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Jantrix

Mechanical mistakes when building

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We all have our pet peeves about realism. Some of the things posted in this thread I have given consideration too, maybe I even never noticed before until now. My peeves are small, things like tire treads with mold seams and fresh shiney treads, no panel line depth, and out of scale or over cluttered super detailing are a few. Different types of builds get different looks or observation from me. Depends on what I (or the builder) is looking to achieve. I still have fun whether I am scratchbuilding and detailing my butt off or building a clean box stock model. Most of you are extremely more experienced at this than I am so I can see how you would look at things with a more skepticism. Alot of folks still have not mastered just building a clean paint detail box stock build. Heck, I admit I am still trying to achieve that perfect super clean box stocker myself.

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Fellas,

I'm getting a kick out of building the recent kits that have been reissued from my yoot, early sixties kits like the Green Hornet and the Black Widow and such. I could never build them the way they looked in the model car rags of the day or to look like the display models at the local Woolworth's store. I was usually heartbroken with my results as a kid.

I'm taking advantage of the second (or third) chance to get these models to look somewhat like they were supposed to, check out my avatar.

When I do complete them I get such a charge out of looking at them on my shelf I get motivated to start another...this time it's a 1961 issue of Monogram's 1936 Ford that I've been gathering parts for lately.

Edited by Pete L.

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As far as firing order, you can purchase distributor caps (1-1) now that have 4 wires on the left, and 4 on the right. I actually used to carry a magazine ad with a picture, because people would point out the 'incorrect' firing order on my models. And most of the newer cares don't even HAVE a distributor, but 8 separate coils and 8 short plug wires...and then there are the crank driven trigger distributors....'Z'

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just make sure it has leaks from places that normally leak, remember...headlight bulbs usually don't leak. ;)

You've never owned a BSA have you?

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Fellas,

I'm getting a kick out of building ...

I think this is what it's all about

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I'm sorry to offend anyone by this statement, and I really don't care if I do, but I believe the whole point of this thread is that if you do add details, they should be CORRECT! It is called research people, and whether it's as simple as adding a few spark plug wires and other small details or going the whole way and fully detailing the entire car, the details should be CORRECT! I know when I'm working on detailing something, especially if I'm building something for a contest, I want it done right, not just halfBLEEPed together. I, by far, am my own worst critic, and I take the extra time to research the project and have enough mechanical knowledge to know what details should go where. If that means taking 5 or 10 minutes to look up the firing order of a 70 Mustang Boss 429, you better bet I'm spending that time to make sure the firing order is CORRECT! The amount of resources available today on the internet should mean even the smallest detail should not be overlooked and wrong. The bottom line is this,

IF YOU ARE GOING TO ADD THE DETAIL, YOU SHOULD SPEND THE TIME RESEARCHING THE PROJECT!!

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I'm sorry to offend anyone by this statement, and I really don't care if I do, but I believe the whole point of this thread is that if you do add details, they should be CORRECT! ...A

Awwwwwwww duuuuuuuuuuddddde.

Can't I just spray it with fixative and then sprinkle it with photo etch?

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Jantrix, I like this thread, but I have to be honest and say that when it comes to accuracy and realism, I am NOT a stickler for them. I build what I like and how I want to represent it, given my mood, my attention span, and my patience. I think longer, more complex projects, do end up requiring a bit more attention to accuracy and realism. I always get the firing order on engines wrong because most of the time I'm either too lazy or just simply don't care because in the back of my mind I hear this: IT'S JUST A MODEL.

I do admire and respect work that looks good and takes these things into account.

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Jantrix, I like this thread, but I have to be honest and say that when it comes to accuracy and realism, I am NOT a stickler for them. I build what I like and how I want to represent it, given my mood, my attention span, and my patience. I think longer, more complex projects, do end up requiring a bit more attention to accuracy and realism. I always get the firing order on engines wrong because most of the time I'm either too lazy or just simply don't care because in the back of my mind I hear this: IT'S JUST A MODEL.

I do admire and respect work that looks good and takes these things into account.

I have to agree with the Doc, at least for me, just my $.02 worth! :D

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Lots of cool tips and ldeas. lt all goes to how much the builder wants to put in it, how good the kit quality is, and how much skill the builder has. l have never worried about the floating alternator since the car sits in my cases here at home. l build box stock mainly and do my best with the kit l have. l never saw a model engine wired until my first computer in 2000 and still have no desire to wire one. To me its just about having some fun and building a model with the skill you have. If l forget a lower radiator hose l won't add antifreeze...

