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Matt Bacon

Bugatti EB110, Revell, 1/24

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A great article in last month's Octane promoted this to the top of the build pile! It'll join the XJ220 and soon-to-be-built NSX in an "early 90s supercar" corner of the garage...

body-shell.jpg
The Revell kit is very nicely detailed, generally, but the mould is suffering, and this is NOT a car that likes to be packed in a flimsy box and sat on a shelf for years. Airfix/Heller do the whole cabin as a transparent piece that sits on top of the body, whereas Revell has gone for a roof and the flimsiest A-pillars ever committed to plastic. The body shell is also flimsy, and warped on my example, so I've assembled various "working" bits into one, much more solid, shell. The opening bonnet shows you little except the battery, but fixed in place it beefs up the front end nicely. And while it would be nice to have an opening engine cover, both it and the roof were warped. Fixing it shut lets me use the window between the cabin and engine bay as a solid "bulkhead" which pushes the roof and engine cover nicely back into shape... not quite figured out how the "wing" works yet.
heat-shields.jpg
Heat shields covered with cigarette foil. They'll need a bit of fettling, but the texture is perfect...
wheel-outers.jpg
Wheels stripped of chrome. Lots of flash in the holes, so these are the "best of eight" -- I had a spare set from a donor kit I bough just for the tyres for £5, but the originals demonstrate how tired the mould is. It seems bizarre that they would chrome them in the state some of them were in, but there's obviously no intermediate quality check...
engine-1.jpg
engine-2.jpg
The engine is nicely detailed, if a bit over complex -- I don't see a need to have the cylinder head in three stacked parts, especially when they don't fit very precisely, which can end up with your cam covers not aligned and not parallel, if you're not careful. If I was building another one, I'd set up (unglued) the base/sump part of the engine on the bearers in the big chassis part, and then glue on the block/head parts to the base, fine tuning their fore and aft alignment in the chassis, until I was sure that they run directly front to back, and then add the induction manifold and check that for alignment, all while the glue is soft.
The blue detailing is prototypical, but there's a bit more to do to the throttle actuator rods yet...
bestest,
M.

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I picked one of these up years ago Matt, and have never even looked inside...I won it in a raffle at a contest! I'll be watching to see if it's something I want to attempt, or just trade it off for something a bit better!

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Glad to see this build going on as I just got one in a trade that was started. I always admired this scar and was surprised at how detailed the kit was. The one I got looked to be pretty straight in body.

Yours is looking very good and I'm appreciating all your comments about the kit and how you're building it.

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Thanks, guys.... it's not the easiest of kits, but it's certainly not horrendous. The level of detail is pretty impressive, though it takes some work to clean up the parts because the mould is getting slightly tired. I'm progressing steadily in several areas, but only this to show for it so far...

engine-4.jpg
engine-3.jpg
engine-6.jpg
That's about it for the engine now. The exhausts and turbos are fixed using very strong, but flexible, "Serious Glue" which should allow a bit of room for manoeuvre when it comes to attaching all the pipework, of which there is a LOT. All I've added is a throttle linkage and return spring -- a bit overscale but it'll busy things up under there -- and the blue hoses coming out of the sides.
engine-in-bay-jig.jpg
To start work on the pipe work, I'm using the engine bay as a temporary jig. I want to get the pipework glued together into usable chunks before painting and then assembling permamanently. As well as these exhaust pipes, there are some smaller diameter secondary exhausts that have to fit parallel and around them, and then the air intake hoses that come over the top inside the turbos. All are provided, which is pretty impressive. The fit isn't brilliant though, which is less so...
window-template.jpg
Template for masking up the window in the firewall behind the cockpit. It's not all glass under there, so I needed two identical, symmetrical masks. I made this out of cardboard, folded so both sides were identical, and then drew around it to create two masks from kabuki tape. A fair bit of swearing later, they were on opposite sides of the window...
body-in-grey.jpg
Body in primer. I should get the French Blue on tomorrow, now I've got the wing sorted as well...
bestest,
M.

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I have made a blue thing:

blue-body-1.jpg
blue-body-2.jpg
Some small areas of other colours to add, and then it will be on with the SHINY...
bestest,
M.

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Interior under way...

chairs-1.jpg
chairs-2.jpg
A thing I did notice in pictures is how shiny (OK, "plasticky") the leather in the interior looks. Revell have also made some nice texturing on the seats. Outside, under lights, I know the shadows and highlights are overdone, but once they are inside a small and rather gloomy cabin, I still want the impression of texture to be visible.
dash-without-wheel-2.jpg
dash-with-wheel.jpg
The dash is quite symptomatic of this kit. It has only two parts, yet OOB there's a big rectangular gap to the left of the binnacle which almost looks like a socket to glue something into. There's nothing there in the real thing though (or the kit parts), so I filled it with plastic strip and made it go away. On the other hand, there's some beautifully detailed engraving on the dials and controls, which comes up a treat when you paint and drybrush it. There's a decal, but I had no confidence of getting it to settle down over the detail, and I figured I could paint a better "burr walnut" veneer than the pixelated version on the decal. The wood effect is hard to see because the highlights from the gloss mask the grain, but I used Vallejo Woodgrain (transparent browny-red) over Cavalry Brown. A bit of research showed plenty of white labelling all over the instrument panel, which busys it up nicely.
Won't be long before the cabin is finished now...
bestest,
M.

