Sunday, 19 December 2010

HRG Aero

Some will have seen this little gem on the Slotforum or Tom Wysoms wonderful blog, Slotty Salad. Tom really is the one responsible for starting this one off as it began life as a SMEC kit.
Carved from a solid block of wood, painted and detailed, Tom did rather a lovely job of it. I expressed an interest in the model and asked Tom what his intentions were. Being the lovely chap that he is, he sent me both the master and the mould with the strict instruction to do what I liked with it.

Well I have, but the research required to find out a little more about these cars took some doing. Total number built of the Aerodynamic Speeder, to give it it's proper title, varies between thirty five and forty one. I guess as with any other small scale hand builders, the true history will be almost impossble to find. The chassis was HRGs own and apparently flexed so much that the suspension wasn't really required. Power came from a 1500cc SOHC Singer engine giving 65 bhp which was just enough to get it moving. The sleek shape adding to it's top speed of just 100 mph.

Produced from 1945 apparently, although 1946 is more probable to around 1950, the shape is of particular note. Aerodynamics in those days were very much in their infancy as far as automotive design went, but the effort the HRG designers achieved is as good as it got. All hand panelled in aluminium the car is certainly distinctive for it's day.

The model itself as mentioned was originally built from the SMEC kit and plans and research revealed that the latter was a little off from scale. The body itself was too wide by 4mm and needed slimming down. The plans also showed that the body tapered from the front wings to the rear wings in straight lines. In actual fact the body sides were parallel from a point in front of the front wings to the leading edge of the doors where it did taper inwards to the rear wings. Some fairly major surgery was required to rectify this. Once the correct width had been obtained, the car started to take on the character of the fullsize. The photograph above shows how it looked before the slimming down took place. The photo's below, show it after.

There was some fairly fine detail in the body too, such as the beading running along the tops of the wings and also the louvres. Tom had managed to capture this quite well, but when I re-cast the first body, for some reason some of it got lost. So there was no real alternative than to start all over again. The beading has yet to be added, as I feel it will be easier to apply it to the next cast, plus the fact that the liquid poly cement might just attack the yellow primer/filler and spoil the finish. The louvres took some thinking out and as ever, a solution popped up just when I wasn't expecting it.

Whilst I was rummaging around in the shed looking for whatever it was I needed, I spotted a box of tile spacers. The type usually used for bathrooms/kitchens etc. Being made of plastic, I thought they would be ideal, particularly as the number of ribs matched exactly what I wanted. Bingo! Cut to shape with a scalpel, sanded down and trimmed to fit, I think they look very good. One or two may need replacing before the moulding takes place as a little bit of damage has occured during fitting up.

The hood was made completely from Chemical Metal with just two small pieces of obeche to act as supports for the filler. The outlines of the hood frame were achieved by varying grades of wet and dry and one finger used to obtain the shaping in between. All the panel lines were filled and re-cut with a razor saw and the various details, such as side lamps, number plate housing, boot lid handle were made up from scrap aluminium.

The quarter bumpers at the front were built up from litho plate and filler and eventually will be cast in metal and polished up. Finaly the grille, or I should say one of six as I have seen that many variations. In the kit i'm proposing to include three, giving the option of building either a road car or a race version. An interesting little car, that's probably unknown to a lot of people. I think it looks quite cute!


Peter Seager-Thomas's wheels.

Some of you will have seen Peters wheels as they've developed over the last few months, and I think you'll agree that they are probably the best of their type around. They have been developed mainly because Peter felt that there was a gap in the market for something a little better than was already on offer. I tend to agree as everything else out there either falls short or are too blingy. Peters main aim was to produce a limited number mainly for his own use, with any remander going on Ebay. The thought of these little jewels vanishing I felt would be a shame, so I offered to take over production as they were just too good to let go. They will be available in a day or two from the GP-Miniatures website along with suitable tyres and spinners, or as some call them, wheel nuts.
The photo below shows the wheels in kit form. Four wheel rims, which are two part items, eight photo-etched spokes, one inner and one outer per wheel, hubs, spinners and tyres. An instruction sheet for assembly is also included, although I have to say that the thought Peter has put into them, means that they really are very simple and quick to put together.

