Need help with AMT/Ertl's kits!

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RobWolf
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Need help with AMT/Ertl's kits!

Postby RobWolf » Wed Nov 30, 2005 6:49 am

Hi everyone! New member here; some of you may know me as R.Cassidy from tv-series.com. I posted this message on the KR forum there, but got no reply. I figured I should try my luck here.

Hi everyone! I recently purchased the reissued AMT/Ertl Knight Rider model kits (KITT and KIFT), to use as practice kits before I build my Mad Max V8 Interceptor. Anyhoo, I noticed a couple of problems which I wanted to sort out before I start the models, and I figured this was the place to come.

KITT

There are no air vents behind the front wheels. I can faintly see an outline of where they should be, so I dunno if Ertl changed the molds after KR finished or something....anyway, I wondered if there was some kind of custom add-on part I can get from the KR community...or do I need a knife and sander? (I've sort of figured out what needs to be done)
Also, I'm having difficulty placing the armrest console.....the instructions aren't clear, and I'm having difficulty test-fitting it between the armrest and dash.
And...are there any custom decals available for the dashboard...to save me trying to paint it?

KIFT

My model has the wrong hubcaps. Again, dunno if it's something to do with the re-issue, or just a factory error with my kit, but they definately aren't the hubcaps on the pictures or in the movie. Any idea how I can get hold of a correct set (without having to hunt down the original kit on ebay)?

Lol...since then I also managed to snap KIFT's scanner bar. Can anyone help me on these many problems?

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Postby andy-kitt » Wed Nov 30, 2005 2:33 pm

Hello

Ref side vents really need something like a dremel tool to easy cut a vent.

I remember having problems fitting centre console, but can't see on my model what I did now. I can see its sitting high against the console (it was a few years ago now).

I only have custom decals from the 1:18 models I do.

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Re: Need help with AMT/Ertl's kits!

Postby MIKEMAC » Wed Nov 30, 2005 2:53 pm

RobWolf wrote:Hi everyone! New member here; some of you may know me as R.Cassidy from tv-series.com. I posted this message on the KR forum there, but got no reply. I figured I should try my luck here.

Hi everyone! I recently purchased the reissued AMT/Ertl Knight Rider model kits (KITT and KIFT), to use as practice kits before I build my Mad Max V8 Interceptor. Anyhoo, I noticed a couple of problems which I wanted to sort out before I start the models, and I figured this was the place to come.

KITT

There are no air vents behind the front wheels. I can faintly see an outline of where they should be, so I dunno if Ertl changed the molds after KR finished or something....anyway, I wondered if there was some kind of custom add-on part I can get from the KR community...or do I need a knife and sander? (I've sort of figured out what needs to be done)
Also, I'm having difficulty placing the armrest console.....the instructions aren't clear, and I'm having difficulty test-fitting it between the armrest and dash.
And...are there any custom decals available for the dashboard...to save me trying to paint it?

KIFT

My model has the wrong hubcaps. Again, dunno if it's something to do with the re-issue, or just a factory error with my kit, but they definately aren't the hubcaps on the pictures or in the movie. Any idea how I can get hold of a correct set (without having to hunt down the original kit on ebay)?

Lol...since then I also managed to snap KIFT's scanner bar. Can anyone help me on these many problems?


there is a guy on ebay that sells those stickers for the models, check there.
**true happiness is like peeing in your pants, everyone can see it but only you can feel it's warmth**
Please check out my Knight Rider site at
http://www.knightriderforever.tk

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Re: Need help with AMT/Ertl's kits!

Postby HondaSiR » Thu Dec 01, 2005 2:33 am

Hello RobWolf, welcome to the community! There are lots of model makers here (myself included) and you will surely enjoy your stay.

RobWolf wrote:There are no air vents behind the front wheels. I can faintly see an outline of where they should be, so I dunno if Ertl changed the molds after KR finished or something


Here is a site that will explain everything in detail. Scroll down towards the bottom of the page: http://www.smallartworks.ca/Gallery/Kitt/Kitt.html

RobWolf wrote:My model has the wrong hubcaps. Again, dunno if it's something to do with the re-issue, or just a factory error with my kit, but they definately aren't the hubcaps on the pictures or in the movie. Any idea how I can get hold of a correct set (without having to hunt down the original kit on ebay)?


