Current Projects

Projects I’m currently working on appear below. More photos are added as each progresses. Completed projects get moved off this page and into the Build Diaries list.

  • updated 21 January 2020

2018 ZB Commodore Supercar Conversion

Started another Supercar Code-3 conversion recently.

Shane van Gisbergen’s #97 Red Bull car from Classic Carlectables is the donor for this project. It always pains me to ruin a perfectly good model, but this one will be re-birthed as a Supercar from the 2018 season that was never made in model form.
Unlike the Biante’s, simply remove three screws to allow the body and chassis to be split on the Classics. However the window glass is riveted and glued in place and requires grinding to get it out.
It looks like some sort of Photoshop effect, but this is just the paint stripper doing its job. I use Polystrippa and it bubbles the paint and decal wrap right off the diecast. Looks kinda cool, huh?
Cleaned and sanded ready for primer. Unlike other brands, the rear wing is cast as part of the main body. Chassis in the background is plastic.
Tamiya pink primer on this one, straight from the can. I’ve read this is the stuff to use when preparing to spray red, so thought I’d give it a go for the base of the orange on this model
Orange down where it’s needed (and then some…)
Masking the bits that are to stay orange. I placed some of the livery decal against the model to determine where the masking edges should go. We’ll find out how accurate that was when it’s time to decal.
Masking the contour of the lower rear skirt was a mixture of tape and liquid mask.
The big reveal! It’s always a nervous (but usually rewarding) time peeling off the mask to see what’s happened underneath – ready for the next step, or strip and start over? Happy to keep going on this one.

2009 Ferrari F60 (Tamiya, 1:20)

I decided it was time to tackle a kit of a modern day subject, so grabbed this F60 from the stash – only to realise it’s already ten bloody years old! I really do need to get cracking with some of those older builds…

Anyway, this vehicle is up there with the ugliest race cars of all time. The narrow-track and overly-wide front wings of the era made for weird looking race cars in my opinion. At least in 2009 Formula One returned to slick tyres, having been on grooved rubber since 1998.

Tamiya kit #20059, Ferrari F60 in 1:20 scale. It’s an officially licensed Ferrari product. I also bought a can of TS-85 “Bright Mica Red” which was formulated specifically for this kit to replicate the metallic finish that Ferrari used in 2009.
182 parts plus decals. Let the build commence!
First job is cleaning up the parts; identifying and removing mold lines, gluing any parts that can be assembled prior to paint and gently rubbing back each piece ready for primer. The monocoque had some fairly heavy lines on the top edge corners.
The long nose cone is two pieces that need to be joined and the seam filled. I’m trying out Tamiya’s brush-on grey primer for the first time (instead of putty).
Some working in progress on the underside of the nose
The kit has two solutions for seat belts: 1. a one-piece decal that includes belts & buckles that can be applied to the stock seat, or 2. photo etch buckles and sticker material to replicate the belts that needs to be threaded through the buckles. This second option is what I’m going for, which requires three sections of the seat to be removed to allow the belts to pass through.
Use a pin-drill to remove much of the material
Then a hobby knife to remove excess plastic, and a small file to finish off the shaping.
The radiators are plated in an aluminium-type finish, which I’m happy to retain (in many older kits, the plated parts are way too shiny). The plating has to be scraped off wherever plastic cement is to be used, such as the hose fittings and the edges where it will attached to the sidepod ducting. The plan is to use an oil-wash on the mesh areas at a later stage.
The kit can be built with the fuel filler doors open or closed. If open, there is nozzle/coupling detail included in the kit, however I’m building it with the flaps shut, so just glued them over the holes. So far, the parts are fitting together with minimal gaps – note the edge of the filler cap, head-rest surround and roll-bar/engine inlet? These are all separate pieces.
The kit exhausts are plated, but they had noticeable mold lines and I wanted to try some ‘heat’ colour effects with the airbrush. The plating comes off within a minute or so of being hit with a little household-strength bathroom mould remover.

1988 Taka-Q Toyota 88C-V (Tamiya, 1:24)

The Toyota 88C-V is a Group C sports prototype entered by Toyota in the 1988 All Japan Sports Prototype Championship. It was designed and built by Dome and utilises a 3.2 litre turbocharged V8 engine.

While the box, instruction booklet and decals have yellowed a little (it is, after all, a 30-year-old kit), I’m hoping the decals will still be ok when it’s time to apply them.

This will be a standard out-of-box build.

The parts in Tamiya kit #24083, Toyota 88C-V: 2 black sprues, 1 yellow parts sprue, 1 yellow body (2 x pieces), 1 sprue of clear parts, a bag of tyres, tyre marking sheet and one big decal sheet.
Most of the parts are now off the sprue and cleaned up. Several pieces that can be painted as one have been glued (eg, some of the engine, uprights etc). For the moment, the only time I work on this model is when attending my local model club meetings. A few more meetings and all the parts should be ready for paint.

To be continued…