Small Talk

Small Talk Issue 22

Small Talk Issue 22
with Mike Renaut Does anyone else add a signature to their builds? I usually put a Frenched aerial into the offside front wing of customs just ahead of the door. What do you do? I Can Drive ‘55 Last month you got a look at Project ‘55 mounted on its wheels. As I’ve mentioned, it’s Pro-Street meets Sixties gasser, and a bit of Hot Wheels thrown in. Wheels and tyres define a car and I’ve always loved chromed five-spoke American Racing wheels. These are from the AMT 1969 Olds; there’s a similar set in the AMT ‘63 Corvette kits. The rear ones obviously needed widening to fit the Mickey Thompsons, and a trip through the spares box netted two pairs of matching wheel backs that I cut down to size, then sandwiched the five-spoke ...

Scene & Heard Issue 20

Scene & Heard Issue 20
Here in the UK, we as owners of old, less eco-friendly (apparently) modes of transport, tend to feel persecuted by the powers that be. You think we’ve got it bad? Here’s the story from one teenage petrolhead – who wishes to remain anonymous – in Singapore, a country where being a petrolhead is a difficult road to take… I’m a 17-year-old boy from Singapore, which is one of, if not the, worst places possible when it comes to cars. We pay six times more for any new car than anywhere else in the world; a certificate of entitlement that costs an average of $20,000 to 30,000 * to obtain and is only valid for 10 years, after which you must either scrap your car or renew the certificate and double your ...

Small Talk Issue 20

Small Talk Issue 20
with Mike Renaut I’ve just dropped my third unsuccessful attempt at customising the 1953 Studebaker Starliner back in its box; the stock lines just can’t be improved upon. Unless you know better…? Project ’55 Time to introduce a Small Talk project car, based on AMT’s 1955 Chevy sedan. This isn’t a step-by-step monthly guide since, chances are, you won’t want to build yours exactly like mine anyway. Instead, this is a look at some techniques I use, so every time I do something I think is of interest I’ll photograph it (assuming I remember…). It’ll be a mild pro-streeter with a strong Sixties gasser vibe. I found a set of Mickey Thompson Sportsman tyres I’d been saving, so the first step was tubbing the Chevy’s floorpan to squeeze them in. The easiest method is to drop in another chassis – ...

Small Talk Issue 18

Small Talk Issue 18
with Mike Renaut Get ‘em off Strippers; which is your favourite? I’m talking about paint stripping. Brake fluid, Dettol, oven cleaner – which works best for you? Let me know and I’ll publish the best results so we can all benefit from the healthy sight of good, clean naked bodies. I Can Drive ‘55 Eagle-eyed readers (whatever that means) will have spotted last month’s Frenching how-to was conducted on a Tri-Chevy; in fact, the AMT 1955 Chevy two-door post Bel Air sedan. I’ve been pestering Round 2 via their website and Facebook page for ages to reissue it, and finally heard rumours earlier this year that they might. Then the ex-MPC flip nose ‘57 came out and I thought that was it. But as I write this, in early November, the ‘55 should be ...

Small Talk Issue 16

Small Talk Issue 16
with Mike Renaut Shout Up I didn’t have time to squeeze in a reader’s model this month, but if you’re proud of something you’ve built, send me some nice, clear photos and a description to: smalltalk@street-machine.co.uk Hanging On Have you built any of the old AMT or Monogram hot rods lately? The Model A and B Fords with the one-piece bonnet? Or maybe the 1934 or 1936 Fords with the three-piece bonnet, with separate sides that kept falling off… so in the end you had to glue it to the body and hide all that lovely engine detail? There is a solution and, better yet, it adds realism. I started a mildly rodded AMT ’36 Ford coupe recently, and decided to hinge the bonnet and side panels. I should note that Revell’s older hot ...

Small Talk Issue 14

Small Talk Issue 14
Get In Touch Why do I always lose one piece of photoetch? I now have a PLY_OUTH Fury. Still could be worse, heard about one bloke who found his fullsize SCIMITAR’s badging rearranged to read IMRACIS… Let me know at smalltalk@street-machine.co.uk History Lessons Any time a new model car book gets written is cause for celebration. Most model kit books concern building better models, but few go into detail about which kits have actually been released. Until now. Author Tim Boyd is an expert and it shows in this bible to every significant American muscle car kit ever issued. He’s deliberately broad with his definition of muscle car to allow the inclusion of a few sports cars and tail-finned cruisers too. But it’s far from just a list of kits; the 175-page, softbound book ...