The reissued KIFT (blue background box) has the wrong wheels. You have to hunt down the original release kit (gray background box). They're not that rare, they pop up on ebay every once in a while. :)

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Postby 89 formula » Thu Dec 01, 2005 8:12 am

Hi, I'm also new to this site and a model builder. I have an assembled MPC KITT model from 1983 and an unassemled AMT/ERTL kit which I bought more recently.

You're right the AMT/ERTL KITT does not have the air extractor vents. My advice would be to get the vents from a "donor" model. For example, the Firebird Pro Street Machine (Revel kit# 7129) has those vents as separate pieces. All you would need to do is cut a small, rectengular hole in each fender and glue them in. You should be able to find this kit on e-bay. Let me know if you can't, I have an unassembled one and can cast a few resin copies of the vents.

The KITT interior is not proportional on both MPC and ERTL kits. The problem is that tha front and back seats are too far forward and, consequently, the steerig wheel ends up touching the driver's seat. This is another area where you may want to substitute parts from another kit. Alternatively, you can move the front seats (and center console) back and also raise the angle of the steering wheel.

Also, notice that the kit engine is the stock Trans AM TBI small block. From the "Goliath" episode, we know that KITT's engine is actually a turbine, but I could not find any visual references. I used my imagination and some spare parts, from other models, to create one.

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Postby RobWolf » Thu Dec 01, 2005 9:12 am

Wow, thanks for the help guys! I'll be sure to post some photos when I eventually get the models done.

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Postby Scott Kirkessner » Thu Dec 01, 2005 9:52 am

Sooo you, kit-bashed a KITT, eh!?

Yuk yuk yuk, I crack myself up.

-Scott

89 formula wrote:
You should be able to find this kit on e-bay. Let me know if you can't, I have an unassembled one and can cast a few resin copies of the vents.

This is another area where you may want to substitute parts from another kit. Alternatively, you can move the front seats (and center console) back and also raise the angle of the steering wheel.

Also, notice that the kit engine is the stock Trans AM TBI small block. From the "Goliath" episode, we know that KITT's engine is actually a turbine, but I could not find any visual references. I used my imagination and some spare parts, from other models, to create one.

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Postby 89 formula » Thu Dec 01, 2005 11:14 am

...I only did it to TRANSform a TRANS AM....

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Postby HondaSiR » Thu Dec 01, 2005 9:49 pm

Check out this site guys...whoever made this 1/25 scale MPC KITT sure knows how to assemble/modify it right...turbine engine and interior modifications....the works!! (Notice that he moved the dashboard forward to the correct position).

Link: http://www.spencer1984.com/my_models/holiday4.php

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Postby Lost Knight » Thu Dec 01, 2005 10:36 pm

HondaSiR wrote:Check out this site guys...whoever made this 1/25 scale MPC KITT sure knows how to assemble/modify it right...turbine engine and interior modifications....the works!! (Notice that he moved the dashboard forward to the correct position).


That guy is the man. Why can't Ertl or Aoshima have people like that designing their model molds?
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Postby HungarianKnight » Fri Dec 02, 2005 12:51 am

I had some modifications on my Kitt too to look better. OK, I'm an amateur so I haven't drilled the air wents out but I have sanded off many-many millimetres from the back of the dashs so there is some space between the steering wheel and the driver's seat. I sanded off about half a centimetre from the original base of the center console, so the little switchpod fits eaisilly just like in TV. I have sanded off the straight horizontal lines from the back of the taillight, making it still red but giving this "backout" feeling. All of the consoles, gauges, etc. were printed on vignettes. You just have to resize it with your printing application and print it out (Oh, yeah, the decal thing's non-sticky base was sellotaped onto a regulal A4 sheet, so nothing expensive kitbashing thing is needed here). And finally, the best part of my little Kitt: the scanner. It's actually a piece of a red ornamental Christmas ribbon, with all its prismatic glowing effect. If Kitt stands in light, it's like his scanner is glowing! Isn't it cool?!

