Bump Trump

It is not my nature to use this platform to pontificate on social/political issues. But there is one that is currently hitting a bit too close to home: The selection of Donald Trump to drive the pace car for the historic 100th anniversary running of the Indianapolis 500.

As a race fan I was deeply disappointed that someone with no connection to motorsports in general, the Indy 500, or the state of Indiana was selected as pace car driver for this historic occasion. Any other year (except the 100th running in 2016) would have been acceptable. But for this race the pace car driver needs to be A.J. Foyt. Apart from being the first four-time winner of the 500, he won his first during the 50th anniversary running and has been a competitor at Indy for 54 years! Regardless of what you think of the man (and I’m more of a Mario guy myself), there is no one more deserving to drive the pace car this year.

But apart from that, since the selection of the Donald Trump of pace car driver, he has gone from celebrity/possible presidential candidate to full blown presidential candidate.  My opinion has always been that politicians – regardless of affiliation – need to be kept out of sports. Nothing divides a population like political topics, and the 100th Anniversary Indianapolis 500 needs to be spared of the foul stench of politics.

There is a growing movement of fans from all political affiliations the remove Mr. Trump from his pace car duties and replace him with a more suitable selection. On Facebook there is a dedicated page to bump Trump. People are contacting, Chevrolet, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and Indycar Series sponsor Izod to voice their displeasure.

In my opinion the worst thing that will happen if Donald is relieved of his duties is that he will bad mouth the Indianapolis Motor Speedway at every turn. This will bring GREATER publicity to the 500 than having him drive the pace car. The general attitude toward Trump leans to the negative side of the meter – I think IMS will be viewed as a bit of a folk-hero if they say to Mr. Trump: “You’re fired!”

Dump Trump Facebook page 

Izod Facebook page

IMS Public Relations Email: imspr@brickyard.com

Chevrolet contact page

Update 5/16/11: As most of you know, Donald Trump bowed out of driving the pace car citing time constraints due to his presidential campaign. A.J. Foyt was selected to be the pace car driver. On May 16th, Donald Trump announced that he would not be running for President.

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Restoration: 1997 Indy 500 winner

Ever have a car in your model collection that over time just doesn’t sit well with you? Maybe it was great when it was built, but time has not been kind to it; paint has yellowed, parts have fallen off, got lost, etc. That was the case with my 1997 Indianapolis 500 winner – a Jorgensen resin kit in 1/25 scale that I built about 13 years ago. This was the first car I did a full set of decals for. With missing and broken wing plates, clearcoat that had yellowed with age, the tires looked bad, and average workmanship at best, I decided to restore the car.

First, I present the before shot. As you can see the front wingplates were lost, the back wingplate was badly damaged, the paint wasn’t looking good. Overall, not a very impressive car to display.

My 1997 Indy Winner Pre-Restoration

The before shot

First step was to remove the engine, suspension, driver, seat, mirrors, etc. and then strip the body.

Paint stripping begins

This car had actually been repainted once shortly after the first build, so I had two layers of paint and primer to go through.

The fairings at the back of the car were the exhaust ports. The resin body had them too small to fit in 1/8″ aluminum tubing which would approximate the correct size of the exhaust pipes so I went to work to modify them.

Fixing the exhausts ports

Fixing the exhausts ports

Fixed exhaust

Fixed exhaust ports

At this point the exhausts are as they were on race day… unfortunately once the restoration was finished they were all but totally obscured by the rear suspension… but at least I KNOW they are correct.

Next up was the cockpit. I got out my trusty dremel and cleaned it out to accept a cockpit from an AMT Lola T8800

Cleaned out cockpit

Lola cockpit ready for insertion

I then took the pre-painted cockpit and placed it in the body and then puttied up the bottom of the car.

