This kit was originally finished in 2001. When I finished it, I threw on a set of parts box wheels with the intent on preparing a set of wheels for it. Several years later, I finally finished a set of wheels for it.
In 2012, I decided to take care of the very tall ride height and lower the suspension. It was going to be a quick project until I decided to detail paint the chassis.
Nearly all of the under car components were molded into the chassis. It took quite a bit of masking with tape and putty to pick all of the details out. The difference is stunning!
While it was all apart, I decided to tear down the engine and freshen it with more detail paint along with the engine bay.
I also decided to try out an embossing powder to simulate interior carpet. You can see it very clearly in the pictures. Unfortunately, you can barely see it in the finished project! Still, I wanted to try it and it worked out well.
Originally Built: 2001
Rework: August 2012
My booth in the late 90’s.
In progress back in the late 90’s. Looking at this picture, you can see that I hadn’t sprayed the engine bay black…something I did with every project back in the day.
This is what the Cuda looked like after I detail painted a set of wheels. Other than the ridiculous ride height, I liked the effect.
If I remember correctly, I sprayed the purple directly over the purple plastic of the kit. Since the chassis was painted black, I needed to primer the chassis to get the color somewhat correct. It still wouldn’t be the same but better than if I had used the black base.
I realize the model community likes to create exact reproductions of how the factory painted cars but I like seeing everything painted.
With the chassis painted, it was time to paint the front part of the frame.
I really have no idea why that dime is in the picture…
The wheels were glued in place. Masking was required to freshen the paint on the k-member.
I used a silver Sharpie to paint the brake/gas lines.
Another detail that isn’t accurate is painting the protrusions of the unibody.
Masking and putty was required to get this right.
Time to paint the gas tank.
This is the most annoying part of the chassis. The molded in exhaust. Completed masked by putty. This was tedious!
This looks like a mess until…
…the masking is removed. I was very pleased with this detail.
As I already mentioned, I painted the engine bay black. I wish I hadn’t. The color will be a little off but as you will see, it still turned out great.
The interior bucket is visible through the chassis plate. This needs to be painted as well.
I was never confident with lettering especially lettering this small. I used a sharp tooth pick and paint from the sharpie and gently scratched the surface. I loved this added detail.
Another missing detail. The hood pins and lettering. I laugh at how easily I painted this with a sharpie.
I followed up the hood pins with a black wash to bring out the details.
The chassis nearly complete.
I wanted to try a trick with bare metal foil regarding emblems. I applied the foil over the emblems and painted the rear valance. It didn’t work as I had planned. I’ll try something different next time.
Detail painted the air vents.
I enjoy seeing the details that had once been ignored.
More engine detail painting.
The Supra wheels don’t quite look right…
With the paint work out of the way, it was time to start putting it back together.
Now it was time to finish the engine.
I painted the springs to break up the black paint on the rear axle.
Stubborn pieces take a bit more persuasion.
A little masking to prepare the transmission for paint.
The extra detail looking great.
I tried a black wash on the engine.
Engine detail completed.
After a little finessing with a dremel tool, the shaker fits much better than it did before.
I read about using embossing powder to simulate interior carpet. Although you won’t see it when the model is finished, I thought I would try it.
Looking at the very early pictures, you can see that I painted the vents in the grill silver. Later, I sprayed them gunmetal. I probably wasn’t happy with the work. Whatever the original issue, I decided to paint them silver to bring out the detail.
I think it turned out really well. Other than getting glue on the pedals, this was a very satisfying result.
The side profile shows the dramatic change in ride height.
The extra detail makes a huge difference up front.
The engine bay looks great. The color is a bit different but I’m fine with it.
This comparison shows the biggest impact from the work. I’m tempted to pose this kit with the bottom side up to show off this detail!