Friday, 26 February 2010

Bugatti T35B

These are the last (but one) four cars from a batch of 25. The last will be a bit special. The first was made about 3 years ago.

The T35 Bugatti and its derivatives must be the the most successful and longest lasting racing car of all time, the first being built in 1924 and the last in 1938, though the type had lost its edge in the early 30’s.

All models are based around the same basic chassis, (albeit with some detail differences,) a formed aluminium part, a built up example of which sits in the foreground of the picture. All have also used the old Airfix model as their base, which was ok when it came out, but like so many, the moulds were getting very tired when they were last made. The kit does not go together particularly well, but as most oddments are discarded for slot car use, the problems are fewer.
Each will take some 60 hours to build.

All four cars in the background will have the little flat Mabuchi which provides ample power. The wheels are machined Airfix parts fitted with Scalextric Maserati/Vanwall tyres.

Plans are afoot to make similar T35 and T51 cars on the same chassis’ but with all new bodies. Not for some while yet…


Thursday, 25 February 2010

Only another nineteen to go then!

Ths is just what I was hoping to attract on here. Glorious stuff Peter.And what really endears me to this TVR build is that it's going to be as wild as the fullsize car!

Builds on the go.

After commenting that I had over 20 cars on the go, it was suggested that I did a little write up on each one. None are straight builds, each having something done to make it special in some small way. This is the most recent to be started and will probably be completed before the summer.

TVR Griffith 400

I had a 2500 many years ago. Like driving on rails.

The Griffith 400 was introduced in 1964, a slight improvement on the Griffith 200. Officially it was a USA only car, and consisted of a TVR Grantura with a Ford 289 cu in Ford V8 fitted. They gained a reputation for high speed and abysmal quality.

The model is a chopped and modified Ocar TVR Vixen Mk II. Like the real thing, this car will have a hot motor to make it very fast and totally unmanageable. Chassis will be folded aluminium, guide will be an MRRC racing type.

Just a couple of hours to reach this stage, most being very careful measurement prior to shortening the car by approx 9/64”, or 4½ scale inches. Mk I Cortina lights will be fitted, new side vents cut, side windows reshaped and the bonnet modified to leave just a bulge, which would clear the engine air cleaner. I will probably have the bumpers off before I finish it.

Oh yes, the wheels will be 72 spoke wires, naturally….

Sunday, 21 February 2010

Who likes Ferrari GTOs?

I thought despite my apparently being PNG these days that you might all appreciate this...

It's really me behind my camera and it really IS a Ferrari 250 GTO blasting round the lanes of West Norfolk a few years ago. This is a VERY original car which had done only rallies and Tour de France type things. geared for road rallies rather than racing 7000 revs in top represented 149.7mph which we reached once or twice on the road!
The walk round will help with genuine details for those wishing to build a model.

HELLO AND GOOD LUCK And here's a little something...

Hello folks,
I just want to wish Graham and all the people that post here the best of luck with this great blog. I probably won't be posting here much because I have my own blog, but I'll be following this one and may make the post the odd comment from time to time.
I want to give you a little treat. About eight months ago I was in touch with the present owner of Keft cars (and Coventry Climax engines too, apparently...), Peter Schroeder in the U.K.. He was enthusiastic about getting some Kieft slot cars built. That project for numerous reasons never came to fruition, however during the course of our correspondence he did share with me his ideas and illustrations for an exciting new project. Behold the NEW Kieft Corsa Veloce sports car! It looks gorgeous dunnit? It would have a CC engine too. However these things have a nasty habit of just not panning out, so this illustration and the plans here may well be the closest you'll ever get to seeing the real thing.
Now I don't really know if I"m even supposed to be posting these pics. I did write to him ages ago asking, nay, pleading with him to let me put them on my blog, but I got no answer.But he didn't tell me not to...
Anyway cheers and good luck.
Tom Wysom

Saturday, 20 February 2010

Tail lamps.

Here's an idea I thought might be of interest. I create a very simple but effective tail/indicator lamp from everyday dresspins with literally a blob of glass paint added to the pinhead. The paint is made by a company called Marabu and is available from Hobbycraft and I guess quite a lot of art shops. The colour is quite intense and i'm considering spraying a car with it at some point. The idea being to give the body a basecoat of bright silver and then topcoat it with the glasspaint well thinned.One for the future I think.

