10 December 2015

Red Barchetta (1/25 scale model)


My friends invited me to see Rush in Toronto this summer and it was an opportunity I couldn't pass up: they were my companions for my first Rush concert in 1987 and drummer Neil Peart has recently announced he's retiring, so it would bring the four of us full circle, being my companions for my last Rush concert. On the way back to the train station, we mused about possible dioramas involving songs or ideas from Rush's repertoire of over 150 songs.

There might be some ideas somewhere that we didn't explore, but of the ones mentioned, the only one that appealed to me (as a builder) was "illustrating" the song –or elements thereof– "Red Barchetta" from their album Moving Pictures.
And, most appealing to me, it would involve building a barn.

The kit.

The bag on the bottom left containing white plastic parts is the plow from a Revell pickup truck I'll be converting into one of my uncle's fencing trucks and the bag with the silver-grey plastic on the lower right is garage parts from a Tamiya mechanics kit. Both of these will play as set dressing in the eventual diorama.

This is only my second automobile model (the first being the Puppet Wagon) and my first sports car and I was a little intimidated by it, knowing the car had to be "as good as new" like the song says, so there would be little room for mistakes or too many imperfections. Good practice for me, at any rate, seeing as I've only just returned to modelling after a 15-year hiatus.

Beautiful engine.

I'm not really big into cars, and I prefer the look of cars from the '60s and '70s (or older), but this Ferrari engine (and this mold of it) is a work of art. It's a shame it won't be seen under the rear hood –which, in turn, will end up under a tarp being pulled off by a figurine of the protagonist of the song. Still, good practice, right? Besides, this engine is structural and the rear wheels attach to it, so I couldn't skip this part.

Behold!

I love this thing; it looks like a spaceship. Note I didn't drill out the tailpipes like I would have if this area wasn't going to be hidden...I guess I didn't want too much practice...

Two-seater.

Like the engine, most of the interior won't be seen in the final diorama, either, but practice, practice, practice is good. The dashboard attaches to the body, so it's not included here, yet.


Car parts.

Here's a better look at the body and related sprue. There's a clear cover that goes over the engine in the large rectangular void in the bottom right part), but I decided to paint it the same colour as the body. The car itself comes molded in what Revell calls "maranello red," which is pretty nice, but it needs to be primed and painted anyway for overall cohesion. There's a note in the instructions (and a stamp on the part itself) on that crossbeam attaching the rear wheel wells for it to be removed (it's molded-in to prevent warping, I think), but I had to figure out on my own that I needed to remove those braces further back on either side.

Spoiled.

Checking online reference, I realized I'd have to do smooth out the huge gap after attaching the rear spoiler (even though it would be covered up). I used Bondo and sanded the areas back and forth a few times until I was satisfied (short of perfect, however, because of my impatience...but I'm learning...).

I weathered the tires a bit with some flat Tamiya acrylic (Buff) to simulate country dust. Even though the protagonist's uncle keeps it "as new" through maintenance and cleaning (presumably), being on a farm, there would be dust kicking around, especially on the tires and inside the wheel wells.

Pre-assembly.

To my disappointment, the Dupli-Color Cardinal Red I chose ended up being flat and not perfectly smooth (unlike the amazing glossy and smooth Italian Red by Tamiya that I used on the Puppet Wagon...lesson learned), so I sprayed some Rustoleum clear gloss over the red parts a few times to get a good shine. I used a thin Sharpie for the waistband trim on both sides (see below). The supposed-to-be-clear engine cover mentioned above is seen top left, painted red and in place with the rear hood. The hood is able to open via a hinge, but I've sealed it to stay down better under the cover.

Shiny.

Done! Mostly.

Everything is now assembled and as far as I'm going to go with the car, save for a decal here and there, and some tail light painting with clear colours (I don't have any right now). The next step in this project is to build the barn to contain this (I've already built a futuristic wind turbine for it).

Although sportscars aren't super interesting to me (like I said, I prefer car aesthetics along the lines of these), I do appreciate the sleekness of this design and I had a lot of fun building the main element of my Red Barchetta diorama.

Outdoor test.

I used a simple point-and-shoot (inspired by Michael Paul Smith) to get this shot on the fire brick remains of our former wood oven. It's semi-convincing, except for the car's shadow, which ends abruptly at the end of the bricks –which would look like a driveway, and a bit more realistic, otherwise.







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