Blog Update #010 – New New-er Stuff

New Stuff Again

So as I type this, I’m on some downtime due to some financial woes(ain’t it always the case), so I locked up the ordering for a short while. I’m also desperately late on answering emails as I’ve been so ungodly busy the last few weeks, but such is life and all! I bought a few new kits over the last couple of months and I’mma be doing old fashioned posts soon again, like the new Revell ’70 Cuda AAR based on the new tool and the Revell ’69 Mustang Boss 302, both of which I’ll be building considerably stock just to have some content out again other than the same-old-same-old about decals. Hell I even got a hold of a Tamiya 1/12th scale motorbike just to change it all up. Again, it’s all a temporary gig, this whole shutting down for like the fourth time, I’ll be up and running again very soon.

But in the meantime, there’s some new stuff I’ve whipped up since the last time. I’m still looking for that fuckin’ Dodge D-100 kit but I may have a direct line to one after what, four months of searching? Either way, one set I’ve tried to give a significant amount of love was the Subaru BRAT kit. I never even knew it existed until Adam Rehorn of the Sprue Lagoon made several posts of the kit in its original 1979 glorious form; and literally two months after I found out it existed, Round 2 popped out its re-release. And two things were immediately noticed about it, one – the stripes aren’t correct for the year of BRAT and two; even if they were, they could do with some extras. So what I did was whip up the wrap-around stripes in both the early 1978 and late 1979 styles(the font got changed in ’79 and very quickly replaced with the stripe that ends at the rear quarter) as well as the ’79 type that doesn’t wrap the body. Then I fully rendered the dashboard instruments up, cause while AMT’s aren’t even all that bad, they’re also not quite correct – try compare ’em if you have the kit, you’ll see what I mean.

Then, some white letter tires, badges, center caps emblems and most importantly: that thing that defines a decade by itself; plaid interiors. Jesus Christ it’s like everything back then had to have the appearance as if someone flensed a lumberjack, but alas – it’s period appropriate and deserved an addition. Especially knowing how much people seem to love seat upholstery decals.

’78 BRAT GL 4×4, ’79 BRAT GL 4×4 and the shortened ’79 BRAT GL 4×4

Then aside from that, I got really lucky and found a cheap as chips genuine MPC 1977 Ford Pinto kit, one I wanted a hell of a lot more than the freshly re-released AMT Pinto for two reasons. One is that the MPC casting has the full glass trunk and has the proportions nailed down a heck of a lot tighter, two is that the AMT re-release while not a half bad kit, is the same stocky and squared off chunk from the 1970s that even back then just couldn’t hold a candle to the MPC version. But one day I’ll get one, just to compare the two. But for that particular model I’ve made the 1977 Ford Pinto “Accent Stripe Group” set, which was basically Ford’s marketing team going “Well folks sure seem to love those Starsky and Hutch fellows’ car, lets put it on everything“. And they did, ho boy they did. LTD II’s, Pintos, Mustangs, nothing escaped that damn package.

But it’s apparently rare as all sin on the Pinto, the triple-striped version especially. You can hit this link to see interior and exterior shots, but it’s for real and it’s gaudy. The second set I did was the “Special Value Package” stripe set, which isn’t a half bad looking Pinto but… man, ain’t that name depressingly economical. It’s like the car version of buying a value 12 pack of toilet paper. Either way, the decal sheet for the Pinto includes every single stripe for the exterior and for the Accent Stripe the triple stripe seat decals as well, and while I was at it; spent 5 hours making the whole dashboard and gauges for every damn version you can think of. And as a bonus, badges for the Pinto Pony MPG, cause why not! There will be a hell of a lot more Pinto stuffs coming soon, among which finally, at last, the Pinto Wagon with wood panels.

’77 Ford Pinto “Accent Stripe Package” and the ’77 Ford Pinto “Special Value Package”

Other than that, there’s some more new stuffsies. A little project that went kind of out of hand was the Buick Skylark sets, which started off as just me wanting to make a big sheet of all GM air cleaner and valve cover decals, which of course includes those early seventies GS decals. It kinda grew out to me making two full sets with interior, exterior, the whole damn nine yards of the ’70 GSX and ’70 GS Stage 1. I still got three other Buick sets in the works, the ’87 Regal GNX and the ’81 Regal Turbo Indy Pace Car as well as the Parnelli Jones sponsor-stickered version of the ’76 Century Free Spirit.

