Saturday, May 23, 2015

Dusting off the T'rantula

Tom Daniel's T'rantula dragster - a Monogram model - was the first model kit I built as a kid. I think my parents bought it for me. As the years went on it was cannibalized to make other custom car models. Whatever was left was eventually tossed out, or given to my cousin in order to clear things out prior to a move. 

I bought a re-release of the kit a couple of years ago and started to build it last summer. Ok, "started to build it" is a bit of a stretch. I bought some Colors by Boyd Lime Pearl to spray it with, glued a few engine components together, and then pushed it to the back of the workbench as I started on some other projects. A few weeks ago I dusted it off and started again. It's about half done, so it's likely to get finished. Soon I hope :-)
Those are the engine parts from the truncated first round of building last summer. They're quite well molded. This is one of the few projects where I didn't start by immediately stripping off all the chrome plating.
That's the body all glued up and drying in the dish rack after a little washing with soap and water. The tricky part was figuring out what to do about the interior and roof. After much head scratching, I built-up and painted the interior, then installed it and covered it with masking tape. The roof was then glued on and the roof-body seam was sanded out until smooth.
I used a bent coat-hanger as a paint stand and sprayed the body in the backyard on a nice day. Wrapping the interior with masking tape worked well and kept the interior from being coated with green paint. However, I had to be extra careful in pealing off the tape to make sure the steering wheel, shifter and pedals didn't get broken.


  1. I've always used some sort of coat hanger (or other) wire for paint stands, supports, etc. Very sturdy stuff and really useful. But I've never seen it used so simply and directly - just two bends and some tape and there ya go! I'll have to remember that next time I need a quick jig. That also looks as if it would fit comfortably on my lazy susan, so I can spin the object I'm painting.

    1. Using a coat hanger as a paint stand is a relic from my younger days as a model builder. There were lots of extra hangers around the house, so the choice was easy :-) Although I do have a proper Tamyia stand and use it for painting more conventionally shaped car bodies and other similarly shaped things.