Small Talk Issue 12

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, ...

Small Talk Issue 10

Small Talk Issue 10
with Mike Renaut It’s the write time. I’m just not as telepathic as I once was, so here’s the best way to get in touch… Engine Building Neil Smith emailed asking about Small Talk project cars. As soon as any of my builds realises it’s going in a magazine, it throws itself off the shelf – but I still have one or two in the pipeline. Actually, I have at least 170 unfinished projects (that’s normal, isn’t it…?) so I’ll be using those to demonstrate techniques. If you have a better method of doing something, please let me know – this page is all about sharing our knowledge. Neil asked that I ‘show how to remove injection pin marks and sand engines to remove lines and sink marks down the middle of the block ...

Small Talk Issue 8

Small Talk Issue  8
Small Talk with Mike Renaut Got a model car question, and no one can help? Chances are we can’t either. But a problem shared is a problem two people have, and emails are free… So Near And Yet… Round2 have just re-released AMT’s 1957 Chevy Bel Air, a great old kit dating back to 1962. They’ve slightly refreshed the decals, included optional clear or green tinted glass, the 283ci and 409ci engines, and whitewall tyres. The Pepper Shaker box art looks nice too, so everything’s brilliant? Yes, and no. It’s good having it back, but this must be the 20th reissue and Round2 missed a trick by not including all the ‘Stylized’ parts. If you’re fortunate enough to own one of the earlier issues, released up to the mid-Seventies – two were also called Pepper ...

Small Talk Issue 6

with Mike Renaut Write Here, Write Now Here’s the Small Talk email address for your comments, marriage proposals and Reader Model submissions: smalltalk@street-machine.co.uk Zodiac Mindwarp Recently, I mentioned Andy Swindlehurst’s range of resin bodies available from www.modelkars.uk, one of which is this 1:24 scale MkII Ford Zodiac. It’s purely the body; you provide everything else. Naturally some clean up is required and since the resin is quite thick I carefully ground out the inner side of the body to provide room for the wide wheels I was using. Andy recommends the Revell MkII Escort kit for chassis parts and their Austin FX4 taxi as a starting point for bumpers. I chose instead to make a simple chassis from plasticard. There’s no interior in mine and the ‘glass’ is a blank roll of 35mm photography film ...

Small Talk Issue 4

Small Talk Issue 4
Small Talk with Mike Renaut Old Fords Last year, Italeri made modellers happy by reissuing the Esci MkII Ford Transit that hadn’t been available for almost 30 years. In July, the MkII Escort RS1800 also reappeared. Both are decent 1:24 kits with accurate bodies. The Escort is a rally car with wide arches, basic interior and chassis but a reasonable 1800cc engine. The Transit has no engine but boasts opening doors and tailgate, with the bonus of left- and right-hand drive dashboards. With excellent timing Andy Swindlehurst from Modelkars.uk has just sent a few of his resin goodies related to these kits. He offers several MkI and MkII Escort bodies, as well as this MkI Transit conversion, which includes double rear doors, filled-in side doors and suitable bumpers and taillights. He also offers ...

Small Talk Issue 2

Small Talk Issue 2
Little Blue Corvette Revell AG (the European branch of Revell USA) have just re-issued their 1:25 scale 1958 Corvette. First released out in their ‘Pro-Modeler’ line back in ’98 it’s well detailed, but only builds stock. I mention it here because it includes some very nice pre-printed wide whitewalls and a set of chromed reverse wheels with separate baby Moon caps. You’ll need to cut out the centre webbing in the Corvette tyres to squeeze the reverse rims in to them but it’s worth for it for that Sixties custom look. There’s a well-detailed 283 V8 with four-speed that builds with dual carbs or as fuel injected, and a separate toothed grille and surround you can rob for other builds too. I’m tempted to stick an X-Sonic style bubbletop on mine… Chrome Here I’ve ...