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AMT Ferrari 250 GT SWB - Updated 09-09


Bernard Kron
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This project constitutes a first for me, or maybe a couple of firsts. After nearly 10 years back into auto modeling this is the first non hot rod/custom/straightline racing subject I have started. It may also be the first Ferrari I've ever done, unless you count a Merit Lancia-Ferrari D50 when I was a kid. I was fairly conscious about what model to pick for my First Cavalino. I had scored a Hasegawa 250 TR incredibly cheaply on eBay by being essentially the only bidder but, frankly, that was way too nice a kit to cut my teeth on. Then one of the dreaded ESCI/ERTL/AMT 250 Berlinetta SWBs popped up for cheap and I thought I'd start with that one. It promised to be less intricate and perhaps would look OK with less finesse than the Testa Rossa.

Building iconic cars that are well known to everyone is not what I normally do. I build hot rods, lakes cars, customs and drag machines strictly from imagination. I'm a hard-core kit basher and I almost never have built a replica. In fact except for a few months as a child I've actually never built an airplane or ship model or gotten into model railroading. So even this relatively straghtforward project is quite a departure for me. My plan is to build a street Gran Turismo Berlinetta as opposed to the Competitizione variant, so it'll have bumpers. One reason for this is because the little vent nacels on the corners of the front valence of a bumperless SWB are not on the ESCI molding and I couldn't figure out how to model them. So bumpers it is. I'll try to detail it as best I can within the limits of my abilities, but you can be sure that it won't be up to the standards I've seen for many a museum-quality full-detail Ferrari build (Alex Kustov for example). So clean and simple but with enough detail to be somewhat convincing will be considered an overwhelming success by this humble hobby builder.

The kit isn't quite the horror-show that many led me to believe. It's got plenty of parts and detail to work with. But I can see the deficiencies in the body shape. I tried to re-contour the areas around the grill opening where they meet up with the ends of the fenders so it didn't look quite so flat faced. It seems to have helped a little. Other than that I cut open the hood and the roof vent but forgot to do the same for the rear fender vents. It's small and dark enough in there that hopefully it won't be noticed. I went with a metallic silver color to emphasize the voluptuous contours of this extraordinary design (the paint is Duplpiocolor Silver over dark gray primer). It happens also to be a classic Gran Turismo color for these cars. I made Italian Tri-colore decal stripes that extend from the grille to the edge of the rear pan. The whole thing is sealed in 4 coats of clear. I'm going to let it harden thoroughly before any polishing.

The kit is engineered so I can set the body aside and install it on the chassis and interior at the very end of final assembly, so now I'll focus on motor, chassis and interior detailing and paint colors. I'm resigned to having to spend real money on decent tires and wheels, too. But I'm no die-hard Ferraristi so I'm sure there will be plenty of mistakes. Nonetheless, I've been around these cars all my life so hopefully I've picked up a few things that will aid me in making a respectable effort. In the meantime here's where I'm at thus far.

Thanx for lookin',
B.


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Edited by Bernard Kron
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Interesting project, and very nice choice of color and striping.

I agree with you that this kit is hardly the POS many would have us believe. Though it's somewhat proportion-challenged vis-a-vis a real one, it has quite nice lines in its own right, and could easily represent a post-wreck partial rebody done before the cars became stupidly valuable. Such things were known to occur.

I have one or two on the shelf, waiting to become "outlaws" in the style of sacrileges (;)) committed on representatives of other 'sacred' marques like Porsche.

I'll be following along.   

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I've had one of these sitting (unstarted) on my "Shelf of Deplorables" for about 20 years. Bought it right after I built the Testor/Italeri GTO so of course I've always considered it completely substandard. I'll be watching your build for inspiration--don't let me down! B)

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Hey Buddy

I know you have threatened to build a Ferrari for sometime. 

Good to see you are following through.

This is not a bad kit to start with...the Fujumi 250 Testarosa is an excellent kit, but I agree on doing the SWB first.

Gonna have fun watching ya build a couple of Ferraris.

c'ya

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Looks like you're off to a good start. Have one of those I picked up a few years ago. Had heard all the horror stories about it; but after looking it over and checking it against photos decided "its workable". Your tweak on the grille area really helped it.

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Thanks for all the interest. This is a brave new world for this died-in-the-wool old skool rod & custom guy. 

...What kind of decal paper did you use and if the edges lifted along side the long edges, how did you remedy this?...

