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1/25 scale BHP Transkit: Trans Am Mustang
Joel_W
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Posted: Sunday, September 08, 2019 - 07:00 AM UTC
Well, with a little less then one month to go to the start of the Blue Oval - Ford Motor Company Vehicles GB, and having finished the Coventry Climax Lotus 25, I needed to start another race car build. My original intent for the GB was to build two Roush Cobra Mustangs, one being the Revell 1/25 scale kit as the 1986 Folgers Roush Mustang. The stock kit comes with JPS sponsor logos. I have both decal sheets from Indy Cals as well as the proper color paints from MCW.



A modeling buddy from another model racing car list had been one of the designers of the BHP 1997 Trans Am Mustang Conversion kit. He asked me if I wanted one as he has a few still left just gathering dust on a closet shelf, as he had already built several of them. I jumped at the offer. Of course it never occured to me that I needed a donor Revell kit. Fortunately for me, Bill (my buddy) also sent me all the kit parts needed as he had quite a few of these donor kits, one for each of the rest of the transkits. He's the full transkit. The lighter color parts are the resin parts. The tires are from the kit, but the wheels will be a combination of both kits or just the transkit. All depends on how wheel I can pull of the modifications.



Since the GB rules will only award you a single ribbon no matter how many builds you finish, I decided that I'd save the Revell kit for that, and start the Transkit now.

Now lets keep in mind that I've never built a transkit, nor even worked with a resin body either for cars nor aircraft. All I've ever done is struggle cutting off of their blocks a few rotary engines, and nearly screwed those up. Bill also informed me that there was no kit glass, but rather the front and rear glass was clear vacuform parts. OH NO, another major issue. I've never successfully got one to fit aircraft builds after trying a few times, and eventually just gave up trying. So my Mojo and confidence levels was rapidly taking a nose dive to nearly 0!! But still, out of respect and thanks to Bill, I was going to give it my best shot.

I started the Transkit with major issue #1, the front and rear vac glass. Literally I had no idea of how to accomplish this where both would fit and look the part. Here's what the rear glass looks like:



And the front glass just to make it a little more interesting has the carb intake molded in. That's going to be a whole new experience working with sheet plastic to simulate the Aluminum ducting within the vac glass.

Well, I cut each side off about an 1/8 of an inch from what looked like the actual window part, then fit snip test, fit snip test, what seemed like hours. But eventually I actually got the rear glass to fit pretty good. It still needs some final work but I'm home free there.



Then I went to work on the front windshield. Same method, but more time needed for the duct. I also got that to fit pretty good, but more finessing is going to be needed as well. Sorry but in all my excitment I forgot to take a picture of it taped into place. But you'll see it soon enough.

Next up was dealing with the chassis and the resin parts that are added to it. The Revell pan had huge sink channels on the bottom side that ran opposite the molded on chassis rails on the topside. Never seen that before. I used several coats of Tamiya Gray filler sanding in between applications till I got it filled and smooth. Of course I still need to seal all the filler as it's porous to even my poor eyesight. In the process of sanding I managed to remove all the molded on Dzus fasteners which really don't make much sense to me as why they're there in the 1st place. But since I didn't have a single picture of the bottom of the pan, I made new ones out of punched out .010 sheet plastic. I also managed to completely sand off the support plate at the front of the chassis for the mounting bracket from the kit. So that was made from plastic strip.

Now I had to deal with my 1st resin parts. the extensions of the lower pan that is the attachment points to the body shell. Well, one fit ok, and the other wasn't close. So on with the respirator, and sand, check, sand check, etc. till it fit. Well, I was a little to agressive in places, so after gluing both sides into position with CA Gorilla glue and taping. The following day came filling the main gaps with CA Gel, letting it dry for several hours, then a coat of Tamiya filler. The following work session I sanded, and polished both sides. For some reason the resin sides are thicker then the molded pan, but again I have no references to prove that right or wrong, so I left it that way.





As per my usual build method, I like to do the body shell 1st for a closed wheel car. So I had to decided on exactly what car I was going to do. Well, it wasn't to hard to figure out. Tommy Kendall, one of my all time favorite Trans Am drivers, drove the 1997 All Sport Roush Cobra Mustang. Bill has also sent me Slixx decals for Kendalls car, so it's a double plus. The car is Black with a molten Greenish trim, so I went with a light Gray primer. I had decided to test out MCW pre-thinned primer and had bought two bottles when I bought the correct colors needed for the Folgers car, and the Valvoline March Indy car that Little Al drove (a build for this winter).

