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Carbs: The most unrealistic part on every model car I've had


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#1 Foxer

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Posted 31 May 2012 - 10:37 AM

.. carburetors!! I never understood why these are cast so plain when I can read the numbers on speedometers. I can't think of any other part that is so badly done.

Do they expect they will all be covered by a massive air filter?


I have seen some aftermarket carbs that ARE nicely done .. so why can't the model car makers do the same?


Sorry about this .. was just looking thru kit boxes on a carb hunt recently .. I didn't win.


Edited by Foxer, 17 November 2014 - 07:38 AM.


#2 Beerman86GT

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Posted 31 May 2012 - 10:41 AM

Seems like there were a couple from kits I had in the '90's that had decent carbs on them. I think it was the "Heavy Chevy" '70 Chevelle and a Pro Stock '57 Chevy also had some decent ones on it. I like not putting the breathers on those, Or just left it unglued, I'm with ya man!

#3 sjordan2

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Posted 31 May 2012 - 10:50 AM

What an interesting question. In my case, I would say kit distributors.

#4 Harry P.

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Posted 31 May 2012 - 10:55 AM

Of course, the answer depends totally on which particular model(s) you're talking about. Some parts are done very well on one model, terribly on another.

As far as how many models are affected, I'd say unrealistically flat interior panels. Most cars, especially those older than the 80s, had window cranks, interior door handles, door lock pins, etc. that stood out from the surface. How many times have you seen a model with the interior panel details just sort of hinted at... or ignored altogether. It's especially obvious on convertibles, where the interior is the first thing you notice.

#5 camaroman

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Posted 31 May 2012 - 10:57 AM

Maybe so on every kit, But the worst model car part ever is the rear axle in the 66 Nova for the Rides Collection!!! It is like a drop down axle on a travel trailer or horse trailer...

#6 Greg Myers

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Posted 31 May 2012 - 11:10 AM

I'd have to go with carburetors also. Even in larger scales they are blobs at best. The Webers in the Accurate Miniatures Grad Sport Corvettes are mighty fine. With the Edelbrock AFB and AVS series carburetors being so popular one might think they're would be something nice in a kit.Posted ImageOf course the ever popular Holley 3310 would be another, How hard can this be ?
Posted Image

The Rochester Qudrajet and Carter Thermoquad usually turn out to be blobs too.

Posted Image

Posted Image

#7 Chillyb1

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Posted 31 May 2012 - 11:33 AM

Two words: windshield wipers!

#8 moparmagiclives

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Posted 31 May 2012 - 11:37 AM

Brake parts, or what ever is suposed to go behind the wheels.

#9 Foxer

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Posted 31 May 2012 - 12:03 PM

What an interesting question. In my case, I would say kit distributors.


Yeah, but some are done pretty well so you can even drill them out for wires. Even most of the wired ones in the aftermarket just have one big hole stuffed with wires ... excepting Morgan Automotive and Replicas and Miniatures.

#10 Foxer

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Posted 31 May 2012 - 12:05 PM

Of course, the answer depends totally on which particular model(s) you're talking about. Some parts are done very well on one model, terribly on another.

As far as how many models are affected, I'd say unrealistically flat interior panels. Most cars, especially those older than the 80s, had window cranks, interior door handles, door lock pins, etc. that stood out from the surface. How many times have you seen a model with the interior panel details just sort of hinted at... or ignored altogether. It's especially obvious on convertibles, where the interior is the first thing you notice.


This is more a function of how the interior was molded. The one piece interiors are definitely lacking in side panel detail .. or they wouldn't come out of the mold. The ones with separate sides are pretty nice as a whole.

#11 Foxer

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Posted 31 May 2012 - 12:07 PM

I'd have to go with carburetors also. Even in larger scales they are blobs at best. The Webers in the Accurate Miniatures Grad Sport Corvettes are mighty fine. With the Edelbrock AFB and AVS series carburetors being so popular one might think they're would be something nice in a kit.Of course the ever popular Holley 3310 would be another, How hard can this be ?


Posted Image



I know they can't cast something like this accurately without four part sliding molds, but a few of those bumps would be nice.

Edited by Foxer, 31 May 2012 - 12:08 PM.


#12 Chuck Most

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Posted 31 May 2012 - 12:09 PM

Always loved the metal axles passing through the engine block and/or oil pan on the older AMT and MPC kits. How unrealistic is that?

"Noticed I had an oil spot under the car, and thought maybe I had a bad rear main seal. But I crawled under the car to look and there's this big, metal rod..."

#13 SuperStockAndy

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Posted 31 May 2012 - 12:10 PM

Carbs are definitely molded badly.

But you gotta give them credit for the invisible alternator brackets! :rolleyes:

#14 Art Anderson

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Posted 31 May 2012 - 12:32 PM

Of course, the answer depends totally on which particular model(s) you're talking about. Some parts are done very well on one model, terribly on another.