Cockpit in place

Cockpit in place

bottom all smoothed out

Bottom of tub all smoothed out

Next was to continue stripping the paint as thoroughly as I could

more paint stripping

Once stripped to my satisfaction the fun part begins. I carefully masked off the painted cockpit interior and then primed with Tamiya White Primer. Then painted the entire body TS26 white, TS15 Blue on the back of the car and TS8 Italian Red on the front. Masking that white spot on the nose was NOT fun. I think TS15 was a bit dark for this car, but the other Tamiya alternative TS44 Brilliant Blue was too light IMO. I also painted the bottom semi-gloss black (TS29) – I actually did that before the red or blue, so for a fairly simple paint scheme it was a moderately complex paint job.

The body is repainted

Next came re-attaching the suspension, transmission, and wings. The suspensions were from a Revell Reynard. The gearbox was from a Monogram 1/24 scale Lola with some slight modifications with Milliput to make the bottom of the gearbox flat (the Monogram part has an unusual angle to it). The rear wing supports were from the Monogram, modified to more closely represent the correct uprights. In retrospect the front suspension is a bit too wide – I should have trimmed it down slightly. I used steel wire to pin the suspension parts into the resin body. For the rear wishbones I drilled holes deep into the body to set the the wishbone and glue it into place. The wheels and tires were also from the Revell Reynard – they were unchanged from the pre-restored car apart from sanding and re-decaling them.

The restored car waiting for decals

The last two steps were applying the decals and creating a windscreen. The decals (Indycals of course) went on fine. The windscreen… that was a real PITA! (pain in the….). I tried numerous times before I finally got one that was satisfactory. You may notice that I opted not to include a driver figure. Just personal preference in that case. With that, I present the finished result:

The finished restoration

It took me about 4 days to do this restoration. I was so happy with the improved results that I have undertaken a similar effort with my 1990 winner (it is merely coincidence that they are both Arie Luyendyk cars – they were just the two crying out most for restoration).

Don’t be afraid to rework a car that you are not entirely happy with – especially if it was done long ago and your skills have improved.

 

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The secret to tinting windscreens

I’ll be the first to admit this is not my idea. I don’t remember where I heard it first, only that I heard it a couple of times. After a frustrating experience using Tamiya Clear Smoke paint to tint a vac-u-form windscreen, and with a 1/12 scale Yardley McLaren with a windscreen waiting to be turned yellow, I had to give this a try. What is the secret? Why it’s floor wax of course. Specifically Johnson’s Pledge with Future Shine (Formerly Future Floor Wax), and food coloring.

Pledge Floor Wax and Food Coloring for windscreen tinting

All you need to tint your windscreens

It’s easy to find food coloring in yellow, red, green, blue and black. With a little knowledge of color mixing you can tint to almost any hue you need. My test involved black food coloring. I poured some pledge in a small container added the food coloring (you will need to play with quantities, but even though one drop of black food coloring will look dark, you can go a bit heavier than that). Then it’s as simple as dipping your windscreen, removing it from the solution and let it drip dry. If you see it building up heavily in spots you can wipe it away with your finger. Upon drying you can re-dip if you feel it’s not dark enough for you. You can keep the leftover tinted wax in a resealable container for future use.

The black food coloring I used on my test actually had quite a green hue. I fixed this by adding some red food coloring to give it more of a smoky hue.

But the real test came with my Yardley McLaren Windscreen:

The "before tinting" Yardley Windscreen

I had to mix the yellow food coloring rather heavily. In fact it looks orange. But as dark as it looks I probably could have added more food coloring. It almost looks like condensed chicken broth, and since I put it in an old chicken broth jar, I hope my wife doesn’t mistake it for chicken broth and decides to serve floor wax soup for dinner.

I dipped the windscreen and quickly removed it, set it on a couple of wood craft sticks on a paper towel and let it sit for 30 minutes, then gave it another dip. I did have to tend to some areas where it was building up, but after curing it looks great. Definitely the best window tinting I’ve done to date, and I’m sure I’ll only get better.

The finished windscreen - 1/12 scale

For about the price of a can of Tamiya Clear Smoke spray paint, you can have a rainbow of window tinting at your disposal, and the results will be much nicer.

