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Aston Martin DB4GT in 1/24


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#1 Matt Bacon

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Posted 30 July 2012 - 10:01 AM

This is going to be my attempt at the brutal lightweight Aston racer designed to take on the Ferrari 250SWB. It wasn't entirely successful, but it's a great looking beast... though not as gorgeous as the Zagato bodied version, but that's beyond my conversion skills!

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I'm starting with an Airfix box of the Doyusha DB5, which I've already built one of in James Bond form. It's not a great kit, being kerbside and simplified, but for my purposes that's OK. The mods needed would be made much harder if you had a full engine and proper chassis to deal with! The first thing to do is to take 5 scale inches out of the wheelbase. I marked up parallel lines using Dymo tape cut to the right width, and scribed them. The roof is cut at the "flattest" section, the doors in the middle. The chassis plate is cut just behind the front seats.

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I managed to get it apart without cracking the roof pillars -- do the front cut on the roof first

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Not a great photo, but the only one I have of it going back together. There are tabs behind the doors and under the roof. I used plenty of of glue and gave it 24 hours to dry in the airing cupboard.

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First go at the filler. There'll need to be another session when this is sanded back, I'm sure... The DB4GT carried the spare wheel in the boot, with an extra large fuel tank in the floor, so I've filled the cut out for the spare wheel holder.

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Just for comparison, here's the body up against the original Airfix James Bond DB5 body shell. The additional length of the DB5 is pretty visible. The extended bonnet scoop is being built up. The intake is actually a 1/48 P-51 Mustang air scoop, salvaged from a wrecked model that's fought its last battle around the bedroom ceiling... It may not be exactly right, but it looks OK to me. Some filler to go on the bulge when I do the next round on the cut-n-shut seams...

bestest,
M.

#2 Miatatom

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Posted 30 July 2012 - 11:57 AM

Nice start.

#3 Chuck Most

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Posted 30 July 2012 - 02:22 PM

Looks to be shaping up well. For what it's worth I prefer the look of the regular (if there is such a thing!) DB4 GT over the Zagato version.



#4 jaydar

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Posted 31 July 2012 - 06:51 AM

That is a great project. May i ask how much detail is in the DB5?

thanks,

joe.

#5 Volvoman

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Posted 31 July 2012 - 07:07 AM

Looking good so far Matt, this is going to be different. I shall be watching this one with interest.

#6 thescaleworkshop

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Posted 31 July 2012 - 08:59 AM

Matt,

That is some pretty fine body work! I'm looking forward to this build and nice job with the photos. Thinking of adding this kit to the 'TO BUILD' pile.

pL

#7 Matt Bacon

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Posted 31 July 2012 - 09:22 AM

Thanks, guys... I hope you enjoy it!

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I wanted to get some primer on to see how the modifications looked. I was expecting that there'd be at least one more bout of filling and sanding, and, yes there will be! The cut and shut part is actually pretty good, but the bonnet needs lots of work. There's a fair bit of sanding and carving to reshape the body, most particularly around the back end, to flatten the rear wings to take the "Monza" fuel filler caps.

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The lights are also being reshaped into "Arches" rather than the three separate units of the DB5. I've softened the slab like corners of the body as well, and the bumper mountings are also filled.

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I've cleaned up all the seams at the front and given the wings a more rounded look. I'm also losing the heavy "chrome" headlight surrounds. Some racing DB4GTs just have riveted perspex covers, and I think they look much more purposeful.

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That scoop. Lots of pinholes to fill and some more shaping to do, but it's headed in the right direction, I reckon...

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...and here we are, getting ready for the second round of sanding...

Metallic Aston racing green with a yellow radiator grille surround (or just possibly red...), in case you were wondering...

bestest,
M.

#8 Matt Bacon

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Posted 02 August 2012 - 08:08 AM

I think I've now done enough rounds of filling, sanding, primer, filling, etc...

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I realised why I couldn't get the rear light clusters in proportion -- the base actually goes down to the level of the boot lid closure, unlike those on the DB5... Now they have extensions and the hemispherical end of a cocktail stirrer as the base.

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The scoop is finally smooth, after several rounds of filling, including one using Milliput to get the last lot of pinholes...

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... I'm vaguely wondering whether I should find someone to cast this before I build it in case anyone else wants one, but I'll probably just plunge on into paintwork...

bestest,
M.

#9 Plasticfanatic

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Posted 02 August 2012 - 09:56 AM

Looking great and a very interesting project of a beautiful Aston Martin, can't wait to see more updates!

#10 MrObsessive

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Posted 02 August 2012 - 10:09 AM

That is some EXCELLENT body work you did there Matt! I like to see when builders push the envelope and test their limits. Not to mention some BRAVE work as well as no kit is exactly cheap these days.

Keep up the fine work! ;)

#11 Matt Bacon

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Posted 02 August 2012 - 11:21 AM

Thanks, guys...


