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  1. DISCLAIMER: These kits have been started in 2008 before my accident. Everything that you see in the first few posts will be the work I have completed before the project was shelved. I’m attempting to resurrect the build and hopefully complete these at some point soon, just don’t know if I’m still in shape to actually do it, but what the heck. =================================== The 1979 24 Hours of Le Mans was the 47th Grand Prix of Endurance, and took place on June 9 and 10, 1979. Ferrari had no chance against mighty Porsches and new BMW M1s, but it did enter several cars in competition. It was Beurlys 512BB LM #61 "EMKA" with its screaming 4.9L Flat-12 driven by Nick Faure, Steve O'Rourke, Bernard de Dryver, and Jean Blaton that showed 12 overall result having completed 274 laps. Today I will build this car in 1:24th, using multimedia kit from Model Factory Hiro. I will be another double-build. The second car will be JMS Racing/Pozzi #63 3M "Cloud Car", which unfortunately DNF after completing 219 laps. Here are couple of pictures of the real cars: The kits are usual MFH detail tour de force, with lots of white metal, turned aluminum and steel, and photoetch. Body is half resin half metal, and lots of other materials used for various parts of the kit as well. I started with cleaning the bodies, but as with all MFH kits, the process will be slow (and painful) because of the amount of cleanup and test-fitting required. You get a lot for your 31500 yen - here is kit contents: As you can see on the following pix, the fit is horrible. I mean - nothing really fits! It looks like some parts came from a different kit! So...I decided to cut it all apart and see if I can put it back together so it fits right! Made templates for the doors Then started hacking into it. Look at the thickness of that thing! Good grief! You know why Hiro kits are so expensive? They use way too much resin :-) LOL! After I cleaned up door jambs a bit I found one positive though - I don't have to build door jambs now - they are thick enough as is, I actually had to thin them down a bit. Door pattern was transferred to sheet brass, then doors were cut out, shaped over the spare body and just by hand, and then meticulously fine-tuned, bent here and there, beaten to shape. Still need some work a bit, but the basic shape is there. Door jambs were cleaned for the doors, and then I started carving the cavity for the doors to go inside the body when they open. After few hours of work, cavities were made, door jambs finished, and part of the hinge made. Then I added hinge to the door skins. It is a very simple but very effective construction that perfectly replicates the way doors opened on the real car. Later on, the entire hinge assembly will be concealed by the inner door frame. This is how the doors fit on the outside: Front lid was sanded and re-shaped until my fingers started bleeding! Had to completely re-do the sides, then thin it down (a lot). That cover needed tons of work. Still need a bit more, but I was at least able to do proper test fitting. Now I need to do the same for the other! Door frames! Still a few tweaks needed here and there, and solder needs to be cleaned up, but basic shape is there. So, this is where it all stopped in 2008. I have not touched this kit since, everything that is to follow will be new stuff. I honestly don’t even know where to pick up the pieces on this, but will assess the situation over the weekend and proceed then. Just wanted to put this up here as a bookmark!
  2. After building a few nearly box-stock Tamiya kits to remember how its done, hone some techniques, and feel the airbrush again, I decided it was time to do another serious, all-out, old-school, superdetail project. Long time ago I have purchased an Airtrax transkit to build a car that I consider one of the most beautiful Ferraris of the late 60’s – the gorgeous 330 GTC. The Beauty Traditional 2-seater coupe 330 GTC (Gran Turismo Coupe) was unveiled at 1966 Geneva autoshow as an additional model to the Ferrari lineup and sloted between 275 GTB (on which chassis it is built) and more upscale 330 GT 2+2. The body was designed and built by Pininfarina. Over the 2-year period through the end of 1968, Ferrari made a total of 598 cars (both RHD and LHD). 330 GTC was considered by many to be the most elegant model in the Ferrari lineup. Beautiful body lines were complimented well by the powerful 12-cylinder engine and nicely appointed luxury cabin with spacious trunk. The car was no slouch and handled great too. The Beast Transkit is very simple, and contains a body, few interior pieces, some external bits, and a fret of photoetched parts. Disclaimer: I’m in no way trying to bash people who made the trasnkit in my following descriptions of the parts and the quality overall – I’m thankful it exists and somebody made it. But I want to be objective so others know what they are getting into. The resin castings are pretty horrible, but overall correct as far as proportions go. Quality of resin casting is pretty bad. Lots of bubbles, uneven and partially lost panel lines, parts that are not completely (fully) cast, and body shell thicker than my finger. Poop. But, nobody did anything better since this was released, so we have what we have. There will be a lot of work to make this look worthy of calling a replica, like fixing bent parts like this: The glass vacuuforms are very vague, the front does not fit. Other parts are not much better, some are just wrong. Just look at the seats…. Luckily, photoetch is of great quality, and will be very useful: That’s all for now. As a base for the model, I will use Italeri 275 GTS kit. There will be obviously any other things and sets used, like wheels, etc. Not decided 100% on the color as of right now. Wish me luck.
