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Oldsmobile 4-4-2 Hardtop

by Steve Mesner




This is AMT's late-1980s-issued kit of the '69 Olds 4-4-2 hardtop, built absolutely
straight from the box with no additional detailing or modifications.


Preparation and Painting

After my normal routine of deepening the door lines with the back side of an Xacto blade and block-sanding the body panels for straightness, I primed it with Model Master Flat Red and then airbrushed it with four or five thin coats of Model Master Burgundy Metallic thinned with generic lacquer thinner. I'd been clearcoating all my model cars with Model Master Clear Top Coat, which I'd then rub out with Wright's Silver Creme, a mild abrasive silver polish, but on this one I wanted to try rubbing out the color coat itself for a more "factory" looking appearance.

The Burgundy went on smoothly, and seemed to be rubbing out well, but when I was finished with the polishing job, the paint looked blotchy and uneven in some places, under the right light.

Lesson learned.

I didn't feel like stripping the model down to bare plastic again, so I shot two or three more coats of Burgundy right over the polished paint, and then followed that up with my usual treatment of a few coats of Clear Top Coat. As usual, the latter rubbed out with the Silver Creme to a high - and even - gloss.

When people comment on the "perfect paint job" on this model, I tell them, "Yes, thank you - and there's another 'perfect' paint job under this one!"


The interior is finished in Testor #1104 "little bottle" Dark Red, coated with a mix of Testor Glosscote and Dullcote for a semigloss vinyl appearance. The carpets were sprayed with straight Dullcote. If I were building this model again today, I'd flock the carpets.

The kit's Sport Wheel centers were brushed with Model Master Gunship Gray, and the Goodyear lettering on the tires carefully painted with (no longer available, sadly!) Pactra Acrylic Flat White. (Enamel never dries on vinyl or rubber, but acrylic does).

The '69 4-4-2 engines were a metallic gold with a slight reddish cast to it; the only similar paint I could find was Poly Scale Metallic Copper, which actually simulates the proper color pretty closely. The chrome trim was done with hand-brushed Model Master Silver Chrome Trim, a method I no longer use.


A Final Tip for Applying Model Master Metallic Colors...

One last tip to share: The Model Master automotive metallic colors are slightly transparent (the source of my polishing problem). I've found that I can get better coverage with fewer, thinner coats if I prime I car body with the closest available shade of Model Master flat paint from the military line, rather than using a generic primer gray or black. That's why I primed this one for the Burgundy Metallic paint with flat red.

Simple, no?

Model on!

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Photographs and Text Copyright 2002 by Steve Mesner