Jump to content
Forum will be Offline for Server Maintenance ×
Model Cars Magazine Forum


  • Posts

  • Joined

  • Last visited

Posts posted by peteski

  1. Maybe because they can? :D  This is often the case with armor and and aircraft model kits too - full engine which will never be seen after the model is fully assembled, or full interiors which will not be seen once the fuselage is assembled.  Pocher 1:8 kits have fully detailed engines but the parts are never to be seen once the engine is assembled.

    One reason is probably to be able to brag on the kit's packaging that those details are included in the kit.  But I also think that the reason is to give the modeler an option to build those hidden gems either as a separately-displayed model, do a cutaway-view model showing the hidden parts, or simply (as with the engine packs) give a modeler source of miniature engine parts for a garage diorama or a junk yard.

    Also, nobody is forcing you to use those hidden parts (unless they are structural pars of the kit). Modelers often leave those parts out of the kit.  I don't think that those parts were leftovers from some possible variation of the kit (since as you said, they would not be normally visible).



  2. My apologies, Peteski. I should have wrote that RPM gave us the business. Testors Corp. acquired Floquil Polly-S and Pactra prior to itself being acquired by RPM in 1984. The decision to drop the other lines was made by the RPM corporate braintrust. These lines were seen as not profitable enough to justify continued production. Hobby paints and products constitute, at most, 1 percent of RPM's total sales. Its major business is in industrial coatings and sealants. 

    That there were too many paints in the combined lines is a fact. But, each line catered to a different segment of customer. The elimination of the three previously mentioned brands left the model ship builder and train enthusiast without any options. Floquil produced excellent Marine and Railroad Colors lines. Testors (RPM) never bothered to incorporate the Marine Colors into its MM line. Many of the Marine Colors have no MM equivalent and that placed the wooden ship modeler between a rock and a hard place to try finding a substitute. Ditto with the train guys. Your comment about the shrinking number of modelers isn't entirely accurate. Ever check out the number of items being produced for model railroading? That's a dumb question, of course you know :) . It's insane; but, that area of interest is more popular than ever. There are more brick and mortar shops exclusively dedicated to model trains than there are for plastic kits. And, they're raking in the mazuma, too. 

    Floquil reformulated (removing Xylol from the formula) its paints to be plastic compatible in the early '80s. That made them dilutable with regular thinner, as opposed to using Dio-Sol.

    I'm partial to N Scale myself, going all the way back to my first Aurora Postage Stamp Train set I got for Christmas in 1967. :)

    No apology needed Joe - I just wanted to make the RPM story a bit more accurate.  I'm also into N scale and I frequent a forum which is N-scale-biased: The Railwire . As far as the shrinking number of modelers goes, I am the one who should have been more accurate this time. What is shrinking is the number of craftsman-type of modelers who actually use paints and detail parts to detail their models or who scratchbuild their models.  Those are the modelers who miss those discontinued paints.  Sure, we have lots of new model RR models, but they are detailed and painted for specific railroad to the n-th degree. There are also lots of structures which are already built, painted and with details added a the factory (like the Woodland Scenics ones).  One thing is that all those exquisite models are rather expensive. But any schmuck can plop them on their layout without much work involved. 

    Same goes for automotive modeling - there are now lots of pre-built pre-decorated models available from many manufacturers. Many "modelers" just buy and collect those models - no painting or assembly required.


    I have a small stash of Floquil paints - hopefully they won't go bad on me. :D

  3. Thanks Mike.

    I should have also mentioned that it wasn't just an easy dip.  Straight-from the can PlasiDip is too viscous - it creates a blob over the wire spring. I ended up experimenting with thinning the PlastiDIp with solvents (Acetone, Toluene and Naphta) until it was thin enough not to create a blob.  It also took 3 or 4 dippings until I was able to build up a coat which was thick enough to cover the wire and not to break when I bent the "hose".

  4. Joe, I guess I'm still a newbie around here so I don't know when you are serious. :unsure:

    I'm not sure if I agree with the "killing competition" of Testors since RPM has owned all the paint lines you mentioned for quite some time before discontinuing them.  I also play with model trains :) and Used Floquil and Polly S and later PollyScale paints. I'm also bemoaning their discontinuation.  Like you, I much prefer all the old-school organic solvent based smelly paints to any of the new water-based paints (for the reasons you mentioned).

    So, if RPM already owned all those paint brands, they weren't much of a competition.  I suspect they discontinued those paints because of the ever stricter EPA controls for organic solvent based paints.  Plus they probably wanted to reduce the range of their hobby paint line.  Plus I also suspect that the sales were way down (too many paint brands and shrinking numbers of modelers).

    We still have couple good lines of paints left: TruColor and Scalecoat. Well, Weaver (producer of Scalecoat) recently closed their doors, but the line was picked up by another company, so it seems that it will still be available.



