I am at my heart, a model railroader, but I enjoy doing other things in the world of model building, and I grew up building plastic kits of cars, airplanes, and ships. Most of the kits I built as a kid into my teenage and university years are long gone, aged by poor construction, moving repeatedly, or lack of space/interest in keeping them, but they filled a purpose in building model making skills I still use today. This post, is about my latest not a train project, a model of the 2016 Ford GTLM Race car which won its class at the Le Mans 24 Hours, 50 years after the original Ford GT40 first won Le Mans for Ford. This is my second GTLM/GTE style model I’ve built after my 2016 Daytona 24 Hours winning Corvette C7.R.
I didn’t make it out to my local race at Mosport in 2016, so these pictures are of the 2017 GTLM, slightly different paint scheme and some modifications to the car’s appearance, but it gives a sense of what I am seeking to achieve.
This will be a photo heavy post of what I did. I generally built the kit as per the Revell instructions, but I made improvements here and there. I added after market parts from Decalcas (for the diffuser, fuel fillers, and air jack, the kit had tires and windshield wipers, nutthe resin parts in mine were not well cast, so I didn’t use them); Zero Paints for the 2016 Colours; decals from Le Mans Decals to get the correct 2016 logos and graphics; LED lights from Evan Designs; and, a driver figure from GF Models. Unlike my previous Corvette where I had to build the difusser, the resin replacement was a breeze to do once the clunky kit one was cut off.
First things first, get rid of the hideous diffuser in the plastic kit floor, and replace it with a much finer looking resin one. The diffuser is a pretty obvious part of the car, and the Revel kit one was just lumpy and ugly. Even unpainted the resin replacement looks more authentic to my eye.
Adding a resin driver figure from GF Models. Getting the fit in the body, and painting miniature Dirk Mueller/fitting him into the model. I am a firm believer that if you are going to build a model of a race car, and have it look like its doing something other than sitting there, it needs to have a driver figure. It always made me crazy as a kid getting race car kits that didn’t have drivers in them!
Primer Phase, getting primer on and sanded clean to provide a good base for the actual paint. For this I used Tamiya Fine Surface primer in a rattle can.
Painting Phase. Using Zero Paints for the first time. Other than their being significantly more chemically smelling and needing a potent lacquer cleaner after use unlike the acrylics I normally airbrush, I had no problems with this paint, and really loved how well they sprayed and settled.
Decalling in Process. To get the correct 2016 livery, I sourced decals from Le Mans Models who makes sportscar racing decals. Other than a couple of decals I screwed up (their decals are super thin), I used the decals from their set on the exterior. Fortunately, the decals from the Revell sheet were similar enough for any I screwed up it didn’t matter. Some of the logos like the “Powered by Ecoboost” were completely different between the 2016 car I modelled and the 2017 decals in the kit.
The base is a 12″x12″ birch ply panel, with curbs made from air dry clay and painted. The rubber track weathering in pan pastel powders, then sealed with a flay fixative spray.
Working on wiring the LEDs into the model. The brake lights, rear channel lights (a purely decorative bit of lighting on the GTLM), position light (1 for first) and headlights were lit. I’d have liked the headlights and position light to be brighter, but they are visible when the lights are out, and overall I am pleased. The lights were held into place as were the wires with Bondic, a UV cured resin material that I’ve written about before, and its a life-saver for wiring jobs.
A taster of the finished model is below, a full Gallery Post of the finished Project is available here.