I bought this kit around 1995. It is one of the last kits in my collection that I bought during that time. I couldn’t say why it sat on the shelf for more than 20 years before I really started it but now it’s ready to be proudly displayed!
Several years earlier, I painted the engine and the white lettering on the tires. I had taken several engines and tires from other kits and decided to paint them as a batch. Once that was complete, the kit was more or less forgotten….lurking in the background.
In early 2016, I decided it was time to dig into it. Very quickly, I finished the chassis and suspension detail. I also plowed through the interior finishing the wood grain details and embossing powder for the carpet. I made quick work of the body prep but was help up by the unavailability of Tamiya white primer. I used Rustoleum 2X white primer on the chassis and it worked well. However, it is a very thick paint and I knew I would run the risk of losing detail around the vinyl top. Between the Rustoleum primer, and the Testers Sublime green paint (out of a can) I had reason to be concerned.
Once Tamiya white primer became available, I starting working on the main body and parts. I decanted the sublime green paint and sprayed all of the smaller parts. After I finished touching up a few blemishes in the main body, I sprayed several coats of color. I set everything aside to cure before I started applying decals.
When it was time to start applying decals, I pulled the kit decal sheet and realized that there were no roadrunner logos. The missing logo in the nose decals wasn’t as big a problem as the missing wing decal. I discovered that Kieth Marks offered a set with the correct decals. I ordered a set and once they arrived, I quickly applied them. Shortly after, I sprayed everything with Tamiya clear coat.
After the clear cured, I sanded and polished the paint. Next, I applied bare metal foil around the window and roof trim. After that, I masked and sprayed the vinyl top. Prior to assembling the body, I decided that the rear bumper needed to be stripped and sprayed with Alclad chrome.
Once the main body was finished, I finished the rest of the detail work and finished assembling the kit.
In the end, I’m very pleased with this kit. I think about the fact that had I started and finished it 20 years ago, that I would not have been able to finish it to this level of quality and detail.
Completed: January 2017
I painted the white letter several years earlier.
The engine was finished around the same time while batch painting engines.
I finished a few more details on the Superbird’s engine and set it aside.
After painting the engine and tires, the Superbird lingered in the background.
I would consider the Pegasus wheels if I hadn’t planned on a box stock build.
The interior was prepped and primed.
The chassis was primed while the interior was finished in Krylon semi gloss black.
The Testors Sublime green laid down well and is rather eye-catching!
I prepared and painted several semi gloss black parts for several projects.
A quick check of chassis components. I separated the exhaust from the exhaust for a more accurate look.
More chassis detailing.
The wood grain does a nice job of breaking up the black interior.
More chassis detail paint.
Chassis detail and interior complete!
I finished the interior quickly and did so with wood grain details and embossing powder for carpet.
I may consider converting my VW bus into a superbird clone!
Engine installed in the completed chassis
I wired the distributor using black wiring. It looks nice but is hard to see!
I wanted to experiment with BMF under paint.
Taking a peek at the mostly finished engine.
With the chassis and interior work completed, I set the project aside to focus on other work.
With the body prep work completed, it was time for primer.
I sanded away the primer over the BMF and found how easy it is to sand through it.
Sublime green was sprayed on nearly all of the smaller body parts.
At this point, I was not ready to spray color on the main body.
It would be a while before I revisited the Superbird.
Months later, I sprayed the body with decanted Sublime green paint. I was stunned by how well the paint applied.
I masked the core support and sprayed the radiator.
I decided to order a set of Kieth Marks decals. His set includes the actual Roadrunner logos.
I needed to touch up the front decals.
I sprayed the Superbird with Tamiya Clear. It was time to bake for a few hours.
Once I let the clear cure for a few days, It was time to sand and polish.
The color and clear were very smooth which made sanding a quick project. Next step was to polish the paint.
Once the paint was polished, I applied bare metal foil to the trim around the windows and roof.
I stopped applying foil once I finished the trim around the windows. I wanted to spray the roof before I finished the rest.
I used parafilm to mask around the roof.
Once the masking was complete, I sprayed the top with Tamiya stain black.
After several coats of paint, the top was complete.
I used BMF in the front driving light pockets and attached the lenses and grill. I realized that this didn’t quite look right and after searching online, I realized that the lenses needed more detail.
I used a tapered reamer to open the holes for the wing. Once the guide pins were able to slip into place effortlessly, I polished the trunk lid, set the wing in place and glued it from the underside.
The Superbird was definitely coming together. There is still plenty of work to do.
I masked the fluid reservoirs and sprayed them flat white.
I’ve really grown to dislike kit chrome. Plus, the chrome on the rear bumper was scratched. I stripped the chrome and sanded imperfections smooth. I sprayed the bumpers with primer and then a few coats of Testors Gloss enamel. I sprayed two light coats of Alclad once the black paint cured.
Time to bake.
I hand brushed the headliner with flat black and glued the windows in place once the paint dried.
I sprayed the gap panel in the front and attached the core support. I also painted wire and hose detail.
The engine bay detail was completed.
I finished applying bare metal foil to the door handles and side markers.
I finished painting the tail lights, glued them in place then glued the rear valence to the bumper. After that, the unit was glued to the body.
I used BMF to cover the exhaust tips. I could have done a better job but I was ready to finish this kit.
The last part that needed to be attached was the air cleaner.
Now the Superbird was complete!
I was very pleased with the detail of the underside.
I’m very pleased with the Kieth Marks decals. I don’t think this project would be complete with out the roadrunner on the wing!
Here is the more detailed nose. I had to pluck the lenses to mask and spray the frame. I also needed to spray the small impact strip along the front of the nose.
The fender vents and engine turned out really well. I’m pleased with the final results.
I love the way the Superbird turned out.