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Beemax Starion Grp A


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Hi Guys.

It's been too long since I have done a WIP so here goes. Here is the recently released Aoshima/Beemax Starion kit and the SK decal sheet that I will be using to replicate the car that finished 7th in the 1987 Bathurst 1000. As with any kit, building an Australian spec car out of the box isn't an option so many tweaks will be needed here and there. First impressions of there kit show that there will be some fitment issues and that the kit is full of compromises to make some parts carry over to other kits such as the chassis which is the same that is in the new Beemax Lancer kit.

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The first starting point was the dash. For some reason the Australian Factory team cars were LHD. I took the LHD dash from Fujimi's ancient Starion kit and as it was 3.5mm too wide I had to cut a section out of it. I sacrificed the aircon vent and control panel out the LHD dash and replaced it later with the one from the RHD dash. I used the top vent section from the kit dash (the black part).

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Here you can see the size difference between the Fujimi (white) and Beemax (black) instrument binnacles.
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Added some PE gauge rings and hit it with primer and it's ready to go.

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Now on to some major surgery. The rear fuel cell cover that covers all of the area that is under the hatch isn't correct for the Australian version so that had to go. I wanted to flatten the angle of the cover so I cut the whole thing off and rebuilt it with Evergreen sheet.

Before. Note those massive rear wheel tubs that are old school Aoshima and reminiscent of the old motorized kits.

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After

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My mods Vs the original kit.

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The rear shock mounts and roll cage cross bar mounts were cut off the kit part leaving only the basic shape which were then glued to the wheel tubs and filled in with putty.

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I'm making good progress so far and I hope to have even more done by the end of the week.

Thanks,

ShawnS

 

 

 

Edited by ShawnS
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hi again.

While all the glue and putty was curing on the interior I started work on the front bumper and body. The front bumper had 4 massive sink marks and some gaps that need to be dealt with.

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When test fitting I found there is also an issue with the bumper being slightly wider on one side so I'll attack that later with some sandpaper.

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One other thing that was going to be an issue for me was the fuel fillers. The kit has a pair of ugly toy-like fuel filler points that mount on the outside of the body and don't look correct in any way whatsoever so I had a hunt around my spares boxes and didn't find anything that was even close so I had to come up with a solution. I took some Apoxie Sculpt 2 part putty and wrapped it around a piece of sprue. When it had hardened I machined it with my Dremel and a chisel blade to match the reverse shape of the fuel filler. I will be using that as a stamp.

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After drilling out the holes in the body I pressed a blob of Apoxie Sculpt on the the inside of the body being careful not to squeeze it through the hole.

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I then pressed the stamp (lubricated with a little bit of cooking spray) into the still soft putty and just like that I had the correct shape fuel fillers.

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That's all for now. I have been working on the rollcage so I suppose that will be the next update soon.

Thanks

ShawnS

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Thanks guys.  Just a quick one today.

On to some fitment issues. This first pic was taken before I started modifying the interior and it shows that the interior sides are too tall for the body. You can see the black of the interior sides show above the window line, that's the tip of the iceberg because they need to be 1.5 to 2mm below the window line.

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Sanding down the top of the interior sides isn't an option because the interior door handle sits just below the top of the door panel so I had no choice but to lower the chassis from the body. I added two posts from large Evergreen strip to get the height that I wanted.

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Before

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After

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The locator tab now sits on the bottom side of the rear bumper slot.

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I'm not doing any work on it this weekend so hopefully the next update won't be too far away.

Thanks

ShawnS

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hi again guys, thanks for your interest.

 

This update is a bit of a mixed bag so here goes. Work is almost complete on the rollcage just waiting on some decent weather to shoot some primer on it to fix anything that shows up.

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Now on to the wheels.

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Made by Simmons wheels. These were mostly used by Australian and New Zealand racing teams in all sorts of sizes and configurations, and were rarely seen on cars outside Aus and NZ so the chances that they will be kitted or even available through aftermarket sources seemed pretty slim, that is until I was browsing through pics of new models and I found some very similar wheels in Belkits Opel Ascona 400 kit. I was lucky enough to find the wheel sprue from that kit on SpotModels spare parts page so I didn't have to pay full price for the whole kit. I knew I was going to have to chop it up and modify it so I cast some in resin and set about the job at hand.
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I spent a lot of time last year making different versions and sizes and stud patterns. The wheel with the resin rim is for a Sierra build in the future and the metal rim and tyre is from scale production.

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I first used the centres on one of my DR30 Nissans earlier this year.

I made some for a yet to be completed BMW M3 with different insets front and back.

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One feature of the Simmons wheel was that the front face wasn't flat. Belkits made their wheel with a dead flat face so I had to round the face.

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I modified the casting  to fit the aluminium wheel rim from SK Decals and added Protech nuts  and a centre lock nut from Hobby Design and now the wheel centres are sorted and ready for casting.

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I have also made the moulds for resin casting the wheels and dash.

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Speaking of wheels, I found a racing steering wheel in my spares to replace the almost stock one from the kit.

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I always test fit everything before painting and I discovered the rear window/hatch would have been a massive pain in the rear if I didn't find this issue.

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There is a bit of a step at the top of the window recess that needed to be smoothed out.

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and some thick mold lines on the inside edge of the rear corners that affect fitment too.

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The edges of the glass also have some light flash that needed to be sanded smooth and after that was done it fit just right.

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The side windows and the windscreen fit great with just some sanding on the seams around the outside edges of the glass and the inside of the A pillars. After I test fit clear parts I place them in individual bags for protection.

