Jump to content
Model Cars Magazine Forum

On My Bench - The Cosma Ray


Danno
 Share

Recommended Posts

Finally getting to this. I have been remiss; promised my good friend Greg Wann that I'd build up one of his superb resin cast kits of the Cosma Ray ... but life has been in the way.

Now this baby is underway.

Sneak preview:

Hint-vi.jpg

V

V

V

V

V

Okay, I admit that wasn't much.

I have a bunch more photography to upload, but the brand new computer has to go back to the computer doctor for a few hours this afternoon ... seems they forgot to upload some of the big bux software I paid for!

But, either tonight, or tomorrow, I'll start uploading a series of pix as I take Greg Wann's outstanding resin kit and build up a replica of one of my all-time favorite show cars ... Darryl Starbird's Cosma Ray!

In the meantime, here's a little more ...

MVC009S-vi.jpg

Ciao, baby! :P

Edited by Danno
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Stop the press and hold the phones!!! Am I really seeing this? My eyes are bad & I need new glasses!! But Dan are you really posting a model your building!!

Just kidding Dan!! I can't wait to see this one done!!! That color came out looking awesome!!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

INSTALLMENT 1 - Building the Cosma Ray

Greg Wann, known around these parts as The Master Caster, has produced a resin Cosma Ray kit.

Here are some of the parts his kit includes. As you can see, he casts in a high quality white resin. It looks as good as a styrene kit. His bodies (all of them I’ve seen) have no pinholes or flaws and require very little work. His kits include amazing clear resin bubble tops!

I did not photo all the parts, because it is a lot of pieces! He cast every part from the original master, including two wheel options, except tires and the metal coil springs for the front suspension.

The first view shows some of the major parts, including the one-piece body, interior tub, the top hoop, the front and rear bubbles, frosted clear (just like the 1:1) headlight lenses, and the interior “waterfall.†The waterfall shown here was slightly warped because I left it in the sun, not because it came that way. Careful application of a little warm water and it easily straightened out. I broke my top hoop, but Greg quickly provided a replacement for it.

MVC031S-vi.jpg

More of the supplied parts, this view shows the interior tub, seats, dashboard, the waterfall after correction of the sun-induced warpage, the front and rear body components, the headrest pods, the red-clear taillights, and the chassis.

MVC038S-vi.jpg

Another group of the parts provided in Greg’s kit, this view shows the wheelwell/firewall component, front grilles and bumpers, frosted headlight lenses, two fuel injection options (factory Rochestor or Hilborn mechanical), the side pipes, and two wheel options (Corvette turbine style and wiremag style) with 3-prong knock-offs.

MVC040S-vi.jpg

Closer view of the wheel options. These represent two of the three styles of wheels the Cosma Ray has worn over the years. The wheel inserts on the left are Corvette optional turbine wheels; the wheels on the right are American Racing Wiremags. The knockoffs work on either set of wheels.

MVC043S-vi.jpg

Here are those spectacular clear resin bubble tops. They are clear and blemish free. Greg’s castings are marvelous!

MVC044S-vi.jpg

As I mentioned, Greg’s Cosma Ray kits are complete, requiring only that you provide a replacement for the original kit’s metal coil springs for the front. That’s easy enough; you can rob a third generation (1963-1967) Vette kit of its plastic springs, or you can rob a suitable ball point pen of its spring.

Either way, you add front springs and tires and you’re well on your way to a beautiful, unique model of one of the winning-est show cars ever!

You certainly aren’t going to see a bunch of them everywhere you go.

Next installment, we’ll start building. Stay Tuned.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Danno......great start......color is AWESOME!!!!!.........I also bought one of these kits from Greg last year.......what a great deal he gave me......and the workmanship is 2nd to none.......a very nice kit he sells........I promised Greg I would have mine done for your show next year.......I better start gettin on it.......thank`s for reminding me Danno.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Interesting paint job B)

I have a few pics of what I assume is the same car. Let me know if you what me to post 'em. I took them at this years KKOA show in Salina, Ks.

More pix are always welcome; Thanks, Alyn.

