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934 Posts
Discussion Starter #661
Paint Prep – Part 2
Rather that show every step for every area, here are a few photos of the areas I tackled with filler.

Rear of hood on passenger side:

Rear wheel arch on driver's side:
( But note the first photo shows how the body work has been sanded back before the filler goes on.)

Side of passenger cockpit:

You will notice that this isn't a particularly good photo and that is because it started raining on me! :cursing:

So I had to stretch out the tarpaulin to keep it from sticking to the fresh filler.

This helped me to accept that working outside does not naturally lend itself to a high class paint finish. :rolleyes:

Now at this point I had not removed any of the accessories (lights, mirrors, etc.), so the car was still road legal.

So after more areas were sanded back and covered in fresh etch primer, I drove onto the road to get a better look in the sunlight.

Not perfect by any means, but certainly better than what I started with. :cool:

End of Part 2…

934 Posts
Discussion Starter #662
Paint Prep – Part 3
After removing the leather hood straps, both sides of the body shell extension sections got a complete skim of filler.

And after sanding and etch priming…

As it lifts off, I am able to work on the trunk lid independently from the rest of the car.

Although I then had to roughly seal off the trunk and I covered the cockpit area at the same time.
( Note: This is not masking off for paint, it is just to keep the filler dust out for now. )

I used a new tin of filler on this section, but it was a complete disaster.

In fact, it was so bad that I actually decided to scrape it all back off again.

By this point I was having a complete sense of humour failure and just covered the car back up again.

So I came back another day to sand that section down (again).

This was “Take 2” with a different tin of filler.

Areas where no filler was being used were simply sanded down and etch primed.
( The traces of filler you can see came from the original reshaping of the wheel arch. )

End of Part 3…

934 Posts
Discussion Starter #663
Paint Prep – Part 4
Other odd jobs to do included marking up and drilling holes for a pair of Union Jack badges.

The badges are parallel to the top of the bracket, which is at an angle, rather than the horizon.

I removed the headlight and front indicator from the driver's side, so the car is no longer road legal.

I sanded the driver's side headlight surround back to bare metal, as I had painted this blue at one point.

Before giving that a fresh coat of etch primer.

I numbered the brackets holding the front grille in place.

So the brackets could be removed and bagged and the grille could come out too.

I scraped off the ‘stick on’ front number plate.

Note: I have a new replacement plate waiting to go back on when the car is painted.

I finally 'thinned out' the excessively thick depth of fibreglass around both the front wheel arches.
( A legacy from all of the reshaping work I did in this area. )



I used my angle grinder to do this, so I still need to come back and finish these edges off by hand at some point.

End of Part 4…

934 Posts
Discussion Starter #664
Paint Prep – Part 5The Trunk Lid
While all of the other bodywork has been going on, I have also been dealing with the trunk lid.

I made a note of which way the locks were facing before stripping the lid and bagging the parts.

Then I sanded down and cleaned up the inside surface, as this will be my test piece for painting.

I will use a mix of preparation techniques to see how the different layers work, so some bits are rougher than others.

Then the fresh etch primer was brushed on.

This is the first coat of high build primer.

I then used some “finishing putty” on some, but not all, of the pin holes on the trunk lid.

This approach quickly provided me with a valuable lesson, as I sanded straight through when flatting the putty. :rolleyes:
( Note: I was also experimenting on how smooth to sand down different parts of this half. )

Which meant going back a stage to add some etch primer.
( You can see the colour difference much better in this photo. )

Which obviously ate into the high build primer.

So you can see what I started on the inside of the trunk lid that will not actually be seen when fitted!

Still, after some more sanding down, the high build primer could go back on.

And after a mix of sanding approaches on that layer, the second (and final) undercoat layer went on.

So, hopefully, this will have had its first coat of British Racing Green by the time I post my next round of updates. < Touch wood >

End of Part 5…

934 Posts
Discussion Starter #665
Paint Prep – Part 6
Having learnt my lesson on the trunk lid, I went on a pin hole hunt around the parts of the car still in fresh etch primer.

Obviously, the side of the hood I had chopped off, needed more finishing putty than the other side.

I also tackled the passenger side of the cockpit.

At one point, I had to back the car up so I could wash the mess off my driveway.