  5. Super nice work.

    I find it interesting that so many get so excited over issues with a $25 kit and yet there doesn't seem to be that big of a deal with such a high dollar kit. Can you image the review thread on this kit if it was issued today. Would definitely make some of the most recent kit reviews look tame.

    I suspect it is all in the expectations.  I have build a Pocher kit too and like Harry says, there are lots of problems. But it is to be expected, regardless of the price. Plus back when these kits were manufactured, there was no Internet and online forums for modelers to bitch and complain about poor fitting parts. :) Also remember that the master patterns and molds were pretty much made by hand. No CAD/CAM.  If Pocher name is revived and new kits are brought to the market, they will get as close of a scrutiny as the other smaller scale kits do. After all we now have means of connecting with thousands of people who have similar interests to us.

    In the 1:24 scale plastic kits world things are a bit different. Kits are much simpler and they don't have nearly as many details as 1:8 kits.  They are pretty much all injection-molded plastic parts. Modelers expect them to fit together right.  If you even build a Tamiya or Fujimi kit, you are as close to perfection as possible.  Most modern kits are also designed on a computer, and molds are made on CNC machines,  so there are fewer excuses not to make the parts to fit well or have incorrect shapes. Because of this, modelers have much higher expectations. Plus we have Internet and online forums to bitch and beat do death even the smallest problems with our kits.

    But it wasn't always this way. Many early plastic model kits were out of proportions and had poorly fitting parts.  Again, back then there was no Internet or online forums for modelers to gripe and complain.  Plus, back then kits only cost $1.50 so nobody complained. :lol:  Also to be realistic, back then kits were usually built by teenagers who just wanted to build them to blow them up or crash them. Nobody cared that the rood profile was a bit off. But now, as discerning adults, we strive for perfection.  Makes sense?

  6. It is not unusual for Japanese companies to take a plain kit and add some metal-cast, photoetched or resin parts and charge a top dollar for them.  Gunze-Sangyo Ferraris are another example of this (although both curbside and detailed versions vwere Gunze's own kit). Those added cast metal parts are usually not very good quality (often plastic parts they replaced were better).

  7. I also wish that the series would have continued. I've built them both. I don't have any photos of the Corvette handy, but here is my Cobra:



    For more photos see Peteski's Cobra Album

    These kits were revolutionary. Just like much more expensive 1:43 resin kits they included photoetched parts. But unlike the thick and often crude resin-cast kit's parts, the injection-molded styrene parts and bodies were very well executed.  Plus the price was so much more affordable than any resin kit.

  8. Heating up the stripping fluid bath to 80-90 deg. F makes it more aggressive and it works much better, even on really tough paints.  That way you don't have to result to using power tools for stripping.  You can leave styrene in the warmed up purple stuff for extended period of time, but be careful with warmed up ELO - it can slightly attack surface of some of the various styrene types.

  9. Depends on the area masked - sometimes I pick the edge with my fingernail then use my fingers to pick it off the plastic part, other times (or if the masked area is small (like a small hole I masked) I use pointy-tip tweezers.  Like I mentioned, the masking agent I use is slightly more viscous than the stuff you use for watercolors, so it goes on in a thicker layer.

    My hands are very clean when I handle freshly painted model (when I pick the masks off).  During the final assembly I often wear thin cotton gloves not to leave fingerprints on the car's body.  The kind used by museum staff to handle delicate museum exhibits.

  10. I believe that topic was regarding whether or not a metal frame is necessary when scratchbuilding a frame. And I still say a metal frame isn't necessary in that case. Some people may prefer to work in brass, but it's not necessary. A perfectly good model chassis can be scratchbuilt of plastic.

    What I mean here is that I like the metal frame on this Bugatti because it bolts together square and straight and stiff right from the start, unlike the RR plastic frame, which has a lot of flex in it until you add things to stiffen it up, like the axles and engine. Once the Rolls chassis is finished, it's plenty strong enough to support the model. But those are manufactured model kit chassis... as far as building a chassis from scratch, I don't see any reason that you need to build the frame of metal... plastic works just as well.

    Got it!

  11. I use the liquid latex mask stuff (smells like ammonia) all the time. But I only use it for things like masking areas or holes which will be gluing surfaces for attaching other parts after painting.  I do that since glue works best on unpainted surfaces.  But the mask used for water colors is too liquid (too thin).  I actually ged much thicker masking liquid from electronic parts distributors. That stuff is used for masking areas of electronic printed circuit boards (to protect them from liquid solder) before passing them through wave soldering machine. Sometimes that masking fluid is too thick so I thin it with the stuff you use.


    Here are some examples. It is a 1:43 scale 289 AC Cobra molded in yellow plastic.