To create the lamp lens the glass paint needs to be used unthinned. I usually apply it with another pin with the point snipped off. This allows slightly more paint to be carried on the tip.The photo below shows how I keep them vertical, by just pushing the pins into a scrap piece of balsa. A tiny drop of paint is just touched on the heads. Surface tension creates the lens as the paint will dry more or less in the shape that it's applied. ie a dome. It usually takes a couple of applications to achieve the right form. It dries very slowly,so I normally give it at least a day before I touch them.
As best a close up as I can manage is shown below. The paint is clear and reflects the chrome on the pin head and catches the light much like a reflector. There is also the chrome rim of the pinhead giving a nice finishing touch. When fitting up to the car body I normally snip off the head leaving around 5mm of the pin for insertion of a pre-drilled hole. The pin is then fixed from the inside using cyano. Cheap, simple but very effective.

Friday, 19 February 2010


Hi chaps,
Just a quick introduction from me. Have been into scratch building for just over a year.
I'm currently doing a few builds. A couple of Ocar MKII Jags, a Arii kit (63 Skyline 4 door), a resin Riley 1.5 from Pendles & a airfix Escort but that is only a static thank god. I have a few more cars on order but I will update later about them.

Not much to say atm but will update here soon with some projects & get some pics up too.

Look forward to seeing some great builds & hope to add my bit.



Ferrari again....

Another playing around job. This is a Monogram/MRRC body on an MRRC chassis, and as with so many of my cars, was a 'test build'.
Sold as a 275P I think it is actually a 1963 250P.
This was yet another experiment with wheels, and was my first bash at putting together etched wheels.
The etches themselves were kindly sent to me by Steve Ward of Penelope Pitlane, a leftover from his 1/43rd days. Strictly speaking they are about a millimetre too small, but they did the job to a degree.
One of the features of most etched wheels which I dislike is that the outer ring of the outer etch is usually visible, usually accompanied by a gap around the outside of that etch. One of the objects of this exercise was to rectify that situation.
The wheels themselves are to pretty much the usual pattern with a rear boss and grub screw fitting. The etches were painted then placed in position. A tight fitting retaining ring was then pressed into place, then carefully machined to shape.
On these wheels, the well is far too deep, but the well depth is needed to accomodate the etch diameter. The error shows up less on the rear wheels than the front.
The tyres are Fly GT40, the knock-on nuts are the items from the kit and are all right handed...

Wednesday, 17 February 2010


We already know, no need to ask.....................

But aren't we all ?

Tally Hoooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo



I may have mentioned on the forum at some point that I had a passion for Aston Martin. My favourite of the bunch has always been the DB4 GT. A shortened, lightened and more powerful version of the standard car. It's performance and handling startled roadtesters back in 1960. It still does. The pictures below show a fair amount of information gathered over a number of years. Measurements, angles, sketches, sections, curves. Pretty much everything I could see on the car was noted. The idea was to build a 1/8th scale model. Well life got in the way and it's did'nt get completed. No real surprise. But the information is now coming in very useful.

Overall dimensions.

Seat detail.
More seat detail.

General stuff.


Chassis crossmember.

Suspension components.

Wishbone detail plus trim sketches.

Grille and general measurements.

Angles and cill section.

Bonnet measurements.

Overall bodydetail.

Bumper detail.

More bumper detail.

General stuff.

Tell me if i'm mad.

Monday, 15 February 2010


Thanks for the detail info Peter. I purchased a couple of MMK Monza shells a while back quite cheaply as a 'shell only' items. Its been nice to work with and I've managed to find most accessories/detail bits in my spares box. I may base the second shell on a Mille Miglia entry. Your Ferrari project sounds very exciting. I'll look forward to seeing pictures of your cars as they develop.



I believe the correct attire is white overalls, green jacket and midnight blue helmet with white peak.

The car is coming along nicely Dave. I bought a couple of the MMK cars and am just prepping the first for primer, though I am not yet sure which car I will model. There are plans afoot to do most of the significant Ferrari cars from the Scuderia ALFA Monza, through the TRs up to perhaps 512.

A nice piece on the wheels Graham. I wondered what they comprised of and how they went together. So very time consuming, but I doubt that there is any swift way of producing such things.

The weekend saw the slot routine re-established. Work on an Austin Healey 100S body is now nearing the time when a mould needs to be made, the chassis for my SSKL Mercedes is slowly progressing whilst my 'quickie' XK120 is taking forever.


Monza progress

Graham, those wheels are looking truly magnificent. Fantastic work.

Returning for a moment to cars. Your 166mm looks marvelous Peter. I hope we shall see more development pictures soon. I've done a little more work on my Hawthorn Monza 750. Now getting to the fiddly bits, which is where I usually make a pigs bottom of things...

I'll be starting work on Mike himself soon. From the few colour pictures I've found so far, am I correct in assuming Mike Hawthorns elaborate crash hat was black - or was it a very deep blue?


