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1966 Ford Fairlane GTA

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  • #31
    GTA: Interior Finishing

    Thanks, we all appreciate the positive vibes!

    Well... you know, you're never too late to start. Now I can imagine that there's a pretty steep learning curve, but there's so much how-to stuff on YouTube that you can become pretty good pretty quickly. I've been modeling for 64 years and learned new stuff looking at a YouTube video yesterday, and I'm always trying out new materials, techniques and skills. What could be an entry barrier is the $,$$$ of tools that I've collected over the years, but you don't need all that to get started. It's the exact same thing as setting up a kitchen. You can cook good food with a couple of decent pots, a frying pan and some basic utensils. And you can also create masterpieces with a kitchen full of specialized stuff that just does one thing better.

    Using more standard aluminum foil (actually some product that I bought in Germany 15 years ago which is a thinner gauge than standard US foil) and Microscale foil adhesive I applied the foil to the broader surfaces of the console. The outer edges are bright and the inner sections are brushed on the real car. I used the non-shiny side of the foil for this to give a little contrast. The bright, as I noted yesterday, was provided by that really cool Liquid Chrome pen.

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    I used Tamiya Clear Blue and Clear Red to detail that little GTA emblam on the upper console.

    I added the auto trans shift level and then CA'd the console into the car.

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    The dashboard needed some modification. Becuase of the shape of the door hinges I had to cut relief holes in the kick plate on the interior sides, but I also need to add this clearance to the dash component itself. There's already very little stock left on the left side, so if I cut some of the dash away in that area, there will be effectively nothing holding the dash on the left side. I needed to add more material onto the dash which would then be glued to the inner left panel.

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    I added another piece of styrene stock under this piece to add some more meat and then glued the dash into place.

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    The dash tab will be cut away, but the new stock will hold it in place. To add more strength I'm going to drill and put some 0.021" brass pins through the inner panel into the added stock. That should tie it all together when I take a small router and cut the dash tab away to clear the hinge bulge.

    The last thing I did was prepare the steering wheel and column. This was a perfect use for the Liquid Chrome pen to "chrome" the horn ring. The picture doesn't do it justice. It looks absolutely like chrome, not paint. Tomorrow I'll install the wheel.

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    I painted and installed the battery, and the master cylinder. I'm going to add some battery leads. Any suggestions on making a realistic battery lead connector?

    I'm quickly getting to the point where I'm going to have to paint the exterior. I'm using lacquer and don't want to use it indoors and I don't have a spray booth (yet), and usually do this work outside, but the weather's getting like Winter and that doesn't work.


    • #32
      GTA: More Door Work

      Today, I split my session doing some train work (attempting to replace a broken headlight with an LED) and some GTA work.

      I routed the dash to give proper clearance for the door hinges. I've purchased some 1/16" solid carbide router bits from Drill Bits Unlimited that work nicely in the Dremel. I didn't ahve to remove much, just enough to let the hinge loop sit inside so the inner panel and outer body don't get pushed out of position.

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      The cut in this picture is a bit ragged. I cleaned it up a bit and then painted it semi-gloss black. I also installed the steering column today, but the pics don't show it.

      I needed to make door jambs for the body side of the door opening. I didn't attempt to have the rear jamb sit inside the body. Instead I installed it so it fit flush with the body. My door is fitting a bit big some a little bit of extra stock wouldn't hurt. In this picture, I filed it to fit and then added some Tamiya putty to fill in any noticeable blemishes. In the real world, there is some kind of lock system on the body and door jams. I don't think I'm going to add that, but then I've been known to do this silly stuff.

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      For the hinge side body jamb I had to inset this piece since the door hinges into the body space. I used thin 0.010" sytrene for these parts and it was easy to get them to conform to any curves. After using liquid cement I went back and reinforced the joints with med CA. After which I again added some filler to close the gaps that were left.

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      I took another picture with the door fitted. I used the flash so you're getting a lot of specular reflections. You can barely see te front jamb and you can see that the dash area is now painted.

