Monday, October 13, 2014

MFH's 908/03: Front frame assembly

I took the holiday Monday as an opportunity to make some progress, again with the goal of having some success stories as a morale-booster.

The front frame, like the structure around the engine, is a bunch of struts and A-frames made of spun-cast white metal, with little dowels meant to fit into equally little sockets. White metal being soft, all of these can easily be bent, after which they will not line up. It is also easy to shear off a dowel if pushing a little too hard. So the trick is to gently get it all to line up dry, then hold it with one hand while dribbling some fast cyanoacrylate glue (3-second Crazy Glue) into the seams. This can be sloppy, and it is critical to have some acetone handy for when you get too much glue in there and either make a big blob, or glue your fingers to each other and/or the model, or both. (Guys, I hate to say this, but the best source of acetone is nail polish remover ... so man up, grit your teeth, and drop by the cosmetics counter of your local drugstore where you should ask for the plain, non-scented variety. They will give you a 250 mL bottle which should last you just about forever, so you won't be needing to do this every week. While you're at it, load up on Q-Tips or cotton swabs so you can control where the acetone actually goes.)

Today's activities included painting and assembling the two brake fluid bottles and the fire extinguisher. I did not have the heart to try making brake fluid hoses connecting the bottles to the master cylinders which were installed last winter; even with my 4X desk glass, this is getting into detail that I really can't make out very well.

Following that, I installed the four remaining structural components of the front frame, along with the rack & pinion and front anti-roll bar. Last came the oil cooler and hoses running under the passenger seat to the rear. The picture shows the front frame, floor pan and engine, with the seat loosely in position, but this is just for show, they are far from being ready to glue together.

Next: inner fenders and dashboard, steering and front suspension, and cockpit bits like the battery, ignition coils and sundry other little gubbinses  prior to attaching this all to the engine and rear frame assembly. The instruction sheet has 28 steps; I've completed Steps 1 and 2 (front frame), and most of 8 through 13 (engine, transmission and rear frame), so I'm at maybe 30% complete.

Finally I am concerned that the Tamiya blue is just a bit too dark; the last photo shows the Tamiya colour compared with Testor's light blue. I may just respray with Testor's, to be decided; it is not as grey as it looks on screen (or at least on my screen).

Separately there has been some minor progress on the 956 pickup. Clearance for the 956 front wheels requires opening up the front fenders, which will cut into the cabin. I applied a light coat of primer today; once this is dry, sanding and filing to take down the rough spots will begin. The goal is the same Gulf Oil colour scheme as the 908...

Originally posted 13 October 2014

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