Revell-Monogram 1/24 NASCAR 2006 Monte Carlo
Kit #2030 MSRP $16.95
Images and text Copyright © 2006 by Matt Swan
The Monte Carlo SS 2006 model year NASCAR #38 operated by the Recyc Systems race team ÖÖ waaaiit a minute. Number 38, number 38, thatís not Recyc Systems Ė there is no Recyc Systems in NASCAR! Number 38 is the M&M car!!! Whatís going on here?
I donít normally build model cars but was approached not long ago about a project to model a fantasy car for the folks at Recyc Systems who are huge NASCAR fans. I try to keep my modeling horizons open and play with new things so decided why the heck not. I was sent some digital artwork for the company to work with not only for custom decals but also to create a color scheme and paint job for the new race car. For the model itself I decided to use the Monogram kit for Jimmie Johnsonís #48 Lowes Race Team.
The Monogram kit was fairly impressive for a car kit. The body shell came packaged in its own plastic bag with no injection sprues attached, no flash or sink holes. It was obvious that the manufacture had taken great care to protect this piece from injury during shipment. I did find some very fine mold separation lines running across the front and rear fenders that for the average modeler may have passed un-noticed. I removed them by scraping the edge of a fresh razor knife across them and then polishing with some very fine Flex-I-Grit sanding film. The remainder of the injection molded pieces were contained in a second poly bag. All the injection molded pieces were done in good quality white polystyrene of the quality we would normally expect from this manufacture. All of these pieces showed good surface detail, no flash, no injector pin markings or sink marks. The kit includes a full engine, complete roll cage and well detailed running gear.
In addition to the normal plastic parts we got a sprue of clear parts for the windows with all the safety braces pre-painted and the tensioning bar adjustment points pre-painted. These part displayed good clarity but did suffer from a few fine rub marks produced during shipping. A good coat of Future was sufficient to fix these marks. The carís tires, air vent lines and driverís safety net are provided on a separate sprue of vinyl parts. Lastly there was a same bag of metal parts that consisted of the front and rear axels Ė the front axels are separate pins rather than a continuous metal rod running across the front end.
Taking a detailed inventory of the box we have three metal pieces, seven vinyl parts, seventy white plastic pieces and six clear pieces for a grand total of eighty six pieces in the box.
You may click on the small images above to view larger pictures
Decals and Instructions
The kit instructions come as a thin pamphlet of A$ sized sheets that open with a short paragraph about the Lowes Racing Team and Jimmie Johnson. There is also a paint color chart here. The next six pages consist of seven exploded view assembly steps. There are plenty of color call-outs listed here and the parts are identified by both number and part name. The last page covers exterior painting and decal placement.
The kit includes a large sheet of colorful decals. They display very good print registry and color density. They are nicely thin and behave very well with standard setting solutions. You may click on the small image to the right to view a larger scan of the decals. Unfortunately I removed two decals before making this scan. The two that are missing are the chest decal for the driver and the instrument panel decal.
My first consideration in construction is to separate all pieces that will have a natural metal finish on them. The engine block haves are glued together and the seam is cleaned up. This and all the other pieces that will be metal are mounted onto toothpicks which act as painting handles then are airbrushed with Krylon Gloss Black which has been decanted from a large rattle can of paint. As each piece is painted its toothpick handle is stuck into a lump of modeling clay to allow it to dry. While this was drying the main chassis tub and roll cage pieces were airbrushed neutral gray. After only about an hour I was able to return to the metal pieces and begin to add color using Alclad paints. I used Aluminum for the rims and some engine components while dark aluminum, magnesium and white Aluminum were used for other components. I used Pale Burnt Metal for the exhaust headers and exhaust pipe. All these pieces are allowed to cure overnight.
