Revell's Original Mini Cooper Final Assembly

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Hi Guys, well after completing the New Revell Cuda Kit, I took a day or two to go through my stache and desided I may try to work on Revell's original mini cooper kit. It's been really hot and humid out here in northern Michigan the past few days so the start on this is gonna be drawn out and slow. My plan for this kit is to see where I can take it as far as detailing goes.

I want to maybe open the doors and trunk area as well as detailing the engine and interior. But being as small as the kit is, it's gonna depend on how well my ole' eye site holds up and just how much the smaller detail needs to be. I havent decided on a color for it yet (got a long way to go before that needs to be decided), but I do know I will be going for more of a replica stock look and not the rally look. I know, I know, but its just my thing with replica stocks. Besides, the reason I choose this kit in the first place, (besides it being a christmas gift from the wife) is because owning a classic british sportscar (1976 MG-Midget), I belong to a local british sportscar club and a few of the guys in the club have these Mini coopers, which makes access to reference for it pretty easy.

First up, before I even attempt to start the body work, Im atempting to make working door hinges to replace the molded on ones that are on the body now. I have made one as a test to see if I can. And you can see it in the few starting pics below. Later as I make the others, I will post pics of the process on how Im making them and what Im using. I plan to make 4 more hinges so I have a extra one to test on some basic sheet plastic to see if they will be strong enough to hold up.

the basic material I am trying this experiment out with is, (and dont hold it against me for not remembering sizes cuz I tend to loose the packages that stuff come in):

A peice of evergreen round rod (not sure of the exact size), sanded and shaped and flattened on one side, with a emery board to match the molded on hinges. Once shaped it was cut at the door line into two peices

a strip cut off of a sheet of brass sheeting, (not sure of the thickness, buts its thin enough to bend with my tweezers) but it was split in two again once I had it the right with by comparing it to the molded on hinges

A really thin pice of piano wire to wrap the thin brass strips around

And finally Some Medium grade Extreme power CA glue to bond the shaped plastic rod to the brass strips that were bent around the piano wire.

Once all the hinges are made, the molded on hinges will be gently removed from the body leaving just a shadow of them, so I will have a guide mark on the body for the new working door hinges. Then the doors will be cut open and gaps taken care of,(as well as other work that will be need for the window frames), then reattached with the working hinges.

This is all depending on how the test hinge holds up when I try it out on scrap sheet plastic. (Thats why no plastic bodys will be harmed by exacto knifes, in the start of this project before then LOL)

Im gonna average a hinge a day to make sure I give the glue plenty of harding time. So bare with me on the slow thread updates. Once I have all the hinges made I will post more detailed pics of the hinge making pocess. That;s if they work strength wise. If the test fails and they turn out to not be stong enough, well Then the kit will be built without opening panels. But right now the test hinge so far seems to be strong enough.

DSCF2990-vi.jpg

A pic of the hinges in two peices

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The hinge halves slid together

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You can see here how the molded on hinges that will need to be removed look

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And this is how the working hinge looks when sitting on the body to compare to the molded on hinges. The piano wire will be cut off at each hinge halfs pivot loop with the loop for the body side of the hinge being cemented and the door side will get a tiny peice of round evergreen tubeing to hold it on the piano wire.

DSCF3005a-vi.jpg

More coming as I get further along with the hinge process.

Edited by microwheel

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I really like the sound of this, and those hinges look superb! Can't wait to see more :)

However with the addition of the opening doors, it may be worth having a look at how the Tamiya Mini Cooper kit deals with the interior part of the doors, as it is much more prototypically correct in this area than the Revell. The latter makes the doors much thicker than they should be - on the 1:1 the central upholstered part, inside the large door pocket, is stuck onto the back of the door skin, as the sliding windows mean that the entire door shell can be used for storage / elbow space. The Tamiya has the upholstered section moulded into the interior of the bodyshell, and the door frame is then added directly onto the shell, creating a much more accurate representation. I guess that this method could easily be copied and incorporated into the Revell kit.

Instructions for the Tamiya Mini variants, for reference:

http://www.1999.co.jp/eng/10016369

http://www.1999.co.jp/eng/10002172

http://www.1999.co.jp/eng/10002174

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Thanks Paul, Yup I see what you mean. I will see what I can do to address that issue when I get that far. Im thinking it shouldnt be too hard to scratch make that section of the interior door panel on the body, sorta like the Tamiya version, and then remove that section from the kit supplied interior door panel and thin it down from the back side and then narrow down the door pocket a little. It should work out. Well in theory anyways lol.

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Posted · Report post

A lighter metallic blue would be pretty cool, with a cream or white top

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Posted · Report post

Wow!Great idea on them hinges.

