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!

1/24th scale DB5

Our friend Pit over in Germany has been at it again. Prolific just isn't the word. I wonder if he actually finds time to go to work? Anyway this time round, a beautifully executed DB5. Based on the Doyusha kit from some years back, Pit has carried out some major surgery on this one. He must have, as it certainly did not look like this straight out of the box.I know. I bought one! Everything about this model is just glorious. The detailing, the finish and those very expensive looking wheels. Pit tells me that the wire wheels are actually hand made by a friend of his and I believe every spoke is individual. The cost of a set of these very fine rims, I just cannot reveal. You might choke on your tea if I tell you.

The photo etched bits, Pit had made specially for this model and I think they finish it off. The superleggera flash on the bonnet is a well known feature of Aston Martins of the sixties. It pays homage to the designers build principals, with superleggera, translated from Italian to English meaning "super lightweight". Hmm, i'm not too sure where they actually got that from as these things are seriously heavy!
Beauty with substance perhaps. We look forward to seeing the next masterpiece Pit!

Friday, 1 October 2010

Even more wheels.....

A few more experiments to cater for a few long delayed projects. The image below shows the two latest efforts, neither being strictly correct but both likely to do their job better than anything else I can find.
To the left is a wheel to go on the SSKL Mercedes from Matchbox. The real thing had 21" wheels (one of my next projects) whilst the one shown is 19". The three etches used are from the Borrani wheel with special wheel parts made to suit. This wheel is 4.5mm wide, but the car will probably end up with 5mm width wheels. The nut is a composite using one of my whitemetal nuts with a separate machined hub. The ears look a bit big at present.
To the right is a wheel to go on my Slot Classic Testa Rossa. Made up with a set of my experimental etches, they verge on being almost correct. The spokes are cross laced, whilst the correct pattern Borrani wheel nuts are of course handed and cast in pewter.
The image below is another of the SSKL wheel. Unlike the 15" and 18" wheels in their standard form, there is a separate spacer between the single outer etch and the twin inner etches, which makes for a total of 9 parts.

The above wheel, in yet a different form again, will probably end up on a T35A Bugatti. I will probably have a batch of 19" rims made together with other spoke combinations.