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So a little bit of background for you guys about me. I’ve been building model cars since I was in my teens thanks to my mom who bought my first kit thinking it was already built but surprise surprise it was in bits so guess what? Yep I had to build it myself. Back then I must have just used glue, a knife and maybe some paint and that was the extend of my modeling tools. I then concentrated on building war planes but then my passion for race cars increased so I started building Tamiya 1/12 scale models. I then took a long long break from modeling because of my profession which was bring a race car mechanic and later engineer. So anyways back to the model. I’m a fan of Senna and saw him race numerous times when I was a mechanic so I decided to build his championship winning McLaren. I bought the kit and also the Top Studio upgrade bits to make a more realistic model. I try to aim for realism as much as I can. Being a mechanic I know how and where those parts go but more importantly what they should look like. Now my methods are a bit unorthodox as I don’t build the car according to the instructions because to me it doesn’t make sense. So for example I started with the gearbox but I separated the gearbox from the engine. I’m basically building it like I would a real race car. Hopefully you modelers will like the build and feel free to comment as I go along. 

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41 minutes ago, Josie said:

So as you can see I cut off the gearbox from the engine. I then glued the end cover and side covers to the gearbox. I also cut a hole to insert real steel bearings on each side of the casing as like a real gearbox. These bearings will then be connected to the driveshafts. I also added putty to the suspension pick up points and sanded to make it look like the real g/box. So basically it’s being assembled like a real race car. The top suspension pick up brackets will be added afterwards and I did it this way so there would be no separation lines. Afterwards I applied primer. 

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Looking like a cool project! I will follow with great interest!

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Jose, what scale is the car?   Your approach is interesting. I'd be curious to know what and how you're modifying & creating things as you proceed.  We can all learn something.  More pics and descriptions as you go along would be great if you can.   cheers, tim

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One of the forum members has a great saying, "instructions are just someone else's opinion".

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4 hours ago, Codi said:

Jose, what scale is the car?   Your approach is interesting. I'd be curious to know what and how you're modifying & creating things as you proceed.  We can all learn something.  More pics and descriptions as you go along would be great if you can.   cheers, tim

Its 1/12 scale from Tamiya. I will send more pics hopefully by by end of week as I progress. So basically with these 1/12 scale models you can have a lot of freedom to detail them. I will use the Top Studio upgrades to improve on that and also will you my experience to detail them even further. Purchasing a book on the Mp4/6 showing close-ups comes in handy and I have to of those. 

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Here are pics of the gearbox. For now I will paint the gearbox a dark brown till I experiment with the correct color that comes close to a magnesium casing. For now I want to make sure the separation lines are gone. There are like 6 separate  parts that are glued to make one piece. In a real gearbox only the end cover and two side plates should be removable. In the Tamiya instructions it would tell you you have to insert the top suspension pick up brackets but I will add those on later.

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Forgot to add that I also drilled .4mm holes on both sideplates and end cover where I will add studs with nuts in the future. 

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I thought I would show you the model kit I’m building. I believe it came out around 1994 or so. It’s a big scale with over 200 parts but that will be a lot more after I get done with it since I will be adding upgrades and scratch building some parts.  I’ve had it for two years but now with Covid I have plenty of time on my hands to dedicate my full attention to it so hopefully I will finish it by September. FF4E5AA9-1B8E-4BC2-AF82-DC3268A126D1.png.67a77f34f8e80aa3c023526016a61907.pngB4883E19-2EEE-4957-847A-41BED556A566.png.b9f29b75c1c0bef48a8ae5b75611d622.png

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I found the correct paint mix for the gearbox to my liking which was completely different to the instructions. I’ve worked with hundreds of race gearboxes made of magnesium but unfortunately the color on the pictures is distorted. It’s a lot darker. I’ll try to get better pictures later. I’ve added the CV joints from the Top Studio upgrades. I must admit the quality of the upgrades is outstanding for the price. Very reasonable. I did a press fit onto the bearings and turn freely like proper CV joints . As you can see I also added studs with nuts to the holes I drilled previously. I added these to the side covers end cover and where the gearbox attaches to the engine. In the Tamiya instructions the top suspension bracket comes in one piece but I cut the bracket from Top Studio in two separate pieces and glued it to the sides of the gearbox  and added the stud with nuts like a real gearbox would look like.  I thinned the walls of the bracket to make it more to scale. I also scratch build the brace to the bracket as the Tamiya one didn’t look realistic enough. I glued the oil tank to the top of the gearbox and added aluminum bolts. I also scratch build the gear linkage u-joint from brass tubing and glued it to the side cover. I had to do quite a bit of work on this side plate cover to make it look more realistic. I was happy with the results and it’s a big improvement from the original Tamiya part.

