Reissued 1/12 Bentley kit, questions answered

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Posted (edited) · Report post

I was at HobbyTown USA the other day and saw they had a new boxing of the Airfix 1/12 Blower Bentley ($140.00 USD).

At least two things I could see are different. Can you find it? I have no idea if there are more differences in the box, and I'm not going to spend $140 to find out.

[CAUTION: spoiler and answer in my next post]

AirfixBentley193045l112-176606732.jpg

Edited by sjordan2

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Posted (edited) · Report post

Okay, I'll save you the suspense.

Here's one of the original boxes (there have been several). As either Mr. Rogers or the Muppets used to sing, "One of these things is not like the other..."

1971bentleybox.jpg

Edited by sjordan2

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Posted · Report post

Wel, for one thing it's gone from no. 8 to no. 9.

Number 9?... number 9?... number 9?... :D

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Posted (edited) · Report post

Well, my favorite character is #6. But he drove a Lotus Seven.

Anyway, I should also draw your attention to the different numbers on the registration plate.

1. The original kit was the Birkin Team car with #8 on the roundel and radiator, and a registration number of UR 6571. This is the car that is in the Ralph Lauren collection.

2. The new kit is Birkin Team car #9 with a registration number of UU 5872.

Why the differences? Well, if you ask me, it could be a licensing issue with Lauren's barracuda legal guys, who are masters of licensing loopholes. He would copyright his toenail clippings if he could get away with it.

In any case, here's the new kit description from a Norwegian site:

"The number 9 car featured in this kit, UU5872, is the original Birkin Team Car known as ‘Birkin Blower No.2’. This is the car that made a dramatic appearance at the 1930 Le Mans 24 Hour Race. In 1929, Bentley replaced the 4.5 litre and opted to race the higher capacity Speed 6. Three ‘Birkin Blowers’ were entered to compete alongside the Bentley Speed 6s at the 1930 Le Mans. In the event, only one ‘Blower’, Birkin’s own number 2 car, started the race. Under Walter Owen Bentley’s, tactical team management, Birkin’s role was to draw the Mercedes of Carraciola and Werner into a high speed duel which he successfully achieved. The Blower lead from the start, swapping the lead with the Mercedes throughout the night, until eventually the German car withdrew with a blown engine. Birkin’s success came at a cost, as he had to retire after 20 hours with a bent valve, leaving the two Speed 6s to take first and second place.

Model Scale 1:12

Number of Parts 278

Dimensions (mm)L365 x W135

Skill Level 4

Flying Hours 4

Requires Painting Yes

Default Decal Paints and the Associated Accessories for this Product"

So...there were five Blower Bentleys in the Birkin Team. You could build all five and pay Airfix $700!

Edited by sjordan2

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Posted (edited) · Report post

Just some notes to those who haven't tried this kit...

It makes a beautiful display model right out of the box.

If you feel the itch for more complete detailing, you've got your work cut out for you.

-- There's plenty of real car reference out there for you, and build reference from Volume 1 of Gerald Wingrove's "The Complete Car Modeller" and his website, to a downloadable superdetailing guide (not free).

-- All molded mesh parts need to be replaced with real mesh: Radiator, headlight stone guards, windshield stone guards, gas tank exterior (with new underside mesh added). The kit omits a curved mesh screen that should should run over the top of the carburetors.

-- When you open the bonnet, it reveals all of the space between the back of the dashboard and the firewall. If you're not faint of heart, you should add behind-the-dash wiring, which will be noticed for its absence.

-- I improved the wire wheels by filing down each molded plastic wire on the outer sides. Pocher enthusiasts may want to painstakingly rebuild the wheels wire by wire.

-- Cycle fenders and headlights have incredibly fragile plastic mounts. You may want to substitute metal wire.

Edited by sjordan2

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Posted · Report post

Just some notes to those who haven't tried this kit...

It makes a beautiful display model right out of the box.

- I improved the wire wheels by filing down each molded plastic wire on the outer sides. Pocher enthusiasts may want to painstakingly rebuild the wheels wire by wire.

-- Cycle fenders and headlights have incredibly fragile plastic mounts. You may want to substitute metal wire.

C'MON SKIP-PICTURES, PICTURES, PICTURES!

Yes-I'm yelling. :angry:

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Posted · Report post

I agree with Skip. As nice as this kit is, it's seriously lacking in certain areas, most noticeably all the stone guards, which are very unrealistic in the kit and pretty much have to be replaced to have anything even resembling a realistic model.

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C'MON SKIP-PICTURES, PICTURES, PICTURES!
Yes-I'm yelling. :angry:


Yeah, yeah, yeah. I built this kit in 1972 with one coffee-table book to go on, and everything I know now I learned since the advent of the Internet. Take a look at John Teresi's build for lots of detail. I have some issues with authenticity there, but that's about as good as this kit gets overall.

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Posted · Report post

This same kit was also sold in an MPC box, correct?

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Posted · Report post

This same kit was also sold in an MPC box, correct?

Yes.

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Yeah, yeah, yeah. I built this kit in 1972 with one coffee-table book to go on, and everything I know now I learned since the advent of the Internet. Take a look at John Teresi's build for lots of detail. I have some issues with authenticity there, but that's about as good as this kit gets overall.

Yeah, yeah-been there; have seen Teresi's and Harry's.

Now wanna see yours! Not the 1972 build-this new Airfix jobbie. C'mon, you're the Maven of research on here and you're passionate about classics-show us your work!!!