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I was puzzling over how to mask the narrow yellow band around the nose, and then I hit on the idea of using the radiator grille as a starting point. I drew around the grille on masking tape, added a few mm (eighth of an inch or so) all round, and cut out a mask, with slashes at the tight radii. I then sprayed the front of the body yellow and added the mask over the grille recess, using copydex to make sure the "darts" at the corners were paint-proof...

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... and here we are. Zero Paints Giallo Modena for the yellow, Aston Martin Almond Green for the body. There's no clearcoat on this, and that matt look is how it's meant to be as a base coat...

bestest,
M.

#12 Bennyg

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Posted 02 August 2012 - 10:31 PM

Cool project, nice progess.
Ben

#13 Matt Bacon

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Posted 03 August 2012 - 03:05 AM

Thanks, Ben...

And now the clearcoat is on:

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The lighting makes it look more "speckly" than it appears in real life... Time to let it set for a couple of days before polishing a couple of dust inclusions. Despite appearances, though, there's no orange peel...

bestest,
M.

#14 jaymcminn

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Posted 03 August 2012 - 05:21 AM

Excellent work on this one, Matt. Great use of a not-so-great kit!

#15 Captain Obvious

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Posted 04 August 2012 - 09:20 PM

That is just gorgeous! Looking forward to seeing it completed! :)

#16 Matt Bacon

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Posted 06 August 2012 - 09:01 AM

Thank you all, gentlemen... I'm really enjoying this one!

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The DB4GT has a different grille from the DB5. There's a vertical criss-cross version for the road cars and some GTs, but other GTs have a mesh grille, which is what this is trying to portray. It's a bit heavy, but I didn't fancy trying to build a grille with lighter mesh! This is the kit of parts. I chain drilled and removed the centre of the kit grille, then applied some masking tape to the outside and used a pencil to trace the outline of the hole. I then got some acetate, and sprayed it with matt varnish to cut down reflections, then stuck the masking tape on as a template and cut out a transparent grille. Double sided tape holds the mesh ribbon onto the transparent backing, and then I trimmed the mesh to size around the plastic. Finally the composite grille is pushed into the grille surround, and glued in place with Formula 560 white glue.

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The back of the recess is painted matt black, and from this angle, I can't see the transparent backing to the mesh, and it certainly made it easier to handle and fix in place!

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The bulkhead behind the seats is slowly coming together, and as you can see, this build will feature a driver figure, but not the Stig this time. I've had to slice some chunks out of his legs to shorten them slightly, so he fits into his seat. Arms will come later when the dash and steering wheel are available to guide the positioning.

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So this is where we are this evening. I'm working on the wheels at the moment - going for dark green painted wires rather than chrome...

bestest,
M.

#17 Plasticfanatic

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Posted 06 August 2012 - 07:31 PM

SUPERB body work and paint job even if is not polished/finished yet, really looking forward on more updates and finished model.

#18 Matt Bacon

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Posted 07 August 2012 - 11:21 AM

Thanks, Fred!

OK, it looks like the driver plan isn't going to work. The interior is sufficiently off-proportion that with the dash in place, the driver would have to hold the wheel right by his chest, even with the seat as far back as it will go. Hey-ho!

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The decal dash features a wood veneer effect which the DB4GTs I've found just don't have, so I need something else. I decided to scratch some dash detail using a hole punch and some plastic card. It won't be prototypically accurate, but it'll give the whole thing some texture, and should paint up OK.

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The picture's not doing these any favours! The reflection from the knock-offs means that the wires are very underexposed -- they aren't that black in real life. In fact, they are a nice Tamiya "British Green", dark, but not sooo bad...

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The interior parts before primer, and with the main painting under way. I've seen period DB4GT photos with the headrests, and they add a bit of interest. I'm aiming for a "period" look, rather than a current historic racer, mainly because I don't want to build a roll cage and try to fit it into the interior -- I'll leave that sort of thing to to John Teresi, it being way past my skill level...!

I'd like to think the interior will be coming together tomorrow.

bestest,
M,

#19 DDC

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Posted 07 August 2012 - 01:10 PM

That is gorgeous! Great work!!!

Denzil

#20 Matt Bacon

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Posted 08 August 2012 - 11:58 AM

Thanks, D...


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That dash painted. The reflection the clock are pretty unforgiving but the rest is clear. I cleaned the dial faces back to white plastic, painted them black with Citadel Chaos Black, and scratched the markings through with a pin. Then I varnished them and highlighted the edges in silver. It'll look fine inside the car, I reckon.

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The interior coming together, as I'd hoped. Still a fair bit to do, though. The seats are done using Citadel paints, base colour first, dry-brushed with Rotting Flesh, and then over coated with Thraka Green wash to give shadows and a semi-gloss look.

Look carefully and you can see a real "Doh!" moment. Having sliced 5mm out of the body and the chassis, I forgot to do it on the door cards (interior sides). So immediately after this pic, off they came for a rather bodged trim (at the closing end, rather in the middle where it should be, because I figured I could fake the shut line more easily than redoing the whole painting and rescribing the door detail, which would have ensued if I'd cut it in the middle...

Still, you live and learn...

bestest,
M.