My usual primers have always been Mr. Hobby's #1500 Gray & Black, and Tamiya's White while I use their gray as a brushed on filler like the putty work above. I mix the #1500 1:1 and it's pretty thin but not like the MCW primer, it's like water. But I went with it as a lot of the pre-mixed lacquer primers are like that.
I used my Grex AB/.5mm setup with a flow rate of 16 psi and a moderate amount of paint for the tack coats. What always was just two coats, 4 were needed with about 5 min between coats. Then I usually apply 2 wet coats. I also needed 4 good wet coats. I also did the inside of the shell as that's the color the fiberglass is in my references. I ended up using nearly a full bottle, I'm sure that Zero's primer is the same. Come to think of it, these primers are the same consistancy as their paints, which I do love. So I'm sure it's just me. But honestly, for a primer, it's just to expensive using theirs. I can always thin #1500 a little more, but I do prefer the 1:1 thinning ratio for ease of use.

I gave the shell a full day to dry and cure. With all the primer I applied, the surfaces were certainly more then a little rough. So I wet sanded as usual, but it needed a lot more sanding. The end result is just right for the color coats.





So far so good. My confidence and Mojo levels are rising with each job completed. I just might actually get this model across the finish line.

Joel


Szmann
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Netherlands Antilles
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Posted: Sunday, September 08, 2019 - 09:43 AM UTC
That is a rather "surprising" build, Joel, and a good challenge to your skills. I am positive you'll vanquish and yet in style.
Yeah, the resin updating parts can be your best friend or your worst enemy, depending on circumstances.
I'm glad to see your mojo raising and yep! you're on the winning track again!
I have no doubts that this is going to be a very interesting and very instructive build and - no question - I'll be following you all along!

Gabriel
Dixon66
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Posted: Sunday, September 08, 2019 - 02:10 PM UTC
Coming along great so far. Kendall was one of my favorite drivers, it is a shame the accident that severely crushed his feet.

I was in Watkins Glen for the Cup race in 91 (the year J.D. McDuffy got killed on the back straight), Tommy was supposed to be in the IROC race there but instead gave the command to start engines over the phone.

He drove for a while longer with nearly no feeling in his feet.
Stickframe
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Posted: Sunday, September 08, 2019 - 04:57 PM UTC
Hi Joel -

Thatís a good looking kit, resin parts look high quality. This will be interesting to watch! Those windows - they make me nervous - ugh - They rarely include a legible cut line, so you just need to take it easy and hope for the best! Sounds like you nailed it!

Cheers
Nick
Hwa-Rang
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Posted: Sunday, September 08, 2019 - 05:48 PM UTC
You're a brave man Joel. Those resin transkits can be very challenging. Looks like you nailed the rear window section.
AussieReg
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Posted: Monday, September 09, 2019 - 02:48 AM UTC
Excellent start to what will be a challenging build, but by the looks of the progress so far it will make a beautiful addition to the Willstein Race Fleet!

I will be following along closely here, lots to watch and learn.

Cheers, D
Joel_W
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Posted: Monday, September 09, 2019 - 05:08 AM UTC

Quoted Text

That is a rather "surprising" build, Joel, and a good challenge to your skills. I am positive you'll vanquish and yet in style.
Yeah, the resin updating parts can be your best friend or your worst enemy, depending on circumstances.
I'm glad to see your mojo raising and yep! you're on the winning track again!
I have no doubts that this is going to be a very interesting and very instructive build and - no question - I'll be following you all along!

Gabriel




Gabriel,

Thanks for checking out my newest adventure in race car modeling. I sure wish I had your confidence in my abilities getting this car across the finish line. One thing for sure, it's testing my skills, and showing me a ton of weaknesses.

Joel
Joel_W
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Posted: Monday, September 09, 2019 - 05:22 AM UTC

Quoted Text

Coming along great so far. Kendall was one of my favorite drivers, it is a shame the accident that severely crushed his feet.

I was in Watkins Glen for the Cup race in 91 (the year J.D. McDuffy got killed on the back straight), Tommy was supposed to be in the IROC race there but instead gave the command to start engines over the phone.

He drove for a while longer with nearly no feeling in his feet.




David,
So glad that you're along for the ride. Glad that you approve of my little tiny steps so far.

I'm always shaken when any driver, especially a well known driver is seriously hurt or killed in an accident. No matter how many safety improvements they make, it's the nature of the sport. Soft walls, run off areas, Hans devices, cockpits that fold up around the driver to absorb the shock all has helped. Fire was the main killer for quite some time, but they solved most of those issues. now the issue that still kills is when at speed they crash, their internal organs especially their brains keep on going, and cause all sorts of horrible internal injuries.

I raced for 4 years from 1968 through 1971, and only had one bad accident, my last race of the 71 season. The race after I finally won my Regional Championship no less. Wasn't my fault, Got lucky, but still major damage to the front end plus assorted other car issues. I woke up in the ambulance but was basically ok. That was the end of my illustrious driving career. Just wasn't the same feeling after that when you finally realize that it can and does happen to every driver eventually.

