Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Citroen H van: door hinges

While looking for ways to avoid tackling the stack of resin again, I poked around the stash and came across the Citroen H van, a post-war commercial delivery vehicle based on the Citroen 11. Ugly as can be in its crude, corrugated sheet metal livery made largely of flat pieces, it is technologically very advanced with FWD and a rear twist beam axle that allows a very low, wide load floor. Spare tire and gas tank cleverly fit ahead of the rear wheels against the inner wall (gas on the right, spare on the left), contributing to the massive amount of useful space for the size. Issigonis may, rightly, have bragged about the volume to footprint ratio of the Mini in 1959, but the French had been playing the same game for some time already. Of course the Mini was fun to drive.

The kit, from Ebbro, is a curbside which means it can be built pretty quick. I decided to hinge the suicide doors, which, as delivered, can be posed open or shut but not operated. This involved brass rod of 0.5 mm diameter sleeved inside brass tube of 1.0 mm OD and just under 0.25 mm wall thickness -- the rod is a nice snug fit inside the tube. It also involved a little too much crazy glue, but that can be fixed.

This approach to door hinges will come in handy on Profil 24's 1926 Renault NM record car, where I previously tried the Scale Auto Magazine trick of short bits of brass rod wrapped in thin brass sheet, with little success. At this point I have made the mistakes on the H van where they can be fixed, and hopefully it will all work better on the Renault.

Next will be getting the sliding side door to slide, and hinging the three-piece rear doors (upper hinged tailgate, and two small doors hinged left and right). Paint will probably be grey primer with a clear coat, or at most with a pale grey semi-gloss top coat -- you could have these in any colour as long as it was pale grey.

The van is short but quite a bit wider than I would have imagined for something meant to navigate narrow Paris streets. It's on a par with my AMT Ford Skyliner, which admittedly is a bit smaller at 1:25. Of course everything is big next to the Mini...

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