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Rommel's Mod Showrod


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The Coffin Corner showrod board is having a group build for the recently-reissued Rommel's Rod kit, whereby you have to build a modified version of the kit.  I had an idea in mind, and after I finished restoring an original a few weeks ago I was eager to get started on this second version.

First up, hacking up the body.  A LOT
All I'll actually be using from the stock body is the cowl, but I wanted to use the remaining pieces to mock up what I had in my head before making it again from scratch.  I'm thinking something like this:
Not pretty, but enough to get me started with mocking stuff up anyway...my idea is to keep the long wheelbase of the original, but to have a stretched out front and that little tub body on the back, like so:
I wanted to add some detail to the engine, but the kit block has most of that stuff molded in, so I scratchbuilt a new one from styrene sheet, along with a new oil pan:
I picked out some wheels and tires so that I could start to make frame, and separated the kit trans so I could use that with my new block:
I wanted to use the kit front wheels, but modify them to be skinny little drag style wheels, so I needed some tires:
Found this pack of o-rings at the Chinese 99 cent store, which should work great!
Then, I used my hacked-together body to make a tape template, which I transferred to brass:
Bent it to shape over some round bar to get nice rounded corners:
And then attached it to the kit cowl (which I wasn't about to attempt re-making with my limited brass-working skills):
And that's about where we're at right now...more soon!
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  • 2 weeks later...

Thanks for all the nice comments everyone!

I spent most of this week messing with the front end - I think I made each part of this 6 times or more by the time I was semi-happy with it...
I started messing with some brass pieces and some styrene rod...

I couldn't figure out a reliable way to get stubs in there though without doing some serious engineering...so I tried a few plastic variations until I got something I was happy with:
I'm going for a suicide front end with a single coil, hence the round 'cup' part in the middle of the axle.
Added steering arms and some bolt detail, and made a coil spring from some wire from Michaels:
I couldn't work out what to do about suspension linkages...I knew what I was going to do to mount the spring, but using round bar to connect the axle to the frame left and right didn't really excite me.  I was looking at these toy grenades on my desk tho...
And a little razor-sawing later and I've removed the pieces I needed...
Something like this!

I like it!  A quick mock up, for motivational reasons...
Next up - the rear axle - more soon!
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Thanks Bob!

This week's achievements included...
...making a rear axle (with a Revell center section)
...making a mount to attach the scratchbuilt leaf spring I made to the chassis...
...Messing with ideas for a rear fuel tank...
...Making some tiny linkages...
...making some engine mounts (I really like this single sided support I made for the trans...
And finally got this thing on it's wheels!
Next job, for this weekend, is the interior floor...more on that next time:
My plan for this build, given that there's a LOT of scratchbuilding, is to get it kinda sketched-in in plastic, like a painter might before starting to add detail, and then go from there...so once I've got the passenger floor done I can start thinking about mounting the grill and then I can start working front to back adding detail and really bringing this thing to life.  More soon!
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22 hours ago, bisc63 said:

Being Rommel's Rod, 2 or 3 Gerry cans strapped together might make an appropriate  fuel tank!

Yeah!!  Ive been trying to think of what to do to incorporate some of those accessories and actually have them be functional components - cool idea!