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Making more progress with the gearbox. Here are some more pics and the color is more realistic in this pics meaning the gearbox casing is more a darker brown. I added the shocks, bell cranks and pushrods to the gearbox. I put stiffer looking springs than what the kit offered and it didn’t look right. Springs were much stiffer on the real race car. I also added Aeon rubbers and painted them orange. I also scratch build the bump knob and glued it to the shock body. The bell Cranks were also modified to look more the real ones. I filed a bigger arc to resemble the real ones. As for the pushrods I added rod-ends from RB Motion and glued them to the pushrods. I also thinned them to make it more to scale as the ones in the kit where a bit on the thick side and not true to scale. 

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Great work Jose.  Nice to have a race car mechanic on the forum.

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I love this car so I'm looking forward to see what you will do with it.  I can see it is going to be amazing.

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More updates. I thinned down the wishbones as the Tamiya metal pieces were too thin and not true to scale so thinned about 30% off. 

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More progress on the gearbox. Concentrated on the rear with putting together the TS rear jack mounts. I’m pretty impressed with the Top Studio upgrades as it adds more accuracy to the model and makes my job a bit easier. The mount comes in several pieces but it’s pretty straightforward if you have ever dealt with PE stuff. I modified the oil coolers cause I wasn’t happy where the oil lines mount to the cooler. The Tamiya coolers weren’t very realistic. The oil lines were covered witha heat sleeve I scratch build myself instead of the tape Tamiya recommends which again not very realistic. The rest was pretty straightforward. Here are some pics. 

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Nice!

what paints did you use or mix for the gearbox ?

and where did you see Senna ?Montreal ?  I saw him at Montreal early in his career - in a Lotus - had the impression that the driver was better than the car - he was driving the wheels off it ...

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9 hours ago, absmiami said:

Nice!

what paints did you use or mix for the gearbox ?

and where did you see Senna ?Montreal ?  I saw him at Montreal early in his career - in a Lotus - had the impression that the driver was better than the car - he was driving the wheels off it ...

I was a race mechanic in F3000 GP2 late 80’s-90’s so I saw Senna race quiet a lot. The mix of color for the gearbox was 3:1 dark copper to black 

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10 hours ago, RancheroSteve said:

Wow, incredible so far! Watching with great interest.

Thanks Ranchero. I’ll post more photos and details on the weekend. If you guys have questions I’ll be happy to answer them

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3 hours ago, Josie said:

I was a race mechanic in F3000 GP2 late 80’s-90’s so I saw Senna race quiet a lot. The mix of color for the gearbox was 3:1 dark copper to black 

Favorite track - location ?  You’re too young to have wrenched at Watkins glen??

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Favorite tracks  were Monza Monaco and Spa and I also like Montreal but never saw Senna race there because we only participated at the European rounds. I’m currently now living in San Francisco 

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Spa ...

l’m jealous - near the top of my bucket list

- some day ....

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Here is some more progress on the gearbox. I added a clutch line on the right side of the gearbox using a banjo fitting from RB Motion. I also started working on the side gearbox covers. What I did with those was first to thin them down to scale as they were too thick. Once I got the right thickness I drilled .3mm holes where the dzus fasteners go through from the engine cover. I primed them then painted them with Tamiya fluorescent red. On the other side of the covers I added CF decals of 1/24 scale. I finished it off with a slight coat of black smoke paint. Here are pics of that stage of the build. Thanks to the lockdown I’m making fast progress. I will work on the rest uprights and brakes using the Top Studio brake upgrades which look promising 

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Finished doing the rear uprights and brakes using the Top Studio upgrades. Bolted the upper wishbones and assembled to gearbox with hardware from RB Motion. The brake ducts were covered in 1/24 scale CF decals and sprayed with dull coat from Testors. Added details to brake ducts from TS.

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I admit I was never a fan of Mclaren (Ferrari guy) but the way you're approaching & creating the details on your car Jose are just fantastic.  The extra effort you're expending through out on each part (trying to achieve proper scale as 1 example) really shows.  You're efforts are being rewarded most certainly.  Beautiful car.  cheers, tim

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