May 2011

Detailed painting of body, creation of vacuum formed windows, assembly of parts


May 14th 2011: The bumpers will be finished with a layer of special flexible sticky foil called "mirror finish" which will give them a chrome appearance. The material is flexible and can therefore suit radii, corners and all kinds of geometry. The application is done with tweezers. In order to get a good looking end result quite some tensions needs to be applied to the foil otherwise wrinkles will appear. The end result looks nice and the very shiny surface actually gives a chrome-like appearance. As a next item the tires will be glued to the rims. They have a loose fit, in order to avoid the tires coming loose the gluing operation is done. The interior is partially finished by gluing the gear lever, parking brake lever and luggage compartment separator in position. The interior is coming together nicely. The dashboard needs grey paint in the centre to resemble the actual dashboard as closely as possible. Also decals are applied to the dashboard to represent the gauges. After that the steering wheel with its column is glued in position and the dashboard is finished.

"Mirror finish" foil applied to front & rear bumper.


Tires glued to rims.


Gear lever, parking brake lever and luggage compartment separator glued in position.

Grey paint applied to centre section of dashboard, just like actual vehicle.

The hood needs black paint in the centre so masking is required to protect the red paint from the black paint which will be applied. The application of masking tape is a meticulous work and takes some time. Once the tape is applied properly the red section of the hood remaining uncovered is sanded down to assure proper adhesion of the black paint. The black paint needs to be matt so a special additive is used to make the appearance matt. It's hard to imagine how the end result will look like because the paint itself looks shiny. The application of the black paint is not so easy. Some reruns have to be done before a satisfactory end result is achieved. The majority of the masking tape is removed, only the sections close to the painted surface remain. The body is now put in a climate chamber for the paint to dry.

Masking tape applied to complete body except centre section of hood.


Matt black paint applied to centre section of hood, ready for climate chamber to dry.


Nice matt black end result. Still some masking tape to be removed.

In order to get an idea about the final result some part are loosely assembled.

Now it's time to create the vacuum forming tools for the windows. The body mould is filled for about 50% with resin. The air hardening of the resin is as always quite quick. The shape that comes out of the tool is quite funny to see. With a saw the non required material is sawed off. Some further detailing is done with several sizes chisels. The front and side windows will use 1 vacuum form tool and the rear window will use another one. The detailing of these tools is quite a tricky taks and I watch my teacher do this work. With a power tool resin is removed from the rear side of the 2 tools. This is required to allow the air to pull the windows down on the tool. As a final operation very tiny holes are drilled at the edge of the tools to allow the are to come through. Due to the very tiny holes the drill used is extremely thin. Using such a thin drill requires some attention. Such thin drills break very easily. The finished tools are looking interesting.

Body mould filled for 50% with resin.


Funny sight, half a resin body.


Sawing off excess resin material from body cast.


Rough shape for vacuum form tools.


Some more detailing done on vacuum form tools for rear window.


Removing resin from back side of vacuum form tools.


Resin removed from back side of vacuum form tools.


Drilling tiny holes in vacuum form tools.


Final stage of vacuum form tools on May 14th.


 May 15th 2011: 2 days in a row working on the scale model is rare, but today is such a lucky day. An initial vacuum forming session will be done to get an idea of how many adjustment is required to suit the body. During the fitting it appears that some adjustment is required. Ito-san often makes vacuum formed windows in 1 shot. Due to the several production stages which have been done by myself the Furgone requires this initial form and then a second reworked one. I guess that's one of the many points where the experience and talent of Ito-san is clearly shown. The body shape also needs some adjustment. Some of the resin material around the window frames on the inside of the body is taken away by the use of a power tool. Now that the windows fit into the body the tool surfaces have to be taken care of. The surfaces which will become visible in the windows are sanded down with 400 grade sand paper, then 600 grade, then 800 grade, then 1000 grade and finally 1200 grade. Although to they eye there is no difference on the tools the amount of remaining material on the sand paper clearly shows that some resin has been taken off.

Initial vacuum formed windows (windshield and side windows).


Initial vacuum formed windows.


Removing resin material on body inside around window frames.


