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Ebbro/Tamiya 1:12 1968 Matra MS11 F1

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Hi everyone, this is what I am working on next.  My plan for this model is to make it a fairly detailed model.  I will be scratch building some items, enhancing kit parts and adding some aftermarket items.  To the best of my knowledge there are no kit specific detail up sets for this.  There is a basic PE sheet in the kit.

This will not be a typical Tamiya shake-and-bake model kit.  It is a '60s tooling that was originally designed to be motorized.  I will try to keep this thread updated as much as possible.  I am normally way ahead, building wise, compared to what I post in my updates.  This time I will try to keep it closer to real time that way if anyone has ideas and/or suggestions I can incorporate them.

There is not a whole lot of photographic evidence about these cars.  I have several websites that I bookmarked, I have one crazy over the top builder who pretty much scratch built his kit that I reference and I purchased a PDF from Modeler Site that has a lot of good ideas.  Please, if you know anything about this car of where I can find good reference pictures of it, let me know.  I will greatly appreciate it.


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Edited by Nacho Z
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40 minutes ago, absmiami said:

Thing 1

do a search on Flickr if you dont have good photos of the engine 

ive got / seen some engine bay photos - the ribs on the cam covers are gold and not silver …

Holy cats, I honestly never thought to look at Flickr nor did I realize that you could search it!  So a big “Thank You!!” to you, Andrew.  I have been to Getty Images, Alamay and Motorsports Images. I’ve hit Pinterest and FB as well as general Google searches. Wow, the first response I received was perfect!

Regarding the ribs, I have seen them silver and yellow/gold. Not sure what they ran in 1968. I know Ebbro/Tamiya give you red wire for the plug wires but most pictures show them as yellow. 🤷‍♂️  On a different point, I’ve found the #18 car, (the only decal option in this kit), with and without the nose wings.

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1 hour ago, absmiami said:

Once again thank you, Andrew!  In my introduction I mentioned that I had a couple of sites bookmarked, this is one of them!  I found it by looking through the F1M site.  I do appreciate your willingness to help me out.  It is exactly what I was hoping for!

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It is always kind of fun at the beginning of a build to be able to pick and choose what you want to work on.  The further along you are the less choices you have.  It will be a while before I actually start doing any assembly so I'm just working on whatever strikes my fancy.  I am also sharing this on my FB page and I have a lot of non-model building friends so I tend to explain a lot of things to them that model builders already know.  Some of those pictures will make it into this build thread.  In this post I will caption each photo as needed.  The caption will be above the corresponding picture.  As I said in my first post this is not a shake-and-bake Tamiya kit.

The ejector pin marks are both innies and outies...lol.  Innies are filled with CA glue and hit with kicker.

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The nose cone and wings will take a little work to be presentable.  The holes for the wings are too large and the nose has two small but deep gouges.

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I added shims of various thicknesses to the holes and trimmed them off once the glue set.

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The wings now fit snuggly with very little to no gap.  Here they are fitted with no glue.  Before, they would have just fallen out.

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As stated earlier this tooling is from the '60s and was one of their motorized kits.  There is no footwell to speak of.  The battery compartment takes up that real estate.  I decided to remove the battery compartment and make a new footwell and pedals.  I am not the world's best scratch builder so I kept it pretty basic.

Here is what I started with:

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Here is an interior view.  The end of the battery compartment, (right side of picture), is as far as the interior goes.  When you viewed the cockpit it was very apparent and looked horrible.

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Figuring out how much to cut out took a little forethought.

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The new footwell has its basic shape.  More bits of styrene will be added to this before it is completed.

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Once the new area was created I was able to close up the area by adding the battery compartment door.  I used CA glue and kicker to fill in the rather large gaps.

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Once I had the new footwell created I wanted to add some pedals.  As I stated in my last post, I am not the world's greatest scratch builder but I thought I would give it a go.

I started with the basic shapes.  The clutch pedal is smaller than the brake pedal.

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A quick mockup to check spacing.

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I temporarily put in the gauge cluster to see if the pedals would be visible.

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Adding a little more detail. The 1:1 had brackets and a rod for a pivot point for each pedal.

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Here are the parts for the pedal assembly.

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I will add bolt heads and bolt/nut heads to each bracket.

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  • Nacho Z changed the title to Ebbro/Tamiya 1:12 1968 Matra MS11 F1
19 hours ago, Belugawrx said:

Nice start on the Matra, John.

I will be watching this come together...Cheers

Thank you, Bruce!  I want to keep doing regular updates on this as it will kind of force me to keep working on it.  I only wish I could find more reference photos of the plumbing on it.  I hate to guess about some of the details but I may not have a choice.

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8 hours ago, Pg265 said:


Great start and modifications!

This is a beautiful kit but it really needs modification and enhancement.



Thank you, Pascal!  This one is from your home country!  I will try to do it justice.  If you happen to know any good French websites that may have information about this car I would love to know about them.

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The next update is what I call the evolution of the gauge cluster.  I want to add some detail to it.  I tried a few things and had more failures than successes.  However, in the end I will end up with a nice assembly.

Here is the kit part.  I have cleaned up the ejector pin marks.  The gauge bezels are to be aluminum in color.  There is no way that I can paint them neatly.  I thought I would paint it black with a wire ring on the top of the bezel.

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This is the first experiment with some spare wire I had laying around.  I just wrapped it around a drill bit.  See the far right gauge.  This might work.

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Second experiment.  I might be on to something.  I need to get the rings to lay flat and I need to close up the small gap.

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I will replace the molded in toggle switches with these beautiful Top Studio items.

