Altered Ego Fiat Topolino - Body Gets a Repaint

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Haven't posted in a while so here's what I've been up to. I've always wanted to build a Fiat bodied altered and figured there was no time like the present. I've been at this awhile so there's a bit done at this point. Used the Wild Willie chassis with the Double Dragster body. Started with an old beat-up Revell Parts Pack body but it was too far gone to spend my time with it. I wanted to get to building. Scratch built the front axle from aluminum tubing and, as with all of my builds, the steering has to function. Here's a couple of pictures showing where I'm at.

Still not sure about the rear wheel/tire combo. For the front, I have bicycle spoked wheels on order.

FiatSide.jpg

A shot of the front axle. Still working on the scratch built radius rods. One batwing is done.

FiatFront.jpg

Another angle.

StraightAxle2.jpg

The body will flip up like a funny car and still working out the front nose piece, whether it will also flip up or just be mounted with pins.

Thanks for following along and comments welcomed.

Edited by gasser59

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The Wild Willys seat left alot to be desired so I fabricated one with printing plate. Plan on drilling weight-reducing holes in the sides, adding some padding and PE seat belt hardware.

Original seat.

Seatplastic.jpg

Fabricated seat.

Seatmetal.jpg

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Posted · Report post

Oh yeah! This is my kind of build! I too, often scratch build my front suspensions. I am very impressed with your work, especially the spindles and the arms that connect to the center steering link. Those are difficult to make. I have recently started to use hypodermic tubing and rod ends from R B Motion. Kicks the realism up a couple of notches!

WF

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Posted · Report post

This is looking great, love the front end work.

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Posted · Report post

Looks purely great, Brad! Keep it comin' ...

B)

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Thanks for the comments guys. I'm not 100% on the rear wheel / tire combo and am thinking these slicks are too wide but if shaved and sanded, they may look just right.

My wire spoked fronts came in today and when assembling the second one, two of the spokes broke. Now I'm not sure what direction to go. Will decide later.

The WW rear axle was too thin and weak looking so I replaced it with a beefier one from the parts box and moved it back and lower for the frame to sit better within the body. I also beefed up the rear frame and shortened the rear most part of the frame.

RearFrame.jpg

I also fabricated the steering column, tach, gearbox and a tiny dashboard with switches. This will make more sense once you see it in place.

FiatDash.jpg

Stay tuned and thanks for following along.

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Posted · Report post

I like it and its a nice clean build,But on a hot day when the sweat is dripping in my eyes I swear I read this as "Blown Away Fart"

No offense.

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Brad...

This is an awesome build so far. Man it sure looks nice. The detail on the front end is incredeble. I can't wait to see this in person and look forward to more pics of this build. Love the tach and the buttons on the panel. What did you use for those anyway, casue they look great. Any ideas on paint yet for this?? Keep up the great work and glad to see you back on here.

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This one is going to look great... Oh, it looks great already! I like the idea, Blown Hemi is a great motor for this one. That Topolino body is really small. Like it so far, keep coming, especially I like that front axle system, it's just like it is in 1:1 cars...

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Thanks for the comments guys. I appreciate all of the feedback, it keeps me on track and focused.

Chris - the small brass brads are from The Doll House in north Scottsdale but I imagine you could get them at other places that caters to that sort of thing.

As for a color, haven't decided yet but it will be a light and bright color. Something fast looking.

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This is looking really good. I'd like to know where you get the "printing plate". I was also wondering if you are using epoxy or super glue or what to hold the front end pieces together aside from the pins.

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Thanks for the comment Matt. I get my "printing plate" from a guy I've had some printing done with in the past. He's a small shop here in town and the plates I get from him are used and from a small press like an AB Dick that uses 9" x 18 or so plates. They cut really easily with a sharp scissors or with an X-Acto on a cutting mat. They bend really easily too and I bend them over the sharp edge of my metal ruler. You should find a small print shop in your neck of the woods and go down and introduce yourself, tell 'em what you're into and ask for a few old plates. They recycle them so offer them a couple bucks.

Here's my first attempt at making a batwing for the front axle. Its also made from printing plate and bent over the edge of my machinists ruler for a crisp fold. For the rods, I used aluminum rod that has been flattened with my toothless pliers and then drilled out. I have an order in with Scale Hardware for the bolts and nuts so I'm waiting for that to arrive so I can continue.

Batwing.jpg

And a close up of the right side of the front axle showing the spindle, knuckle and steering arm connection.

