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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
The idea here is fairly simple, post any tips for mods that you want to share.

My first one is about vinyl roofs that were a fad in the late 60's and into the 70's.
Spray a coat of enamel paint on the area to be covered.
While tacky, spray some matt black (or brown) acrylic paint over the enamel.
Because it's 'hotter', the acrylic paint will attack and 'craze' the enamel giving the impression of the rough texture typical of vinyl roofs.
This needs some practice to get right so use some unwanted scrap metal first.
For the seams that some cars had, overlap two thin pieces of masking tape on the roof before the paint.
Use tape that you know will stay in place, unless you want to replicate a scrap yard resident...
 

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Stance/lowering

Much of this is personal preference, but getting wheels on in the correct place/middle of the wheel well is not, and I have developed something that works for me. If a wheel is off by just a little bit the car will look strange.


I always start with the rears because its easier. Disregard the front wheel here, it was a special case because I didnt know what it would look like, lol. So I start by making a "tool" to make the ride height to my liking, a tool that rests somewhere where the back of the chassis is straight, also make sure the base you are doing this on is straight, so I use an old Spark wooden base plate. I make this tool from styrene, keep adding thin bits until the rear is in the air and the wheels can be glued on while resting on the base. That way the car is super straight across the rear axle, and by taping up the rear bumper I can use the gaps on either side of the wheel to determine the middle of the wheel well. With the car in the air basically I dont have to worry about ride height, just caster and camber. So when I am done I can remove the "tool" without even lifting the car.


The front is a little harder since you have steering, so in this case I actually glued the steering straight underneath with a small piece of styrene (I cut it off when done), then glued a beam on the styrene base piece. The ride height too in this case is the drillbit box + 2mm styrene, thats where I want the height. Then I glue one front on - the lift at the front keeps the car level and at final height - and then make real sure the wheel is centered and cambered right, often adjust slightly while curing and/or putting something next to the wheel to ensure it doesnt move until glued. The tweezers in this picture pushes the wheel up against the beam. Also, always use gel glue on the front, as running superglue can (and will) cause havoc on the steering components, been there done that.


Once one wheel is on and I am happy, thats when the beam comes into play. This handy hole made it easy to place the car so the beam is totally straight across the front axle. Then placing the car with the first wheel snug up against the beam while seeing this straight line through the hole made it easy to attach the second wheel by pushing it up against the beam, and then just checking the camber and toe, no need for caster worries.



Writing this down made me chuckle, its quite a lot but the result is usually perfectly what I wanted. I dunno if I explained this too well or too little, but anyway, hope its helpful.
 

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I sometimes like to replace parts of supplied exhaust systems (particularly the exit point) with metal tube.
On racing conversions this might be everything from the end of the headers.
Brass is available in suitable diameters and will usually bend to shape without cracking, collapsing or wrinkling.
However it's a bit expensive, less easy to bend to shape and the wrong colour (painting will solve this last).
Aluminium is also available, is cheaper and easier to get into the desired shape.
It tends to suffer from those things the brass does not, listed above.
A trick I earned a long time ago is to get some scrap lengths of electrical cable (not flex!) which has a thick solid core.
Squeeze in the cable (you may need to leave the sheath on) the closest to the interior diameter of the tube as possible, leaving at least a centimetre free at each end.
When shaped in a bending tool the aluminium is much less likely to collapse or wrinkling.
'Nothing looks more like metal than real metal', even if's only an alloy......
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Another trick I like to use is a 2B pencil sharpened to add depth to doors and other ridges around the body.
I also do this for some wheels - especially white ones - around the rim points, again to give the impression of a shadow.
Slippages can be washed or wiped off with a damp cloth, or a good old fashioned eraser if the area can be accessed.
 

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Another trick I like to use is a 2B pencil sharpened to add depth to doors and other ridges around the body.
I also do this for some wheels - especially white ones - around the rim points, again to give the impression of a shadow.
Slippages can be washed or wiped off with a damp cloth, or a good old fashioned eraser if the area can be accessed.
i used to use a very fine tipped black fibre pen, usually bought from an art shop. Now you mentioned a pencil, i can finish off the XJS's wheels properly ;-)
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I discovered (to my irritation) some masking tape residue on a paint job I am working on.
I decided to retry an old trick from days gone by to remove it.
Inexpensive cooking oil on a clean, lint free rag with a little bit of elbow grease thrown in.
Persistent stuff can be treated by using your finger to spread the oil over the residue and leave it to do it's work.
It should not damage the paint, at least it hasn't ever for any of my attempts.
 

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Update to the above.
I have now sprayed clear coat over the two paint colours that required the masking as outlined above.
Making absolutely certain that there was no residue - either from the masking tape or the cleaning effort with the cooking oil - all looks good so far.
Again I would warn modders and re-painters that clear coats (I use Tamiya TS13) are susceptible to tiny cracks appearing if left to dry in strong direct sunlight.....
And I usually leave such paint jobs around a month to cure properly before any corrective polishing.
 

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Have you chipped paint on your model?
It's usually possible to find a matching hobby paint to touch up the damage.
I have a Marlboro model with the distinctive fluorescent red/orange with such problems (bought this way at significant discount).
I was almost certain that I had a suitable hobby paint to match from my kit building days.
Turns out I was correct, Revell tinlet matt #25 is about a 95% match.
Since the damage is very small - but obvious - the repair is invisible.....
Another option is a pack of those childrens coloured markers (permanent ink) which can be had in 24's, all in different shades.
This sometimes works, although it's pot luck.
I find a good trick to help deep injuries is to 'fill' the area with white acrylic paint as an undercoat for either tip above.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Another tip to reactivate this thread.
I received a number of excellent items from Uli Nowak on Monday the 22nd.
Among them were a number of resin seats and fire extinguishers, all of them quality reproductions.
For such resin items I soak them in a mixture of vinegar, salt and washing up liquid in hot water (not too hot!) for at least 24 hours.
It's interesting to see a semi opaque cloud floating in the water before throwing it out.
Then another 24 hours in cold clean water - cold water has a 'leeching' property, helping to clear any remaining imperfections.
This is done to help paint adhesion, and to try avoid any paint flaws developing afterwards.
This is most useful with external pieces, including the bodyshell and other large additions.
 
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