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Peugeot 307 WRC "Pirelli", Tour de Corse 2006 (part 9)

the finishing touch
After a considerable amount of time not working on this car, I've taken it up once more.
At first I was thrilled after I sprayed the clear lacquer onto the body. But after the excitement had been subdued a bit, I noticed that there were several spots on the car where the finish was quite rough.
So out came the ModelMesh sanding/polishing cloths, and after that the Tamiya polishing compounds.
And after the whole car had received this treatment, it finally looked the way I wanted.

The layer of clear is pretty hard (which is only good), and it took quite some time to reach the current state. But I'm very happy with it, although, on a few spots I managed to sand/polish through layers of clear and paint, so these spots need to be touched up.
With all the sanding and polishing, I also had to redo the window trim. But as my first wasn't so good anyway, this was no problem (in the image below, the window trim still needs to be done).

Mirror, mirror on the wall...
The original car I'm trying to replicate has reflective and/or quite dark window foil used on the windows.
Probably to keep the sun out in the hot and sunny conditions during the rally of Corsica.
I'm planning to recreate this look on the model and therefore I have bought some automotive window foils to try and see how this will work on the model.
First some pictures of the original:

Before testing this foil, I already knew that because of the foil the interior of the car would be almost invisible. That's why I decided to cut up the supplied one piece window section, so it was possible to show the car with the driver's and co-driver's windows rolled down.
For this delicate operation I used a saw blade and a scriber.
As can be seen on the left image below, I drew the outline of the section that I wanted to keep first. After that I applied several layers of masking tape to the window the mark the border along which I had to scribe the window.
The masking tape was used for two reasons; first I had a border along which I could guide the scriber. And second reason is that it was used to protect the part of the window I wanted to keep.

After I had cut up the windows, I planned to do some tests as to how the foil should be applied. To the inside, or the outside of the windows.
Would it be possible to place decals on the foil ? Should I put decals on the window on the outside and foil on the inside ?
In general, I had several things I wanted to check before I was going to apply the foil.
First a little teaser with some foil applied to one of the back windows of the car. I fixed the window with some Tamiya masking tape, which I also used to fix the foil to the outside of the window.

Looks pretty neat, if I may say so myself.

But now it was time to test. I used some left-overs from the cut up windows of the car.

As can be seen in the above picture to the left, it is no problem to put a decal directly onto the window foil.
If you compare both pictures with eachother you can clearly see that putting the decal onto the foil is the way to go. Because of the thickness of the plastic window you can see a reflection of the decal on the right picture. Not good.
And another reason for putting the foil to the outside of the window is the fact that the glue/soap residue will be hidden. On the picture to the right you can clearly see the residue of the white glue/water mixture I used for fixing the foil to the window.

Sadly, it is not possible to put the foil on the outside for every window.
The rear window of the car has a black trim from the inside, so glueing the foil to the outside would look bad.

For the painting of the black trim, Tamiya has conveniently provided masks for the rear and front windows.
After painting I carefully removed the masks so I could use them to cut the required pieces of window foil.
But after applying the chrome foil to the rear window, I soon discovered that the rear window of this model is too curvy. The foil just wouldn't stick to the window.
I thought that cutting a few slits in the foil would make it conform better to the shape of the rear window.
Yes and no. Yes it did conform better, but no, it was still not good enough. Apart from that, the cuts I made in the foil were quite visible. Not a major problem, but it was something that didn't feel right.
In the end I did try to cut the foil for the rear window into four separate pieces, so I was better able to get the foil to conform to the window shape. But the ugly cuts were still visible, and also with these small piece I had severe problems getting them to stick to the window...

As you can see in the images above, none of the options is really satisfying.

And to top it all off, in making the slits/cuts in the foil I managed to slightly damage the rear window. Luckily I had another 307 WRC lying around and just nicked the rear window from that car, so that I could keep working on this kit.

Then I remembered that I still have some Alclad II Chrome paint lying around.
I tested the chrome on one of the scrap pieces of window I had lying around, and it actually looks quite all right (as you can see in the left image below).
As a matter of fact, it is even slightly transparent (although VERY slightly). I would have preffered to use the foil, but as it is impossible (at least for me) to get it to conform to the window, I will be going for the Alclad II look.

As I was going to apply the window foil to the inside of the rear window, I had already applied 2 decals to the window foil, before I found out that I couldn't get the foil to lay down properly.
During the foil application process the decals came loose and stuck to the rear window. With a bit of manouvering I got them where I wanted them. But then I damaged the window...
So once again, I had to remove and reapply the decals.
Removing the decals was a breeze, using MicroScale Set. But because of the removing I was afraid that the glue of the decal would not be strong enough to keep it fixed to the new rear window.
So I mixed a bit of KristalKlear white glue with some water to create my own decal glue. And I must admit that it worked perfectly. At least for sticking the decal to the window. Because I think that by using this own mixture the decals are silvering a bit as can be seen in the right image above.
But I will leave it like this because I wouldn't know how to fix this and because I don't want to move this decal once again.

More to follow in the next update !

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My suspicion that the aggressive solvent-based clearcoat triggered some sort of reaction with either the water-based clearcoat and or the material of the tires appears to be true.
My options were rather limited, so I decided to spray a new water-based clearcoat over the tires, hoping to cover the previous layer of clear and stop the reaction.
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