Which gave me a better view of the progress I had made on both sides.
- Light grey = Fresh etch primer
- Dark grey = Old etch primer
- Light brown = Finishing putty/filler
- White (ish) – Areas where putty has been sanded, but still needing an etch primer ‘top up’

Note: I will flat down the etch primer before the high build primer goes on, so it will get better.

But, overall, this is getting ‘close enough’ to resemble an old racing car that has seen some action.

Also, every area I remove the old primer from reminds me of all the butchery the body work has suffered. :sad:

So it is not surprizing that there are areas that are ‘undulating’ and I will simply live with these flaws.

The following photo ended up in ‘Soft Focus’ by accident…

But, perhaps, that is how I should take all ‘graduation photos’ so that the paint looks better than it is. ;)

I’m slowly working my way around the car, this is the front wing on the passenger side.

And I’ve now removed the lights on that side too.

So whilst I still have a lot of work to do, I do feel like I am making solid progress.

End of Part 6…

934 Posts
Discussion Starter #666
Paint Prep – Part 7The Hood Latches
To cut a very long story short, I’ve discovered another one of my ‘schoolboy errors’.

With all the hassle I had getting the trunk lid to work, I have a collection of hood pins and latches left over.

The leather hood straps I’ve fitted prevent the hood flying open when I’m driving along.

But the ‘slack’ required to open/close the buckle allows the hood to lift slightly, which is still alarming.

So I always expected to come back and fit some traditional hood pins to secure the hood in place.

Unfortunately, after lots of testing and checking I can’t find anyway to mount the supporting brackets.
( Given that the heater and it ducting, plus the dashboard are already fitted. )

With hindsight, I should have installed the brackets before I put everything else back in place.

Now I must confess that I have often struggled to stick to the ‘KISS’ approach with this build.

I don’t have the time for an over-engineered solution, so I have taken inspiration from an unlikely source.

This looks like the kind of latch you would see on a bathroom door.

Yet a pair of these humble latches graced one of the most beautiful racing cars from the 1950s.

The 1954 Lancia D24. :cool:

And if it was good enough for Fangio…

So I ordered a pair of latches in a similar style.

Note: The fact my body shell overhangs the modified Spitfire bulkhead I fitted gives me the room to fit these.

These photos aren’t great, but they just about show how the bolt arm spins.

So this is the ‘open’ position, lining up with the slot.

And by turning it through 90 degrees, it becomes ‘closed’ to prevent it opening.

I’m hoping that a big blob of thick grease will prevent the bolt arm turning while I’ve driving along.

This photo gives you a better idea of scale, although they would be fixed in place much further apart.

Over here in the UK, even just the suggestion of fitting these locks has really split options.

On the one hand, the view is that they should never be used on the car as they will ruin the whole thing.

But the view on the other hand is that these latches would actually make the car look older/more authentic.

I can certainly imagine that there is a great story behind those locks on the D24.

As, clearly, they have nothing to do with the person who designed the flowing lines of the car.

Instead, they look like the work of a mechanic who was told to secure the hood after a practise session.
( And without anything suitable in his toolbox, stole these from the pit lane bathrooms. ;) )

So unless an alternative KISS option presents itself to me in the next few weeks, these locks are going on.

Therefore, I dismantled the bolt locks, sanded them down and gave them a coat of etch primer.
( As if they are going to get used, they will definitely be painted British Racing Green. )

The bolts have now been given a coat of high build primer too.

So I will work out the best location when the rest of the car has reached the same stage of prep.
( That way I can see if they blend in better and drill the holes before the BRG finally goes on. )

Well that brings me up to date, so until, next time, take care, Paul. :)

Premium Member
4,187 Posts
Glad to see the progress continues. What an amazing journey and I admire your perseverance in getting it done!

I know it's a great feeling tooling around in something that cool that you built yourself.

Well played sir, well played indeed. :)


Baghdad Bob
866 Posts

Your progress is an inspiration to me. Something that we take for granted on our cars seem to be common for you. Keep up the good work, I am enjoying your story.

Tha Lancia D24 body looks very familiar.

934 Posts
Discussion Starter #669
Dallas & mcwho – Thankyou gentlemen. :cool:

This prepping for paint stage is actually helping me to live with my car’s imperfections.

As my pride in completing the build should not be diminished if the BRG highlights any/all flaws.

Because these flaws represent the story of my build, which has been both long and difficult. :rolleyes:

I’ve absolutely loved driving the car around in grey primer and can’t wait to be back on the road.

