Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Priming started for F1-GTR

Finally had a chance to start priming F1-GTR parts. Not much visual progress, but important step. For me priming usually signifies the end of part modifications and test assembly. There still be some filling and sanding done on body panels and some other parts, but many parts are ready for paining now. Semi-gloss black will be used the most as base for Carbon Fibre decals. And there is a lot of CF on this car. I've run out of Zero 2 part etching primer and will have to source some in local auto paints store. Hopefully they have some good quality 2 part etching primer available. Here are some short right from my paint booth while parts are still drying. Black'ish colour on chassis is just not steered properly primer. Rest of parts were sprayed later after I properly steered and mixed more primer.

Monday, December 9, 2013

First sub-assemblies for F1-GTR

More progress on this build. Had a pretty productive weekend. Ran magnetic tumbler last Friday for about 4 hours and got most of the parts cleaned. Only big parts remain to clean manually, because they wouldn't fit into tumbler. I've permanently assembled engine and gearbox parts, before painting. I was tempted to leave them as they came out of tumbler - shiny. But on real car engine is aluminium color and gearbox is steel color. So, will have to prime and paint these 2 sub-assemblies and other parts. After clean up number of imperfections appeared in metal parts. There are also imperfections in resin parts, I will have to fix. They cycle of priming/sanding/priming can take long time. So, it could be a while before next updates in this WIP appear.

Friday, December 6, 2013

F1-GTR's gearbox and rear suspension

Worked on gearbox and rear suspension parts last night. Almost finished. Test fitted most of it, but could not get parts, which connect gearbox to body to stay on for test fitting. So, I've done partial tests and I think it is good enough. Will probably have to do minor adjustments when I reach final assembly steps, but I don't imaging there would be any major issues. Going to start cleaning up parts in magnetic tumbler tonight.

Monday, December 2, 2013

F1-GTR's engine parts prepared

I had only few hours for modeling this weekend and spent them preparing engine parts. Started couple of parts from gearbox as well. It's all held up by gravity only, so I couldn't move it from my work table. Fit of parts is pretty good. MFH cleverly designed many pins and tabs to help align parts and held them together. Final assembly shouldn't be an issue. Not too many parts are left to prepare before all could go into tumbler for cleanup. But severe lack of modeling time slows progress down.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Some progress on P34

I've returned to this build after a while. My worst fears came true. Exhaust headers were huge P.I.T.A. They just didn't want to align properly. Big contrast to the exhaust from their recent Lotus 79 kit, which were easy to assemble and attach. I've spent an hour on left side and 2 more hours on right side headers. I've initially planned to putty seams, prime and then paint them. But I've changed my mind. I don't think it is worth my time to make them any better. I'm going to just shoot TS29 onto them and put them in place.

Also worked on radiators, rear suspension and details of rear firewall. Studio27 PE set includes front and rear faces for main radiators and oil radiator at the rear of the car. I've decided to skip faces for all the internal radiator surfaces, as they don't add much to appearance, if anything at all. I've only attached 2 external faces, which are visible from outside, as well as faces on rear oil radiator. Last, I've installed rear shock absorbers, rear of gearbox and attached pedals to floor.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Preps continue for F1-GTR

Moving ahead with this one. Here are results from last night.

First I've competed preparations and test fit dry assembly for front section. Everything fits well.

Next, I've reshaped roll cage to fit correctly onto chassis and dashboard. This metal part was deformed while in packaging and shipping, but white metal is easy to re-shape.

Next was time to prepare and fit the roof. Re-drilled all holes for screws and did a little adjustments as needed. Fit is pretty good

At the end of this session I couldn't resist and worked on body parts' preparation and test fitting. Finished by dry assembly of all body panels. Fit is not perfect and would be probably not considered great for plastic kit. But for MM kit it is reasonable. In this form it really does look like F1-GTR.

