Friday, 24 September 2010

I'm still here!

I'm still here guys, but working away in the background. I was so pleased with the way the Zagato turned out, that I decided to re-work the DBR1 and 214 with a view to having them two part moulded and then cast professionally. The bottom line is that i'm not keen on resin casting other than for prototyping. The production of slush cast bodies is just not for me. It's messy and unpredictable and is much too time consuming. So if someone else can do it, that's fine by me. The 214 is ok and just requires the mounting posts inserting and then it's done. The DBR1 is however a completely different kettle of fish. Who the hell keeps fish in a kettle??? Anyway, it's main problem is that it's too big as we all know and I guess it's affecting sales. If it were to be entered into any sort of competition, it just wouldn't get through scrutineering. So right now, i'm searching (in vain it seems!) for a suitable resin that shrinks. Polyester resin did actually shrink by around 5% some years ago, but from all accounts, this seems to have been cured. It still shrinks, but by nowhere near what I need. I'll keep looking.

At the same time i've been gazing at the DBR1 body and although it's a massive improvement over the original and in my opinion is still the best representation in model form available right now, there are areas where it can and will be improved. The original Scalextric model was as most know, a clam shell design, with the chassis and upper body joining pretty much about half way up the side and running along the bottom of the doors The front and sides are/were ok, but the way it's designed meant that the rear of the car was too high. The rear wings should sweep down much more than they do. I gave this a lot of thought and really didn't fancy modifying the rear of the car in my usual way. I then thought that heating up the resin in the area required, just might allow me to "bend" the whole shell. Well, in a nutshell, it worked and worked very well indeed. Holding the shell under a spotlamp and applying pressure where it was needed, the resin started to "give". All very controlable too. As soon as the material began to soften up, I took it away from the heat source and held it for a minute or two. The alteration was a huge improvement and the only mod needed was to open out the rear arches to the shape they were before. Job done. The picture below shows the difference. Much more swoopy! On other fronts, the DB4, GT and DB5 all have the same one problem that's causing me grief. Front screen surrounds. As it's a common part (or should be) my guess is once i've cracked it, all three models should be not far off from launch. But solving the problem is taking time. I need to make a template that sits over the screen, with the edge following the outer edge as closely as possible. On the Zagato, I did this with a self adhesive label, but the Touring bodied cars have this wrap around screen that was so popular in the late fifties. The problem I have is that I can't seem to get the label on the screen without wrinkling. When I remove it and lay it flat, it just won't give me a true shape. This one is really testing and as I can't think of an alternative, I think I shall just have to persevere. No pain, no gain as they say.

Thursday, 23 September 2010

Where are all the 'vintage' scratchbuilders?

Vintage scratch stuff seems to have slowly gone, with 'Slot Forum' scratchbuilding at a bit of a low, such that it is barely worth logging in.
A few words please gents (& indeed ladies) as to what you are doing!

Marlon, how go your ongoing projects? I still await the Bugatti Tank and the 12C Alfa. Quality versions of both of these cars are much needed and as time permits, I will make an effort to show such cars. Your products are not seen enough in the forums though I note that a few of your cars are on eBay at present

Graham! I know there have been delays, but the website is still way out of date, with the Zagato, the best kit to date, still not listed. Any progress on the proposed 250GT

Martin, is the Kieft from Tom on the FPF site yet?

Are all you chaps taking a break?

It is always good to see little bits of progress here and there, however trivial they may seem.

Best intentions, Peter

Thursday, 9 September 2010

No more Goodwood....

Let's have a few different pictures, not that I dislike the Zagato at Goodwood pics.
Two topics, no, actually three.
The first is a Triumph TR4, based on the airfix TR4A and inspired by the works cars, in particular, the 1963 Monte spec. The kit is a modest representation, but by no means accurate.
This model was started over three years ago!

The wheels are inevitably my own, the tyres are Airfix.
The 'Surrey top' is the worst part, the rear screen should not be wrap-around. The spare is a backless version using original wheel components where minimal strength is required.

The chassis is nothing special, but as ever, tries out a few ideas. I didn't want to weaken the chassis plate by mounting the motor close to the axle, thus introducing a narrow section. Thus the motor shaft was extended to about the same length as the Scaley FF. Lower power though, so it should last longer...
The next item is a plaything whilst awaiting Marlons' 'Tank' Bugatti, not the Le mans car, but the original T32 car which ran at Tours. I just HAD to do a set of wheels to suit, and here they are.
So, what comes last. nothing special, but like all scratchbuilders I must always improve on a subject if possible. I have two Revell (Matchbox) Auto Unions in limbo, but when Bigblock ordered a set of wheels for his own AU, I had to improve the part, with the following picture showing the result. The AU (and Merc) used flanged ally rims, with both having distinctive knock on nuts. Yes, Merc nuts are on the drawing board.

The tyre O/D is about 24mm.
Unfortunately I now feel the need one day to do one with correct spoke patterns......