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      What's going to be fun is putting the outside body color onto these jamb areas. I've been looking at a lot of videos of people building model cars, and generally folks don't open up the doors. It greatly complicates the process since the door, which is now a single piece has the inner and outer panels glued together. The inner is interior trim colors and the outer body color and the jamb is body color. The flash shows some interior space behind the dash that needs to have come color. On second thought, that's the firewall and without the flash blast you would'nt see it since it's going to be very dark under there. Sometimes it's good to take pictures of your work for evaluation purposes.

      Without digital photography, all this journaling and posting would be nearly impossibe and very, very expensive.


      • #33
        GTA: Odds and Ends

        I have reached the point where the body painting needs to be done. Lacquer is a no-no indoors and it's not good for outside painting now. I did some odds and ends today. Got the battery wired up, finished the door jambs, painted the wheels and taillights, and blacked out all the grills and trim that had black lines in them.

        I cobbled some battery connectors out of wine bottle foil. They're a bit crude and oversized, but they convey the feeling. The leads are 28 gauge black iron wire painted red for the positive lead going over to the molded on started relay. I also did some more detail painting in the engine compartment.

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        So now the engine is completely finished.

        I sanded off the excess filler on the door jambs and they're ready for paint. I also found and removed some mold lines on the body. This is ready for paint.

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        I removed the vinyl wheel centers and built the four wheels. The chrome steel wheels had open spokes and blacked out areas between. I painted the blacked out areas flat black. I actually enjoy doing detail painting. I find it calming.

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        To black out the open areas of the grill and on some of the trim, I simply used some thinned Tamiya flat black which I let run down the grooves and used a cotton bud to remove the excess from the chrome. If I had some Tamiya panel line color in black I would have used that. I have that product in brown and it wouldn't work.

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        The last thing I did was use the Liquid Chrome pen to detail the backup light section of the red taillight lenses. The chrome pen was the perfect tool to add some real bright effects to these tiny parts.

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        So, if I can't figure out how to effectively do the exterior color in the winter, I might put this aside until Spring. I have another kit to build, a Trumpeter 1:350 scale USS Essex. I have some Photoetched leftover from the Missouri project and may be able to detail the Essex without having to buy more. Most of the color for the Essex will be water-based and can be applied in the basement. I'm lobbying the CEO to get a spray booth which would be a wonderful addition to the shop.


        • #34
          GTA: Just a little bit of work

          Well... the weather may actually be mild enough in the next couple days to enable me to spray some GTA parts. So to get ahead of this eventuality, I did a few minutes work on the model masking the engine compartment and the inner door panel so I could spray the primer and light yellow outside. It's all predicated on the temps hitting 60 degrees or more. The fender panels actually wrap over that flange in the engine compartment and it's painted body color which accounts for all that masking to expose such a little bit of paint area.

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          Until next time, meanwhile keep tracking my Essex build.


          • #35
            GTA: Spring Weather = Painting Proceeding

            Hi gang! Winter's almost over here in Louisville so I can get back to work finishing the Ford.

            Weather was lovely today... a bit breezy, but I worked around it and finally got the primer coat onto the Ford GTA. First I needed to make a body clamp to hold it for painting. I know there are commercially available ones, but it's so simple to make one in house. I used a scrap piece of 2X4, and some old coat hangers. After cutting the hangers apart and bending them to a useful shape, I stuck them into the body and got a spacing measurement. I cut some notches in the chop saw and fastened the hanger clamps into the grooves with some self-drilling, star headed wood screws. Those clamps are not going anywhere.

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            A closeup slowing the clamping method.

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            It didn't have to be pretty, just functional. And it works great!

            I sprayed the body, the separate door, the hood and the little masked area around the fender wells.

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            I then sprayed some of the Ford light yellow on the fender wells just to test the paint and see how it looks. The color is terrific, very close to my car's color in 1966. The Testor paint is a lacquer (supposedly), but did take several hours to dry. I will have to protect the body from dust during this drying cycle and it means an extended time to do two coats, plus clear coat with sanding/polishing steps in between. It's okay since I'm working on two other projects at the same time.

            I'll sand the primer and see if I need a second coat and get ready for the first color coat, but the weather's going to change tomorrow with rain and colder so color will have to wait for a while.


            • #36
              GTA: First Color Coats

              It was warm (80) today and the winds hadn't started up again, so I was able to get the first color coats onto the Ford. I'm not so good with spray can lacquers. I did some light coats on and noted on the instructions on the can that you should wait a couple of minutes to do additional coats. So I hit it again and got a nice color coverage.

