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MrObsessive

Got the new Moebius '61 Pontiac Ventura? Here's a couple tips and tricks........

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Normally, when a brand new tooling of a kit is released, if it tickles my fancy, I'll buy it, "grok" it, and then it goes back in the box to be built Lord knows when. When Moebius announced the '61 Pontiac Ventura a while back, I knew I would have to get one for two reasons............I've always LOVED this car and there's never been a kit of it, and it's a "birth year" car and everyone should have a number of birth year cars in their collection! ;)

A week or so ago when I saw a number of them offered on the 'Bay, I jumped at the chance and ordered one. I groked the kit like I usually do-------a number of times in fact, as I was VERY impressed by what I was seeing and the way the parts were done. It was just as nice if not nicer than the final test shot I got to see and hold up close and personal at last year's NNL East. Well, there were some things I got very curious about. For instance, how were those wheels going to turn out since they were the focus of much attention as the test shots were being reviewed here on the board? 

After looking over the wheels and after seeing an example being built here on the board, I decided to see for myself. 

First I must say, my review here is in no way a slam at Moebius or at anyone that's building this kit. This is just my own view of things and what I'm going to do here is probably not everyone's cup of tea. I'm a little more passionate about this car than others (well there are some others :P ), so what I do here I can understand not all can or want to do this to their model.

OK.....On with what I found...........

This won't be a full build, but just some "adjustments" I'll be doing to the wheels and glass of the kit, as these are the areas that are jumping out at me as far as potential building difficulties. 

Let's start with the wheels.........here are the primary tools that I'm using to fix the eight lug wheels that come in the kit. An Exacto blade and a steel "point" that was homemade by me, and fitted into a pin vise.

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One observation I'm making of the wheels is the drum portion is sitting "too far back" in the rim, if one is to put together the wheels as they are out of the box. Also of note is the instructions (drawing) in the kit are not quite right.

Moebius shows that the wheels-----the brake drums in particular are to go from the outside of the rim, when actually they should go from the inside. Mistakes happen on the cutting room floor, but this is something to keep in mind when looking over the instructions. As you can see pictured here, the drum should be sticking out a scooch further than what's seen here. You can also see where I started to score around the drum to "break free" the lug nuts from the rim.

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OK! It took a bit, but you can see here where the lug nut portion of the rim is broken free. My objective here is to thin down this section so that when you place the drum inside this section, it'll be further out into the rim, and more like the 1:1's that feature these wheels.

I ran this section back and forth on a metal sanding board that I have to thin the flanges out a bit.

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The results..............

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Here are the parts laid out before I began to piece everything back together. I did take some 600 grit sandpaper, and thinned out the "fins" on the brake drum ever so slightly. They could have stood to be a bit thinner when molded, but I can understand the molding process and how the manufacturer would not want these to be but so thin due to the fragility of these fins.

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Here is the brake drum placed back inside the lug nuts section...........

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Here is the beauty ring placed inside the rim. Later on when I get around to building this fully, I'll add a couple plastic .005" steps or stops inside the rims as a positive location for the beauty rings.

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And here they are with everything placed back together..............

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Note how the brake drum is further out from the rim than it was before. Further detail painting of the whole works should enhance the niceness of these wheels even more!

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Now mounted in the tire. I have to give Moebius a lot of credit in making these wheels the way they did. These eight lugs have been done by other kit makers before, but not to the degree that's been done by Moebius. Manufacturing compromises have to be made to ease the process, but I'm of the mind that each part of a model kit has to be treated as a kit in itself. 

These wheels are no exception and the extra time and care taken to make them appear correct will be highly worth it.

Now if you'll stay tuned, I'll be addressing the glass on the kit............namely the windshield. ;)

 

Edited by MrObsessive

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Now lets move on to the glass. I've already heard it mentioned that some are not happy about the way the glass is in the kit. Personally, I like the way Moebius has  gone about modeling the glass, as that is the way glass mounts on the 1:1. They mount on the outside------not the inside which can lead to an unrealistic, "tunneled" look which annoys me. 

Sooooo..............I cracked open the plastic to see for myself what the hubbub was all about. Well sure enough, the glass doesn't fit as well out of the box as well as it could. 

Follow along with me as I've fixed the glass on my example, and once again, some time and patience will be needed to make this look the way it should as well.

As you can see, there's just too much of a gap if one were to put the glass in as is.............

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Nope.............this just won't do...........

The first thing I recommend is to carefully sand around the perimeter of the glass with some 600 grit sandpaper. I didn't do this in this pic here, but if you're of shaky hands and a bit nervous, I STRONGLY ADVISE covering up the glass with masking tape or Parafilm to ward off scratches.

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Next, you'll need to slightly enlarge the opening of the windshield..............once again I used 600 grit sandpaper to deepen the channels of the glass.

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This is a Riffler File. It comes in mighty handy to file in those tight spots that always seem to turn up when building something. I got a whole set of them from MicroMark.com and they're worth the cost of getting them.

IMO, one can never have "enough" tools.

