It's been a little more then two weeks since my last update, but I've finally got enough accomplished for another update.
The last update was all about priming and painting. This update concentrates on decal prep, decaling, clear coating, rubbing out the clearcoat, and the infamous: Wax on, Wax off.
I gave the paint a good 3 days to cure. While the paint finish was my best to date, and pretty smooth to the touch, I still gave it a light wet rub with 6,000, 8,000, & 12,000 emery cloth. Then a nice bath in running warm water while gently wiping the body down with a piece of one of my many old cotton T shirts, and into my drying box till the next day to start the decaling process.
The decals for this build are from Indy Cals. There are two options, the #71 LeMans winning car, or the #9 Riverside winning car. I decided on the #9 just to be different. Gee, what a surprise that is.
As usual Michael's decals are in perfect register, and the colors look dead on to all the reference material I have. And as usual they're all one huge decal, so you have to cut and trim. Not so easy with the engine hood surround, and all the sponsor printing in between. I'm assuming that Michael envisioned that most modelers would just apply all the hood decals at one time, but not me. Call me anal, but I'm a firm believer in if something can go wrong, it will go wrong for me. So I cut out the color surrounds, then cut out the sponsor decals into 4 separate ones.
I decaled the hood, then the driver's side, the passenger side, the roof, the front, the back, and finally the wing assembly which hasn't been installed as yet. One of the two hardest decals to get right was the 3 sided multi colored engine hood surround. The biggest issue was getting it properly aligned and wrinkle free as there's all sorts of compound shapes to contend with. The only other issue I had was the side decals that cover the rear turbo charger radiator intakes, and then wraps around to the rear wheel arch. This was by far the hardest decal to install, since you had to align it around the radiator opening, the chassis sill plate, and finally to the wheel well arch. When I got one area right, the next areas became an issue. Fortunately, it all worked out just fine in the end.
You'll notice that those vent openings are rather rough looking, and that's because I have some final fitting issues to deal with for the PE screens and turbo radiators. Also on the engine hood, the "P" in Computers has open circle under it. The honest reason is that I just forgot to glue it in place before I painted the shell. So I still have to paint it, then glue it to the hood. Going to soak the decal in Micro Set, same for the Sol. Let the decal dry for a day, then cut it from the hood, and finally apply Solvaset to have it lay down along the outer edges on the cap. Hopefully it will work out just fine.
Once the decaling was completed, I let it dry for 2 days, then came the clear gloss. I still use Mr. Color #46 Gloss thinned 2 parts clear to 3 parts #400 Mr. Leveling Thinner, as I just can't find their Super Clear III other in a rattle can. I applied 2 tack coats, then 3 wet coats, and back into the drying bin for 4 days. Not a single surface issue for a change. I still rubbed out the gloss coat with 8,000 & 12,000 emery cloth, then another warm water bath. I let it dry for a few hours, then using the Gravity system of 3 different grades of rubbing compound to really smooth out the finish and get a really good shine. Finally, Gravity's Carnauba Wax. This is the best overall finish to date without any major issues. The end results were certainly worth the effort.
Thanks to all for stopping by and checking out my progress to date, as it's always much appreciated.