’70 Buick Skylark GSX and the ’70 Buick Skylark GS Stage 1

Now, there’s more to see when it comes to Mustangs, as two more sets in that line-up are finished. The ’85 SVO with the bumper trim and engine bay goodies and the ’85 Predator GT302-H and R(both stripes in the same set!) which leaves just five sets to do for now for the Fox bodies, which are the ’79 Pace Car, ’83 GT, ’89 LX CFD-25, ’92 Shelby AAC Mk1 and last but not least, the ’93 SVT Cobra R. Also I recently did the 1978 Road Runner set for which I’m still doing the interior tri-colors but as it stands, the set is available as is for now, and while I was at it I also re-did the ’77 Road Runner to include the updated goodies like the engine bay decals, dashboard cluster and the likes.

’85 Ford Mustang Predator GT302-H/GT302-R, ’85 Ford Mustang SVO, ’78 Plymouth Roadrunner and the ’77 Plymouth Roadrunner

I’ve also gotten my hands on a vintage Jo-Han ’72 Ford Gran Torino and a ’77 International Harvester Scout SS II, so expect every damn thing regarding those models like the Gran Torino Sport, SS II decal set, Rallye set, so forth. I also finally got around to making a dedicated page for the white letter tire decals as it was kind of getting out hand, there’s over a hundred unique choices now and as we speak I’m trying to get every single possible variant of the Polyglas GT tire since I’ve managed to do every type of BF Goodrich Radial T/A. So hit up this particular page if you wanna see all of ’em.

But to nail down the exact sets which are coming up in the following weeks, among y’know, the ability to once again order:

International Harvester:
1977 International Scout II Rallye(1/25), 1977 International Scout SS II(1/25), 1978 International Scout II Rallye(1/25), 1978 International Scout II Traveler(1/25), 1977 International Scout II Traveler/Rallye(1/25), 1979 International Scout Midas SS II(1/25), 1980 International Scout “Shawnee Scout” Hurst SS II(1/25) and 1976 International Scout II “Spirit of ’76”(1/25).

Ford:
1996 Ford Crown Victoria LX(1/25), 1972 Ford Ranchero GT(1/25), 1972 Ford Gran Torino Sport and 1970 Ford Torino King Cobra(1/25), 1971 Ford Torino Cobra(1/25), 1984 Ford Mustang GT(1/25), 1989 Ford Mustang LX CFD-25(1/24), 1992 Ford Mustang Shelby AAC Mk.I(1/24), 1993 Ford Mustang SVT Cobra R(1/24) and 1977 Ford Thunderbird.

Meyers:
1968 Meyers Manx(1/25).

In the meantime, as I said, it’ll just go on. I’ll update this post when the ordering gets back online, and that in itself shouldn’t be too long from now. I should apologize for shutting it down again, but financially speaking I just couldn’t risk it.

 

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Blog Update #009 – New Stuff

What’s Happenin’

As I’m sitting here, contemplating writing this, it kinda occurred to me – I suppose it’d be neat to have some insight or at the very least some heads up of what has been finished for decal designs as of late, wouldn’t it be? Despite the long down time and having literally a dead computer stalling the whole ordeal out even longer, I didn’t sit idle.

So far, the outlook is by the end of June, business is back to normal. Orders can be taken, commissions will finally get printed and the designing will continue forever. I mean, I know every time I say “yes by then it’s back on!”, life lifts its foot to deliver the swift disabling kick to the nether region of progress, but generally that’s the current outlook. Brexit still sits on the horizon, albeit in October and the pound vs euro is slowly stabilizing a tiny bit so printing isn’t quite as expensive as it grew to be around March but… it’s still up there.

