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Heller Renault 4Cv Voiture Pie


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#1 Foxer

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Posted 03 January 2010 - 07:59 AM

I just received this kit from Lyn (one of her Dad’s old kits has a welcome home, I promise!) and I am surprised at the level of detail in this oldie. The body is very sharp with little in the way of mold lines, The engine is pretty highly detailed for the era and should look fantastic with a few wires. The fit of the trunk and engine covers is tight as a drum.

I always liked these old 4CV’s and I figure this Police Version with the door cutouts will make a good looking Beach Machine. Don’t think I’m going to do many custom touches as I love the stock body, but it WILL be a mild custom.

A few things I’m thinking that I’d love to see some input and ideas from you all on. Bumpers are gone and will mold in the rear lower pan that’s now attached to the frame. Maybe will need some small nerf bars of some form.

The front “grill” bars are in the air. I could use some thoughts an custom possibilities here. There are small slots below the bumper in front that would be good to model. This is a rear engine, rear drive car so no open grill area IS required.

The racing forms of this car with fatter tires and widened fenders looks cool, but I’m want to leave the stock wheels as they are a 4 CV icon .. the 5 pointed star with those lug nuts way out towards the rim. They are deep in the rims and look like they were reversed even! This is in 1955 in Paris .. and they would NEVER take any Hot Rod ques from America back then! Maybe I can at least get some wider rubber on them.

This is the box art for the kit:
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here’s a few photos that show areas I talked about above:
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This may be in the On the Workbench section but it’s not there yet as I have a pile of stuff screaming for attention., Just doing research now and fishing for ideas. :blink:

Edited by Foxer, 14 September 2010 - 02:34 PM.


#2 Foxer

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Posted 07 January 2010 - 07:20 AM

I'd like to add some thin wood trim along the top of the door cutout and could use some suggestions concerning the feasibility of forming the wood to follow the shape curve and what type of wood would be best for the forming process. I assume it would involve a slow process of wetting the wood and bending a small amount at a time.I am including a photo showing the material that was used and the wood would encompass the same area. The width on the model would be only about 3/16".

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Here's an overall shot with the seat, I like the simplicity of the seat.. just a tube frame with thin material. There is an inside interior piece with the interior sides and the wheel wells on it. It fits VERY well and greatly improves the look. I'm very impressed with the level and quality of this ancient kit!
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And, if you have a "tree" in your name, I'd REALLY appreciate your input! :D

Edited by Foxer, 07 January 2010 - 09:55 AM.


#3 Chillyb1

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Posted 07 January 2010 - 07:55 AM

Super vachement chouette! I've wanted to see one of these built up for a long time. And even wanted to build one myself from time to time; then I remind myself how much of a challenge the Heller Citroens and Talbots I've built were, and I give up that desire.

As much as I'm for building it as originally intended, I really can't wait to see what you come up with in the way of a mild custom. Keep us posted and bonne chance.

#4 Lyn

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Posted 07 January 2010 - 11:10 AM

Thank you thank you thank you for the link.. I didn't know there was issues with the models from this company, I am so happy that this one was not one that has those problems. I am curious about the wood, you really would use real wood? I guess I figured most would use some decales from another model for what you want.. I am looking forward to more posts on it.. Thank you again :)

#5 E St. Kruiser50

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Posted 07 January 2010 - 12:44 PM

Hey Mike Posted Image
Glad ta see ya doing this old CV4 kit.
I wanna do a street rod version some day. LOVE THAT LITTLE CAR Posted Image .

The wood thing would be pretty easy.
Ya don't have ta bend the wood.
If you have a bandsaw, you could get yourself some nice walnut, cherry, or whatever ya like.
Slice it to whatever thickness the body is, then lay it against the body and trace out the top of the door.
If you have a dremal tool and a few sanders and small burrs, the rest should be easy - NO BENDING Posted Image .
Be kinda thin when you get it all done, but look REALLY CLASSY.
A little sanding, and some clear lacquer, and "VOILA" - WOOD TRIM Posted Image

#6 Foxer

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Posted 07 January 2010 - 01:27 PM

The wood thing would be pretty easy.
Ya don't have ta bend the wood.
If you have a bandsaw, you could get yourself some nice walnut, cherry, or whatever ya like.
Slice it to whatever thickness the body is, then lay it against the body and trace out the top of the door.
If you have a dremal tool and a few sanders and small burrs, the rest should be easy - NO BENDING Posted Image .
Be kinda thin when you get it all done, but look REALLY CLASSY.
A little sanding, and some clear lacquer, and "VOILA" - WOOD TRIM Posted Image


Ah, Dave .. I knew you've have the easy way. :lol: doh .. I never even considered just cutting it out! Sounds doable. now for a wood search. :) Thanks for the input. :)

#7 Harry P.

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Posted 07 January 2010 - 01:41 PM

Much easier to bend the wood than to try and cut out a curved shape. Get some thin wood strip like the kind they use on model ships for planking and trim, soak it in a glass of water overnight, then next day take it out, form it to the curve of the door cutout by attaching it to the door with masking tape. Once it dries, it'll spring out a little, but not much. Then just test fit, trim the excess off the ends, stain, varnish or clear acrylic, and CA glue into place. You'll get a perfect fit around the cutout radius without trying to saw out a curved piece that's not only got the correct curve, but also has uniform thickness throughout. It's MUCH easier to use the strip/soak/bend method.

BTW... if you have a Hobby Lobby nearby, they have a nice selection of balsa and basswood in different thicknesses. You can stain it any color you like to make it look like "walnut," "cherry," or whatever.

