July 8th, 2007

Morris Minor, Fenchurch

Colour me astounded

I realised last week that I was going to run out of topcoat before finishing Fenchurch's respray. I ordered some more paint from the same paint factors I got the first lot from, and carried on spraying. The new tin arrived, I opened it up, and... It was clearly the wrong shade of blue. It looked like a dull, faded version of the paint I'd been using. I called the paint factors up and he said to send it back with a sample of the old paint for comparison.

I just made a paint sample; a small block of wood with the two colours on it, side by side. Something clicked in my brain, and I thought, "I've seen this before." Go take a look at this old post. The sample I've just made looks exactly like the simulated sample at the top of that page. Now compare the two simulated resprays in that post to the photo in this post. That's right, I've accidentally sprayed Fenchurch in Royale blue instead of Trafalgar. And she looks fantastic! :D

The paint factor must have made a mistake because the label on the old tin says Trafalgar but the shade is definitely Royale. The two colour codes are BU37 (Traf) and BU38 (Royale) so they may just have entered the wrong digit into the mixing machine or something. Because I was doing a colour change, I didn't realise the shade was different to what it was supposed to be. But I don't mind at all - Royale Blue Travellers are few and far between (it's debatable whether the factory ever produced any), and I think the colour looks lovely on her. The Royale is a much richer and more vibrant shade than the Trafalgar.

Working on it

Minor update

My dad finally sold the camper van he's been tinkering with for ages, so he came over to the workshop and gave me a hand for a few hours yesterday. In the past week we've:

  • Put a few more coats of oil on the woodwork. It doesn't look as good as the rear doors yet, but there's enough on to protect it from the rain so I'm going to stop for the time being.
  • Put the final coat of Smoothrite on the floor inside.
  • Done loads more bloody flatting down, wearing out the skin on my fingertips again in the process.
  • Sprayed the topcoats on all the external panels except the bonnet. I've probably only got enough paint of the right colour left to do one or maybe two coats on the bonnet (see previous post). The finish doesn't look all that brilliant up close (orange peel and dust particles) but I'm hopeful it'll come up a bit better after final flatting and polishing, which I'm not going to do until I've got some spare time after she's back on the road.
  • Painted the insides of the rear wings (three coats of black smoothrite).
  • Painted the inside of the front panel and one side of the radiator panel.
  • Started painting the insides of the front wings.
  • Fitted the rear wings, which involved tacking the new plastic bead in place and drilling new holes for the coach bolts because the original bolts were all knackered.
  • Reassembled the rear doors.
  • Reassembled the rear door hinges. Three times. I assembled them once, it looked like I'd got the top and bottom halves mixed up, so I took them apart and put them together again the other way round. They looked even more wrong than the first time so I took them apart and swapped them round again.
  • Glued the new rear door seals on with Sikaflex adhesive sealant (horrible black gunge that stuck to my fingers and wouldn't wash off).
  • Put the front bumper assembly back together, then realised I'd missed an important bit out (the iron frame that goes between the valance and the mounting studs) and I'll have to order some new chrome bolts because I cut them down to just the right length without the frame attached. I also noticed that the offside overrider is rather bent, but I'm going to be getting a new set at some point anyway because the chrome plating isn't very good.
  • Trial-fitted the new stainless steel sill cover plates (they fit just fine, no fettling required. Yay).
  • Fitted the new front door seals.
  • Tapped out all the captive nuts that the front door hinges screw to.
  • Hung the front doors (just the bottoms - I still need to fit the tops, glass, latches, etc).
  • Various other little bits and pieces.

The end is looking tantalisingly close now.