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ANY ALTERNATIVES TO PE GRILLS?

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For a long time, I have been frustrated with a lot of front end grills on kits. Most of them are simply molded detail and the two popular options are to wash or use PE. Some PE is OK, but then again, a lot of it is just not realistic other than the fact it's made of a metal.

I want to do better. I did some experiments and no doubt, it's as tough as hell. I tried cutting thin strips of aluminum, mesh from all kinds of sources, shaping, sanding the backs of grills and a ton of other things. One problem is that mesh can't be a "one shape (or pattern) fits all" solution.

I seem to be good at cutting away the original molded detail but from there, I scratch my head and say, "OK, now what am I going to put in there?" I just did it with a Revell 69 Super Bee grill (hoping to make it into a FS Coronet). Nice cut away... and that's about as much as I have to say on that one.

Has anyone done anything interesting and realistic using something other than PE and besides just doing a blackwash?

I'd love to hear your stories and see your pics!

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Posted · Report post

This is a question, not a tip, trick or technique.

It should have been posted in the QUESTION and answer section, which is where I'm moving it.

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Posted · Report post

I have seen a few scratchbuilt from styrene strip, but very, very few to be honest. Member Jevries' Monte Carlo LS grille is the first one which comes to mind, and maybe the only:

http://jevriesblog.com/index/page/3

I think the trick is to get the pattern of the grille (the "mesh", if you will) looking as close to the real grille mesh as possible, and even if the real grille is made of half round bar stock and you use a p/e mesh sheet (one piece, of consistent thickness), it will fool the eye since it's so small and the pattern is uniform and consistent.

There are some things which are just too think or fine to pull off in 1/25 scale, even using stronger materials such as metal. It's one of the compromises which both drive us to improve, and drive us crazy. ;)

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Posted (edited) · Report post

I always just open up the kit grille if possible. I've opened up some very thin ones. It takes a lot of patience,but the result is well worth it. I usually take a dremel with a router bit and grind down the back side of the grille as close as possible without going through. Then sand with 220 grit until what's left begins to fall out. If a grille is really thin, I sand as close as possible then clean out the squares with my xacto blade.

Edited by plowboy

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Posted · Report post

The 69 Bee is a tough one. The detail is way too thin to open up from the back. I was thinking of scratch building one that, perhaps, could be molded in the future. I'm looking for some scratch building examples; maybe those of you who used soda can aluminum or something. There's go to be a decent solution, even if it takes tons of time. I thought of the soda can aluminum, but I don't know what cutting tool would be best without curling or screwing up the edges.

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Posted · Report post

What about using 1/16 styrene rod?

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Posted · Report post

l have been experimenting with guitar strings. l cut 2 thin strips of .040 styrene sheet for vertical supports. Then with a photo etch blade, l score horizontal slots in them to hold the .009 strings. So far the toughest part has been getting the slots close enough together & at an equal distance apart. I have yet to come up with a presentable example of a billet grille, but l'm convinced it can be done! Many stock grilles have horizontal "fins" that could be replicated in this fashion. With proper bends in the appropriate places, l'm sure your '69 Bee grille could be done.

Bart

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Posted · Report post

l have been experimenting with guitar strings. l cut 2 thin strips of .040 styrene sheet for vertical supports. Then with a photo etch blade, l score horizontal slots in them to hold the .009 strings. So far the toughest part has been getting the slots close enough together & at an equal distance apart. I have yet to come up with a presentable example of a billet grille, but l'm convinced it can be done! Many stock grilles have horizontal "fins" that could be replicated in this fashion. With proper bends in the appropriate places, l'm sure your '69 Bee grille could be done.

Bart

I have done a billet style grille. I wasn't satified with the first one I made, so I made another one. Still, it's not perfect, but good enough for me. The bars are a little too thick at .020, but I tried .010 and it was too flimsy.

DSCF1973.jpg

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Posted · Report post

That turned out pretty nice ! I'm still at it.

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