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2019 Ford GT Heritage Edition - Using a Cricut!

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  • Member since
    March 2019
2019 Ford GT Heritage Edition - Using a Cricut!
Posted by Nezil on Thursday, April 25, 2019 4:30 PM

I'm not a huge fan of Ford, but the latest Ford GT is undeniably beautiful, and with it being Tamiya's latest sports car kit, I had to build it...

I really like the factory colour options for the Ford GT, but decided to push myself and go for the Heritage Edition colour scheme seen in these photos:

Getting the paint isn't too difficult, I ordered from Splash Paints, but the '9' markings on the hood and doors in Carbon Fiber were a challenge.

I decided to purchase a Cricut and try using it to cut out Scale Motorsport Carbon Fiber decals. This turned out to be an awesome decision, in part because I got to justify the expense of the unit because my wife and kids have used it to make stickers and t-shirts etc, but also because it does such a great job of cutting water slide decals out...

Here's the cricut machine:

An example of Carbon Fiber decal cut out for the under body section:

My Tamiya 1/24 Ford GT Body painted up (pre-clear of course) and ready for decals:

No. 9 decals as cut by the Cricut:

You can even use old scraps of decal sheet if you're careful with where the cut is going to take place:

And finally... decals applied to the Ford GT body:

I'm certainly really happy with how the Cricut cuts carbon decals, and will be using it more going forward. Obviously it doesn't make sense for every cut, but I like that you can test cut your pattern using some vinyl stencil material first, which is useful to see how much conforming you're likely to need over complex surfaces.

I did also use the Cricut to create the masking for the orange paint over the front of the body, which is more complex than a simple stripe. For this I used stencil vinyl and it worked great - low tack and perfect edges, basically just as good as Tamiya masking tape.

  • Member since
    April 2019
Posted by tacocat on Thursday, April 25, 2019 9:29 PM

Beautiful start. Just curious – Did you put down a layer of clear gloss before the decals or just put them down straight onto the paint?

  • Member since
    April 2012
Posted by litespeedsae on Friday, April 26, 2019 12:46 PM

Have never heard of Cricut. Will research it to learn more. Your model is a home run. Wow. Thanks for this!

Little Rock, Arkansas

  • Member since
    March 2019
Posted by Nezil on Friday, April 26, 2019 1:47 PM

tacocat

Beautiful start. Just curious – Did you put down a layer of clear gloss before the decals or just put them down straight onto the paint?

 
Straight onto the paint at this point.
 
For reference, I used Zero Paints grey filler primer initially, because it fills and sands nicely, and then decanted Tamiya fine spray primer in light grey over that because it's a bit lighter and slightly smoother.
 
For colour, I'm using Splash Paints Heritage Blue and Epic Orange, which they claim to be the right colours for the Ford GT Heritage Editions. My photos don't look like it, but the blue is actually more similar to the blue Cricut light adhesive backing board shown in some of the photos above, so I think it's fine.
 
The wheels and door mirrors should be 'Steel' colour. I'm not going to try and get a colour match perfect for this, but I'm still trying to decide on which colour to use. I have Splash Steel metaliser, and Alclad Steel as well. In this case it shouldn't actually look like metal, so a clear coat is fine over the top, but it shouldn't be too light or dark. In my opinion, the Alclad over black is too dark, and the Splash is too light. I also have Testors stainless steel metaliser but that's too blue. I might pick up a bottle of Testors steel and see how that looks.
 
I'll be putting Zero Diamond Clear 2K over everying once I'm ready... A little more carbon to do on the A pillars and door mirror bottoms and stems first.
  • Member since
    February 2008
Posted by justmike on Friday, April 26, 2019 7:32 PM

I know I commented in the other thread, but still.....  SWEET,  I liked the Castrol livery from the 24 or 12 hr. race. Can't quite remember which, maybe both?  Gotta say though, that heritage scheme is very, very striking.

Feelings are like scents: The more they are analyzed, the worse they smell.
  • Member since
    March 2019
Posted by Nezil on Monday, April 29, 2019 3:23 PM

I've got some updates, both in terms of progress with the model, and with using the Cricut...

So the next section of the Ford GT I decided to tackle was the underbody plate that needs to be fully covered in Carbon Fibre decals. The very front section I'm going to do in 1/20 scale because it does look slightly different in a few of the photos I've seen online, but the main plate in the kit I'm going to do in 1/24 twill weave, and this includes the rear diffuser section with all of its fins.

Just as I normally do, I used masking tape to make patterns of the decal sections I'm going to make, but rather than stick these to the decal sheet and cut around them, I stuck them to a scrap piece of black vinyl I had (for contrast), and then scanned them as a PNG and imported into the Cricut 'Design Space' software:

The diffuser has 5 central fins that are the same size, and three either side of these for a total of 11 fins, 4 different sizes in total, hence the 4 templates in the image above. You'll also notice there is a 1" circle that I scanned as well. This is very important becasue the 'Design Space' software doesn't know the dimensions of the image that you scanned is, and this is critical if you want your patterns cut the correct scale!

Once imported into Design Space (I can provide more details on this if necessary), you can selectively hide objects in your imported image. You need to do this anyway because there is bound to be some noise in your original scan, but it's really helpful because you can hide everything except for the circle, re-size it to 1", then hide the circle and expose your other template parts.

Once they're at the correct size, you can duplicate the templates to give you the correct number you need, and print / cut them out like this:

The observant among you will notice that although I have the correct number of fin patterns cut, half of them need to be a mirror image and they're not... Don't make the same mistake as me, and make sure you flip your pattern before cutting!

Here's the decals all applied to the part, previously airbrushed in decanted TS-14 Gloss Black:

For reference, decals stick way better to gloss paint than semi-gloss, even though that's what the instructions call for. If you're going to be covering in carbon decal anyway, you might as well paint the part gloss.

The last image shows I still need to tidy up some of the edges of the decal on the fins, which I've now done. I wanted the decal to set first before I started trying to trim or push down edges that are slightly raised. I also went back and pushed down all of the dimples in the underbody where the decal sheet hadn't fully confirmed. I'm pretty happy with the result; no wrinkles at all!

  • Member since
    March 2011
Posted by gulftarpon on Friday, May 10, 2019 7:39 PM

What kind of software does it use to create the artwork? I've been looking at buying one of these but been putting it off.

  • Member since
    March 2019
Posted by Nezil on Sunday, May 12, 2019 11:31 PM

gulftarpon
What kind of software does it use to create the artwork? I've been looking at buying one of these but been putting it off.

This is, in my opinion, one of the two weak aspects of the cricut... The software that you HAVE TO use, is their own design space and it's a web app. It does work pretty well, and with it being cloud based, all of your work is saved in the cloud as well. It does also have limitations, but most of these can be worked around if you think outside the box. 

I have an example of a limitation and a work around in my previous post. You can scan in images to use as a cut template, but there is no size information available from your scans; they're just pixels... The work around is to include a circle of known size in your scan (I use one inch diameter), and then scale your scanned image to make this circle 1" in design space. 

The other weak aspect is that the cricut connects with bluetooth only; no USB, Ethernet or WiFi. This works ok, but it sometimes takes a while for the cricut to be discovered each time you go to use it. 

  • Member since
    March 2019
Posted by Nezil on Sunday, May 12, 2019 11:37 PM

I did some more carbon fiber work over the last week, this time the rear engine cover. This part was pretty intricate, but I'm really happy with how it turned out. It needs a gloss coat over the top, but the decalling part is done: 

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