Friday, January 31, 2014

First major modifications

Collected all my courage and started cutting. Fist major modifications - cut off front hood, bottoms, fronts and rear sides of door openings. I left some material at the bottom of front window pillars as connection points to chassis. I had to place wind shield window in place to support fragile pillars for now. Fit of rear of body shell to new chassis is far from perfect, but better than I've expected. Rear wheel arcs are pretty much in place, sides of engine bay seems to fit as well. At present rear body shell seats a bit high. I think it's partially caused by defect pointed out by other modelers already, that sides of body shell need to be lower. I will have to add material to bottom of body shell sides and also remove a bit of material from the top of engine bay walls. Dashboard doesn't fit well, but also does not seem to obstruct any other parts from fitting. I just need to come up with the way to modify it for better fit in that new place.

Next two major areas of concern are front hood and engine bay. Front structure front racing car seems to be just too long. Hood does not connect to pillars and wind shield window and there is a gap of about 2mm. I think I should be able to eliminate it by shortening and reshaping of front structure and removing some material from insides of the hood. There is no space to place top part faking of engine bay from the kit. I will cut it to 2 pieces, removing everything behind rear firewall, except for rear window pillars. Fit of modified parts will be problematic and I will have to find a way to mate new chassis with that modified part. Another "surgery" with involve engine cover. I plan to cut off central part, integrated with body shell at present. Then mate it with plastic windows and cut extra material, so it would act as proper removable engine bay cover. Cutting of diffuser part from kit's floor is in the plan as well at some point.

Don't know yet, if my plan for this conversion will work out in the end, but approach I've selected seems to be workable so far.

Saturday, January 25, 2014

More detail painting for F1-GTR

Another small update. Done quite a bit more detail painting. Bought 4 different shades of gold and metallic yellow. Yet not a single one looked like real colour or suspension arms. Used the closest one I had. Done some washes on engine elements. I've used Tamiya smoke over aluminium. Not sure what to use for a wash on gearbox. It's painted in steel colour. I guess I need some kind of diluted silver wash. No photos of body parts, because they are being prepared for white primer. While I like exhausts painted in stainless steel, they do not look realistic that way. Bought Alclad Exhaust Manifold paint and plan to use it in an attempt to get colour closer to original.

There is so much carbon fibre exposed on this car. I'm still deliberating on how much effort I would want to put in it and what would be the minimum set of parts "carbonized" I could get away with.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

F1 road car conversion started

When my Fujimi kit arrived I was so excited, that I couldn't stop myself from starting yet another new build. I've already had some ideas on converting that curbside kit into full detail model with help from MFH. I've started planning for conversion as soon as F1 road car kit was announced by Fujumi. I even got spare resin chassis from MFH F1-GTR kit ahead of time. When my Fujimi kit finally arrived, I've completed build plan and finalized my ideas for conversion. Main idea is to use chassis, engine and suspension from F1-GTR car. First task for me was to make copies of some parts from MFH kit. According to my sources F1-GTR chassis was the same as the one of road car. So, I set out to replicate number of extra components from F1-GTR kit to use in conversion.

First I had to make molds. I've prepared box, made from Lego blocks, and mounted parts to flat sheets of plastic using double sided tape. However by oversight I've used mixed resin instead of silicon to make molds. I've only realized my mistake when resin started to harden. It's a fast process and I was only able to partially free parts from resin. First photo is of the rear inner fender embroiled in resin. I had to spend first 7 hours of this build carefully freeing parts from resin. Quite a bit of sweat and even some blood was lost over that task. Next day I've bought proper silicon rubber to make a mold and repeated my attempt. Final molds are far from perfect, but I think they are better than molds, I've made in the past for my previous tasks. I've also got different silicon this time, with lower viscosity and some decent transparency. Transparency of the silicon helped me do proper cuts in molds later. Because I've made one part molds, some details of originals could not be captured and I needed to cut molds in strategic places to be able to remove parts on de-molding. One of the boxes for mold making was leaking rubber, so I had to compensate for volume loss with scrap resin blocks, visible on the photo. Second photo shows cured molds before de-molding was done.
Last photo is of cleaned up copies, I was able to make using my molds. They are of much lower quality compared to original parts, but I think they will be usable for my goals, patched with putty and some extra material.

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Small parts painting for F1-GTR

One more long painting session. Mounted, primed and painted many small parts: brake calipers, steering rack and rods, engine accessory pipes, pedals and suspension parts. I don't have proper paint to represent bright gold/yellow colour of some suspension parts and shocks. I've experimented by spraying TS34 yellow as base and covering it over with Alclad transparent yellow. Ended up with orange/red like colour, which I don't think is correct. I've sprayed gearbox with Alclad Steel, as contrary to instructions, it seems to be the colour on real car. Exhaust pipes were sprayed with Alclad Stainless Steel. In my opinion it represents colour of unused exhaust pipes better. Now I need to come up with the way to make them look used. Some kind of weathering is needed, I'm just now sure which. On the photos there seem to be not to many parts, but because of many colours involved, constant air-brush cleaning and air tank re-filling, it took about 4 hours to complete. Here are couple of photos.

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Started painting for F1-GTR

Started painting parts, which do not require any more preparation steps. Mostly painted semi-gloss black as base colour before Carbon Fiber decals can be applied. Some parts will stay SG black, because there is simply too much work to cover all parts which should be covered with CF decals. Painted engine and gearbox parts in Alclad aluminium. Also painted some suspension and brake parts with shades of gold and burnt metal. I still have more small parts to prime and paint. Body panel will have to be checked for surface imperfections, puttied and primer with white primer, before body colour paint could be applied.