Checking mr.Stance


With the clear coat on the body curing, I used this down time to work on the chassis. As previously mentioned, I had already put a color coat on the body when I first began the kit and that session included painting the chassis. The detail painting had also been carried out so it was just a matter of adding the disc brakes and exhaust.

A couple of things I wanted to get right with the 350Z was the anodized gold look on the brake calipers and the finish on the mags. Tamiya's metal finish on the wheels are impeccable but felt they were too bright. I went into my stash of Model Master paints and used Stainless Steel from their range of buffable metalizers. The tone of the Stainless Steel matched up really well with the body color when compared to reference photos. For the brake calipers, I used the same method as I did on the stanchions on the front shocks of Tamiya's Ducati 916: first a base coat of aluminium was applied and over this, a heavily thinned coat of Tamiya X-26 Clear Orange was airbrushed on until I was satisfied with the tone. I've ordered some Hobby Design Race Brake Calipers that will be used on this build to add that little bit extra. I did a quick check of the stance and as usual with Tamiya, the ride height was perfect. I did increase the rear track using homemade spacers made from styrene card as I wanted to push the wheels out to the edge of the vehicle.

With the chassis sorted, it's time to move on to the interior. _pL


Nissan 350Z - Color Coat

mr.Body having a day at the spa

Cars look great in silver and other metallic finishes, though they are tricky to reproduce, mainly because I find the size of the metallic particles to be over scale. I've had previous success with Model Master and Humbrol range of buffing paints but the former are no longer available (I do have a small stash though) as well as the finish is very delicate and must be handled with care.

This time around I broke out the Humbrol Matt Aluminum Paint 27001. This was my second attempt applying this paint to the Nissan as I had mucked up the finish the first time as well as I had missed some seamlines when prepping the body for paint. The Humbrol paint went on very smooth over the Alclad grey primer via my Badger airbrush and after a 15 minute flash off period, it was buffed to a rich aluminum finish. Satisfied, I sealed it with Tamiya Acrylic Clear shot again though the airbrush. I think the next time around I'll use the Model Master Sealer as I found the Tamiya Clear darkened the paint a shade or two. I let the body sit for a few days and then applied two coats of mr.Hobby UV Lacquer Gloss coat directly from the can. I let that rest for ten days to ensure it had fully cured and hardened. It was the first time using the UV spray and I have to admit the finish looked pretty good the UV paint did not attack the Tamiya clearcoat beneath - that was a relief! The body then received a light sanding with 2000 grit paper before employing Tamiya's range of polishing compounds, working my way up from coarse to regular and finally finish.

At this point the finish looked fantastic, with a scale metallic finish that was gleaming. When one gets to this stage in an automotive model with such success, one is pretty inspired to push forward! _pL


Tools & Such: Best New Addition

mr.Fiberglass pen

I have quite a small arsenal of tools that I use for my hobby, ranging from multiple x-actos (each with a different blade), tweezers, photo-etch folding tool, flexi-file, every grade of sandpaper, mr.Hobby jar opener, miter saw & box and the list goes on. Recently, my most prized tool has been the fiberglass pen. I wanted one of the these for some time now, ever since Marcus Nichols used one in issue 151 of Tamiya Model Magazine, on the Opel Blitz. Not being able to find one locally, I broke out mr.Credit card and ordered it online via Amazon. It's great for cleaning up seamlines on curved surfaces or removing putty from inner corners. This came in really handy for the Y-Wing when cleaning up the front part of the T-beams that connect the engine nacelle to the vector control vanes. Some care is needed, as the fiberglass splinters are rather sharp and a good cleanup of your work area is recommended post session and wearing a mask during work session. But in all honestly, it is the best $15 I've spent on a tool in some time and as refills are available, it's something you'll be using for years to come. _pL


New Project Revival


Happy to say that though there was a break in my posts, I was still keeping busy at my workbench! As I wrote in my very first post: as the weather changes, do does the modelling subject. So it was rather easy choosing my next plastic patient - out with anything requiring grime or battle damage and in with something shiny and new: mr.350Z by Tamiya. This car has always had a special place in my heart as it was penned by a fellow from my hometown of Leicester. I brought home the kit last summer, hoping it would be a quick build (famous last words) but also as a test subject for applying a realistic metallic finish for another project. In this pic I've just finished applying a few coats of Alclad's Gray Primer. It went on extremely smooth and happy that all the seem lines were successfully removed. This build is well on its way so stay tuned for in-progress posts of the build, showcasing the liberal amount of up-detailing that the 350Z was treated to! _pL


Y-Wing Completed

So, its been awhile but I am happy to announce the Y-Wing is finally complete! It was finished some time ago but I was only able to document her recently.

I'm really happy with the final result and glad that after 3 years of sitting on my shelf, she is finished. To sum up the extra detail added during build, I first attacked the vector control veins, which was the cause of the original pause on the project. I up-detailed the front of the spacecraft with extra plating from styrene sheet as well as busied up the cockpit with cables and hoses made from various diameters of copper wire. The final touch was a custom droid. The finish was a multistage process utilizing the hairspray technique I learned from Brett Green in issue 51 of Model Military International. The Y-Wing received a few filter washes using Humbrol enamels and 502 Abteilung oil color, and finished off with MIG Production pigments. A big thanks goes out to the builder at Studio-ACCESS, as his piece was a great reference and inspiration for this project. And of course Fine Molds for producing such a fantastic kit!

Happy to say that this is the first completed model of 2012 and there's more to come! _pL