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Posted (edited)

I wasn't going to post this one up until I started it properly, but here goes anyway. At the moment, I'm just doing the spray painting bits while the weather allows. The build will be later in the year, but with my spray booth in the garage I have to do the spraying while it's warm and dry enough.

 

So first job is to decide on the colour. The instructions are for the car in beige, but I wanted to try another of the factory colours. Unfortunately, the choice of colours from Trabant demonstrate the wow factor you would expect from the Eastern Bloc - as well as beige the choice is Invalid Carriage Blue, Dirty Off White, Pale Grey, Baby Sick, and two shades of green, one of which resembles the glowing stick of uranium from the Simpson's opening and one of which resembles dying grass. I decided to go with the grey as I think it might suit the car.

 

The kit is Revell's Trabant Universal. On first glance, and from what I've read, it looks a nicely detailed kit with lots of parts... and also lots of steps to the instructions (46!). The body looks pretty nice apart from some sink marks front and rear on each side so those have been filled, and the mould lines are hidden behind what will be a trim line from front to rear with only small lines on the front of the car. The door lines are also quite shallow so I scribed them too. There's quite a lot of bits which are body colour, which means quite a bit of spraying with this one. I'll only put up the chassis and the body for the spraying, the rest would just be repetitive.

 

The pic below shows it very early on, and I've put the roof panel, bonnet and boot in place to give an idea of how it will look. This pic is after the scribing and the first attempt at filling the sink marks, the ones at the front needing quite a bit of filling. The spoon in the foreground shows what I hope to be the final colour - this one is Revell's USAF Light Grey, which being a matt paint will need a couple of goes with the clear where there are decals.

 

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As usual, the primer showed that this wasn't the best filling job, so all the sink marks needed filling and sanding again before it got another coat of primer.

 

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And here we are with the body finally complete and wearing it's coat of primer.

 

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Meanwhile, the chassis paint was running in parallel to the body. This one is mostly in matt black and I managed to get it painted relatively easily. However, the rear wheel arches should have the finish in body colour, so I had to break out the foil and the masking tape in preparation for colour coating them.

 

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Two weeks later, after adding the colour coat (directly over the black), I added the clear coat and then removed the masking. I have to say that I am quite pleased with the result. There is some detailing required to parts of this (principally the handbrake cable), but that will come when I reach that stage of the build.

 

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And then my paint woes hit. First of all, that can of spray paint which was fine for the chassis wheel arches decided to lose pressure two weeks later. And the other can I had ran out very quickly only doing a few larger parts and a mist coat and a half on the body before running out. So this is where it is now:

 

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So I'm out of spray paint and have a very unfinished car. Fortunately, I've just got myself a new, but cheap, airbrush which I was only planning on using at first on areas where it wouldn't be that visible. Having managed to extract about 20ml from the low pressure can I guess I will have to try with that. Would I be right in thinking that the paint from a spray can will go straight through the airbrush ok without thinning? And has anyone any experience of spraying with Revell acrylic paints from the tub if I need to go down that route? Would I be better off just getting another spray can if so required?

Edited by Spiny

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Aha, I saw this one in the background of one of your shots of the Honda and was wondering what it was! So it's a Trabby... Nice and unusual! 

 

And I think decanted paint can be sprayed, yes. However, getting another can was what I did when I had a can die on me.

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Posted (edited)

There's something about the Trabi which appeals to me, no idea why as it's a terrible car in reality. I prefer the estate's proportions, so it was great to see Revell kit both. I particularly like that there are options for most of the former Eastern Bloc countries, and for Germany post-unification.

 

I think you might be right there about the paint, although I played safe and thinned it a bit. It seems to have got some decent coverage, but there is a bit of spatter under the bonnet so I'll want to scribe the grooves there and repaint, and when I've checked it against the chassis I will need to spray inside the wheel arches too. Still, all good practice as I just need to get a consistent colour on this one as it will need some clear coats to de-matt the finish. Those wheel arches on the chassis show what I hope will be the final result of the paintwork.

 

(Tried to post this last night, but the site kicked me out😢)

Edited by Spiny

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Time to get started properly on this, although a good chunk of my modelling time at the mometn is being spent trying to get a couple of other body shells ready for winter before the weather prevents spraying.

 

When I started building the Mustang, I had a hunt around the interweb to see if anyone had a progress build of it, but it seems most threads on that were RFI style. So for the Trabi I had this 'genius' idea that I would try a step-by-step progress thread as in the instruction book, not really paying attention to the fact that there are 47 steps in it. So apologies to anyone who finds progress on this one boring and too basic.

 

Step 1

Probably the simplest step of the whole build and the sort of step which even a 5-year old could cop with - stick the two sides of the engine block together. I haven't even painted it as there are more aluminium bits to go on in Step 3 so I'll jsut paint them all together. I did need to trim the tab next to the 'A1' on the instruction sheet to ensure the belt assembly will fit snugly though.