I'm using generic white water slide decal paper, lowest cost buy-it-now on eBay. The important thing to control the white-edge problem with this stuff is to cut right up on or even into the colored edge of the decal. But the thickness of the decal paper still has the potential to show. I find that by using decal solvent after applying the decals and letting them dry in place works very well. I use decal setting solution to place and set the decal in position, let it dry completely (usually 30 minutes is more than enough) and then apply decal solvent which "melts" the decal down into the surface below. I apply a generous coat and them without touching it, let the solvent dry completely. This thins the edges somewhat and seems to get rid of most of the white edge problem. The result is slightly dull and orange-peeled so then I clear coat the paint and decals with 3-4 thin coats of clear. That's what you're seeing in the photos.

I use Microscale products. They seem to work just fine. I've never used anything else so I can't make any comparisons.

DecalSet.jpg

Edited by Bernard Kron
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Very nice start on that Bernard! Yeah, I had one of these kits too, but the somewhat inaccurate shape put me off from building it, especially after I compared it to Italeri's version which I eventually built. They can be made to turn out quite nice with some work------what kills me the most about this kit however is when one turns up on eBay, and someone will try to pass it off as an Italeri.

That bugs the heck out of me, and I'll make it a point to contact the seller to let them know it's NOT an Italeri kit! :angry:

Keep up the good work!

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Thanks to you both. Bill, hopefully I can make a decent effort at getting this much-maligned kit to look respectable!

Progress is being made, mainly in areas that are proving to be pretty straightforward.

When I was doing the bodywork and paint I had planned on using the kit prancing horse shield decals that go on the fenders between the leading of the doors and the side vents near the top of the denders. But it turned out they were pretty vague in detail, printed on clear stock so that the underlying paint affected the final colors, and were visibly undersized. Other than that they were perfect! So I got a nice sharp image of the classic Ferrari shield and made my own version in a slightly larger size and printed them on white decal stock. While I was at it I scanned the instrument dials from the kit decals and made additional copies. And finally I found a properly proportioned actual vintage license plate from Modena, Italy (home of Ferrari) and made front and rear license plate decals. One of the nice things bout printing your own decals is you can cheaply and quickly make spares. I new that cutting out the shields accurately would properly be hit or miss, and that for sure the tiny gauge faces would give me trouble, so, after making the decal art I printed evrything out in triplicate. It turned out to be a wise move! Here's the decal art I made:

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Model kit chrome often bugs me because it has a tendency to make parts look overly thick and heavy. On the ESCI/AMT 250GT SWB this is especially true of the egg crate grill. It's actually a very nicely done piece, but the reflectivity of the kit chrome makes the grill look far too thick. Along with the flat nose this is one of the things about this kit that attracts criticism. The actual Ferrari grill I believe is polished aluminum and not as shiny as the kit piece. But before going all the way to stripping and refinish the kit grill I thought I would apply a coat of Testors Aluminum Plate Metalizer to the egg crate portion of the grill. I'm inclined to preserve the chromed grill surround because it offers a nice contrast to the silver body color. My hope was that refinishing just the interior of the grill might thin and lighten its appearance. I think it might do the trick. Below is a comparison of the grill with the all chrome original (A) and the refinished grill bars (B). The prancing horse shield can be seen as well.

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And lastly the interior bits have been painted. I used my usual trick of using Testors Acryl acrylic paint which I cross-hatch with my paint brush as it dries. Combined with a light coating of black or dark brown wash it creates a reasonable facsimile of a distressed leather-like surface. The interior surfaces of the roof and cab have also been finished in this color.

The dash panel top on the 1:1's is generally the same black crackle finish as the cam covers, with the lower portion of the dash finished in body color. That's what I did here as well. The foot well assembly is part of the firewall in this kit and mounts to the fender liners and raditor assembly, so I'll wait until chassis assembly time to mount the firewall and dash to the rest of the interior bucket. Here's where I at so far:

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Thanx for lookin',
B.

Edited by Bernard Kron
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  • 1 month later...

The parts I ordered from Portugal and China arrived and are in the process of being used. I thought I'd post this brief update showing what I got.

