Fashion In Spite Of The Designers

The heading image is a fantasy – at present. It is the result of a conversation with a friend about the dull colouration of modern motor cars and how much we wish there were more exciting options on the road.

I’m luckier than she is – my green Suzuki is pretty bright, and while it is not exclusive, it is a cheery cut above the grey and black suburban tanks that clog the freeways. My standard joke about the green machine is that it is bright enough to allow people to see me even if I do not see them. Here’s a hint – it ain’t a joke…

She’s got a small white sedan – but a sense of fashion and taste that comes of being a model and a dancer. Her Instagram selfies are always amazing confections and I think that she may be the salvation of many a dress shop in the town. So she thought up some ideas for the Yaris.

I took daylight shots of the car and started to imagine it in different garb. She asked for painted hub caps and roof, and then we went on to a bonnet decoration and colour on the side mirrors. There may also be a business logo on the rear window in time.

I suggested that vinyl wraps would be a good way to try this concept on the body panels – if the idea palled, the vinyl would allow a reversal or replacement without affecting the paintwork. Keeping the divisions to the panel lines aids in this. The hub caps are the simplest thing in the world to paint – any competent panel shop could have them done in a day, and I reckon I could do them myself as easily.

I’ve seen lots of cars that have been done as customs or hot rods, but few that are used as daily drivers – certainly few with interesting paintwork. I do hope that this project goes ahead to see whether some style can come to the street.


The Little World – Mockup

Every project worth doing is worth failing miserably at and spoiling the materials. Said no modeller ever…

I have had my share of failing miserably and spoiling, thank you, and I need not do it anymore to feel humble. I prefer to succeed now, and will take every little advantage I can to do it.

One of the recent dodges has been to use the computer and image-altering programs to mock-up future projects, This lets me see whether what I thought was a good idea will prove to be so in the end. The planning still needs a lot of thought to see if the mechanical part is possible, but the end appearance tells me whether to go ahead.

There are several images taken of 1:18 scale die-cast cars. They are fine models in their original colours, but inappropriate for what I am trying to do – and now that I know that paint can be stripped and replaced, it is a matter of planning new liveries.

a. The Ford Model T delivery car was bought from a stand at the VHRS show a few years ago. They floggged it for $ 40 due to the promotional nature of the paint job and graphics. I knew there was potential.

The PMG ( Postmaster General’s Department ) van is in a museum here in Oz. Bless them, someone recorded it and put the image on the net. If I disregard the LHD nature of it, I can repaint it and put on decals for a pretty good local model. The computer mockup is crude, but lets me get a feel for it.

B. The 1932 Ford three-window coupe is probably a Motor Max product. It was a kindly gift from a friend but the makers only got so far in their quest for accuracy. I found a real ’32 that is similar…and have decided that if I repaint the fenders and the radiator shell, I can get close enough for jazz. If the wheels came off more easily, I would make the spokes cream, but as I don’t want to risk breaking them, they will have to stay silver.

Would it be better looking altered? I think so.

The image altering program on my iMac is the simple Photoshop Elements 14. The skills to select sections and then either dump or overwrite their texture and colour were simple to learn. The lettering is internal to the program, as is the shading. Each mockup took less than 20 minutes.

The real benefit of this idea is not in what in what you do, but in what you do not do. I have conducted the same sort of exercise for other models and for real cars and ended up after a half-hour concluding that the final product looked bad. I could junk the file without having an expensive real-life disaster on my hands. Living and learning we all do, but it is better when it is for free.

Graphics. Beware…

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We are often warned on the television about graphic depictions of violence. The same goes for the cinema – they have that classification thing at the start of the movie. I go for the ones that say “G” and so far I have not been disappointed.

But what of the graphics at the car show? Should we be warned? Does there need to be a sign warning us that it is NSFA…not safe for adults?

As with all questions of art, beauty is in the eye of the beholder. In the case of some of these beauties we would also recommend Murine and an a soft cotton pad….

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