Saturday, April 25, 2015

Ferrari 250LM finished

Remember that the kit was very old, the decals where knackered and the instructions were all in Japanese? Also, remember that the kit cost £35.00 and the paint was another £8.99. Then I needed some clear and white laser decal paper and two sets of glossy white vinyl circles. The total cost of that lot was £15.00 so, in the end, it cost me close to £60.00. Was it worth it? Not sure. What I have is a nice little model that has no engine and no suspension - it comes as a so-called "kurbside" model. It has taken a lot of effort to get it to this position, plus a trip to my daughter's school. I am glad I have it now but not sure if I would have done it - had I known!

I had a lot of trouble painting the chrome surround to the windscreen. I masked it off but that didn't work too well. In trying to clean it up I got some silver smeared on the gloss red. From there it went from bad to worse. I had to mask off a lot of the car and respray with the Ferrari red. However, I also chose to use the rattle can rather than decant the paint as I did with the 250GTO so I ended up in a bit of a mess when respraying. Did I mention that I got red paint splashes on my shirt and, just now, I dropped the lid of some Lifecolor red paint and got a couple of splashes on my trousers - so factor in a £30 shirt and some £45 trousers!

Anyway, here it is. Please remember that all of the decals are home made and for a car not covered by the kit. After everything, I am glad that I have another great Ferrari to go with the GTO and the forthcoming 330P.

Friday, April 24, 2015

We now have decals!

Having seen the state of the decals that came with the 250LM kit, you will understand why I was concerned as to whether I could get this car finished the way I wanted. The kit came with three paint options described as follows:

  1. Original Type (in red and no racing numbers)
  2. Chassis no. 6313 1965 Le Mans 24h Result - 2nd (in yellow)
  3. Chassis No. 5895 1965 Le Mans Result - DNF (in red with a blue band under the nose).
Now, I don't know about you but to me Ferraris are always in red! Then again, I didn't think that I could match the blue. As the decal sheet was shot anyway, I decided to try and find a better car. Well,that year, the Le Mans 24hours was won by Masten Gregory and Jochen Rindt in - wait for it - a plain red Ferrari 250LM!

Now, all that I had to do was create a set of decals to match this photo. Firstly, I was worried about the white circles. I knew that I could print up some black circles on white decal paper but then I would have to cut them out. I couldn't do them by hand so I tried using a circle template. I bought a Linex template from EBay which has circles of all different diameters on it. I tried a few times to cut out a perfect circle but every time I managed to just nick into the circle and ruin it.

Next step was to see if I could get some white circles ready cut. I found a seller of 20mm white glossy vinyl circles - again in EBay - but couldn't find any 25mm. The 20mm are fine for the bonnet and the boot (hood and trunk) but those on the doors were 25mm. I found some paper ones and ordered them. When the white vinyl ones came, there was a note inside suggesting that they could do lots of different items if you asked. I asked and got told that they could do a sheet of 25mm. Job nearly done.

This is the clever bit (showing off). I took the image of car 21 and imported it into Photoshop. A little bit of manipulation had the perspective taken off and a straight ahead image. I took this into Adobe Illustrator and drew around the numbers to produce a scaleable copy. Along with this, I imported an image of the Ferrari badge and scaled that for the bonnet logo and the one on the body ahead of the doors. I was left with the orange circle.

I knew that I couldn't cut out the circle so I went looking for a punch. I didn't trust the usual leather punch with lots of different sizes on a ring. That looked too coarse for my use. I looked at the precision punches on the model shop web sites but they were hideously expensive and didn't go up to 5mm anyway. A scan of Amazon found a set of individual punches from 2mm up to 10mm. These were the kind where you get a hammer and belt them hard.
These arrived and worked perfectly so could now make 5mm orange circles. The final task was to put together a set of all the decals and print them out. My daughter owns a very nice little Montessori School in Ipswich and has a large Konica colour laser copier. I put an Adobe Illustrator page together and exported it to a pdf. I ran that through the copier using some white and clear decal paper. Here is the result.

The large orange ellipse gives me some room to punch out a few orange circles. I am just about to start putting decals on so here is a shot of the car before that step.

I had some fun painting thee silver windscreen surround but I will talk about that in the next entry.

Wednesday, April 08, 2015

250LM moving on

I have made some good progress with the 250LM. The inside of the body is painted black; the cockpit shell has been painted with Alclad Steel (maybe should have been aluminium on checking some images on the web so the instructions were probably wrong!); the chrome parts have been stripped and repainted with Alclad chrome; the exhausts have been painted with Steel Alclad. The cockpit is complete (well - some trouble with decals) and the wheels have been fitted.

The problem with the decals came about because I tried out the decal for the instrument panel - guess what - they broke up into 6 pieces. I tried this bit because I wanted to know how the decals would go under pressure. It seems that the answer is not very far. The only problem that I see with the decals will be the Ferrari badges. Apart from that I can probably get by with making my own. However, I will try coating the decals in Klear once I have scanned the sheet. That might keep them together.

Still, this is where we are.

