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Johan ‘66 Cadillac Coupe De Ville

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On 5/25/2022 at 9:06 PM, CabDriver said:

The nose sits a little low here, but the window glass and the dash bump it up about a scale inch so I think it’s going to work itself out just fine…

I think it looks great, just like that! Cool shot, too!

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Thanks everybody!

14 hours ago, Twokidsnosleep said:

Are you designing the parts yourself or printing stuff from files you find on the internet?

I am still in the latter mode, needing to learn the 3D design software 

A little of both - if someone talented has made something better than I can design, I’ll support them and purchase it…but I enjoy designing my own parts too!  In this case, I designed and 3D printed the license plate, distributor and wheelbacks, but there won’t be too much else I add to this one.  Maybe the interior dome lights…I laid those out in CAD already, I just need to print a set…

Today’s projects; first up, spent a couple of hours carefully going over the body and wetsanding the primer, looking for high and low spots.  Found a few little areas that needed attention, but nothing major…



Then, got it all back in primer for another go-around tomorrow:


I’m hoping I can shoot color on it tomorrow, but I’m not planning on rushing it either…I’m REALLY tempted to shoot the underside in matching dark-blue to show off that nice detail under there (with the frame and suspension etc. painted metal shades and black) but they weren’t like that from the factory, so I may end up going with something simpler…

And thirdly today, got the engine in color.  I had the paint rep at our paint supplier at work give me a code for 60s Cadillac engine blue that I could use as reference for color - Createx opaque blue looks like a good match on my paint chart (although it’s nowhere near as vibrant under normal light as it appears in my photo booth…those LED lights really lighten it up a lot and make it more blue than it really is.  Think, more like Yankees blue…)


Need to clearcoat these parts tomorrow and then mask off the trans for factory black…and hopefully start laying down some color!  More soon, thanks for looking!

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Thanks @David G., @slusher and @Steve H!


Had a great day, initially, then a disappointing day…

Shot one last coat of primer last night, smoothed out the body, and shot the Scale Finishes Nocturne blue…it laid down BEAUTIFULLY!  No crazing, no problems; I had shot a test piece to make sure, and all good:



Then, once the lacquer had had 12 hours or so to dry, shot a test piece with their enamel clear (also all good), and then started some light mist coats of clear over the body.  It started frosting up almost immediately and then wrinkled the lacquer underneath:



What happened?!  The lacquer didn’t even touch this old styrene, I laid down multiple barrier coats, I’m convinced that once I strip this thing it’ll only be their lacquer than wrinkled - so what gives?!  

Into the pond it goes.

I’m almost certain the clear was mixed too hot - I’ve never ONCE had ANY enamel do this over ANY lacquer (or even something less tough, like regular artist or airbrush acrylics)…irritatingly, the much wetter coat I shot on a test piece (the top side of the frame) was absolutely fine.  

Bummer 👎🏻

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Jim, I have seen you lay down layer after layer of paint with NO ISSUES. This seems very weird. Bummer for sure, but that Caddy is in good hands.☝️🙌 No doubt you will have better luck next time. The colour is beautiful!!

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Hi Jim!

Sorry for the paint issue.

I suspect the lacquer coat(s) were not fully evaporated, and disturbed the enamel top coats. I know it may sound strange, but  If the lacquer had been too hot for the styrene surface (even with primer), it would have wrinkled even before you went on with the second clear 12 hours later. Also, the frosting you report immediately after application of the enamel topcoat seems to indicate either extreme humidity in the atmosphere, or evaporating gas from the lacquer underneath. 

One old method to detect any remaining evaporation is the "smell test". If it still smells something, then it is not full cured. 

Finally, even if your two different paints are called lacquer an enamel respectively... their solvent may be so "similar" chemically that the topcoat soaked and re-liquified a not fully-cured lacquer underneath. 

My two cents, FWIW.... 

Keep on, that Cad deserves to see completion!


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Thanks everyone!  And thanks for the detailed tips @Claude Thibodeau…humidity was around 25% (I have a hydrometer that I keep a constant eye on in the shop) so I think I was within an acceptable window on THAT count.  

The lacquer didn’t smell particularly either, it was a nice warm day, let it bake, it was a couple of nice thin mist coats to no real build up of thickness that would take longer to cure…apparently I did SOMETHING wrong, but I tried really hard to take all the right precautions to make sure this DIDN’T happen.  Really bummed that it went south so easily.  

ANYHOO, I wasn’t planning on letting that issue slow me up, and then I got a stomach bug all through the Memorial Day weekend which limited my bench-time  considerably.  Only just feeling better now, but got a couple of tiny bits done…

Started some prep on the interior - the seats on these kits don’t have anything to help locate them nicely when you assemble them to the tub, so I added a couple of pieces of styrene to give me something to glue to.  I didn’t feel like trying to glue to carpet, so these will help…



I’ve got some embossed felt-type material that I’m going to use for carpeting on this one with a SUPER fine ‘grain’ - much less than flocking and even finer than embossing powder, so I made templates of the floor with some tape before I get into painting the tub.

I was missing a seatback, so just made a couple - pretty simple little pieces, nothing too exciting:


And finally, made a start on painting the chassis - used some black sealer as a starting point…need to go through in various stages and mask out the frame rails for a different finish, then the floors, then the axles and suspension parts and so on - LOTS of masking to go before this is done, but it’s a start!