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I used the riffler file to get in the corners of the Pontiac's wraparound windshield. I want the glass to literally just fall in, and not fight setting still when it comes time to epoxy it.

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The bottom or base of the windshield needs to be filed down slightly as well. BTW, what I'm doing here more than likely will need to be done to the backlite as well.

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I want to file down the chrome trim that is molded in on the glass. When I did an initial test fitting, the trim seemed like it sat up a bit too high from the roof. I wanted to knock the height of it down just a little. This here is once again where covering the glass is an absolute MUST!

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HEY! Now that looks MUCH better! Nary a gap is showing, and it rests in the opening without me fighting it!

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Looks good from this side too..........with final painting and foiling, this windshield should so say 1961! :)

One hint I found in placing the glass in on my example is to put the leading edge of the windshield in first, with the rest to follow. On mine, the glass literally "pops" into place. 

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I want to add that once again, I like to treat each part as a kit. Getting things to fit right is no exception, and it's another reason why I stress that a lot of your bodywork and such should be done first before moving on to painting. Nothing's more frustrating to me to have everything all painted up an pretty, only to find out that things such as glass, interior, etc, don't fit without a lot of hassle.

OK, those are my tips and tricks for this one for now. If there's any questions, please don't hesitate to ask!

Thanks for lookin'!

Edited by MrObsessive

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Great how to info......few of us have your skills....but thanks for sharing.

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Good info to know. Especially the glass fit . For my 1st one the stock wheels will not be used anyway,,,but later on down the road they might

Thanks

Edited by gtx6970

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Thanks Bill

I have completed a number of models this last year and your advise on treating each part as a seperate build has just hit home. I am not working on this kit but am finishing up a 37 ford panel delivery. I can see if I had spent a little prep time on getting parts to fit better, it would have made the final project a lot better looking. I've been used to throwing glue and painting, then swear-under-breath that is didn't look or fit right. I guess I have been thinking the kits were cut and glue without testing first.

Thanks for the good advise

Richard

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Wheel looks better Bill, nice work so far. I still think the center cap is too large - it should be flush, circumference wise, to the center hub on the drum. The small flange on the rim is also too pronounced - in reality it would hardly be visible in 1/25, so I may try sanding the whole face flush in addition to the changes you made. A nice PE piece with separate, smaller bolts would be the ultimate way to go. There were variants of the wheel that did not have that small detail either...I don't know which ones or why. I have a photo from the auto museum in Tacoma, WA of a 1961 Catalina posted in this thread HERE that looks like what Moebius had in mind.

I don't think your comments or adjustments are a "slam" on Moebius or other builders - 99% of theses models will be built box stock and some people will probably groan about the added compelxity of the wheel. For some reason, wheels are close to the most important thing on my models - and any chance to make them better is, well, better.

Thanks for the post!

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You're welcome Erik! I'll probably sand the flange down a bit more if I ever get around to building this and yes, PE would work better in this instance. One change in painting I would do to "tone down" the size of the lug nuts would be to add just a small dab of silver marker paint on the very top of the nuts. This is a lot brighter (almost like polished aluminum) when dabbed on. 

IIRC, those wheels changed from year to year, and the Pontiac experts out there can point out the differences as to which model year and whatnot. 

And yes, properly detailed wheels and stance make or break a model IMO. ;)

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Good looking mods, Bill. Your assembled wheels are a significant improvement over what I've seen elsewhere. The tooling still looks a tad heavy-handed to me, fins perhaps too thick and lugnuts too large, but your work makes them more appealing, by far.

The "glass" fitment technique you show is a fine reminder to everyone building models that care and patience, trial-fitting, and developing the skills necessary to remediate the kit-makers' shortcomings will  always produce a much better model (Interesting side-note: spell-check doesn't recognize "remediate" as a valid word.)

It's easy to give Moebius a pass on the slightly less-than-perfect windshield fit, as it IS extremely difficult and time consuming to produce tooling for injection-molded parts that fit as closely as these need to. At least there's enough extra material to make the corrections you demonstrate.

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I did a slight rework on my 8-lug wheels as well.  Having a Sherline Mill made it pretty easy to do--I simply chucked the rims into the rotary indexing unit for my mill, then used a 1/8" flat-nosed carbide cutter to thin the flanges down from the back side.  I wound up with flanges that are .025" thick, looking pretty good to me

61 Ventura wheel modification2.jpg

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Having a Sherline Mill made it pretty easy to do--I simply chucked the rims into the rotary indexing unit for my mill, then used a 1/8" flat-nosed carbide cutter to thin the flanges down from the back side.  I wound up with flanges that are .025" thick, looking pretty good to me

Ahhhh.......A Sherline Mill! That's on my Holy Grail of things to get for this hobby------someday! I tried what you did in the beginning, but with a Dremel and it was starting to make a mess. That's when I figured I better go the long route and do what I did. That's a great idea though Art! Sure cuts down the time to get those flanges a bit narrower. 