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Kit Review: Tamiya McLaren M23, 1974, 1/12 scale

1974 McLaren M23, Tamiya

While Tamiya has been relatively inactive with new F1 kit releases (Lotus 79 kits excepted), they have been consistently churning out re-issues of older kits, usually with upgrades. The re-issue of the 1974 World Championship winning Texaco McLaren comes in a new McLaren orange box with a simple line drawing of the car, as well as updates such as a photo-etch set, masking template, and seat belts. Other than that, this kit is pretty much unchanged, but IMO there’s not much that needed to be changed.

M23 photo etch set

M23 photo etch set

Over the 30+ years I’ve been building Tamiya F1 cars, I’ve tackled the 1/20 scale 1976 M23 a couple of times, but had never built a 1/12 scale Yardley or Texaco McLaren. The kit is pretty straight forward and easy to build. The biggest complaint about this kit is how the body goes together, leaving a seam at the top of the tub where the upper half meets the lower half. Personally I think a clean build will mitigate the noticeability of the seam, but I can see where some people will find it an annoyance (a friend of mine put his body together before painting to remove the seam, and then built the front suspension into the finished body… here is a photo of the finished suspension (before putting the body together):

M23 front suspension

M23 assembled front suspension.

And a photo of the finished suspension in place before the upper body is attached:

Front suspension placed in lower tub.

Decals are made by Cartograph and are first rate… with the exception of the fact that – as usual – tire and tobacco markings are missing. The red is a match for TS49 red. However, I opted not to build the 1974 Texaco car and instead built the 1973 Yardley McLaren driven by Peter Revson to his first Grand Prix win at the British Grand Prix. Revson would score his second – and last – Grand Prix victory in Canada a few races later. Decals for the Yardley conversion are of course Indycals decals.

1973 Yardley McLaren decals

A modification to the airbox was necessary to do the Yardley car – the 1974 version had a single opening behind the drivers helmet. Using some Milliput, I filled in the center portion to leave two narrow openings – it was a fairly easy conversion, but if that’s not your style there are aftermarket airboxes available for this car.

As usual with Tamiya 1/12 kits, there is lots of wiring and hoses in this kit, but it does lack a throttle cable and could use some more wiring behind the instrument panel. I added some of my own – all of the colored wires in this photo are wires that I added myself:

Cockpit/tub assembly with added wiring.

The engine is the standard Tamiya Cosworth engine – the only added embellishment is the photo etch cover for the engine mounts that goes on the cam covers.

Tamiya's Ford Cosworth with attached drivetrain.

As with most Tamiya kits, you can’t go wrong with this one, whether you do the 1974 Texaco car or the 73 Yardley. For those who wish to do a 1974 Yardley (with the more curved airbox), Tamiya is re-releasing that kit shortly. I would expect similar upgrades to that kit. I will part with a shot of the finished car:

1973 Yardley McLaren - winner, 1973 British Grand Prix, Peter Revson

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Tom Carnegie: 1919-2011

“It is with deepest regret that I make this announcement…” today the motorsports community has lost a true legend: Tom Carnegie, the voice of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway from 1946 – 2006. While largely unfamiliar to those who’ve never attended a race or qualifying at Indianapolis, within the Speedway community he was as legendary as AJ Foyt or Mario Andretti… but even more well liked! While AJ and Mario may have their detractors, everybody loved Tom. For 61 years his booming, almost operatic, voice was heard by the annual throng of 300,000+ that attend the Indianapolis 500.

Tom was known for three catch phrases. The first two from qualifying – “And heeeeeeeeee’s onit” would be the call when a driver took the green flag to qualify for the 500. Less frequently but with greater enthusiasm he would belt out “It’s a NEWWWWW TRAAAAAAACK RECORD!” A phrase that sadly has not been heard at Indy since 1996. His other well known phrase – although probably not heard as often as legend would have it – “Andretti is slowing on the backstretch” – a reference to the perennial bad luck suffered at Indy by Mario and Michael Andretti.

When I attended my first Indy 500 in 1985 I was already aware of Tom’s voice and his history – he was already calling his 40th Indy 500. I knew Tom wouldn’t be around forever so I made a point to savor his voice every year… had you told me that I would have the pleasure to listen to him call the race for 22 years I wouldn’t have believed you.