The wheels shown are fifteen inch diameter and will be joined very soon by a sixteen inch version. The finishing touch to any model and one that will guarantee to lift it to another level.

Wednesday, 8 December 2010

Taffys P3

Hi Taffy.

I assume the nickname is related to Mike Hawthorn name for Wolfgang Von Tripps?

The Alfa in the picture driven by Carraciola is an 8C Monza. Rudi did in fact race a P3 during his time with Scuderia Ferrari.

Incidentally, I note that the 1/32 Scratchbuilt Slotcar Forum on my web page at least comes with a translation option, so try it everyone!

I like the car and as ever will make a few comments.

Later P3 Alfas did in fact have hydraulic brakes. These were introduced in 1935 with the Dubonnet independant suspension.

I tried to get a Mac pinches body but he no longer does them. I am working on a P3 body now and then.

As with other efforts, I like the finish of the car. A friend tells me all my cars look far too clean!

Ah, Bugatti wheels?

My own Alfa wheels are almost ready with final work under way. I hope I will be putting some sets together over the Christmas period. This is the prototype wheel. Production examples will be almost identical.

Like other wheels to date, the diameter is correct at 19", the number of spokes is correct and the pattern of the spokes is also correct. I'll post more details when I have all the parts.


Monday, 6 December 2010

Alfa P3

Peter, you wanted to see more proper pre-war cars? Here we go: For inspiration I had a picture of Rudolf Carraciolas white painted Alfa P2.

And I had a MacPinches body plus PinkCar-axles and motor... That is the result.
I know, they didn´t have hydraulic brakes at that times, but I wanted to do anything to make the front axle to look a little bit more serious and not like a toy...

My first attempt in airbrushing...

Used the PinkCar-axles for a couple of other cars, so I have a nice quartet now. More pics soon.
I hope , you enjoy!


Sunday, 21 November 2010

Silver paint, try this one.

Paint finishes on models are immediately a problem once metallics come into the equation. Coloured metallics I have not quite figured out, but for silver, I have a recommendation.

The oft maligned Humbrol do an aluminium paint no.27002. This is one of their 'Metalcote' colours. I have tried the 'steel' from the range, it works. When buffed up it looks just like bare steel. The aluminium simply does not do this, but is excellent as a 'scale' silver paint.

I used this with an airbrush, thinned with their own ENAMEL thinners and it worked a treat. The next stage will be a coat of silver on a body, with a coat of enamel paint/laquer mix to see how it comes out. Just like prototype polychromatic stuff, but I think gold was the preferred base coat.


Thursday, 18 November 2010

Lotus 25

This has to be my favourite slot car of all time, plus it has to be the prettiest Formual 1 car ever put on four wheels. The combination of the Lotus 25 and Jim Clark are forever etched in my mind, for as a young lad of around eight years old, most weeks I heard that both car and driver had won a Grand Prix somewhere in the world. Of course it was only later in life that I actually appreciated what the Lotus 25 stood for. Coming from the ever inovative mind of Colin Chapman, it was such a breakthrough in monocoque design. The added stiffness over the old spaceframe gave the car such sure footed handling, that in the hands of Mr Clark, it was pretty much unbeatable.
The model was built by David Lawson whos models have their own signiature. Beautifully built, using a Dave Jones shell, this particular car represents the very earliest 25. All the suspension detail was fabricated by David as were the exhaust pipes and inlet trumpet detail. A lovely paint finish, with the correct livery/colour and some very nice cockpit detail, again all done very correctly. The wheel and tyre combination are just about right, with nothing on the car being over-done.
The picture below shows the simplicity of the chassis, with some of the suspension components attached. I think the model follows the fullsize cars build ethos in being beautifully crafted, but simple in it's design.
It's another of those creations that I can just look at for hours on end and never tire of what I see. The pictures have been "borrowed" from David, although i'm sure he won't mind at all that i've shown them here. I'm now looking forward to seeing his BRM 25 finished and hopefully in the flesh! Again I suggest that you click on the photo's for a closer look. You won't be disappointed!