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Thanks for posting this build Matt, I think I will pick up one these kits. Your doing a great job as always, and thanks for the tip about the cigarette foil on heat shield look very convincing.

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Thanks, guys! It all comes together pretty quickly now...

et voila!

cabin-done-1.jpg
cabin-done-2.jpg
My owner has decided on a non-prototypical walnut gear shift knob, for a bit more colour in the grey, grey and grey cabin...
Now, back to the body and engine (one day I'll build a model in the order the instructions suggest, but... this is not that day)
bestest,
M.

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brak-disks.jpg

Brake discs waiting to go in. Look carefully, because you will never see these again, once they are inside the wheels!
shiny-1.jpg
shiny-3.jpg
shiny-2.jpg
shiny-4.jpg
...and now I have a shiny blue thing. The Zero 2K is "dust free" now, and I'll stick it in the airing cupboard to cure hard overnight. The rear spoiler bay and diffuser section are Zero's "Graphite Grey" -- I think it's carbon, probably, but on the pictures I have there's no visible weave pattern at all.
bestest,
M.

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Coming along nicely

I like the interior and what you did with the 'leather'

Could we see your Airing Cupboard ??!!

Edited by Twokidsnosleep

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The interior looks fantastic .. your detailing brings out all that molded in detail! Paint .. YES! ))

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Matt, another awesome model!!! I cannot wait to see your NSX as I have one I will be starting after the FTO. Seems we have similar taste in cars. Fantastic job on that paint man.

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Very nice paint Matt

Man-O-Man those A pillars make me squirm just looking at them :blink:

Cheers

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Thanks, guys!

shiny-on-white-4.jpg

I've been playing around with some settings on the camera, just to see what happens, and used this as a test subject. You can see the colour properly, and get the impression of the wing in place. It looks lower and sleeker than I expected...
wheels.jpg
Wheels done. Contrary to what I expected, you can actually make out the brake callipers, if you look REALLY hard. As so often in this kit, their are little touches of detail that are amazing -- you can actually read the "BBS" logo on at least two of the wheels. Shame that the plastic sagged a bit and filled with flash in places around the "spokes..."
front-suspension-2.jpg
front-suspension-1.jpg
I hope these will help some intrepid future modellers battling this beastie. The spring, drive shaft and frame are a really tricky fit. You need to make sure that the frame is firmly rooted and square onto the undertray (which meant, in this case, removing some really weirdly located ejection pin towers inside the "shoulders" at the base of the frame which should fit neatly over the inner corners of the moulded wishbone). The drive shafts need to go well up into the sockets in the frame. And I had to slim down the upper spring locating pin considerably to get enough room for manoeuvre so that the spring didn't foul the drive shaft and lever the whole thing apart.
front-suspension-complete.jpg
front-suspension-complete-from-top.jpg
The fit of the upper wishbones is really unclear from the instructions. I have no idea what, if anything, is going to fit onto those two pins on the top edge of the frame, but it ain't the wishbones. They clip into place with no inboard/outboard positive location, so just make sure the wheel carriers are vertical. The steering link goes with the ends angling towards the front. Oddly, although the shaft on the wheel carriers have "flats" to orient the wheels, the brake disk collars that fit onto them don't...
main-bits-3-mar.jpg
And this is where I'm at tonight. I wanted the engine and exhaust silencer to be really firmly fitted to give me some solid anchor and reference points as I start trying to get all the tubing plumbed in around the engine, so they are glued in with "Serious Glue". The lolly stick lets me clamp the engine down firmly with tape while avoiding any pressure on the turbos lurking underneath...
bestest,
M.