As by the time I have my racing numbers and ‘sponsor’ stickers on it should look like an old race car.

Especially as old race cars were often less than perfect and put function over form to get the job done.

Cheers, Paul. :)

mcwho - Hi Bob,

Just spotted the time line in your signature and all I can say is keep the faith.

As no matter how long it takes to build your car, you will still have achieved something very few people do.

And as John/Dallas said in his reply, driving a car you built yourself really is something very special. :cool:

Good luck.

934 Posts
Discussion Starter #670
More Paint Prep – Part 1
I have continued to chip away at the car and I am making slow, but steady progress.

As before, I’ve grouped tasks together rather than follow a strict timeline.

Trunk Lid – Underside
As this is a part of the car that isn’t normally on show, it became my test area.

In my last update, I’d learnt not to sand all the way back to bare fibreglass by mistake.
( As the fresh etch primer required will ‘eat’ the rest of the undercoat layer. )

Well, since then, I’ve learnt not to use the wrong product to clean the panel before paint. :rolleyes:

Although, technically, the lesson was if you do use the wrong product, give it time to evaporate.

Because if you don’t, your lovely ‘Dark Brunswick Green’ (AKA British Racing Green) paint will do this…

Boy was I cursing my own stupidity when I realised what I had done.

Still, at least that mistake made the ‘joys’ of working outside seem simple milder by comparison.

Thankfully, I could sand back the worse areas and go back a step to the high build primer stage.
( Which covered a much wider area around the damage just to be on the safe side. )

Due to the reflections in the surface/photo, the BRG looks much better in real life than it does in the photo.

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Trunk Lid – Sunny Side
It took ages to sand the original etch primer off.

But this is another area that shows just how many changes I made to the original kit.
( Especially when you remember that it didn’t even have a trunk, let alone a second aero hump. )

Thankfully, all my modification work disappeared under a fresh coat of etch primer.

Then it was the usual round of tackling any pin holes.

After that was sanded down and more etch primer added, the high build primer went on.

This has now had a second coat of high build primer and just needs to be flatted back before the BRG goes on.

End of Part 1…

934 Posts
Discussion Starter #671
More Paint Prep – Part 2

Mounting Plinths - Front Indicators/Turn Signals
Although this is not a great photo, you can still see where one of the bolt fixing holes broke.

So after taping some card to the front face, fibreglass filler was liberally applied.

This would have been a great plan if I’d remembered to cover the card to stop the filler sticking to it. :rolleyes:

At least it wasn’t too hard to tidy that mess up.

I used a big drill bit and a hand file to open up the hole in the middle, so the rubber cover would just squeeze in.

I then reopened the holes for the fixing bolts and drilled a small cut out for the earth lead bolt.

Then I added a skim of normal filler to blend in the various surfaces, which left me with this after sanding down.

I was very happy with the end result, as although it will not be seen when the indicator is in place…

These mounts represent another small piece of the car that I created from scratch. :cool:

A coat of fresh etch primer helped cover up all the work involved.

End of Part 2…

934 Posts
Discussion Starter #672
More Paint Prep – Part 3

Rear End
Everything had to be removed from the rear of the car.

Which left me with a pair of surplus holes to fill on both:

The rear stop/tail light on the passenger side.

The rear number plate plinth (which also has some 'flaky' filler to tidy up).

I took my angle grinder to this to give me a better surface to work with.

Before the fibreglass filler was applied.

Plan A for the rear lights was to build up a small plinth to provide a flatter surface to mount the lights to.

This started with a complete mess of fibreglass filler…

That was eventually sanded down into a better shape.

But I wasn’t really happy with the way this looked, so Plan B involved making a bigger mess.

Before some initial sanding down and marking up the location of the lights.

Followed by more sanding to leave just the minimum area required to support the lights.

A coat of etch primer made it easier to see how the rear end will look and I’m very happy with that.

End of Part 3…

934 Posts
Discussion Starter #673
More Paint Prep – Part 4

Rear Wheel Arch Damage
This is a poor photo, but shows the big chip in the arch caused when the car fell off the axle stands. :sad:

So the broken section was ground out and smothered in fibreglass filler.

Which gave me the rough shape after sanding down.

It then just needed a quick skim of normal filler and yet more sanding before the etch primer went on.

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Scuttle / Hood Lip
I removed all the mirrors and aero screens, which left this area looking very bare.