Taffy, that really is quite a startling model. Beautifully executed. The silver finish looks very convincing, which I know from experience, is not easy to achieve. The wheel covers too are terrific. All in all, a stunning creation!


The Auto-Union Rekord-Limousine had its roll-out!
I hope, you enjoy it.

The complete story of this slotcar is described in this 1:32 Scratchbuilt Slotcar Forum (I have to apologise, it is a german forum...)


Tuesday, 16 November 2010

New project: Stromlinie!

Peter, my older cars have to wait to be shown.
First I would like to release my next project here in this blog, before I will open a thread in the 1:32 Scratchbuilt Slotcar Forum.
I love the prewar-racing cars so much! Last entrance was the "Auto-Union Stromlinienlimousine", a Dave-Jones bodyshell. Last entrance, but first built....
The Auto-Union saloon car placed several speed records in 1935, using the autostradas of Lucca and Firenze, the "place to go in spring" for test-drivers and recordbrakers in Europe those days.
A contemporary picture shows this car (source: "Auto Union V16 supercharged", Ian Bamsey, Haynes Publishing).

Compared to this pic, the Dave jones body was to long and, compared to another pic, not wide enough. I had to shorten and to widen it.

That is the difference / first step: body shortened

The status quo: bodywork is done, paintjob is done, driver was made and painted, chassis is built.

Chassis and body are "married"now. Will show the ready car soon...


Wednesday, 10 November 2010

214 Complete.

A couple of months ago I posted some photo's of the 214 being built by Claus Eisenschink in Germany. I'm glad to report that the model is complete and looking really very good. Finished in Californian Sage as it should be, it's built to Claus's usual hight standard. As with all Claus's builds, it's complete with light kit and Leds and i'm pleased to see it's not fitted with those very annoying "xenon" blue things! When I see things like this, it makes me a little proud to have actually produced the kit in the first place, although Claus tells me he has used other items not in the kit, to enhance it.
It looks like it's ready to go. Ten out of ten Claus!

Saturday, 6 November 2010

Well, the last of the Bugs have now gone, with number 20 below. It was only when this (commissioned) car was all but complete that I realised it was the 1929 Williams Monaco car, thus the headgear and other clothing should be a little different.

And this is number 24, racing in German colours, driver unknown.

I still have three unfinished cars, two of which were development cars, the third just got sidestepped when I couldn't at the time get around a problem. The problem was solved on number 17, so all will be finished off one day.

Soon the computer and AutoCAD will take over my life for a while, so no new finished cars for a while.

Unless I buy one and just have to get on with it....


Thursday, 4 November 2010

More proper cars....

Welcome Taffy!

I am of course biased. A guild member who makes pre-1960 cars is already a friend.

A beautiful car, well finished and to a degree, unusual. Excellent!

Perhaps I might ask for a few pictures of other cars?

Again, welcome.


May I introduce...


First I have to say thank you to Graham, who kindly invited me to contribute to this blog!
My name is Hans-Peter, but slot-folks call me Taffy.
I have to apologise for my bad english, but I am no native speaker...
I´m a german and live in K√∂nigswinter, a little town in the Bonn-Cologne area.
My slotracing career started in 1999 at the age of 36, the beginning of scratchbuilding was in 2002.
Most I like prewar- and postwar-formula- and sportscars until the end of the 60´s.

This is my Talbot T 150C Graham asked me to show in this blog, and I am very pleased to do this.
It is one of my last scratchbuilts; I thought, the best entrance would be with a rather fresh car. I hope, you enjoy!


Thursday, 28 October 2010

TR4 Complete.

