Saturday, November 5, 2016

Push to completion: 787B, OT 1300, BRE 510

I am just back from a few weeks away, and the Audi S1 is moving slowly. Meanwhile I have completed a few items over the last few months, where the roadblock has been mental more than anything else, and haven't really posted the results. Case in point: the Mazda 787B.

This ground to a halt when I screwed up the paint required on the windows. Recent experience with the S800 tells me Bare Metal Foil would probably be a better choice, but too late for that now. So I trimmed the excess paint as best I could, glued the right side upper ball joint back together, and finished it off. Again not a winner in the area of quality of finish, but it adds an essential item to the Le Mans collection and highlights the oddball power plant, the 4-chamber rotary motor.

The Abarth OT 1300 required some paint where I put a thumb full of glue into the right side door during a prior attempt at final assembly. Lots of taping was needed to keep fresh paint off the windows and chrome. Meanwhile I gritted my teeth and cut the headlight covers out of the vacuum formed sheet. This worked out quite well, surprisingly, given the fragility of clear material made with this technique.

The long 'stinger' exhaust is a bit silly and prevents the rear engine cover being posed open; it has to be removed to exhibit the engine compartment. This is probably an important part of the claimed 145 hp from 1300 cc, probably all arising at something like 7000 RPM.

Getting the body to stick to the chassis took some doing. This was necessary in order to position the hinges for the front compartment. The major challenge was figuring out where the body and chassis meet up, and thus where the glue belongs.

What an oddball little car! Carlo Abarth was another character, like Colin Chapman or Ettore Bugatti, who was completely uncompromising about doing things his own way. The lime green Lancia Stratos lurking in the background of the photos, while radical for its time in terms of styling, is a paragon of modernity by comparison, with a transverse, mid-engine V6. And the Model Factory Hiro kit was a challenge even if it isn't one of their super-detailed kits. As my first successfully-completed multi-media kit, I am pleased, although as usual there are details I could have done better.

Finally I tackled final assembly of the BRE Datsun 510. This is a very detailed and challenging kit that will reward an experienced modeler, but will frustrate a beginner. Lots of fiddly little work was required to get the front and rear body panels to fit properly. The oddball approach to joining chassis to body, via the inner shock towers under the hood, required some fiddling and filing, and the opening hood, which gets trapped between the chassis and body, doesn't open very far, and doesn't quite close fully. A final gripe is the Minilites which are poorly done. Still it's a good looking little sedan. I am moderately pleased with the effort which is a bit sloppy in the details, the photos being carefully chosen to minimise the flaws ;-).

The matching 240Z, which is only at the paint and decal stage, will likely sit for a while until I can knock off a few more that are further ahead, such as the 300 SL. At first glance, however, the level of detail here is substantially less than the 510. Meanwhile the Japanese contingent is growing.

So this takes the completion ratio to a whopping 33%. And all of this coincided with the arrival in the mail of EBBRO's Citroen H van, a real ugly duckling commercial vehicle. A curbside model, it lacks detail of the FWD Traction Avant chassis which allowed for a very low load floor. It was a utilitarian vehicle which you could get in any colour you wanted as long as it was grey, and which served French commerce quite well in the post-war years. The addition of the Citroen brings the completion ratio back to 32.8%... time to get going.

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