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Monogram Datsun 280Z holiday project


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Like most of us on here, I already have more than enough projects on the go so why start another one? I've got some time off work when we should have been having a family holiday, so I thought I'd see if I could get something quick, simple and effective built during that time alongside finishing up various others. This 280Z which had already lost some parts to another couple of kits (not that it had many pieces to start with!) seemed to be the ideal candidate.

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1:24 Monogram Datsun 280Z Road Racer kit by Spottedlaurel, on Flickr

Picked it up off eBay a few years ago, I also have the standard red road car version.

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1:24 Monogram Datsun 280Z Road Racer kit by Spottedlaurel, on Flickr

Basic bodyshell isn't too bad, just a couple of issues one of which I'll get to in a moment. The other is the roof at the top of the windscreen, which from some angles appears to droop down slightly. No easy way of fixing that one, I'll just have to live with it.

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1:24 Monogram Datsun 280Z Road Racer kit by Spottedlaurel, on Flickr

Like I say, not many parts here and even less when the seats have ended up in the '65 Corvette and the wheels and tyres went onto the Sunny Truck seen below.

Inspiration for this build came from this WIP started by @Gumball

Sad as they were, I loved the photos of his dad's old Z and I wondered what if someone (a brave soul!) bought that car and got it repaired, but I caught it when that process wasn't quite finished? So main bodyshell in primer where the new owner has got the rust and damage repaired, then fitted a load of secondhand panels and got it back into running condition, just before they take it to the paintshop to be finished-off? Gives me a chance to mess around with masking, applying some different colours and not have to worry about polishing it.

Also, one or two others here and I liked the look of my Corvette build when it was in primer so I thought I'd develop that idea.

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1:24 Monogram Datsun 280Z kit by Spottedlaurel, on Flickr

I recently picked up this primer which was a bit darker than I usually use, I thought it would be a good start. Red primer might still make an appearance though.....

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1:24 Monogram Datsun 280Z kit by Spottedlaurel, on Flickr

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1:24 Monogram Datsun 280Z kit by Spottedlaurel, on Flickr

Comparison with a Hasegawa Fairlady to show the other problem area, that squared-off lower rear quarter and vertical valance (pan?) below the rear lights. I looked inside the bodyshell and figured I could make an attempt to fix that.......

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1:24 Monogram Datsun 280Z kit by Spottedlaurel, on Flickr

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1:24 Monogram Datsun 280Z kit by Spottedlaurel, on Flickr

Luckily there was a line inside the bodyshell I could work to, so I scribed a deep line below the rear lights, cut the joint between the valance and side panel then bent it inwards. Trimmed the corners off the sides to match, ran a healthy line of cement along the inside scribe line and job done. Not perfect, but better than it was. As I'll be deleting the massive US-spec bumpers this area will be more visible and it'll look slightly more realistic. The back of the boot floor had to be shortened to match, while I had the saw out I also notched the front corners as there appeared to be slight bit of fouling when I trial-fitted the nosecone. The chassis and bodyshell have a very positive, robust way of fitting to each other and that still works well despite me losing the tabs at the back end.

Before this took place I wanted to work out my wheel choice, I got a delivery from the Sunny Truck:

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1:24 Monogram Datsun 280Z kit by Spottedlaurel, on Flickr

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1:24 Monogram Datsun 280Z kit by Spottedlaurel, on Flickr

These Watanabe/Minilite style are probably going to be my choice. They fit nicely under the arch flares (taken from the Hasegawa kit) and their dark colour looks good against the primer.

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1:24 Monogram Datsun 280Z kit by Spottedlaurel, on Flickr

These had been my original preference, haven't got a clue what they are are other than old, Japanese and very wide. Too wide, and I don't want to narrow them.

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1:24 Monogram Datsun 280Z kit by Spottedlaurel, on Flickr

Slotmags are a classic look on a Z, and I had these which I think came with the '37 Ford? Not sure they're right here though (and they're 5-stud, although maybe the owner has upgraded to modern SX/ZX/Skyline running gear?!).