One of the things I had to do in the mean time was raise the prices some, now it’s somewhere around 17.50$ on average per set(though of course they differ on so many things, but that’s for most of them), and I hate to say it will get more expensive as the company I use, well, gets more expensive to use. Regardless, I’m trying to kick up whatever the hell I can to meet the higher prices quality-wise; for instance one tiny bit of a little extra will now be default: license plates and dashboard dials printed on high quality photo paper(as well as on the waterslide decal paper, so you get both). Like, when I say high quality, I mean four out of five star tier Canon photo paper. The 20 bucks per damn pack type. I think this is worthwhile down the line for two reasons, one is that I can print on a far higher resolution than the decal printers so whatever isn’t waterslide, I can crank out prints at 1200DPI which is… plenty sharp. The photo paper is also thin enough to allow the dash decals to be fitted easily, akin to those of Best Model Car Parts. Yet they’re thick enough to mimic license plates well enough. That’s effectively step 1 of 2 to justify the price raise, step 2 is a bit further down the line but it’s one I really wanna do.

Step 2 is metal transfers. Effectively little chrome foil stickers that are pre-cut in any shape, say emblem backings, scripts, so forth. I’m trying to save up for a Silhouette Cameo to do so, which I was fairly on top of ’til my PC decided to die and needed replacing. It’s one of those things one can combine really well with decals, as emblems get both the embossed photo etch look as well as the smallest details on top, not to mention I’m told many modelers love these things. They’re fairly easy to make, fairly easy to cut and even easier to finance, so it’s something I can definitely do when the payment hurdle is overcome.

Whats New

As for what’s new, I figure I might as well do this from now on to give a little insight, and y’know, so people don’t have to guess when visiting this website. Before my PC was tired of being functional, I’d been hard at work doing just about every single Mustang from the early seventies through the modern ones and I’ll be honest, I’ve made some fairly good progress on that.

I had started on the ’79 Mustang Pace Car before the PC died on me, but prior to that I did do most of the Fox bodies with only give or take seven planned sets to go. The ones still left on the list are the ’79 Mustang Pace Car, obviously, the ’83 Mustang GT, the ’85 Mustang Predator GT302H & GT302R, the ’89 Mustang LX CFD-25, the ’92 Mustang Shelby AAC Mk1 and the ’93 Mustang SVT Cobra R. Which will all get done when the laptop is set and ready for my work.

1979 Mustang Cobra, 1980 Mustang Cobra, 1984 Mustang GT350 20th Anniversary, 1985 Mustang Dominator GT, 1985 Mustang GT, 1985 Mustang GT Twister II and the 1985 Mustang Predator GT302.

I did struggle like a crazy person on the ’79 and ’80 Cobras, I can tell you that for free. I literally, no joke, made the entire hood cobra from scratch using some warped ass photographs. There’s hardly, if not any clear pictures of them both, hell for the ’80 I used three different angled shots of the front and overlaid them with one really low resolution one and sweated for like 7 hours while my damn PC kept crashing, forcing me to go back to this snapshot file that had me losing like 15 min of work every single time. But I got there in the end. Those Mustang sets are mostly designed for the MPC kits, with exception of the 1989 onwards ones, which are for the ’90 Mustang LX and ’93 Mustang Cobra kits respectfully, but even then I can re-shape them to match any kit if needed, just holler at me. I do quite enjoy doing those hyper rare and supremely specific dealership specials, they’re fun to do and you learn a fair bit of niche automotive history while you’re at it!

Other than that I finally managed to get my grip onto a revered 1970 Cutlass kit by Jo-Han, the genuine oroginal release and not the Testors re-release which has the wrong interior. What this meant was that at last I could do the proper 1970 Cutlass 442 stripes, redesign the ’70 Cutlass Rallye 350 set to be up to my newer standards and lay down the foundation work for the ’70 Cutlass 442 W-29 stripe set that I’m inevitably going to do.

1970 Cutlass 442 and the 1970 Cutlass Rallye 350.

As for some other miscellaneous sets I did lately, one of ’em is the AMC Spirit AMX from 1980, a pal of mine inspired me to do just about every AMC set through the seventies just to give our old fallen rival of the Big Three some love, not to mention there are some extremely rare kits out there like the Hornet and whatnot that could still use a decal set. I’ve got the ’71 Hornet SC/360, ’74 Hornet X, ’78 Hornet AMX, so forth. Aside from that, the 1970 Ford Torino and 1970 Mercury Cyclone are getting love as well, the ’70 through ’74 Torinos and the ’70 and ’71 Cyclones will have all of their respective sets like the Torino King Cobra, Cyclone Spoiler II, Torino Sport, and such.