  3. Finally had the time to take some nice pictures of the Silvia. Simple kit, but looks real good on the shelf. Built completely box stock, painted Nissan Blueish Silver w/gray interior. Testament to excellent Tamiya models that can be built to look great out of the box.
  4. Since I finished with Miata, time to pick another quick box stock to keep the ball rolling. I have a few kits that I do want to build and put on the shelf, but I don't want to superdetail or spend way too much time on them - so these Tamiya box-stockers are perfect way to do just that. This is another Nissan that I have built close to 20 years ago when I just started getting hooked on these Tamiya kits, and it also did suffer at the hands of my nephews long time ago and was blown to bits probably at some point. Time to build another one. IMG_1601 by Italian Horses, on Flickr When I buy kits that were re-issued at some point, I always try to get an original release - for the history of it first, and the fact that molds are usually much better than subsequent re-releases. The only case where that might not be the best way to go is with older race cars, where original decals might be a problem - they usually do deteriorate over time. This one doesn't have many decals, thank fully. Just like I like it - original Tamiya release of 1989 in a grey bottom box with original catalogs, crinkly tamiya plastic, yellowed instruction sheet and that unforgettable smell of a 90-s kit! IMG_1602 by Italian Horses, on Flickr The kit is curbside, rather simple, but that is not the point here. S13 is a legend, and look at that shape! 80-s minimalism at its finest! IMG_1604 by Italian Horses, on Flickr Will be painted factory Bluish Silver with gun-metal skirts. Wish me luck!
  5. Finally took some pictures of the finished Z. Great Tamiya kit. Its a testament to great engineering, when 20+ years after you built it as your FIRST EVER Tamiya kit you build it again, and you are as impressed and happy. Box stock, custom mix of White Pearl for the body, and Tamiya acrylics for interior.
  6. Ferrari 206P Dino Salone di Parigi, 1965 ABC Brianza, 1/24th Kit Review here: http://italianhorses.net/Reviews/ABC%20Dino%20206%20Salone%20di%20Parigi/206PDinoParigi.htm Yes, its has been a long time fellas. Due to various reasons, I have not been building for a good 9-10 years now. Its time to put an end to this. This will be a box-stock+, minimal changes planned. I wanted to have this car built before I got injured, and all these years of building it in my head, really want to put this on the shelf now. Couple of real-deal photos to wet the appetite: There is absolutely zero meaningful detail in the kit itself, so I will try to add some eye-candy if possible. Since the kit is super-plain, I decided to put my best effort into finishing the body right, even though proportions are not exactly 100%. No desire to fix the flaws at this point. Despite my initial impression about the kit being quality (or maybe my perception of quality have changed over time, likely the later), there was a lot of flaws/bubbles/you name it on the main body piece. I have re-shaped the engine air intake a but, put on little PE mesh, re-scribed the panel lines. Honestly, it sucks to scribe when you don't feel a darn thing. Not the best job, but I'm done making excuses Filled all bubbles and imperfections on the bottom, made sure opening fro the engine bay vent fits the vent: Rear vent was emulated with this PE mesh, would have been a prime candidate to open up if I were to build this full detail, but as such, I had no desire to remove a bunch of resin just to make it see-through - will wash with flat black once painted. And finally some primer - still lots of little flaws to fix, but its a start. Next I was messing with the wheels - they are ok as they come in the kit (sorta), but the holes in them are somewhat wrong shape, and the tires are god awful truck tires so typical of Italian-made artisan kits from that period. Tire problem was solved rather quickly, as I has a set of tires from Ferrari 275 GTB/4 kit in my spares box, they looked much better, with correct shape and proper thread. But wheels turned out to be much tougher problem. Originally I decided I'm just going to copy the wheels that came with Fujimi Dino 206S Competizione kit, so I made few resin copies of these tires. But as some of you know, they are too big even for that kit, so in the end, while the shape was right, the size was not, so I scrapped that idea. Next, the Dino got painted. Used a really old bottle of Zero Paints Rosso Corsa over gray primer, the paint was still surprisingly fresh, and I'm pleased with the color. Cleared with Dupont 2K, polished with 3M compounds. Not the best paint job I've done, let's be honest, I have not painted in 10 years and I can't feel the BLAH_BLAH_BLAH_BLAH thing when I'm painting. Painted the underside as well, didn't mask, cause you can't see it once built - yes I'm lazy, but baby steps here. Made a few bits for the wheels. Decided to go with the kit rims, made washers from, well, washers, and copied Fujimi knock-offs cause they were infinitely better than PE ones