Jantrix, I like this thread, but I have to be honest and say that when it comes to accuracy and realism, I am NOT a stickler for them. I build what I like and how I want to represent it, given my mood, my attention span, and my patience. I think longer, more complex projects, do end up requiring a bit more attention to accuracy and realism. I always get the firing order on engines wrong because most of the time I'm either too lazy or just simply don't care because in the back of my mind I hear this: IT'S JUST A MODEL.

I do admire and respect work that looks good and takes these things into account.

agree 100% for me, its all about my feelings of the way the car should come out, and how they look on my shelf... just my $.2 worth

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If it don't go chrome it....right?

That may be fine for a trailer queen or full blown show car but many of the models we build these days are supposed to represent street cars.

When I see a model with a flat-head engine sporting chromed heads etc. it kinda bugs me. Flathead engines were prone to overheating to begin with.....chroming the heads would only further reduce their ability to dissipate heat.

Another area to avoid chrome would be things like high stress suspension parts.

The other thing that I notice a lot of is that many modelers will take the time to wire & plumb a model...that's cool but even if a builder has limited mechanical experience.......a simple peek under the hood of any (1:1) daily will reveal a wealth of information.

Obviously, spark plug wires ARE NOT as thick as heater hoses.

I think where most guys go wrong is that they start with plug wires that are too thick to start with.

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I have to chime in again and say that on the one hand, while I'm a stickler for getting mechanical and engineering details so that they COULD function in reality, I also tend to take "artistic license" sometimes.

I rarely bother with a correct firing order...rather I'll just split the wires on the cap so that they're not hair-parted and call it done. I'm also getting kind of lax with mixing and matching 1/24 and 1/25 scale parts sometimes...my current chopped '30 coupe is an example, a Monogram 1/24 body built with mostly 1/25 other parts...when the discrepancy doesn't scream and I can get the look I'm after.

On the other hand, I'm always careful to get the correct port-spacing on exhaust and intake manifolds for the engine that's represented. To me this is immediately much more obvious than firing order or a slight scale mis-match.

My overall opinion is that it's better to actually KNOW what's "right" and make a conscious decision to deviate (for the sake of "fun", "artistic freedom" or just getting something finished in a reasonable amount of time) than it is to just build unworkable, unrealistic stuff from ignorance.

And again, this is only MY opinion of how I want to do MY OWN work, and shouldn't reflect on how anyone else wants to do theirs. It really IS supposed to be fun.

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Yes I try to get the firing order right but I don't stress out if I have to relocate a wire to make it fit.To me it is all about having fun .Now if you are building for a contest ,that is a whole different kettle of fish!The contest model must be built to the highest standards you are capable in all respects to have a chance at a prize.The building process would be longer and frankly not as much fun and it becomes a chore.Not for me!I require no external validation for my builds and a trophy represents some others person's evalyuation of my work,something I neither want nor need!Call me kooky but iIjust want to have fun builfding models of all types!

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.....To me it is all about having fun .Now if you are building for a contest ,that is a whole different kettle of fish! The contest model must be built to the highest standards you are capable in all respects to have a chance at a prize.The building process would be longer and frankly not as much fun and it becomes a chore. Not for me! I require no external validation for my builds...

For YOU this may be valid, but I still think it's important to remember that some of us, me included, think that building "to the highest standards you are capable" IS in fact FUN, and that it has nothing to do with "external validation", but simply a desire to challenge oneself to produce excellence.

I'll never understand why working harder to produce excellence isn't considered to be "fun", and why trying to build excellent models is so often deemed to only be for competition, and to impress someone else.

Edited by Ace-Garageguy

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Good stuff guys. I also do not worry about firing order.

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We're all in this hobby for different reasons. Probably as many different reasons as there are members here. Because I value certain things in my builds, the thought that other builders should value that same thing in their builds too doesn't make sense to me. To each their own.

For me the hobby is all about building. With 800 kits in the stash I don't have the time or desire to be sweating the details. I'll leave the hobby before I'll wire an engine or make an alternator bracket no matter how many of these Public Service Announcement threads get created. But to each their own.

Once I put my money down on a new kit that kit becomes mine. Mine to do as much or as little as I want. There are no papers signed or oaths taken that require it to be built to anyone's standard but my own. Whatever anyone else does with theirs is up to them. I'm certainly not going to be bothered or troubled by what they do or don't do with theirs as some have expressed here about others.

In the grand scheme of things when that final judgement day comes (the real one) I don't think firing order is going to come up in the conversation.

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I just build for the fun of it. I try and add simple details when I can to improve the appearance of the kit. I even recently started doing my own plug wires when I can (using the kit supplied distributor if it was big enough to attempt it), but I don't worry about firing order! And if a different set of valve covers adds to the style of a car, so be it. Nobody is actually going to start it up. It was meant to look good sitting on a shelf!