Sunday, 14 February 2010


Tyres indeed. On my last visit to my casting people, I was shown a protoytpe of a soft resin tyre. The prices mentioned were favourable so when I go and see the guys again later in the week, i'll do a little more investigation. If Scalextric can't for some reason supply these tyres, then I think we should look into it further.
On the assembly front here we have several photo’s showing fairly clearly how my rendition of a wire wheel goes together. The first picture shows the rim with one of the spacers attached. I would normally use Devcon for this kind of work, but in this instance I have used cyan. Not a good idea. Once the spacer is fixed in the right place ie central and concentric, I paint the back face of the wheel black.

Then the disc is glued in place with the other spacer fixed on top
The tricky bit of course are the two photo etched spoked parts. The rear one needs the spokes bending upwards and the front piece, the spokes bending back. More or less creating two cones.

The rear one is glued to the spacer on top of the disc.

Once fixed, the spokes can be gently pushed back against the rim.

The outer piece is the one that gives me the most problems. The spokes need to be dropped into the gaps between the spokes of the rear piece. In theory. Because the parts are very light it makes them very difficult to handle and control. Sometimes they just drop in. Sometimes they don't

The spinner is the last part to be added and the spigot need to be trimmed to be flush with the ring on the outer etch. The finished article is'nt bad in my opinion. A little bit of a 3D effect I think you might say and very much worth the effort.

Tyres, another subject often debated.
I would guess that the W9533 (Ferrari 375) and W9206 (Sharknose are made of the same compound. The four tyres give a nice range of sizes, it's just a pity Scalextric will not supply them!
Once the wheels are done I will look into tyres. Urethane casting is fine, but not for large quantities, so enquiries are now being made regarding manufacture of tyres to a pattern.
All the available (occasionally) tyres are somewhat wide, with the Sharknose fronts at about a scale 7.5" and the 375 tyres about 7.35". By comparison, the tyres for the Maserati, (slightly larger I/D), are a scale 5.6", not too far out for a pre-war racing car.
Thus, an open question. Would it be worth getting tyres made similar (!) to the Scalextric fronts? The target price would be £4.00 per set.
I'll pop on a couple of pictures if so required.
Well here are all the bits ready to assemble a set of my idea for wire wheels. I've said it before and i'll say it again. They're very delicate and prone to damage during handling and assembly, so whether or not anybody takes the plunge and wants to have a go with these wheels, I guess time will tell. Als modified rims really are beautifully machined and being of the new skinny variety, will suit the Astons well.

The photograph shows the wheel/tyre combination, brake discs, spacers, spoke set and spinners. The spacers are .55mm brass that I had etched when I had the first DBR1 chassis. But as a good replacement I guess brass washers could be used instead. The tyres are the fronts from a Scalextric 375 F1 Ferrari, but i'll change these soon for the sharknose variety. The discs are also photo etched items being the correct diameter, for Astons at least. To give a little realism to the discs I held them in my mini drill using a screw in the chuck and with a touch of 600 wet and dry, gave them a spin.The circular scratches look much better than the stainless steel in mill finish. The spokes are the two part etchings that i've mentioned on numerous occasions. and the spinners are from FF. Next step is to glue the parts together!

Saturday, 13 February 2010

Another Ferrari

So, we are away from wheels and back onto Ferrari models. Here's my 166.

This is one which has been hanging around for ages, and since painting is out of the question I am raiding the 'already painted' box. Nothing special. The body is one of the old Gowland/Revell examples, albeit with a few modifications, primarily to the nose and tail.

The chassis is simple aluminium forming a wide channel section, the wheels are some Scalextric ones from a bulk buy a couple of years back, whilst a standard Mabuchi sits under the bonnet to allow full cockpit detail.

This is my test car. Like so many models I build, I bought two, one to make mistakes on and one to build once I am a little wiser.

Ferraris from Oz.

I've been in contact with a this chap in Australia for a number of years now. Charles McLennan is very much the lurker, prefering to stay in the background on forums and read rather than post. I have pursuaded Charles to email me a few photographs of some of his work as I think it's worth seeing. Here we have a collection of FerrariTR's in varying states of build. The one of the bare "alloy" body I think is of particular note. Very effective. I'm not sure where the bodies come from, but i'm sure if we ask him nicely, Charles will come on here in person and tell us. Graham

Friday, 12 February 2010

And I thought i'd just put this on here as it's a nice photo.
Glorius stuff fellas! Peter I do like your spinners. Any more information on them? And I assume you've drawn the spoke pattern etches on the PC?
The Ferrari looks pretty nice too. I'd be interested in the shade of red on that one Dave. And do you polish or leave as is?
I hope to be assembling wheels tomorrow too, so were going to be over run with 'em! I've got paint on but I think it's a little too grainy/sparkly. I'll give another set another flash over with the paint thinned out further. That should cure it. The spokes need another coat to try and give them a bit more body, but there's always the danger of losing the delicacy. The spinners I have in stock are from Martin/Steve and have polished up very nicely, so i'm looking forward to seeing the whole lot glued together. I'm afraid I only have 48 spokes and I think anymore would look like there's just too much metal. We'll see they turn out. Night, night.