As long as there is an Indianapolis 500 it will always deliver new drama and excitement. But without Tom Carnegie there will always be a little something missing. And as we celebrate the 100th anniversary  of the Indianapolis 500 this May, we will honor his contribution to this great event.

RIP Tom, you will be greatly missed.

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Kit Review – Tamiya McLaren M23 – the long awaited re-issue!

McLaren M23 box art

New box art in McLaren Orange tribute colors

The M23 was one of the most enduring cars in racing history – winning 16 F1 races from 1973-1976, and World Championships in 1974 and 1976. It also saw activity in Indycars – Tom Sneva became the first person to lap the Indianapolis Motor Speedway at 200mph in a Penske prepared M23 turbo Cosworth in 1977, in addition to scoring seven victories during the 1977 Indy car season in the hands of Tom Sneva and Johnny Rutherford.

After 34 years Tamiya has finally re-released this kit in a new McLaren orange box as a tribute to Bruce McLaren. Of course in these politically corrupt correct times, there are no tobacco or tire markings anywhere on the decals, box, or instructions – but we should be used to that by now.

While very little has been improved in regard to the structure of the kit, there are some nice new features. Tobacco/tire-less decals are made by Cartograph and they are beautiful and will match Tamiya TS36 fluorescent red paint. In addition to the original markings for Hunt and Jochen Mass, they have added decals to replicate the car in which Gilles Villeneuve made his F1 debut (#40).

McLaren M23 decals

Decals by Cartograph

One improvement I would have liked to have seen is the front wheel mounting system. In the original kit the wheels screwed on and a plastic cap was had to be glued on over the screw head, making it impossible to remove. I would have liked to have seen a pin system with a hex head like they employed on the re-issued Wolf WR1.

I would have also liked to have seen photo etch parts included – again, as they did with the WR1 – but you can buy a Tamiya Photo etch set separately.

The new tires are a work of art – no more raised lettering, more solid structure and in the case of the front tires, the proper shape. Kudos to Tamiya for redoing their 70s F1tires.  Incidentally, Tamiya is marking the inside of the tires – the front tires are marked as M23 – the rears are marked Lotus 79. These are the same tire combinations that are in the Wolf WR1 kit. These front tires are smaller than the Lotus 79 front tires – again – nice to see Tamiya pay that kind of attention to detail. The spark plug wire that comes with the kit is thinner than what originally came with the Cosworth engined kits – again, this is more correct.

M23 Side Skirts

Adhesive sideskirts

Another nice touch is the inclusion of adhesive side skirts. These depict the actual skirts that lined the bottom of the radiator openings to create a primitive form of ground effects.

This was one of the first three 1/20 scale F1 kits introduced by Tamiya in the Mid 70s – as a result it’s not up to the same quality standard as later issues, but it’s still a must have for any F1 modeler. And since to my knowledge it has not been re-released in over 30 years, the original was recently fetching over $150 on eBay. Who knows when this gem will be re-issued again – get them while you can!

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Kit Review – Tamiya Wolf WR1 1977, 2010 Reissue

Tamiya Wolf WR1 - 1977, 1/20 scaleWith the onslaught of plastic 1/20 scale F1 kit competition from Hasegawa and Fujimi, Tamiya continues to re-release – and greatly improve – many of their older F1 kits. This time it is the Wolf WR1 kit that was last re-issued about 15 years ago.  Back then Tamiya updated the decals with Cartograph decals. This time there are numerous updates that make this kit worth having.

The WR1 has always been one of my favorite Tamiya kits – at least the 1/20 version was. The car was a very simple design, but effective, winning 3 races in the hands of Jody Scheckter and claiming second and fourth in the driver’s and constructors championships respectively in 1977. Tamiya did a nice job replicating the car, and I believe this was the first 1/20 kit in which they included a driver figure, which is sadly missing from this re-issue. But the extras they added more than make up for that.

