Saturday, July 1, 2017

Breakthrough in F1-GTR MeLans 1995 1/12 scale conversion project

This is my "dream" project. I wanted to convert Minichamp's die-cast McLaren F1 road car into winner of Le Mans 1995 race. It has been on the back of my mind for many years. I have event started it few years back, but got stuck on the first step. Bottom part of the chassis just didn't want to separate, even though I took out all the screws I could see. Apparently there were 2 more screws at the top of rear wheel arches. Following an advice from automotive forums' F1 forum, I've removed rear tires from the wheels and that opened access to those hidden screws. After that block was removed I was able to dis-assemble the rest of it with pretty much no issues.

It turned out a decent models with high level and accuracy of detail for a die-cast. There will be a lot of things that would have to be improved and converted to specs of racing car. But it provides a decent starting platform, imho.

Here are some photos of the process.

Monday, June 19, 2017

Decal work in progress

TABU decals finally arrived last Friday and I have started applying them over the weekend. Yellow strips are quite challenging to get straight. And I could not completely achieve that. I am also not 100% happy with accuracy of TABU decals. Quite a number of them are done with over sized fonts. And some are bigger then they should be according to my references. Decals provided in the kit by Ebbro actually look more accurate in that respect. However I wanted to get JPS livery on my model and could not use decals from the kit. Also black on kit decals does not match my TS14 paint for whatever reason. Mixing up TABU and Ebbro decals was not possible either, as they use different shades on yellow. Pin stripes on side boards will be even bigger challenge, as it is not clear how the sizing of two rectangular outlines could be determined. Have to think about that and come up with a solution.

I have also applied CF decals from the kit to upper part of monocoque. I think it looks too greenish like that. My plan is to put some smoke clear over them to achieve more realistic look.

Below are some quick shots of where I left of.

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Started first assembly steps on Lotus 91

Work continued on Lotus 91 build in mean time. There wasn't much to show, as it was all prep work, priming and painting of various parts. Another major blocker are decals. I have ordered a full TABU set from HLJ and it has not yet arrived after 2 months of waiting. First time issue with shipping from HLJ. Most likely it is Canada Post's fault, but I ended up ordering another set from fat frog.

Almost all painting is done by now and I was able to start some assembly steps. Started with engine and suspension parts. I will have to deal with CF decals over monocoque and seat belts, before I can continue much further. As soon as decals arrive, I will be able to start working on main livery, though. Here are couple of quick shots of the progress.

Monday, May 22, 2017

Lotus 88 - decals completed, F2008 - decals in progress

Have been working on decals for Lotus 88 and F2008 for number of weeks. Pretty much completed decal job for Lotus. For F2008 there are many more to do, mostly CF. But at last I can present couple of quick photos.

Monday, March 20, 2017

Primed and painted lot of parts over the weekend. For some that picture might look boring. For me it is a great milestone in any build, when I am able to put primer on parts. This step indicates that prep work is completed for particular build.

Most of the parts were for Lotus 91 build. However I've painted parts for MP4/6 and F2008 builds as well. Both builds were blocked and now I can move further on them.

Though, body of MP4/6 is fighting me all the way. Got crazed spots on it again. So, will have to prep and re-paint it at least once more.

Saturday, March 4, 2017

Started decals on Lotus 88 body and wings

I've started application of decals on Lotus 88. Could only do top body cover and chrome decals on side panels and rear wing for now. Sponsor decals on side panel partially go onto side air intakes. However after I stripped factory chrome and painted my parts in Alclad chrome, they do not match chrome decals provided in this kit. I had to find a way to get replacement parts. After trying different shops and forum with no luck, I've eventually found contact form on official Ebbro web site. And they agreed to send me part for small cost and little shipping fee. As soon as replacement parts arrive, I plan to complete decals and get clean coat on as soon as decals dry. From that point the will be little there to complete this model.

There is one confusing moment with application of Lotus logo decals on the nose. Instructions say to use small chrome decal and decal #1, but don't specify in which sequence. I've missed that double decal application point and only applied decal #1. However I am not sure, if I could still apply chrome decal on top of it, or should chrome decal have been used as background. Still thinking about it and trying to solve this dilemma.

MP4/20 mods started

First mods started for this build. I'm borrowing ideas from past WIPs from other modelers. Added brass strips to the floor to help with alignment of engine cover.