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The tail lights hardly fit at all due mostly to the thick chrome that they have.

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I scraped the chrome off of all the surfaces that don't need it but that wasn't the only issue. The rear tail light recess has lumps and bumps that need to  be scraped and sanded.

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Fits like a charm.

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Work continues this week with some more fitting and sanding so I hope to bring you another update soon.

 

Cheers

ShawnS

 

 

 

Edited by ShawnS
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  • 2 weeks later...

Hi all

I cast the wheels and dash.

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The mocked up interior is primed and ready for paint.

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I test fitted the suspension and wheels and noticed that the rear sat too high and the wheels were too far forward in the wheel arches. Both of these things were a result of my own modifications and not an issue with the kit.

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I trimmed the rear chassis mounting tab and tweaked the front mounting pins and it sorted the wheel location problem out. The rear ride height was a different issue and here is how I fixed it.

The rear suspension upright part was too tall anyway so I used that to my advantage by drilling out the rear spring mounting point on the chassis.

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The tops of the springs are now level with the top of the wheel arch which gave me the extra 1mm that I needed to correct the ride height.

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and to finish just a couple of scraps of Evergreen sheet to cap them off.

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One correction that anyone building this kit will need to do is fixing the front suspension uprights which are too tall and affect the fitment of the front crossmember. To remedy this issue I just trimmed the lower area and re-pinned it with some rod. You can see on the pic how much I had to remove.

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The other issue that I wanted to correct was the front toe in.

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Rather than mess around with the fragile steering rods I decided to just modify the hubs that the brake discs mount to. A simple fix was to sand a wedge out of the hubs with more taken from the rear side of the hub.

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And finally some period items. A Dulux Autocolour advertisement and the cover of a Racing Car News magazine from 1987.

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The interior, body, bonnet and bumpers have been given their first colour coats in white and hopefully the next update in a week or two should show a fully painted body and maybe some assembly progress.

 

Cheers

ShawnS

 

 

 

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  • 4 weeks later...

Fascinating work, Shawn. To a novice like me such scratch building is pretty mind-blowing! A couple of techniques here may be useful to me soon, whilst the rest has expanded my understanding of what is possible. Thanks for sharing; I'll be following ?

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Really interesting to read this through from the start, I didn't realise these Beemax kits had so many issues. Some are reminiscent of things I've encountered on other Japanese kits that were intended to be motorized, the way I've dealt with them is rather less thorough than your approach.....

I only have the Fujimi Starion, it's been some years since I've had a good look at it but I suspect it will have a few challenges.

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Thanks guys,

It's not a bad kit, it has great detail and almost perfect proportions it's just that it just needs some finessing here and there. As I said in my opening post the kit has some compromises to reduce the cost of tooling on what may be a one off kit. Although they did announce a rally version too but that seems to have been put aside for the moment.

Update... Almost everything has been painted I just need to start the detail painting and assembly. I've got 4 weeks off of work over the xmas break coming up so there is plenty of time for that. There is however one issue that I just can't get my head around just yet and that is the scuttle vent. Because the kit is right hand drive that means the windscreen wipers are also set up for RHD which means I have to find a way to modify the scuttle vent to get rid of the RHD wiper recesses and keep the vent detail.

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I have tried filling them and replacing the vent fins but that didn't work so it looks like I may have to cut the whole thing off and scratch build a replacement. Any suggestions??

 

Cheers

ShawnS

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Lots of real nice work so far. Since you're able to cast parts i would probably try that for the lower glass piece with a little blutac or something blocking the holes sitting just a little taller so you can shape it down to what you need it to be

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  • 1 month later...
Hi again guys.
 
The Starion build isn't dead yet. Here's where it's at. Most parts have been painted their base colours and are awaiting detail painting except for the body which is painted, polished and ready to go.
 
The paints used for the body were Tamiya TS26 white over TS101 base white with TS14 black and TS16 yellow and the red is a custom TS mix all with TS13 clear over all.
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Interior is ready for detail paint and assembly.
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Ditto the chassis, suspension and drive train.
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I have polished the wheel rims and the centres are painted and ready for black wash.
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I wonder if the manufacturers were planning on doing an engine at some stage as there are signs of it being setup to take a full engine and engine bay but there's just not any parts supplied in the kit. Perhaps they were hoping for the aftermarket to pick up their slack. Anyways here is the sum total of engine in the kit. Between the sump and the bonnet there is a massive space waiting to be filled just not by me.
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So I finally found some time to sit and think about the issue with the vent grill. My solution? build my own.
Starting with 3 strips each of Evergreen strip #116 (.4mm x 3.2mm) and #107 (.25mm x 4mm) glued together with extra thin cement.
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Chopped them to equal length.
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and started assembly
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I made 3 pieces with a bit of scrap Evergreen sheet under the centre section to raise it above the two outer parts.
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Past experience with this type of thing told me that it would be easier to make one big block and then cast that block in resin and modify the resin piece than it would have been to mess around with the plastic, so I glued those three pieces to a trusty old bit of evergreen sheet and make a mold from that.
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After much much cutting, grinding and sanding I got a result that I was happy with.
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All that's left to do is cut out a recess for the wiper and it'll be done.
 
And finally a heads up. Don't bother buying Zero Paints window masks as they are too small and are totally useless. I made a R32 Skyline last year and bought a Zero Paints window mask set for that too and it was also way undersized. I thought/hoped that it was a one off but the Starion one is the same so never again.
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Thanks, Cheers and Happy New Year.
 
ShawnS
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