Cars & Motorcycles
Scale Auto

Scale Auto April 2020

Scale Auto magazine will inspire and teach you to build better models of your favorite muscle cars, stock cars, street roads and more! Every issue is packed with full-color photos of readers’ models, product news, kit reviews, how-to tips, and instruction to help you enjoy this exciting hobby.

United States
Kalmbach Publishing Co. - Magazines
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in this issue

2 min.
mentor, encourage, inspire

RECENTLY, I WAS INTERVIEWED for a story in the Wall Street Journal. While posing one of his questions, the reporter said scale modeling is a social activity. At first, the assertion struck me as incorrect, and maybe it does the same to you, too. On its face, modeling appears to be a solitary endeavor. How many of us build alone at our workbenches? But I think that the reporter is right: Modeling is social. Or, at least, it can be. As you all know, and like many of you, I learned to model sitting next to my dad. Every night for the last two months, I’ve been texting photos of my current project to a couple of friends. Along with the photos I include explanations and how-to advice. And they do the…

7 min.
shop talk

Swap meets for donor kits Just read Tim Boyd’s great 1948 Ford gasser story in the February 2020 issue. If I want to kitbash, I’ll look for donor kits at swap meets. I’ve never paid full price. One time, I found a vendor unloading Mopar kits real cheap because he just wasn’t into Mopar. I bought a 1970 ½ Camaro cheap and was able to use its parts on four other cars and had parts left over. I’ve also bought parts from modelers who sell their extra parts. Rich Ott Joliet, IL Mopar Winged Warriors Just a quick note to say how much I enjoyed the December 2019 issue. I have been a subscriber since issue No. 3 over 40 years ago. Marcos Cruz has to be one of the best builders out there today.…

2 min.
new products

1/25 Scale • California Highway Patrol 1978 Dodge Monaco, No. MPC922M/12, $29.99. From Round 2 • ’65 Dodge Coronet 500, No. AMT1176M/12, $29.99. From Round 2 • ’65 Chevelle (modified stocker), No. AMT1177/12, $29.99. From Round 2 • 1966 Buick Wildcat Hardtop, No. AMT1175/12, $29.99. From Round 2 • Mail Box Chopper Ed Big Daddy Roth, No. MPC892/12, $24.99. No. 1 in series of 6. Decal sheet, clear parts in three colors. From Round 2 • Taco Trike, No. MPC893/12, $TBA. No. 2 in series of 6. Customizing decal sheet, clear parts in three colors. From Round 2 • Fire Chief, No. AMT1162/12, $28.99. Chevrolet Impala complete with Go To Blazes equipment, 454 engine, authentic decals. From Round 2 Die-cast • 1970 Ford Torino Cobra, No. AMM1189/06, $99.99. From Auto World 1/24 Scale • Toyota GR Supra, No. 24351, $47. From…

4 min.
tips & tech

Q I have noticed that some of the paint finishes on model cars are so shiny that they appear out of scale. I’ve also noticed that some of the articles in Scale Auto mention using a dull coat as a final coat. Is there any discussion in the model-car community about paint finishes being too shiny and out of scale? – Don Waldron, via email A If not, there is now! Yours is a great observation that does come up from time to time. Sometimes we get so wrapped up in showing off our painting and polishing skills we forget about scale realism. Super glossy and deep finishes may look great on a custom model having what would be a mega-dollar paint job on the “real thing,” but that same finish would…

3 min.
reader tips

TINY HEADLIGHTS My model car projects are generally 1/43 scale. Often, kit headlights are unsightly, yellow blobs of resin that can ruin the look of an otherwise well-constructed model. For quick, good-looking headlight lenses, I use a thin piece of clear plastic you can rescue from blister packs (like the ones batteries come in). Cut a flat piece and lightly scribe horizontal and vertical lines, appropriately spaced for your scale, on the surface with the back of a new No. 11 hobby blade. For square lenses like the GT-40, cut the appropriate rectangle with the knife; for round lenses use a small hole punch. The same material also can be used to make clear headlight fairings found on cars like the XKE. Just cut to fit and tack in place with white glue…

4 min.
[part 1] get stung!

One of my “holy grails” of race cars is the beautiful Stingray Racer of 1959-60. Also known as the XP-87, Bill Mitchell, famed GM vice president of styling, privately funded the development and racing of the car because of the 1957 Automobile Manufacturers Association manufacturer-sponsored racing ban. After scouring the internet, I determined a kit of the XP-87 didn’t exist, except for an old, all-but-unobtainable slot-car body. I had no option but to scratchbuild the car. The 1963 Corvette Sting Ray, which was based on the Stingray race car, is an obvious starting point. But with all the differences between the two, I wanted a scale drawing to help ease the build. I found photos of the car as it was raced in 1959-60 (not the later modified version used as Bill…