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              I brought it inside to dry and got a good look at it. Coverage is good, but there's some orange peel which I'll sand out. It will then need additional color. According to the Revell Car Finishing Kit that I bought, you should wait one week before sanding the paint. It will remove some color and may require additional coats. I can use some guidance here since this is not one of the things I know a lot about. The last car kits I spray painted was when I was at Michigan State in 1964 and spray painted Revell's Orange Crate candy orange 2-part lacquer in the incinerator room at Bryan Hall. Yes... I actually built some models while in college and thoroughly enjoyed it. I rediscovered them one day when cruising a local hobby shop. I hadn't built anything from when I turned 16 (Cars, girls and guitars). No dust got into the finish. It's a pretty good color match to my 66 GTA.

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              Is there anything I need to worry about when recoating after the paint is completely cured?

              I also sprayed the hood and door in the basement since it took very little paint and didn't smell up the house too badly. They too will need sanding.

              I'm going to try and use the Molotow Chrome Pen to chrome the various raised lettering and the wipers. I'm having good luck with this tool and look forward to using it again.


              • #37
                GTA: Second Color Coat

                Hey gang... just got back from an 11 day trip to Philly and State College, PA and Spring has really arrived in Louisville, so the first thing I did today in the shop was to finish fine sanding the first coat and put on a second coat of light yellow. This time I was able to get pretty good flow outside (very light breeze, perfect temp) and it dried with less distortion. I'll let it cure another week and then sand it again, this time using the finer grits and getting ready for the clear coat.

                The epoxied broken windshield pillar is not very evident. It may impinge on the door closing, so I won't pose it with the closed door. That joint with the piano wire reinforcement is stronger than the rest of the car.

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                The door and hood also came out decently and will require little polishing.

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                In a week I'll report again on how well it's coming out. I don't want to sand to much since I did sand into the primer layer on the first coat. Each spray layer introduces more chance for orange peel and runs.


                • #38
                  GTA:Third Color Coat …. Ugh!

                  Another week, another coat of yellow, only this was a coat that maybe shouldn't have been done. It was a comedy of errors and the results are very troubling. I polished the last coat with 4000 grit wet or dry Revell abrasive material, and it looked great, but I went through to primer in some high spots and needed to do another coat.

                  Again, I shot it outside. The can was getting empty and the nitrile glove tip of my right index finger was a bit loose and got into the spray stream resulting in big drops hitting the model, not a nice spray. Then the model popped out of the holding fixture and landed upside down (of course) on the lid of one of our big plastic trash container (my outside work stand), and then when I touched it to pick it back up again did further damage. Then to make matters worse, the paint picked up pollen. That's right, POLLEN!

                  The result is a mess that needs to be significantly sanded to bring it back to where it was. I needed to find a way of not getting too deep on the ridges since I can see problems occuring over and over. I need a spray booth. It should come back... if not, I'll have to buy more paint.

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                  • #39
                    GTA: Paint Saved

                    Well... on one of those rare Saturday sessions I was able to save the GTA paint job. The 3rd coat was thick enough that I could sand the heck out of the roof and reduce all the embedded crap to a smooth surface. There were still small pieces in place that wouldn't sand further without removing all the paint, but the surface was smooth. So I masked the rest of the model and just sprayed the roof again. This time in the basement with no pollen and very little orange peel. Results: we're back in business. I also wet sanded the rest only this time I did it without the sanding block and was very careful around raised edges and didn't expose any primer. Now I'm ready to finish sanding polishing and get ready to finish up this job. I also bought the clear coat, but frankly I'm a little squeamish in applying it. If the paint polishes well enough I'm going to leave it off.

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                    • #40
                      GTA: Polishing the Paint

                      Finished the Essex yesterday, cleaned up a bit and got back to work on the Ford. Did the Revell polishing regimen starting with 3200 grit and progressing to 12,000. Got the roof nice and shiny and the sides too.

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                      Unfortunately, I exposed some bare edges (doh!). I don't want to have to paint anything again, so I'm going to live with it and possibly do a tad of touch up painting to cure the worst spots. I have to get a spray booth and I'm still working on the Commander to get her agreement.

