Circus 1

I started this kit several years ago, but never finished it after screwing up the paint job on the body. When I wanted to finish it 2 years ago I discovered the original tires had almost all split on the mold seams while mounted on the rims. So I recasted my first parts: the entire wheels. As the picture shows, the result was rather full of air bubbles, so I let the car sit for some more years.

This year I figured I should finish the partially built and painted kit. I sanded off most of the paint on the body, washed the body thoroughly in water with dishwasher liquid together with the recast wheels and set off to finish the kit.

The wheels took most work. I first brushed some Mr. Hobby Dissolved putty onto them, which took care of most of the smallest air bubbles. This was followed by a liberal application of Tamiya putty on the tires' running surface to fill up the larger holes and to remove the nasty seam lines running over the surface. Some vigorous sanding by mounting the wheel to my proxxon mini-powertool and running them against sandpaper followed. Then I primered them using Mr. Surfacer 500, sanded, and repeated this process a few times. The wheels were then painted with Tamiya semi-gloss black (tires) and flat aluminium (rims). The result is almost better than the originals, although I keep having problems with painting circles...

The white color of the body was worked on until it was acceptable, while all of the blue was repainted using Tamiya gloss blue with some Tamiya flat base added to get a semi-gloss color. I wasn't able to completely salvage the paint job, but it now looks fairly acceptable instead of the original paint job which was just plain bad. Then I attempted to apply the decals. These were horrible and fell apart moments after dipping them into the water (especially the black and white decals). This is the first time I have such problems with Imai's decals. So I clearcoated the decals that were left over on the paper sheet and started again. This time things went better, although the decals did not particularly like the Micro Set decal solution. After application of the decals and letting them dry for a while I clearcoated them. The red decal on the right side of the car was applied a bit crooked but also is not printed straight.