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Calnaga Explained

Restoring Old Models

by Steve Perry on 08/03/16

More than once, I've been asked for advice on rebuilding an old model, with the basic question being, "Should I fix it up or should I do it again?"  My initial reaction to this question is, generally, to not rebuild an old model, but to clean them up and repair them.  Keep them as a representation of your earlier work, whether it was originally built a few years ago or a few decades ago.  I have rebuilt and restored several of my older models across the full spectrum.  Some I have merely dusted off or glued wheels back on.  Some have been disassembled and various parts repaired or repainted, but no big changes were made.  I have an old NASCAR Monte Carlo that I literally put under running water to wash off and the white glue holding my wood dowel roll bars together dissolved leaving the cage a bunch of sticks.  That model underwent such an extensive rebuild that it really isn't the same model any more.  The middle ground is a model that has been cleaned up and had some of its fatal flaws corrected.  I've got a Revell Vega funny car that was pretty good when I built it as a 7th grader.  I did engine detailing on it and painted it with my own fictitious paint scheme.  I added side canard wings that were de rigueur for the '73 season.  It's truly part of my modeling history, but one aspect of it that always bugged me were the two piece slicks that weren't quite right.  They have a seam down the middle that won't clean up and the soft black plastic doesn't look like rubber, and the worst part; they're too skinny!  That's right, F/C's of this era ran 16 inch slicks and the Revell tires scale out to 14 inches. I can see the difference and you will too.  I've addressed this issue with Calnaga's new Tire Pair, 16" Drag Slick, Goodyear.  They have narrow ribs on the ID that fit a scale 15" wheel, but the ribs can be easily carved out with an X-acto knife to fit the Revell 16" Cragar Super Trick wheels that come in the kits.  They're easy to paint with your favorite interpretation of a black rubber color, and you can sand the paint off the lettering to get a crisp, white Goodyear logo.  From behind, the new slicks give my Vega that tough "wall of rubber" look that I was after so long ago.

Advances in the State of the Art

by Steve Perry on 06/05/16

There was a time when machined parts, photo-etch, and yes, even resin castings were considered a competitive advantage in contest modeling.  Now, they are standard fare at contests and many modelers use aftermarket parts just for fun, to make their models more unique or more accurate replicas.  At the Motor City Madness contest, Best in Show went to a Pro-Touring style Challenger that featured a 3D-printed engine and laser cut chassis members.  The parts were unique, accurate, and very impressive in their scale fidelity.  One naysayer challenged the validity of the use of these technologies because the parts weren't fabricated or modeled by hand.  Rather, they were drawn digitally and produced by computer driven machines.  I was excited to see these innovations on the contest table, and when it comes to advancing the state of the art, I say "bring it on!"  

Calnaga's MVP

by Steve Perry on 01/24/16

The four major professional sports leagues give a Most Valuable Player award each season.  That's right, baseball, football, basketball, hockey and many other sports leagues all have an award to recognize individual excellence on these team sports.  Now, there wouldn't be a Calnaga if it weren't for a great team of parts, but I have to say, the Calnaga MVP award for 2015 goes to (drum roll please) part number 14005, Carburetor Pair, Holley 4150 Series.  Our customers love it, and I like making it.  A very large percentage of Calnaga customers order this part.  The classic Holley four barrels have some good competition from carbs supplied by other aftermarket companies and even a few kit parts, but the Calnaga double-pumper carbs are a fantastic value for realism.  They're easy to include on a variety of model cars, and  they sit right on top of the engine where detail really counts.  If you only want to paint them, they're ready to go, but they support additional engine detailing with their molded in fuel line pilot holes. Put the Carburetor Pair, Holley 4150 Series in your car modeling game along with the other great Calnaga players.

Insights and Musings from the Hobby Table