Sunday, November 2, 2014

MFH's 908/03: Dashboard and cockpit

I found a red tail lamp in the spare parts box with a locating pin that was just a bit bigger (0.0625") than the warning lamp that got away (0.055"). I cut the pin off the lamp, filed it down and rounded it off, then drilled an enormous hole in the dash to make it fit. Overall it worked out well. The photo below, taken through my 4X desktop glass, and with the 3X optical zoom on the camera at maximum, shows the result which is not perfect with this magnification but will pass muster. I am going to leave the gauge as it is; I won't tell if you don't ... can you tell which gauge is the problem? and which warning light got replaced?


Looking closely at the front subframe so far, made as it is of flexible white metal struts held together with cyanoacrylate glue, I realize that it is a bit of a crooked glue bomb, with tubes not lining up so well, and with dried CA glue in a faint sheen across many of the painted bits. A bit depressing to be sure, but OK for a first try of these multi-media kits - even the best builders had to start somewhere, I assume. So I take a breath and press on regardless, knowing that it should still look pretty good in the display case without the 4X glass to highlight all the little screw-ups.

First, though, I have to take a cotton swab drenched in acetone to pick out the worst glue blobs, while staying away from the joints which are weak enough as it is. One big lesson here is that I need to figure out how to apply the CA stuff more neatly and efficiently. Cleanliness is another issue; I washed all the bits in dish soap before starting, but maybe acetone would have been a better choice, at least for the white metal, to get rid of all the mold release chemicals.

Next I mounted the two inner fender splash panels, fortunately nicely cast of resin so dimensionally they are, or should be fine - the filing and shaping necessary to get them to fit arises because the structure behind them is not where it all should be. (Kudos if you can spot the problems in the picture below, again taken through the 4X glass). The glue here is 2-part epoxy, given that most of the joints are resin to resin.



Next is to tidy up some of the paint and install the dashboard and steering wheel. While the paint sets, I've dug out the various bits that attach to the cockpit floor and rear bulkhead and started on the prepping and painting. The next picture shows all the little bits that will go into the cockpit: clockwise from top you will see coils in a vice, relays already mounted to the bulkhead, gearshift linkage, steering wheel, seats and the battery box (white box already mounted to the floor). Two of the relays on the bulkhead sit in little heat sinks made of photo-etched sheet; I guess they expect you to lose a couple of the fins as there are 12 little fins on the sheet but only 8 are required ... I skipped this after 30 minutes unsuccessfully trying to get the fins to stand up in the frame. What is missing now is a couple of decals (Bosch labels on the coils for instance) and the seatbelts before I can button up the cockpit.



As I was cleaning up, out of habit I had a look through the various minuscule bits of scarf, shavings and filings on my desk before sweeping it all into the garbage, and lo and behold, there was the missing warning lamp that got away ... turns out Mr. Carpet didn't get it after all. At times like this, I long for my old friend polystyrene, with reasonably large bits on tidy, numbered sprues.

I'll be away on business for another week, so expect no further progress for a while.

Originally posted 2 November 2014
 

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