I have seen MANY a perfect build with all sort of scale details and bravo to them. Nice to look at! But I see many so called detailers who use these aftermarket per-wired distrbutors that look NOTHING like a real distributor. So does that make it a terrible build?...

I DO have a problem with tires/wheels to big to fit under a fender and be able to steer. They just look ridiculous to me, but that's because I prefer building something that looks somewhat like a real car.

Edited by DR Dubois

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For YOU this may be valid, but I still think it's important to remember that some of us, me included, think that building "to the highest standards you are capable" IS in fact FUN, and that it has nothing to do with "external validation", but simply a desire to challenge oneself to produce excellence.

I'll never understand why working harder to produce excellence isn't considered to be "fun", and why trying to build excellent models is so often deemed to only be for competition, and to impress someone else.

But yet, earlier you say:

I rarely bother with a correct firing order...rather I'll just split the wires on the cap so that they're not hair-parted and call it done. I'm also getting kind of lax with mixing and matching 1/24 and 1/25 scale parts sometimes...my current chopped '30 coupe is an example, a Monogram 1/24 body built with mostly 1/25 other parts...when the discrepancy doesn't scream and I can get the look I'm after.

On the other hand, I'm always careful to get the correct port-spacing on exhaust and intake manifolds for the engine that's represented. To me this is immediately much more obvious than firing order or a slight scale mis-match.

My overall opinion is that it's better to actually KNOW what's "right" and make a conscious decision to deviate (for the sake of "fun", "artistic freedom" or just getting something finished in a reasonable amount of time) than it is to just build unworkable, unrealistic stuff from ignorance.

And again, this is only MY opinion of how I want to do MY OWN work, and shouldn't reflect on how anyone else wants to do theirs. It really IS supposed to be fun.

So ... correct firing order (which to me is one of those "if you're gonna do it, do it right sorta things) isn't part of the "higher standard"?

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Speaking of higher standards, I think many of the builds I see here could benefit from more attention paid to components that are molded onto the firewall or other places in the engine compartment. A lot of them are poorly hand-painted, or not at all, while just a bit of scoring and masking could lift the hoses, wires and other parts away from the surface they're molded on. They don't need to be sanded off and replaced with hand-built parts, just detailed better.

Edited by sjordan2

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Speaking of higher standards, I think many of the builds I see here could benefit from more attention paid to components that are molded onto the firewall or other places in the engine compartment. A lot of them are poorly hand-painted, or not at all, while just a bit of scoring and masking could lift the hoses, wires and other parts away from the surface they're molded on. They don't need to be sanded off and replaced with hand-built parts, just detailed better.

If most that have posted in this thread don't even want to take 30 seconds to look up a correct firing order on the internet, do you really think they will take the time to mask molded in hoses and details to make them look better?!?! :huh:

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If most that have posted in this thread don't even want to take 30 seconds to look up a correct firing order on the internet, do you really think they will take the time to mask molded in hoses and details to make them look better?!?! :huh:

Seems to me that this whole thread is dedicated to people who suggest ways to improve detail. I don't see how your comment that criticizes that reflects the subject or moves the conversation forward. I don't get your point.

Edited by sjordan2

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since i build mostly in 1/8 scale (sometimes 1/12) i find that accurrate details are even more important to building a model, IF you're building an accurate replica. also, i build at least 90 - 95% of my parts from scratch. i'd simply be wasting my time if i didn't build them as accurrate as i possibly could. at these scales, things like firing order (if it applies, should be considered by the builder) they are easy to check on the internet. finding out the details to make a build better detailed is easier than ever through the use of the internet. as far as builder mistakes, i think parts (whether scratch built or kit parts) that are obviously dimensionally wrong, really stick out for me.

since the title to this topic is "mechanical mistakes when building" i'm trying to figure out all the hub-bub from the "i don't build that way" crowd? no one said you had to build that way and not to be a smart guy but, one can look at your work and know you don't build that way. you don't need to tell every one. if my comment offends you, i'm sorry. the truth is the truth. i can look at dr. cranky's post apocolyptic work and while i appreciate it and admire it. i know it wasn't built to be an accurately detailed model. (sorry if you think i'm pickin' on you doc. i'm not. i do like your work) i'm just sayin'. how about we keep the topic, on topic. if you wish to start a new topic to express your opinion. i'm sure, that's what this board is here for.

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But yet, earlier you say:

So ... correct firing order (which to me is one of those "if you're gonna do it, do it right sorta things) isn't part of the "higher standard"?

