Wednesday, April 12, 2017

BRM H16: final assembly

So I let this sit for a week or two, so the paint would set good and hard and I could try something new for me, namely polishing with the Detail Master set of 3,200 to 12,000 grit cloths. I will leave it to you to distinguish between the parts I polished, and those I didn't... I think it only works if you are prepared to obsessively polish every square millimeter repeatedly, multiple times with each level of grit, while avoiding edges and high points where it is too easy to buff down to to the underlying styrene or resin. Boring in other words.

In a fit of pigheadedness I decided to paint the leading edge of the nose cone orange instead of using the series of little decals that are provided with the kit. This however proved ineffective and I will have to strip and repaint the cone. Other than this the model is pretty much ready for display.

Below is the view they hoped the competition would see. Unfortunately this was not the case, generally speaking; the Cosworth DFV was simpler, more reliable and lots faster, so that was that.

First observation: what a tiny little thing. Every step required my 4X desk magnifier, and even then it was a challenge.

Second observation: The little spun-cast bits are easily bent, and fits between dowels and sockets are critical. A bent lower A-arm, combined with a poorly cleaned-up dowel and socket joint where it meets the chassis, will lead to a lot of camber on the associated wheel.

Third observation: tools are critical. I've listed a few as I've gone along, but the following are absolutely critical:

  • High quality tweezers, both conventional and cross-locking;
  • Digital caliper (my old analog device works fine, upper right in the photo above)
  • Drill bits #78 to #55 
  • Stash of brass rod in 0.5, 1.0 and 1.5 mm diameters for pinning things together
  • Desk magnifier of 4X power or equivalent glasses
  • I'll think of other stuff and will update this post as I do so
Finally, this is an extraordinarily well detailed kit. I have done a decent job but I can see where I could have improved. Brownie points if you can spot the sloppy bits. 

Next in this scale: the Ferrari 312, which finished third in Belgium in 1967, and the Gurney Weslake, which actually won the race. End result will be the three podium finishers from this race. Stay tuned!

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