Thursday, 29 September 2011

Delayed updates

To those following this blog, I apologise for not posting more regular updates.  I had a bad cold a few weeks ago and more recently I have been getting things ready for my holiday to Japan at the end of October.

However, I have received a couple of new additions from Arii's range: the Mazda T2000 giant three wheeler, and the tiny Subaru 360.  I won't be getting any more of these before Christmas... no others that I want to be truthful... at least not in the Arii range.

The T2000 is a magnificent model, with the box jammed full of light blue plastic, rubber tyres and rather rough clear parts, but I've become used to that with these models now.

I will try to get the Mazda R360 finished before my holiday, but I keep getting distracted after work and at the weekends.  I really must knuckle down and get it done.

Sunday, 18 September 2011

Rotten week and some other stuff.

I had a week off and I thought it would be perfect to get work done on a few of the cars, but my plans went down the toilet when, on the Sunday (11th) I was hit by a bad cold.  I spent the week sneezing, blowing my runny nose and being unable to see properly or concentrate.
So I wasn't able to get any work done to the Mazda.... again.

Another thing that struck me was how many of these Arii kits I have bought over the past few months... it's mad!
So far, I have...
1955 Toyopet Crown RS
1957 Daihatsu Midget
1958 Daihatsu Midget
1960 Mazda R360 Coupe
1961 Toyota Publica UP10
1961 Datsun Bluebird 1200
1962 Mazda Carol
1963 Honda T-360 Roof Type (green on the box, but all T360s were May Blue)
1964 Prince Gloria Super 6
1966 Hino Contessa 1300
1969 Suzuki Fronte SS
1971 Honda Z GSS
1984 Daihatsu Mira Walk-Through Van (Awful, toy-like model)
Isuzu BXD-30 Bonnet Bus

I don't intend to get many more of them, maybe the Subaru 360 and maybe bigger three-wheel truck.

I never realised before, but all of the Godzilla (showa era) films as well as other Japanese SF of the 50s and 60s are a gold mine of reference material.  Fashion, street scenes and general look of 50s and 60s Japan really inspire me to keep these models going.

I also have a few Airfix 1/32 modern cars, and by comparison they have not weathered the decades too well. I have the Ford Escort and the Triumph Herald.  The Escort's moulds are clearly aging fast, with flash on quite a lot of the smaller parts.  The surface detail is also becoming softer as the moulds wear.  The Herald is in a much better state, with clean mouldings and sharp detail.  Sad then that the Escort is the only family car currently available from Airfix.
The Herald was available as part of a 3-car set around 6 years ago, while the Vauxhall Viva was available last year... and has vanished.  It too was in a set, but I can't remember which one.

From a Japanese car perspective the Airfix Hillman Minx would be a good addition, since Isuzu built this car under licence in Japan.  So it would easily fit into my Showa car collection.  But finding one...

Saturday, 10 September 2011

Mazda and people

Well, the bodyshell of the little Mazda R360's replacement is much better than the first version.  The shine is deeper and the red devoid of any tiny insectoid corpses this time!
As you can see I've picked out the vents with a black GUNDAM lining pen - designed for mecha models it works well on any model as a means of defining panels and vents.

In this closer image of the bonnet you can see that I sanded away the raised disc for the Mazda emblem.  This way the badge should now lie flat on the area and won't look unsightly.

Next, back to the chrome foil!

I also got a set of Fujimi bus guide, drivers and workmen figures.

The workmen are nice and generic, but unmistakably Japanese... but the bus driver and guide will be perfect for my Bonnet Bus, a model I intend to finish as a tour bus which visits haunted sites, loosely based on an Asahi TV series with a similar concept.

The figures are well-moulded and the faces (apart from the bus driver) well-sculpted and up to Tamiya or Masterbox standards.  Apart from the guide all of the figures have upper torsos in two halves... something you rarely see in modern figures.

More to follow...

