Sunday, April 26, 2015

Renault 40 Record: opening up the left-side door

As noted previously, the Record came with the left side door molded with the body, but is also supplied with a separate door. Using the new door means cutting out and discarding the old one. With the narrow windows and the tall slab body sides, this is really the only way to show off the interior. (Pictures here; the text is in French but the picture portfolio speaks for itself).

Given the thickness of the mold, this was not going to be a case of gently carving out the seam with the back of a No. 11 blade, as the blade would eventually get jammed in the cut. So I got brave (given the price of the kit) and used the cut-off tool on my Dremel to carve off the old door.

The result is not at all bad, even if the window frame in the old door had to be sacrificed.

Next will be to build hinges as in the article by Ken Hamilton in the April 2015 issue of Scale Auto. Most of that article focuses on hidden hinges (the case study is AMT's 1962 Thunderbird convertible), but he provides a quick overview of 'barn-door' hinges with a 1934 Ford as the example, and this is the approach I'll take with the three hinges used on the Renault.

That being said, an initial attempt using 1/32" brass rod and 0.003" shim stock has only been moderately successful. The 0.005" stock seemed excessively stiff at first look, but it is possible that this is a good thing; experimentation continues. Hamilton recommends 'shim stock' but doesn't specify thickness. (The picture also shows clearly the cleanup needed around the door and opening).

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