Friday, March 6, 2015

Alpine A210 final assembly Part II

So it's done. The glass went in OK with the Micro Krystal Klear, and the body is a fair fit to the chassis. Wheels tend to catch in the inner fenders, especially in the rear, and it probably wouldn't roll even if I had gotten the axles right. Looking in through the glass, there are big gaps visible where the inner fenders are missing, and a lot of the fiddly little bits were a challenge. Nonetheless, it's a nice addition to the growing collection of obscure little French racers.

Combined displacement of the two Alpines: 2.9 litres.

I've always thought the A110 was a good-looking little car, with a lot of neat period cues. Of course there are other shapes from the same era that have aged much better, such as the first-generation 911, but this is still an interesting shape with the little lips on the fenders, the scalloped sides and the slim roof pillars. It manages to look muscular even though it is small, because the proportions are all just about right. The road version is probably better-looking because it doesn't have all the tacked-on lamps needed for the Monte Carlo. The Matra Djet was another iconoclastic French design from the same period, which was replaced by the phenomenally ugly 530. But I digress.  

The A210 was designed with minimal wind resistance in mind and it shows. It was succeeded by the A220, with a small V8, and with a similar focus on aerodynamics.

Neither of the Alpines is really painted a proper French blue, with the A110 done in Testor's and the A210 in Tamiya. However the camera, lighting and computer screen play a role here; to illustrate I tried some new artistic photographic techniques. The last picture, which probably reproduces the two shades of blue better than before, is a lot softer with a lot less glare, plus it hides the flaws better. Maybe I'll use this approach more often ...

So what's next, you ask? Hard to say. There are a lot of unfinished projects taking up space. I've built my share of Hemis, small-block Chevys and big-block Fords; I've also built my share of turbocharged, ground-effects Le Mans racers. The obscure stuff is oddly interesting and there are two other French cars sitting on the shelf: the Renault 4 mentioned previously, and Tamiya's Citroen 2CV. Combined displacement 1350 cc from 6 cylinders ... then again there is Tamiya's Mazda 787B Le Mans car with rotary engine. Stay tuned.

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