Thanks for looking everyone - more soon!

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What kind of thinner did you use for your clear?

I've heard some folks use lacquer thinner to reduce enamel paint and that could have an effect on the enamels structure. 

If there was too much lacquer in the clear it not only could've changed the ratio of the clear, but also re-activated the lacquer underneath. Causing both paints to cure at different rates.

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I don't know you from Adam but your work is flawless and I'am sure you will do your Cadillac justice..Very nice work and your paint will come out like glass by the look of your work..Don't give up and take your time..excellent progress and it will be worth your wait..


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Posted (edited)

Thanks fellas. Appreciate all the kind words!

On 6/2/2022 at 4:56 PM, Oldcarfan27 said:

What kind of thinner did you use for your clear?

I've heard some folks use lacquer thinner to reduce enamel paint and that could have an effect on the enamels structure. 

If there was too much lacquer in the clear it not only could've changed the ratio of the clear, but also re-activated the lacquer underneath. Causing both paints to cure at different rates.

It was actually pre-thinned…you’d THINK with a styrene-safe lacquer thinner, or at a minimum a thinner that’s inert enough for their own paint - but apparently not…


Not impressed, won’t use a second time…

That said…got the body out of the purple pond this evening - no visible surface damage to the styrene at all, and just needs a scrub with a toothbrush (don’t use your own - find an old one or borrow a friend’s) and with some clean-up with a plastic razorblade it’ll be almost good as new:


Some clean-up later and light coat of primer so I can spot the imperfections I need to fix (again) and we’re almost back in business here:


Need to re-sand, re-scribe the panel lines and check it all carefully, but it does seem like I got lucky and it really WAS just the paint that ate itself rather than the paint eating the plastic.  Good news!  

Also shot the interior parts with some primer today, but they were still in the paint booth (Amazon box) drying so more on those tomorrow.  Hoping to make some good progress this weekend!  Thanks for looking, more soon!

Edited by CabDriver
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That is very odd, I have used Scalefinishes MANY times, with no issues. I would say that regardless of what brands you use, if you are using a base coat that is a different brand than the topcoat/clear, always worth spray a spare part, then test that spare part before shooting onto your projectject. 

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Thanks fellas!

23 hours ago, Modelbuilder Mark said:

That is very odd, I have used Scalefinishes MANY times, with no issues. I would say that regardless of what brands you use, if you are using a base coat that is a different brand than the topcoat/clear, always worth spray a spare part, then test that spare part before shooting onto your projectject. 

How long do you let their lacquer flash out before clearing?  Curious to know if I caught it in a window where the clear wrinkled it or something…odd…

14 hours ago, slusher said:

Sometimes paint issues are a mystery…

Got that right brother! 😂

Regardless…we’re back in color a week later - take 2!


Definitely NOT using their clear this time around - back to one of my trusty favorites…

Spent a bunch of time today cleaning up and printing bunch of little parts for a marathon painting session tomorrow, got the interior into color ready for the next stages:


And spent some time masking up the frame (which I had already painted black) ready for the next steps.  Today‘s fun was shooting a typical primer-with-body-color-fades type deal, and tomorrow I’ll start shooting the metal colored bits metal colors:


Actually, most reference pics I can find of these cars show about everything black under there so this might not be accurate…but I wanted to make a little more effort than to just shoot it one color and call it good.  Maybe this one will represent an inaccurately-restored car - or perhaps some DID roll off the production line like this…it’ll give me a chance to do some nice detail painting anyway and show off the nice detail under there…

Anyhoo - that’s today’s pitiful progress - thanks for looking!

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Had a GREAT day at the bench today - got a bunch done!

Boring stuff first…painted a bunch of little parts:


Then, whilst those bits were drying, spent some time masking up the frame…Silly Putty is a lifesaver for jobs like this…


Shot some metal tones:


And peeled the masks and putty…tada! 


I started going through and adding some light washes and detail painting…not done with that yet though…going for some really light realistic weathering under there, but still basically new-car clean…


Added some washes to some of the ‘metal’ parts too - in a LOT of the reference pics I found of these cars, the brake drums are REALLY rusty - I wonder if they were just unpainted steel?  Couldn’t find exact confirmation, but I don’t mind adding another metal finish to the underside just for a tiny bit of visual interest…


Started the second step of paint on the interior - painted the white portion of the two-tone dash, then remasked later and shot some brushed aluminum on the dash and along the tops of the doors to match my reference pics - still plenty of tricky detailing to do on all the interior parts but that’s another step closer…


Made carpets, using the templates that I had drawn up last week…


And finally (and the part I’m most excited about today…) - successfully laid down clear on the body!


SO pleased to get that handled after the failure last week…but that Nocturne Blue looks REALLY pretty under a coat of gloss!

Daylight shot:


Not a bad day’s progress!  Body is in the booth now for 48 hours before I pull it out, inspect and lay down some more clear if necessary, but I’m pleased to have overcome THAT hurdle successfully.

Thank for looking - more soon! 

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The paint looks great, not sure you would need to use any clear to improve that finish. I like how you detailed the chassis. Amazing how much better it looks with the attention you gave it. 

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