1970 Ford Torino Cobra “Twister”, 1970 Ford Torino Cobra(Laser Stripes), 1970 Ford Torino Type N/W and the 1980 AMC Spirit AMX

Oh and one last thing, I’m desperately looking for that damn MPC Dodge D100 kit which is about as rare as can be these days either cause of hoarders or underproduction, either way I just cannot for the life of me get one – however I did do some work based on the Lil’ Red Express kit to eventually fit to the D100, this aughta get some folks excited.

And that’s about it for this update, like I said I’ll be doing this more frequently to have some info on whats new!

 

 

Blog Update #006 – Decals

So a little post to state where stuff is at, currently. You see, I began doing this little decal venture a while ago to fill up that giant goddamn void on the market, mostly for my own needs and desires but it quickly slammed up into high gear and now I’ve surpassed around the hundred unique creations. The thing is, it kind of has begun feeling… whats the word, official, recently. I dunno if that makes any sense, hell 97% of the time on this website I’m rambling about little cars and how they somehow open the floodgates for me with their past, both in real life and the little plastic counterpart so having this side venture has really given me a deep look into how awesome it can be being part of the bigger machine.

Though it’s left me begging for more nearly all the time, my methods now rely on sending off what I want printed to a company in the United Kingdom that do A4 sized sheets for a specific amount at a time and I must admit, they are a class act; the quality is fuckin’ fantastic. They are friendly, they are consistently working on upgrading their printing capabilities and they now have two sets of different prints, one’s from an Alps which are capable of very tight, blacks, whites and metallics, but color is definitely one of its biggest short-comings, it’s all dot-matrix impact print for the colors where it does its damnest to form solid colors via lines and intensity, rather than pigments. Which, y’know, when those things were new back in the nineties was fantastic. The blacks, whites and metallics like gold and silver are more similar to inkjet from the looks of it as it can do some incredibly sharp and defined lines and shapes.

20180328_201000

The new prints do a hell of a job on black backgrounds

The other are screenprinted, similar to what Cartograf, Tamiya, etc. do these days, it’s not the best quality for blacks, as it relies on the RGB scale to make black(which to put it bluntly is just “dump all the colors on top of each other and you get black!”), but for colors… Unlike the Alps, which needs individual colors to be read, one at a time, this one acts more like a conventional printer just with whites included(this also means since it needs colors to create black, grays and shades thereof usually get a red hue) so creating things with color is now easier than ever before. Effectively I’ve now hit the point that I split the sheet to have one with metallics, blacks, whites, silver and gold(BWSG) and the rest on the main color(RBG) sheet – the only issue here of course is, I now spend double the money to retain the quality.

20180412_132151

Like, I am incredibly satisfied with what I create and I so, so, so fucking hope other folks are too given I put in a stupid amount of passion into these things. But to get my scatterbrain thoughts back on the line, the point I was trying to make is that I rely on a outside source for them and I pony up a lot of my own money to have them printed and it all just takes time. So ungodly much time. I have grown to resent telling people “you gotta wait two weeks cause I’m too poor to constantly invest on a personal basis, so I stack everything into one giant order and have it all done at once“, but unfortunately that’s just how I have to operate for the time being. The downside of just being a dude with Photoshop and a hell of a creative streak, I roll with the changes and fortunately everyone who has put their time, money and hopes in me seem to have kept their patience with my slow-as-sin method.

In the meantime, this decal stuff has slowed down the model building to… well, it ground it to a halt. Hell, in fact it turned me into a very stereotypical model kit enthusiast where I now have literally forty unfinished kits to work on. I got eight car bodies in my living room just sitting, parts of three different makes of Firebird from three different model kit manufacturers(MPC, AMT Ertl and Monogram) scattered around my living room, half-finished ideas planted in piles on random objects like the ’96 Impala SS Grand Sport I’m trying to make is just sitting half-done on a pile of sprues on the table, the ’84 Dodge Daytona sits painted and half ready on a pile for two months now, got thirty five boxes stacked up behind the couch and more coming. A backlog so big that I genuinely think I’ll ever finish in this lifetime. And I keep buying more, these days more to create a decal sheet for it(like the Pontiac Ventura, Pontiac Bonneville, all the Firebird kits) and just putting it back in the box and… kind of forgetting about it. In reality, I hope I personally can strike a balance to go back to actually building more model kits rather than adding more and more decal sheets to ’em.

