is the skinny on this little project....
this Mini-Z version of the 2002 British American Racing Formula
1 car started as kind of a test project and turned into a major
re-creation. I had a broken and battered McLaren body that was replaced
with a fresh new one and so I thought I would see how tough it would
be to do some custom livery creation since I have not done it before.
about a week later I had a pretty close representation of the BAR
2002 Formula 1 race car. Since I started with a McLaren body, it
really isn't technically correct as far as body architecture goes.
I did borrow (hopefully I do not have to return it since I stripped
the paint and cut it down) the barge boards from a buddy's ferrari
that were a bit more technically accurate.
is a limited summary of what I did exactly and since I didn't think
it would go very far I was not documenting the process as I went
along. Now I'm challenged with the task of trying to figure out
all of the things that I've done to make this happen.
1: Body preparation from the busted up McLaren shell.
first major challenge was to try and reinforce and repair the front
wing which had certainly seen better days. It was cracked completely
in half just to the right of the mounting point and so that needed
to be addressed. The mounting point to the nose cone was also broke
and in the case of the McLaren this was originally a glue joint
rather than screwed on like the Ferrari or Williams.
repair this I made a trip to the hardware store and picked up some
of their thin little brass strapping material. This is the stuff
from those little displays that you always look at and think it
looks cool but what would you use it for. It was 1/4 inch by 1/32
inch thick. I cut it just long enough to fit the entire width of
the front wing. I then cut out slots to fit around the bumper mounting
holes and another slot to gain access to the screws that mount the
nose to the rest of the car.
(Blue piece is what was manufactured and epoxied in place)
repair proved to be a very strong fix as I did race with this for
quite a while until I ended up replacing the whole body.
next challenge was attaching the wing back to the nose cone. I ended
up creating another plate that had 2 pins soldered to it. These
pins slid into holes that I had to drill in the 2 vertical supports
that separate the nose cone from the wing. These pins and the plate
were also epoxied into place and clamped to let dry.
know all this may seem like a bit of a micky mouse fix but it is
definitely stronger than new and it allowed me to make use of this
already trashed body.
2: Stripping the paint and prepping the body for paint
read a great little article
that compared different methods of paint stripping and pointed me
into the direction of Castrol Super Clean for stripping paint and
removing the old decals. This stuff was really worth its weight
in gold! I soaked the body overnight in a container of Super Clean
and after a thorough rinsing with water the paint just washed off.
The more stubborn areas came off easily with minimal effort of some
0000 steel wool.
was left after this was a perfectly clean bare plastic body. However,
in hind sight, I would strip all of the parts before making the
repairs if necessary listed above. It seems as thought the Super
Clean softens and breaks down the epoxy glue that was used above.
body was then washed and rinsed with water and allowed to thoroughly
3: Priming and painting
body was primed with 3 coats of lacquer primer and allowed to dry
overnight. Rough spots were wet sanded with 800 grit sandpaper and
the body was washed and allowed to dry again.
was applied with... and I hate to say it.... Krylon from Walmart.
This stuff actually worked pretty good but I wouldn't use it again.
It seemed to spatter out rather than spray out and I could have
done a much better job with some real model paint.
sprayed about 5 or 6 VERY light coats of white Krylon concentrating
on the hard to get at first then the larger areas. While this was
allowed to dry (approximately 1 week), I started working on the
4: Creating and Acquiring the Decals
started scouring the Internet for any help in getting the decals
for this car. I lucked out in finding a pdf
file for converting a 1:18 scale model to the full tobacco sponsorship.
This file was opened in Adobe Photoshop and re-scaled for a 1:25
rest of the sponsors were mostly acquired from their web sites or
from the image search at Google.
5: Detail Painting and Decal Application
features were hand painted from reference photographs that I printed
from many of the formula 1 sites that offer photos taken at the
circuits throughout the year. Jacques helmet and driver character
for that matter were hand painted. The front wing end caps, inside
of exhaust towers, inside of intake and rear wing side panels were
also hand painted.
decals were printed on laser decal paper that I purchased from Bel
Inc. I purchased both clear and white paper as the decals for
the end plates on the rear wing and the Bridgestone decals on the
rear wing had to have white lettering. Since most printers have
no way of printing White on the clear sheets you can use the white
of the decals was pretty straight forward. I used as many photos
as I could get my hands on for reference but for the most part followed
the photo on the front page of this site. I did mess up on the 555
logos up on the intake and have them reversed (left one on the right
and right one on the left side). The helmet visor that was on the
tobacco conversion sheet also did not work out too well when scaled
to the 1:25 scale.
will clear coat the whole thing after everything is allowed to thoroughly
dry and cure. I also in the mean time need to test the clear coat
that I have on a test piece to make sure the colors will not bleed.
that is pretty much the end to a very long story. I hope that many
of you could learn from my experiences and if you have any questions
please email me.
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