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CabDriver

Tamiya Miata contest build

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OK, so this probably isn't for a contest - but I'd really like to get my skills right up there and good enough to not embarrass myself if I DID enter a contest.  So, I'm gonna pretend I'm building this to enter in a box-stock class at some imaginary show.  Any contest judges with feedback on what I'm doing wrong, please let me know!!

First up, primed the body with some yellow primer that I got from my buddy who works at a paintshop:

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I've already cleaned up some of the more obvious mold lines and so on, but this should help me spot the rest.  And yep, there's some now!

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I also need to use a fine file to level out that wonky trim line on the bumper

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Plus the top of the windshield needed some love too

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And the top of the rear fenders definitely appreciated some attention too

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After getting all that levelled out and shooting some grey primer as a base (not what I'd usually use for red - but my red Miata had grey primer under the paint from the factory, so...) I shot some Mazda classic red on there.  Lots of light coats, going for coverage rather than shine right now

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Next up, painted the chassis gloss black (I'm going for a super clean right-off the production line type build here) and then masked the inner wheel wells to shoot matt black.  I can't remember if my 1:1 had plastic inner arches or metal ones - but I know for sure they weren't ever shiny anyway.

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Seeing as there's a LOT of black underneath a Miata I'm trying to match the factory colors and finishes of the various components as best I can to add some realism.  If I could weather it that would definitely help...but like I say, not going for a used look on this one.  The subtle difference between the wheelwells and the rest of the chassis is a start though, I think!

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I remember noticing red overspray in the underneath of the trans tunnel on my Miata when I was weatherproofing it one year, and a little on the edges of the chassis too.  So, I gave it a VERY subtle mist of red with the airbrush

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Subtle, but it's there!

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The block and trans on these is aluminum, so I did that tricky masking and shot some tamiya flat aluminum on everything that will need it

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Lots of tricky masking to go on this one - more soon!

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Nice job on the prepwork!  One comment and you can take it for what it is worth.  I learned years ago that yellows and reds are really translucent colors even in automotive paints.  They are very sensitive to what is underneath.  This is why Ferrari uses pink or orange primers.  Gray just kills the color.  I seem to have to lay down way too many layers of paint to get the red right.  I will stick to pink, orange or white when doing red and yellow or white for yellows.  Not being picky, just laying out a little personal experience. 

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10 minutes ago, Pete J. said:

Nice job on the prepwork!  One comment and you can take it for what it is worth.  I learned years ago that yellows and reds are really translucent colors even in automotive paints.  They are very sensitive to what is underneath.  This is why Ferrari uses pink or orange primers.  Gray just kills the color.  I seem to have to lay down way too many layers of paint to get the red right.  I will stick to pink, orange or white when doing red and yellow or white for yellows.  Not being picky, just laying out a little personal experience. 

You're absolutely right Pete - base color is SUPER important over reds and colors like that.  I tried the red over yellow, grey, white and pink primer on spoons and it looked good on every color BUT the grey...but then I took them outside and a few streets over to where a new red Miata lives painted the same color and kinda had to concede that none of them were EXACT for the 1:1 but the slightly darker finish from the one with the grey primer was closest.  But yes, you're totally right, something like the yellow primer I started with or a white would be much better usually.  I'm not sure if the theoretical imaginary contest judge I'm building this to impress would know enough about Miata colors to be like "hey, that red's too bright man!" but who knows.  Thanks for the feedback!

Next up, if you look just in front of the engine on a 1:1 Miata you can see two bright white (when they're new, anyway) electric fans on the back of the radiator.  There wasn't any molded in detail for them on this kit, and being a boxstock build I couldn't scratchbuild anything to represent them but I CAN add decals, so I cut a couple of decals to represent these white fans on my Silhouette machine.  You can just see the outline of them on the material if you look closely in this pic:

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Now these are almost COMPLETELY hidden when the suspension is assembled, but I figured I'll know theyre there - and from just the right angle you'll be able to see them...so on they went!

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Once the bottom suspension arms are on you can only see about a tiny bit of the fans peeking out - but totally worth the hour's worth of effect! :D

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I have owned three 1:1 Miatas...and will own another some day. You are doing well. In my opinion you can never have the paint "too red" on a Miata. I'll be watching your progress with interest. 

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20 hours ago, Jonathan said:

This is really looking great!

Thanks buddy!

17 hours ago, Eric Macleod said:

I have owned three 1:1 Miatas...and will own another some day. You are doing well. In my opinion you can never have the paint "too red" on a Miata. I'll be watching your progress with interest. 

Which variants have you had, Eric?  I've had an NA and an NB - I think the later car was a touch better - better handling, a bit more comfortable...but the NA was my favorite!

Just a couple of tiny updates, seeing as I'm replying anyway...the stock Miata gas tank is steel, covered with this textured paint:

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So, I masked the tank on the car and shot some semigloss black from about 18 inches away to try and have the paint dry a little before it hit the surface.  The effect is pretty subtle, and you can't see the tank once the rear suspension is in place...but if someone knew what to look for they'd hopefully notice it!

