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Accurate Miniatures McLaren


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I crewed that McLaren after Oscar sold it to Warren Agor. The plumbing was a mix of rubber, Aeroquip and whatever was handy!

Sent Agor out at Watkins for a practice lap and then asked the crew chief (Rich D.) if perhaps Warren would have liked the wing retaining bolts that were lying on the pit wall installed.....lucky the fuel injection was FUBAR and he never got any real speed. We snuck them back in during the commotion and he was never the wiser although we in the crew learned a lesson.

And that was also when I learned to NEVER volunteer. The magnesium wheels were really crusty on the outer rims so I said I would polish them up. Nasty, nasty job. Hours of hard labor with no chance of parole!

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The plumbing was a mix of rubber, Aeroquip and whatever was handy.

I think you hit on something here: most racing cars are works in progress and always changing, whereas a lot of the good reference photos that can be found (especially online) are of the restored cars, which are not only often "over restored" but upgraded with newer and safer technology. For example, I'm relatively certain that the McLaren didn't originally have those beautifully polished headers as seen in the photo earlier in this thread.

The great racing photographer Pete Lyons authored a couple of books a few years back: "Can-Am" and "Can-Am Photo History" that are filled with vintage photos. Another good reference book is Karl Ludvigsen's "Can-Am Racing Cars" (photographers un-credited) that is predominantly engine and mechanical shots. Both books show the use of A/N fittings and braided hose during this period.

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I'm sorry that I was so confusing in describing scale.   When I am trying to build some detail I always want to have the material I am using represent the real thing as closely as I can.   For me, it is easier to work in millimeters because in 1/24 and 1/25 scale, one millimeter on the model equals one inch on the real car.   (I know, it is not exact but it is close enough for me.)   So, in my mind I seem to go back and forth.   If I look at a picture of some part of a car, i might see a hose, for instance, that I know must be around a half inch in diameter.  I know then, that I am looking for some material that is one half of a millimeter instead of having to calculate in inches and look for material that is 0.04 inch in size.   It is just easier for me.   In the same way, when I look at something I am thinking of using, I do the opposite and convert it to inches to get an idea what size that material would be in 1:1 scale.    My comment described the bead as representing 3/4 of an inch in real size.   In other words, I measured it as being 3/4 of a millimeter, therefore it is 3/4 of an inch in 1:1 scale.    Have I got you confused?  

I will be more careful to describe sizes in a way that is much clearer in the future.

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So, back to making braided hoses.   Ed, the coaxial is not marked but i assume it is Rg178.  I have some RG174 that is slightly larger.   I have found that outside diameter varies slightly with different manufacturers for the same numbered cable.



I am going to try to make something like the vinyl hose int the picture above.   I get four of the #15 hex beads and a piece of the coax braid that is longer than the piece you are trying to recreate.  stretch the braid so it becomes as small as you can get it.  I also trim one end at an angle to make it easier to thread the beads on to it.   I threaded the four beads onto the braid.  I also put on a small piece of the shrink wrap tubing to represent the short tube between the first and second fitting on the right of the example.


Next I take a piece of the wire and insert it into the coax braid.   I thread the beads on first because it is much easier than trying to thread the beads on with the wire inside.   You can slide the wire in by carefully opening up the end of the braid and finding the center that had been filled with the original core.  The wire stiffens the hose allowing you to position and bend it into any shape.  It also keeps the braid from flattening out around curves.



Now I slide the first bead down to the end of the braid and glue it in place.   Be very careful with the CA glue, this small braid wicks the glue just like a cotton wick and too much glue will harden up the first half inch or so of the braid.   I use a toothpick to just touch a little to the bead.  Leave some of the center wire exposed at the end to make installing the finished hose easy.


Next I slid the piece of shrink tubing down and shrink it in place.  Then the next bead is slid into place and glued.


Now you can bend the hose to match the piece you are trying to reproduce and glue the last beads into place.   In my example the vinyl piece had a double nut on the end so I used two beads.