I ordered some miniature metal transers from vendor globaltoy on eBay (see http://www.ebay.com/itm/1-18-1-12-1-24-1-20-1-43-chrome-metal-decals-Ferrari-B-2077-/182741002250?hash=item2a8c36680a ). They were shipped from China and are stick-on metal transfers of the Ferrari Logo and the "cavallino" prancing horse. The sheet includes various sizes for 1/18, 1/12, 1/24, 1/20 and 1/43  scale. They will be used on the rear deck, valve covers and grill center. They took about 2 weeks to get to me in the USA.

I also ordered some beautiful hand-laced Borrani wire wheels and tires from Fernando Pinto at FPP Modelos. They are drop dead gorgeous and fit the model without any modifications. They can be ordered either through eBay at http://www.ebay.com/usr/crazycar19 or by contacting him through the FPP Modelos website ( http://fppmodels.wixsite.com/fppmodelos ). They took about 2-3 weeks to get to me.

Lastly, I also did some minor modifications to the intakes, adding some Detail Master Weber stacks to replace the pitifully wimpy plastic tubes that come in the kit.

The transfers have been installed and the engine is being modified to add more detail to hopefully bring it more in line with the awesome FPP wheels and tires. I'll post an update in the next few days. Hopefully I'm not too far from final assembly now.

Thanx for lookin',
B.


The metal transfer sheet from eBay vendor globaltoy:
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The FPP Modelos hand-laced 1/24th scale Borranis:
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The Detail Matser Weber stacks modification:
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Edited by Bernard Kron
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Aren't those wheels terrific Bernard? I've got a set from Fernando recently for a future restoration of a Heller Jaguar XKE coupe. For the price they're very sharp, and they look more realistic than PE ones. B)

That's the first I've seen of those Ferrari scripts.......I've saved that seller on my favorites list as I want to keep them in mind for scripts later on.

 

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Thanks guys!

Aren't those wheels terrific Bernard? I've got a set from Fernando recently for a future restoration of a Heller Jaguar XKE coupe. For the price they're very sharp, and they look more realistic than PE ones. B)

That's the first I've seen of those Ferrari scripts.......I've saved that seller on my favorites list as I want to keep them in mind for scripts later on.

 

Thanks Bill. Compared to just about any other regularly available wire wheels I think the FPP Modelos are outstanding. At $63 USD delivered to the USA they're maybe $10.00 more than the Fujimi p/e aftermarket items but superior is appearnce, IMHO. Fernando makes other sets for pre- and postwar European sportscars. The best approach seems to be to tell him what you will be using them for and he will quote you price and description for the appropriate items.

The scripts are tiny, as you can imagin, but they give you tons of them so you can make a few mistakes along the way.

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The motor and chassis are complete. Below are pics of the motor and the rolling chassis. The wheels aren't glued in place. Despite this kits' less than stellar reputation you can see that the chassis is quite nicely detailed and that the motor, with a little care, can be made to look quite nice. The tiny metal foil Ferrari stickers on the valve covers help things, as does adding ignition wiring and the aluminum carb stacks. Those FPP Modelo wire wheels don't hurt either!

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Left to do are the final assembly of the interior and engine compartment tinwork. The way the kit is structured these assemblies are glued to the chassis so that virtually the entire car is ready for a simple final assembly. What will be left will be foiling, window glass, bumpers, lights and attaching the body to the chassis and interior. This is the critical time where, if the build is going to go south on me, I'll typically find ways to do. So careful does it for my first Ferrari build...

Thanx for lookin',
B.

Edited by Bernard Kron
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  • 1 year later...

Accidentally found this via a search.  I see nothing posted since 2017.  I got the Italeri kit that is incomplete at a model show.  It's much better than the horrid AMT kit.  Mine is missing all the chrome parts, chassis, tires.   It's gonna be a resto-rod.  Look forward to any updates!

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20 minutes ago, 89AKurt said:

Accidentally found this via a search.  I see nothing posted since 2017.  I got the Italeri kit that is incomplete at a model show.  It's much better than the horrid AMT kit.  Mine is missing all the chrome parts, chassis, tires.   It's gonna be a resto-rod.  Look forward to any updates!

 

Hi Kurt,

I finished it and posted it Under Glass here:

I'm still on the lookout for a proper Italeri or Gunze example at a non-eye-watering price for another bite at the apple.

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12 hours ago, Bernard Kron said:

Hi Kurt,

I finished it and posted it Under Glass here:

I'm still on the lookout for a proper Italeri or Gunze example at a non-eye-watering price for another bite at the apple.

Oh good!  I try to link back when I start a new thread of accomplishment, thank you.

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