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1978 Pontiac Trans Am Complete (custom wheels soon)

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  • Member since
    April, 2013
1978 Pontiac Trans Am Complete (custom wheels soon)
Posted by Retro Joe on Tuesday, August 29, 2017 9:00 PM

Four years ago, I built Revell's "Smokey & The Bandit" kit, and loved it, but I've always wanted to do a Trans Am in blue. I had an AMT "Bandit" kit laying around, but the quality isn't the best, so I decided to try this kit instead:

This kit isn't quite as nice as the Revell "Bandit," but it is still much nicer than the AMT/Ertl from my stash.

Minimal body work was required. Just a little filing to make sure the bumpers will fit nicely, and a little sanding work on the mold lines behind the side windows. Taped everything together on the inside for painting:

Four coats of Tamiya TS-50 Mica Blue. No clear yet:

  • Member since
    January, 2017
Posted by 195X on Tuesday, August 29, 2017 9:08 PM

I will quote Cartman- "SWEEEEEEEEET!"

My favorite color is clear. I am also ambidexterous, I can screw up equally well with either hand. I am 53 years old and been building for most of that time. :)

On the bench... somewhere. Pink Panther show car, 1978 Dodge Magnum Charger Daytona Midnight edition SE 300. Mongrel T.

  • Member since
    April, 2013
Posted by Retro Joe on Tuesday, August 29, 2017 9:08 PM

Next, I printed some "bluebird" and Trans Am decals on waterslide decal paper. Revell must not have the license for the name "Trans Am," because none of their kits have the lettering decals. AMT does feature the lettering in their kits, but I didn't have any blue ones, so I made my own.

Here are the decals after a couple even coats of decal bonder. The black "Pontiac" decals are printed on clear paper, and one of them will go over a small chrome foiled piece of plastic. The chrome will show through the letters for the chrome emblem that is supposed to go on the driver's side grille (the grille on this kit does not have the emblem molded in).

 

  • Member since
    April, 2013
Posted by Retro Joe on Tuesday, August 29, 2017 9:11 PM

Got some decals applied. I'm not too happy with the "Trans Am" lettering, especially on the spoiler. I had to print them on white paper, in order for the lighter blue to show up. However, the edges of the decals show where I trimmed them from the sheet. I will have to come up with a solution for this somehow. I do like how the bird turned out!

  • Member since
    January, 2017
Posted by 195X on Tuesday, August 29, 2017 9:26 PM

That screaming chicken came out really well. I have done this myself before and it's a bit tricky. I tried painting the edges of the decal, but that only served to seal the decal to the point it wouldn't come off. 

I bought a red sharpie permanent marker (the decal I was making was red) and after trimming, I went around the edge a couple times with the sharpie. then sealed it with a couple coats of clear. This helped with, I would say 90% of the edges. Some of the ink did bleed into my soak water but didn't seem to taint the decal. Hope this is a help to you.

My favorite color is clear. I am also ambidexterous, I can screw up equally well with either hand. I am 53 years old and been building for most of that time. :)

On the bench... somewhere. Pink Panther show car, 1978 Dodge Magnum Charger Daytona Midnight edition SE 300. Mongrel T.

TnT
  • Member since
    September, 2016
Posted by TnT on Tuesday, August 29, 2017 9:35 PM

Nice blue bird. I am fond of blue anyway.

  • Member since
    October, 2008
Posted by big-e-models on Tuesday, August 29, 2017 10:42 PM

Yes have the same problem with white decal paper the ink bleeds on the edges where I cut it out ! I'm goin try clear coat the decal after printing then cut it out and try a product called fixitif by Krylon it's a art paint sealer ! Maybe that will help ! 

Nice job on all of just the same nice to see something other than black on the Firebird 

  • Member since
    January, 2017
Posted by 195X on Tuesday, August 29, 2017 11:00 PM

big-e-models

Yes have the same problem with white decal paper the ink bleeds on the edges where I cut it out ! I'm goin try clear coat the decal after printing then cut it out and try a product called fixitif by Krylon it's a art paint sealer ! Maybe that will help ! 

