Scale Auto Replica's

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After leaving school and finding a job, this was the very first 1/25th scale model I ever bought, until then i had been building Airfix and Matchbox 1/32nd scale kits, one of the old guy's in the body shop taught me how to thin enamel paints properly and how to apply the paint by brush without getting any brush marks in the paint, so I bought myself some good sable bristle brushes, thinners and a few tins of Humbrol enamel paints, I still remember sitting there and hand painting it Sea Blue and Oxford blue, sadly the model only lasted a few days, as Mom on a house cleaning and an outing with the duster, knocked this model flying through the air and broke into many pieces when it hit the floor, I did a few repairs on it, but over the years it got damaged too many times and ended up going in the bin.

I remembered building the old Chrysler and managed to find one on eBay, but it sat on my shelf for a few years until 2012 when I finally made a start on it, this time I wanted to build it with a more prototypical paint job, so the two tone blue was a non starter, as hard as I tried, I could find no photo's of the internet of a '32 Imperial in such a colour scheme,so although I had no official colour codes I came up with the two tone green, which happened to be some very old BMC touch up paint I had in my paint cupboard, Limeflower and Tundra Green cellulose.

One thing that has been bugging me on this build is the chrome rings for the spare wheels, the had a couple of marks on them where they were cut off the sprue and there was no way of hiding them, and a dab of silver paint wasn't going to do the job, the rest of the chrome plating wasn't in a good state, so of the plating was too heavy and a lot of the parts had been marked, after all these parts have been rattling around the box since 1978, so I decided to strip the chrome and re-do it using Alclad chrome, the front lamps have to mount to the front grill, these parts are also chrome, and I didn't think I would get a strong and invisible joint, so in the end I decided to strip the whole chrome sprue, and will do everything in Alclad, so I have my work cut out, I have heard about using household bleach for stripping the chrome, and as I had a bottle of Demestos under the sink, I gave it a go, it did the job of removing the chrome and the lacquer that goes on before the plating process, one the parts were back to clean plastic all the parts were rinsed under cold running water for a few minutes, there now ready for a couple of coats of primer.

Photo's above show the engine built up and painted, the engine block was painted using water based Createx paints, a friend gave me a load of these paints a few years ago, but i never got round to using them, these paints can't be applied then left to dry naturally, and has be dried using warm blown air, a hairdryer set to medium was used for the process, once dried all the smaller parts that had been painted previously were fixed onto the engine block using 5 minute clear epoxy glue.

The body parts were first washed in warm soapy water and left to dry, then block sanded to make sure that the were perfectly flat, and then primed using Hycote grey plastic primer and left to dry. all parts were then given a light sanding and a wipe over with panel wipe before getting a few coats of cellulose BMC Limeflower, the wheel arches and running boards were painted in BMC Tundra Green, the wheels were also painted in Limeflower, all parts were then set aside to dry while work commenced on the rest of the build.

Photo's Above :- Front & rear seats were airbrushed using Testors model master leather, the roof panel was painted using Humbrol # 110 thinned with lacquer thinners.

Work now commenced on the chrome parts, that had previously been stripped of their chrome, so now the chrome had to be re-applied, there's a few ways to replicate chrome on a model, but for these parts I chose to use Alclad 2 Lacquers, all parts were first primed with Hycote grey plastic primer then airbrushed using Revell gloss black enamel thinned with lacquer thinners, once dry the Alclad lacquer could be applied, for this I used a Paasche F1 airbrush, when using Alclad, you need to apply it in very thin coats and building up the coats until the chrome effect become apparent, if too many coats are applied the chrome effect starts to look more like silver paint.

As the body parts had been drying for around a week, it was time to start the polishing process, when painting using cellulose paints it is pretty impossible to get a finish that hasn't got an orange peel effect, and using automotive paints only exaggerates the effect, if the orange peel in very bad then you might have to wet sand the paint before starting the polishing process, luckily the orange peel here wasn't that bad.

The polishing started by using a miniature wool mop on a minicraft model drill with the transformer set to #3 using Poorboys SSR2 polishing compound, photo below left shows the front wheel arches, the left one before being polished, the right hand wheel arch after the polishing process.

A few things i noticed about the kit I really didn't like that I hadn't noticed back when I was 15, was the rear lights and the front horns, they had both been molded with flat faces, the instructions say to paint the faces of the rear lights red, and that is what I did the first time around, but after many years of model building and trying to add more detail to every model I build, doing it the way I did way back in 1978 just wasn't going to happen, so the rear light were drilled out and airbrushed using Alclad 2 Lacquer and filled with clear epoxy resin mixed with red food dye to replicate the rear light lenses, the front horns that also had a flat front were made to look more like the old car horns were ground out with a conical grinding stone in a minicraft drill, once I got the shape I wanted both horns were airbrushed using Alclad 2 Lacquer.

The wheels were airbrushed the same colour as the body, (BMC Limeflower), the whitewalls are actually molded in white plastic and could have been fitted unpainted, but sadly a few of them broke into pieces when cutting them off the parts tree, not sure why, but perhaps the plastic had gone brittle over the years, so they were glued together, sanded flush so the join couldn't be seen and then airbrushed satin white, once the paint had dried the wheels, which consist of two parts, they were fitted on to the tyres, and fitted to the axles, the chassis had previously been built up and the axles, engine & gearbox fitted and then the exhaust system, the wheels were held vertical using metal set squares until the glue set up.

With all the body parts polished the parts that needed to be fixed together could be glued together using clear 5 minute epoxy, all the chrome parts that had been airbrushed using Alclad chrome lacquer could be fitted to the bonnet (Photo top left), the chrome rings, also done using Alclad could now been fitted together with the parts making up the spare wheels (Photo Top middle).photo loft right shows the front wheel arches and running boards and rear wheel arches which are all molded as one unit, finally polished and now ready to be fixed to the chassis.

Photo's above show the finished model, the chrome for the running board trim and the trim on the boot and around the rear window were done using Bare Metal Foil, the chrome of the bumpers and hubcaps were done using the Alclad 2 Lacquers.