Friday, June 24, 2016

Abarth OT 1300: Almost done

Feeling a little ashamed at the large number of acquisitions since I actually completed anything, I completed the Abarth interior, and began final assembly.

The picture shows it next to the whale-like Hudson, which is actually even bigger in real life as it is 1/25 scale compared to 1/24 for the Abarth.

I also tackled the vacuum-formed windows. Given this is the first time I have ever worked with this sort of window, I started with the clear fastback which is not critical. Of course I managed to trim a little too much off and it is now scrap. The material is very thin and very easy to cut with scissors, which is obviously part of the problem. Armed with this knowledge, I now know I'll need to be more careful with the other vacuum-formed parts (windshield and headlamp covers). The real challenge is understanding where the actual window is supposed to begin.

For side and rear windows, I used 0.010" clear sheet which is a bit thick but provides some stiffness for the photo-etched window surrounds. Even so I had to start over a couple of times to get it right.

I managed the windshield OK, so I moved to gluing the body to the chassis permanently. In so doing, however, I got a finger-full of glue on my thumb and left a smudge mark in the door. The wiper is a flimsy, complex photo-etched part requiring careful folding, which I made a mess of. So I'm feeling stiff and nervous and I am at the point where I'll screw it up worse if I push now, so time to sit back and just look at it.

What's left: Right side door paint touch-up will need to be sanded and refinished. The little headlight covers will both need to be cut out of the vacuum-formed sheet. The hinges for the front compartment lid need to be lined up just right so it fits, and this will surely involve some fiddling. Finally the exhaust pipe is a long stinger-type thing that sticks way out with very little support, so it will be the last thing to go on before it goes into the display case.

When I get it complete and on the shelf, it will be the first one completed since the Nissan R34 Skyline back in February, and will bring the completion ratio from 32.5% to a whopping 33.1%. It will also be the first resin and multi-media kit I've completed. There's a spot for it in the little tiddler shelf, next to the Alpines, Lancias and Lotuses (Loti?).

What's next? Well, summer vacation is what's next, so progress will continue to be slow. On the started but unfinished list: a pair of BRE Datsuns; a pair of Mercedes SLs; resin kits of the 908 and DBR1; a GT40, 787B and 956; a kit-bashed 956 pickup truck; a White Freightliner and Mitsubishi Fuso; and a 1926 Renault 40 Record car in resin. It will be nice to pick something close to completion and finish it off; the BRE 510 and the 787B are pretty close. Stay tuned.


  1. Hi and thank you for maintaining such a wonderful blog.

    Even though I'm still new to building, I went ahead and bought the MFH Abarth 1300 due to your experience with it.

    At any rate I find your blog inspiring and educational which will help me become a better builder.

    Thanks again, I'm very appreciative of your work.

  2. It's grat to know I have a reader! few people leave comments.

    Enjoy the Abarth, it's a neat little car. But be aware it's not a styrene kit so many parts will require trimming to fit. In particular the front hood needed some work around the hinges, and the glue line between the body and the floor pan was also a problem.

    Write to discuss!


  3. Hi and thank you sir!
    I'm finishing up a custom Ferrari 308GT racer build. I then have slated a Chaparral 2 in honor of a departed friend. It was his favorite car and it was actually his kit.