1996 Suzuka Havoline/Caltex Ford Thunderbird

This is the #28 Caltex/Havoline 1996 T-Bird that was driven by Ernie Irvan at Suzuka in the inaugural Thunder Special. The kit is a Monogram 1996 T-Bird with the usual body modifications (slab sides, jack posts, skirts and front airdam extension! The decals are mostly from the kit with a few replacement decals (or I guess you could call them substitutions) made by me! By the way, All of the front grille work is painted on... I wanted to try to make sure it matched the real car ...and this model is built as a road course/short track car so there is more duct grille work on the front and no passenger side glass!


As I said most of the decals are from the kit with the exception of the Caltex star on the hood w/lettering from a microscale model railroad lettering sheet, the caltex stars on the rear quarter panels, the trunk and rear panel with their associated teeny tiny caltex lettering (from the same microscale lettering sheet mentioned above. The star for the hood was made by first tracing a circle on the back of a sheet of white microscale decal material then cutting it out and applying it to the hood. The next step was to trace a slightly smaller circle on the back of another decal sheet (red this time) inside that circle I then drew a star and the little long triangular piece in the middle of the star. I then cut out the 3 red panels for the right side of the star and the red triangular piece for the middle and applied them carefully to the white circle previously applied to the hood (allowing for drying time of course!). Then I took the backing (from the top and middle right side red decal sections) turned them backside up and used them to trace the two left hand blue sections onto the circle and painted them on the white circle with a brush. You can get blue decal film from microscale also but I just decided to do it on the spur of the moment and used what was on hand! As far as the little Caltex stars go they are just the kit stars with the red t in the middle masked out by a piece of white decal stock with the little red piece added to the middle and the red on the left side of the circle over painted with blue! By the way many of the winston and busch and a couple other contingency decals are either not included in kit decal sheets I've used and some of the aftermarket sheets didn't have these (contingency decals) at all so I bought a sheet from slixx that contains these (I believe they sell these as a grouped sheet..decals are grouped as you see them on the actual cars...and as a sheet with individual decals so you can group them exactly as they are on the particular car you are building). As with most of these models that have decal stripes and color bands you must put the stripes and bands on first ... and air dam extension decals... because the contingency decals will come down below the stripes onto the color bands! Always remember to allow the decals you apply first time to set so that the water from the overlaying decals doesn't loosen them!


The chassis and body interior are airbrushed red (equal parts red and orange) as are all Yates cars. The exterior is airbrushed black which makes this another easy one to prepare (painting wise that is, Ha Ha!). Once the black paint is dry (1-2 days) you can apply the decals taking note of the procedures above! Then allow them to dry overnight and apply a gloss coat ...as mentioned on other pages here I use testors high-gloss enamel over coat ...to seal the decals! Then paint the clear parts and mount the body on the chassis and then assemble all clear parts to the body with clear craft glue! As I have also said before and I can't stress this enough, do not put the clear parts on before mounting the body on these T-Birds because the body must be spread apart considerably (especially at the rear) to get it over the chassis! If you try putting the clear parts in before they will be very likely to pop out!

Complete instructions for painting and assembly of chassis, clear parts, and construction of slab sides can be found at the bottom of the main page!

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Additional Pictures

Left Side View
Left Front View
Right Rear View