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Clinic - Don't Just Junk 'em...Wreck 'em! - Casting Wrecked Automobiles

Most model salvage yards contain old rusted autos but few contain wrecks.  Why? Because other than Alloy Forms, no one offers them commercially and the ones from Alloy Forms are not wrecked, they just didn't come out of the mold cleanly. Today's clinic offers some alternatives to a salvage yard filled with cars that were only junked.

1. Materials

Aluminum Foil
Plastic Resin
Hydrocal or Molding Plaster

2. Making the Auto Form


Cut out a piece of foil large enough to press over the original auto shape. Press the foil over then shape making sure to press it tightly against all the detail of the auto. While the foil is still on the master, use your hobby knife to cut out the window areas (if desired.) Gently remove the foil from the master and trim the excess with small scissors. Paint the car with the desired paint color. Distort the foil shape to indicate a point of impact. Add rust using chalk pastels (if desired.)

Plastic Resin

Make a mold of the original auto using either RTV Rubber or Modeling Clay. After the mold is made, mix about � oz of each part of the resin giving � oz of material. Fill the mold about 1/3 full with Plastic Resin (Alumilite, Micro Mark, or Smooth-On.) Use a cheap disposable paint brush or a toothpick to work the material into the small details if necessary. While the resin is still in liquid form, rotate the mold so the resin flows onto the sides of the car and all of the auto body shape has resin on it. Continue rotating the mold in your hands until the resin hardens.

You now have a "hollow" casting of the auto that you can "wreck". Allow the resin to harden slightly but before it becomes fully hardened, gently remove the auto casting from the mold. Use a hobby knife to cut out the window areas (if desired.)

Hydrocal or Molding Plaster

These are VERY inexpensive and effective wrecks. Following the method described for Plastic Resins above, make a mold of the original and mix a small quantity of Hydrocal or plaster (Hydrocal cures much faster) and is my favorite. You can cast the auto either as a solid block or make a hollow casting as described above. If you choose to make a solid casting remember, the glass in autos of the pre-1960's was not as good as the glass of today's autos. Moisture would seep in between the layers of the safety class and turn the glass a milky white color. Be sure to simulate this on some of the older autos. I have cut off the front fenders of old coupes leaving only the portion of the body from the firewall back and using a round file to file out a "transmission tunnel" in the firewall. This makes a very convincing model of an old car that has been partially dis-assembled as scrap. You can use styrene to make the exposed part of the frame if you wish or just use the body as if the frame was removed. Old engine blocks and debris lying around the old auto add to the scene.

3. Making the Wrecked Car -

My personal favorite way to simulate a wreck is to press the front of the the auto against a metal ruler or a large screwdriver to represent a car that has hit a tree or a light pole. This MUST be done while the resin is still soft so - WORK QUICKLY! Most of the resins will cure to a workable state in about 2 to 3 minutes and will be completely hardened in about 10 minutes. Another favorite is to cut out the windows and use a block of wood to mash the casting to create a "roll over". If you use the foil method described above, you can smash the painted auto into small squares to simulate autos that have been through the crusher.

Plastic Resin - Available from many Hobby Shops (Avoid the casting resins that have a STRONG odor that lasts for days. If your shop does not carry the resins, check the Yellow Pages in your area under Plastics or Resins. You can contact these sources on the Internet.

Alumilite - http://www.alumilite.com
Micro Mark - http://www.micromark.com
Smooth-On - http://www.smooth-on.com
Reynolds Advanced Materials - http://www.moldmakingmaterials.com

For Hydrocal contact
U. S. Gypsum - http://www.usg.com

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