Itasha car number 2

Itasha car number 2 by Russell Eden

After the trials and tribulations of my previous itasha model I was inspired to give it another go. This time I had the bright idea of getting a pre-painted kit. My mum for me bought this for Xmas – she is now on first name terms the very friendly people at modelsforsale.com.

The car is a Nissan Silvia with an Aero body kit. Pre-painted in metallic grey with the window rubbers, wheels, interior and glass also painted. So, this should be an exercise in decaling then… Erm.. Not quite….

The first thing to do was attach the side skirts. On a normal kit this would be easy, as all the parts are pre-painted on mine this adds a slight problem – which glue to use. Normal liquid poly won’t work, as the body is lacquered. Mmmm… I plumbed for a small amount of superglue – not a wise choice as although it stuck the parts well it is brittle and then fogged some of the body – a bit of polish removed this – phew! The next side I attached with some pva glue – this dries clear which is handy but can take up to 24hrs to dry – eek! Luckily I found some pegs and left it overnight. No fogging but a small amount of seepage to remove – carefully with a scalpel, very carefully in my case with my history!

Next was the front bumper and lights – the grill was given a light dry brush of silver the highlight the mesh and glued in place. The chrome lights were shaved along the front and attached to the bumper – the fit was not that good and when attached to the body it was even worse – not the best designed front end but due to the many model versions of the Silvia the easiest for swapping body kits. After a bit of a struggle and left overnight to dry it was finally in place, just. I hope the light glass fits when they finally get fitted.

Speaking of glass onto the main window glass – I hate these…. The fit was slightly better than on my Skyline so I was slightly more hopeful. I used the glass glue and taped it in place – this didn’t work, so I added some weight to hold it in place, this didn’t work either. After an hour of holding it in place I gave up and resorted to a small amount of superglue – I know – bad move but I couldn’t sit there and hold it all day waiting for the glue to dry. The superglue worked and the glass was in place. At this point I left it overnight. The next day was spent polishing the glass to remove the fogging – ho hum…. Will I ever learn? Doubt it!

The chassis was assembled next – The exhaust was painted gunmetal and the chassis had a light dry brush to highlight any detail you might see. The wheels are mounted with springs so it has working suspension – this would have been easier with another pair of hands (I really must find a willing girlfriend one day, or just a girlfriend I can rope into helping!) but after an hour of struggling and swearing the chassis was sprung loaded and the wheels mounted – looking good. A quick test fit of the body and the car was left until I had a spare day to start the decals.

After assembling all I could of the car it was onto the fun part – the decals. These arrived in 3 days from Japan, at a price, but it was worth it. The decal set is from a game/anime called Fate/Stay Night – I’ve seen very little on it but liked the set as it gives enough decals for at least two cars – one with a set of silver/blue decals and one in black/red.

After a bit research on the Goodsmileracing website I found some pictures of cars they had already decaled. I cut out all the decals I was going to use and worked our where to place them. The girls on the sides were placed higher and to the rear of the car – this covered a rather nasty mould line on the rear pillar and meant I didn’t have to trim too much of the decal off – I would have lost half the decal if I had her head under the window as per the ones on the Goodsmileracing site. Anyway I’m getting ahead of myself. The first decals to be placed were the pentagrams. These went on ok but needed a lot of trimming around the wheel arches. I used a lot Microsol as the new flared side skirts meant the decals had to get around a lot angles. I also had to use the scalpel a lot (Ed Always a risky affair for Russell!) – very carefully cutting the decals on the door and around the skirts and front air vent.

After leaving these to dry overnight and with a couple more coats of Microsol it was then onto the girl (Sabre) and the Fate decals. Sabre went on first and slid into position nicely. These decals are slightly thinner than the Muv Luv set and were prone to tearing if I wasn’t too careful. I trimmed her around the door and again applied copious amounts of Microsol to soften the decal to get it to form around the skirts. After cutting her around the door and skirts I was beginning to wish I’d left the skirts off. The fate logo decal was the easiest to fit and this went onto the front of the door. I used a small amount of clear pva glue and gloss varnish to hold the decals down where needed.

The bonnet was next. This is the biggest decal and luckily the bonnet is fairly flat. Once in place I had to cut it down the bonnet lines and around the headlights. Unfortunately I forgot to shave the Silvia bonnet logo off so even after copious amounts of Microsol there’s still a small bulge on the front of the bonnet – nothing I can do about that as the decal dried in place very quickly. The windscreen washer jets were also left in place – this wasn’t a huge problem as I managed to cut round them – they will be painted black later on. I used the large logo decal on the roof as this sort of explains about the character and I can use the matching one on the next car too. Unfortunately this had to go on at an angle as it is too big for the roof.

With some Goodsmileracing logo and Sabre symbol decals in place that’s all the decals I have room for.

With all the decals in place it was time to add the finishing touches.

I ordered a rather tasty machined exhaust end can off of EBay. Not as nicely detailed as the Fujimi one on the Skyline but it is slightly bigger for that dustbin end can look. I glued this in place using the original pipe and mounting and very carefully cut off with cutters this time – not a scalpel – so didn’t need another trip to hospital , phew!

That was the chassis finished. Clipping them together was a scary process as the chassis had to be forced into the body, which was superglued and rather brittle. After a short battle it was finally together.

Onto the lights. The taillights are made up of three parts – clear, clear red and clear orange. I painted the outline in gloss black and the reflective bits in Humbrol silver; these were then carefully glued together and once dry I very carefully scraped the edge of the body shell to remove the paint and glued them in place – they were the easy ones.

The front lights needed painting with gloss black and the lenses glued very carefully in place using gloss varnish. They needed a bit of force, which popped the bonnet up slightly tearing the decal – buggerit! With no clear coat over the decals this makes them very fragile – last time I use a pre-painted body!

With the lights in place I assembled the mirrors and carefully mounted them with pva glue – I broke them off every time I touched the model so resorted to a tiny bit of liquid poly, praying it didn’t spread onto the glass and melt it – luckily it did not.

I added the number plates, the wipers and windscreen decal next. Nearly done….

Lastly it was onto the rear wing. I quite liked the car without a rear wing but the wing went with the body kit so I had to bite the bullet and work out how to mount it. As the body is pre painted there are no mounting marks so it has to be positioned by eye. I originally glued it with pva but again it fell off every time I picked the car up. I had a chat the our automotive guru Paul Adams at work and he suggested pinning it. OK… I drilled out the mounting brackets on the wing and re-glued it in place. Once dry I marked where it was and snapped it off, hoping it would leave some sort of mark as to where the holes were. It didn’t, which was why I marked the where the wing went – plan 2 then – measure where to drill the holes and pray I get it right. I only drilled two holes in the body which gave me a bit of leeway in positioning and resorted to a tiny bit of superglue to hold it in place. Once dry I polished the surrounding area to remove the frosting the superglue leaves and the car was finished – few! Another steep learning curve over with. My Itahsa Lancia Stratos is currently underway and being a serious pain – I’ve stripped the paint off it twice already – hopefully it will be ready for the Revell competition. But that’s another story. I can now get back to my Panther tank – ah, the joys of battle damage and covering mistakes in mud!


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