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foiled-again.jpg
foiled-again-2.jpg
I have been hard at work with the cigarette foil (after a wander round the neighbourhood with eyes peeled to find some last night -- if you build cars, any time you see a discarded packet, grab it, take out the foil and bin the packet like the previous owner should have but you're glad they didn't...)
rear-suspension-1.jpg
rear-suspension-2.jpg
I put the rear suspension bits in now -- the instructions would have you wait until all the engine pipework and cabin interior are in place, which to my mind is a recipe for undoing lots of hard work as you wrestle the upper wishbones into place! A triple whammy from Revell to watch out for here...
1) The instructions are badly drawn, and miss out that big ridge running fore and aft that you can see at the outboard edge of the opening in the wishbone
2) The parts have their numbers reversed on the instructions -- that ridge needs to go underneath, other wise it interferes with the springs which need to come out at an angle to reach their sockets in the wisbone
3) The pins that mount the wishbone are too long, so they don't fit horizontally out of the box
As always, trial fit and adjust is the answer. The springs fit into sockets in the bottom side of those two blue and silver parts you can see on the pillars outboard of the rear of the engine (that's not clear on the instructions either). If you trim the pin on the wishbone that goes into the open slot towards the front of the car rather than the socketed one at the back, you can achieve a firm press fit by shaving a bit at a time until it slots in place. It's very hard to see whether you've got the wishbone horizontal in both planes. Bizarrely, Revell have moulded two fine lines on the interior surface of the wheel well, which are almost but not quite where you'd want them to be to line up the wishbone in two axes against them. Unless of course the instructions are wrong again and the wishbone SHOULD be angled...
pipes-1.jpg
Getting started with the pipework. Owing to snappage as I was finely adjusting the relative positions of the pipes, I had to pin the outer pipes with to the inners with wire. This turned out to be a great idea, and I'd advise doing it from the beginning! I superglued the pin at one end, and used "Serious Glue" at the outer pipe end, so the pipe was free to rotate a bit for a few minutes. I also left the connection to the silencer as a press fit, so I had a bit of "wiggle room", but otherwise firm support. It's a testament to whoever designed this kit that with the mounting points held firmly, and that small amount of freedom of movement, the pipes dropped into their sockets on the turbos with minimal wiggling required. Four down, 12 to go... (there are two thinner exhaust pipes that thread between these, two intake boxes to the sides which connect to the front of the turbos, and two "overhead" air pipes which go on last, inboard of the turbos, and each one has to connect to two turbos...)
Now I'm going to leave those pipe to set firmly for a few hours, and take a good look at the body for any polishing out of dust specks that's needed...
bestest,
M.
Edited by Matt Bacon

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thin-pipes-1.jpg

thin-pipes-2.jpg
The next pair of pipes is these thinner ones that thread between the paired main exhaust pipes. The engine bay is not symmetric, so keeping track of what's what is really important, especially since the left hand one of these is made of two pieces. Don't assume that the routing on one side is just a mirror image of the other. At the turbo end, the pins locating these pipes face forwards horizontally. I decided to get them fixed at that end first. Since the pinning had worked pretty well for the other pipes, I drilled for wire pins at the rear end -- I figured that with the turbo end fixed firmly and set, the thin pipe would give enough to allow me to flex the pinned ends into place, and the pins would hold them instantly while the glue set. Thank goodness, that worked! Another 4 down...
Meanwhile....
body-masked.jpg
screen-masked.jpg
The usual hour of masking for ten minutes spraying. These are the areas that will be black on the final car. Though the A pillars of the body are thin, the surround on the windscreen part is quite chunky -- as it is on the real thing.
engine-bay-done-2.jpg
engine-bay-done-1.jpg
Two more sets of pipes in place. The next pair are the four air intakes that come from the boxes at the sides by the firewall. I drilled out the mounting points slightly to give a little wiggle room but, amazingly, these actually press-fited into place and adjusted themselves. In the end I decided to take advantage of the serendipitous trial fit, and dropped a little super glue onto the pipe end and mountings rather than taking them off and gluing again. Then came the two fore-and aft tubes just outboard of the engine. These are the only ones that have really positive locating pins, and I'd already drilled out the holes in the turbos to fit properly (Thanks Mr Alan Sidney for a set of many sizes of tungsten carbide PCB drills which cut superbly with minimal torque on the part...) The dropped into place, and the final cross brace over the top at the back completes the plumbing!
engine-on-picture.jpg
Tricky and step by step it may have been, and the fixing points could be better engineered, but full marks to Revell's designer for getting this spaghetti junction of pipes so that it does all fit in place. And I think we can all agree that it's a pretty good attempt at the complexity of the real thing. If I was Mr Tamiya making a state of the art kit, I'd find a way of engineering the four exhaust header bundles that exit the block as one single piece that locate the turbos precisely in space around the block, and make the turbo mountings to the headers equally a lock fit which holds their orientation precisely in 3 axes.
chassis-n-tub-1.jpg
chassis-n-tub-3.jpg
Just a little more to do now around the engine bay -- notably the shields that will cover up most of that pipework ;-)
And finally...
chassis-n-tub-BIIIG.jpg
...I think I'm starting to regret locking the engine cover down! Still, it's been a learning experience, however much you can see at the end!
bestest,
M

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Beautiful work, Matt. I haven't gotten around to tackling this beastie myself yet, but I've started work on the Lotus Esprit engineered around the same time. Monogram was really pushing the envelope for the period when they designed these supercar kits. Your work is definitely paying off!

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Thanks, Jay! I couldn't resist a little test mock-up to find out what you WILL be able to see...

stacked-up-1.jpg
stacked-up-2.jpg
stacked-up-3.jpg
Not too bad, I reckon, especially if I make sure the windows are as transparent as possible!
bestest,
M.

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That sure is a nest of pipes there .. the large windows do seem to give a good view of engine without opening.

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I'm very glad to see someone not only attempt this build

but succeed in building it rather well! I like this car alot!

I tried this build about 10 years ago and dang near almost

finished. But at the very end it didn't seem like it was all

going to fit together all that well. I have another kit on

standby in case I ever decide to tackle it again. And after

seeing this post, I just might!

I also have this same kit from Airfix which is rather nice

it was fun to compare the parts between the two kits.

I'll be anxious to see the final build!!

Steve

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