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Those homemade bezel rings were bothering me and then I remembered that I had Scale Motorsports "Wizard O's".  Much better.  Toggle switches temporarily installed.

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There were these weird wells in each gauge.  I am sure that when I place the decal in the gauge area it will slightly sink into the hole.  I used my punch set to make discs.

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Problem solved.

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Here is the backside of the gauge cluster.  I will wire and/or plumb each one as appropriate.

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Each gauge has a bracket that holds it in place.  I tried to replicate the brackets with leftover PE runners but was unhappy with the results.  I had nothing thin enough.  I will use BMF instead.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Not the most exciting update but I wanted to show what I'm working with in terms of quality.  This really increases the build time to an already long-term build.  Keep in mind this is a '60s tooling.

The rear bulkhead had both raised and indented ejector pin marks.

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I use CA glue and kicker to fill these in.

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Sanded smooth.

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Part on the left is prior to clean up, the one on the right is after.

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Another thing that I had read about this kit and photos of built kits backed this up was that the wheels were too wide for the tires.  In the release that I am building there was a little note in the supplemental instruction sheet that said to remove 2.5mm off of the wheel back along a small ridge.

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Here is the result of removing the 2.5mm of material.  Original on the left, modified on the right.  The tires now fit perfectly.

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Last up is the front bulkhead.  There is literally no kit supplied detail to it.

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  With any luck it will look like the picture below when I am done with it.  This is from the restoration of the real car.

Screenshot 20220428-190051 Chrome

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John...I built this kit many, many moons ago, when it was first released as a matter of fact. Have been following your WIP with great interest and your attention to detail  is awe inspiring. I have another kit of this that I want to convert to Jackie Stewarts Matra/Ford. Have all the pieces, just have to get the ambition.  Will keep following your WIP...keep up the great work. 

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5 hours ago, Rich Chernosky said:

John...I built this kit many, many moons ago, when it was first released as a matter of fact. Have been following your WIP with great interest and your attention to detail  is awe inspiring. I have another kit of this that I want to convert to Jackie Stewarts Matra/Ford. Have all the pieces, just have to get the ambition.  Will keep following your WIP...keep up the great work. 

Rich, I consider this high praise coming from you!  I am basically quoting this from several other guys who have built this kit, it is nearly impossible to build an exact replica of a certain car with what you are given in the kit.  My goal is to build a clean, well detailed model which may or may not have existed in real life.  As you know these cars constantly changed. Photographic evidence is lacking for this Matra so I’m doing the best that I can with what I  have and the skills, (or lack there of), that I possess.

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I'm still early enough in this build that I can jump from one step in the build sequence to another.  There is still a lot of work to be done before I can start gluing and painting.  I'm actually still figuring out what I'm going to leave as is and what I'm going to try to detail.  I'm also trying to test fit as much as I can.  

Here is the underside of the front where the nose will attach.  There was a gap that could not be ignored.  I added sheet styrene.

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Looking from the front to the rear.

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Sheet styrene has been trimmed and sanded.

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Another view.

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I have started work on the engine.  There were a lot of kit parts that were chromed and the 12 air funnels were some of them.  Unfortunately the air funnels and injectors needed to be cleaned up.  There are terrible attachment points on the funnels and the injectors are incorrect for the Matra V-12 engine.  I have made new injectors.  But first, look at how Tamiya tooled the funnels.  The attachment points are on the delicate and highly visible funnel lips.  I did two sessions of oven cleaner on the kit chrome trees.  The chrome came right off but the lacquer coating gave me some issues.

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Here is a picture of all 12 air funnels cleaned up.  The opening at the base is where the kit injectors go.  I had one air funnel that had a chunk broken out of it at the attachment point.  I did some careful filling and sanding with Tamiya putty.

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2 hours ago, bbowser said:

Nice work cleaning up the funnels.  Almost every kit from every manufacturer molds thes type parts the same way, its maddening.  I wonder why?

Good question, Bruce.  I’m sure they thought about it and came to the conclusion that this was the best way to go.  I have scratch built new, correct injectors and shot the funnels in primer to check my work.  I have found that I had more sanding and/or putty work on those attachment points.

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Keeping on the subject of air funnels and injectors.  I have been concentrating my efforts and work on these.  At this time they are not finished but are close to being done.  I will share the progression of my work.  I will keep repeating that I am not the world's best scratch builder.  I have a general idea of what I want to accomplish and then it takes me several tries to figure out how to make it.

The kit supplied injectors are incorrect for any Matra engine that I have seen.  The kit supplied injectors are also poorly molded and would have taken a lot of work to make them look presentable.

Here are two pictures from the internet of what the 1:1 look like.

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This is what the kit supplied setup would look like.

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I came up with a basic game plan of how to make new ones and how to correct the existing air funnels.  I glued the incorrect injectors into place on the funnels.  I cut off the injector "arms" and then filled the leftover gap with CA glue.  I hit the CA glue with accelerator and sanded the area smooth.

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I tried to create the base for the new injectors by hand but quickly realized that I would never get 12 uniform bases.  My wife cut them out for me on her Cricut.  They are slightly oversized.  I wanted to be able to add the injector nozzle and two bolt heads to each one.

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I cut two different sizes of brass tubing to represent the nozzle and its base.

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I used .7mm MasterClub bolts.  Here is the first mockup.  Nothing is glued into place yet.

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Im using the Master Club bolts too - thinking they may be tough to get going forward …

thought on the finish of the injection trumpets - im getting good results w the Alclad airframe aluminum - although you’ll have to be careful w handling onve painted …

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