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Posted · Report post

Nice hinges.

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Posted · Report post

Off to a great start. Can't wait to see how this plays out

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Thanks guys.

Off to a great start. Can't wait to see how this plays out

Hwdy Fred, I hope to get another hinge or two done tomarrow.. Mean time Im studying the heck out of the kit parts to plan out the build process for opening the doors and detailing.. We'll see how it goes lol

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A lighter metallic blue would be pretty cool, with a cream or white top

Hi Glenn I was thinking about just that color scheme earlier, also gave some thought to a british color they called sandglow, I actually got alittle of that paint left in a batch the autoparts store made up for me when I painted my 1.1 mg midget. But thats if its still good. Look at the mg in my avatar for the color Im taking about., but I havent made any decission yet about a final color. Got lots of work to do before that has to be decided on lol.

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Hi Glenn I was thinking about just that color scheme earlier, also gave some thought to a british color they called sandglow, I actually got alittle of that paint left in a batch the autoparts store made up for me when I painted my 1.1 mg midget. But thats if its still good. Look at the mg in my avatar for the color Im taking about., but I havent made any decission yet about a final color. Got lots of work to do before that has to be decided on lol.

That's a nice color.. Would look sharp on the Mini too... My neighbor has a MG, bright yellow. Sadly it doesn't run anymore, and it's under a tarp... I think it is up on jackstands too. I think he had a '75 MGB.. Not sure.

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Another cool and interesting project.

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Wow those hinges look great.

Then I started to read this thread and just looked with amazement at what we take for granted today...

Jim from the USA pulls out a German sourced kit. Paul from the UK offers a suggestion of sourcing some parts from Japan. Comments come in from New Zealand, Canada and three different US states at opposite ends of the country.

If 25 years ago you told us that we'd be building models this way in the future we wouldn't have believed it! Six countries mentioned, representing what, 4 continents, and all within 7 hours! :)

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Wow those hinges look great.

Then I started to read this thread and just looked with amazement at what we take for granted today...

Jim from the USA pulls out a German sourced kit. Paul from the UK offers a suggestion of sourcing some parts from Japan. Comments come in from New Zealand, Canada and three different US states at opposite ends of the country.

If 25 years ago you told us that we'd be building models this way in the future we wouldn't have believed it! Six countries mentioned, representing what, 4 continents, and all within 7 hours! :)

Hey there Tom, lol loved your comment.. I totally know what ya mean.. Back when I was building model in the 80's and 90's most of the kits and the aftermarket stuff was all made right here in the USA..... Well there were the import kits too. Now most of them are manufactured in China. But then most of the cars these days arent made in the countries that the corperations represent.. Look at Chrysler for example.. I beleave fiat owns the biggest part of them now.. And most of the Britsh cars that were once produced By Britsh Leyland are now produced by BMW and even the MG nameplate is owned by China now. Go figure. But hey, as long as they keep making quality kits... I dont care where they are made, I'll still build em.. After all isnt that what us modelers do? lmao.

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Sounds good Jim!

Your start looks good from my view. i am amused, that an "american boy" is building a british classic car - in the world of fullsize cars of SUVs it must be...funny, to park with a MG or Mini near a Tahoe...

What kind of material is "brass strips"? it seams to me, like a part of thin aluminum. I made the same on a Chevy van with those hinges and it works till today. i think, you can make it.

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Yes it's very good to see a Mini being built up Jim! My brother bought a 1963 Green van direct from the factory in Oxford. The dealership who had the sales order wanted to charge £25 for delivery, for just a 20 mile trip.

So my brother got on the bus and paid in todays terms 25p for a one way ticket and drove it home himself, realising that it was an airfield stored 1961 model (on checking the vehicle it had rust in the bottom of all of the steel wheels) as it jumped out of second gear. He drove it straight to the dealership, which was about 100 yards from our home and they had to change the gearbox under warranty! Mr mother also had a 1965 British Racing Green Mini Countryman estate car with the real wood trim on the outside.

I look forward to rest of this build especially the opening doors.

Edited by PatW

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Looking forward to seeing this one progress, for the colour I would go with one of the original 1960`s shades

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Sounds good Jim!

Your start looks good from my view. i am amused, that an "american boy" is building a british classic car - in the world of fullsize cars of SUVs it must be...funny, to park with a MG or Mini near a Tahoe...

What kind of material is "brass strips"? it seams to me, like a part of thin aluminum. I made the same on a Chevy van with those hinges and it works till today. i think, you can make it.

