After finishing roughing out the car it was time to refine the details of the car. The car was made from a piece of yellow pine I had lying around since the piece of pine that came with the kit was for an open wheel design. I then discovered firsthand what I had always read about yellow pine. Yellow pine alternates between hard and soft wood. The dark grain lines in the wood are rock hard and the light colored wood is soft like butter. The hard wood requires a lot of force to carve through but when you reach the soft wood on the other side you quickly and uncontrollable gouge in. This creates all kinds of problems when you try to carve. It makes it hard to carve the details that run through the hard sections, as well as gouging and splitting out of the wood.
These difficulties made me reconsider some of the details that I had originally considered making a part of the car. I reduced Lightning to a more basic form. Another realization I had while carving was how the symmetry of the car actually made it more difficult. Because cars are perfectly symmetrical anything less than that perfect symmetry is easily noticed. I found myself often looking at the car and knowing something wasn’t quite right but having a hard time seeing exactly what was off with the shape.
After getting Lightning to a place that I felt was as good as I was going to accomplish I sanded it down and sprayed it with a coat of primer. After the primer I laid down a few coats of Testor’s Revving Red paint. A gorgeous red paint from Testor that is full of pearl that will closely approximate the paint job that Ramone gave Lightning in the movie.