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Discussion Starter · #163 ·
Thanks, Bill! I always learn a lot from watching your builds! Can you explain how massage the edges down? Do you use your finger tips, or some type of soft burnisher?
***** I run the back of my finger nail around the edges of the licks to knock down any overly proud areas that might be a little ragged or sticking up; which would mess up the coming clear coats. *****

Just drag it slowly backwards and forwards and feel your way along gently. The idea is simply to knock anything down that sits perpendicular to the surface before it fully hardens. If ya looked at it close, sighting down the edge, you'd see a spiny dorsal fin rising vertically off the liquid film right where the mask or tape edge is. By smooshing it down, the clear that follows can simply flow without interruption over that little transitional ledge where the color changes.

The liquid clear can and often will react those the spikey edges as though it were a foreign object. This opens the door for fisheyes, or weird looking inclusions. Ultimately you'd have to use more material to bury it.

Is it critical at the toy car level? Not really. Actually absurd. I just take things to the idiotic extreme based on decades of ingrained 1:1 habits; where production and quality control counted for everything. I really need to loosen up ... LOL

Hope this helps Jim!

Bill
 

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Sure does - thanks! I use an old graphic arts "Letraset" burnishing tool... same results, but sometimes I get better control and can see what i'm doing better than using my fingers. But I haven't not much masking work on slots yet.

Looking to finally bust out the airbrush this week! My youngest and I just finished building a cardboard spray booth with furnace filter. It's ducted through a 6' long flexible round duct to a bathroom vent fan we installed in the workshop for resin printing. I'll keep a fire extinguisher handy and only spray short blasts... just a little concerned of having a non-shielded fan to draw fumes. I wouldn't want to have the side of my house blowing like the batmobile's exhaust jet.
 

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Rich can jump in here, he's the chemist/rocket scientist.

In my pea brain, it goes explosive, flammable, combustible, most of which are also poisonous, debilitating in either the short or long term, and frequently a general irritant when contacted. Atomizing things seems innocuous enough, without considering that the character of the product is changed, after pressurizing, or mechanical agitation. Suddenly a grain silo explodes, because under the right conditions a lot of things you wouldnt think can go off with a bang.

In industrial or production environments, inspectors are keen on the lookout for proper ventilation, and grounding along with an entire laundry list of important safety points. At home, one has to take the bit in his teeth.

I spray flammables in small quantities. Mass air exchange is the primary way to drop hazardous PPM in a given space. I use the natural draft of my building to beat down any airborn particulate and exhaust the fumes. Pop the bay door 3 or 4 inches, then open and prop the back mandoor. I feather the exchange rate by adjusting the man door. You can actually see the downdraft in action as it vacuums the atomized cloud of nastys away. This doesnt absolve one from gloving up and strapping on a respirator. Youd be surprised how much roost 10-15 PSI across a .5 mm orifice kicks up when viewed in the right light.

...all that said, it does ease my mind when the shop compressor cycles of it's own accord, (they will do that), because I know that there isnt a sufficient percentage of volatiles in the room to go off.

A fart fan on a cardboard box certainly will limit the dispersal of overspray and hoover up most of the fumes; but at the point that it provides a potential ignition source, it becomes a push. So lets see, ya got a tube with an impeller, atomized fuel, and a potential ignition source ... what could go wrong?

I'll tell you. A good friend catalyzed some primer and took to spraying. The excess was stored in an old shop cooler. A common trick to forestall hardening; so you can come back after the correct time interval, and spray the next coat. Unfortunately the can of primer wasnt properly sealed, the cabinet filled with fumes; and when the old school unshieled capacitive start compressor motor cycled, there was a foundation shaking kaBOOM! Blessedly no cars were injured, the stupid humans had to change their coveralls. The tragedy was that our vintage beer cooler was shot. Ah, to be young and immortal again.

Many accidents can be prevented. Ultimately ya gotta know what you're spraying. I always read the label, and try to stay vigilant regarding potential ignition sources. You'd be surprised by how many modern aerosol enamels are classified as extremely flammable.

