Friday, February 24, 2017

Back to the DBR1

I decided to dig out the Aston Martin DBR1, in resin from Profil 24, that has been sitting for over a year now (for the last post, click here). The first thing I noticed was quite a bit of dust in the paint, which was put on in the days before my little paint booth; the second thing I noticed was that the Tamiya TS-9 paint, while a decent replica of BRG, is quite a bit darker than the period pictures would imply for this particular car.

So out came the suite of sandpapers to smooth things out, and out came a can of Tamiya TS-78 (Field Grey) which is really green rather than grey; it's a flat military colour so I added a coat of clear.

As is often the case, the colours don't look that different on the screen, but they do in real life. And while the new colour is still a bit matte, it more closely mimics the original.

A push got the front half of the chassis finished. The front suspension is pretty fiddly and very careful pre-assembly is needed. I have a feeling the wheel is too far back on one side, which illustrates the challenges with some resin kits where you don't have big obvious dowels to join things together.

The engine is the last bastion of the pre-war racing engine: small bore, long stroke, hemi head with twin cams. Not to take anything away from the drivers (Shelby and Salvadori, in this case), but Enzo's V12s were thoroughly modern big bore, short stroke affairs, and as a result would run away from the Jags and Astons, even with only one cam per head. This went on until it was time to brake, which is when the disc brakes in the British cars suddenly made a difference. Once Enzo made the leap to discs, it was all over for the Brits, and even the Lightweight E-Type of the early '60s was no match for a GTO.

Next is the interior and rear suspension. The door hinges, which require bending a piece of photo-etched sheet around a tube, will be particularly interesting. Stay tuned.

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Mosquito: Cockpit details

Progress may seem slow but since I am assembling this at a friend's house, I sit down over there to get some building done, then realize I am missing something simple like red paint. So I make a list and everything gets delayed a week.

That being said, a number of steps have been taken. The obvious stuff has been painted a simulated cockpit green background colour as detailed in the last post, and some cockpit pieces have been painted in other colours as well. The first photo shows the cockpit floor (dark gunmetal piece at right front) and a couple of cockpit bulkhead bits (to the right behind the floor). The pilot's seat is at the back right.

Next some subassemblies have taken place.

There have been a number of interesting little problems. I mentioned that a lot of the cockpit floors and whatnot need to be butted together at 90 degrees; I'll glue these all together into the fuselage half at the appropriate time to preserve the 90 degree angle. I also have come across a few items where a pin or shaft was actually missing. In the photo below, there is a metallic piece on the cockpit floor just behind the leather-colored cover for the stick mechanism; this is supposed to have a shaft joining it under the pilot's seat to the big gear and chain mechanism attached to the pale green bulkhead. I'll wind up making something out of 1/16" styrene rod, but the lack is somewhat surprising.

In any case I am pleased with progress so far. Next I need to make up the missing control shaft, apply a few decals, and glue the various floor and bulkhead panels into the right-side fuselage half. Now let me see, that would be the port side, right? Hey I'm getting it! Also I need to get brave and tackle the instrument panel. Stay tuned!