Sunday, March 9, 2008

63 Ford Galaxie--Where the Interior Went

I had some much fun with the quickee carpet interior (see previous posts) that I whipped up the rest of the kit to put the interior in. This is based on AMT's 63 Galaxie 3 in one kit:

This kit has all the warts and issues with a lot of older AMT kits: Box art that looks nothing like the kit; metal axles that go through the engine, instructions that don't show things that clearly, etc. etc. I read a lot of AMT bashing on the kit forums, their kits suck and they should be taken off the market etc., but, I really like AMT/MPC, warts and all--this 63 Galaxie is a cool subject and I'm glad I could find it in an inexpensive plastic kit and not have to deal with resin aftermarket to build it.

Another big AMT issue is hoods that don't fit right and this kit was one of them. I mean, the hood was warped and didn't fit for beans. To get around that I glued the hood shut, using styrene runners underneath and superglue/accelerator, so it's a "curbside", no engine and nothing to look at underneath, and tossed the (very nice) valve covers and air cleaner into the parts box for later use. Whatever.

For paint I whipped up a nifty kandy green based on Tamiya acrylics. Here's what I used:

After the usual 600 grit sanding I washed it with dishsoap and water and a toothbrush and let it dry. The primer is standard Duplicolor. I sprayed it inside and out, a couple of coats. After a quick dry I loaded up the airbrush (Badger 200 single action) with 50% chrome silver and 50% thinner (rubbing alcohol) and did 2 pretty heavy basecoats. Now, chome silver Tamiya acrylic is really a metalflake so it makes a good candy basecoat.

Then I mixed up about 1/2 yellow clear, 1/2 blue clear, and 50% alcohol as thinner, and put on several color coats about 5 minutes apart. This is a lot of thinner, and it looked blotchy going on at times, but this color has an amazing self-levelling and self-healing quality; it looked better dry than wet, and some of the blotches and runs magically "fixed" themselves in the coarse of drying. Amazing! As far as getting the color/thinner mix right, I sprayed it on some unwanted parts to make sure it wasn't runny, but I made it as thin as I could otherwise. About 1/2 though I switched to just yellow clear 50% and thin 50% and then went back to my green mix. It took about 10 coats to get it the shade I wanted.

I then went to do the detail trim (logos etc) with a toothpick dipped in silver paint. This was a mistake! I blew it and some of the silver got onto the kandy, and then to make matters worse I used a bit of thinner to remove my work and it removed everything down to the basecoat. Bad Idea! Really bad!!! Next time I put on a few coats of clear before doing any detailing at all--the kandy is fragile and needs to be handled very carefully until protected by the clearcoat. Even a single coat would have worked I figure. Oh well, I had to start over on one side of the model--I masked it at the trim line and reapplied the base and color coats. This was frustrating but after I did this it was pretty much OK.

Next came several coats of the Krylon Crystal Clear. I like this stuff--it covers anything almost and self-levels very well. The downside it that it's a bit pricey, but you can get big cans of it. A quick 2000 grit sand followed by Tamiya fine and finish polish, and then it's time for Bare metal foil.

I'm still not that good with BMF but I guess I'm getting better. The key seems to be to use a very sharp #11 knife, and when you think it's the slightest bit dull get rid of it and get another blade. You absolutely can't do this with a dull blade--no way.

The tires are from the junk box (the ones from the kit looked like something off a tractor) and the rear view mirror is out of the parts box as well. The stance (again, pretty bad on the box-stock kit) was done by drilling holes higher up in the one-piece chassis and putting the annoying but useful metal axle through in the new holes. I like the wheels--they are the non-stock ones from the kit. Otherwise it's pretty much box-stock and was a fun build.

I am starting on a companion 64 Impala, so I can do a "Chevies Eat Fords" type display. I plan to refine the budget-Kandy method above, so I can get things a bit more evenly coated, and also I will be experimenting with Joquard "Luminere" acrylic metallics, which should be hours of fun. That will be the topic of a future post I am sure.