How expensive is a shielded fan motor, really?
 

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"If I knew I was going to live so long, I'd have taken better care of myself."--Mickey Mantle

I remember once I had a faded/discolored headliner in a '67 firebird. I decided to tape it off and spray it in place. With lacquer and a flex agent, if memory serves.

So, in I went, no mask, no nuttin'. About the time I got the second coat on and it was good and covered... the black was coming in around the edges of my vision and I looked like a garden snake slithering out of there on my back.

No telling how smart I'd be without that sort of stuff and multiple concussions.
 

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Another good tip for hobbyists: Set up a small fan next to your work to draw solder fumes away from their natural destination--your nose. I never figured how the plume of smoke headed directly for my nostrils, but it sure did.

Like too much large ocean fish, ingesting lead leads to um...what was I talking about again?
 

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Discussion Starter · #171 ·
Fast Back Fodee Fode

Tyco had a some nice stylings that got lost in the translation to their 440 chassis. Then they put dirt track front fenders on them for the steering nonsense adaptation. I'd already wacked up a Tyco 57 Chebbie for fitment to the AFX Specialty chassis, so the next natural step was to adjust their 40 Ford Coupe.

I dont employ the dremel much, save for logging projects and buffing. Short work of the monstrous rockers was made. As is standard for the AFX Specialty chassis, a front mounting post and a rear stand off were installed.

uU4LXFp.jpg


Im pretty quick with the knife or the saw, and generally think I have a good plan for afterwards. Other times not so much. We overlook the obvious or fail to see the pitfalls, until it's upon us of course. In this case, I was left with a short roof and a simple graft, which would have made for a rather proud hump of a rear deck; which didnt thrill me once I really got a look at it. A pill box for a roof with wide expanses ahead and behind. I was reminded of the Civil War ironclad, the Monitor. All it needed was a cannon.

OIDJbdc.jpg


I use vinyl liner tape for making scribes and cuts. A bit thicker and more spendy, it has a firm edge that does not wallow when one is running tooling right along it's edge, unlike conventional crepe masking tape. The roof panel has to be sectioned by the same amount of chop that was taken out the roof height, on both sides of the B pillar. A slice for the front and a slice for the back.

APY75PX.jpg


A bit delicate initially, you have to tip toe until the grafts are in and set up. In this way the roof length is maintained, and the majority of the window molding and sill detail remains unmolested.

M94N15a.jpg


After bonding a filler pass is applied, and rough profiled. During the early years of my restoration business, I was frequently asked whether Aurora and Tyco plastics were compatible. This project established that the later AFX plastic from a Shadow Can Am, and a the plastic from a more modern Tyco 440 Ford were fusable, but I have always shied away from broad stroking compatibilities beyond the moment.

The graft strips are harvested from and AFX Shadow. The drip edges are marked, and the ends of the strips are carefully heated next to a lighter flame to encourage them to droop over and down into the window openings. When cured, the hanging remnants are sawed off.

F8E8C3R.jpg


This model came with or without the gashed open front fenders. This one had the dirt track front fender look. I had to graft and fill the fenders on this body. You can just make out the small shark fin chunk on the trailing edge of the wheel arch.

iKx8wqj.jpg


As styled, the '40 had a bit of a honker up front, and the flashy herringbone grill. I really couldnt see it. As luck would have it, Tyco was generous with the plastic upfront. This meant that one could bear down and have at it, with the file. Sufficient material meant that the nose could be pared back, so that the hood and the valence could habitate the same vertical line, without the elaborate grill work.

DVWEBxi.jpg


Filler is floated across the front valence and the hood, and feathered back.

kURQ0Sk.jpg


I didnt want the car to overheat. I put grill openings in, and left the splitter. Easier to take it out after the fact than put one in. The demonic headlamps were a by product of careless over scuffing on my part. They grew on my childish nature, and I didnt have the heart to re-touch them.

gMs43VV.jpg


Prior to painting or polishing, I usually block and contour sand up to 1200, then brush the project down with 3502 liquid cement. This leaves a finish much like the DP 90 sealer as seen on modern ratrods. In hindsight, I probably should have had this one cast.