I've always wanted to get to the KKOA Salina show. Maybe next summer.

The paint job looks interesting or 'pebbly' because the sun is reflecting off the flakes in the pearl, causing it to appear to have an irregular surface. It is actually quite smooth, but the pearl effect is very subtle ... until bright light (or, sunlight) hits it. I'll show more pix later.

B)

Edited by Danno
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Now that we’ve looked over the Cosma Ray kit somewhat, let’s get started on the build-up!

The body was dead-on, square, and virtually perfect as supplied. There was minimal effort required to prepare for painting.

As with any resin product, I soaked my Cosma Ray overnight in Westley’s Bleche Wite, then washed it with Dawn and warm water. If anything, the body’s finish was so smooth and polished as delivered that I had to sand it with 4000 polishing mesh just to assure the primer could bite.

MVC030S.jpg

My first step was to join the front and rear pans/clips to the body, then apply catalyzed filler to the seams. Because the seams are at the sharp body lines, this is an important step; there’s no other way to conceal the joint.

The trickiest spots are where the joints intersect with the wheel openings. Careful work in these areas will produce a smooth lip with no evidence of the joint between the body and the pans. Once the filler was worked to perfection and spot-primed, it was time to paint the interior of the body.

MVC050S-vi.jpg

I shot the inside surfaces with Tamiya TS-31 “Bright Orange†which is a dead-ringer for Chevy’s Hugger Orange. After it hardened, I cut a piece of flat cardboard to fit the body’s interior. Attached with masking tape, I then attached the cardboard platform to a high-technology paint stand (an empty spray can) for handling.

MVC001S-vi.jpg

Priming, re-sanding, re-priming, and re-sanding again produces a smooth canvass for the final paint finishing. I paint as much of the body together as possible, while paying attention to the panel edges, etc.

MVC002S-vi.jpg

After a couple of coats of TS-31, I was happy with the appearance of the body. I had painted the bubble top hoop separately, but now it was time to tape it to the body for the next step; pearl clear coat.

MVC003S-vi.jpg

I next built up three coats of Tamiya TS-65 Pearl Clear. Wow! That made the otherwise plain, solid orange color really pop!

It has been commented that the images made the finish seem rough or “pebbly†but in fact it is quite smooth; the apparent texture is actually just irregular light refractions from the embedded mica chips in the pearl clearcoat. I’ll take some images out of the sun in order to convey the complexion of the finish.

Much like the 1:1, this finish is deceptive – in some light it appears to be just plain Hugger Orange but in other light the gold tone pearlescent overtone becomes apparent.

MVC009S-vi.jpg

Next, a couple of wet coats of Testors 1834M Wet Look Clear and this baby is looking show-car fine! I’ll be flipping a coin for days to decide whether to polish or leave her like she is.

MVC010S-vi.jpg

By the way, I get nothing from the marketing of the Cosma Ray resin kits. The Master Caster, Greg Wann, is a friend of mine who was receptive to my suggestion that he master and cast the Cosma Ray. He did a terrific job and I can highly recommend his products! My only interest in it all is in seeing that anyone else who has desires a Cosma Ray, as I did, has access to their own kit and at a reasonable cost.

Next time, we’ll select the proper wheels for this version and build up the chassis and interior.

Thanks for following along; hope you’re enjoying.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

INSTALLMENT 3

Continuing the buildup of the Cosma Ray, it’s time to turn to the chassis. But before the painting and gluing begins, it’s time to talk a little about the Cosma Ray kit. The original kit has some flaws and obvious peculiarities.

MPC issued the Cosma Ray kit (# 505-200) in 1968. Although it represented one of the most successful show cars of its time, there was no background information printed on its box or instruction sheet, and absolutely no mention of its creator, Darryl Starbird. The best explanation for that seems to be that Starbird was under contract to Monogram, but for reasons unknown Monogram did not kit the Cosma Ray. And, for whatever reason, MPC’s Cosma Ray kit was never re-issued.