                      I used the Molotow chrome pen to paint the windshield wipers and tried a bit on the window trim, but decided that was not the best application for it, so I'm going to use Bare Metal Foil. Still have to paint the black wiper blades.

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                      The Chrome Pen worked well for the Ford lettering on the hood. You can see the worn-through spots on the two corners. It really bugged me that I wore through since I was actually trying not too. Any secrets on doing this? It looks like I just got into the primer and the white plastic beneath. I also test fit the body onto the frame and installed the opening door. It will still look like a nice model. Actually, the paint on the real Ford in 1966 was considerably poorer than what I'm doing on the model.

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                      I have a home maintenance chore (re-caulking the master bath) that will take me away from this model a little bit longer, but I will get to it soon.


                      • #41
                        GTA: Father's Day Session

                        Happy Father's Day! As a Father's Day "present" I got clearance to work on the model on a Sunday. Maybe I shouldn't have as you will see. I finished all the chrome trim with reasonable results since putting some foil trim on the back window forward edges to simulate the small frames on the hardtop coupe's rear side windows.

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                        I put in all the glazing using (what I thought) was a good idea. That good idea was Bondic. Since it cures by UV light, having it for clear windows means the Bondic can cure even behind the clear plastic. Furthermore, the uncured resin can be wiped off the "glass" since it doesn't cure left alone. Great for clear parts... right?

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                        I think it looks pretty good! It did... until the front window popped out. It seems that Bondic, while it cures hard, doesn't actually stick very well to plastic or painted surfaces. it just simply let go. I was not happy. But it got worse... much, much worse.

                        I went back to plan B which was gel CA. I wanted it to cure fast since the window was under a bit of tension. So I shot it with a spray of accelerator. This particular accelerator attacked the clear plastic. It crazed the plastic. During this time, I had put masking tape on both sides of the windows since I was leaving finger prints and smudges. When I removed the tape, I find that I now have a cracked windshield! Broken clean through!

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                        I polished out the crazed areas as much as possible and also did the side windows since their Bondic was letting go also and the accelerator did a number of them too. I've got a lot of hours in this body and what I left with is a cracked windshield. I can get away with it in the Commonwealth of Kentucky since this is one of those states that has NO state inspection. But I'm really bummed. It's not a kit in current production so getting a replacement window is probably impossible. It wouldn't have mattered if I didn't work on it today since I was planning on using Bondic for some time now. Wish I had a do over, but I don't. I'll finish the model with the bad windshield. My real 66 wasn't a very good car, but it, at least, it had a un-cracked windshield. I hope my model has comprehensive insurance.

                        I had to cut off the molded on vent window on the opening-door side and make a piece of 0.010" clear styrene since that molded window was no longer viable. It was very thick anyway.

                        Oh... and I found out today that I'm one of the 1/3 of people who've had chicken pox who gets shingles. I'm heading to 73, but my son had it last year and he's 43. I'm waiting for the pharmacy to call and tell me my Valtrex scrip filled.


                        • #42
                          GTA: New Windows

                          I called Safelight and they came and installed a new windshield while the car was in the Mall parking lot. Or at least that's how their commercials tell you they do it.

                          But really, I tried once again to get the windshield out and my persistence paid off. This time I milled out the cured CA that was holding the bad windshield in place and got it out without breaking anything else. I glued the cracked halves together so that I could handle it and cleaned up the surface.

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                          Then, as advised, made a female mold impression of it using standard Sculpey, and made a male pusher out of Super Sculpey (a big tougher). I reinforced both halves with some floral wire and fired them in the toaster over at 275° F for 20 minutes.

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                          They aren't pretty and don' have to be. They just have to impart the shape since the plastic's not going to be hot enough to flow into the imperfections. I then cut out some 0.010" clear styrene sheet laid it on top and heated it with a Topflite Hot Air Gun (used for putting on Monokote RC airplane skin) until the plastic started to deform and then smashed it down with the male component. First time was a charm and after trimming, the window fit pretty well.

                          It was just a little distorted in one corner so I tried two more times to make a better one, and they got worse and worse, so I used the first one. I you heat it for a fraction of a minute too long, the plastic deforms uncontrolably and can't be used. I used G-S Hypo Cement to glue it in. I had trimmed off the molded vent-a-pane passenger side window so I was just dealing with the windshield. I made those small windows as separate styrene pieces.

