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Rolls Royce "balloon car"

Harry P.

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Thanks, guys. I'll keep on keeping on as long as I can! :D

hi, Harry!, Iknow you like to use Krylon brand copper spray, do you also use they're brass as well? it looks great on this engine! I'm curious because I have a Chitty Chitty Bang Bang model that could use a good brass that looks like yours. your build looks fantastic as usual!!

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The spoked wheels are made by mounting a rim and a hub into a special fixture supplied in the kit, then winding black nylon "thread" around the rim and hub in a specific pattern. It took me about 7-8 tries before I finally got the winding pattern down in my mind. Once you have the sequence memorized, it's actually pretty easy, and wheels 2 through 5 went a lot faster and easier than wheel 1. The hardest part (once you get that winding sequence clear in your head) is manipulating the fixture/rim and flipping it over and side to side with one hand while winding the thread and holding the spool in the other hand, and all the while keeping the thread under constant tension as you go, so that the "spokes" are nice and tight and straight, and not loose or saggy. It's not easy to do. Building the wheels is by far the hardest part of building this kit. Here is the basic setup... you put a rim and a hub into the two-piece fixture and screw the halves together, then begin to wind the thread around the rim...


Once you finish winding the rim, you tie off the thread, then glue on a second, back side rim and wind the "spokes" around that one. But the winding pattern is much simpler, plus the hub is already being held centered in the wheel by the "spokes" from winding the first rim, so the fixture isn't needed to wind the "back side" spokes. Here you can see that back side rim before I wound the thread around it, and also the separate outer and inner "finishing rims" that get glued to the outside and inside of the wheel and hide the thread winding around the rim...


Here you can see that "finishing rim" in place, and how it finishes off the face of the wheel...


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You're killin' me Harry! I was really good not buying any more kits (I have more than I can build in my lifetime, and here you go and post your build of this car. I was ale to resist until you showed lacing the wheels. Those are gorgeous! Now I want to get that model kit - even if only to learn this very interesting lacing technique to make it work on some custom wheels I would like to make for some of my other kits.

So I went on eBay and I found one of these kits listed, ending at 11pm EDT. I ended up gettign it for $41. I think I got a bargain. Now I can learn that lacing technique (and maybe even build this cool model someday). :)

Edited by peteski
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Wow! Scoring this kit for $41 is the steal of the century. I paid over $100 for mine and thought I had a good deal!

Anyway... back to the model. Skipping around again as I always do, I built the firewall/dash/windshield. This kit features chrome-plated parts, not brass. My reference photos show the car with both brass and nickel-plated trim (depending on the year and who built the reproduction, I guess)... in this case I decided to stick with the nickel-plated look rather than brass. The hardest part of this assembly as installing the glass. The kit glass was all scratched up, so I made new pieces of thin clear sheet styrene. But the real trick was gluing the glass panes to the frame without any glue showing! It wasn't easy, but I did it...



I glued the side lamp halves together, sanded the seams smooth, and used Spaz Stix on them.

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The seat comes with the sides as separate pieces, so I glues the seat parts together and reinforced the joints from behind with scrap styrene...

Then I filled the gaps with Bondo and sanded everything smooth...

And finally I sprayed the seal with gloss enamel, added a wood stain wash to emphasize the detail, and finished it off with a coat of satin clear. The seat is actually not as shiny in real life as it seems to be in this photo...

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