I bought this kit nearly 20 years ago and started building it. The original idea was to paint it true blue pearl but I used the wrong base and it didn’t turn out well. To make matters worse, the body was warped. I stuffed everything back into the box and set it aside. While eyeballing the completed, but unpainted GTX on my shelf, I decided to tear it apart and use the body to replaced the warped mess that came with this kit. This happened some time in 2005. While I started preparing the body, I ground down the door handles and side markers…which unfortunately, was my standard operating procedure at the time. I tended to grind away details that I struggled to finish. Regardless, I started the work and once again, stuffed all of the parts back in the box.
Fast forward several more years, I pulled the Roadrunner out and committed to finishing it. As I was going through the parts and trying to figure out what color I wanted to paint it, I decided that I wanted to use an OEM color. After researching the color options for the 70 Roadrunner, I elected to paint it F8 Dark Green Metallic. I ordered paint from Scale Finishes.
While prepping the body, I decided to eliminate some of the chrome trim. I found 1:1 examples where the same had been done and on the same color! I thought it cleaned up the look of the car and set to work on the body. I ground off the trim around the grill opening, wheel wells and the back of the car. I also finished removing all of the GTX markings and smoothing out the shaved side markers and door handles.
Prior to painting the body, I finished painting the chassis and wheels. The paint was somewhat transparent and I struggled to spray it correctly. I managed to get good coverage on the chassis and wheels but by the time I was ready to paint the body, I was running low on paint and rushed through the spraying. The end result was paint that had pulled away from the edges of the doors, trunk, etc. I rushed into spraying clear coat and made it worse. I had a body that looked back and there was no way to correct the mistake without stripping…so that’s what I did.
I ordered more paint and started reworking all of the body work. I also worked on scribing all of the panel lines. The lines were very shallow and looked like they had been filled with paint even without paint! Considering the problems I had with the paint the first time around, I was reluctant to spray the color. I ignored this kit for a while.
In the mean time, I started spraying models with spray cans. Once I got the hang of spraying with cans, I learned a new respect for paint volume and setting times. Thinking about the technique used for spraying with large volumes of paint, I approached my air brush with the same idea. I used much more volume, sprayed at a greater distance while respecting the panel lines, and waited considerably longer between coats. I sprayed two light dust coats with about 30 minutes wait time and then sprayed two wet coats waiting about 3-4 hours. The difference was profound! I had no issues with coverage! I set the body aside for a few weeks before I sprayed decanted Tamiya clear coat using the same technique.
I bought a set of Kieth Marks decals which included the proper spacing for the hood paint and actual roadrunner logos. I had a problem with the dusty pinstripe and ended up only using the roadrunner logo on the front fenders.
Finishing the detail, I used a Detail masters distributor kit to wire the engine. I used tiny magnets in the wheels to make the hub caps removable, bare metal foil for the exterior trim, I stripped the chrome bumpers and chromed them with Alclad and stripped the grill and did my best to recreate the correct colors of the 1:1 version. In the interior, I used embossing powder for carpet, bare metal foil for trim details, wood grain paint for the steering wheel and shifter, and dashboard details with a Molotow chrome pen. As a personal touch, I painted what is normally white seat trim, body color with clear semigloss.
Although I was disappointed that I had to strip and start this project over, it gave me the opportunity to learn better prepping and painting techniques that allowed me to finish this project better than I had ever hoped. I’m very pleased with the color and the overall quality of this build!
Completed: October, 2017
I like to think of this as how you would find a forgotten project in a barn…less the rust and mouse droppings.
When I dismantled the kit, I broke away a small piece of the trim around the grill. I glued it back in place.
Everything was prepped and ready for the first of many rounds of primer.
The first coat of primer revealed quite a but of work that needed to be done. The side marker fill was over sanded and left pockets along with many other blemishes.
The piece I glued back in place was a bit of a mess. I elected to eliminate the trim. I found 1:1 roadrunners with the same treatment.
I also found examples of 1:1 cars that didn’t have trim around the wheel wells. I sanded this away as well.
This kit, along with a few others, was my first successful attempt at painting white lettering on the tires.
The dark green from Scale Finishes looks great!
The wheels and lettering look great.
Lug detail painted…I have dog dish hub caps for this project, but I may skip installing them. I love the way these wheels look.
I used a silver sharpie to paint the lines on the chassis.
The indicator pocket is slowly disappearing.
When I look at this picture, I think of some sleeper street racer with more engine than paint. Very menacing.
I would almost be happy leaving it like this and finishing the trim work. Alas, I really like the color I picked for it.
I discovered that the 1:1 cars had silver trim around the interior panels. I reproduced this with bare metal foil.
I also used BMF for the small detail in the middle of the seats.
The chassis detail is coming along well.
After a bit of a break from models, I picked up the airbrush and started working on my projects. The roadrunner is getting fresh body work primed.
For whatever reason, the original GTX kit rear axle and the new drivetrane and chassis pain caused the drive shaft to be too short. I made a new one out of aluminum tubing.
The side markers have been a stubborn problem but I finally corrected them at this point. The next round of primer would reveal that they are completely gone.
While researching the Roadrunner, I found a few examples where the seats had a white stripe around the perimeter. I liked the idea but wanted to do it in the same color as the exterior. I started by spraying primer over the areas that needed color.
