Monday, October 10, 2016

Audi S1: on to the body

So the combination of Dupli-Color Automotive Primer/Sealer with Testor's white in a rattle can appears to work just fine, given the constraints of rattle cans around things like droplet size. (Now that I am retired, there may be an airbrush in my future). I have no idea why I have had such problems with Tamiya paints in pale colours in the past, but there you go. Any ideas would be most welcome.

The chassis is painted and the engine installed. The intercooler is now level but too low and doesn't line up with the grille; fixing it would require shifting the compressor side of the turbo so that the air outlet from the compressor to the intercooler runs above the exhaust pipe from #1 cylinder, not under; I think I'll leave it alone if only because this will play havoc with the exhaust from the turbo and wastegate. These so-called multi-media kits, with resin and spun cast bits, aren't 'paint-by-numbers' like a styrene kit from AMT or Tamiya; lots of trial fitting and fiddling with bits is a good idea and I have probably been treating this a little too much like a styrene kit. The S1 and the Abarth (which still needs a few finishing touches) are providing useful information and experience before I get back to more demanding stuff like the Aston Martin DBR1 from Profil 24 or the monstrous little 908/03 from Model Factory Hiro. (Look through older posts for details on these.)

So with the chassis painted, the body now has a couple of coats in white, plus the yellow has been put on after taping it all up. I foolishly forgot to spray on a coat of clear over the tape before going to the yellow, so there are a few spots where yellow seeped under the tape and which will need to be fixed, but nothing major. One nice aspect of using Testor's rattle cans is being able to do touch ups with a brush. I took advantage of this benefit in several places and will continue to do so going forward.

The decal on the hood proved a challenge. The decals are fairly thick; normally I like this but the hood has a couple of blisters for clearing the shock towers, and no amount of Micro-Sol setting solution could get the decals to settle down over this compound curve without cracking. I will tidy this up with a very fine brush and some enamel, meanwhile the rest of the car is largely flat surfaces so there should be no repeats of this particular problem.

The air scoops all have photo-etched grilles (6 in the hood alone) that look quite nice. This is a step up from having to paint, then wash in some flat black, although the grilles are fragile and it is possible to lay on way too much CA glue. As with polystyrene glue, toothpicks are helpful in limiting the amount of glue on any given part.

I will be busy with other things for the next day or two, then away from the bench until November, so updates will be sparse for the next while. Please feel free to comment on anything you see here.

Saturday, October 8, 2016

Lancia Stratos: completed!

I came across a Tamiya lime green rattle can in the stash, which provided the perfect shade, see here: For some reason the can doesn't have a number, it just says TS Lime Green on it. A one off?

Separately it would have been nice to put Webers on the motor but I didn't seem to have anything in the parts bin that has the barrels as close together as the manifold requires. I do have a set of Webers for various Ford motors, 260 through 350 cubic inches, from Historic Racing Miniatures, but it seems to me that it would be a shame to put such a nice set of carbs on this slightly ratty kit; I was saved from this dilemma by the fact that they won't fit. So the standard air cleaner, which hides the carbs, was the way to go. All in flat red, of course; isn't there a rule that Italian twin-cam cylinder heads, especially when there are two of them, need to be topped by red valve covers?

Moving on to the body, the pop up headlights are mounted on a clever little lever-operated hinge that allows you to move them up and down once assembled. I glued them shut as they look dinky when up. Sort of like a TR 7, but I digress.

Similarly I skipped the aero bits and rally headlamps, a well as the Alitalia decals which are probably unusable after 40 years in the box.

All went well until final assembly. The chassis needs to mate with the body under the front valance just so, and a good bit of filing was needed to make that happen. Then the fit around the rear just under the doors was also tight and needed lots of attention.

The result looks good with the engine lid open but the fit when closed is very poor. I thought maybe I had put the hinge on backwards, but apparently not. I am guessing a large part of this is the hinge, which is quite sloppy; the engine lid can be pushed forward to meet up with the roof but the fenders are too wide, a result of the body shifting in 40 years on the shelf.

Other minor issues are the front track, which looks too narrow, and the knobby rally tires that don't really suit a road car. Nonetheless it is a fine looking model of the original wedge design, penned by Bertone in his prime and still a wicked little bomb today. The wedge is gone, killed off by bad knockoffs like the TR 7 (no, I don't like TR 7s), but this one shows what can be done with the concept especially when the machinery is all in back.

So anyway, another one done, in record time (under two days), and a good fit with the other mid or rear engined exotica on the shelf. As this was a new start, there are still a baker's dozen in various states of completion on the bench, including the little Abarth in the centre of the photo which just needs a few items such as the front hood hinges sorted out. Another day.

Lancia Stratos: Revell OOP kit

While waiting for the Testor's white enamel to harden properly on the Audi S1, I tackled the out-of-production Lancia Stratos from Revell USA. This kit came from Model Roundup's OOP page, and on opening it I discovered an official invitation to join the Revell Modelers Club, dated 1977. Two dollars got you a bunch of (probably cheap) swag, Please Allow 6 weeks For Delivery. How times have changed.

The kit suffers from major flash and sinkholes. While the 2.4 litre Ferrari V6 is present, detail is limited. The two main body components (body and rear engine cover) are poor fits and will require lots of fiddling. The Hasegawa kit that I have described previously has no engine detail but at least the body fits. So the ultimate outcome will be limited by kit quality.

I decided to target the lovely first generation cars, without spoilers, flares or rally lights, as shown in the photo below taken from the internet. What a lovely muscular little shape, the beginning of the wedge era which reached its nadir with the Triumph TR7. All the aero bits distract from this.

The first step, after lots of trimming of flash and sinkholes, was to cut off the spoiler and trim the rear flares. The tires will still be fat but the square flares can be trimmed back for aesthetic if not legal purposes.

Next was Tamiya primer followed by a coat of Tamiya Pearl Green (TS 60) which turns out to be a poor replica of the violent lime green I recall seeing on early road cars. I'll sand it out and decide whether to look for something more representative of the 1970's.

So another kit started ... trust me, other kits are being completed and will be reported in due course. Yes, really!