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Posted · Report post

C'mon, you're the Maven of research on here and you're passionate about classics-show us your work!!!

I think we need to start calling him "Professor Skip"... :D

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Posted · Report post

I think we need to start calling him "Professor Skip"... :D

Only if he shows us his work! :wacko:

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Posted · Report post

I think the kit was also sold under the Gabriel label. (Didn't they make shock absorbers?)

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Posted · Report post

^ ^ ^You're stalling...

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Posted (edited) · Report post

^ ^ ^You're stalling...

Okay, okay. I've got the camera out, and this old baby still looks good after 40 year years. I have to wait for the rain to stop because flash shots suck.

On another note about the new kit...

Here are a couple of shots of the #9 car - supposedly the subject of the new kit. The radiator and shell look different to me, more smoothly arched. I have no idea about the fog lights on the second shot. No cord wrapping on the steering wheel. Cycle fenders seem to mount differently. Headlights look larger and all chrome, and I overlooked the degree of camber that these old racers had on the front wheels.

Birkinblower9-UU.jpg

BirkinBlowerBentley_9-UU.jpg

Edited by sjordan2

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Posted · Report post

They must have gotten the fog lights from JCWhitney! :lol:

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Posted · Report post

OK but when the rain stops...

The danger of reference is that much of it comes from restored cars. They are seldom precisely as the cars left the builder. The kit manufacturers will measure a restored car and these become inaccurate models for the purist.

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OK but when the rain stops...

The danger of reference is that much of it comes from restored cars. They are seldom precisely as the cars left the builder. The kit manufacturers will measure a restored car and these become inaccurate models for the purist.

Exactly. You can see that on the Jo-Han 1935 Mercedes 500K coupe, which was based on a late 60s restoration that had made many modifications from the original. On the other hand, I think the original Bentley kit was most likely based on a fairly original survivor when it was released in 1971; Ralph Lauren has made quite a few revisions to that original car since then. Plus, the Birkin Team Bentleys weren't exact clones of each other and, as usual for race cars, modifications were probably made from race to race. Correction to an error I made earlier - the Birkin Team had three cars, not five.)

And there were about 55 of the 4.5L Blower Bentleys built besides the Birkins for homologation purposes, some very similar, some looking quite different. (For example, the Blower Bentley in the James Bond books was a Converitble Coupe version). Here's an interesting Road & Track comparison of a homologation car and the #9 Birkin car.

http://blog.roadandt...blower-bentley/

James Bond's Blower Bentley would be a battleship gray version something like this...

bentleyconvertCoupe.jpg

Edited by sjordan2

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Posted (edited) · Report post

They must have gotten the fog lights from JCWhitney! :lol:

Come to think of it, they may have. It occurs to me that many countries have lighting and reflector regulations for cars to be driven on the road. You'll see non-original taillights and rear reflectors on a lot of vintage cars, many of which can be removed for shows.

Edited by sjordan2

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Posted (edited) · Report post

Come to think of it, they may have. It occurs to me that many countries have lighting and reflector regulations for cars to be driven on the road. You'll see non-original taillights and rear reflectors on a lot of vintage cars, many of which can be removed for shows.

Very true. Even lowly Cobra replicas require back-up lights, defrosters and 'dash padding' for many state inspections-which are ripped-off the minute the inspection is complete. Just don't build a model of one with that carp on it...

Edited by Cato

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Posted (edited) · Report post

For build reference, I highly recommend the following magazine, currently available as Buy It Now on eBay for about $10 USD. Contains a history, double gatefold with complete exterior shots, etc., and a large color cutaway drawing. You might also contact magsbackissues@aol.com

http://www.ebay.co.u...&#ht_500wt_1156

Picture2-8.png

More helpful reference at geraldwingrove.com and in Vol.1 of his Complete Modeller book. Totally scratchbuilt for a client in 1/15.

http://www.wworkshop...Build/Menu.html

You can also find some great kit builds online, such as John Teresi showed here (and maybe Harry will finish his soon...?), and one like this..

http://www.scalemoto...turns-does.html

Kit instructions here. It would be interesting to see if the new kit still has accommodation for installing an electric motor, which fit inside the engine block with special gear wheels, and a battery box under the rear seat. This was included standard on the very first Airfix issue in Britain, then became a mail-order option, then dropped altogether, though they never changed the plastic parts for them.

http://public.fotki....x-1930-bentley/

I wish reference like this had been available when I built mine.

Edited by sjordan2

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By popular demand of one (Cato), here's a teaser shot I took today, almost 40 years to the day since I built it, without the disadvantages of much reference or experience. I have several more shots, but I'll need a couple of days to write about its assets, my deficiencies, and other info that may be of help.


NEW THREAD TODAY: http://www.modelcarsmag.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=62237

Bentleyleftside.png

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By popular demand of one (Cato), here's a teaser shot I took today, almost 40 years to the day since I built it, without the disadvantages of much reference or experience.

Reference material and experience are disadvantages? :blink:

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Posted (edited) · Report post

Reference material and experience are disadvantages? :blink:

A bit of irony. But sometimes, discovery that begins with ignorance, through experimentation, can be more valuable than book larnin'; (the illumination of following the journey vs. the destination). I honed my ability to make educated guesses on this one, and most of them turned out to be right. Thus have I seen it, grasshopper.

"The journey of a thousand miles begins without a set of instructions."

- Lao Somebody

Edited by sjordan2

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