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Pizza Planet Delivery Shuttle

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paint time
As the paint comes, the build gets more exciting, as it's easier to visualize how the final product will look. The body got a red-brown automotive primer.

Here I botched the rust layering that I was going to do. I should have used the relatively new salt technique, but instead applied hairspray over my rust-colored primer. My final color was household spray-can enamel, which I probably allowed to dry too long, so it didn't budge when I attempted to remove it. In hindsight, I think airbrushed acrylic is what the experts use. Since the hairspray wouldn't slough off, I had to paint on the rust, using shades of black and rust brown—- a combination of drybrushing and washes.

Here I've painted the overall yellow, and using a brush with short, stiff bristles, I smashed on and drybrushed Testors rust enamel. Where it was too heavy, I swiped at it with my finger, a rag, and thinner, always attempting to make it look somewhat random, but heavier at the panel bottoms and seams.

Next I added and painted little details-- mirrors, the rear hatch, front fascia, and lights. The side markers, tail, and parking lights are not modeled, but only painted on (silver enamel for now then Future with food coloring to follow).

I started having second thoughts about all the black on this truck-- the scenes are all night-time, and I may have mistaken the remaining chrome for black. If I were to do anything to change that, it would just have been some dry-brushed hints of silver.

In the back of my head, I had been strategizing how to print the red decals for the doors and rooftop sign. A friend of mine makes custom decals, so I knew I could take my images and dimensions to him.

This truck has four sets of the same decals, and they're a simple red one-color scheme. I just had to photo-shop one good set from all the internet images, and print it four times (both doors and both sides of the rocket-- roughly the same size, merely reconfigured).

At this point, I found that my friend doing my decals with his ALPS printer had printed my images in HO Scale (1/87)! He's a friend from a train module group and probably didn't know that I also work in larger scales. He printed another set for me, this time in 1/32 scale, and a month later I finally got them!

Once I had the decals to compare for size, I masked and painted the white magnetic sign on each door, and finished the rocket sign being formed from putty, so I could apply them.

To form the rocket ship on top of the delivery truck, I had been preparing to sand balsa or basswood to shape, since I'm more accurate (and comfortable) with files and sanding, but I was later convinced by another friend to use Sculpey brand putty instead. I started by first doing my impression of a sculptor. Molding this stuff is tricky-- trying to get one detail without squishing the rest in your hand as you work. When I had a decent shape, I jammed holes in the bottom with a toothpick, for mounting rods later.

After it was baked hard and sanded smooth, I used a drill at a low speed (careful-- it's baked clay after all!) to clean up the holes.

I painted and mounted the rocket-- success! That's the good news.

I put a piece of Scotch tape across the tailgate and penciled in the "YO" (it took two tries to get that right, or at least close enough), then I cut the tape with an Xacto knife.

What I discovered when I cut out the letter shapes was that, while I always use some heavy primers, I hadn't cleaned off old decal glue (or something), and the paint came up with the tape. I went ahead and painted my letters in, removed the rest of the tape, and dabbed yellow (not the same yellow, but the truck is pretty grungy anyway) around the letter forms. That was the bad news.

I think it turned out alright in the end though.

I considered trying to bubble out the slot-shaped window in the topper cap, but when it came to it, I just used a flat window.

I found the license number from an internet movie trivia site, and made it up on Microsoft Word, printed it on paper, and glued it on with tacky craft glue.

The rocket did take a while to cure. I was afraid to apply Future floor polish (for a nice, gloss decal base) until the rocket was no longer tacky, which took 3 or 4 days. I may have painted it too soon after baking. Now with the Future on, and I wait to apply decals.

If I had kept going on this, it would have been fun to make a tiny Buzz, buckled in front next to the pizzas, and a Woody sliding around in back with a toolbox, but I'm looking forward to my next build already—realizing that this one had taken 5 months to this point.

Every build seems like that-- I've got a Dodge army truck looking down on me now as I type that SOMEDAY might get a tarp, but probably never. Each of my builds has something more I could do, but the whim has passed on this one.

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About the Author

About Sean Hadfield (windysean)

I picked up model building and HO-scale model trains from my father. I've been working at it now for more than 45 years, always learning more. Although a self-proclaimed cheapskate, I always modify or add to my builds to make them unique and special (for better or worse, ha ha).


Sean! This is awesome dude! Can't wait to share this w/ my kid. Outstanding piece of nostalgia, and a lil beauty too! Cheers Dave
MAR 24, 2013 - 06:26 AM
Thanks, James and Dave! This is one of my favorite builds. -Sean H.
MAR 24, 2013 - 09:35 AM
Great work Sean....
MAR 24, 2013 - 11:45 AM
Sean, cool subject and build, enjoyed reading your article, nice job! Charlie Pro Tech Model Parts
MAR 25, 2013 - 11:37 AM
Very well done, Sean. Awesome idea!
MAR 25, 2013 - 03:30 PM