I'm not 100% done with preparations and clean up for body panels. Rear window cover is the worst part. I was deformed in package and requires a lot of adjustment to fit right. More clean up and re-drilling also needed to front body section. Doors are also major concern. Top sections of doors are not curved enough to get proper fit. There are magnets which supposed to hold them in place when closed. I hope it'll be enough. Otherwise when doors are closed their bottom sections will stick out. I'll try magnets early while still in test assembly phase and if they don't work will have to come up with different solution.
Will continue on weekend, hopefully.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Started MFH F1-GTR build

I've finally started my first full detail MFH kit - F1-GTR short tail. I'm a big fan of McLaren F1 car and especially its racing version F1-GTR. So, I was hugely excited when MFH announced full detail kit of it. I've converted my excitement into motivation and was able to overcome my reservations towards full detail MFH kits. Spent about 10 hours over the weekend. It's hard to stop working on it, so I got to early morning hours Saturday, before I could take a break for sleep. Not much progress so far. Lots and lots of preparation work needed before I could put first layers of primer onto parts. Fit of parts is pretty good so far. But many metal parts require a bit of reshaping and most need little bit of clean up. Nothing major, there is just a lot of parts to go over. Also a lot of holes to drill out. It is typical multi-media kit, so past experience working with such is a big plus. I'm going to use similar approach to this build as I've used to curbside kits in the past. First go over all parts and do needed adjustments and preparations, while performing test assembly. Next get primer on all the parts to be painted and protect bare metal parts with transparent metal primer. Next group parts by colors and paint in batches. Next clear coat before decals, decal application and final clear coat. Next detail painting and then off to assembly. That's the plan anyway. I usually test assemble whole MM kit, or as least most of it, where it is critical to test fit of parts. I've started with chassis and front suspension. Cleaned up parts, drilled holes and did small adjustments needed. All assembly is just dry mock up so far. Here are couple of photos. I haven't decided with livery I will use for this model, but there is plenty of work to complete, before that choice becomes critical.

Monday, November 4, 2013

P34 is back on the workbench

I have worked a bit on P34. Assembled gearbox and most of the rear suspension parts. Attached gearbox to engine. Attached items to the rear of the gearbox. This way I can use this incomplete assembly as a jig to align parts of exhaust system. Next, I've installed PE faces to the rotors of front brakes. Decided to skip them for the rear. Attached cooling ducts to front uprights and processed with sub-assemblies of front suspension frames. They are ready to be installed onto chassis.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Completed to presentable state

I've got both F10 and MP4/27 completed to the state I could present them at contest. Neither one 100% done, but both are off from my work bench for now. Need to switch focus to some other builds. I plan to come back to these at some point later. Finish steering wheels and may be re-do tires. I've spent about 4 hours on tires last night, but could not get all the decals to align correctly. I will try stencil first and if that does not work, I will get water slide decals instead.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Close to finish line with MP4/27

I'm getting closer to completing this model. Mated body and floor for good. Installed barge boards, side panels, cameras and mirrors. All I have left from assembly is DRS mechanism and winglets for front and rear wings. Then I will attach front wing permanently and then one major task will be left - tire decals. I'm leaving that task for last, because I expect issues with Fujimi tire decals. They seem to be not so easy to get right, from what I have read so far.

Monday, October 21, 2013

MP4/27 is pretty much ready for final assembly

Small update, but important unblocking step. Was away on vacation for whole week, but just before that I've finished seat belts. Last night installed the seat into body and installed PE radiator faces into body as well. Next I should be able to marry body and floor and complete overall assembly.

Monday, October 7, 2013

Progress on wings for MP4/27

Concentrated on wings this weekend. First gearbox/rear suspension sub-assembly was permanently attached. Then I've built up rear wing as per instructions and later attached it to the mounting point over rear crash structure and the floor. Because of many attachment points, three in this case, alignments wasn't an issue for this model. Same as it wasn't for F10 either. Front wing is not 100% complete and not yet attached. I'm still debating in my mind if I should add some PE items to front wing. I plan to attach front wing to nose later, when I'm done with all other items, so I don't handle model much afterwards and have less chances to brake it off. I still have to create seat belts and install some PE to body shell, before I marry can it with the floor. Wheels and tires are still in mock up state. First time in my modeling history I will have to glue tires to the wheels. Fujimi tires are a bit wobbly and don't stay put on wheels. Then I will need to make logos on tires. Not sure what approach will be best yet.