Nice job on all of just the same nice to see something other than black on the Firebird 

 

Do try it and let us know, but I suspect anything thicker than ink will bond the print edge to the paper and make it impossible to separate. That's why I used a sharpie. Either way, I'd like a better option.

My favorite color is clear. I am also ambidexterous, I can screw up equally well with either hand. I am 53 years old and been building for most of that time. :)

On the bench... somewhere. Pink Panther show car, 1978 Dodge Magnum Charger Daytona Midnight edition SE 300. Mongrel T.

  • Member since
    April, 2013
Posted by Retro Joe on Wednesday, August 30, 2017 8:34 AM
I might see if my local Hobby Lobby still has the MPC 79 Firebird kit. That one comes with blue decals. The bird is different, but I only need the lettering. It is a different font for '79, but I can just call it custom.
  • Member since
    August, 2007
  • From: Kamloops,Canada
Posted by mclovin on Wednesday, August 30, 2017 11:56 PM

Wow!that paint job!!

"to love it ,is to live it"

 http://public.fotki.com/convertible-fan/

 

  • Member since
    December, 2003
  • From: Nova Scotia
Posted by Bainford on Thursday, August 31, 2017 7:03 AM

The decals are impressive.

Power matters in the straights.
Lightness matters everywhere. - Colin Chapman

Trevor

  • Member since
    March, 2017
  • From: Brighton England
Posted by Spencer Mopar Fan on Thursday, August 31, 2017 1:25 PM
Looks great so far . Seeing the car in grey primer reminded me of a Black Stone Cherry song " I got a Firebird in grey primer paint " were some of the lyrics . I presume a mullet & denim sleeveless shirt too LOL
  • Member since
    November, 2003
  • From: Atlanta GA
Posted by Zoom Zoom on Thursday, August 31, 2017 3:18 PM

Love seeing T/A's in "anything but black & gold" Cool

The blue looks great and nice decal work, too. 

Zoom Zoom, aka Bob Downie My Fotki Album The only cure for modeler's ADD is "final assembly and decal placement"
  • Member since
    March, 2017
Posted by Moparlover64 on Thursday, August 31, 2017 3:44 PM

Great color combo I'd buy one that color forsure

Moparlover64

  • Member since
    January, 2017
Posted by 195X on Friday, September 01, 2017 1:36 AM

If you don't find those decals I just ran across a decent set for a good price. (not my item)

 

http://www.ebay.com/itm/MPC-1-25-1979-PONTIAC-FIREBIRD-T-A-DECAL-SHEET-/263173563318?hash=item3d465de3b6:g:NusAAOSw7cxZpKKw

My favorite color is clear. I am also ambidexterous, I can screw up equally well with either hand. I am 53 years old and been building for most of that time. :)

On the bench... somewhere. Pink Panther show car, 1978 Dodge Magnum Charger Daytona Midnight edition SE 300. Mongrel T.

  • Member since
    April, 2013
Posted by Retro Joe on Saturday, September 02, 2017 10:59 PM

Thanks for all the nice comments and tips, guys! I went ahead and bought the entire MPC kit for the lettering decals. There are 2 sets of all the lettering, so I can still build the '79 MPC later in any color, and still have a complete set of lettering.

  • Member since
    April, 2013
Posted by Retro Joe on Saturday, September 02, 2017 11:05 PM

Almost everything is painted, except for the exhaust system, which is still semi-gloss black (I painted it at the same time as the attached rear axle, chassis, interior, etc.

For some reason, Bare Metal foiling the window trim was difficult with this kit, but it is done. I also painted the grille/headlight surrounds, and managed to mess up my "Pontiac" grille emblem while trying to do a mockup. Luckily, I always print spare decals when making my own, so I laid down another strip of foil and put another decal over it to make another emblem. Photos of that are coming later. I have an entire day to myself tomorrow with no plans, so I should get even more done.