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Step 2

This is as far as I got this weekend, as I said slow progress. Mostly just painting with detail for the belt, but the back of the belt assembly had what looked like random debris on it which prevented a tight fit to the engine block, so I've filed that off and it dry fits much better now. Of course, it may turn out that it was meant to be like that and I've just made a big mistake...

29494425857_21e018ac1f_c.jpg

 

Hopefully next week I make better progress and this starts to look something like and engine.

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Made a bit more progress over the weekend.

 

First up, I got the clear coat on the body shell. I definitely need to get polish it a bit, but at least it has a bit of a shine on it now. I'm not sure why this one has come out so dull from the painting - it's my first attempt at using a matt paint for the colour coat and topping with gloss clear, but equally it's my first go with the Humbrol gloss varnish which hasn't really impressed to be honest.

 

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Apart from that, I also got another couple of steps forward in the instructions. Step 3 was the build up of the engine, and I painted the block from Step 1 along with the other aluminium parts. The only slight complaint on this step is that there is a bit of a gap where the end plate fixes on the engine (at the back on the photo), fortunately though this seems to be in a place which will be hidden down the line.

 

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Step 4 brings the chassis into play. This has already been sprayed (as above) so it just had a bit of detailing where the leaf spring mounts onto the chassis. Quite an easy step as everything slots into place, but the sprue does seem to have a prominent mould line right across many of the parts so the spring did need a bit of tidying up before painting. I also think I might not have enough grey in the paint on the dampers (mix of black and grey) as it's just as dark as it appears in the photo.

 

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And that's where I am to date. At least this weekend it actually looks as though I made progress.:smile:

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50 minutes ago, Spiny said:

I definitely need to get polish it a bit

As it's a Trabant, perhaps a haphazard scrape with some 240 grit wet'n'dry might produce a more 'to scale' finish...

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On 10/09/2018 at 21:48, bhouse said:

As it's a Trabant, perhaps a haphazard scrape with some 240 grit wet'n'dry might produce a more 'to scale' finish...

Probably the way to go to produce a factory finish 😁 I did consider leaving it with the matt finish, but when I put the body on the shelf next to the others it just seemed to hide. It might do so still with a shiny finish, and I don't want to go too far with the shine, so the idea to is aim to produce the sort of thing you might find at a local car show - not a deep liquid shine but something which has had some love.

 

When I look at the build sheet, there are some design decisions which look decidedly odd to modern and/or western eyes. Such as the transverse leaf spring for the front suspension. Or most worrying of all the fuel tank mounted on top of the engine:facepalm: And to think in the mid '90's I was actually wanting one of these...

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Not much added to the Trabi this weekend, but the bits which were added were quite large so they have made a bit of a difference to the appearance. It doesn't feel like I've done much, but visually the model looks much more car-like with the engine bay built.

 

First up was Step 5 which was just adding in the front inner wings. Trouble is that the painting instructions weren't consistent between Steps 5 & 6, so I had to do a quick trawl of the interweb - turns out that most pictures showing the front suspension struts are yellow with black tops, so I followed that lead. As I'd already sprayed these body colour, the main time consumer was detailing out the painting to get the wiring and various other bits done.

 

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Step 6 was even easier, in theory - just the bulkhead and what looks like the steering box. In practice, the bulkhead has slots for the inner wings, but kept trying to slide backwards off the  wings. Got it to sit in place in the end though :)

 

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Still quite a bit to add to the engine bay, but it's looking better now than it did.

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It's starting to look like something. Nice to see that the unusual looks of the car are matched by unusual "interior design" 😄

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Slow progress this weekend, at least in terms of gluing the kit together. Only managed to get one step (7) done - if I keep going at that rate it will take the best part of the year to get this finished.

 

The slow progress was because I came across 'THAT' piece - the one which seems to exist in every kit with the sole intention of causing as many problems as possible. This one isn't even a large piece:

 

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This picture has it almost touching the camera lens. Things started badly when I took it off the sprue a few weeks ago to spray it as the two thin strips snapped as I used the side cutter. As a result, I had to superglue it back together before painting, hence the roughness of the strips/pipes. This weekend, it was time to detail it with the other three colours, but the white was determined to let the underlying grey though (same story with the washer bottle I was painting at the same time). And I'm still not convinced about the colour on the pipes and bottle cap on this part - it's meant to be 50/50 grey and black but even with a dash of white it still seems barely different to standard semi-gloss black. Still, it does seem to tie in with photos from real Trabis. Then when it came to dry-fitting it didn't want to go through the hole for the tab (paint build up I think) and I suspect I over-filed the tab to get it to fit. It's a little fiddly getting fitted, but it's in now - let's hope I never have to deal with it again!

 

And this is where I am now. The engine bay is starting to look a bit more populated, but I wasn't too clear on the position of the washer bottle from the isntructions. A quick Google suggested that it was stuck to the side of the wheel arch rather than on top, but it needed supporting while the cement set.

 

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Away from the main build, I also decided to add a wash to the panel lines and polish the body. It's at the 12,000 micromesh stage now, and apart from a couple of small corners where I burned though the paint (will I even learn?) I'm happy with this, particularly considering it was very orange-peely beforehand in places.