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I was meant to be working on the floor for this thing, but I need to make a driveshaft and I want to scratchbuild some U-joints for that so whilst I think of the best way to do that I did some work on the engine...
First up, starting from the front and working back, I want to use but improve this kit piece and add some pulleys (hence the watch parts) for the mechanical fan arrangement these engines used to run:
I also picked up some of these amazing RB Motion miniature bolts for the project, in a few sizes:
First job was to remove the moulded-in bolt detail and drill a bunch of tiny little holes:
And then test fit those little bolts in there.  Looks cooler already!
Next up, assemble some miniature pulleys.  I wanted them to actually be grooved, but super skinny like the 1:1 car's pulleys were so I assembled them with a correct sized gear in the center sandwiched between some photoetched round discs that I can't remember the source of:
Like so!
And a test fit to see how it'll look:
There will be some more miniature bolt detail on the inspection cover too:
Next job was a mount for the fan (which sits at the top of the block on these engines)...I used some half round styrene bar and some miniature railroad bolts to fabricate this part:
And, aside from the belt (which I'll tackle when this is further along and assembled for good) that's another piece of the puzzle done!
More soon!
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Got a few more bits done this week...made some simple hex fittings and figured out some of the plumbing:
Made a magneto - the wires are attached to a small metal sleeve so that I can slide it into the body of the mag for easier painting:
Did some work on the pipework for the intake / exhaust setup:
Started making a radiator...
...so that I could mount the grill shell (I fabricated a couple of little taps that attach to the chassis, and the shell will hold in place with some micro bolts)
And I've been contemplating these as rear tires, maybe?
This Saturday's project - fabricate a floor and trans tunnel...more soon!
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A little more progress on this one...
Added some linkages and detail to the trans to get it looking a bit more interesting - most of this will be hidden but you'll be able to peek inside the trans tunnel and see this stuff a little anyway:
With that done, I could finish the floor (and fabbed a dash whilst I was at it)
The dash is going to have a couple of micro toggle switches (I figure it would need one for the starter and one for the lights):
And the bottom row is going to be for an ignition key and a master power switch hidden under a little cover:
Next up, I made a seat:
I went with a square 'fabric' pattern to reference the seat in the back of the Rommel's Rod kit.  I made a couple of little brackets to mount the seat, drilled out so I can bolt seatbelts to the mounts when it's done with paint:
With the seat done I could figure out where to put the parking brake lever and the gearlever - the parking brake has a separate brass sleeve to aid in painting it, and I made a tiny little grenade for the top of the shift lever:
Last up, I tried making some rear wheels from scratch but couldnt make them strong enough to stretch the tires over without damaging or warping them (at least, not with the tools and materials I have to hand here), so I designed a couple in 3d design software and had them printed - they just came yesterday:
They'll look cool when I've finished adding the detail to them that I want to add and cleaned them up!
More soon!
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  • 3 weeks later...

Thanks fellas!

I've spent the last week or so prepping all the parts for paint - so nothing super interesting to show for the most part, but I'm getting to the point where some parts are in paint and drying or about to be in paint...so it'll start coming together now!
I got the frame painted - went with a gunmetal metallic for that:
Got the dash painted (and fitted that tiny speedo and fitted the tiny PR ring around it):
And I used these photetch seatbelt parts, and this Michael's ribbon...
To make some seatbelts:
The color of the ribbon material was a little light for my liking, so I used this knock-off Sharpie from the Chinese pharmacy near me to darken them up a bit (bottom one is original color, top three are the Sharpie'd color):
This weekend's project is to get the dash finished up with toggle switches, master cut off switch, and ignition key (with key fob!)
More soon!
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Did some work on the dash this week - got the toggle switch and key in there:
Made some plug boots and got the engine wired (except for the coil, which I still need to paint), having added the aluminum inspection cover (held on with RB Motion bolts):
Used some more of those RB Motion bolts on this bit too:
Those little bolts are addictive to use!
I added some detail to the trans too, with some linkages and bolts and stuff to replicate the 1:1...most of this will be hidden anyway but I thought it would be cool that if you DID turn the model over or look down the trans tunnel you could spot this stuff anyway:
This side I'm particularly pleased with...about ten parts on this side alone!
And today I'm going to watch the Formula 1 and work on finishing adding the other belts for the seat and getting the interior tub painted.  More soon!
Edited by CabDriver
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On 3/30/2019 at 6:09 PM, Belugawrx said:

 Bunch of Very cool stuff going on Jim !

Love the Propalini tires for the rears, ...man wires would look so cool on the front...my2cents(worth0)

Fun to watch build, Cheers

I WOULD like wires for the front, yeah, that would be cool...I'm trying to at least use a FEW of the kit parts though :D

Couple of little updates this week.  First up, finished the lapbelts on the seat:
Picked up some embossing powder and Elmers to flock the floor:
Came out OK I think!
Chromed the kit gas cans with Molotow and added their mounting straps:
And did one last quick mock-up of the body before paint:
Cant wait to get some clear on this soon!
Running out of stuff to paint so I think next steps will all be assembly!  More soon!
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  • 2 weeks later...
Thanks Mark!  Got a few more bits done on this thing..it's getting close now!
Got the body cleared, polished, and the interior in...
...fitted the fan belt:
Painted the rad, and got the rear tires on the wheels:
Oh, and before mounting the body on there flocked the floor and added that grenade shifter that I made:
More soon!
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  • 3 weeks later...

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