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Rolls Royce "balloon car"


Harry P.

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The body features inset panels of  woven "cane." The kit parts are molded incorrectly... the "holes" in the pattern of woven cane are actually molded as raised dimples. But that's actually a good thing, because it makes detailing the panels easy. First I painted them a "cane" color, then carefully sanded the paint off the raised areas to reveal the black plastic. These panels would have looked much better as decals, but oh well...

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Here are those panels installed. Painting the body was a nightmare. I first sprayed everything with Tamiya Bright Red, then masked off the recessed red panels and brush painted the exposed raised areas with gloss black acrylic. I had a real hard time masking off the recessed red panels with all those curves and tight radiuses. I did the best I could, but when I removed the tape there were a ton of spots where the color break lines were... um... "less than satisfactory." I tried my best to fix the rough areas with a tiny brush and red and black paint, but even so the color breaks are pretty bad in too many areas. Definitely not my best work, but once the body is in place and all the accessories like the spare tire, battery box, horn bulb, etc. are installed, your eye won't be drawn directly to the lousy job I did with the color breaks. The red panels should have been individual pieces, like the cane inserts. That way you could paint the body black, paint the inset panels red, glue them in place, and have perfect color separation lines. That's how the kit should have been engineered...

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It's coming together. Here is the interior. The panel below the seat was scratchbuild of basswood, stained and varnished. The drawer pulls are straight pins. I drilled out the molded-in fasteners on the wooden trim piece that runs along the top of the body side from firewall to seat and added real brass pins.

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Front end details finished. The RR logo on the grille shell was a decal that disintegrated into a million tiny pieces once it hit the water, so I googled "RR logo" and printed one out at several sizes... picked the size that I needed, cut it out and glued it on. The license plates are also decals, but rather than risk them disintegrating too, I just cut them out of the decal sheet dry, and glued them to the backing plate.

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The first step in detailing the top was to drill out the molded-in brass snaps. They will be replaced by real brass tacks with round heads...

I will not be using the kit's plastic molded "leather" top hold down straps up front... I will scratchbuild those using heavy paper. So I needed to add the mounting loops for the straps on the top. I used thin bead stringing wire that I found at HL... it's soft enough so that I could bend very tight radiuses into it, yet stiff enough to hold its shape. The wire is red (remember, it's decorative bead stringing wire)... the loops will ultimately be painted black.

 

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To give the top more of the look of canvas and take away that "plastic-y" model car look, first I painted it with oil-based wood stain...

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Then I wiped off most of it, leaving slightly more in the "recessed" areas and less on the raised areas, just to give the top some depth and try to make it look more like fabric than molded plastic.

Compare the stained top to the unstained in the previous photos.

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