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1:24 Monogram Datsun 280Z kit by Spottedlaurel, on Flickr

I have lots of Japanese accessory wheel sets and these Work Equips also suit it well. To be honest, the way the wheels attach on simple metal axles through the chassis means I can change as I want to.

The arch flares and rear spoiler will be painted Tamiya Racing White, which I felt would be a good colour for self-finished accessory GRP components fitted before going into the paintshop.

Shell has now been prepped for more filler and primer.

A lot of words and photos for such a simple kit! Hopefully it won't remain a WIP for very long.......

Edited by Spottedlaurel
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This is super cool! just dont get it T-boned!

Id say if your going more for a race car look the "really old Japanese looking things" look the part, however for an more authentic late 70s, early 80s ish rebuild id say the work equips you got have that 80s ish look to them. However if i did this car id go Watanabe or bust all the way, i just love the look of Watanabes. 

Edited by Gumball
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Nice looking project Nigel. I like your correction to the rear panel. I'll have to see if mine has the same issue and fix it. I started cleaning up the body on mine today. I'm going to like this kit.

Later-

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It's good to see this tool getting some attention, and I like you're street-custom approach. I can't wait to see your progress!

Despite this tool's body's flaws, it looks closer to the real thing than the Revell 240Z. The US-Spec bumper hides a lot of the blockiness on the rear end, but your rear valance modification is a great solution - especially if you're building a bumperless car.

I wish Revell/Monogram would reissue this kit and the others in this series of curbside kits. Here's one I built a couple of years ago. Unfortunately, I didn't correct the front clip fitment problem as you have done:

http://www.modelcarsmag.com/forums/uploads/monthly_2019_01/DSC04407.thumb.JPG.b457d0a3e9a64f0c316d229e57afcf74.JPG

I'm looking forward to seeing more!

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14 hours ago, Funkychiken said:

Its a cool looking 80, good luck with the build!

 

13 hours ago, TransAmMike said:

I like it!!  Gonna be cool.

Thanks Atin and Mike, this one's just a bit of fun.

6 hours ago, Gumball said:

This is super cool! just dont get it T-boned!

Id say if your going more for a race car look the "really old Japanese looking things" look the part, however for an more authentic late 70s, early 80s ish rebuild id say the work equips you got have that 80s ish look to them. However if i did this car id go Watanabe or bust all the way, i just love the look of Watanabes. 

The driver will certainly watch out at those junctions! Yes, I think those 8-spokes will be my choice - I have several of them and they suit it really well.

6 hours ago, Modlbldr said:

Nice looking project Nigel. I like your correction to the rear panel. I'll have to see if mine has the same issue and fix it. I started cleaning up the body on mine today. I'm going to like this kit.

Cheers Tom! The photos you've shown of it so far look better around the rear end. I think the Z might be one of those iconic designs that for some reason is difficult to get just right. I look forward to seeing what you do with yours.

4 hours ago, Roadrunnertwice said:

It's good to see this tool getting some attention, and I like you're street-custom approach. I can't wait to see your progress!

Despite this tool's body's flaws, it looks closer to the real thing than the Revell 240Z. The US-Spec bumper hides a lot of the blockiness on the rear end, but your rear valance modification is a great solution - especially if you're building a bumperless car.

I wish Revell/Monogram would reissue this kit and the others in this series of curbside kits. Here's one I built a couple of years ago. Unfortunately, I didn't correct the front clip fitment problem as you have done:

http://www.modelcarsmag.com/forums/uploads/monthly_2019_01/DSC04407.thumb.JPG.b457d0a3e9a64f0c316d229e57afcf74.JPG 257.34 kB · 0 downloads

I'm looking forward to seeing more!

Thank you Brad, it's really good to see one built-up - yours came out well, I like that you painted the rubber and chrome strip around the windscreen. The big bumpers aren't beautiful for sure, but the whole thing nicely captures the feel of an American Z.

The rear end modification wouldn't be necessary if I'd kept the bumper, indeed it would make fixing it more difficult.