I trimmed off the braid after the last bead and bent the wire at a right angle to match the example.   The last thing I did was to put a tiny piece of shrink wrap on the end to represent the terminating pipe and shrunk it into place.   That is how I made my hose.  I painted the shrink tube aluminum and the beads clear red and blue to finish up.

Here is another example of a hose I tried to recreate


Here is a remote oil filter ready t install


Thanks for looking


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Rather a lot of people seem to be under the impression that "Aeroquip" hose is all stainless-braid jacketed. This is actually not the case.

While stainless-braid jacketed hose did become very popular for top-line cars in the 1960s, other types of AN-rated hose were in wide use...and still are.

Black fabric-jacketed hose is one alternative that was used a lot in those days in some applications and still is. For racing applications, the jacket is Nomex, a highly flame and abrasion-resistant aramid fiber introduced in about 1967. There's also a black hose that has a very fine-fabric "rubber" impregnated outer jacket. It's typically seen in fuel-injection lines running from pumps and metering units to nozzles, where abrasion and high temperatures probably won't be encountered.

Frankly, though the stainless-braid seems to be the knee-jerk "racing" hose most often specified for everything, it's not always the BEST hose for the application.

One place it doesn't belong in particular is coolant lines that attach to a radiator. Because the stainless-braid hose in larger diameters is not very flexible, it can lead to metal fatigue fractures and complete failures of coolant tanks it's attached to.

As noted above, most all "restored" cars you'll see today have all stainless-braid, so it's good to look closely at period photos of the cars, as-raced (mentioned above) to get an idea of what is correct for the time period represented by any model.

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I think my hose idea will work out and since each one costs about 2 cents in materials, I'm happy.   The center of the coax we removed looks just right for some fuel lines to the injectors.  I drilled holes in the end of .030 hex rod and drilled out the injector tubes to fit.  



a little gold on the end for contrast and then install then into the injector tubes


Edited by JLewis
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Time to start pulling some things together.   I built a new fuel distributor body to replace the vinyl pieces from the kit.   I used a small ring of styrene and drilled holes radially to mimic the real thing.   I routed the fuel injector lines to the new distributor and glued them into place.


Next was the magneto.  Unlike a distributor, a magneto usually has all the spark plug wires exiting from one side, generally on two levels with four wires coming from the top level and four wires coming out of the bottom level.   I measured the width of a four wire set and found that a 2.5 mm opening would handle four wires side by side.    I started by cutting a 2.5 mm slot into 2 pieces of styrene that were .6 mm thick.   I sandwiched the two slotted pieces with a center piece of .010 in sheet to provide a partition between the two levels.   I then mounted this on a piece of 4 mm sprue.



I trimmed and mounted this on the engine and routed the wires to the two different levels.



I painted the new magneto black and added a cap to it.





Thanks for looking


Edited by JLewis
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Thanks Randy.  I was just starting to think that nobody was looking.   It's funny that making stuff myself is so much more satisfying than buying aftermarket stuff.  Aftermarket stuff is absolutely beautiful and better but when I think that I can produce a pretty darn good looking braided hose for less than a penny it pleases me.   Again, thanks for the comment.

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Hi Jim,

I have to say, this is fantastic work. Even though I sell some aftermarket items, (including Pro Tech braided line, which IMO is the most realistic option available) I can really appreciate what you have done with materials you found yourself. That kind of creativity is how we innovate in this hobby. This is really great modeling and you are doing a great job on a kit I aspire to tackle some day. I'll be watching!


Edited by Art Laski
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Time to mock up the body shell so I can make sure all the plumbing fits.   After all this I want the body panels to fit correctly with all the wires and hoses tucked inside.    I taped together the body and glued in some of the pumps and tanks with white glue so they can be disassembled.



Slowly I am building every pipe and hose and wire one at a time.  It has been slow going.  Once they are all done then hopefully things will speed up.


Thanks for looking

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