Saturday, 27 April 2013

Airfix Cortina photos

Much to my joy the Airifx Cortina had been sent by Next Day delivery, so it was waiting for me when I got home from work.  To see such a classic model still with the original 1960s header card/instructions was a real joy... and the mouldings are in wonderful condition.  Well, the windscreen is a bit pitted but I have Humbrol Clear, which is self-levelling... which means it can repair blemished clear model parts.  Happy days.

Here are some photos of the model... it had been started by the owner, but luckily they knew what they were doing... unlike the owner of the first Zodiac I bought.

When I eventually build this model I will finish it as a Cortina GT, allowing me to use a different colour scheme... not too fond of white cars, and all Lotus Cortinas were white with that green flash down the side.

Thursday, 25 April 2013

Airfix Mk1 Cortina at last!

Today is a milestone in my 1/32 car collection... I have obtained one of my Holy Grail models - the Airfix Mk1 Cortina.  There are Cortinas available from Scalextric and Revell but these are slot-racing cars and not detailed static models.  The kit was available until the early 70s then vanished - only to reappear retooled as some kind of street dragster, thus wrecking the chances of the original kit ever reappearing.
That just leaves the Sunbeam Rapier, Bond Bug and Vauxhall Victor Estate on my most-wanted list.

My dad had one of these Cortinas when I was very young, white with custom racing seatbelts, although I seem to recall it was a 4-door saloon rather than the sporty Lotus marque.  It was replaced by a big blue Ford Corsair.  Lovely car.

Anyway, this is the kit as I saw it on eBay:

I had always wanted to build this as a Glam Cab from the British comedy film "Carry on Cabby", but as you can see from the photo below the cars had 4 doors, where the kit has 2.

What I may do instead is convert one of my Scalextric/Revell versions and spare the Airfix kit, building it as a nice clean saloon in private hands.

I'm happy to have this rare kit, and happier to know that it will never be reduced to a slot-racing toy.  It will be some time before Liquid Poly meets 1960s plastic, but at least I have the model, so I'm happy with that.

Saturday, 20 April 2013

A Hard-working Land Rover

Away from family or popular cars and here is a civilian Land Rover Series 3 I'm working on.  It's a hybrid of the reissued/slightly retooled Italeri Land Rover and an Azimut cab/88" conversion set.  With the conversion set (which is intended for the Tamiya Series 2 'Pink Panther' kit) contains cab, shortened rear wings, civilian rear cross-member, doors and windscreen, and also includes a section of rear chassis and smaller items for the interior and rear cross-member.
Since I used the Italeri kit I decided to only use the cab, rear wings and cut-down rear chassis.  So, the Italeri kit:

Becomes this:

It certainly makes for a very interesting variation on a theme.  I have since given the vehicle a base coat of Tamiya Olive Drab...

I had thought of a blue finish, but there is a rather sad green 109" Land Rover down the road from where I live that I thought I would base the weathering and finish on that vehicle.  This will take some time to complete and will have a small scenic base to set it off (hopefully with one or two figures to give it context).
The rear will have clutter and dust, as will the cab, and there will be an orange lamp added to the roof.  If it turns out as I hope, I will create a similar look on an Arii Honda T360.

Sunday, 7 April 2013

A Dead VW Beetle (and a new figure)

First up, I have been working on a 1/35 military diorama and I decided to add a civilian car to the scene, which is set in Bosnia in the 1990s.  With most of my 1/32 cars being Japanese it didn't leave me many options for what to use.  I could use the Bilek UAZ van... but no way am I killing something that expensive.  My Airfix cars are all either British or right hand drive (as well as a couple being extremely rare) so they were out... so that left the Arii VW Beetle, 1950 version.
As these are very cheap and easy to buy I decided to sacrifice one.

Using a motor tool I ground out some damage on the rear wings, bounced a ball-cutter all over the body, removed the engine cover (added a Tamiya VW Kubelwagen engine) and carried out other modifications... one of which was opening the passenger door.
Here is the car before the detailing being complete.

I then sprayed the vehicle in Tamiya Red Brown to use as the base for the rust which I would expose using what's known as the 'hairspray technique'.

I then applied (with a sponge) various rusty shades, paying particular attention to the rear of the car.

I then sprayed the body shell with a few coats of Treseme hair spray.  This is a water-based spray and acts as a barrier between the undercoat of rust and the blue colour to be sprayed over the top.  
Once the spray was dry I gave it an hour and then sprayed the main colour over this... Tamiya Light Blue.  I then left this for an hour to dry - the joys of acrylics.
When I felt the time was right I got some old brushes and a jar of water and sloshed the water over the various panels of the shell, allowing it to seep through the blue.  Gently at first I began scrubbing at the driver's door... and was rewarded after a minute or so to see the paint come away and expose the rust underneath.  I was so happy that something I was trying for the first time actually worked!
I carried on and tried to create a believable amount of paint loss for a car which had been lying exposed to the elements for several years in a ditch.
This is how the car looked once the rust had been exposed...

After several coats of a Humbrol acrylic matt varnish I allowed the car to rest for a day.  The varnish protects the blue from any further weathering and also protects the rust colour from any damage.  
I then used a mixture of washes with thinned Raw Umber oils, drybrushing with Humbrol Light Sand, and liberal use of MiG weathering powders to further distress the car.
I also painted some of the silver parts as photos of dying Beetles show that parts such as the bumper, chrome stripes and light bezels seem to survive quite well.  Using acetate I added windows, some of them broken and finally added the headlight.  Since the car is lying in undergrowth I also added some grass and longer plants coming out of the engine bay.  Once everything was in place and all weathering complete I gave the model a few more coats of matt varnish to protect it from handling.

I won't cover the rest of the diorama as it doesn't fit in with the remit of the blog.

Finally, I recently discovered a 1/32 female driver figure.  She was intended for a Scalextric-type slot car layout, but she fits perfectly many of the Arii, Aoshima and Airfix cars in this scale.  She is made by a company called Le Mans and is cast in resin, making her very light.  She also comes ready painted... and while it's not bad for a factory finish I think I need to tidy it up in places.
Strangely, while she has fair hair her face has an Asian appearance, so I may repaint the hair black to allow her to work with a particular Arii car... or even the Airfix Mini?

As you can see she's posed as if changing gear in a left hand drive car... which may be a problem.  I'll have to see if I can remove the right arm, and if I can I will repose it so that he hand is resting on top of the wheel rather than changing gear.

Mata atode ^_^