As far as how many models are affected, I'd say unrealistically flat interior panels. Most cars, especially those older than the 80s, had window cranks, interior door handles, door lock pins, etc. that stood out from the surface. How many times have you seen a model with the interior panel details just sort of hinted at... or ignored altogether. It's especially obvious on convertibles, where the interior is the first thing you notice.


Harry, I would agree with you, to a point: Vitually all model car kits tooled prior to say, the early 1980's were done with "tub-style" interior units--not all that odd considering that until the "revival" of the hobby and the industry in the 1980's, the expected market for model car kits was who? Answer: Kids.
With a "tub" style interior "bucket", it's impossible to engrave high-relief details on the sidewalls, and get the part to come free of the tooling in demolding, and that is fact.

That said, as early as 1957, Revell's 1957 Ford Country Squire station wagon kit had a true "platform-style" interior, the floor of which was the floor pan molded en-bloc with the frame, with carpet and floor mat detail on the upper side; separate interior panels AND a separate inner panel for the lower tailgate, with quite nicely done raised details (door handles, window cranks, vent wing cranks, even the latch details for the inner tailgate panel. So, the knowledge of how to do well detailed interiors existed 55-yrs ago, well before the rather young model car builders we were back then were really capable (or desireous!) of handling more complex projects. Of course, also well to consider is that from 1958 (the first AMT 3in1 Annual Series customizing kits), kits of a given year's new cars were based on promotional models made for the auto industry, and as such had to be designed for rather rapid mass-production assembly lines, and that meant a lot of simplification--hence "interior tubs". This carried on with such as the first AMT Trophy Series kits, again made for the expected market, the (approximately) 10-16 yr old kid hooked on model cars.

However, with the recognition on the part of the model kit industry (lead in the US by Monogram) in the early 1980's, that a huge demographic shift was well underway, the "10-16 year old kid" suddenly having morphed to men in their 30's and older; it was time to rethink interior detailing in the design process--enter the return of the "platform" interior setup as pioneered way back in '57 with that Country Squire.

As for carburetors, if one looks at any real carburetor, there are raised details, and intricate linkages that are a part of every one of them, going all the way back to the beginnings of the automobile. Now, in order to create raised details on all 4 sides of a miniature carburetor, that will necessarily require tooling that will reproduce that, and that means tooling that will slide together, then slide apart, every cycle, in order to produce that carburetor. Think of it this way: Virtually EVERY one-piece model car body shell requires a mold with SIX sides (if you think about it, any cardboard shipping box has SIX sides: Right side, left side, front side, rear side, top side and bottom side. It's that way with a model car body, my friend: Right side, left side, front end, rear end, upper surfaces, and the core mold that makes the inner surfaces. To do a small part such as a carburetor in this fashion, the same would be true, especially if one expects a detailed carburetor throat along with all the proper detailing on each face of that carburetor. Now, what if the model kit has multiple carbs (think Chevy or Pontiac Tri-Power setups here), that's a total of 18 moveable steel sliding mold cores! Now, how much are modelers willing to pay for all that? Hmmmm? And I haven't even addressed the intricacies of assembling such tiny plastic parts (Surely many here remember the carping about the overly intricate Trumpeter '60 Bonnevilles, the equally intricate Accurate Miniatures kits, no? Please note that I've not even addressed the really intricate parts of a carburetor--the linkages! Even if done in PE, those would intimidate a large majority of modelers, on two fronts: Extreme intricacy, and cost--that stuff ain't cheap folks!

The bottom line here is simply that some things which limited real surface detailing in the past (interior tubs) were actually pretty correct reads of the model kit consumer marketplace as it existed in decades past, while some of the limitations of what model companies are going to tool up today are those more related to costs VS returns.

Art

#15 Harry P.

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Posted 31 May 2012 - 12:47 PM

With a "tub" style interior "bucket", it's impossible to engrave high-relief details on the sidewalls, and get the part to come free of the tooling in demolding, and that is fact.


Yeah, I know.

I wasn't talking about molding technology or its limitations. I just answered the question posed by Mike... What's the most unrealistic part of most models.

#16 Guest_Johnny_*

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Posted 31 May 2012 - 01:07 PM

For he majority of modelers. On most builds the carb is barely visible if at all!

#17 Draggon

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Posted 31 May 2012 - 01:14 PM

I have a couple of carbs by Ryan Silva, and they do NOT lack for detail!

#18 mickey1938

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Posted 31 May 2012 - 01:22 PM

The very Jo-Han Stock Models had the Carburators and Reversed Rims back in the day!

#19 Jon Cole

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Posted 31 May 2012 - 01:37 PM

Glass! They always appear to be a scale 4" thick. Not to mention that most automotive glass has some grade of tint to it, not that easy to do for some of us.
In the future, I hope to mark that 4" edge with a black Sharpie. Even older cars without that black border appear to have "shadow" around where the glass meets the trim.

#20 philo426

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Posted 31 May 2012 - 02:27 PM

Plus back in the day the carb was often covered by the air cleaner so elaborate carb tooling mde little sense.

Edited by philo426, 31 May 2012 - 02:28 PM.