I then sprayed the seats body color. The spoon was painted to test paint compatibility.
Once the paint was dry, I used parafilm to mask the seats and sprayed the rest of the seats. I love the way they turned out.
I finished painting the exhaust. I will later add metal exhaust tips.
By the time I was ready to spray the body, I was running low on paint. Rather than order more and waiting to start, I pushed ahead. I rushed to get the body covered and ran into a lot of issues. I compounded the problem by immediately spraying clear. In the end, the paint pulled away from most of the panel lines.
I saw a build in Scale Auto where tiny magnets were used to attach the hub caps. I liked the idea and ordered a batch. One goes in the cap and the other behind the wheel. I was very pleased with the results!
I love the dog dish hub caps and love the fact that I can remove them if I want!
I used black embossing powder for interior carpet.
I bought a Detail Masters distributor kit. It was the first time using one and I was pleased with the ease of assembly.
The kit location for the distributor is not correct for the 440 engine. In reality, compared to reference photos, the correct location didn’t exist. I drilled a hole in the approximate location and glued the distributor in place.
I finished the plug wiring and glued the engine in place. You can also see where I had the idea of saving paint by not painting the engine bay….
With the engine installed, I was able to finish the chassis.
After waiting several months, I decided that I wasn’t willing to finish this project with lack-luster paint. With a heavy heart, I soaked the body in floor degreaser to strip the paint.
As disappointing as it was to start over, it gave me a chance to start with a completely clean slate. I had painted over some of the original detailing. Now it was complete bare.
Stripping the paint damages all of the filler work. I really did have to start over. Alas, I took the time to make it right and also scribed all of the panel lines.
By this point, I had finished the body work, deepend all of the panel lines. It was ready nearly ready for paint….again.
Once the body was in primer, I ironed out a few blemishes and it was ready for paint.
I tried the trick of using bare metal foil under the paint. In the end, it didn’t really work and I used a chrome pen with better results.
Using a painting technique similar to the flow patter of a paint can, I was able to lay down the color with excellent results!
The scale finishes paint takes more time to harden. I let it bake for a few days.
Prior to attaching decals, I wanted to spray one wet coat of clear. I started with two dust coats then sprayed one wet coat.
I realized that I have finished 4 models in some shade of green in the past year.
The Kieth Marks decals look really good. Unfortunately, I later tore one and chose to remove them entirely. I used a roadrunner only decal on the fender.
I wanted the hood decal and was concerned about getting the spacing right. The Kieth marks decals included the strips to get the edges of the hood decal. The rest would need to be painted.
I painted the radiator on the core support and worked on detailing the dashboard and steering wheel.
My recently acquired Molotow chrome pen made quick work of detailing the dashboard. I was very pleased!
I attached the rest of the engine details.
Although I never found a 1:1 reference with a wooden steering wheel, I like the added detail. Overall, the interior turned out very well.
The hood decal extends up to the windshield. I used the hood as a pattern and carefully masked the cowl.
After masking the rest of the body, I sprayed the cowl.
Now that the hood decal was complete, along with all of the other decals, it was time for the last layer of clear.
As I mentioned, I tore the side stripe decal and pulled them off entirely. After attaching the roadrunner logo on each fender, I finished the clear coat.
The body had plenty of time to cure before I started sanding and and polishing.
The sanding and polishing went very well. The paint was fairly smooth prior to starting making he work much easier.
Once the polishing was complete, I used bare metal foil on the window trim.
The trim turned out well.
I hand painted the head liner with flat black. It looked much better once the paint fully dried.
To wrap up the work on the body, I needed to paint the battery and fluid reservoir.
Once the detail work was complete, it was time to attach the body. I managed to glue the body to the frame slight off center and it was obvious in the engine bay. I pulled it apart and got it right the second time.
By this point, the I only needed to finish painting the grill and hood scoop. The grill needed a little bit of filler.
The engine bay is nearly complete.
My bench is a flurry of activity trying to wrap up a few projects.
Although not the original exhaust, the aluminum tubing looks better than the molded tips.
Showing off engines!
I still needed to finish the grill and hood scoop. So close!
The rear valance took a little more effort than I expected but in the end, it went together well. I also added aluminum tubes for exhaust tips rather than mess with the originals.
Completely stock, the Roadrunner has a little forward rake. Just enough to give it some attitude!
I really sweat the work on the grill. I did quite a bit of research which revealed several different color combinations for the same model/year of Roadrunner. I settled on black. The headlight pockets are typically gray. I used silly putty to mask the primer.
Although not 100% right, the head light pockets turned out well.
I pulled out my Molotow chrome pen and finished several details on my projects.
The Molotow chrome pen has turned into my go-to option for chrome detailing. I used it to paint the reflective background of the head lights as well as the chrome trim around the entire grill.
Once the grill was finished and installed, I sprayed clear on the hood scoop.
After curing for a few days, I sanded the hood scoop and added the decals. Once the decals cured, I glued the last pieces to the model.
I used a tooth pick and silver paint to pick out the Plymouth lettering. I also applied the license plate decals.
The aluminum tubing wrapped up the back of the car very well.
I added the radiator hose and picked out a few small details. The engine is complete.