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jaymcminn

1/12 Tamiya Datsun Fairlady 240ZG... Under Glass!

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I've been sitting on this kit for a while and decided that the best way to bust my recent slump was to go all-in on a detailed build of a challenging kit. For those who aren't familiar with the "G-Nose" Z, they were built in very limited numbers as homologation specials. The main difference from the stock 240z was the longer, more aerodynamic nose with covered headlamps. The ZG also had fiberglass fender flares bolted to the body to accommodate wider wheels... unfortunately stock ZGs came with the narrow stock factory wheels, which looked pretty goofy with the flares!

Several years ago, Tamiya released a "street custom" version of the ZG that featured a nice triple-carb setup, racing seats and rollbar, and several other aftermarket-style accessories. The best addition by far was a newly-tooled set of 14" Watanabe wheels with spacers to push the wheels out to where they belong under the flares. I ordered a set of these wheels from Tamiya for my build of this kit. (Note: Tamiya's replacement parts program is excellent- they treat replacement kit parts like R/C parts where you pretty much just order and pay for them over the phone. Their customer service is excellent, and my wheels took less than a week to arrive!)

Factory 240ZGs were available in three colors... Racing Red, Racing Maroon, and White. The only interior option was black. Since I'm building this one my way, I decided to go with Tamiya Racing Green. 3 1/2 cans worth. The interior is Model Master Leather. 

The bodywork was a challenge... this kit is an early Tamiya kit that has been in production since 1972. It's not like the new Tamiya stuff. The door fit was a real pain, with shims required between the door and the hinge to push the door out. The gaps were unacceptable as well, so I added thin styrene strips around the doors and hood to narrow them down. I added magnets into the doors and jambs to help them stay properly closed. Before painting the body I glued the separate flares into place... there's no positive locating points for them and the fit was less-than-perfect so I figured it would be easier to mask and paint them later.

 

 

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Next came Dupli-color dark gray primer and all that Racing Green paint. I polished everything out with 2000 and 2500 grit paper and my usual Meguiar's Ultimate polish and #7 Show Car Glaze. I then masked the flares and nose and airbrushed them with decanted Tamiya Gunmetal lacquer.

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Edited by jaymcminn
added a sentence

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I would absolutely love an old Datsun Z, epecially a ZG! I've drooled over these things for years. Had an opportunity to buy a project car a few years ago, but as I'm 6'6", it just wasn't happening. There's no way I'd be able to make myself fit. Which bummed me out.

 

Looks great so far, can;t wait to see more!

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A quick update... the engine is finished as much as it can be for now. The remaining fuel system plumbing will be added once the engine is installed in the engine bay.  I thought I had a lot more 1/12 scale ignition wire than I actually did, so I had to order more. I should be able to manage the ignition wiring with the motor in the car. I have the RB Motion 1/12 plug and distributor boots ready to go and the ignition wire will be Scale Motorsport light blue wiring. Engine paint is Tamiya French Blue with various shades of metalizer and Tamiya Metallic Grey. The air cleaner is Tamiya Bright Orange. The exhaust manifold is Metalizer Burnt Iron dusted with Model Master Rust acrylic from the airbrush. Bolt heads were accented with The Detailer black for depth and then picked out with my trusty Molotov Chrome pen... probably a little bright to be totally realistic, but the effect is subtle and nice. The engine is beautifully molded and builds up beautifully... it's the best part of this kit so far! (I just wish it had decals for the air cleaner!)

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These are the Street Custom Watanabe wheels. They use the tires from the earlier release. I painted them in Tamiya acrylic Gold Leaf and clear coated them in Micro Satin. The lugs were picked out with the Molotow Chrome pen. RB Motion turned aluminum valve stems were installed as well. The gold looks great against the racing green. I also built up the suspension prior to painting... any assembly that can be done before painting I did. The working struts are par for the course for big-scale Tamiya kits and really do look nice when done. 