Window frames on body inside reworked to fit windows.


Several grades of sanding paper to smoothen the surface of the tools.


The roof of the body on the inside has become red due to the painting process of the rest of the vehicle. The roof needs to be a whitish colour so with a power tool a thin surface of removed to reveal the resin surface again which suits very well as a colour. Then black paint is applied to the wheel wells,  the window frames inside to represent the window seals and the unpainted inside of the body. A nice detail which makes the model look nice. Another finishing touch is the application of silver paint to the windshield surrounding. Just like the actual vehicle this chrome/silver lining is a required detail. This paint can only be added now. Once the windshield is in position there is no way to do it anymore. The application of the masking tape is a nerve wrecking task this time. Small pieces of masking tape are put in the 4 corners of the windshield frame to represent the radii. With  a very thin brush the silver paint is applied. Once it's dry I wonder how it will look. After drying the masking tape is removed and the nice end result becomes visible

Thin masking tape applied to windshield frame.


Silver paint applied to windshield frame with a tiny brush.


Nice looking silver painted windshield frame.

Black paint applied to wheel wells, window frames, A-pillar and other surfaces of body.

Now the windows will be positioned in the body. The first window will be the rear window. No glue will be used, but clear coat to attach the windows. During the drying process masking tape is used to keep the window in position. It gives the car a completely different appearance now that a window is assembled. The next item will be the windshield. The same procedure as for the rear window is taken. The final windows to be assembled are the side windows. Once the clear coat is dry the masking tape is taken off. The model looks like a real car now that the windows are assembled. As a final task for today the rearview mirror, dashboard and door cards are glued in their position.

Rear window positioned (masking tape to avoid movement during drying process).


Windshield positioned.


Side windows positioned.


All windows positioned. A very different appearance compared to earlier today.


Dashboard, rearview mirror & door cards assembled.

Remaining parts sealed to avoid loss.

May 29th 2011: Another day in the Furgone project. Today the assembly of te majority of the remaining parts will be done. First the wheels will be glued to the body. In order to get the wheels in the proper position spaces will be used to create sufficient clearance to the car body. These spaces are attached to the body with double sided tape to ensure easy removal once the wheels are in position. The glue used to attach the wheels is a slow drying 2 compound glue. The reason to take slow drying glue this time is to allow positioning of the wheels. If the position is slightly off there is still a possibility to make some small adjustments. A start is made with the front wheels. Once dried the rear wheels are glued to the body. The grille is the next part, this part is attached with "normal" quick drying glue. Some small adjustments are required because the paint applied to the body have made the grille opening in the body slightly smaller. After the grille is in position the headlights are attached by using clear coat. Clear coat is coat is keep the pretty see through effect of the lenses. On the upper edge normal quick drying glue is applied to ensure the lenses don't fall out. Of course adding the grille has the biggest impact so far. The face of the vehicle has now really become an Alfasud. The bumpers need some assembly features in order to be attached to the body. These assembly features are made out of sturdy thin wire. The wires are glued to the bumpers with quick drying glue. Now the task is to get the bumpers on the body straight. Thin masking tape is added to the body to determine a straight line and then a very thin hand drill is used to drill holes in the body. The wire has a diameter of 0.4mm so the holes will be drilled 0.5mm to allow assembly. The rear bumper position is in line with the real car significantly lower than the front bumper. The model is now quite complete. Parts like the external rearview mirrors, door handles and windscreen wipers will be assembled once the decals are applied. The last operation will be to make the exhaust. It is made out of thin pipe where the end is widened to resemble a real exhaust. That's it for today. The end result looks very nice in my opinion.

Spacers in position in wheel wells to achiever proper position for wheels.


Spacers in position in wheel wells to achiever proper position for wheels.


Spacers in position in wheel wells to achiever proper position for wheels.


Spacers in position in wheel wells to achiever proper position for wheels.


Wheels glued in position.


Rear bumper with assembly features and masking tape during assembly process.


Front bumper assembled to body.


Front bumper, grille and headlights assembled.


Ream bumper and exhaust in position.

Rear bumper significantly lower then front one.

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