from the kit. The little round bits are tops for the knock-offs. Headlights are given as a PE part with some engraving and a drop of clear epoxy on top - so very 90's I almost shed a tear. Well, sentimental as it may be, I didn't like the look, so I found this Modeler's set in my spares and decided to use these lenses for the headlights. Made bezel surrounds from the thin solder wire. Tail lights are same sad story here, so I made pieces from clear plastic and painted them, but not sure if I'm using this or some other solution for the tails just yet. I guess I'm not 100% sold on this. Rearview mirror is also from the spares box to replace kit PE 2D rendition. Finally I finished the glazing - what a freaking pain to glue PE frames to clear plastic, and then bend them to shape. Reminded me my I used to like Tamiya kits. Overall, I'm happy with the way it turned out, but PE itself is not 100% conforms to the body, so there will be some fiddling while putting this on the body. Dash was slightly wrong shape, but hte thing that bothered me the most was the fact that instrument binnacles were flat, while real car has gauges sort of embedded into the dash. Had to drill the gauge pods out. Now, the PE gauges do not fit in, but I will think of something later. Wheels were painted with aluminum metalizer, assembled, put on axles. Have not black-washed yet. Possibly will still add balance weights and stem valves. Overall, happy with how these turned out even though they are not exactly correct. With lots of cursing, I glued in the windows. The problem with PE framed windows, is that you don't even get a chance to make sure they fit just right, simply because they always flex, and even thought it seems they fit fine, they never do. Turned out ok, not perfect, but I'm not redoing it. Also glued in headlights, the size is just right, and looks much better than flat PE ones. Also attached the front plexiglass cowl. The cowl itself is of poor quality, not 100% transparent and slightly cloudy. But the only way to fix this is to make a buck and vacuuform a new one, and I wasn't about to start this adventure. Interior tub was painted, along with the chairs and the dash. Detail as such is completely absent here, and none provided in the kit, so I had to improvise. Shifter was made from bobby pin, shifter gate was stolen from some other kit and modified to fit. There is a reverse lock on the gate in real life, but it was too small to replicate correctly. Steering wheel is given as a PE part with two halves of the rim made in plastic. The problem is, in a typical manner for Italian kit makers of the end of last century, the rim is quite a bit larger than the spokes part. Umm...how? So, I had to fashion the rim out of thin wire. Also made new door pockets from tiny pieces of leather. Sourced pedals from the spares box. Next I need to make window cranks, door handles, floor mats, and detail the dash. Interior was assembled, I added some scratched door handles, cranks, pedals, floormats. Dashboard was detailed with a few switches, lamps, and gauges. I added small rings to the clocks, and of course, Pininfarina badge. Completed interior tub: Then interior was glued into the body, wheels attached and chassis plate installed. Not a lot of detail to talk about there. Blinkers were made with photoetched frame, and some BMF, and then I used Microscale window maker to make the actual lens. Taillights were assembled: And then back end was put together – taillights, exhausts, plate frame, plate light. The DINO letters were stolen from one of self-adhesive Ferrari sets made by hObby DesIgN. Door handles and Pininfarina badges: Added air valves and some weights to the wheels: Wiper and wiper arm were assembled from spare parts, I also added some PE quick-release fasteners and DINO emblem from Model Factory Hiro sticker set. And that concludes this build. A few quick photos next to my house, will do a proper photoshoot soon and post completed thread in the gallery!
  7. This one took a bit longer than anticipated, but its completed at last! Old Tamiya kit, started as a box-stock build for a online contest, but didn’t get finished in time. Mid-build, as the box-stock requirement was lifted, some aftermarket decals and small additions like foil, etc were used to liven it up a bit. Yes, the lights work, and it does run! And a few on a base before it got sealed in the case and put on the shelf! And here is the link to WIP thread in case you missed it. Thanks! Alex
  8. So....with my first entry to the box-stock contest done, I decided to enter another one. I have a few kits in my stash that I really don't want to spend much time on (i.e. do a super-detailed build with bunch of scratchbuilt stuff) but wouldn't mind putting them on the shelf and as such the rules of the contest to built it 100% box-stock work well for this. And this makes for a quick build. So, my next project is Tamiya 1/24 Mazda Savanna RX-7. This is a rather rare kit (Tamiya 2409), number 9 in the catalog - even before they switched to 5-digit numbering. I believe issue date 1979? But I didn't buy these to collect dust, so here comes the rotary rocket.
