Monday, October 9, 2017

D-Type: Finally a decent kit!

For most of my life I have dreamed of owning a D-Type... unfortunately real ones change hands, on the rare occasions when one actually comes up for sale, for tens of millions of dollars, euros, pounds, whatever. Profil 24's recently released resin kit was a nice surprise as there really hasn't been a decent kit of this iconic sports car. 

What a gorgeous car! Almost as nice as the Lusso next to it. Oh and the big blue glob behind it? No contest. Although it might be useful to chase parts when the Jag or Ferrari is not cooperating :). 

In 1957, Jaguar dominated road racing, with D-Types taking 5 of the first 6 places at Le Mans. (The kit reproduces the 1957 winning car driven by Ron Flockhart and Ivor Bueb). Jaguar managed 5 wins at Le Mans with the classic 6-cylinder motor, in 1951, 1953 and 1955-56-57. Aston Martin's DBR1 took the race in 1959 (see my model, also from Profil 24, here), and that was that for British cars at Le Mans until Jaguar managed it again in 1988 with a 7-litre V12. Arguably the next 6 wins went to Ferrari because Ferrari finally adopted disc brakes; the D-Type's long stroke, prewar engine design was no match for Ferrari's high-revving, big bore motors, and Jaguar only won because the disc brakes were so much better than the drums that Enzo clung to for far too long. Carroll Shelby, who drove the Aston with Roy Salvadori in 1959, ended the Ferrari run by means of a 7-litre Galaxie motor, but that is a story for another day.  

So getting right to it, the usual resin cleanup, involving soaking in 99% isopropanol, was followed by a couple of coats of DupliColor primer-sealer. There were few if any of the usual resin flaws, except for the odd bit of flash, and it all looks like it will go together well. Note the cleanup is critical, because a couple of smaller parts still had paint issues in corners and had to be cleaned up again. 

Next was a series of coats of paint designed to mimic the dark blue of the 1957 Le Mans winning Ecurie Ecosse team cars. Tamiya TS 17 Gloss Aluminum went on first as this is the colour required on the forward half of the body, which is actually the subframe. Then the subframe portions got taped up and the body got a couple of coats of TS 10, French Blue, followed by multiple coats of TS 72, Clear Blue. You may recall from past discussions in this blog that Tamiya's French Blue is darker than the classic Gulf Oil colours; it is lighter than the Ecurie Ecosse livery. Fortunately the clear blue top coat, which gets darker as you add coats, is very nice and does a good job of approximating the original metallic dark blue.

Now I just have to keep my big fat fingers off it while the paint sets! This will be challenging. 

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