Thursday, 8 September 2011

New arrival

Yesterday I received my final Arii model (for now, lol) the 1984 Daihatsu Mira Walk Through Van, and is it a disappointment.
Like some of the older kits this was originally designed for a pull-back motor, and is also a snap-together model, so parts are overscale and toylike... examples are the mirrors and the gear stick.

However the model is reasonably accurate in shape and proportion but will need a lot of work to bring it up to the standard of the older kits, which is ironic.
So at the moment it stays in the box until I get the energy to build the thing.

These photos of a Mira Van are from Koyapop's site and are copyright 2006-2011 Koyapop

I love the look of this mad little van... it looks like all Daihatsu did was take their Mira car, lop the back off and plonk a square body onto the chassis.  I can really imagine these tooling around the narrow streets of Japanese cities, delivering goodies.

For those interested in buying the Arii kits, beyond eBay you can try Hobby Search or Hobby Link Japan

My next update should have more progress on the Mazda R360 which was partially restarted...  mata atode ^.^

Tuesday, 6 September 2011

MAZDA R360: Minor Disaster

The Mazda R360 I was working on has been replaced by a spare kit... well the bodyshell anyway.

The Chrome Foil lifted too much paint and it was beyond repair.  It was just too thin.
So the second, back-up kit has had the body sprayed in the same cream paint, only this time a deeper coat.  I also took the opportunity to sand the lump on the bonnet flush to allow the Mazda logo to lie flat without the need to decal setting fluid.
I still need to spray the roof maroon again, but that's a minor job.

The original model will be stripped and repainted maroon.  Luckily the spare kit came with TWO sheets of decals, so both models can be finished without any more decals being sourced.

Hopefully this replacement body will be okay.  Ah the joys of car modelling!

Monday, 5 September 2011

New techniques for me.

I was reading some other car modelling blogs and a common theme was the finishing of the paint.  As recommended on some of these forums I sprayed the Publica with acrylic car paint: Vauxhall Reed Green.  This has left a rather rough surface which actually looks like a complete disaster.
The common wisdom seems to be to use car polishing techniques, such as paint restorer (T-Cut), very fine wet and dry paper and car polish.
So, I bought a tube of T-Cut, and some fine abrasive.  There is already car polish in the house.

So, even while the little Mazda R360 is nearing completion, I will be working on the Publica using this new technique.  Will it be a disaster, or an amazing success.  I will post the results here!

Back to the Mazda and it has had to have some repair work due to an accident with the Bare Metal Foil I use for chrome parts... it lifted paint at one point!  So even this little buggy will need some TLC with the polish and buffers.
I wonder if 1/24 cars are so problematic, haha.

Saturday, 3 September 2011

Showa cargo set

Well, my Aoshima 1/32 Showa Cargo parts set arrived today, and the box was bigger than I expected... and jam-packed with goodies.

The tuna are made from a soft PVC material which I am hoping takes acrylics without any problems.  And I mean soft!

I've never seen a tuna in the flesh, so I never really had any idea how big they were... until I placed a 1/32 schoolgirl next to one of them... hoo!  I wouldn't want to meet one of them out in the ocean!

When I'm in Japan in November I will have to have a look and see just how big a fresh tuna really is.

The rest of the parts are cleanly moulded in normal injection plastic/styrene with a lot of detail and no flash at all.

My little 1957 Daihatsu Midget will now have a crate of tuna to haul around!

Thursday, 1 September 2011

A little update

I haven't done much lately, so there isn't really much to show as far as the Mazda R360 goes, but I gave the Toyota Publica's bodyshell a few coats of the correct colour for the "Trick" car.  It actually looks really good in that colour.

I still have a LOT to do to the underside of this one as well as paint the roof white.  This will also be the first model I try a polishing technique on to smooth out the car paint.  (It was sprayed Vauxhall Reed Green).  You can't really tell the surface really does have an orange peel look to it.

I also received my Arii 1966 Hino Contessa today.  Again this was once a motorised model.
I love the design of the car... it looks so stylish.

And the real thing in a lovely wine red colour.