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:

Zodiac Mindwarp

Recently, I mentioned Andy Swindlehurst’s range of resin bodies available from, 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 I’ve been saving for ages. The slot mags and tyres came from a Seventies issue Monogram ‘Early Iron’ kit.

Paint is Tamiya’s TS95 Pure Metallic Red over good old Halfords Appliance White with a few topcoats of TS65 Clear Pearl lacquer – all straight from the cans. The Lakes pipes came from AMT’s ‘59 El Camino (being reissued very soon) then a few old AMT decals, plus headlights, indicators and a blower from the spares box finish it off.

Readers Models

Steve Dartnell emailed about a special project he’s doing. Watching the 1979 film, Hot Rod, he got the urge to build models of the starring 1941 Willys and ‘69 Oldsmobile, in both road and race versions. After posting photos to Facebook, he got a message from Bill Taggart in California, whose father, Bill Sr, built the actual cars for the film.

When he’s not panel beating and spraying full-size cars, Steve runs Auto-Rex Models (find him on Facebook) undertaking commissioned builds. He’s now producing models of the movie cars for Bill and his sons, as well as two more sets for UK customers.

Steve paints with thinned Humbrol enamels, smoothing with 1500 grit then coating with yacht varnish. “I prefer to hand paint models, especially the pinstripes,” says Steve. “I rarely use decals. After watching a film, the build is in my head. Other than checking occasionally for references, I work quickly – often completing builds within a few evenings. I do a lot of banger racing models too, but builds have to be something that interests me – usually only classic rods and customs. It’s my hobby, but it’s keeping me pretty busy.”
Special thanks to Julie Edmonds for her photography skills.