Let’s start with the decals: Once again Cartograph supplied the markings, in what is ‘almost’ the same sheet as their mid 90s issue. The only difference is the inclusion of seat belts and the omission of references to the tire maker (who shall go un-named, but I’m sure you know who that is).  There are also some minor additions that go on the inner-workings of the car. Of course Indycals makes several sets of decals to go with this kit (Scheckter 1977 and 78 and Bobby Rahal 1978). Our gold does not match the gold markings of the Cartograph, so mixing and matching is not practical, but our decals do contain the markings that are missing from the Cartograph sheet.

Wolf WR1 Decals by Cartograph

If you bought the mid-90s re-issue you may recall that a number of parts were pre-painted gold (roll bar, radiators) – that is not the case with this re-issue.

Now to the good stuff: What is totally new with this kit?

First of all, the biggest addition is a photo-etch sheet for the brake discs, radiators/coolers, Gurney-flap, and engine mounts. The original kit had no radiator detail on the inside of the radiators – this photo etch sheet ads the detail that is missing from the original kit.

Photo Etch parts for the 1/20 Wolf WR1 by Tamiya

Next, is the inclusion of mesh covers for the intake trumpets. These first appeared on the new Lotus 79 kit and my guess is they will be a fixture in all future re-releases of the 1970s Cosworth powered cars. Adhesive foil is also included for rear-view mirrors and the instrument panel.

Also carried over from the Lotus 79 are it’s new improved tires! IMO these tires are the best tires Tamiya has ever made for an F1 kit. No more of those funky mold edges on the outer edges of the front tires. The rear tires are more solid (and thus easier to sand). And no longer do the tires have the tire maker stamped on the sides. Of course this kit does not come with decals for the tires, but they are available from Indycals. I assume that these too will be standard in further re-issues. We’ll find out soon when the 1976 M23 is re-issued next month.

Tires for the new Tamiya 1/20 F1 kits

A very minor but nice detail is the bolts that hold on the front wheels. In the past it was a simple non-threaded bolt with a dome-shaped head. This re-issue has the dome heads replaced with proper hex heads.

Wolf WR1 Wheel BoltsAnd once again, per the Lotus 79, the spark plug wire is thinner than the original issues. This is more correct as the original spark plug wire was too thick for the scale.

The final nice little extra detail is the addition of a new plastic part – tacked onto the “B” sprue. The new part is B14, which is a second part of the seat.

New seat part B14 in the Tamiya Wolf WR1 1/20 kit

If you do build this car, Tamiya came out with TS55 specifically for the mid-1990s re-issue of this kit.

While Tamiya may not be matching Fujimi in their pace of new F1 kits, so far they are doing a stellar job of updating their older kits!

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Painting your model car… Tamiya TS Paints

Many of you may know I’m a big advocate of Tamiya TS spray paints. Tamiya goes out of their way to produce many colors for specific cars. They are one of the few who produce a glossy fluorescent red and a proper McLaren Orange (TS56). As good as their paints are, from time to time I hear stories of difficulty using Tamiya paints. While I have had excellent results the one thing I say to everybody is that if you want the color to come out right, you need to spray it over Tamiya White Primer.  But even that alone is sometimes not enough. Case in point, if you are painting white over red plastic, no matter how much white primer you use, the white tends to take on a pinkish hue. So in this case, I spray the red plastic with TS30 silver first, then white primer, then white (usually TS26). Don’t ask me why it works, but it works. Exceptions to the white primer rule are metallic paints, and very dark paints like black or TS55 dark blue. Metallic paints tend to cover nicely without primer (I never prime metallic engine blocks/gear boxes), and dark colors tend not to be discolored by grey primer.

That said, Tamiya USA has an excellent article on using TS spray paints – I’m sure you’ll learn a lot from it, I know I did! Check it out!.

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The Revival of 1/20 F1

As an F1 model builder for the last 30+ years, the new millennium brought about a dark ages of 1/20 scale plastic F1 kits. Tamiya – the leader in 1/20 F1 kits – ceased producing kits after their 2002 Williams FW24. Little did we know at the time that it would be the last 1/20 F1 kit for  five years.