    If you look at the headers with the blue-painted cylinder heads you'll see bare yellow plastic on the cylinder heads. Before painting them blue I masked the top of them with liquid mask (where the valve covers will attach) . Once painted blue, I peeled the masking off exposing the bare plastic. Same with the bottom of the engine block in that photo. The area where the oil pain will be glued on was masked with liquid masking before painting it blue.  I find it easier to just apply the liquid mask than to cut pieces of masking tape. Plus liquid masking is easier to apply on uneven surfaces.


    Here you see where I used liquid mask on the areas of the front suspension where the wheels will be glued on.



    As far as masking tape goes, I used to use standard blue Scotch masking tape but since I found Tamiya masking tape I never looked back at any other brands of tape. Tamiya tape is *THAT* good!



  12. The frame on this kit is metal... very stiff and sturdy, and when you bolt it together it's square and flat, unlike the soft, wiggly plastic frame on my Pocher RR woody. The metal frame is a much better way to go.

    Interesting how once you personally encountered a large scale kit with a metal frame you have changed you view. Not too long ago you said here that there is no need for a metal frame.  :)


    This model is coming along very nicely. I just love all those extra "Harry P. touches"!

  13. Model is looking good (especially the paint and weathering), but if you want my honest opinion, your wire harnesses are way out of scale spoiling the overall look of the model.  It is thicker than the bikes frame tubes. Details like that are what makes or breaks a model.

    If you think about it, most wires in the harness of the 1:1 bike would not be usually larger than 1/8" (that is the overall thickness of the insulation of the wires). Many will be even thinner and few (like battery cables) would be thicker.

    To correctly represent those wires in 1:6 you would need something that is about 0.021" diameter (0.125 / 6 = 0.021) or thinner. A 30 AWG wire-wrapping wire has overall thickens close to that.  This type of wire is usually available from electronic parts suppliers. If you have a Radio Shack store nearby, they should also have the wire-wrapping wire. For even thinner wire use some of the 1:24 scale ignition wire from Detail Master. It comes in 0.016" and 0.007" diameters.  Perfect to represent chassis wiring of a 1:6 scale bike.  This will dramatically improve the realism if your model.  As far as wrapping the harness, that will be tougher.  Some thin-wall heat-shrink tubing might fit the bill.  Wrapping regular electrical tape will look out of scale.

  14. If you want to light it up (while trying to make it look in-scale) you would need to use SMD (Surface Mount Devices) LEDs.  You can get them as small as size 0402 (0.040" x 0.020").  Or larger, like 0603 (0.060" x 0.030"). They also come in larger sizes lime 0805 or 1206 or even larger.  But wiring/soldering a 100 of them will not be an easy task.


    Here is a photo showing various SMD LED sizes.  The scale is in millimeters so you can see how large a 5mm LED would be in comparison.


  15. I just read through this thread. Quite interesting to learn all the different things people do or like/dislike about the BMF.

    I've been using BMF for over 25 years and I still have most of the models I build back then. The BMF is still on them. Slightly more yellowed but no sign of peeling. Still looks good. Here's my 5 cents:

    BMF Original Chrome foil is by far the best foil out there.  I tried them all (including some home-made stuff).  I'll tell you a secret:  It is not simply very thin aluminum foil with some adhesive. That is also the reason why it has a warmer color than the bluish-silver of aluminum foil.  This foil is made from some pliable metal or some metal alloy. I don't know any specifics. If you don't believe me take a soldering iron and lightly touch it a piece of foil - it will melt.  Try that with aluminum foil and it will not melt.  That special metal is the reason why this foil is so easy to work with, and why it stretches and compresses easily to create a wrinkle-free surface.  Also the its softness is why it polishes so easily.  That's the secret to BMF's Original Chrome foil.

    All the other brands of foils (even including BMF's own Bright Chrome, Black Chrome and Gold) are just adhesive-backed thin aluminum foils. The colored ones simply have the color applied to the foil's surface. That is why those are much stiffer and not as easy to apply. They also do not stretch and crinkle easily when applied to complex curved surfaces.

    As others have mentioned, Naphtha not alcohol is the best for safely removing stubborn adhesive residue. But if the residue is not very heavy, it will come off by just rubbing with a piece of soft cotton cloth, no solvent needed.  When I foil my models I often minimize chances of having residue by covering the area surrounding the foiled area with masking tape.  When I'm done foiling I simply peel up the masking tape and the remaining foil comes off with it.

    WD40's solvent is similar to Naphtha, but WD40 also has lubricants - spray some WD40 on a piece of glass and let the solvent evaporate for a day or two. You will end up with a thin layer of oily film which will not evaporate. That is why I would never use WD40 on a finished model.

    If you want to see an example of one of my foiled models, look for the blue '57 Chevy on the BMF's packaging. It is by yours truly. :)  I feel quite honored to have my model on the BMF envelope and on the website.

    Gunze Sangyo 1:32 1957 Chevy BelAir


  • Create New...