I did have thoughts about putting Eduard etched seat belts in, as I have a set of blue belts in stock. However, I found from the GT40 that once the body is in, you can't really see them so the struggle to make them outweighs the result. I laid a strip of masking tape down on my nice little custom built mirror (my ex-SBX customer Martin at Crown Glass made me a nice little piece of mirror with ground edges for just such jobs as these). Here you can see the mirror with the remains of the tape attached.

I painted the tape dark blue. I then cut it into 2mm strips. Having fitted the tape, I highlighted the metal parts with some Vallejo aluminium. This will look good through the windows.

Tuesday, April 07, 2015

New Project - yet another Ferrari - but this one might be tricky!

When I was a young lad, I was mightily into motor racing and slot car racing. My best friend, Roger, and I used to go up to Crystal Palace whenever it had an event. Crystal Palace was only a short jaunt on a 49 bus from Streatham Common. Here is a Youtube video of saloon car racing at the Palace. I remember watching Jim Clark - along with Graham Hill - so this video brings back many memories. Check out that  7 litre Galaxie (427" for those on the other side of the pond!) - probably driven by Jack Sears.

Anyway, we got heavily involved in slot car racing and even persuaded our Air Scout Troop (31st Streatham) to let us buy a load of 2nd hand Scalextric track so that we could run a club every Thursday evening.

I am getting to the point! As Roger and I were both modellers, we built our own cars. I have to admit that I used a Revell AC Cobra body for mine but I built the chassis with a can motor. Roger went one better and hand carved a Ferrari 250LM out of balsa wood for his car! Ever since then, I have had a liking for both the Shelby Cobra and the 250LM. As you will know, I recently built the Cobra so now it was the 250LM's turn. Not so easy:-) It seems that there has only been one kit of this car and that had been out of production for some years. I managed to track one down on EBay that was listed as a Minicraft boxing. At only £31 it was a bargain.  I knew that it was an old kit but...

When it arrived, I saw that the box was quite stained and opened it with some trepidation. The kit itself was in top condition but the decals would not last seconds in the water judging by the state of them. Also, the box was labelled for a company called Sunny Tri-S with no mention of Minicraft. Still, never mind, the decals could be reprinted on my printer - at least I had the originals to scan - and the rest of the kit would work very well. It turned out to be a kerb-side model, which, it appears, means that it doesn't have any real suspension underneath - just rigid axles.  That won't bother me as I find these things a fiddle and quite likely to break. You never see them anyway as you don't park the model upside down! In any case, it is the body shape that I love, not the intricacies of the underneath.

Before I start the kit, I thought that I would appraise you of the box and its contents. There is also an ironical statement in the instructions (more later). First the box. The box front wasn't too bad.

Just look at the box end!

The instructions are all in Japanese. Well not quite all:

I like the bit that says "Read all instructions before you begin." From this point on, the only English used is for the the paint colour callouts.  Check out the part about the cockpit!

Find the hidden English - grin. I am not sure quite what colour is Gun Stainless, though

Still, we can get by. Lastly, I thought that I would show you the decal sheet. Now you can see why I will have to make my own!

I think that this will build up nicely. So watch this space!

Thursday, April 02, 2015

A slight hiccup with the helmet shield

I referred back to my friend, Mike Grzebien, for some clarity on the shield that should be on the side of the helmet. The box art shows a red shield with a swastika but I felt that this was incorrect. His advice was as follows:

"Typically, I would say during the Battles for Kharkov, most individuals in Waffen SS units would have been wearing the single-decal helmet with the runic shield on the right side and no "swastika" shield.  A quick flip through a few of my books on WSS units in Kharkov confirms this. The fur lined "Charkov" anorak, introduced for wear in February 1943, was only issued to Waffen SS field units and would not normally be worn by regular Wehrmacht infantry, so your MG42 carrier should definitely be depicted as Waffen SS with the runic shield on the helmet. "

So, off I went. Mike had given me some images to look at but I needed something bigger - so I fired up Google and found just what I wanted. I then did the following:

  1. brought the image into Adobe Photoshop to clean it up
  2. placed this image on a page in Adobe Illustrator and traced over it to get a proper drawing of the shield
  3. reduced it to the required size
  4. thought about printing a decal but I haven't had too much luck when printing tiny decals on my printer so I printed it up on plain paper.
  5. stuck it onto the helmet using Gator's Grip acrylic glue
  6. sent it off to Mike for comment

I got an e-mail back as follows:

"Excellent paintwork Dave! However, you're probably not going to like me for this, but the runes are backwards.  Oooops."

So, I scraped the paper off the helmet, flipped the image in Illustrator, printed it out again and glued it on. The whole image was then given a coat of Vallejo flat varnish - I had previously used Xtracrylix flat but that still left it with a sheen but Vallejo flat varnish is first class and gives a really matt finish. I then gave the rifle a coat of satin varnish and the stand a coat of gloss.

This is the final result. I am quite proud of this (seeing a photo at this size shows up all the little details which you don't see in a normal view).