In the interim Revell Germany produced many 1/24 F1 kits, but for many of us, it’s just not the same, and the detail was nowhere near the quality we were used to from Tamiya. Quite simply, for many of us, 1/24 was not an option.

But in 2007 Fujimi rocked the F1 model world. They released a 1/20 scale 1982 Ferrari 126C2 – the last car raced by the late Gilles Villeneuve. Although this car had been produced in 1/12 and 1/24, a 1/20 version in plastic was a Holy Grail for F1 model builders. The kit wasn’t perfect – the bodywork in the nose area was off to say the least, and the wheel mounting system was not practical to put it gently. But it was a good first effort from Fujimi. They followed it up with a Long Beach version – the one with the double rear win, then the 1981 126CK.

In 2008 Hasegawa got into the game – they came out with a 1976 Ferrari 312T2. Their first attempt at 1/20 F1 was a home run in my opinion – every bit as good, if not better than cars from the same era from Tamiya. They followed the 312T2 up with the 1975 312T.

More kits followed at a rapid rate – mostly from Fujimi – Ferrar F1-90, Ferari 248, Ferrari F2007, Ferrari F92A, Ferrari 641/2, Ferrari F1 87/88C. 1/20 F1 was back, even if all the new kits were red cars. But it wasn’t to be all red cars… Fujimi came out with a McLaren MP4/6 – Senna’s final world chapmionship car. A Williams FW16 was released (Senna’s last car), an FW14B was released earlier this year, and  a Lotus 97T is due out later this year (Senna’s first win).

In short order we went from famine to feast!

But the most interesting development came in late 2009 when Hasegawa announced a 1978 Lotus 79 in 1/20 plastic. Expected release was to be sometime in 2010. As 2010 came, word had it that the Lotus 79 would be out in the third quarter of 2010. But then Tamiya – the dormant king of 1/20 F1 who had been getting by with updated re-releases of older kits – dropped a bomb… a nuclear bomb if you will. They announced that THEY were releasing a Lotus 79!… and theirs would be out at the end of May! Hasegawa answered the call and sped up the development of their 79. The two kits were released within days of each other at the end of May. Supposedly Tamiya had been developing the 79 for a number of years and when they got wind of Hasegawa’s plan, they jumped to get theirs out first. Apparently Tamiya is back in the game as they have now released a 1979 Martini Lotus 79 due out later this year.

Further more, Tamiya is finally re-issuing the 1976 McLaren M23 (albeit without tobacco markings), and the 1974 1/12 scale M23. Both kits are due out this December, as well as a re-issued Wolf WR1 in 1/20 and 1/12 (hopefully with usable decals this time).

We are in a golden age of F1 modeling that hasn’t been since since the early 1980s. Even if you can’t buy every kit, do your best to support these companies – the more we buy, the more incentive they have to produce new kits. Perhaps we may finally see 1/20 plastic versions of the Lotus 49 and 67 Eagle!

1975 Ferrari 312T, Niki Lauda, Clay Regazzoni, Hasegawa, 1/20, Indycals

1975 Ferrari 312T - Hasegawa with Indycals decals

1978 JPS, John Player Special, Lotus 79, Hasegawa, Tamiya

1978 JPS Lotus 79 - Hasegawa with Indycals decals

1982 Ferrari 126C2, Fujimi, 1/20 scale, Indycals, Gilles Villeneuve, Didier Pironi

1982 Ferrari 126C2 - Fujimi with Indycals decals

1994, Williams FW16, Ayrton Senna, Indycals, Fujimi, 1/20 scale

1994 Williams FW16 - Fujimi with Indycals decals

1976 Ferrari 312T2 Hasegawa, Indycals, Niki Lauda, Clay Regazzoni, decals, 1/20, scale

1976 Ferrari 312T2 - Hasegawa with Indycals decals

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The joy of designing decals

One of the biggest challenges of designing a set of decals is the fact that virtually no race car is exactly the same from one race to the next. Accurate reference material is important, but just as important is knowing when your reference shots were taken. Testing, practice, qualifying, race day, etc, sponsors come and go, liveries change – slightly, or dramatically.

