I’m a stickler for detail.

As the scale automotive modeling hobby continues to advance, I see more and more component detail added, be it more realistic/extensive wiring, to-scale OEM stickers on valve covers, appropriate stance, etc. If you’ve looked at the pictures of many of the engine parts I offer, you’ll frequently see extra detail added, such as casting detail, texture, bolt heads, etc. For many, I realize this extra “stuff” isn’t necessary, but for those who appreciate it, I believe it will add more realism to their build.

Casting details – I filed down the ends of the original cylinder heads so they were smooth, then created the desired raised detail by adding .010"x.020" and .010"x.030" styrene strip to the ends to create much of the three-dimensional appearance of the casting present on a real 351C head. Joints between strips were filled with glazing putty, then finished to achieve the appearance of a continuous casting. Where square or irregularly shaped recesses were present, I drilled out an appropriately oversized hole, filled it with glazing putty, then pressed a square/shaped piece of styrene into the hole to achieve the desired appearance. After cleaning up any squished out putty by scraping and sanding, I believe I achieved a very realistic-appearing cylinder head. Frost plug details in the block were created by rounding the outer edge of a piece of 3/32” styrene tubing, then cutting a very thin slice (~.015”) off the tubing on my miter box. Six of these were made, then glued to the block in the appropriate locations. Glazing putty was used around their interior and exterior edges to blend them into the surrounding surface.

Texture – I discovered that a very convincing texture, such as the rough-cast surface of a cylinder head, block, transmission, etc., can be achieved by giving it a light coat of Testors flat interior fabric tan http://www.testors.com/category/136992/Sand_Texture_Coatings. Other Testors flat interior lacquers may work as well, but tan is what I had. Not too surprisingly, a very easy way to achieve a flat, machined appearance is to either use a fine toothed, flat file, or fine-grain sandpaper on a flat surface. You can create some very convincing textures and finishes by incorporating the above practices in your builds.

Bolt heads – The simple and inexpensive way to achieve a level of detail in your builds is by making bolt heads out of hex styrene rod, available from Evergreen http://www.evergreenscalemodels.com/ or Plastruct http://www.plastruct.com/. Hex rod shapes come in sizes ranging from .020” up to .125”. Most scale automotive applications will require the use of.020”, .030” or .040” if working in 1/24 or 1/25 scale. A more realistic (and expensive) bolt head option is to look at one of the scale hardware sites, online. If you go to your favorite online search engine and type in “scale hardware”, you should find several suppliers. Scale Hardware http://www.scalehardware.com/ is one site that comes to mind. Model railroad suppliers are another great source for many hardware items. Scale Hardware offers some micro threaded fasteners, if that’s something you want/need to incorporate into your build. IF you’re looking for the ultimate in realism and functionality, you can’t beat RB Motion’s http://www.rbmotion.com/ bolt pin/washer/nut sets. Robert offers several sizes of bolts, nuts and corresponding photo etch washers. He also offers a variety of other cool detail components, such as braided fuel line fittings, suspension heim joints, etc.


B&M shifter assembly instructions

Body kit description

Coilover diagram

Lenco lever kit

Strut caliper bracket assembly

Dragster cockpit controls

Tips for dealing with photo etch - removal from rubber backing:

Soak light-weight or fragile pieces in acetone until the part separates from the rubber backing.  For heavier parts that have no etch lines or thin edges where there is a likelihood of damage, you may be able to peel the rubber off before soaking in acetone.  It works best to fold the rubber back against itself as you peel it back to lessen the likelihood being parts.