Zoom Zoom!

9 01 2014

Hi everyone,

Sorry for such a long reprieve from blogging. This past summer was very busy for me, and with home renovations I had to pack up my painting table. Finally I’ve been able to set up my new workstation, but again it’s in the dungeon basement. Here’s a shot:

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You’ll notice that I had a few projects in the background. I’ve been working on a Tamiya model of the Toyota FT 86. I’m building it for a friend’s birthday. He actually owns a FRS so I’m trying to convert it to look more like his. He’s made some modifications, like window tints and a roof wrap, hence the black roof. 2013-12-16 20.40.02

Over all the Tamiya is a nice kit that is molded perfectly and fits great. I haven’t had to adjust any of the pieces. Everything fits together like a glove.

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Interior details

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One great feature is the decals. They are nicely printed and also fit well. They really add detail to the model. Take a look at the GPS!

For those not in the know, decals are kinda like fancy stickers. You dip them in water to loosen them off the backing and then slide them off onto the model. Sometimes decals are printed a little off or have a boarder that makes them look like stickers. bad decals may be very stiff and not bend enough to hug the surface of the model, or they may be too soft and break apart when you try to put them on. Good quality decals should look “painted on”.

have a look at this old Shelby I built in middle school. The years have not been kind to the decals…2014-01-05 22.05.35

The blue racing stripes are decals, but some of them are peeling off. The middle school version of me tried to make them stick by using clear tape. (Not very successful!) The problem was that the decal probably had too much water which stripped the glue. It didn’t help that the decals were too stiff so they didn’t hug the curve of the bumper. There are some solutions to this problem (pun here if you caught it, har har).


I used Micro Sol and Micro Set solutions, a two step system, to treat the decals. Sol helps soften decals so they really hug irregular surfaces. Set helps make sure that it sticks and doesn’t come off.

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I also had a lot of fun putting together the suspension. While I didn’t always understand all of Tamiya’s design choices, they did make the model a lot of fun to assemble.

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Despite the great model, one complaint I have is the lack of detail in the engine. They have all of the main components the engine should have, but none of the wires and tubing. The battery of the car isn’t even attached to anything. I don’t know much about cars, but I’m pretty sure the battery needs to be connected to the… uh… well at least it needs some wires connected to it!

Here’s with the “hot lava” base coat (Testors metallic lacquer)

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Here the body’s 95% finished (don’t mind the hood, it does close flush). Very shiny after using some Future Floor Polish!

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This was my first experience using Tamiya clear paint. I used Tamiya smoke x-19 to tint the windows, clear orange x-26 and clear red x-27 on the tail lights and reflectors. I have to say I had trouble with the smoke. The windshield is huge so painting it with an airbrush is ideal. However, when I tried putting the smoke through my airbrush I couldn’t get it to apply evenly. It left an “orange peel” texture… gross! In the end I hand brushed it. This was mildly better, but it left streaks and if you look closely enough, bubbles as well. I think the smoke was just too thick and it didn’t react well when i tried to think it with alcohol. The  clear red and orange paints were the same consistency, but they worked much better on the smaller pieces like the tail lights.

On the other hand, I had a very positive experience with Pledge (Future Floor Polish)! It was so cold outside this past week that I opted to stay in doors and apply it with a brush. It’s weird using floor polish on a model, but all the forums say that it’s great, and I agree! It goes on smooth even with a brush, and if you get pooling or unevenness you can use more future to dissolve it. It dries pretty quickly and cleans up easily with windex, alcohol, and water. 1001029_046500001826_A_400

This model still needed some personal touches to make it really unique. So another friend helped me add in some LED lights. I didn’t have a battery pack that fit, so I wrapped the button batteries in electrical tape and used twist ties. The headlights fit amazingly well. There were even predrilled holes for LED’s. However, it was a little tricky fitting the fog lights. I had to drill holes for them, and there is very little space between the back of the fog lights and the wheel wells. So I had to really bend the wires to make sure it fit. Still, I think in the end the lights look absolutely brilliant!

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For the final touches, I asked my friend’s sister take a picture of his license place so that I could really make the car his. check out the final model in my gallery.

Thanks for reading this super long post!

Happy birthday Buddy!


Tamiya Toyota FT 86

9 01 2014

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A birthday present for a friend, his car a Scion FRS.

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