 

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Next round of pics will be of the various interior bits, including the bane of this kit's existence... the dreaded vinyl interior tub and side panels. In fact, this is my primary bone of contention with Tamiya regarding this model... the designers molded a LOT of the parts in nasty swirl-marked black vinyl that paint and glue practically slide off of. This requires drastic measures unless you're okay with the interior looking rubbish, which I couldn't deal with. More updates soon, and as always any questions/comments welcome!

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Nice work so far. I've always been tempted by this kit.

The interior is really vinyl? Like rubbery? That's weird. 

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1 hour ago, Erik Smith said:

Nice work so far. I've always been tempted by this kit.

The interior is really vinyl? Like rubbery? That's weird. 

It is. The dash, console and seats are kit plastic, and have beautiful detail. The interior tub, door cards and cargo area side panels are molded in a slippery rubbery vinyl that Tamiya calls "leather touch". It sucks. Not only is it really tough to paint, but adhesives don't seem to work well on it either. They even use this stuff for moldings for the windshield and rear window... It'll be interesting to see how that turns out. Unfortunately they really liked this stuff... the 1/12 Porsche 934 uses it for a lot of the interior too.

Overall, I'm really enjoying this kit. It's complicated and fiddly, but it's also interesting to see how Tamiya built its reputation on kits like this in the 70s. It responds really well to a little extra detailing and look the part as well. Thanks!

Edited by jaymcminn

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Tme for another update... the suspension components have been mounted to the chassis. The springs compress perfectly, but the steering is a bit notchy and sloppy. It does transfer through the steering column as designed, though. THe neat universal joints work perfectly as well. I'm not really going for the hyper-realistic weathered look here... if I were going for realistic the floors would be half rust and half patch panels anyway. 

 

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Next up is the interior. I'm going for a real classic 70's vibe here, and nothing says "classic sports car" like woven Coco Mats. These are a floor mat woven from sisal that a lot of high-end sports and luxury cars sported back then. To replicate these, I used embroidery floss in black, cream, and rust. I soaked the pieces in white glue and twisted two colors together at a time, then laid them down while still wet on a piece of card stock. I then cut them out and used some black embroidery floss for the edge band. The driver's heel pad is corrugated styrene. 

The "leather touch" interior panels posed several challenges. They didn't have the diamond stitch pattern that the real 240z had on the center console and rear wheelwells molded in. On a model with opening everything, that wasn't acceptable. I masked the pattern with 1/8 masking tape and used my panel line scriber to add this detail. Next I scuffed all the panels with a Scotch-Brite pad, washed them, and applied an adhesion promoter followed by flexible vinyl paint and Testor's Leather acrylic, A coat of Micro Satin gave them the right sheen. The resulting finish is still very fragile... it would peel off in sheets if there were any damage to the surface. Thanks, Tamiya! I (carefully) applied BMF to the door card trim and installed the door cards to the door skins. I then installed the armrests, window cranks, and door handles. The seats have separate backs and a ratcheting mechanism built into the supports that allow them to recline... once. After these broke I glued them into position so they wouldn't flop around. The grommets on the seat backs were parts-box P/E pieces.

The dash and center console were assembled prior to priming and painting. The unit was shot with Tamiya Semi-Gloss Black and detailed with BMF and Molotow chrome pen. I opened up the spokes on the steering wheel (the kit's closed spokes are accurate for a 1969-70 series 1 car) and painted the rim in Testors MM Wood acrylic with drybrushing in dark brown. I had to keep from making the wood too realistic, as the original's composite wheel wasn't fooling anybody either. 

Next up, the engine and interior installation, and I tackle the vinyl weatherstripping around the windshield and tailgate. More Pics soon!

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10 hours ago, peteski said:

Nice!  Brilliant method of making those floor mats!

Thanks Pete! Cheap too! 