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Postby Knight2000 » Sat Dec 03, 2005 6:00 am

I managed to buy one of these ertl KITT kits. Problem is, the only model making I've done before is with Airfix models and they at least provided the cement and necessary paints and decals.

With my KITT model, it's just all the bits with no paints/cement.

Anybody know which paints and cement to use? I think I still have 2/3 of a tube left from the airfix models but it was last used over 10 years ago. Dunno if it'd be any good by now.

I'd be grateful for some step-by-step instructions. Something more elaborate than the poncy instructions that came with the car.

Any help would be appreciated, especially since I haven't started on it yet. :roll:

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Postby andy-kitt » Mon Dec 05, 2005 8:11 am

depends upon how perfect you want it, I paint before assembling & then rub down excess on the joins & touch up to get perfect fit finish. I prefer Humbrol paints as the Revell ones dry too quickly while painting once the tin been opened a few times. Get new glue and decent set of brushes (small, med etc).

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Postby 89 formula » Mon Dec 05, 2005 8:21 am

Nowadays, very few models come with paints and glue. I would suggest discarding your old glue and paints. I usually buy most of those supplies, separately, at hobby stores or in model sections of department stores. As far as small detail paint, personally, I buy hobby enamels in 1/4oz bottles. The brand I stick with for both glue (no pun intended) and paints is Testors. Note that flat paints go on much easier than glossy. Also note that decals do not adhere properly to surfaces painted with flat paints.

When it comes to painting the car body, it's a skill which will take some time to master and I would first practice on some scrap pieces. There are a number of reference books written on car model painting and I'd cetrainly recommend reading one. Your best bet is to first spray it with model primer followed by automotive spray paint. My rules for spray painting are: to first heat up the paint can in a bowl of warm water, spray from a close distance but move across very quickly, and to apply successive coats within one hour of each other.

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Postby FuzzieDice » Tue Dec 06, 2005 11:47 pm

I too do some modeling and am currently in the first stage of building KITT and KARR out of AMT/ERTL reissue KITT model kits. :) I haven't got to the body yet but I plan to get the vents done right and also try to do foglights in the front nose somehow, esp. for KARR. Lots of detailed work. Right now the engine is glued and waiting for paint. I stopped temporarily because I moved to a new apartment so other things are of more importance at the moment.

As mentioned the blue-background KIFT model does have the wrong wheels. Dave Knight here on the boards got me an original issue (grey background) off eBay, fortunately. He also has some detailed instructions on assembling the KITT model in this forum here. Just search for it, I'm sure it's around somewhere. :)

To do the dash, you can either paint with tiny brushes or toothpicks, or try using KnightModeler's printable decals. He sells them on eBay every so often. I think you might be able to contact him from here if you do a member search, too.

I hope Dave will chime in here and add some info. He and KnightModeler both. They are really great modelers with some pretty advanced knowledge.

I also have some modeling tips on my site here: http://fuzziedice.com/ in the modeling section. Some of which Dave actually helped me with.

And there's some parts you'll want to dechrome too. I do have a start on the KITT and KARR pages for the models on my site so there's some more information on those pages regarding assembly, paints, dechroming parts, etc.

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Postby Knight2000 » Wed Dec 07, 2005 1:01 pm

Oh man, this is coming to a lot more than I bargained for. Thought it'd be a simple case of stick it together, paint and display. That's what Airfix trained me to do. :(

I tried Googling for Testors paints but can't find them in any UK (online) store. Plan on sticking with Humbrol.

Maybe I should try and get hold of another KITT model so I can practise on this one? :roll:

I've read some of the posts by Dave Knight and fuzziedice, which have been great. Things I'm not to keen on are spray-painting, dechroming and reading books. Believe me, medical books are more than enough. Will have a go though, probably over the Xmas hols.