I then sanded down the front section.

Which quickly highlighted that this whole area was built from scratch.

At least it looked a bit better when the etch primer went on.

Except that this highlighted a small field of pin holes to fill.
( Which is to be expected given the mix of fibreglass, fibreglass filler and normal filler. :rolleyes: )

End of Part 4…

934 Posts
Discussion Starter #674
More Paint Prep – Part 5

Time Line Update:
That last photo I posted shows parts of the body shell and hood in a different colour.

This is because, by this point, I’d applied the first coat of high build primer to some areas.

Note: I left the rear edge of the hood alone, as I still need to drill some holes for the locks.

After spending so long sanding the original etch primer off, it was a good boost to morale to see some visible progress.

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Hood Latches
Even though I was working my way through the process of painting my ‘Lancia D24 Tribute’ latches BRG…

I did keep scratching my head trying to think of a less controversial choice.

I have a collection of latches left over from my various attempts to secure the trunk lid.

This collection also included a pair of these ‘cam’ locks.

These were no good for the trunk, as the key didn't come out in the open position, just the locked.
( Which kind of defeated the object of getting a pair with matching keys for me. )

But the Eureka! moment was the fact that this type of lock is definitely a KISS solution for my hood.

Obviously the lock is upside down in the photo, but if fitted somewhere around here, the arm would sit under the body shell’s hood lip.

So I bought another pair of cam locks, where the keys could be removed in both the open & closed position.

My options for locating these locks were somewhat limited due to clearance issues with ‘stuff’ below the hood.

I also came to the conclusion that no matter where I fitted them, various symmetry issues would be highlighted.

So I just settled on a location, took a deep breath, then drilled & filed out the holes for the locks.

Given the fact that I’ve seen the hood trying to lift while driving, I’m using a big washer to spread the load.
( I had a set of these, complete with rubber washers, in my box of ‘left over’ latches. )

There is an extra large washer on the underside too.

Then I did the same thing again for the passenger side.

This is both locks in the 'Open' position.

With a rubber hood seal held temporarily in place I was able to test the locks and they will definitely work. :cool:

End of Part 5…

934 Posts
Discussion Starter #675
More Paint Prep – Part 6

Hood – Underside
Again, that last photo shows a bit of what I’d been doing under the hood, so I’ll catch up on that next…

Initially, I was hoping to just ‘tidy up’ the areas around the front lights and come back to the rest of the hood another day.

But, eventually, I made the tough decision to tackle the inside surface now, even if it was going to delay me a bit overall.

Thankfully, I am not expecting an invite to Pebble Beach, so I don’t need to achieve a silky smooth finish.

In fact, all I want to do is ‘take the edge off’ the numerous Frankenstein cuts the hood has suffered.

So some normal filler was used to give a basic skim across the various joins.

I also added some extra fibreglass matting to 'beef up' one section that was a bit thinner than the rest.

After some very rough sanding, the bulk of this area was given a coat of etch primer.

Obviously, the etch primer really shows up the fact that this is not a smooth surface.

But I quite like the ‘honesty’ of this finish, as I am unlikely to be leaving the car unattended with the hood up.

So the only time anyone else would be looking at this area would be if I was showing them and talking about the work involved.

At this point, I hadn’t got around to getting some filler on the ‘nose job’ joins.

I was able to start covering the ‘scars’ with filler while the hood was still fitted…

But I really needed to remove the hood to complete the job.

Unfortunately, I was on my own at this time, so it was a bit of a struggle to get the hood…

Into the house...

Thru the kitchen and onto the patio...

And then down the length of the garden and into the Summer House.
( Which needed a major tidy up to clear enough room for it to just fit in. )

I could then add a skim of normal body filler around the rest of the hood nose opening.

End of Part 6…

934 Posts
Discussion Starter #676
More Paint Prep – Part 7

Hood – Underside (Continued)
After roughly sanding down the filler, the etch primer could go on.

Which made the whole area look miles better, if you just ignore the test patches of high build primer.
( I added these when finishing the rear edge of the hood on the other side where I’d left space for the locks. )

Eventually, I was able to cover the whole inner surface with high build primer…

Followed by BRG, although I left the edges unpainted, so I can do them when I do the ‘sunny side’.

I know tackling this inside surface was a lot of extra work at this stage, but it was well worth it. :cool:

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Hood Lip
The hood lip had a couple of broken patches on either side.

