Saturday, December 10, 2016
More Lotus 49 and some great service
I am working my way through the suspension of the car. I have managed to get the front suspension done OK. Note: I have yet to spray the etched radiator so you can see the super glue remnants through the grille.
Following all of this, I started back on the engine, which meant attaching the rear suspension. This is where it all started to go wrong. A few days ago, I had put together both sides; realised that I had got some of it wrong so took it apart; put it back and found that one of the suspension arms was stuck when it should rotate. I got this moving. When I came back to it, I had to attach a link to that arm and found that it wouldn't come out of its mount sufficiently far for me to carry out the step. In trying to coax it out, it broke off. I decided that I would worry about this later and got on with the rest of the work only, when pressing down on the bottom wishbone, I heard a small crack and another part had broken off. Here are two images of the damage. (I will explain where the good ones came from next).
It all seems to work, including the steering but it is very tight so it won't take too much messing about. I have also completed the cockpit - remember, no seat belts in those days!
Pretty dramatic, don't you think! Well, I thought so too but then a memory came from my SBX days.
On Tuesday, I called up the Hobby Company, in Milton Keynes - they are the Tamiya importers. Giving them the kit code, I asked if they still can supply replacement sprues. "Yes", came the answer, "we can". I wanted the chrome sprue "D" so off he went. Whilst he was looking, I checked on their web site and there was no mention of the Lotus 49 kit so I presumed that it had been retired (again). He came back to tell me the bad news that they didn't have that sprue. I noticed that they did, however, still have the Gold Leaf TL 49B that had been re-released recently. Of course, as I discussed with the Hobby Company guy, that had the same engine and suspension. He, being of a similar era (but a lot younger than me, I guess as he was still out at work - smile), agreed with me. We sorted out that kit number and back he came with the good news. For the princely sum of #11.50 plus postage, I could have it shortly.
In fact, it came on Thursday. In the meantime, I took the sprue from the 49B kit and got on. Now, I think that that service was as good as you are going to get from a kit importer and they should get five gold stars, if there were such things. So, back to the two images above - that is where the good versions came from. I am now a happy bunny once again and getting on with the build. Well, not quite. I don't find it gripping putting these suspensions together so, yet again, I am putting the kit down for a week or so. I have dragged another kit from the shelf. This time - sorry Dan - I am making a Shelby Mustang 350 for myself!
This is going to be painted in Tamiya metallic blue - a colour that would have been impossible a few months ago as there was nowhere in town where I could buy Tamiya paints but now there is Hobbycraft! Yippee!