Restoring Old Modelsby 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.