I love it whenever I see a model of a Model A Ford with the stock engine! On the Model A Ford (as well as with the stock '32-'34 Model B 4-banger) the firing order of 1-2-4-3 is laid out INSIDE the Bakelite distributor body, with the result being an appearance on the outside of a 1-2-3-4 firing order. Also, those engines did not use a true sparkplug wire at all, but rather phosphor bronze (a type of copper alloy) flat strips which merely hook to the raised terminals on the "ears" of the distributor body, and then are secured by a threaded, knurled nut atop each of the four plugs.

On other engines, often there is not any reason to be concerned with firing order, as the plug wires are impossible to trace! This is particularly true with Corvettes from 1956 to at least 1962, and all Studebaker Avanti's, those cars having a sheet metal "shield" over the wires to eliminate electrical interference with the car radio. Additionally, on Packard straight 8's, and the mighty Duesenberg Model J straight 8, the plug wires are divided INSIDE the distributor cap, and exit via outlet "chutes", one facing the front of the engine, the other pointing to the rear (Think the Monogram kits here). On Cadillac Model 452 V-16's (Monogram, JoHan, and Italeri) while the 16-lead distributor is in full view, the plug wires are routed down into a hole in the galley cover between the cylinder banks, and thus go to their respective plugs completely hidden from view.

On pre-WW-II Ford flathead V8's, the plug wires come out of the distributor (which is horizontal, at the top of the front of the engine, mounted directly to the front of the block as it's driven directly off the end of the camshaft there), and then the plug wires enter a pair of steel tubes, one of which carries the right side bank of plug wires, the other the left side, and extending to the rear of the cylinder head where the primary ignition wire exits into the firewall and to the ignition switch on the steering column. Each plug wire exits its respective tube right ajacent to it's plug, and is arched up and over the top edge of the head, onto the plug.

EVERY model kit of a Model T Ford is missing a very important component of the T engine: The ignition "timer", which performed the basic function of a distributor, with a wire lead fixed at 12, 3, 6 and 9 on the clock. The timer is a small, drum-shaped affair which mounts to the center of the front of the cam gear cover at the front right lower side of the engine (it's driven at camshaft speed), and those leads are bundled into a fabric loom going across the front of the block, then down the right side to the rear and into the firewall. On the inside of the firewall on all T's through 1925, each wire goes to an individual ignition coil which is contained in a wooden box, the series of wooden boxes being mounted in a wooden case on the inside of the firewall just above the passenger's toes. Each coil has a lead going back through the firewall to a panel on engine side, and then each lead goes to a spark plug. The wires are color coded red, yellow, green and blue, their being hooked onto the plugs which may have varied over the years of production. On the '26-'27, the coils are mounted in a steel box which is attached to the top left side of the cylinder head, by the nuts on head studs onto a sheet metal bracket at the bottom of the box. The plug leads come out of that box, one to each plug.

How many modelers today know that heaters were not always standard equipment? In fact, that didn't happen until the late 60's or early 70's in a lot of cases--but if a model does have a heater, how many modelers, when detailing an engine bay, add in the heater hoses? For that matter, where a windshield washer reservoir is included either as a separate part or just molded into an under hood panel, how many think to add in the washer fluid hose, running it to where it needs to go? Along the same lines, how many who do that think to add in the little spray nozzles to the cowling where they would be on the real car, even if they are a part of a windshield wiper arm? Again, with wipers, how many bother to paint in the wiper element--flat black rubber?

This isn't so much criticizing as it is pointing out that no matter the level of details we as modelers might add to a project, we still forget some very obvious ones--and I'm certainly not innocent of that either.

Art

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I like accuracy, I like detail, I like realism... to a point.

To me, getting the details right is part of the "fun"... so I always do research and download photos and stuff like that. Getting the little things right is my "fun." But I have to admit, I don't take it as far as some. Correct firing order? Really? I couldn't care less, because by looking at the model, you would never know whether it's correct or not unless you are some sort of automotive savant. To me, more important is that the ignition wires look realistic (color, diameter, the way the hang and drape).

What bugs me is obvious visual mistakes, stuff that jumps out at you even under casual observation, most of which have been mentioned. The "magic floating alternator" is a classic example. So is the huge gap between the inner fenderwell and outer sheetmetal under the hood that so many people completely overlook. Giant wheel/tires that stuff the wheelwell so tightly that there would be zero room for suspension travel or steering. On almost every Willys model I see the builder invariably leaves that raised ridge that's molded into the windshield unpainted. That ridge represents the rubber gasket! I have yet to see an automobile windshield with a thick outer border molded into the glass, yet 99% of the time the builder doesn't paint that gasket but leaves it clear.

And then of course, my pettest peeve of them all... a "factory stock" car with no mirrors, either inside or out.

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