The engine is now assembled. I did not read ahead well in the instructions and attached the air intake right away, I will have to break that free later to be able to install the engine compartment bracing Ė oh well. I wanted to add some wiring to the engine and ended up using a red metallic thread to replicate ignition wires. Next I moved on to the running gear getting the rear axel pieces installed and the front A arms in place. The dash was airbrushed flat black and the electronics details were brush painted steel and burnt iron. The instrument decal was removed from the decal sheet, glued to some scrap plastic sheet and positioned behind the dash openings.
The driverís seat was painted and installed. Now I could work on the driver. Recyc Systems uses a basic green and white color scheme with some yellow details. I elected to paint the driverís uniform basically white and green and rely on the decals to add some yellow. I removed the kit decal that is to be placed on the drivers chest from the decal sheet. This piece includes seat belts. I scanned the decal and used this scan to scale the base artwork to fit. I removed the small sponsor decals from the original to be used on the driver. I also scanned the original gray flame decals for the helmet and reworked them to be green and yellow flames. The new decals along with a new sponsor logo were printed out on my ink jet printer using Bare Metal Foil clear decal film then sealed with Testors decal fixative. Once the driver was fully painted and sealed with Future the new decals were put in place. I elected to paint the seat belts rather than use a decal.
When I was assembling the driver I was careful to position the arms so he would be able to hold the steering wheel properly. During the entire painting and decaling process the driver figure was mounted on a toothpick in what could be construed as a most uncomfortable place. I used this to remind him of what could happen should he not win the majority of his races. There is no substitute for good training. Moving right along I went back to the chassis tub and worked over the roll cage painting all the padding black and doing some other small interior details. Now the dash is installed and the driver is glued in place. The roll cage can now be installed and the air lines are placed with medium super glue. Next the engine is installed along with the rest of the suspension system and exhaust system. The front and rear axels are placed now also. The vinyl tires are simply pressed onto the rims then attached to the axels with small spots of superglue. Time to look at the body shell.
You may click on the small images above to view larger pictures
I looked around at some NASCAR paint schemes and found that the Waste Management Race Team uses a very similar color combination. Theirs is green up front with a white rear end so I elected to keep the front white and the rear green. I also decided to use a smooth sweeping color separation. With all this in mind the body shell was primed then lightly sanded to give a nice smooth polished surface. Next I airbrushed flat yellow across the center section to create my color separation. Yes, I used flat paints here and will use flat paint for the entire body. I do this because I can achieve better color density with flat paint and will be able to gloss things up with Future later. Once the yellow had cured I cut very thin strips of masking tape to mask the border and measured the spacing at several points to keep the color band consistent. The interior area of the band was masked off and the rear section of the car was painted green. Once this had dried I covered it with some tissue paper and painted the nose white. Now all masks are removed and the car is allowed to cure for several days.
Decals are next, I needed a new car number and had settled on 38 as the number. I needed to scale the company logo to fit and overhaul all the sponsor logos. I used Adobe Photoshop to make my artwork and test printed it on standard paper. When I test printed the artwork on decal film the results were less than desirable. For this level of decal work I needed an ALPS printer. I contacted ELS Trains in Virginia and they were able to print the file and have it delivered within a few days. While I was waiting for them to arrive I coated the car body with three coats of Future. Between coats I polished the body and ended up with a nice gloss finish.
At last the decals have arrived and I can start decorating the body. Some of the original kit decals were used but the majority is new. All decals were treated with Micro-Sol then sealed with a final coat of Future. The final details are the clear parts. These fell right into place with no problems and were secured with Testors Clear Parts cement. Once the body had fully dried I dropped it onto the chassis and boy did it look good. Unfortunately the actual car is engineered with so little clearance between the wheels and the body that in this scale with just a little bit of slop in the axels the wheels do not turn well with the body in place. Thatís okay though, this is not going to be doing any actual racing, sure looks like it could though.
You may click on these small images to view larger pictures
This was a fun build and a nice little break from aircraft. The model went together very well and the kit decals that were used behaved nicely. The parts were all well done with no flash, sink holes or injector pin markings. The body shell was packaged very well. Instructions are clear and to the point. If NASCAR is your thing then you should look at building one of these Monogram cars.