Durango Press Fairmont Speeder Project

I have a bit of a history with white metal kits, well I started one and did not make it very far and every once in a while I come across the box… one day…

Anyway I needed a Speeder for my Speeder Shed diorama, I also grew up 10 miles from Fairmont Minnesota, home of Fairmont Railway Motors so if I’m going to do a speeder it might as well be a Fairmont. Enter the Durango Press DP-37 white metal kit.

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I was hesitant at first to do another white metal kit but decided a speeder car should be a more simple starter kit, compared to the complex Custom Finishing Models kit I had originally tried.

Basic Prep

This is a fairly simple model without too many parts, first I put them into some little re-sealable ziploc style bags for better storage between steps. Then I started cleaning up any flashing which was mostly windows.

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Paint or Assembly

I took some time to try and decided which to do first, paint or assemble. assembly first might make it harder to paint tighter to get to areas and harder to do some of the more detail things (like the lights). I ended up going with partial assembly and then paint… in large part because I found myself with this:

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Any further and I figured it’d just be harder to paint in part because I’m going to try using a Testors rattle can (because I have it, and I still haven’t fixed my airbrush… and don’t want to wait 🙂 ).

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I took a bit of scrap particle board as a painting surface and some masking tape to hold down the small parts and started spraying away. It’s not the most precise rattle can (the Duplicolor automotive rattle can spray paints are actually pretty good for control and spray… it’d be nice if Testors used the same technology). If figured if it was bad enough I’d scrape it off and start over or just go heavy on the weathering.

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Things didn’t get to a great start (though the lighting in my garage doesn’t really help) so I kept applying light coats… or as light as this rattle can could do to try and give it a smooth finish. and then the rattle can went dry. And by dry I mean leaked a bunch of paint out on my hand and made a big puddle next to the nozzle.. but didn’t spray any of it. Since there wasn’t enough coverage to call it good so out came some matching testors paint and a brush slowly building up paint.

The wheeles were looking good though so I pulled out a Model Masters “steel” color and painted the treads (well half done in this picture).

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I really don’t like the regular testors paint (which is too bad as it’s so easy to find and cheap), the model masters stuff isn’t bad but I’ve fallen in love with the thin Vallejo acrylics but I’ve already started and have it on hand so on I continue.

After this the speeder set on my workbench a while, aside from the wheels I just wasn’t satisfied with out how the paint looked. Actually not satisfied doesn’t even start to describe how disappointed I was with it. I was so frustrated it basically ended up on the shelf most of the summer. This was supposed to be a smallish project that’d be done relatively quickly so rather than a stream of posts I’d just maintain an unpublished post until it was done. Fast forward a couple months and I finally got down to the business of stripping off the old paint.

Based on advise recieved as comments on this blog and searching around the web I ended up with a big container of “Purple Power” and some plastic gloves. It worked so well virtually all the paint had separated from the metal after about 24 hours. In fact even the glue had separated from the model as well so I got to build it again. This time I’m using Vallejo acyrlics not enamel and tonight I started with some primer. This was a chance to test out some airbrush equpiment changes as well. This was going to be one post to the end but I’m thinking it’ll be 2 parts, with final paint and weathering being a separate post.

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Check for more posts on this project here

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