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Bernard Kron

1959 Ferrari 250 GT Passo Corto (SWB)

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1959 Ferrari 250 GT Berlinetta Corto Passo

This is my first Ferrari build since my return to car modeling 9 years ago. Even though I know a fair amount about sports cars and road racing, up to now I’ve focused entirely on hot rods, dry lakes and drag racing subjects, and customs. To get started in this area I thought it would be advisable to avoid building a high dollar kit and was fortunate to be able to obtain a copy of the much-maligned ESCI/AMT/ERTL version of the iconic Ferrari 250 GT SWB Berlinetta quite cheaply on eBay. It’s an odd kit, criticized for its inaccurate body shape and sometimes poor detail. Certainly the body is not accurate, and the wheels and tires are just plain horrible, but the chassis and motor are quite nicely detailed and with some TLC can be made to look quite presentable. But, despite the full detail motor you need to cut open the hood which is molded in place and the kit is missing some odd details like a battery, despite the full detail motor, and coolant hoses. The intake stacks on the carbs are pitifully small and out of scale, and some parts that you thought would be chromed, like the knockoff spinners (despite the fact that the wheels are chromed), fender mirror and the exhaust tips, are bare plastic. But overall parts fit is excellent, instructions quite clear with only a few minor errors and, with some attention to detail, can be built into a pretty fair version of this famous classic.

My approach was to stick to the instructions wherever possible and keep the project as straightforward as I could with minimal modifications to the kit. But correcting the more glaring faults, like the terrible rolling stock, the un-chromed trim parts, and, with the hood cut open, doing something about those wimpy intake trumpets, required some extra work. The wheels and tires were replaced with a set of exquisite hand-laced Borranni wire wheels and correct tires from Fernando Pinto, a Portuguese master modeler who sells his wares on eBay under the name crazycar19. They were expensive but the improvement to the look of the model is well worth it IMHO. The intake stacks were replaced with a set of aluminum Weber stacks from Detail Master. I wired the motor using a pair of Morgan Auto Detail pre-wired magneto caps to represent the Marelli distributor caps, and I made my own ignition wire guides from plastic rod. Unfortunately all that work is hidden under the big aluminum cold air box on top of the carbs!

Paint is Duplicolor Silver Acrylic Lacquer sealed under three coats of Duplicolor clear. The Italian tre-colore racing stripe, the Cavalino shields on the fenders, and the Modena license plates were all done with homemade decals. The chroming chores were handled using Molotow Liquid Chrome, which I must say is quite impressive stuff.

Overall it came out better than I had thought it would and was sufficiently satisfying to convince me to try my hand at some other classic Ferraris in the not too distant future. I hope you all like it.

Thanx for lookin’,
B.

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Hi,

Wow this is soooooooo goooooooood.

You make me wanna get this kit, but I stop because hey, I'm not Bernard Kron.

This is simply put; simply masterful!

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She turned out well! The decals and paint are very crisp, and the wheels are just excellent.

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Like it, Great job on a Great subject.

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Hi,

Wow this is soooooooo goooooooood.

You make me wanna get this kit, but I stop because hey, I'm not Bernard Kron.

This is simply put; simply masterful!

I also agree! Sweet build!

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Bernard you definitely did this one justice. I also love sports cars especially Ferraris and have a number of kits for future builds including an AMT 250SWB. I really like your choice of livery, your description and of course your photography.

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Here ya go buddy...got your next Ferrari build for ya B)

enzo ferrari

got one in my cupboard courtesy of Mr. Perez

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Thank you, everyone. I can't tell you how relieved I was that it turned out as well as it did. It fought me all the way. I kept losing tiny little parts to the carpet god, often long after I had glued them in place, although apparently not well enough. For example I landed up having to fabricate a shift lever just before gluing the interior into the body. It had been completed  weeks ago! Fortunately, after referencing some on-line 1:1 interior photos the replacement came out better than the kit version, with a more correct length and a proper looking leather boot (perhaps there some sort of lesson there...). I wish the body shape was more correct because, with enough effort, it does build up into a nice model, and, as I said, generally speaking the parts fit is excellent and the kit quite well engineered. The only thing not covered in most commentary on this kit that I've seen (and there's really not much on the web) is that the kit stance is slightly nose high. I landed up having to open up the the holes in the wheel backs in order to offset the wheel position slightly upwards to bring the nose down. The front suspension is too finely cast to risk dropping the spindles, and besides I had glued the assemblies in place long before I received the wheels from Fernando Pinto. This was typical of the little things the kit requires to dial it in. But, as I said, with care it builds up to a pretty nice result, and the low market price took the cost issue off the table for my first Ferrari build.

Edited by Bernard Kron

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http://www.italianhorses.net/DB/db.htm is a great resource by Alex Kustov for Ferrari kits, just in case you are looking for another.  BTW, excellent build.

Gerald, Alex Kustov must be Mr. Ferrari-In-Scale. He does beautiful work and his w.i.p. descriptions are invaluable for this type of project. I referenced that table of kits you linked when I was getting started to get a sense of where the AMT kit might lie in the scheme of things. But one day I'd like to have a swing at a full-on 250 GT Competizione version using the far more expensive motorless Gunze Sangyo kit and a 6-carb motor from Replicas and Miniatures.

molto bello Bernard! :wub:

Thanks Kurt. Your sports car builds have been an inspiration and I have planned this project for a long time, as far back as your GTB-4 "surprise" many moons ago! There's no point in doing a Ferrari if it isn't going to look the part when you're done, so I've had to wait a while to attempt one. As I said, I'm grateful it came out as well as it did. That Tamiya Enzo kit is incredible in its detail and complexity. With a parts count crowding 200 and a build sequence which is virtually like assembling a 1:1 it has to be close to the state-of-the-art in modern plastic car models. Yikes.

 

Bernard you definitely did this one justice. I also love sports cars especially Ferraris and have a number of kits for future builds including an AMT 250SWB. I really like your choice of livery, your description and of course your photography.

Phil, I remember a while back your three-car set of the front row at Westwood of the Tom Luce Corvette, the George Keck Testa Rossa, and the Jim Rattenbury D-Type. It was a significant inspiration to take on this subject matter. I'm certain you could do wonderful things with your homely AMT 250 GT SWB.

Edited by Bernard Kron

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Great build Bernard, enjoyed seeing this come together. The Borrani’s look fantastic and I really like the tricolore stripes. Looking forward to seeing more Ferraris from you!

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Very nice!  Makes me want to dig out mine from the stash.  I'm too cheap to spring for the Borranni's however! :P

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Outstanding job on this kit!!!!!  -I had this kit once, but I really didn't think it was all that bad....its better than NOT having one of these cars to build.

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Thanks again guys! I have a Fujimi 250 Test Rossa in my stash that was the reason I built this one. Starting with a low buck kit kept me focused on the project at hand. I hope to do the TR in the no too distant future...

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Really outstanding work. You did a great job!

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Thanks for giving me the link in your WIP thread.  Looks good!  Much better than the AMT kit, which I had to wreck.

OTP front zoom.jpg

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