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Ferrari 250 SWB Spider California (Italeri 1/24) - restoration of my own old built


1959scudetto
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In 1989 (immediately after its release) I built a model of Italeri’s Ferrari 250 California Spider, hastily glued together : red spray-paint from the can - interior, engine and chassis  left unpainted. Its wheels were used to pimp up one of Esci’s 250 SWBs, so I pirated spoke wheels from a Fujimi EM Daytona (will be built with the alloys) and used  1/24 Monogram plastic  tires (leftovers from my ’57 Vette street machine)  - they were a bit trimmed to fit. I was never satisfied with the result (track too narrow, headlight lenses turned white and  headlight covers partially frosted from the glue, some glue residue on the windows.)

The following 2 pics are from 2005 :   

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So I started my "restauration"  3 weeks ago: 

Mainly cosmetic, as all invisible things remained untouched (drivetrain, chassis etc.):  the red paint was carefully wetsanded and then polished with Micromesh; glass came off – windshield was polished, its frame got some black paint to simulate a rubber gasket, the side windows were discarded, the headlight covers came from another kit I only bought for parts (I have still 2 more unbuilts) – the white headlights were treated with Tamiya clear yellow to represent a French car (yellow headlight lenses or at least bulbs were mandatory there from 1936 up to 1993) – of course, the US plate had to be replaced with French ones. The track was widened by using plastic washers.

Most work went into the interior: the spartanic racing seats were replaced with buckets from Protar’s Alfa Giulietta which look rather close to Ferrari’s originals, the interior was painted tan, the floor got some flocking, a pin was used as gear lever, door handles and lower door trim were fabricated from steel wire.

The final touch was chrome foil strips on hood and doors, fine steel mesh behind the fender louvers (see first picture), a Ferrari script logo on the trunk (from Virages decals) and photoetched wipers (ebay, from Spain).

As the kits shortcomings (incorrect headlights, wrong interior door panels and seats, clumsy wipers etc.) have been only partially addressed to, the result is far from perfect  (the hood has been glued shut) – but  it does at least look better than before.

Comments and critics are always welcome – here are the new pics from last weekend (I just noticed the right exhaust tips have to be corrected - will be done soon) - otherwise it is done:

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Edited by 1959scudetto
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Well Done Helmut,

I did the same thing to mine. It was an old build with lots of orange peel in paint and finally took it all apart and went a little more custom but vibe is same.

 

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Great job there Helmut, It always rewarding to re visit old kits and build them like we intended to. It's a good way to measure how one's skill have evolved over the years. I did that to some of  my earlier builds. Besides it saves you from buying another one , if they are still available.

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Like Mario said, it is nice to revisit some of your old builds and restore them as both personal build skills have been developed and possibly many new accessories and paints may have become available since the original kit issue.

The California is a really lovely styled Ferrari and this restored model really looks the business.

Well done Helmut. The model is a real credit to you!

Edited by Bugatti Fan
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On 1/19/2022 at 10:12 PM, WizPorsche944 said:

Very very nice work.

 

On 1/20/2022 at 12:56 AM, Mike C. said:

Beautiful! 👍

 

On 1/21/2022 at 12:05 AM, PappyD340 said:

Very nice!

 

On 1/20/2022 at 3:45 AM, spencer1984 said:

Beautiful work, that looks great!

 

On 1/20/2022 at 7:53 AM, grodudulle77 said:

Very nice work Helmut !! 👍😀

 

On 1/20/2022 at 1:39 PM, ChrisR said:

VERY NICE!

Thanks Walter, Mike, Glen, Bill, Philippe, Chris and Larry for your compliments!

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On 1/19/2022 at 11:29 PM, m3fan said:

Well Done Helmut,

I did the same thing to mine. It was an old build with lots of orange peel in paint and finally took it all apart and went a little more custom but vibe is same.

 

 

On 1/19/2022 at 11:37 PM, Rich Chernosky said:

One of my very favorite Ferrari's.  Your efforts have resulted in a fine model.  Feels good to visit an old friend and bring it up to current standards. Well done. 

 

On 1/20/2022 at 12:37 AM, Gramps46 said:

Marvelous upgrade.  All those little details certainly added up to a fine model.

On 1/20/2022 at 2:56 AM, happy grumpy said:

Great job there Helmut, It always rewarding to re visit old kits and build them like we intended to. It's a good way to measure how one's skill have evolved over the years. I did that to some of  my earlier builds. Besides it saves you from buying another one , if they are still available.

 

On 1/21/2022 at 9:03 AM, Bugatti Fan said:

Like Mario said, it is nice to revisit some of your old builds and restore them as both personal build skills have been developed and possibly many new accessories and paints may have become available since the original kit issue.

The California is a really lovely styled Ferrari and this restored model really looks the business.

Well done Helmut. The model is a real credit to you!

Thanks a lot, Russell, Rich, Gary, Mario and Noel for your nice comments - it is a rewarding experience to re-work some old builds: I've done this a few times and achieved always better results than before: you decide how far you want to go, and whereas even the paint job still has some issues (paint runners in 2 places) I' m pretty much content with the outcome (rebuilt it as a curbside because I did not want to disassemble and redo everything, and if I want, I can go the extra-mile with my still unbuilt kits). Maybe I will do similar jobs on my Monogram Aston Martin DB 4 gluebomb and my Revell Austin Healey (both already disassembled).

 

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On 1/25/2022 at 12:31 AM, Dragonhawk1066 said:

Very nice Ferrari!

 

On 1/25/2022 at 4:20 AM, 89AKurt said:

That's a tough kit to work with.  You did a fine job restoring it.

 

18 hours ago, slusher said:

Gorgeous model!

Thank you Craig, Kurt and Carl !

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On 1/27/2022 at 9:48 PM, ATHU said:

Beautiful restoration Helmut, looks fantastic!!

 

On 1/28/2022 at 2:59 AM, Bainford said:

Beautiful Ferrari. Nice update on the old build. Well done.

Thanks Anders and Trevor - old Italian sportscars have become my favourite modeling subjects.

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