The kit was based on re-tooling of their 1967 Corvette annual. Since the 1968 Corvette was a completely different car, MPC apparently saw no future for their 1967 annual tool and it was sacrificed to kit the Cosma Ray. In the process of modifying the 1967 annual into the Cosma Ray kit, MPC did some funny things. For example, the Cosma Ray featured side exhausts mounted on the rocker panels. However, the kit’s chassis still had the molded-in dual exhaust pipes and mufflers/resonators of the stock Corvette. Worse, there was no piping to connect the exhaust manifolds to the side pipes! The back half of the chassis was molded open, exposing the unfinished underside of the interior bucket above the rear suspension and differential.

And, the kit contained two sets of wheels; one set of the 1967 Corvette’s factory turbine wheels and a set of American Racing’s Wire Mags. The box art illustration shows the Cosma Ray wearing the wire mags, but I’ve never seen the Cosma Ray wearing the factory turbine wheels.

Greg Wann’s Cosma Ray resin kit faithfully reproduced the MPC kit as it was produced, including the inaccurate chassis plate and the exhaust system anomalies. However, there were two departures from the MPC kit’s layout: Greg’s kit does not include tires or the metal coil springs required for the front suspension.

As such, I built two variations of chassis for this project. First, I built the original chassis as provided in Greg’s kit, based on the 1968 MPC design.

Then, I opted to build and detail a more detailed chassis from the Revell 1967 Corvette (kit# 85-2333). Since my model is to be a replica of the Cosma Ray as she now appears at Starbird’s museum, I selected the wheels and tires from Revell’s 1969 Baldwin Motion Corvette (kit# 85-2383). These wheels and tires perfectly reproduce the Cosma Ray’s current shoes.

Greg’s resin kit is great! Although previously I spoke of soaking the body overnight in Bleche-White, Greg contacted me and advised me that was an unnecessary step with his products. He stated he uses a more expensive mold release that is cleaner, leaves no residual and is paintable, so that no soaking treatment is required. I decided to verify that with the chassis components (and with the interior, as we will see later). I found no issues or problems and all the paints I applied -- acrylic, enamel, hobby lacquer and automotive lacquer -- went on smoothly, covered properly, and displayed no problems or anomalies.

Having said that, let’s get going. First up was an inspection of the kit’s chassis parts. The frame and underside of the interior were sprayed with Equipment Gray Primer (WalMart Color Place # 20010), to represent the car’s fiberglass floor panels, and Semi-Gloss Black (Tamiya TS-29) was applied to the frame rails and other chassis portions.

MVC019S-vi.jpg

Rear suspension and differential components were treated to Magnesium (Model Master # 1453) and Titanium (Model Master # 1454), then Semi-Gloss Black was applied to the frame crossmember molded integrally with the upper differential half. Note the crispness of the resin parts.

MVC017S-vi.jpg

After assembly, the rear chassis makes a decent representation of the Corvette underside, with the exception of the exhaust pipes and mufflers previously mentioned. This view shows it prior to final touch-up of overspray and knicked paint areas.

MVC032S-vi.jpg

Front suspension components were detailed with the same basic colors. There were a couple of air bubble voids in the front rotors/hubs but they were in locations that did not affect assembly and would not be visible once wheels/tires were installed, so I made no repairs. The MPC kit offered working suspension and poseable steering; Greg’s clean castings and quality resin materials made it possible to construct the chassis with those features intact.

MVC016S-vi.jpg

I cut down a ball-point pen spring to two pieces, each 7mm long.

MVC023S-vi.jpg

Next, I shot them with Magnesium (Model Master # 1453).

MVC024S-vi.jpg

The spring halves were then epoxied into the frame pockets. After they cured, the spindles, lower A-arms, hubs/rotors, and the lower A-arm cover were installed. The steering and suspension function as designed. Just a caution, though: use care in assembling the fragile parts. The spindles have key-shaped ends that fit snugly into key-shaped holes in the A-arms, then rotate 90-degrees to hold the spindles in position. This was a fiddly procedure with the old styrene MPC parts, and resin is a little more brittle than styrene. It would be easy to break the delicate parts if using a heavy touch to assemble. Easy does it.