 

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Edited by Spiny

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The focus of my modelling effort at the moment is to get all the spray painting I can done before winter when the garage will be too cold and/or damp for painting. So I only have a little bit to show today, but the good news is that all the spraying for the Trabant has been done. Now fingers crossed I can get everything done for the next two projects before winter, although the orange peel on the Charger bonnet may necessitate a respray :doh:

 

Still, back to the Trabant, and the first step for the weekend was to build up the air filter assembly. As with everything so far on this kit, it all went together very well, but unfortunately the A-sprue has quite a lot of mould lines on it, and there are quite a few parts on this.

 

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After that, it's just a case of fitting it into the engine bay. It does fit in, but it is a tight fit to line it up with the mounting holes in the engine and avoid the chassis, but I got there in the end. In some ways, this is similar to the S600 I did previously in that everything fits very tightly together, and even a layer of paint can cause problems. I think I've had to redrill quite a few of the circular holes so far, or for the rectangular tabs file them down to fit. But other than those minor issues, it's all going well so far. This is where I am now:

 

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Next step is the exhaust, which is stuck together now and just awaiting paint. It seems a bit random as the exhaust is made at Step 10 of the instructions, but isn't mounted until about Step 20. Almost as if the instructions assume the builder is going to do it all in one go so Revell are giving time for the glue to dry.

Edited by Spiny
Messed up links

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Forgot to update this at the weekend.

 

First bit (for completeness) is that out of sequence exhaust, nothing much really to say about it apart from that the dark grey really is the colour called out in the instructions:

 

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But the main news from the weekend is that I have got the engine bay complete:party:Fingers crossed the body sits over it ok when the time comes...

 

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And if anyone is wondering what the black fuel-tank looking thing with a silver cap sitting behind the bulkhead and above the engine is, it's the fuel tank. All ready to shower petrol over the occupants and engine in the event of a crash - no wonder these had a reputation for flaring up.

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Spiny,

 

That's building into a very nice model of a very rubbish car. Thanks for sharing.


Nick

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Thank you, very kind of you to say so. However, I'm only about a quarter of the way through the build so there is still lots of time for me to turn it into a terrible model of a terrible car...

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😄

 

Well you are doing better than me. I have lots of very pretty sub-assemblies, I just never quite glue them together into a completed model!

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Article on one of these in this month's Airfix Magazine: looks like a nice and unusual subject for a kit. Keep up the good work!

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I'll try to keep standards up as best I can. After the engine bay, it's on to the suspension. And with another outbreak of out-of-sequence assembly, the instructions have you assemble the rear, then put it to one side. Not really a lot to write about on these, but I do like the Tamiya Titanium Gold colour on the wishbones - I think when I find a car which would suit the colour I might have to use it for a body.

 

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(Why didn't I show one the other way up? :facepalm:)

 

So having assmbled the rear suspension and put it to one side, it's onto the front suspension. First time I've had to use the heated screwdriver method to flatten off an end (to hold the steering rod in place in case anyone is wondering), but happily that worked out quite well. Everything fits very tightly on this kit, so I had to sand back a couple of places to allow fit or redrill mounting holes where a layer of paint had tightened the gaps. I had similar issues with the previous Honda S600, so I guess this could be an indication that at least in this kit Revell have caught up with Tamiya in a lot of ways. I never did manage to get the bottom half of the gearbox to fit in the gap of the top half, so in the end I just cut/sanded off the fixing lip and all seems to have worked really well. It is quite a fiddly process getting all the bits together, but at this stage the steering assembly is just in loose.

 

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And bang up to date (as of about half an hour ago), I managed to get the subframe fitted. It looks simple being one piece, but I had to drill out a couple more holes to get the tabs through and even then the tabs from the steering assembly clicked rather than slid into place. But it's on there now, close to being in the right place, and once the glue is dried the steering assembly should be secure.

 

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Started this weekend with fitting the rear suspension. The arms seems to need pushing down when I did a dryfit (kept trying to spring out of their mounting holes), but when I reattached them with glue they went straight in with no sign of trying to spring out:)

 

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As this photo shows, I've just kept the underside matt black with no extra painting except for the handbrake cable. Happily the rear suspension is nice and easy, so next it was onto the wheels. I think the wheels on this kit are some of the best I've come across, as they don't have a lot of wobble like many of the other kits I've done (I ended up gluing the wheels on that first Mustang I did due them being so wobbly) and yet also rotating freely. As far as I'm concerned, this is a good bit of design from Revell. Of course, the advantage with wheels is that I can show all assembly stages in one photo...

 

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And then it became just a case of fitting the wheels to the body. I had to sand back the rear hub a (very) small amount as they were quite tight in terms of getting the wheels mounted, but I'm pleased with the end result. For me, it's always a psychological boost getting the wheels on as it changes the appearance from an inanimate object to something which looks at least a little useable. Now granted, this looks more as though it's going to be some sort of pickup rather than an estate at the moment.

 

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Just the towbar and mudflaps to add, and the chassis will be done with until it's time to mount the interior tub and body,

 

 

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