#8 Foxer

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Posted 09 January 2010 - 05:38 AM

I had some 1/32 basswood lumber on hand so tried Harry's bending method. I do like the idea of not spending all the time carving out a cut shape, but that's just my laziness showing. B) The basswood bent to the large curve on the front door easily. The rear door piece is mostly straight but has sharp 90 degree bends at each end, as can be seen in the attached photo. I suspect this piece would would need two splices. I'll see how this goes and may be getting the heavy duty Dremel out later to try Dave's suggestion. :P

Posted Image

Edited by Foxer, 09 January 2010 - 06:04 AM.


#9 vizio93

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Posted 09 January 2010 - 05:53 AM

Looks interesting Mike. Especially the wood in the door, can't wait to see how it will look B)

#10 Nick F40

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Posted 09 January 2010 - 11:17 AM

Now this i'm going to follow :lol:

It's a freakin Renault, come on, you know i'm interested :lol:

#11 CB

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Posted 10 January 2010 - 04:11 PM

That there is one Posted Image cute li'l ride Mike! I can see it as some kinda altered drag racin' kinda mini thoPosted Image with some huge slicks filling up them li'l rear fendersPosted Image .....anyhow, don't mind mePosted Image


You was asking fer ideas in that front grille area. Soon as I saw that li'l hood and it's lines I thought 39-40 Ford grille! Probably really have to be cut down, but might just be the perfect proportion and a bit of a mild custom look to it?


At any rate, it's looking really good so far.Posted Image


#12 Foxer

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Posted 10 January 2010 - 05:11 PM

haha CB ... you mean something like this?
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I DO love this look with huge rear fenders, but so far I'm resisting the urge :rolleyes:


The 40 Ford front grill has been in my mind ... it does have a extended nose, but like you say, may need to be cut down some. The 40 may fit better with it's narrowness, but I always liked the look of the 39 more.. Now that you mention it, I believe I have both and will have to give a closer eyeball.

Edited by Foxer, 10 January 2010 - 05:14 PM.


#13 Foxer

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Posted 16 January 2010 - 07:21 AM

A very small update as this project starts to gel .. the wood door strips didn't work out that great, but may have been due somewhat to my just testing this method. The wood creased at the point of the most extreme curvature and was unsuitable. It may be overcome with more practice, but I see the rear doors requiring greater bends and will explore Dave's "cut it out" procedure. I still feel either method would be workable in the end.

on other fronts.. this will NOT be what my build ends up as

I also came upon a v1deo of the start up of the flat black 4CV with twin-turbo Subaru engine above showing the widened fenders before they were completely filled in. just as point of interest.

#14 E St. Kruiser50

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Posted 16 January 2010 - 07:35 AM

A very small update as this project starts to gel .. the wood door strips didn't work out that great, but may have been due somewhat to my just testing this method. The wood creased at the point of the most extreme curvature and was unsuitable. It may be overcome with more practice, but I see the rear doors requiring greater bends and will explore Dave's "cut it out" procedure. I still feel either method would be workable in the end.

on other fronts.. this will NOT be what my build ends up as

I also came upon a v1deo of the start up of the flat black 4CV with twin-turbo Subaru engine above showing the widened fenders before they were completely filled in. just as point of interest.


Hey Mike :)
I loved the "Mud-Renault" video :lol: .

#15 CAL

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Posted 16 January 2010 - 01:00 PM

That is awesome. I thought I would be the only one in the world to have have that kit - PIE version.

#16 Foxer

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Posted 24 January 2010 - 05:44 AM

Made some advancement with the wood trim. I found a scrap piece of furniture, maybe mahogany, and ripped a 3/16" thick piece with the old table saw. Traced the shape and ground it out with the Dremel. This piece was practice to see how this method would work and seems to be very doable and easy with a more careful test and fit. I like the look and will help the "look" with a surfboard sticking out the window. .. making the surfboard in next I think.

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Edited by Foxer, 15 September 2010 - 06:31 AM.


#17 Fletch

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Posted 24 January 2010 - 06:08 PM

This is what you would have to call a very unique and seriously cool project. I don't think I've ever seen this kit before but I sure like what you're doing with it. Seriously cool, Mike seriously Cool!!!!!!!!!!

#18 Foxer

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Posted 14 September 2010 - 02:32 PM

So I was going through some old 3D car files I've acquired over the years ... it's been 10 years since I did much 3d, and found I had 3D meshes of some of the odd cars I've started, including this Renault 4Cv. I started wondering if trying my ideas out in 3D before cutting plastic or that dreadful body painting ( :lol: ) would make any sense. This may be the one to try it on since the mods I plan aren't THAT deep, but the paint I haven't considered much yet. I was thinking a yellow like is already mapped to this mesh, but not that shade. I WILL have to cut the door to match the model, but that's easier than in plastic ... kind of my reasoning.

These are quick renders of the 3D model I have, just so you all know what I'm dawdling on about. :D
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Now, if they just trough in 3D meshes in all model boxes!! :)

#19 DocLong

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Posted 15 September 2010 - 12:39 PM

That front seat would be an AWESOME piece to re-pop in resin. I can see using one of those in a rat rod 32... I'm just sayin.

#20 Chuck Most

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Posted 15 September 2010 - 12:42 PM

This is a cool old kit- I did one years ago as a gasser. There seem to be quite a few old Heller kits being built all of a sudden. Don't get me wrong though- that's a good thing!