  

  • Member since
    April, 2013
Posted by Retro Joe on Sunday, September 03, 2017 10:00 PM

More progress... Interior is complete. A lot of satin black! Did the carpet, detailed the dash (not an easy thing on this kit), and brought out some small details with the Molotow pen. Added Firebird emblems to the inner door panels and steering wheel.

Mocked up the grilles, and put my homemade "Pontiac" emblem on, since this kit didn't have one. This one is mostly built up into major components now. Still have to clear the body, so it will be next weekend at least before this one is wrapped up.

  

  • Member since
    September, 2011
  • From: flushing NY
Posted by montelsc on Monday, September 04, 2017 9:10 AM

Love that color joe the decals really make it pop 

Just a suggestion... if your going to go with pontiac rallies the 68/69 charger magnum wheels look much better 

  • Member since
    April, 2013
Posted by Retro Joe on Monday, September 04, 2017 9:47 AM
Thanks, montelsc. I have actually ordered custom wheels with tires from Steven Zimmerman (Z's Wheelz). I will have a couple of choices: 19" "Bandits" or 19" Honeycombs.
  • Member since
    September, 2011
  • From: flushing NY
Posted by montelsc on Monday, September 04, 2017 11:40 AM

Yes honeycombs look good on there to you know im just a sucker for those rallies and useing the magnum wheel gives it a real appearence  yours is going to look beautiful no matter whats on it 

  • Member since
    August, 2017
Posted by Cheryl Faye on Tuesday, September 05, 2017 7:11 AM

Indeed I own a similar issue with white decal paper the ink seeps on the edges where I cut it out ! I'm goin attempt clear coat the decal subsequent to Order Custom Assignment printing at that point cut it out and attempt an item called fixitif by Krylon it's a craftsmanship paint sealer.

  • Member since
    February, 2008
Posted by justmike on Friday, September 08, 2017 12:06 AM

Front end looks great and so does the color. Nice work with those decals too

Feelings are like scents: The more they are analyzed, the worse they smell.
  • Member since
    December, 2005
  • From: Upstate New York
Posted by spencer1984 on Friday, September 08, 2017 4:54 AM
Great job, the Firebird looks good in blue!
  • Member since
    November, 2003
  • From: Lewis Center, Ohio
Posted by 59 Chevy Impala on Friday, September 08, 2017 8:25 AM

Nice lookin TA. 

348's and 409's forever, also Ford Flatheads

  • Member since
    April, 2013
Posted by Retro Joe on Monday, September 11, 2017 8:50 PM

 Thanks for the comments guys! Almost ready to finish this one! More progress photos...clear coat & windows. Disassembled the bumpers and hood (they had been taped together for painting).

  • Member since
    April, 2013
Posted by Retro Joe on Wednesday, September 13, 2017 6:23 AM

Almost there! Trying to find a way to reattach the rear window without disassembling the body. Window does not overlap the opening by very much, and it came loose while I was finishing the final body details. :( Just have to attach the rear bumper and side mirrors, make some minor adjustments, then wait for the custom wheels & tires to arrive.

  • Member since
    January, 2015
Posted by mustang1989 on Thursday, September 14, 2017 5:41 PM

That's one sweet lookin ride Joe! I need to be peeking in on this forum more often. 

Being really stupid is the new smart!! 

    Joe

  • Member since
    April, 2013
Posted by Retro Joe on Thursday, September 14, 2017 9:48 PM

Thanks, mustang1989! Yeah, I don't know how many more posts I will make on here, as it seems like there are only a handful of people looking through them. I have been having a lot of fun posting and looking at other modelers' creations on a group on Facebook called Model Car Builders. There are over 14,000 active members, and wow! A lot of the models are awesome. Only cars & trucks, and lots of interaction.

  • Member since
    April, 2013
Posted by Retro Joe on Thursday, September 14, 2017 9:50 PM

The "Bluebird" is finished, aside from waiting for the custom wheels & tires to arrive. I will make an update then. But here it is as it sits with the dressed up kit wheels & tires.

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