Gilera 500cc Grand Prix

The Protar Gilera 500cc four-cylinder GP motorcycle. My favorite is the one with the "Fire-engine" full dustbin fairing but this one also proved to be a rewarding build. The decals are of the type where they are pre-glued and require that a thin backing be removed before they are applied to the plastic. You only get one shot at this or they tear.

My method is as follows:

1) Cut around the decal as close as you can to the edge
2) Remove the backing and carefully apply the decal
3) Leave it right there without trying to remove the clear front.
4) Come back in a couple of hours and press the clear sheet to help it further adhere the decal to the plastic.
5) Keep repeating until the clear cover sheet separates from the decal.
6) Press flat carefully with a lint-free rag
7) Seal with either spray-on or brush on clear Tamiya finish.

One exception to the removal of the backing cardboard is the tach and speedo. These should be cut nice and round to fit in their respective cases, remove the clear cover sheet and push the plastic bezel supplied with the kit into place over it. No glue should be required. Just putting the decal itself into the case never seems to look right and it always shows any imperfections in the plastic of the seating surface.

The fins of the engine can be given more depth by making a 10 to 1 mix of water and Tamiya flat black. Experiment first to see if the mix is just dark enough to stain. Now brush this onto the finned areas and wipe the high spots (fin edges and cam covers) leaving the stain in the recesses to provide a more pronounced relief. Just double-click on the Gilera picture at the bottom to get a zoomed-in view and a better idea of the effect.

The use of Testors No#1260 Dullcote Enamel sprayed directly over the chrome of the lower fork legs and wheel rims allowed a more realistic alloy finish to to be obtained.

The Zen of Bruce

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