Thursday, October 4, 2012

Toyota 2000GT--Staying in the Lines.....

Nearing completion of the rare, vintage, and way frustrating MPC Toyota 2000GT....going back to the body work, this is going to be my first white paint job on a model car--ever--since I was like 6 years old. It turns out white color coats are trickier to apply then I thought.

I sprayed the 2000GT body, hood etc. with some Duplicolor white primer in anticipation of applying a decanted Duplicolor white lacquer.  Good news is I never got to the lacquer!  The primer looks good as-is. The off-white tone--a sort of calming eggshell--looks about right. What the heck, just clear coat the primer and I'm done.  Right? (Right??) But not so fast...colored all white the dinky Toyota looks pale and the door lines, headlight covers and so on need to stand out....



The hobby mag forums say: take some wash and flow it all the gaps and you're done, but I figured it wouldn't be that easy, and I was right.  I got a white GTO body from my junk box, sprayed some white primer, dug into the lines you see here with the back of a #11 X-acto blade, and tried to run some India ink wash in there and it looked, well, really, really crappy.  The lines came out uneven, it was hard to keep the wash "in the gap", and so on.  The magazines made this look easy!


After some trial and error--again, I am glad I am using the same GTO body from the junk box and not the rare 2000GT to figure this out--acrylic semigloss black, with a lot of expensive Tamiya thinner, seemed to work best. Here, I didn't deepen the lines enough before applying the acrylic wash and thus it looks uneven.  But the combination of acrylic paint and high end acrylic thinner, applied as a wash, seems to do the trick.

India ink was a bust (just looked awful!), as was Testors black enamel (couldn't get the wash to flow evenly). Acrylic with Windex (ran everywhere, bubbled up!) was a big miss. Making the door lines even in depth, cutting them really deep, and cleaning them out thoroughly seems to be key to success here. And obviously I have to use enamel or lacquer as base coat, or the acrylic thinner used in the wash will destroy the color coat.



So here's what I have so far.  It's still not perfect--but what is. You can see some sanding issues at the rear that still need to be cleaned up, and a bit of door wasn't cleared out properly, but that can be fixed...maybe....depending on how much more time I can spend on this. Even with these flaws, the body looks 1000% better than before any wash was applied.


I think with some more #2000 sandpaper work and then some automotive clear this is going to look pretty good. The wash adds a subtle but critical depth to the white color coat. Then the question becomes, how to I paint the molded-in top and dash semi-flat black, while the rest is gloss white. I have done a few two-tones but never part gloss and part flat. I have to think about this!!!