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The “Real” Model - Part 11: November  2004 (Page 1 of 3)

Another year older, the start of the month (November 1st) saw me celebrating another boozy birthday and I even had a card with my car on it. Ever since my days at University, Dave Tonkin has always sent me a card saying “Happy 50th” or “Happy 60th” and so I guess the fact I got one saying “Happy 40th” was quite good really.  Mind you his taste in cards has improved dramatically now that he is married to Lou, as she is busy hand making cards for all occasions ... including my birthday.

As you may recall, last month we sprayed the car with its first coat of primer and from a distance it looked superb, however close up it looked really bad. Using a sanding disk on a drill was NOT a good idea and I recommend that despite any previous comments I’ve made that no one uses one on their project. In my defence though the body was badly star cracked and so every crack had to be sanded out, which meant sanding away the gel coat.  If the body was in good condition a board sander would have been much better.  Anyway the damage is done now and so armed with a tube of “spot putty” I started to fill in all the cracks and dips.  It took me ages, after I finished the car looked as though it had been under a tree full of nesting birds. It took me eons to sand down each blob of putty.  As I did though, I knew that it was having a good effect as I was left with white spots and white lines where the cracks and tiny pin holes once were.

In certain light the roof had a wavy effect and so after searching the B&Q web site I found an electric finishing sander for the humble price of just £4, ironically post and packing was £5.  When this arrived it really helped to smooth out larger areas and helped reduce the wavy effect on the roof.

After a lot of sanding I then resprayed the car with grey primer and low and behold I noticed lots more marks that I’d missed the first time.  So these were filled, again they were sanded down and the body resprayed again.

By wave 3, the blemishes in the surface were a lot smaller and I actually had to search the car for them. Luckily for me, despite being a dull November morning, the sun shone and suddenly there was a whole new collection of marks that needed filling. So again they were filled and sanded. I have been through so many sheets of sandpaper now its unreal and I am going through tubes of spot putty like there is no tomorrow. My girlfriend once told me that the folks who make mustard, make their money out of what you leave on the plate. As I was busy sanding I couldn’t help but think, people who make body filler make their money out of all the surplus filler you sand away!


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My car on a birthday card ... and before you ask, no, I am not 40.

My dad always said, “Son never park a car under a tree full of birds”. The Regal with its first wave of plastering.

An electric sander helped the job a lot - and it only cost £4 from B&Q’s web site.

The cracks from the drill & sander now filled with “spot putty”.

Numurous tiny holes filled with “spot putty”.