I used a mixture of fibreglass matting for strength and fibreglass filler for shape.

I also removed my temporary hood seal arrangements.

However, when I test fitted a full length rubber strip across the hood lip, it highlighted a small problem.

There were some ‘unders and overs” across both the hood and the hood lip that fell between the gaps in my temporary solution. :rolleyes:

End of Part 7…

934 Posts
Discussion Starter #677
More Paint Prep – Part 8

Hood Lip (Continued)
Thankfully, I was able to mark up various sections of both the hood and the hood lip for trimming.

Note: The hood lip will be getting a skim of filler at some point to 'fill in' the rough patches.

Which left me a few of the spots like these after I'd tickled them with my angle grinder.

I also had to cut a small relief into the hood lip to make sure the fixing nut for the locks cleared nicely.

Then the rough spots along the hood lip were skimmed with filler.

Eventually, the two repaired sections looked like this, which is certainly good enough for me.

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Body Shell
In order to get better access for painting, I had to remove the wheels, tail pipes & gas cap.

Which left the car looking very sorry for itself indeed.

This photo was taken as I was still removing the original etch primer from parts of the rear end.

Thankfully, I’ve now reached the point where this section has got a fresh coat of etch primer on it.

Which seems like a good place to finish this round of updates.

So until next time, take care, Paul. :)

525 Posts

You do exceptional work. Your level of patience is amazing! I really admire the job you are doing on this car. I know you must be very proud of how far it has come; you should be!

I have always loved BRG in British sports cars. It just seems "right" for these cars, and yours is no exception. I think I remember you saying you were going to add some accent stripes in various places. I think that will make your car really stand out more than it already does.

Thanks for the update, and the hard work that you are doing. I am looking forward to the next update!



934 Posts
Discussion Starter #679
WIS89 – Thanks for your kind words and encouragement Steve. :cool:

There is definitely something very nostalgic about British Racing Green over here.

When people have asked me what colour I am painting the car, my BRG reply always goes done well.

I will be adding a band of ‘Signal Yellow’ around the grille opening in the hood.

Which has been adopted by a number of racing marques over the years and even appears on two wheels.

Also, rather than traditional white roundels, I have some yellow ones which I hope will go well with the overall look.

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Slowly Getting There – Part 1
I finished the last round of updates with some fresh etch primer on the rear end of the car.

That didn’t stay looking nice for long, as the finishing putty was applied next.

The last area to tackle was this section of the scuttle and the wind deflector lip.

So that went through the usual rounds of sanding, etc.

Before eventually ending up like this.

I then ‘topped up’ the high build primer on all the areas that I had now finished with etch primer.

Then when the entire body shell was one colour, the second and final coat of high build primer went on.

The high build primer was then sanded down to give me a smoother surface to work with.

Unfortunately, a combination of thinly applied primer, and/or heavy handed sanding left me with several’ bald’ patches.

So there was another round of high build primer top ups.

This brings the body shell work up to date, as I hope to get some BRG on tomorrow. < Fingers crossed. >

End of Part 1…

934 Posts
Discussion Starter #680
Slowly Getting There – Part 2
In order to help keep the leaves from landing on any fresh paint work, it was time to pitch a tent in the garden.

Now there were a few areas on the inside of the hood where the BRG paint reacted badly. :sad:

So these areas were sanded back and another coat of high build primer was applied.
( I covered a much wider area with the primer than was actually needed just to tidy things up a bit. )

Eventually, the inside surface of the hood was finished.
( Note: There is actual a line of tape along the rear edge. )

Then I was able to flip the hood over, repair any damage I’d caused when moving it in and out of the summerhouse, or standing it on its nose to paint the inside.

All the repaired areas got a top up of high build primer, before I gave the whole hood its second and final coat.

I now need to flat this back a bit and then it will be ready for some BRG.

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Flatting back the high build primer on the trunk lid, also generated some ‘bald’ patches that needed a top up.

Before going any further with the ‘sunny side’, I extended the BRG to the edges and faces of the aero humps on the underside.

The sunny side was next.

The surface ended up really good 'straight out of the brush' in some areas.

Unfortunately, a very small percentage of the overall surface area reacted badly.

So I guess there will be some more ‘running repairs’ in my next update.

But that’s all for now, so until next time, take care, Paul. :)
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