Due to their cheap original price I suspect most were quickly thrown together by kids and then discarded, and they haven't had much attention since due to their perceived crudity and lack of detail. The basics all seem to be there though for a decent display piece, as you have shown, and it's ideal for something where I want to experiment a bit. I have the nicer Hasegawa kits when I want to do a 'proper' build. I also have a Fujimi Z, not quite as good as the Hasegawa but it does have a reasonable-looking L24 engine with it.

The wheels off these Zs have been very useful on other projects (you'll see the slotmags off the red Z on another one of my builds in the next week or so, if all goes well. As mentioned elsewhere on here, I also built the TR7 in this series when I was about 11-12 and I still have the wheels from that, with a project in mind for them.

Some years ago I started Revell's reissue of the Ferrai 308, my son was looking at it yesterday and encouraging me to finish it off.

The 280Z isn't a car we got in the UK or Europe at 1:1, we kept going with the 260Z until the 280ZX was launched. I saw this 2+2 version in NYC back in 1999:

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Datsun 280Z GT-33 (Bob Sharp Racing), New York 1999 by Spottedlaurel, on Flickr

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Datsun 280Z GT-33 (Bob Sharp Racing), New York 1999 by Spottedlaurel, on Flickr

Maybe that could be my inspriation for the other 280Z?

Or what about this?.....

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Datsun 240/260Z Saloon Stock Car - Horry Barnes, Swaffham c.1996 by Spottedlaurel, on Flickr

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More progress on this one:

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1:24 Monogram Datsun 280Z kit by Spottedlaurel, on Flickr

Here next to my Revell issue of the Monogram Ferrari 308 from the same series, which is a mothballed WIP that I resurrected yesterday.

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1:24 Monogram Datsun 280Z kit by Spottedlaurel, on Flickr

Other than a moulded-in system, there was no meaningful exhaust and I wondered if this accessory item would work.

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1:24 Monogram Datsun 280Z kit1:24 Monogram Datsun 280Z kit by Spottedlaurel, on Flickr

That looks the part.

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1:24 Monogram Datsun 280Z kit by Spottedlaurel, on Flickr

Basic interior is coming together. May as well use that simplistic rollbar as it's there, assuming it doesn't foul the seats. These were leftover Recaros from a Tamiya Audi Quattro, before I get too much further I need to check the bodyshell and glass will fit over them, the tops may need a bit of reshaping? Steering wheel is of unknown origin from the parts box and 80-grit paper will be painted for the main carpet areas.

The door panel has been left unpainted intentionally, the reason why will become clear in due course.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I had been hoping to get this one finished today, that may not happen but I'll be pretty close.....

Over the last week or so lots of this has been happening:

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1:24 Monogram Datsun 280Z kit by Spottedlaurel, on Flickr

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1:24 Monogram Datsun 280Z kit by Spottedlaurel, on Flickr

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1:24 Monogram Datsun 280Z kit by Spottedlaurel, on Flickr

Which has certainly improved my masking skills.

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1:24 Monogram Datsun 280Z kit by Spottedlaurel, on Flickr

This being the result. I lost some of the Ochre paint on the RH wing, so that had to be redone - as a genuine period Datsun colour I was determined to have it on there.

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1:24 Monogram Datsun 280Z kit by Spottedlaurel, on Flickr

I paid a bit of attention to the fitment of the nosecone, adding a small offcut of styrene into this gap and attaching a tab behind it so it can be firmly glued together. The nose has since been sprayed red, a common colour on Zs here.

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1:24 Monogram Datsun 280Z kit by Spottedlaurel, on Flickr

A quick bit of silver dabbed around the shiny black vinyl interior, with US brochure reference material.

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1:24 Monogram Datsun 280Z kit by Spottedlaurel, on Flickr

Fitting the different steering wheel required me to find a column. As I'd drilled out a little pin to attach the wheel I thought I'd have a go at adding something that vaguely resembled the column stalks.

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1:24 Monogram Datsun 280Z kit by Spottedlaurel, on Flickr

This is what I have left to detail and fit. Door mirrors are from the parts box, possible ex-Corvette America, and an interior mirror has been sourced from a Tamiya BMW. Oil cooler will be mounted externally on the nose, leftover from the Datsun Fairlady Roadster I finished the other day.

