Tuesday, 6 July 2010

Aston Martin DB3s Coupe

I thought i'd have a bit of a breather from real scratch building and sit down and relax with a kit build. I hadn't built a kit for some time, but I guess with all the practice of building things literally from bits of wood and metal, this would prove fairly straight forward. The kit in question was an Ocar item and i've heard varying reports on these, from not bad, to er....don't bother. Marlon Foakes, aka MAF to those who know him on Slotforum appears to be quite a prolific builder having seen some of his galleries. He now builds his own exquisite range of early Le Mans cars, and from all accounts, he's quite busy. The list of unbuilts that he has must be longer than my arm and a few months ago, I guess he decided to thin them out. One of them was this DB3s Coupe. The only Ocar kits i'd seen up to that point were a few built up by members of the Wolves club, so my knowledge of them was limited. On recieving the kit I looked it over and decided it was reasonably good. The casting was crisp and all the detail was there waiting to be picked out. The downside however was the dreadful glazing. It was never going to fit, even if I cut the the unit into seperate pieces. So, I made new patterns for all the glazing and vacuum formed the lot.
The exhaust system was missing from the kit too, so I made a complete unit using aluminium tube from the K&S range and the silencers from styrene. The paint was Ford Forest green and being polyester, should have been used as a basecoat, with a clear laquer over the top. I decided to just apply paint through my airbrush and just buff it up to a dull shine. '50s paint never had a gloss like we have today. In fact in those days you were lucky to get a shine on it at all once it left the showroom. Astons racing department didn't actually use paint. More a varnish heaviliy pigmented, but that's another story. The real colour should be Almond green, which was used on the DB3s, Coupe and the DBR1, but the Forest Green, although not quite correct, looks good and suits the car well.
The glazing was made as individual parts as I always feel that doing it that way, every piece should fit nice and snug and more importantly, flush. There's nothing worse than seeing a lovely model, beautifully detailed, nicely finished only to be let down by glazing that's set too far in. One way around this is to paint the inside of the window frame matt black to hide the depth. I do this too, as well as trying to get the glass to fit as good as I possibly can. I think the effort is well worth the result. The window rubbers were painted in by hand with the same matt black enamel. A few photo etched parts that I had in stock were used where appropriate. A grill off the DB4 was filed down and made to fit as close as I could get it. A wiper from the 214 kit finished off the windscreen detail and some attempt was made to replicate the sliding section on the drivers door window.
The rest of the detailing is Bare Metal Foil, covering the bootlid hinges, door handles, fuel filler cap and rear number plate lamp. Once you've got the hang of this stuff, it's pretty easy to use.
The decals are what came with the kit and went on fine. The headlamps are partly my own work, with the rims being made from ali tube again and topped off by some self adhesive lenses from our friends at Pendle. Spot lamps were off a Fly Porsche 917k. Brake and side lamps are my usual dress pin/ glass paint combination.The resulting model, I have to confess, is way beyond what I expected, as I think it looks really together and very convincing. I would like to build the standard DB3s at some point, but I would prefer an original PSK version. If anyone knows where there is one, please let me know. I'm itching to have a go at these odd wheels with offset rims.

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