The starting point for this little side project is the Motor Max Forgotten Classics Six-Pack. I stumbled upon this inexpensive little gem of set for cheap a year or so ago at Engine House Hobbies in nearby Gaithersburg, Maryland.
|Motor Max Forgotten Classics Six-Pack. What a bargain!|
The set includes a '74 Gremlin and '77 Pacer, both made by the now-defunct AMC, which coincidentally operated a plant in South Bend, Indiana; and four Ford products, including a '77 Pinto custom wagon, an '81 Escort, an '84 Tempo, and '75 Mercury Bobcat (a 'luxury' Pinto).
I started by dissassembling them to simplify the paint effects and endullenation process. All but the Gremlin can be disassembled by removing the small screws that hold the die-cast bodies to the plastic chassis tubs; the Gremlin is riveted so I took other steps later in the process.
The paint effect is scandalously simple: a 'sludge wash' of acrylic paint, water, and dish soap. wiped off when dry. It's an old airplane modeling trick used to accentuate panel lines. Fine Scale Modeler, sister publication of Model Railroader offers an awesome explanation of the technique. Once the sludge wash is dry, it gets wiped off with a tissue or cotton swab, leaving neatly accentuated recessed details. I applied the wash to panel and door lines, as well as chrome wheels and grills.
|On the move. I think Wayne and Garth might be in that Pacer . . .|
|Indiana license plates only on the rear back then. The custom Pinto wagon (my least favorite vehicle of the lot) got Illinois plates, which are the customary front-and-back|
After the Dullcote dried overnight, I reassembled the autos. A final finishing touch: era-specific license plates. I found some license plate images on Google and reduced them to HO using Photoshop, then printed them, cut them out, and glued them on. This detail fills in an important visual gap and ties the cars to the era and place of Dunes Junction.
Have a look and see what you think . . .