So in a sense, this one’s a bit of a thank you infused with a what-the-hell-goes-on kind of post, given I never ever do blog posts other than ones about the actual models. Excuse my rambling, soon we’re going back to regular programming – the Opel Astra DTM kit is coming up any day now once time permits me to type a little more. And after that, more and more I hope! So yeah, one day this website will go back to pseudo-reviews and lollygagging about model kits and cars soon, I promise!

Blog Update #005 – Year in Review II

It’s been my second year here on this website, something that kinda still is just my on the side hobby combined with some showing off and writing about it, it’s still fantastic to find out that there’s actually quite some folks out there that are interested in this!

Being able to spread the love for the detail this year was a good highlight, with the “Modeling Supplies” page getting a ton of views and the storefronts of the folks I adore for making the model world a little more unique with every item sold, they’ve been getting a fair few extra clicks! The variety of models I’ve been capable of doing this year was nothing short of tremendous, from getting all the Anniversary Camaros, to a handful of Malaise era victims, to some Japanese domestic market vehicles like the Hilux and the Silvia S13, and of course a ton of good ol’ American powerhouses.

Another thing is that since a month or so I’d been making and selling my own decal sheets, something that I’d wanted for over a year and finally managed to dive into and whaddya know; it friggin’ well worked out! Goddamn do I love this hobby and I hope that my love and desire for this hobby helps you out, whether it is creatively or through the assets of what I created, either way keep on building!

Jesus… It just hit me as I’m editing the image table that I built 59 just this year alone. Well, holy hell. Anyhow! Here’s hoping the third year will be just as eventful, fun and good for us all. God knows I’ve got well over thirty kits sitting around ready to be built and five of which are being worked on as we speak.

 

92pontiacfirebirdformula-2 68elcaminoss396-5 90cougarxr7-6 76camaronew-1
92camaronew-2 1997camaroz2830thanniversary (4) 2002camaro35th (7) 2012camaro45th (21)
2016camarossfifty (8) 1987camaroirocz (15) 1981camaro (1) 84oldsmobilelsx442-10
2003nissangtrr34 (10) 69oldscutlass442w30 (13) ralliartlancerx-11 1979camaroz28black (11)
1973cougarxr7 (8) gmcsierra1977 (4) 1968dodgechargerRT440_daytime_cloudy (19) 92tbirdsc (3)
gmcvandura (10) 1970cuda440_6 (23) 1970mustangboss302 (20) 1980dodgeramcharger (14)
1987buickregalgrandnational (16) 69dodgesuperbee-10 1980chevycitationx11 (11) 1980plymouthvolareroadrunner (2)
1981dodgeomni024 (9) 1970AAR_Cuda (18) 1993chevrolets10 (13) 1976spiritof76_dodgedart (4)
1970GSX_raised (4) 1980firebirdtransam (4) 1991silviaS13 (5) 1971superbee (23)
1979novacustom (18) 69novayenko-5 1987MonteCarloAerocoperedux (22) 1971plymouthduster340 (14)
2005cadillacescalade (7) 69chargerdaytonahemi-4 2012chevycruzeturbo (17) 1977montecarlolandau (5)
1987ElCaminoSS (8) 1970dodgecoronetsuperbee (18) 1990mercedesbenz190E_2-3_16v (15) 1990chevyberettaGTZ (18)
1994toyotahiluxdcab_4wd (16) 2009fordf350SD4x4 (27) 1970dodgechargert426hemi (11) 1980montecarlo (13)
1983chevycitationx11 (25) 1970plymouthGTX440_6 (10) 1974ChargerRallye (18) 2007dodgechargersrt8SuperBee (20)
1991GMCSycloneMarlboro (19) 1993JeepGrandCherokee (19) 1984oldshurstolds (15) 2017CamaroSS1LE (8)

Merry Christmas and a happy new year y’all!