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Meanwhile, I went through my paint stash and found that Tamiya Gun Metal is a really nice match for the stock calipers on an 'ata

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So, I shot some of that - once it's dry I'll mask up and spray the brake disks themselves with something suitable - maybe a chrome silver for that?

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More soon!

giphy.gif

 

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You're doing a fine job on this, that is for sure!  My son had a Miata for a while, but he couldn't take care of it so we traded it in for a Ranger pickup.  That was indeed a pleasure to drive, even if it was a no muffler straight pipe, wheels falling off, opaque back window, no interior deathtrap.  It was fun to drive.

 

As for your build, be sure to use several shades and texture of black inder the car.  Even some olive drab for the hard fuel and brake lines where they aren't covered with heat or abrasion shielding.  Use a pale brass color for the connections.  Flat or semi-gloss for the rubber boots on CV joints and steering rack boots, aluminum or gloss black for the rack itself, pale gold or pale brass for the bolt heads on the subframes, etc.  

 

Here's a picture of my Tamiya 370Z that is one solid chunk of plastic with just detail paint.15245191623512113343923.thumb.jpg.1b22541707d47fa6378ea853887ef28a.jpg

And one of my Revellogram 93 Cobra

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Both were straight out of the box and were awarded first places in box stock due to the detail painting and attention to details of fit and finish.

 

Keep it up, you're going to have a trophy on your shelf before long.

Edited by rsxse240
Grammar

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Since others are sharing stories, I will  add mine.  I have only ridden in a Miata once and frankly it scared the bejebers out of me!  There use to be a place around here that took Miatas and dropped  Ford 289/302s in them.  If you know that engine, there ar a ton of performance parts available.  The one I rode in had a little over 450 hp.  They claimed is was faster that a Cobra and I can believe it.  The place is somewhat of a legend in the local Miata community.  It was called Monster Miata.  I was as impressed with their engineering as the shear terror that the car cause.  Needless to say, they really just used the basic shell of the car.  Everything else needed stiffening/strengthening.  There is a local doctor who has a 700HP Monster.  They have tubbed it for the bigger tires so there aren't any real outward signs of what it is.  If you didn't notice the wide tires the only give away was a small green dragon emblem on the rear.  

If you are interested here is their web site.  http://monstermiata.com/

Edited by Pete J.

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Nice build! My Buddy used to have a '92 NA. Thanks to him, I bought myself a '13 NC PRHT.:D I LOVE it! It is a real blast to drive.

May 10-14 112.JPG

Edited by NOBLNG

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I had a 90 Package B in red, a 94 Package A in red and a 95 M-Edition, in Merlot Mica. By far the 95 was my favorite,  a car I would still own if not for the rust gremlins. 

I really like your model. I built Tamiya versions of the 90 and 95, which are burried here somewhere. 

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Nice build so far. I have an NB series 2 MX5, and love it. I'm a bit disappointed that no one makes a scale model of this model. Fujimi make a NB series 1 kit, but i want the facelift. Ive contemplated trying to scratch build the series 2 front end, but havent got around to it yet. I look forward to seeing this one all finished :)

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Loved hearing all the Miata stories!  Thanks for sharing everyone!!

Meanwhile, I spent some time today polishing the body out:

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I still couldn't get it QUITE as shiny as I wanted, so I gave it a coat of Future as an experiment...came out pretty shiny! 

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Love that shine on the trunklid from my lamp!
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There's a couple of tiny imperfections in the Future - I'm hoping I can leave it a couple of days and buff them out...maybe with wet and dry, or some polish that won't attack the finish

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Next up, designed some custom license plates (and a bunch more) and printed them at the local RiteAid

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Should work!
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Did some more tricky masking
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Starting to add more layers to the molded-in engine

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Front clip assembled

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And the rear end...there's SO MUCH black under a Miata, so I'm glad I shot some dark grey in the arches to help it stand out a little

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More soon!  I need to start thinking about colors for the interior next...

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Thanks fellas!! 

Next up, detailing the wheels so I can get this thing on it's, well, wheels.  The Revell Miata kit has these tiny Mazda logos that matched the ones I wanted for this build so I borrowed them:

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Number 14 on the sheet is the ones I wanted, in case they're hard to spot...and these are SMALL! 
Installed on the wheels -  I need to shoot some clear over them to hide the edge of the decal still:

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I masked out the window rubber and the rockers and painted them:

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Chromed the inside of the turn signals on the body before installing the glass - I wanted them to have some depth, so I put the chrome on the body rather than on the turn signals themselves:

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Chromed the rear center light whilst I was doing that, and got that little Mazda emblem on there too

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Then started to figure out the taillights - they're not so simple that you can just paint them one color or a couple of colors and call them done - they have a dark tint to them so theyre almost black in places when the lights aren't illuminated:

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I tried white paint, silver paint and Molotow on a scrap lens and decided the Molotow would work best for the back up lights, so I dotted that in first

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Then thinned some red and orange Tamiya clear and brushed it on lightly so it settled into the texture on the lenses

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Then misted on some thinned black acrylic with the airbrush

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Then, finally, another coat of clear red with a mist of dark grey before installing them

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Pretty close, I think!

That's all for now, folks - more soon!

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Excellent job on those tail lights...  and the whole car!

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