Hi Dominik, when the wife and I take the midget out for a drive, sometimes we stop by the supermarket. When we park in the parking lot.. the midget only takes up half a space.. you should see peoples reactions when they come in after us and think they see a empty parking space between two full sized cars only to find out there is a pint sized miget keeping them from parking there.. lmao.

what I mean by a brass strip is a thin strip cut off of a sheet of brass. I usually get brass sheeting from the hobby store, most times found in the train section, and then cut a strip off it for making things like this, as well as engine bay hose and fuel line tie down straps.

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Hi and thanks guys. Theses hinges need to be done slow and carefully.. needless to say, because of how small they are. The floor monster likes to try to eat things as I work on them.. I make sure that I cut and shape extra material as I go for just that reason. Im sure by the time I get 4 good ones done, I'll have made enough parts to make a dozen of them lol.. I am working this morning to try to get at least 2 more hinges done, and if possible, and all goes well, I'll try to get all 4 done. I'll post more pics in a day or 2 after I get all the hinges done and start working on the body cleanup.. there are a few mold lines on the front fenders (or as they are called in the UK, WINGS), that have to be sanded down, and a bunch of other body work that needs to be done once cutting out the doors begins. Especially for the door window frames, since they are molded to the door glass. And I still have to design and plan out hinges for the rear trunk hatch, before I can think about cutting it open.

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Looking forward to seeing this one progress, for the colour I would go with one of the original 1960`s shades

Hi Geoff, I have been talking to the Mini owners in my British car club the past few days and a couple of them are looking to see if they have any paint left over after restoring their cars.. if they do, they will supply me with what they have, which will allow me to choose between a couple of different original colors. One of our Club members even has a 1960 mini and he is going to let me come by and take alot of detail pics anytime I need to.

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Ha! My Geo Tracker is 11 feet long. It takes up half of the length of my garage, which is 20 feet long... which gets me thinking... what collector car can I buy that's 9 feet long? :rolleyes:

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Ha! My Geo Tracker is 11 feet long. It takes up half of the length of my garage, which is 20 feet long... which gets me thinking... what collector car can I buy that's 9 feet long? :rolleyes:

LMAO Tom, well I'm not sure about 9 foot long, but the 75 thru 79 MG-Midget with rubber bumpers is 10ft 4 inches long and 4ft 4 inches wide.. Maybe if ya found a 74 or older MG-Midget with chrome bumpers it would be pretty close.. But I'll bet the original style Minis would be 9 foot or even shorter.. I'll have to measure one of the guys' Minis in the club at the next meeting now just to find out lmao.

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The Mini Mk I should be the easiest of any Mini to open the doors on, there isn't much if any structure to the door itself, those hinges are spot on. There are a couple of Mk I Mini specific websites which should give you a good idea of how to construct the door structure. The Mk II Mini door is almost identical to the Mk I, Mk III and later had roll up windows and different doors

The Mk I Mini is 10 foot 6 inches long, 4 foot 7 inches wide, 4 foot 5 inches tall. The inches vary from source to source, the 10 X 4 X 4 dimensions are pretty much the standard measurements that most people (I know) quote. I remember reading in a couple books where BMC's original design spec/idea for the Mini was that "Four Adult Men Wearing Hats" could ride comfortably. It was almost designed from the inside out. I've never had any standard sized adults ride in the back seat of my Mini, I'd feel sorry for anyone who tried!!

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LMAO Tom, well I'm not sure about 9 foot long, but the 75 thru 79 MG-Midget with rubber bumpers is 10ft 4 inches long and 4ft 4 inches wide.. Maybe if ya found a 74 or older MG-Midget with chrome bumpers it would be pretty close.. But I'll bet the original style Minis would be 9 foot or even shorter.. I'll have to measure one of the guys' Minis in the club at the next meeting now just to find out lmao.

I curse the builder of my house! They made the 2 car garage exactly 20 feet deep. Heck, many garages are 24 feet deep so that you can have a work bench at the back. Considering that my garage is flat with the upstairs of my house, it may not be a bad idea to add a 6 foot addition to the front of it. Then two small cars would fit on each side. And no doubt a heck of a lot cheaper than building that extra 2 car garage out back! I was just on a Trabant site and saw several for sale in the USA... which got me thinking... and I wouldn't mind having an original Mini or Fiat 500....

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Is this work-in-progress thread going to be a mini-series?

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Is this work-in-progress thread going to be a mini-series?

Hi Danno, not if I can help it. But as I said at the beginning, because of how small the hinges are that I have to make, I have to make sure they are gonna be strong and are gonna work. So I am averaging one hinge a day, this gives me time to test each one for strength. I have 3 of them made as of last night and started on the 4th.

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