  9. Starting this project that will be mildly super-detailed (like that’s a thing), but will definitely not go all out. Will be building this one just like on the box – presentation version. I have bunch of these kits, and will likely build some liveried versions in the future, so this will be a trial run for the kit. I will use a combination of Fujimi-provided and aftermarket photoetch on this one, CF decals, and other extra bits here and there. I bought a HD PE set for this one, but some of the parts are not accurate for the presentation version, so will use what was provided by Fujimi, especially for the front and rear mesh pieces. Fujimi fret provided in the kit: Hobby Design set: Started with the rear mesh, hoped to drill out the mesh piece itself leaving the frame to attach the PE piece to it: In reality, it turned out too fragile, and I broke it several times while handling, so scrapped this crazy idea. After test fitting the mesh, it appears that it won’t be needed anyway. Air outlets glued in place and seams filled: Since I removed the rear mesh, I also removed the pegs where the chassis plate is mounted in the back. I wanted to retain at least two in the front, so had to come up with the solution to keep them and cut the opening for the front mesh as well. Slightly cut the sides: And removed the front molded piece but left most of the mounting holes there: Can’t really see it from the front: Test-fit the mesh – still too tall – need to remove more: Now looks much better – tucked in nice and flush with the front spoiler: This is where I am with this one for now.
  10. This one is finished! Thanks everyone who followed along. And a few before putting it into the case for good:
  11. It’s a neat little curbside kit, and I enjoyed building it. I will definitely build more of these curbside Tamiyas in the future – they are quick and fun builds.
  12. With Skyline done, time to start on another pretty box... Tamiya 1/24 Alpine Renault A442B Turbo #2 24H LeMans (D. Pironi/J.P. Jaussaud) this time - original 1979 release in a shelf-worn box! This one will be strictly box-stock - only parts that come in the box will be used. Building this for a box-stock contest on a Russian website.
  13. This build will hopefully take less than 10 years. Can’t promise though. ? Anyway….so after building that…lets call it “challenging” ABC Dino kit, I decided I needed to build something that actually fit right, didn’t have to be re-worked, and had plenty of reference material to build properly. So, old, well-fitting and nicely designed, trouble free Tamiya kit seemed like a good start, right? Wanted something simple. Picked up this R32 kit on eBay the other day - always liked these Skylines, my brother had one back in the 90’s, and I currently am seriously considering bringing one to Texas. So this felt like a good choice: The kit itself requires no introduction, it did however arrive slightly damaged, with roof squished in, and radiator support bracket snapped. Had to repair both pillars and the bracket before proceeding – turned out just fine, luckily was a clean break: Body was primed with Tamiya grey, artifacts sanded off, ready for color coat: I picked Bayside Blue for the color, had the paint from Zero Paints sitting in the box for 10 years. Stunning color. Cleared with Dupont Chromaclear. Polished with Tamiya coarse, 3M finish, and Treatment model wax for shine. Had a few tiny specs land on the clear, but luckily was able to polish those out: Then long and tedious process of cleaning up all the parts – remove parting lines, fill the sink holes, cut the burrs – you know the drill. Bunch of black and aluminum/metal parts painted: Started with the engine. It’s a nicely designed powerplant, lacking detail by modern standards, but still good. I wish they would give the lettering in the middle of the cam cover as a decal, but they didn’t, had to paint it and well… I’m not very good at detail work anymore, came out ok I guess, filled in couple of letters there. Will spare you progress shots, but here are few pix of the engine before I stuffed it into the front subframe carrier – added some minor details like fuel rail, coil pack harness, couple of vacuum hoses, some hose clamps, etc. Surprisingly good level of engraving on some parts, but then its Tamiya after all. Engine is mounted on the subframe carrier: Next, I started working on the chassis. After studying several underside pictures, I painted it with some primer showing through in the mid-section, cause most cars I saw had that portion rustproofed or some such, and it was this grey-yellowish color, so I thought that was a good way to replicate that finish. Turned out great. Decided to add some heat shielding before installing the engine and suspension: Installed front subframe and other suspension bits in the front: Same with the rear suspension/fuel tank/exhaust : Overall, I think it looks great, will still add few bits here and there, but I’m trying not to get carried away, as this was planned as a “box-stock” kinda build…. Finally, couple of the shots of the engine bay as it sits right now. A bit bare, but there are still a few additions that I plan to fill up the empty spots. There are few little bits that I have already added there – drilled out front shock mounts and added strut stocks sticking through, battery cables, etc. So this is where I am at the moment.
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