The TR4 shown a few months back is now at last complete. Finished pretty much as I had hoped, it looks better than the last one. I still have 2 kits left, one will be built as a club racer without screen, because the kit came without any clear parts, then the last with a full conversion to correct Monte Carlo spec. with new rear screen, top etc.
Inevitably fitted with some of my wheels, this car actually used this spec of wheel, which is perhaps why it looks right. Later cars, that is TR4A on had the cross laced type, a variety I am still working on.
The rear tyres are Grahams new urethane replacements for Scaley W9533 fronts which will be available in pack of four in the very near future. Rears are to follow, as are others in the future.
I did a few track tests with these and they have a much increased grip over the Scalextric parts.

On eBay at the moment, the TR is not there to sell, but to illustrate both wheels and tyres and let potential buyers know they are available.

Work on the new selection of wheels continues at a slow rate with much work involved in all the planning and plotting of drawings.

Types now projected include;

Jaguar XK/C Type 60 spoke, 2 etches.
Aston Martin DB2/3 60 spoke, 3 etches.
HRG 60 spoke Not worked out
MG racing T Type 48 spoke, 2 etches

Experimental etches will be made for various Borrani types and also DB3S/Early DBR

Alfa P3 60 spoke, 3 etches
Talbot Lago, 72 spoke, 3 etches
Alfetta, 72 spoke, 3 etches.

Mercedes/Auto Union 70 spoke, 2 etches
Alfa 2900/8C/12C etc, 72 spoke, 3 etches
MG K3, 70 spoke, 3 etches.
MG general, 48 spoke, 2 etches.

Generic type, or did most manufacturers use a similar pattern?
Bentley, Invicta, Delage, Mercedes, 70 spoke, 3 etches. The spoke pattern is quite different to both Mercedes and MG K3 types.

That makes 12 types plus experimental ones, a minimum of 31 etches, more like 40 and goodness knows how many spokes!

Oh well.....


Friday, 22 October 2010

Racing Masers. Well nearly.

Splendid news on the 16 inchers Peter. I think that some scratch builders (read "me") are crying out for these. I certainly hope to be using a fair few of them along with my own rendition. I've not read much on Maserati, but your comments regard the cock ups sound parr for the course. I read recently an article by Carroll Shelby and Roy Salvadori recalling their 1959 Aston Martin Le Mans win. They both remarked how well organised the Aston team were (shame the cars weren't!) and that they had both had experiences with other famous racing equipes. Maserati in particular were mentioned and described as a complete and utter shambles. On one occasion, Salvadori arrived for a particular race meeting and had no idea which car he was supposed to be driving. Neither did anyone else for that matter,so practice could not take place. The mechanics were very reluctant to talk to him and the team managers appeared to have no idea at all about what anybody was supposed to be doing. My guess is that they built those beautiful cars just to be looked at!

Thursday, 21 October 2010

I like the Maserati Coupe, a car which seems to keep cropping up from my point of view. Within the last year I read a biography on Costin which gave several interesting facts, whilst I have just finished the 'official' biography on Sir Stirling. Both volumes are in agreement that Zagato, (the body builders, not our Graham) completely ignored all of Costins instructionsand calculations and simply built the body they wanted, albeit with a shape similar to the projected one. Thus there was insufficient air for the induction system and engine heat was directed into the cockpit, to name but two of the cock-ups involved. It had originally been intended that Fantuzzi, the regular Maserati body builder do the work, but such was their workload, Zagato were used.
The engine went on to power my favourite sports racing Maserati, the Tipo 151/3 from 1964.

It's nice to see Toms HRG being developed. Since I'll be doing 16" wheels hopefully before the year is out, producing the correct spokes for this car will be no problem, so I guess they'll be added to the list.


A Welshman, living in Canada, lost in England.