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                          It came out so well that I ripped out the damaged rear side windows and made them out of the same styrene sheet. Now the car has much better optical glass and I started fitting the body to the chassis in earnest.

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                          I found some interference between the hinge tubes inside the body and the firewall on the chassis so I used the carbide router bit in the Dremel Flexishaft and made some relief cuts. I also found interference in the same area where the inner door hinge framing that I put on the body, to block off the space next to the fender wells, was too wide and it was also holding the body away from the chassis. In this case I was able to trim it with the Xacto. The chassis is not fitting as it should and will be glued to the body next session.

                          The motivation to attempt a windshield replacement by making a "smash mold" came from a suggestion by one of the readers of the this post in the other forum where it's displayed, Fine Scale Modeler's Magazine Forum. So once again, the act of journaling all this activity pays back dividends to me. I would not have thought about molding my own windshield. The thinner styrene makes much more realistic windows in general, but I hadn't thought I could make a compound-curved shape using a Sculpey mold. I learn new stuff every day. Keeps a least part of me young.


                          • #43
                            GTA: Almost Done

                            With all those nice new windows in place, I got the body mounted to the chassis, got all the chrome on the car (except for the GTA badges that go on top of the racing stripes) and put on the wheels. I touched up the chrome... AGAIN, and it's really almost done. I am not happy about the paint or the chrome. I'm out of practice building model cars and all the handling, fixing things that broke, etc., kept messing up both. It's a good model from 2 feet away, but looking closer there's a lot of difficulties.

                            In looking at this picture I realized I still have to do the whitewalls on those Firestone Wide-Oval tires.

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                            The tail came out nicely especially the chrome trim on the taillights.

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                            The front was more difficult. This was caused by me gluing the chassis in place a fraction of an inch to frar forward so the horns were forcing the grill away from nesting properly. I got rid of the horns since they were almost invisible anyway and the grill went on. Of course this took place after the paint around the front started showing wear.

                            I would really like to do the foil work around the front window again. It didn't hold up well through all the windshield troubles.

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                            Lastly, I positioned me and my wife in our 1967 pose. I'm going to re-do those characters. They about 10% to big. I scale out to 2.78" in 1:25. My cut out is over 3.0". I was waiting for the racing stripe decal to fully dry (after using MicroSol MircoSet solvent to get them to snuggle into the door grooves. When dry, I'll attach those last chrome badges.

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                            As a memory jogger, he's the original pic on which this whole effort was based. We were already engaged and were having a 1967 Memorial Day camping trip in Muskegon State Park, MI. I was a senior at Michigan State and she was back home in Philly. It was a terrific weekend. That was 51 years ago. My car had white walls although those tires also came with red stripes and I didn't have the chrome steel wheels... I had hubcaps.

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                            I need to put on a radio antenna (AM only).


                            • #44
                              Originally posted by Builder 2010 View Post

                              I went back to plan B which was gel CA. I wanted it to cure fast since the window was under a bit of tension. So I shot it with a spray of accelerator. This particular accelerator attacked the clear plastic. It crazed the plastic. During this time, I had put masking tape on both sides of the windows since I was leaving finger prints and smudges. When I removed the tape, I find that I now have a cracked windshield! Broken clean through!
                              On my planes I always dip the clear parts in Future Floor wax. It protects the plastic from CA fumes . And if I get a bit of paint, or accelerator on it, the fix is to go over it with a q-tip dipped in Future.
                              Future acts as its own stripper, so the wife doesn't have to strip the kitchen floors before she applies a new coat over the old layer.
                              Human Scum. Proud Never Trumper


                              • #45
                                GTA: Another Look

                                I took the model and added those missing badges in the racing stripe. Then I reduced the size of the occupants and reprinted them. They're still too big based on the real world picture, but my height scaled out to 2.78 inches and that's what I made them. I then messed around a bit in Corel PhotoPaint and corrected that overly bug door seem and some of the paint blemishes and then added the white walls just for this picture. I still need to clean it up, but there's nothing I can do about the door gap. The hinges are blocking the door from moving forward anymore.

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                                Hard to believe that the picture was done 51 years ago when we were both 21. Ah… youth...