CloseUpR.jpg

I used 1/16" aluminum tubing for the knuckle connection to the steering rod with a piece of black nylon tubing (scale hose) to take up the slack and provide a smooth movement for the steering rod. The actual steering rod is a piece of solid metal rod with the ends bent at a 90 degree angle. What holds it in place is the two bent ends are slightly at a different angle to provide a bit of twist in the rod so it will stay in place without any glue. The actual knuckle is made from aluminum channel from the LHS that's cut to size and ends on the top and bottom of the axle connection are rounded with a small file. BTW - I use Zap-A-Gap for any thing non-plastic and Plasti-Zap for plastic to plastic connections.

Hope this all helps and gets you guys inspired to make your own tube axles. As always, comments welcome.

Edited by gasser59

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Posted · Report post

I like where this is going. Great close-up pics, it sure helps a lot to get a clear view of the detail envolved. Keep posting more pics, .......how about some today. B)

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Per your request, here's a diagram of how I built this front axle. I know, it looks really complicated but once you understand the stress points and have one built, its not that difficult. Just time consuming. Take your time, have a bit of patience, some fresh Zap-A-Gap and you'll get it done.

WorkiingSteering.jpg

I've also made the steering arm as part of the knuckle once before but I like this version better because of how the steering rod attaches. Here's a picture.

IMG_53901.jpg

Let me know if you have any questions or difficulties.

Edited by gasser59

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Wow!!! I've also had a notion to do a Fiat/Bantam Blast but it will not be in the same class as what you're doing here...

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Thanks for that Gasser59. I specially like the diagram.

I've made a number of straight axles myself. My 32 Ford Altered I recently posted here has one. Kit ones usually suffer from lack of detail. And kits usually come with drop axles for lowering. But I make mine out of styrene. I like the looks of yours better. I wouldn't even paint it if it were mine. Nothing replicates metal better than real metal.

And I also use Zap a Gap for everything that needs a strong bond, is not plastic or has a gap. Great stuff. B)

Edited by noname

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Posted · Report post

Hey Brad where at in the valley do you get your prining plate from. I want to pick some of that up if I can.

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I pick my printing plate up from a small print shop in downtown Phoenix but these places are all over town. Any small shop that actually uses a printing press as opposed to digitally copying will have some used plates. I'll bet there is one within two miles of you.

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And just when I was thinking what's Brad doing these days. WOW! as usual.I however, am stuck on a color combo for this, yeah I know, the headers aren't supposed to be glued to the frame. They aren't. They were just propped up for the photo and fell down.DSCF0021-1.jpg

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Wow Greg. I like where yours is headed. I'm having enough trouble figuring out a color for mine let alone yours. That's an interesting approach with the headers.

We going to see you at the next MM meeting?

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A small bit of progress tonight. My Scale Hardware nuts and bolts came in and I think my eyesight has gotten worse overnight. These things are tiny!! I must have lost 10 or so of the washers by squeezing too hard with the tweezers. Boink. They were gone.

Was finally able to get the shocks mounted to the axle with the new hardware and I don't ever hope to do that again. I really got to get to figuring out how the nosepiece is going to mount so then I can get the frame painted.

Here's a stance shot with the MAS wire wheels. Wish they were a bit taller but they'll work out fine.

IMG_6602sm.jpg

Thanks for following along.

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Posted · Report post

A small bit of progress tonight. My Scale Hardware nuts and bolts came in and I think my eyesight has gotten worse overnight. These things are tiny!! I must have lost 10 or so of the washers by squeezing too hard with the tweezers. Boink. They were gone.

Was finally able to get the shocks mounted to the axle with the new hardware and I don't ever hope to do that again. I really got to get to figuring out how the nosepiece is going to mount so then I can get the frame painted.

Here's a stance shot with the MAS wire wheels. Wish they were a bit taller but they'll work out fine.

IMG_6602sm.jpg

Thanks for following along.

Brad... Looking good man. Really loving this build. Love the front wire wheels. I have the same set of rims except in 1/16th scale for my Front Engine Dragster that I have on the work bench along with the funny car build. Keep up the great work. and as far as those bolts from Scale hardware goes.....I feel the pain of grabbing them with tweezers and have them go flying... not fun at all. I have picked up an OptiVisor and it totally helps for small items like that. It was worth the 40 bucks I spent on it too. I would highly recommend one of them.

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Wow Greg. I like where yours is headed. I'm having enough trouble figuring out a color for mine let alone yours. That's an interesting approach with the headers.

We going to see you at the next MM meeting?

That altered project of yours is lookin' really great

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Thanks for the comments guys. They're really appreciated. A bit of bench time last couple of days but not much progress to show. Got the anodized fittings painted, linkage set up, and am working on the hinge for the nose piece. Pictures to follow soon once the hinge is done.

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Brad... Looking forward to those pics man!! :unsure:

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