Thanks for the advice everyone! :D

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Postby FuzzieDice » Wed Dec 07, 2005 6:01 pm

Just work slowly and do your best. Some of us (like myself, Dave and KnightModeler) I admit take a bit more attention to details than probably some modelers and we kinda get a bit more technical on things. :) But it's your model. If you'd like to just paint and glue, even, you can still have a very nice model for display if you take your time and work slowly.

Just a tip: NEVER paint chromed parts. Leave them chrome if you don't plan to remove the chrome (aka dechrome). Actually dechroming isn't all that difficult. It's a matter of finding the Castrol All Wheel Cleaner or similar product and letting the parts soak a few days, maybe a week until the chrome comes off. You can then paint them.

Whichever way you'd like to go, the main part of modeling is that, at least for me, building is the most fun. And the final result is the reward. :)

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Postby HondaSiR » Wed Dec 07, 2005 8:32 pm

Knight2000 wrote:I'm not to keen on are spray-painting, dechroming and reading books.


You don't have to buy expensive air brush equipment. Spray cans are cheap and easy to use on large model parts such as car bodies. You can then brush paint small parts such as the engine and such. Take your time and plan ahead before executing your build. Good luck.. :)

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Postby 89 formula » Thu Dec 08, 2005 8:40 am

The main problem you'll have with spray painting will undoubtedly be "orange peel", meaning that you'll end up with a textured surface. You can try sanding it off, but in the process, I usually end up removing the paint completely from some of the contoured surfaces.

If you're looking for a quick-n-dirty way to make the car body not look "plasticky", instead of painting, you can simply apply a coat of acrylic floor wax to it. You will not obtain the same finish as with paint, but on the other hand, it will be far batter finish than a bad paint job. The main disadvantage is that it's clear so you cannot alter the color of the plastic. fortunately, you can still find KITT models on e-bay, made in 1983 by MPC, which are molded in black.

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Postby FuzzieDice » Thu Dec 08, 2005 4:17 pm

He's got the AMT/ERTL reissue kit and that is molded in all grey, so he has to spray paint. Testers sells spray cans of gloss black. I plan to use that and then spray on glosscoat as well (also by Testers). I have cheesecloth for buffing, and hope that'll help. Also going slow and spraying on light coats, leaving 24 hours to dry between each coat might help reduce the orange peel effect. If you really want to go all out, building a model can take a long time. But like I mentioned before, that can be the fun part of it. :) I think the results will be well worth it. :)

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Postby 89 formula » Fri Dec 09, 2005 10:26 am

Yeah, I have the gray AMT/ERTL KITT kit in my ever-growing pile of models that I will one day assemble. I only suggested obtaining a black MPC KITT model because I remember how "well" the paintjobs my first three or four car models turned out. Also the MPC kit is more accurate than the AMT/ERTL. There are a number of MPC KITTs on e-bay for under $7, by the way.

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Postby andy-kitt » Fri Dec 09, 2005 3:12 pm

Not wanting to upset anyone here, but why NEVER paint over chromed parts? i've always done that and never had a problem??

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Postby 89 formula » Fri Dec 09, 2005 3:44 pm

I understand your caution regarding this subject, as this is a highly sensitive issue :D

The reason why it's a good idea to dechrome parts is that both glue and paint do not adhere well to the chrome finish. Paint will stay on, but rubs off easily.

I've always used household bleach to remove chrome because it does the job in just a few minutes. As with other de-chroming methods, prologed exposure may also damage the plastic, so care is advised.

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Postby FuzzieDice » Fri Dec 09, 2005 4:15 pm

I rather use the Castrol All Wheel Cleaner as it doesn't stink up the house. :)

As mentioned, paint and glue does not adhere too well to chromed parts due to the material that chrome paint is made of. You can try it, but if you handle your model, be very careful. However, if you display it, you probably will want to put it in a plastic case (they have them for individual cars) and not touch the model after that, or move it much or at all. I like to show people my models sometimes so they get picked up, hoods up, etc. That's why I try to build them a bit sturdier.

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Postby 89 formula » Fri Dec 09, 2005 5:10 pm

I currently have two kids in diapers, I actually consider the smell of bleach as a refreshing change of pace :shock:


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