Repainting the Jadi Lotus Elise
The model uses two basic assembly techniques. It holds major assemblies like the wheels and frame, and the doors on with screws. The small plastic parts are pressed on.
The screws are obvious. Remove the frame screws and remove the frame and wheels. The interior along with the front fender liners are held on with another set, as is the windsheld. Finally the doors pivot on a screw.
Most of the small plastic parts are molded with a thin, plastic post on the back side. This is press through a hole in the metal body and a hot iron is used to melt the black plastic sticking out the back side. These parts are easy to remove by just scraping the melted plastic with a blade.
There were two parts that were difficult to remove. The black vent near the tail lights is pressed in and is tight. The side marker lights in front of the doors are also pressed in and do not protrude through the metal of the body. In some cases it appears crazy glue was used to hold pieces in place as there was a typical finger print inside the body.
I plan on glass bead blasting the old paint off the body and repainting it Titanium Silver, the color of my real car. I tried to buy touch up paint from the Lotus dealer but all they have is brush. I also tried Mazda because they have a similar color but they do not have it in spray. I do have an air brush but worry about thinning it sufficiently to use as a spray.
I purchased an assortment of silver base, silver, gray, and clear coat spray paints from the hobby shop. I am going to try get close to the color.
I will post detailed assembly pictures, which will help with disassembly as well, when I get ready to assemble the car.
I imagine my real car will get here before I get the model painted!
Yep, my real car got here before I got the model painted.
I started to bead blast my model but found the paint very soft and resistant to the glass beads. I used chemical stripper instead and the paint came off immediately. I then bead blasted the metal parts in order to gain a consistent finish. The kids said the finish looked just like the color of my real car, Storm Titanium.
I removed the front license plate mounting square and the front winglettes below the two side grilles.
I visited the local hobby shop and found several different silver and silver base paints. Experimenting, I decided to use Tamiya Light Gunmetal, TS-42. I considered getting the actual color in a rattle can but found the solution expensive and a color match not guaranteed.
Several coats of paint followed and the finish was exceptional. It had an authentic amount of orange peel, which is very little. I considered buffing out the paint and polishing it but decided I did not need a show car shine.
Removing the Grills
I do not like the egg crate front grilles or the side grilles. I removed them in the model and will eventually do so on my real car. I used a rotary tool to remove the slats in the side grille. I painted the metal behind the side grilles black to make them look like they were removed.
Note the removal of the tiny grilles on the outside of the tail lights. The diffuser was trimmed in black paint. The LOTUS on the back was removed, as I have done on my real car.
This picture shows the original casting. Note the grilles, both center and sides, and also the license mounting point. The holes are where the plastic plate mounted.
Variations in color, especially the carpet, are caused by differences in lighting and exposure time.
Note the missing strakes in the side grille. I have also not replaced the side marker lights. The side grille extends into the door at the top and needs to be painted black as well.
Now all I need are a set of LSS wheels to make the car look like my real one! Please let me know if you have a source. I suspect it is a matter of time before Jadi makes a Federal version and hopefully it will have the correct wheels.