of luck with this.
I have been really hyped to progress on this build since getting the 3D Printed turn signals and they are all primed and ready for Alclad black and chrome. But, with a pile of small parts for this and other builds all mounted and hanging around, the TR4A bumpers have gone on vacation ... searched far and wide but they haven't shown up yet. I vaguely remember pulling all the parts needing chrome out with the intention of putting them all in one place ... where did I figure THAT place should be?? I think my mind is going ..
I winced when I first saw the photos, but went back to inspect once I read your text. I'm a Structural Engineer and can report that, while not meeting any Building Code, the structure is safe! I've seen many of the things you've done in 1:1 buildings, many "adjustments" for bad cuts with the Rip saw! I really like what you're doing ... and hope it doesn't snow there soon ...