Citation Update 3: Green from the Inside Out!

Nowadays, it seems almost every interior is either black or dark grey, or, if you’re lucky, beige. Gone, it seems, are the days of full red, green, blue and even white interiors; at least for everyday people-mover-type cars.

Well, it's neither black, nor grey, nor beige! The completed interior looks nice, if not sedate. Notice how I have moved the driver's seat back farther than the passenger's seat. This is a touch of realism I like to put in; it's how my real life cars are set up!

Well, it’s neither black, nor grey, nor beige! The completed interior looks nice, if not sedate. Notice how I have moved the driver’s seat back farther than the passenger’s seat. This is a touch of realism I like to put in; it’s how my real-life cars are set up!

That’s why, when I was looking up a colour for my Citation X-11, I wanted to get a colour that was available with a visually interesting interior choice. Well, since 1983 was the only year in which you could get the Light Fern Metallic on the X-11, I expected there would be some interesting interior options, too. I was not disappointed, although “interesting” might have too many connotations of exciting or bold. In this case, the interest comes from having an interior in a colour known also as “Light Fern”.

Normally, the colour of a fabric/vinyl and the paint with which it is offered is not exactly the same. Dark blues, for example, are sometimes close, but usually the colours of paint and interior have some contrast. However, thanks again to the picture of the Fern-on-Fern Caprice posted by John Goschke on the www.modelcarsmag.com forum, it can be seen that the GM Light Fern interior is one of those that is very, very close in colour to the paint of the same name.

You wanna bland?? Let's bland! Even paraphrasing Lethal weapon doesn't make the "Light Fern" interior exciting! It is, however, quite possibly the rarest colour for an X-11 interior; were any even made this way?

“You wanna bland?? Let’s bland!” Even paraphrasing Lethal Weapon doesn’t make the “Light Fern” interior exciting! It is, however, quite possibly the rarest colour for an X-11 interior; were any even made this way?

I can’t say that I’ve ever seen an interior in Light Fern before, although I do like green interiors; my Uncle and my Brother both had/have 1977 Cougars with green interiors, although the Dark Jade that Ford used is WAAAY more intense than the very bland and almost soothing Light Fern.

Building the Bucket:

Like most interiors found in American car models, the Citation X-11’s interior is formed as a bucket. There are separate piece armrests for the door that have to be glued in; I was surprised at this; usually they are just moulded in! The centre “console” is moulded in, though, mind you the gear shifter is not. Overall, the detail in the bucket is quite nice, and there is some carpeting texture on the floor and up the firewall. There’s no real texture on the parcel shelf, though.

Another place that is detailed with texturing are the seat faces, both front and rear. There are little creases near the stitching in the seats. Generally, this gives me the feeling that the model makers were trying to simulate leather (well okay, vinyl or naugahyde). The character lines and creases near the stitching look good, but there are a few that are a bit large. Between the seats, on what would be the “third rear seat” (Enjoy riding THERE! You know you want to!) however, there are a couple of creases that really shouldn’t be there. Also, I believe that the X-11’s had cloth seats with vinyl bolsters, so the type of creasing present isn’t as effective as it could be.

You can see the texturing on the seats is very pronounced; too much so in some places!

You can see the texturing on the seats is very pronounced; too much so in some places!

The seats are, I believe, incorrect for a late X-11. I know that the last X-11’s could get some pretty racy looking seats, but these are most certainly not them. What’s interesting is that both front seatbacks have ashtrays. In today’s world, where you have to ORDER an ashtray, this looks funny. However, if you remember the ‘80s, then you know smoking was far more expected and accepted then than now. Thus, the ashtrays are a nice little reminder of a much smokier, albeit less healthy, era! On top of being (likely) incorrect, the seats themselves only fit together passably. Thankfully, it’s not really possible to see the sides of the seats, which is good, since one of my seats had a few gaps in the seams that, for some reason, just didn’t seem to hold filler!

By and large, the dash board is very nice. It replicates all the Citation’s key features well, including the trademark “vertical stereo”, an odd piece of interior design clearly more a product of “How do we fit this in here?” than “What do you think would look cool and fresh in here?”. The gauges aren’t given as decals, like on my SVO, but they are fully moulded, so with some dry brushed silver they look very good. The steering column even has the ignition cylinder on it, which is not as common on car kits as it ought to be. Unlike the trunk, there’s even the correct “Chevrolet” writing above the glove box.

Decals for the instruments would have been nice, but even with only some silver highlighting, the dash looks good. Note the vertical radio. No, GM, that doesn't look like an afterthough AT ALL...

Decals for the instruments would have been nice, but even with only some silver highlighting, the dash looks good. Note the vertical radio. No, GM, that doesn’t look like an afterthough AT ALL…

The only part of the dash that falls down a bit is the steering wheel. It is the correct sporty wheel, as far as I can tell, but there is plastic webbing between the spokes. Instead, then, of a “twin two spoke” design, you get a “big two spoke” wheel, and it looks bad. Thankfully, with a pin vise you can drill out the ends and remove the webbing with a sharp knife, thereby giving your wheel the right look. There is a decal for the X-11 centre hub, but it looked like it was a bit too big, and I didn’t really want to push my luck with things, so I left it off. Call me a heathen if you like, but I figure no one but me will notice.

Those spokes don't look right...

Those spokes don’t look right…

Ah, that's better! drilling out the webbing helps a lot.

Ah, that’s better! drilling out the webbing helps a lot.

Overall, the painting for the interior was easy; make it green! The challenge comes from differentiating between the vinyl and cloth components, as well as the carpet. To do the carpet, I first glossed everything, then ground in some darker green-grey mixed pastels. I glossed these in place and then dry brushed more of the light fern in place over top. This gives a lowlight/highlight effect, which is quite good at simulating carpet. I did the same on the parcel shelf, but the lack of built-in texturing made it a bit harder to do.  The door panels and seat faces were also pastelled. However, to make life easier, they were pastelled after being flat coated. A matte surface picks up pastels better, and makes doing shadow both easier to control and less contrasting.

After all the pastelling was done, the whole interior was flat coated with Delta Ceramcoat Matte Indoor/Outdoor urethane varnish. The matte finish simulates the cloth well. I then “Vinylized” the non-cloth parts with a mix of Future, water and the Ceramcoat, to give a sickly oh-so-synthetic shine to the rest of the parts in the bucket.

From "head on" you can see the reflectivity differences in the matte "cloth" seats and the shinier "vinyl" surroundings.

From “head on” you can see the reflectivity differences in the matte “cloth” seats and the shinier “vinyl” surroundings.

Final assembly went well, and I highlighted the door latches and power window buttons (fancy!) with black and silver.

Here you can see the "sporty" black dashboard. I couldn't tell for sure if all X-11s  had black dashboards or not from my research, but it seemed like something that went with the Euro pretensions of the car.

Here you can see the “sporty” black dashboard. I couldn’t tell for sure if all X-11s had black dashboards or not from my research, but it seemed like something that went with the Euro pretensions of the car.

With the interior all “ferned up”, the only thing left now is the body!

 

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2 comments

  1. From the number of pedals I guess one of them is the parking brake and that it has a manual transmission?

    1. I think that’s right, but the shifter arm doesn’t look “manual-ish” to me at all. I think you’d need a manual to get any kind of power out of that engine, though. That having been said, I think the shifter is trying to be the manual handle; the automatic is a T-handle-type affair!

      Good eyes, Marcus!

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