Small Talk Issue 12

With Mike Renaut

I’m Blue, Brother

Jake and Elwood’s band may not be the kind of guys who write letters, but we’ve since invented email. So if you’ve something to say, here’s the address…

They’re Boxy

This one I’ve been eagerly awaiting. I’m a massive fan of old Volvos, and 240s are hugely popular in Scandinavia for bolting multiple turbos onto and smoking tyres for the length of the street. Aoshima/Beemax’s 1:24 entirely new kit depicts a 1985/86 Volvo 242 coupe touring car. It’s a highly accurate one-piece body, although it’s a stripped out race interior and you don’t get an engine, but everything is beautifully moulded. Especially the BBS style wheels – I’ve never seen such great chrome plating. Two sets of race decals are included, too.

One gripe is the tyres. Unbranded, way too-low-profile slicks deliberately moulded to sit several degrees off vertical – presumably in an attempt to match the negative camber of the suspension – they just look wrong. Dump them for some from the spares box.

Pro-street, lowrider, drag car it’s all been done to 1:1 Volvos. Who’s going to be first to build one into a factory roof-chopped Bertone 262C…?

Rubbish Paint Booth

Recently my dustmen were having a particularly vigorous throwing contest, which resulted in a broken plastic recycling box. The council delivered two new boxes so I turned my surplus one into a paint booth. B&Q supplied a bathroom extractor fan with mountings and two metres of flexible ducting for £25. Drill a few holes and ensure you mount the fan so it sucks fumes in rather than blows them back at you…

No doubt you’re wondering about paint fumes and sparks. I’m not about to tell a hot rodder about health and safety – that’s up to you. I will say, the first thing I did was spray virtually half a can of paint straight into the rotating fan, then misted lacquer all about and nothing explosive happened then or since.

Use a circuit breaker, breathing mask, good ventilation and your common sense. You could also use a large cardboard box rather than a plastic one, or spend £150 on a ready-built professional booth…

Reader’s Model

Derek Moulding went deep into his display case to show us this customised 1:25 Beetle. Named Belcerebon, the model was built back in 1984. “All the parts came in the Revell kit,” explains Derek, “polyester filler facilitated the body mods. The paint is a custom mix of gold metalflake over orange, over a bronze basecoat which changes colour with different lighting. Metalflake blue was used for the interior and wheels.”

If you’ve got a model to share, send some decent photos and a description to the address at the top of the page and you might well see it here.