Joel
Joel_W
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Posted: Monday, September 09, 2019 - 05:29 AM UTC

Quoted Text

Hi Joel -

Thatís a good looking kit, resin parts look high quality. This will be interesting to watch! Those windows - they make me nervous - ugh - They rarely include a legible cut line, so you just need to take it easy and hope for the best! Sounds like you nailed it!

Cheers
Nick



Nick,
The kit is excellent from what I've seen with my very limited knowledge about these type of advanced kits. The body shell didn't need any additional prep work other then a alcohol bath, followed by a good scrub with Dawn dishwashing detergent. The inside is a little rougher, but I figured that's the way it was back then. I was really happy after I got the primer coat smoothed out. I also noticed that the panel lines were all the same as well as the doors, hood, and trunk lines being much deeper and a little wider.

As I said, those Vac front and read glass scared the you know what out of me. I inched my way through the rear window not even sure when to stop. I used a fine point marker to help me figure it out.

Joel
Joel_W
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Posted: Monday, September 09, 2019 - 05:35 AM UTC

Quoted Text

You're a brave man Joel. Those resin transkits can be very challenging. Looks like you nailed the rear window section.



Jesper,
Not braver, but I knew that at some point I had to try as it was a gift. Just the shell sold for $33. Not sure what the full transkit sold for. I'm just glad that there's no white metal parts to deal with, as I'm 100% sure I'd never get through any of them without breaking or bending them to the point of uselessness.

lets just see where this kit takes me. For one, I'm not cutting open the engine compartment as there is no engine. The trunk while detailed will get extra detailing to an extent, but will be seen through the vac glass. The Revell kit for the GB will have the engine clip removable as in the kit, and the rear clip cut open, and detailed some. At least that's the plan.

Joel
Joel_W
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Posted: Monday, September 09, 2019 - 05:48 AM UTC

Quoted Text

Excellent start to what will be a challenging build, but by the looks of the progress so far it will make a beautiful addition to the Willstein Race Fleet!

I will be following along closely here, lots to watch and learn.

Cheers, D



D,
My friend, I'm thrilled that you'll be along for this adventure. Your modeling advice is always welcome. Without any doubt, this is my hardest and most advanced build as yet. And to think that it's just a basic transkit is sure a scary thought.

Joel


Cosimodo
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Posted: Tuesday, September 10, 2019 - 09:19 AM UTC
Hi Joel,
This looks like an interesting build. I have fone resin before but never the vac formed stuff. Looks like you're on top of it though.
I am just over the border from you at present in Montreal.

Cheers
Michael
Joel_W
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Posted: Tuesday, September 10, 2019 - 09:39 AM UTC

Quoted Text

Hi Joel,
This looks like an interesting build. I have fone resin before but never the vac formed stuff. Looks like you're on top of it though.
I am just over the border from you at present in Montreal.

Cheers
Michael




Michael,

Compared to being in New Zealand, you're practically in my backyard. From my house to Montreal via car is 7 1/2 hrs per Google. and just 1 1/2 hrs by air.

So far so good. But plenty more steps before I get to call this one done and in the books.

Joel
RussellE
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Posted: Wednesday, September 18, 2019 - 01:28 PM UTC
Finally on the mend, I'm able to catch up with all the goings on here at Automodeler!

Great choice of topic Joel, and I'll be following along
Joel_W
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Posted: Thursday, September 19, 2019 - 12:22 AM UTC

Quoted Text

Finally on the mend, I'm able to catch up with all the goings on here at Automodeler!

Great choice of topic Joel, and I'll be following along



Russell,
Glad to read that you're finally on the mend. Being less then 100% really sucks. Unfortunately, I'm way less just about every day.

I've had major issues with both the resin body and the MCW primer. While the resin shell looked and felt smooth enough for the color coats after primer. It's been a struggle every step of the way.

As I said, the MCW is one of the current super pre-thinned primers. They all seem to be designed for injected molded plastic that is not a porous surface as is resin. I can't tell you how many coats I applied, but between the chassis tub and the shell I used a full bottle. That's way more then I've ever needed before, and I still couldn't get a consistent final coat. Still, I figured after a rub down with 3,000, all would be well. I applied the Gravity pre-thinned Black and the shell just got blotchy and blotchier with each thin coat. It's almost like it went through the primer in a lot of places. After drying for 3 days, the shell looked like pure crap. I started to rub it out, and the paint just wouldn't even out. So i'm going to have to strip the entire shell and start again either during the GB or some time afterwards. I also noticed in the color coat, but not the primer coat a ton of surface scratches, which means that the primer was so thin that it couldn't act as a micro filler. The end result is the other bottle of MCW primer is now on it's way to the recycling center.

Joel