SMQRb94.jpg


Conversations with Top Down, later inspired this less violated version, which turned out nicely. Having a good roadmap, a nice example with closed front fenders was simply dropped onto the Specialty chassis and polished up.

It pays to listen to your slot brothers!
 

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This brings up an interesting point. I agree with you on the front wheel openings. The camaros were particularly uncool.

However, I built a Petty fan 5 tyco petty cars and smoothed the lines a little, removed casting flash, painted & decaled, etc.

As I mentioned in some thread earlier, one was a '70 Charger. I looked at both open and closed front wheel versions and decided that I liked the big-uns better. More short track-ish.

Conversely speaking, also did the Superbird, which looks like a short track car (dunno what is up with that, it looks like a collection of fenders and half inch door gaps), and smoothed all that out to make it look more appropriately superspeedway-ish.

I try to be consistent, but, ya know...

ps--I modified a watch display case and they were under glass--it was a good look.
 

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Discussion Starter · #174 ·
Ketchup: Too many irons in the fire make for back logs here and there.

Spring 2021

Here's a resto project I've had squirreled away for years. I spent an afternoon getting the windshield out in one piece, and removing all the factory accent paint. Fussy so it's tedious. It helps to be in the right mood.




Some one had tried to sneak in some partial Riviera rear wheel wells and gave up. I ended up cutting the quarters fully out to clean up the carnage.




How this donor example had useable rear quarters remains a mystery. Strangely, this donor's rear wells were uncut. Go figure. Although I cut them out square, I round the fit of the inside corner, so's not to have to sand in a box canyon.



After the initial bonding pass, I ran some filler along the inside seams, and started touching up the rear screw post.







Once the inside filler pass flashed off, I worked some thinner wash into the outside seam to prevent any air pockets or bubbles, and get a head start on outside filler passes. Per usual, I'll revisit this in a week-ish.

It's mushroom season.



Funny, T-jet rims are yellow but they didnt bring bright yellow bodies out for several years. Rims with ucky chrome, make an excellent core for vintage headlamp buckets.





The outside is cut first, then the mandrel is reversed and the inside is cut. Once shaped, the hole in the rear is filled. Then they are sanded and skimmed until they shape up.





I finally roughed in the grill shell. Glass is up next.
 

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Discussion Starter · #175 · (Edited)
Summer 2021

The graft was a bit tricky. Vertically beveled at the gate and rear tail light. We lost the El Camino script, but made the most of the mess that was (not) there. The forward edge was simply abutted at the door shut.



A dab here and there yet on this side. It had that weird diggie from the get go. The original was cut too close here, so I elected to firm up the surrounding area before coming back and tip toeing around the shrinkage. The color match is acceptable.

I have the glass, but the bumpers appear to be from a Newrora example ....grrrr.

The stock chassis doesnt thrill me. Looks like a good victim for the JAG conversion.





The headlamp buckets for the coupe went as planned. The axle beam is drilled. Kinked pins are used to support the lamps.








Roughly the same trick for the pickem up, except a single horizontal bracket is used.
 

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Discussion Starter · #176 ·
RED DELICIOUS (posted in SFI, Scratchbuilding)


As a reminder because it's been years ... and for those that dont follow my schtick, I typically start with some gnarly road kill.


Due to the trickerous nature of macro photography, I include a scale-ometer from time to time; in order to keep perspective.


The flame base is Tamiya yeller. The delicious is Tamiya Ferrari red. Both lacquers buried in enough Tamiya clear to make most of my mistakes disappear.

I spent most of time keeping the vintage roof detail intact during the alterations. Shortened, sectioned, chopped, and integrating the doors and drip edges.


A Tyco 440 crown hides under that rear deck. Running clearance in the thousandths, to keep the deck below the rear window ... whew!