The title sounds quite bizzare I guess, but some of you know of Tom Wysom. Tom is a keen modeller and comes up with some real beauties now and again. One of his most recent finds was a HRG Aerodynamic from the late forties. The car that is, not the model. The model is based on an old SMEC kit which up until recently i'd never heard of. These kits were fairly prehistoric from what I hear, having very few components. The "body" was actually a lump of wood, that you needed to carve yourself. Ok if you can carve I suppose. A set of wheels which included plastic inserts of sorts and two lengths of piano wire for axles. i'm not sure if Tom actually carved his copy or he found it as is. Anyway, whoever did do the shaping made a very nice job of it.
Tom did a resin cast of the model and then sent the master and the mould to me giving me pretty much free licence to do what I want with it. Well i'm quite smitten with it as it's such an unusual subject. The full size car is quite a rare beast as only thirty five were produced and like all hand built cars of the day, they all seem a little different in one way or another. The two photographs show two different fronts. The one above with a rounded shape to the front wings and valance. The one below is very square. The "squaring up" was done by me thinking that's how it should be, but research has proved that both fronts were actually produced by the factory.
I think there's a long way to go on this one. The louvre detail is becoming a little vague and the seams that run along the tops of the wings from front to back appear to have got lost in the casting. I'm not surprised, as they're so fine! Variations include spats to the rear wheels and a quaint old soft top that I doubt would keep the rain off. The wheels on the car in the top and bottom pictures are Peter Seager-Thomas's and for this model are a little undersize. The wheels on the primered car above are my own and in all honesty are totally unsuitable.

An interesting shape I think and a worthy subject which I look forward to developing over the dark winter nights. Tom really isn't lost in England, but just over here on holiday and sampling the delights of Devon cider at the moment. I hope he survives to tell the tale!


Maserati 450s Costin Zagato Coupe

I'm kind of running out of things to say about Pit Schwaars beautiful creations, so I guess it's probably better not to say anything at all. I think the pictures do the talking anyway. I mean, what can you say about things like this?

Astonishing is the only word I can think of!

Tuesday, 19 October 2010

New Website

Well after much cursing, swearing and losing my temper, which is a very unusual occurance, i've given up! A few weeks ago an old friend of mine showed me how to construct and manage a website. After a couple of days of playing around, I thought i'd got it nailed. Yeah right! On some of the pages the required changes were made and uploaded without problem, on others.....
I have no idea.
I then had an email from a very kind Frenchman, who offered to build it and optimise it how he thought it should be. I can now confirm that is now live and looking rather lovely. In fact it's better than I first envisaged! I hope you all like it. I do.

Sunday, 10 October 2010

The image in the last post of Oliviers Alfa is stunning. I have never quite got the hang of 'weathering', but did do what was obviously a good model of a BR 9F at Barry scapyard, as it fetched a fair few pounds when I cleared house prior to a move some years ago.
I will certainly try again when time permits. I am told it is a base coat, including top-colour in acrylic, with weathering in enamel, which can then be removed if problems have occurred. Looking at 'general' weathered finishes, an airbrush has to be a 'must'.


The Art of Weathering

Some modellers, me included,prefer their cars to look like they've just come out of the factory. Others like the worn look. The examples shown here are obviously from the latter. We know him as Grosbig or Bigblock but his real name is Olivier Herrou. Olivier plainly has a talent for producing model cars with the most realistic weathered look i've ever seen. This Alfa was produced from the venerable Airfix kit and is quite stunning in it's finish. The paintwork alone demands close inspection. but looking closer you see where the paint has been "chipped" off in places. So subtle is this done, that it's quite sublime.
His dioramas too have a lovely feel to them, lending the model something extra. Oh and the figure too! The Aston Martin Ulster shown below is from the Matchbox kit, and again Olivier has managed to capture a weathered look beyond belief. I first saw this on the Forum Folm around twelve months ago and just stared and stared at it for hours.
The drab,dirty finish. The rust on the rims. All totally convincing. The photo's shown below, depict the car in a 1940 setting alongside a Hawker Hurricane. If it wasn't for the guide blade on the car, you would simply have to believe it was real
Talent like this is rare indeed. The ability to build a model to this degree is amazing on it's own. But when placed in a diorama such as we see here and then photographed to give such a convincing view, all I can say is wow!
Then if that wasn't enough, Olivier gave it a sepia tint to take it to a new level. Just look at the two bottom pictures and tell me it's not real!
I strongly recommend you click on the images and have a closer look! Tally ho boys!