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Bernard Kron

Lotus Super Seven S2

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tamiya-lotus-super-7-series-ii-web.jpg

This is the 1/24th scale Tamiya kit. Believe it or not, it's my first Tamiya and I'm enjoying the detail. crispness and precision. My plan is to build the club racer version with the ero screens. I'm in the "proof of concept" phase right now, where I tackle the changes and difficult bits to make sure the idea I have will work. I'm going to try to duplicate the polished aluminum that was a popular treatment among owners of these early lotuses. I'm using Spaz Stix Ultimate Mirror Chrome shot to bare polished styrene. I did the bonnet, cowl and transmission and they came out really nicely so now it's time to tackle the masking job to accomodate the painted fenders and nose.

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Dave Bantoft (Dave B here on MCM) in Australia had let me now a while back that he had resin copies of the classic Lotus "Wobbly" cast aluminum wheels that Colin Chapman first introduced with the front engine Lotus 12 Formula 2 car in late 1956. "Wobblies" are another popular early-lotus appearance item, usually finished in their characteristic yellow color.

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Dave was kind enough to send me a set. Dave's resin castings included tires molded to the rims and solid backs. The wheels are just the right size but the tires were a little small. With the fact that they had full wheel backs with no room for the kit brakes it was simplest, if a little risky, to remove the tires and then sand the faces down to fit the kit tires. Here's a post-thrash bench photo of the result. I'm using AMT inner wheel rims. Once they're in the prerequisite yellow they should look mighty fine. You can also see the beginnings of masking job.

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This is a brave new world for this confirmed rod and custom modeler, although this particular car has much in common with a hot rod. Wish me luck!

Thanx for lookin',
B.

Edited by Bernard Kron

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I’ve always liked these - and I’ve been lucky enough to drive a couple of replica 7s...nearest thing to a scaled-up go kart I ever got to drive!

Love the wobbly wheels - I’ll be watching!

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Good luck, it appears that you're off to a great start and I look forward to seeing how it progresses. Good work on the aluminium body panels!

I built one when I was in my teens, I don't know if I could handle the delicacy of it now. I recall it going together nicely, it's still 75% complete with passable brush-painted Humbrol bodywork - I should start locating the other parts to get it on display again....

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Cool cool cool. The aluminium looks great. :D

One of my absolute favorite cars in full scale. I still dream about the S2/S3 I stupidly sold back in the '80s. Stupid stupid stupid.  

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Thanks everyone!

This is turning out to be a highly technical project. The idea of doing a polished aluminum body dictates a really strategic approach to masking. I didn’t mention it in my first post but this is actually my second try at painting the body. The first time around I wasn’t careful about handling the outer body surfaces. The Spaz Stix Ultimate Mirror Chrome wasn’t fully cured and I landed up wearing it away. So the body went into the purple pond and this time I am planning carefully exactly when I pant each area of the body. The fenders and nose have been painted with Tamiya TS-43 Racing Green Spray. The body is “zoned” into 4 distinct areas with separate masking for each – the fiberglass parts (nose and fenders), the “upholstered” interior surfaces (painted with Testors Acryl Insignia Red), the unpolished bare aluminum surfaces (interior, engine compartment and underpan), and the polished aluminum surfaces. In the composite photo below you can see that I’ve painted the fenders. The second panel shows the fully masked main body. The interior surfaces are left in bare styrene, as is the underside. These will be sprayed in Testors Buffable Aluminum Plate. After several days of cure time I’ll buff the surfaces. The outer body surfaces (under the fenders up to the nose, between the fenders and the rear fuel tank area) will get shot with mirror chrome immediately before final assembly. If possible I’ll attach detail parts that lend themselves to masking before shooting the polished aluminum areas. My hope is to minimize handling and to be disciplined enough to only grip the model by the fenders, which will still be masked. The fenders will only be un-masked after final assembly.

In the composite photo you’ll also see the “wobblies” finished in Tamiya TS-34 Camel Yellow. Highlighting them in paint revealed that I need to do more work truing up the rim edges. A nose stripe was also applied in Camel Yellow. After the paint cures I’ll polish out the edge between the two colors.

While the paint hardens I’ll work on the motor, drive train and suspension which will be the subject of the next update.

Thanx for lookin’.
B.

08-10-20-summary-web.jpg

 

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Wow, quite a lot of work and thought going into such a small car.

Are you confident your masking tape will peel off the fenders after a while without leaving any residue?

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1 minute ago, Spottedlaurel said:

Wow, quite a lot of work and thought going into such a small car.

Are you confident your masking tape will peel off the fenders after a while without leaving any residue?

Yes. I tested the tape (Tamiya) on part of the painted fender. Of course you're right in referring to the fact that the tape will be on there a while. But I've done this before with minimum problems as long as the paint is well cured and the model isn't subjected to undue heat.

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It's going well Bernard! I'm also watching this on other sites. I can't comment on the SA site as I can't log into it any more as with Finescale (No Kalmbach at all!)! The old Lotus cast alloy wheels are also  looking good and as you say a bit more shaving back on those.

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I figured it was time for an update before this project is completely forgotten. It’s actually quite far along with all the subassemblies painted but this update will only show the bare metal aluminum surfaces painted, the completed wheels and tires, the completed nose piece, and the completed motor. The suspension is done and installed but not very visible in the photo below. The interior bits are all done and will go in next, along with the completion of the under-hood area. Then the windscreens, lights and final assembly. The next update should be the final one showing the completed details. The whole thing looks pretty ragged right now as I’m peeling back the masking only to the limit required for the assembly process. So far I’ve managed to keep the bare aluminum surfaces relatively unmolested, and the Tamiya masking tape has pulled up without lifting any paint.

Thanks for lookin,
B.

08-31-20-summary-web.jpg

 

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Thanks guys!

This project is now completed. Since this is a straightforward kit build there’s not much to comment on other than the fact that this is my first Tamiya kit and the fit and precision of the parts was a genuine pleasure, even if some of the subassemblies and detail parts were mighty small and fiddly. Tweezers are definitely in order! I think the accuracy and realism comes through in the final result. Below are a couple of photos. More “beauty shots” will be included tomorrow when I post this under Completed models.

Thanx for lookin’,
B.

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Final-Summary-web.jpg

 

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