Monday, March 2, 2015

Alpine A210 final assembly Part I

The 35+ year-old decals went on OK, although the clear portion of the decal around the number 5 has yellowed. An attempt to Bare Metal Foil the Alpine text on the nose ended in failure, and scraping off the foil meant I needed a local respray and some sanding to hide the extra coat. A final coat of clear will finish this off, then it will be on to the glass and interior.

Chassis-wise, I left the manufacture of the coil springs a little late, and had to wait for the paint on the shocks to dry before assembly. The sheet showed 18 coils of the 0.018" wire wound around a 3 mm (1/8") tube for the rear springs, and 10 coils for the front, but there was only enough wire for the rears. I used some 0.038" copper wire for the fronts, but needed fewer coils as the wire is twice as thick. All this took some fiddling but looks good, maybe I will take this up as a useful trick.

Wheels are meant to slide over a very fine axle, and are retained with a tiny nut glued on to the end of the axle shaft. I figured this was a recipe for disaster and glued it all up, forgoing the rolling wheels. (When did you last roll one of your models across the floor?) A test fit of the body revealed that the left rear wheel hadn't been pushed far enough onto the axle. It got caught on the inside of the wheel fairing, and the axle snapped. I'll have to drill and pin it over the next few days, along with finishing up glass and interior. 

Today, Round 2 and Tamiya have come up with some standardised approaches to things like wheel hubs and uprights; the Tamiya polycap is a great approach which is strong, simple and easy. With this vintage Heller kit, you can see designers starting from scratch. For those interested, the model designer, Philippe de Lespinay, posted some history here, in English, where you can see the instructions (in French). The A210 kit was designed in 1966 and was his first, completed at a very young age if one judges from the photos. The page includes a number of fascinating exploded drawings. It is interesting that this A210, and a Renault Gordini R8 also from Heller, were released as a double kit by AMT in 1971!

Overall a different, quirky kit. Final pics will be posted soon.

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