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Ahhhh.......A Sherline Mill! That's on my Holy Grail of things to get for this hobby------someday! I tried what you did in the beginning, but with a Dremel and it was starting to make a mess. That's when I figured I better go the long route and do what I did. That's a great idea though Art! Sure cuts down the time to get those flanges a bit narrower. 

It could probably be done with a variable speed Dremel in their drill press, just figure out something to hold the wheel rim in.

Art

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thanks for posting this !  I am waiting for my kit to arrive and this will come in handy !

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It could probably be done with a variable speed Dremel in their drill press, just figure out something to hold the wheel rim in.

Art

Ha! Sometimes other solutions are staring at you and it's not even seen! I have Dremel's drill press and the moto-tool I have is a variable speed one. I also have a vice, so I may try to cobble something together to see if I can get it to hold. Somewhere in my arsenal I have the carbide cutter discs that you described, and I could wear it down to fit inside the rim if I go this route. ;)

 

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Ha! Sometimes other solutions are staring at you and it's not even seen! I have Dremel's drill press and the moto-tool I have is a variable speed one. I also have a vice, so I may try to cobble something together to see if I can get it to hold. Somewhere in my arsenal I have the carbide cutter discs that you described, and I could wear it down to fit inside the rim if I go this route. ;)

Bill, the carbide cutter I used is 1/8" diameter, with the square nose (Dremel offers this one, but I tend to find mine at automotive swqp meets or flea markets for a lot less money--often around $3.00).  The trick is, to have the cutter vertical, and in a fixed position,  while rotating the wheel rim against the tip of the cutter.

That's easy to do with the mill, as I have the 360-degree rotating indexing unit--could take a bit of finagling to work up something that would work with Dremel's drill press.  Having the wheel rim mounted securely, and able to be rotated with precision against the cutter would be key to success there.

Art

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It's too bad that the builder/customer has to do any of that work in the first place. Just sayin'...

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It's too bad that the builder/customer has to do any of that work in the first place. Just sayin'...

I think the wheels will pass the average customer. The windshield not fitting will be a major frustration for modellers. Looking at completed versions so far, the trim and top of the windshield extends way too far above the roof line - Bill's remedy will cure that, but probably not a lot of weekend builders will know how or why they need to. 

I am not sure why somethings need to be reinvented. I don't mind glass that mounts from the inside - as long as it's relatively thin. And the new wheel design - with the die cast style ribs that lock into the tire - I hate them - they make it so easy to damage any work you've done on the sidewalls. 

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Thanks for sharing. Great you add some pictures to go with the explanation. 

 

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What I'm finding pretty amazing is that I'm seeing these kits built, painted and foiled... with the windshield sticking up over the front of the roof, as in your "before" photo.:huh:

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Bill, great tips you have here. Mine is scheduled to arrive today, so I hope to begin on it soon. Here is an idea, since you have the inner ring separated from the wheel. Drill out the eight lug nuts and add some RB Motion Acorn nuts to finish it off. I may do that myself.

Edited by Mike Chernecki

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Bill, great tips you have here. Mine is scheduled to arrive today, so I hope to begin on it soon. Here is an idea, since you have the inner ring separated from the wheel. Drill out the eight lug nuts and add some RB Motion Acorn nuts to finish it off. I may do that myself.

Hey Mike! That's a GREAT idea! To carry that even further, sand the nuts down on the flanges just a tad, drill a hole (centered as well as possible) for the size of the pin on the nut, and then sand everything down flat. This way you'll have location points for all of the nuts, as well (as best can be achieved) have them centered in their respective places.

Hmmmm...........the more I think about it, the more I'm tempted to make this my next build instead of the BMW. ;)

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Thanks for the info Bill!

Unfortunately it comes after I painted my Ventura, a kit that I was pretty excited to get. Word to the wise...do NOT paint this model before fitting the glass!

I'm not at all happy w/the glass fit. It's embarrassing and aggravating. I got the front to fit (removing material from the glass and completely getting rid of the lower channel that holds it up too high), but the rear glass is even worse. Glass too big, channels too shallow...not good.

Back in the box it went so I can work on something else that is hopefully more satisfying. I really don't want to have to start w/a new body, new paintjob, new kit to get the results I want.

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It's too bad that the builder/customer has to do any of that work in the first place. Just sayin'...

Agreed 100%

But at least it appears to be a reasonably easy fix.

 

Althought I dont understand the purpose to mold the glass to fit from the exteiror in the 1st place. .......Same goes for moulding wheels that only fit the same kits tires

Edited by gtx6970

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I probably won't be picking this kit up (not of interest to me) but I do appreciate you taking the time Bill to show how to fix some problems with the kit to make it more realistic and correct. Your comment about treating sub assemblies of kit parts and details to ensure a nice result is something we all need to heed.

Thanks again!

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Something I want to add that just came to mind when it comes time to paint the body. It might not be a bad idea if you mask off the window area, particularly the channels where the glass needs to fit in. You'll no doubt get paint buildup in those channels and then you're right back to square one trying get the glass to fit again! :o

Just something to watch out for.

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