Every year I make the trek to Indianapolis with camera in backpack and try to photograph as many cars as up close and in as much detail as possible. Carb day is my best opportunity to shoot the cars, and again after the race I try to get up close to as many cars as possible in the garage area – particularly the winning car.

For my Indy car decals I design my sheets – in most cases – as they raced at Indy. The reason for this is two-fold: It’s where I get my most reliable, detailed reference photos, and the die cast cars that are frequently used for conversion are already in Indy 500 configuration.

This year I tried something different. When I saw Graham Rahal’s QuickTrim car with Kim Kardashian emblazoned on the sidepod, I knew that there would be a lot of interest in it, so I set out to design a set of decals with the intent of having them for sale at the Indy 500 Memorabilia show the day before the 500. As I was leaving for the 500 on Wednesday before the race, I had all of 4 days to design and print the sheet. It would be my first time having an Indy 500 livery done before the actual race.

When I got to the track on Thursday, I quickly realized that a wrench had been thrown into my plans. Kim was no longer on the sidepod! Supposedly too many people had mistaken her for Danica Patrick and the team made her much smaller and moved her to the helmet surround area of the car. Additionally several other markings made their way onto the car. My sheet was outdated before it went on sale! I alerted the people who bought it at the memorabilia show – fortunately they didn’t seem to mind as the car was more striking with Ms. Kardashian on the sidepod.

2010 QuickTrim Dallara

Graham Rahal - Carb Day 2010

When I got home from the 500 I was immediately pre-occupied with doing some sheets for the new Lotus 79 F1 kits that were released the previous week, and doing the 2010 Indy winner decals, thus the QuickTrim project was set aside indefinitely.

This past weekend I finally got around to updating the QuickTrim sheet. But now Graham Rahal was driving for Newman Haas racing in the 02 car (he drove #30 at Indy). So, I decided to make two different sets, an Indy #30 and a #02 to replicate the cars that Graham has recently driven in. With the new team the 02 still changed from race to race and most photos I found were of insufficient detail to reveal some of the smaller markings, but I think I finally hit on a set that can be used to produce an accurate replica of the Newman Haas 02 QuickTrim. There were some very subtle changes – the tire maker now appeared in purple where it was white at Indy, the black engine logo on the nose was now purple, as were the numbers on the rear wing plate, and I guess the Rahal Letterman logos were no longer needed.

One may ask why don’t I just do a sheet that includes every marking that appeared on the car throughout the whole season? The reason for that is time and cost. Case in point, I’d have to wait until the season was over to do any cars. Second, printing decals is very expensive. White ink alone is $20 and lasts about 3 pages – I buy them buy the hundred. Printing markings that will be discarded is waste of valuable resources and would only drive the cost up further. Plus it’s just easier to focus on one or two relevant cars. Where reasonable, I will offer a couple different versions – ie, in addition to the 02 and 30 Quick Trim, I offer two sets of Graham Rahal decals for 2008 – one replicates the white car he drove at Indy, the other the black car where he won at St. Pete in his Indycar debut.

As difficult as the QuickTrim car proved to be, it pales in comparison to the 1988 Provimi Lola. I can tell by looking at the kit decals that the manufacturers were looking at some 1989 pictures for reference as there were markings on that sheet that did not appear on that car in 1988. But what really made this sheet difficult was the fact that it’s livery literally changed every day during the month of May! Dick Simon racing would sell sponsorship on a day-to-day basis. Every photo of the car that you came across was totally different depending on what day it was taken! Fortunately a crew member on that car was kind enough to help me with his reference material, combined with a couple of TV still shots from the race we were able to finally produce an accurate Indy 500 race day set of decals.

And even though I now have the QuickTrim sheet on my website, at the time of this writing I have made updates from the sheets as pictured on the website. (Those of you who have ordered will have the updated versions). Oh the joy :-)

Posted in Indy car models | 2 Comments