On the bench

The weathers been playing havoc with painting opportunities recently here in the UK, but I managed to get my Monza 750 sprayed up yesterday. Lots of work still to do, but I feel its starting to take shape now it has some colour in its cheeks...




Yes, this is definitely my favorite subject.

Here's my latest entry in the latest wheels race. 19" see through, complete with matching tyre and brake drum.

Austin 7 special wheels

Hi Peter, thanks for the reply. I think I'm going to have a long frustrating time on this one, the wheels in the picture are what I'm after, I think they're 19", I wish it was as simple as the Austin Twin-Cam, I think my options maybe to contact the designer of the original shell and see what he recommends, hope Martin re-surfaces or spend 32 bucks on a set of Le Mans Miniatures Bugatti Tank wheels, and insert a more correct etched insert, maybe from PP 24 inchers. Oh the joy of scratch building.

Well it seems wheels are to be flavour of the month. Today I recieved my modified rims from Al. They look beautiful. Nice and skinny. The modification is just a simple removal of material from the inner rim. From 0.375" to 0.412". The previous version seemed to be a bit "heavy" in that department resulting in the spokes appearing to cross at too much of an acute angle. The new rims look fine and i'm hoping to get a set built up over the weekend. One aspect of the wheels i've shown so far is that they all appear to have a polished appearance. The next set I intend to paint. So armed with a little tin of hammerite smooth silver, thinners and a clean airbrush, i'm off to the shed! I'll be posting photo's of the build as I go along. Watch this space!

Hi Chris.

I think the wheels pretty much depend on which Austin Seven racer you are talking about and just how fussy you are. There is no easy way out.

Mr Jamiesons twin cams are easy in one respect in that the brakes fill the wheels, though the wheels themselves are rather special.

All the rest have rather smaller brakes and a variety of wheels, most with a mere 36 (?) spokes, all that is really needed on such a light car.
The wheel in the picture is my 'test' wheel, built up using a home brewed wheel, off the shelf etches and home brew wheel nut, with the wheel pattern to suit no car in particular, having 48 spokes and with scale dimensions for a 16" wheel. You will note that the spokes are side laced whereas most wheels using etched spokes are centre laced.
I hope that when my own etches are delivered a tidier and more realistic wheel will be possible.
Alas none of these etches would actually be correct for an Austin unless that car had been fitted with rudge hubs, when of course, any wheel could be fitted.
If you wish to have a bash at your own wheels, I'll be happy to let you know the ins and outs of what I have done and why.

Thursday, 11 February 2010

Boy have I got a wheel problem

Ok, so I'm sitting and waiting for the weather to warm up, luck it's going to snow tonight! This is Atlanta, hot, mint juleps, southern bells...none of which seam to exist any more, anyway busy working away on a 64 BRP, one of Steve/Martin's (now there's a slip), getting it into good shape, and the mail man (sorry postman) arrives.
Tony has sent two Austin 7 racer bodies, and the Mrs JoJo one is fantastic, and Tony's Special is pretty fine too.
NOW THE QUESTION! has anybody any ideas on where, or what to use for wheels and tyres, they look like 17 or 18 inchers with bicycle tyres, I've gotta build these right, rivets, scale driver and all.
Thanks to Al Penrose, I've got a beautiful Penrose special chassis that I shortened, and it fits both like a glove.
Al, have you got ant ideas, Peter, anybody?
This is just the stuff I was hoping to see on here. Quality builds. I just hope it encourages more people to show what they're working on. Personally, i'm going through something of a crisis with vac forming. If there's anybody out there that has vac formed and it turned out well, please speak up. I think we should swap notes.
Further work on the roof of the DB4 today, but using this spray putty is so slow. I used to watch paint dry for a living but this is painful! So while thats drying a bit more work on the GT. Setting the height of the bumpers to where they look as though they should be has made a big difference, particularly to the rear. It's nice to see the place filling up!

Hi Peter

Hi Peter.
Many thanks for your comments.

I do try to pay as much attention to detail as my eyes permit (the optics are just not what they used to be these days!) With regard to detail, my pride and joy is this Francois Cevert Tyrrell Ford 002, based upon the 1971 US GP winning car I built using a Beta/Classic fibreglass shell. I have plans to build a Cevert March 701 and hopefully will add more to it from what I learned building the Tyrrell. Have you any pictures of your Ferraris in progress? Would love to see any if you have.