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1:24 Monogram Datsun 280Z kit by Spottedlaurel, on Flickr

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1:24 Monogram Datsun 280Z kit by Spottedlaurel, on Flickr

BMF to add around the door tops, arch flares and spoiler to be attached.

Nearly there.....

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30 minutes ago, CabDriver said:

Never thought I’d see Horry Barnes mentioned on this site!

Cool 280!

Thanks, and you've heard of Horry Barnes?!

The British Racing Green colour would certainly be good for one of his cars, and I don't know what else to use it on....

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3 hours ago, Spottedlaurel said:

Thanks, and you've heard of Horry Barnes?!

The British Racing Green colour would certainly be good for one of his cars, and I don't know what else to use it on....

I have a friend in England who’s a fan of him (and oval racing in general) and often sends me old pictures of his cars when he comes across them in magazines and online.  I know he was best known for driving an MG sedan but the Datsun is cool too!  

That’s about the extend of my knowledge on Horry, except that he passed away last year, sadly.  Oh, and that he looked kinda like Santa Claus!

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5 hours ago, CabDriver said:

I have a friend in England who’s a fan of him (and oval racing in general) and often sends me old pictures of his cars when he comes across them in magazines and online.  I know he was best known for driving an MG sedan but the Datsun is cool too!  

That’s about the extend of my knowledge on Horry, except that he passed away last year, sadly.  Oh, and that he looked kinda like Santa Claus!

He certainly did, here he is with a 280ZX he raced for a while:

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Datsun 280ZX Saloon Stock Car - Horry Barnes, Foxhall 1990s? by Spottedlaurel, on Flickr

I saw him race many times over the years. He ran a Volvo 300-series for a while, but he ended up back in a Datsun again.

8 hours ago, Cpt Tuttle said:

Interesting project, loving the look of an in-progress repair.

Thanks Mattias, it's been a fun way to do this for a change and not have to worry about polishing!

3 hours ago, Lowlife ! ! said:

Cool looking Z,  these cars are an awesome shape, it looks great with those mini-lites too !

Thank you Martin. I have some others in the stash to try out different ideas. I've seen one or two customs in old copies of Street Machine and Custom Car, perhaps one of them could go that way?

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Did I say this was meant to be a quick and simple project? I should finish it today, but it certainly wasn't done during my two weeks of holiday as I'd planned......

I got incredibly close the other evening:

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1:24 Monogram Datsun 280Z kit by Spottedlaurel, on Flickr

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1:24 Monogram Datsun 280Z kit by Spottedlaurel, on Flickr

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1:24 Monogram Datsun 280Z kit by Spottedlaurel, on Flickr

But two issues arose. The first was that rear wheel location, which wouldn't do at all. Next was this one:

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1:24 Monogram Datsun 280Z kit by Spottedlaurel, on Flickr

I lost some paint on top of the wing after I'd used a thin sliver of masking tape to secure the nosecone in place. I'd already had an issue on this corner before, I should have remembered. I attempted a brush pianted repair but that was never going to work, and more paint came off when I removed the arch.

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1:24 Monogram Datsun 280Z kit by Spottedlaurel, on Flickr

So back out with the masking tape, again. I used BMF for the immediately adjacent edges, as I didn't want any risk of it creeping under the edges.

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1:24 Monogram Datsun 280Z kit by Spottedlaurel, on Flickr

Jumping back a step, the wheel location was an easy fix. I'd replaced the original tree trunk plastic axles with metal rods that suited these Fujimi/Aoshima wheels, so I just had to glue in another plate and redrill the holes.

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1:24 Monogram Datsun 280Z kit by Spottedlaurel, on Flickr

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1:24 Monogram Datsun 280Z kit by Spottedlaurel, on Flickr

After more painting yesterday (on a less-than-ideal damp day) and a night in the airing cupboard I'm back to this stage. My masking appears to have done the job and I didn't lose any other paint, so I can breathe a sigh of relief and get it back together today.

Fingers crossed this will be it's last appearance as a WIP.....

Edited by Spottedlaurel
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