Sunday, January 25, 2015

Resin kits: overview

Resin has a whole different value proposition (to use a current management expression) from styrene.

Pros: Lots of opportunities to build obscure stuff you'll never find elsewhere. For example my collection of unbuilt resin includes the following:
  1. Le Mans and other long-distance road racers (all from Profil 24):
    • Maserati 450 S, car #19 as run at Sebring in 1957
    • Aston Martin DBR1, car #4, #5 or #6 as run at Le Mans in 1959
    • Alfa Romeo Giulietta SZ, car #35 as run at Le Mans in 1963
  2. Monte Carlo and other rally cars (all from Profil 24):
    • Porsche 550 Panamericana as run in the Panamericana in 1953
    • Audi S1 Group B, car #2 or #6 as run in the 1981 Monte Carlo
    • Toyota Celica Twincam Turbo Group B, as run in the East African Safari Rally in 1984 through 1986
  3. Custom transkits (all from Jimmy Flintstone, but requiring an AMT, Revell or similar kit to complete):
    • '61 Ford Starliner 2-door wagon
    • '59 Cadillac Cadalicious
    • '51 Chevy Leadstone
Cons: You really need to test fit every piece before beginning to even think about putting on primer or paint. There will be lots of time spent adjusting the fit, filling holes and gaps, sanding rough spots, etc. For example the Starliner wagon is a lousy fit on the AMT Starliner chassis, partly due to the resin interior shell being a poor fit in the resin body. Also the hood (from the AMT kit) doesn't quite line up with the resin body. So there is lots to do here, even with a quality styrene platform.

One exception to this rule appears to be the two Model Hiro Factory kits on my shelf (Porsche 908 and 917), where the resin parts are of excellent quality; however I suppose this is to be expected given the prices they charge: up to $400 (Canadian) for a full kit, versus under $20 US for the Jimmy Flintstone bodies. The Profil 24 kits are expensive, but cheaper than MFH kits, so it is reasonable that there is more cleanup needed. Photos of the Alfa and Porsche follow.

Going over the stack of un-started stuff, I decided on the DBR1 as my first resin attempt, mainly because the amount of cleanup appears to be less than some of the other kits. The Audi S1, for instance, has a lot of gaps to fill, see below; filing off excess is one thing, but building up to fill gaps is another.

The objective is to build up the #5 car driven to first place by Carroll Shelby and Roy Salvadori in 1959. Maurice Trintignant and Paul Frère were second in another DBR1; this was the last win of the late-50's domination of Le Mans by British makes. Salvadori passed away a few years ago at the age of 90; Trintignant went on to operate a vineyard and eventually became mayor of the local village; Frère had an interesting career, winning Le Mans in 1960 (in a Ferrari Testa Rossa, with Olivier Gendebien), then went on to work as a journalist (for Road & Track among others) and as test driver for Porsche. He combined these skills in producing a couple of very detailed books on the Porsche racing cars up to about the 917, including gems like shaving down the nut holding in the ignition switch for a documented weight savings of something like 15 grams on the 904. Typical German thoroughness... as for Shelby, I suspect you all know where he wound up.

The kit includes resin and spun-cast white metal parts, as well as a couple of photo-etched sheets, vacuum-formed clear parts, machined aluminum rims and rubber tires.

First step: washing all the bits in acetone (spun cast metal) and dish soap (resin) to remove mold release agents. Second step: cleanup of body parts for primer and paint, according to my new philosophy of getting the bodywork out of the way. Details to follow in subsequent posts. As this is my first resin build, I'll document it more thoroughly than I might with a styrene kit. You have been warned.

No comments:

Post a Comment