The flame accent,"sparks", is Pactra Inca Gold. It is shot before the flame stencils are removed to apply the clear. The model is back masked, save for the immediate area near the flames. It is not shot at the same pressure and liquid volume as the bulk color films. The delivery setting is carefully adjusted and test shot prior to ensure the effect. In this case you want it close to splatter instead of finely atomized.Ya only get one shot.

Wheels are Vincent chrome Fuchs. Tires are by Heister.



The glass is whittled from and AFX Woody insert. Wet sanded and 3 stage polished prior to fitting. It goes somewhat unnoticed because of the deep chop and overhanging front visor.




I've been enjoying this one on the track.
 

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Discussion Starter · #177 ·
Fall 2021

Of Black Camaros ...


Maybe not a money ball model, but the black T-jet 'Maro is still a cult classic. Ordinarily these get tossed aside, but here they get new life. At a glance the pillars are crushed. Closer inspection reveals that the rear wheel wells have been cut at all four corners. The rear bumper was hand grenaded in. The screw posts are shrunk. The bottom back light trim is dinged. The underside of the roof is gouged up from a screwdriver used to pry the glass out when it was culled.




The damage is cleaned neatly and well grafts (from an AFX Shadow Can Am) are matched and bonded. We dont care what they look like otherwise. Larger bits are easier to handle and blade of quickly later. The idea is to have them fully bonded and let them fully harden: so's to be able to handle the whole body when sculpting them to shape.



No fuss. Folks try to smear unaltered/base goop around at full strength. Rotsa ruck! The idea is to have it flowable, so that lays out and in on the first touch. If it doesnt transfer cleanly to the work piece it is insufficiently reduced.





The through and through pic helps me keep some semblance of symmetry from side to side. I leave everything wet cut as seen, prior to a rough buffing to look for minor blems.



An annoying little knicktoid. Left unattended, that'll spoil the party.


The first pass is always ugly and brutal. Lots of flash and fuzz ... but is gives the file something to follow.



The first pass on the green house is really about making sure the windshield opening is even across, and that the glass fits without hassle. Note that I'm feathered along the leading edge, back along the drip edges, and down around wiper bin.

This will have to harden up for a week or so, at which point I'll scuff around a bit with some 1200 and eyeball the hardest part ... the vent post installation. In the mean time I'll work underneath to finish the inside of the well grafts, the bumper bracket, and the roof.
 

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Discussion Starter · #178 ·
Oct 2021

The red El Camino has cured out enough for some cut n paste fun. The factory applied the surf boards with a large hole in the tonneau and a smear of plastic. I finally decided to delete this feature/mess. I elected to go with the ultra rare, no hole, no surfboards, factory error car (wink wink).




The carnage was fiddle picked around to remove the bulk of the bonding and "find" the hole.



The surface splatter is removed, and the hole is expanded to a minimum size and uniform shape. Circles are easier to fix than rectangles or squares.






I weeded through some scrap to find a close match. the patch is thinned enough so that it lays in a bit short top and bottom. The graft is pre-wet, then pushed into place. Both sides are re-wet and color blended until the seam starts to disappear. A clean bond, no bubbles or froth allowed.







The next day, I re-activated the graft by wetting and carefully stirring; then followed up with a heavy pass of solids on both sides. After curing the excess will be bladed away for inspection. As the tonneau is painted,the color match isnt critical, I still try to get it perfect.

Someone may look underneath.
 

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Discussion Starter · #179 ·
The previous pages have caught things up to the durrent state of things ...




The black Camaro is in the rough buff state, and on into the second stage. Typically darker colors need a deeper polish to bring up the flaws. The rough buff marks the stage of a restoraion where one transitions fully from sanding to polishing. No grittier that 1000/1200, and the heavy filler and tooling goes away.

It helps my old eyes too. Aurora black and brown mar easily, making it a constant battle to stay shiny new.




I like to let any dabs n daubs cure fully during this stage of the restoration. It's very easy to light these areas up with the buffer. Once it's scorched you have to start over.



Still a ways to go until the final bits.
 
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