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It's starting to look like something... I installed the engine and interior components. I then added the exhaust (Top tip: build the exhaust system from the muffler forward) and remaining fuel system plumbing. Still waiting for my Scale Motorsport ignition wires, so the wiring will probably be completed after everything else is together. I figure if you can install plug wires on the real thing without pulling the motor, I should be okay on the model too. I couldn't be happier with the floor mats. They really add some life to the passenger compartment. The cargo area carpet was made with self-adhesive felt attached to thin styrene. I made a paper template to cut it to fit with all the interior panels in place. The cargo straps were made with 1/8 inch ribbon and some photoetched 1/24 racing harness pieces.  Seat belts are 1/4 inch ribbon with P/E buckleIMG_3313.thumb.JPG.13ac1c16aeaa4871a1191bb98aece9d0.JPGIMG_3312.thumb.JPG.ac8e0612e9e023a8cc4e6c100f8ae40c.JPGs and scratchbuilt receivers. 

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Next, the weatherstripping. I started with the hatch, which was the easier of the two pieces. The "glass" mounts into the hatch with four small tabs. I used 5-minute epoxy to bond these tabs. Then the flexible weatherstripping goes into the gap between the glass and the hatch. The instructions recommend Tamiya extra-thin cement to attach the weatherstripping... I figured it was a terrible idea to try this on my nicely-painted body so I flowed slightly-diluted Micro Krystal Klear (I love this stuff!) into the gap and taped everything into place until the glue cured. The halves of the weatherstripping are a bit long, so they had to be trimmed to fit. The result is presentable, but not my favorite part of the model... I've never seen one of these built where the weatherstripping looks really good. 

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Next up will be some final assembly... it'll start looking like a car soon!

 

Edited by jaymcminn
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Hi jason.... 

I follow your pic one by one and it is a real outstanding craft....

Do younmind share with me how to make the battery connector? Or its come with the kit?

The carpeting looks real... how to do it?

 

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1 hour ago, Cien1986 said:

Hi jason.... 

I follow your pic one by one and it is a real outstanding craft....

Do younmind share with me how to make the battery connector? Or its come with the kit?

The carpeting looks real... how to do it?

THanks Henry! The battery had the connectors molded in... I drilled holes into the top of the battery at a 45 degree angle to the connector to attach the leads. The carpeting was done three ways... the black carpet in the passenger compartment was flocked, the cargo compartment cover is an adhesive-backed felt fabric cut to size, and the mats were embroidery cord twisted together and coated with white glue.  

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On 12/31/2017 at 8:58 AM, jaymcminn said:

THanks Henry! The battery had the connectors molded in... I drilled holes into the top of the battery at a 45 degree angle to the connector to attach the leads. The carpeting was done three ways... the black carpet in the passenger compartment was flocked, the cargo compartment cover is an adhesive-backed felt fabric cut to size, and the mats were embroidery cord twisted together and coated with white glue.  

Hi... thanks for sharing the tips....

Where go you buy Black felt fabric... is it model grade or comercial grade...?

You are very creative to create that floor mat using cable....

Nice job....

 

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mighty sharp work going on here-I think the gasket on the hatch window is fine!!!!

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This is an amazing model build! Everything looks fantastic, including the rubber around the glass. You could make your own decal for the air filter box? I did that for my 1/12th Lambo. I've never done my own decals before but when I couldn't find them anywhere so I got some clear decal paper from BMF and they turned out great. I'm happy that I've added another "thing" to my model building. I just love working in 1/12th scale after decades of 1/24th and 1/25th, which I still also love! Your Z looks awesome!

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Very nice! Your build has inspired me to pull mine off the dusty shelf (built 14 years ago) and clean it up a bit. I too dislike the rubber seals around the windshield and hatch window. The edges of the window appear rough and are not hidden by the seal which I think is the most unattractive part. In retrospect I think I would have sanded the edges then coated with liquid cement to take out some of that look.

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