MVC034S-vi.jpg

A little touch-up here and there, and its ready for an engine and some wheels/tires. The end result is a nice looking front end that will thrill and amaze your friends.

MVC036S-vi.jpg

Greg’s resin chassis looks every bit as good as the MPC kit ever did. Tip: If you have one of those old MPC Corvette annual kits that came with the working suspension, Greg's chassis would be a valuable replacement for a broken or incomplete chassis!

MVC037S-vi.jpg

Finally for this installment of our review of the resin kit, as mentioned previously, it has some great wheels. Take a look at how cleanly the American Mag style Wire Mags were reproduced! At left is the bare resin wheel; center is a wheel coated with Magnesium (Model Master # 1453); right is a wheel coated with Ace Metallic Mirrored Silver (# 1236595). The picture just doesn’t do the chromed wheel justice! (A reflection makes the hub look malformed, although it is just as clean as the magnesium wheel.)

MVC025S.jpg

We ran out of space for this “episode†so I’ll push the interior and my Revell chassis to the next installment. Hope you're enjoying!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I've never heard of Mr. Wann, so how much does this thing cost, where can one buy it, and does your friend cast anything else? Nice project by the way, your doing a great job so far.

Thanks for your comments.

Greg Wann sells the Cosma Ray resin kit for $75, believe it or not. It's worth that and more! He can be reached at plumber-boy1@cox.net. Tell him I sent you.

:lol:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Danno, although I love this car, being laid off has me scrambling for funds at times. If I can swing it, I may just pop for this resin wonder, I never dreamed that it would be such a complete kit! Thanks so much for sharing! :lol:

BTW, what type of glue do you use to assemble a resin kit??

Edited by charlzrocks
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Danno, although I love this car, being laid off has me scrambling for funds at times. If I can swing it, I may just pop for this resin wonder, I never dreamed that it would be such a complete kit! Thanks so much for sharing! :)

BTW, what type of glue do you use to assemble a resin kit??

Charles,

I hear you. In this economy, it's tough to swing hobby bucks for even a bargain. Hope it works out for you.

For resin, super glues (CA) work ... either regular or gel ... and epoxy is good. Ordinary hobby glues and the melting solvents (such as Tenax, etc.) don't work at all.

Glad you're enjoying the series. I thought it would be worthwhile since the Cosma Ray is such an iconic and yet rare model kit, and Greg Wann did such a great job in producing it.

Keep on keepin' on ... I've enjoyed all of your Starbird and Roth bubble topped show car builds!

B)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Dan, here's the car I was talking about. It's obviously not the same car, as it looks to be based on a C3 rather than C2. I saw the twin bubble top and jumped the gun. :D

I don't know what Daryl called this one, maybe Cosma Ray II ???

Img_9798b-vi.jpg

Img_9804b-vi.jpg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Dan, here's the car I was talking about. It's obviously not the same car, as it looks to be based on a C3 rather than C2. I saw the twin bubble top and jumped the gun. :lol:

I don't know what Daryl called this one, maybe Cosma Ray II ???

Img_9798b-vi.jpg

Img_9804b-vi.jpg

Alyn,

That's the StarShip. It was actually built by Darryl's son, Cliff Starbird, when he was working in his dad's shop.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 months later...

Danno!

How about an address for Mr. Wann? Or an email? or a phone number?

I've just stumbled across this thread and I WANT one of the Cosma Ray kits! Me and a bunch of the KC Slammers Model Car Club were at Darryl Starbird's on Saturday the 13th and I was all over the REAL Cosma Ray.

Thanks!

Ellis Kendrick, Liberty, MO

ek495@yahoo.com

Edited by ellisk
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Danno!

How about an address for Mr. Wann? Or an email? or a phone number?

I've just stumbled across this thread and I WANT one of the Cosma Ray kits! Me and a bunch of the KC Slammers Model Car Club were at Darryl Starbird's on Saturday the 13th and I was all over the REAL Cosma Ray.

Thanks!

Ellis Kendrick, Liberty, MO

ek495@yahoo.com

You can email Greg at plumber-boy1@cox.net

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...