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Stumpy’s Station – ‘The Junkyard” Part Four

July 2nd, 2013 · No Comments

Last time we were into wrecking cars, so we’ll “take up where we left off.” Another way to create dents is to use a Dremel with a grinding stone on it. You just grind into the body the make and shape a dent. If you grind through the body, just fill the hole from the back side and sand the outside to shape.
If you want to mash a large panel such as a roof or trunk, sometimes you have to use a hammer. NO! Not a large one! If you want to take your frustrations out on something, don’t do it on the car! In wrecking (or for that matter weathering or scenery) less is more.
Make a wooden block that fits under the car to support the body area and work the area with a small hammer. The block helps support the die cast metal as you stress it. Work slowly and carefully. If you do break the roof, you might save it by gluing it back in place in a damaged position. File rough edges and use putty to smooth it up and round things off to look like bent areas.
Whether the car was wrecked or just “died,” it will be partially stripped in a junkyard. Perhaps the side trim will be gone on one side, but not the other. A door handle may be gone, hood ornaments, wipers, glass, and other small parts might be as well. All cars got disassembled at random as customers took only the parts they needed off them. If you needed the door trim on the right side, why take the one on the left side too? Parts cost money, even at a junkyard.
These parts are almost always part of the body casting and will have to be carefully filed or ground off. You might even go so far as drill or use a toothpick to paint tiny holes where there parts were because that’s what you would see without that part on the body. You can create “rust out” by drilling or filing rough edges around wheel openings and under the doors.
Once you have done all the “surgery” on the body shell and parts, it’s time to start painting. I sand the entire body shell to smooth marks made by hammers, pliers, and grinding, then paint the shell and chassis inside and out with red primer or Tuscan red-brown to give finish some grip and create the illusion of old rust. Do any “parts” except “glass” or tires too.
Different metals “rust” to different shades of color. Cast iron; engine blocks, transmissions, rear ends, are darker than sheet metal; fenders doors, and so on. “Newer” rust is also a lighter color than “old” rust too!
If you are going to install windows or seat and dash board, prepare them now. Missing windows are common, so cut one or more off the plastic “glass” part. Cracked glass is left behind. You can easily scratch “cracks” into the plastic “glass” with a hobby knife. If the car is a wreck, remove or crack the glass toward the point of impact.
If there was one, replace the dashboard and steering wheel already painted similar to the final body color but a different shade. If you want to put the front seat in, paint it the same color as the dash before installing. Don’t bother with the rest of the interior.
You can now reassemble the junk car. Forget rivets and screws to mate body to chassis, use glue or epoxy.
The junker has been sitting in the yard for a long time, so the color paint would be well worn. The older the car, the longer it will have sat deteriorating. Such a car could remain completely rust coated. By the late fifties a thirties car would fit this appearance.
Later cars would show thin paint on the roof hood, trunk, and tops of fenders. Dry brush the selected paint color in these areas and paint normally on the sides and ends of the body. There is no need for gloss paint or an air brush here! The paint of the day dulled quickly if not regularly cared for!
Using a toothpick, you can paint “rust spots” here and there, mostly a few on upper surfaces, more around wheel openings and the bottoms of fenders. Paint silver the chrome on remaining trim parts, hood ornaments, door handles, and bumpers. Side trim was often stainless steel, but other parts were chrome plated steel and would show “rust spots” on them. Remember, less is more in weathering!
You might want to add dust and rain streaks if you’re good at weathering, but only enough to give the SUGGESTION of long exposure.
While you’re at it, modify and weather the junkyard’s vehicles too. They are usually just repaired junk equipment and little thought was given to appearance, just keep them running. They will have dents and rust too, as well as spilled oil and some grime.
In our final installment, we’ll “dress the set!”

Stumpy Stone

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