Monday, September 30, 2013

Small progress on MP4/27

I'm inching forward very slowly. Got only one night to work on it, instead of expected 3 over the weekend. Things didn't go to plan, as often happens with my modeling. Added bottom plank and installed PE items on rear suspension arms. Main thing are completed front suspension and attached nose. Looks a bit more like a Formula1 car now.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Back to MP4/27

With F10 almost completed and out of my way at the moment, I could return to this McLaren. Spent couple of hours to put rear brakes, rear and font suspensions together. Brakes are almost identical to F10, so I was able to use second set of PE items from Hobby Design's F10 set to simulate rotors. This time I've used Gator glue to hold PE in place. Worked fine and allowed for a cleaner result. I have modified position of rear brake calipers a bit, so they seat deeper and match PE better. However location of calipers is not accurate. On real car they are positioned horizontally at the bottom of rotors. Fujimi does not bother with such small inaccuracies. With some extra effort, that could be corrected. But I don't plan to display car with wheels off and rest of brake detail aren't 100% accurate anyway. Drive shafts are from after market Top Studio set. They are machined parts, look pretty nice and have durable coating. Installed rear light as well. Not visible on the photo, but it's there. Front brakes and nose will be next. Then I plan to switch to work on wings and cockpit.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

F10 almost finished

It's almost comleted. Finished front wing and attached it to the nose. Attached barge boards, side panels, cameras and mirrors. Then attached nose. Nose is on permanently. Didn't feel like detailing inside it, so glued it shut. Only small accessories, steering wheel and wheels are left to finish. 2nd photo shows F10 beside 2011 Red Bull RB7 car. It's the most relevant model I have from the modern era of banned re-fueling. F10 is still seems to be the longest.

Friday, September 20, 2013

Final stages for F10

Unblocked after seat belts installation was done, I've started to put major components together. But first I've simulated heat shielding on the floor and rear suspension using bare metal foil. My silver sheet of foil is old and lost its adhesive abilities. I've used Gator acrylic glue to secure it in place. Attached exhausts to engine, then engine, gearbox and monocoque to floor. Next assembled rear wing in place. All the provided tabs and also rear wing supports allow for easy installation and assembly in place. Latest item assembled was front wing. I've used PE items from Studio27 set. I think it would be better to use items #8 in place of items #3 and vase verse. Still have 2 top winglets to attach. I'm rushing this build a bit in attempt to make it to local contest this Saturday. It will not be 100% completed by then, but I plan to return to it and finish up later.

Monday, September 16, 2013

F10 progress

More progress. Finished suspension by adding uprights and brakes. Photo with wheels is just a mock up again. I don't like Fujimi tires and hope to get replacement set from Tamiya RB6 kit. Finally got around to make seat belts. Not a big step, but took about 3 hours to complete and most importantly this unblocks me and I can put together floor, engine, gearbox, rear wing and monocoque. Finish is not too far, but there is still quite a bit to do. Have to put front wing together, complete tires and then attach all other smaller items.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Assembly started on F10

Usually as soon as all parts are painted and ready for final assembly, process accelerates quite a bit. Looks like I've reached that point with F10. I've clear coated last parts, where decals were placed - camera, brake calipers and wheels, and started final assembly steps. Assembled parts of rear and front suspension, attached oil tank to engine and radiators to monocoque. Simulated heat shielding on the rear of monocoque with Bare-Metal gold foil. More steps to come, but seat belts are a stumbling block at present. Seat belts and steering wheel detailing aren't least favorite tasks. Need to make those happen though, before I could mate all the sub-assemblies with the floor.

Below are photos of current sub-assemblies and quick mock up.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Little progress on F10

I've pretty much reached the point when I can start assembly steps for F10. Added some PE bits on the weekend. Fujimi didn't pay much attention to insides of radiators, but I think they could be visible at right angle and under right light. I have 2 sets of PE from Studio27 and Hobby Design. Both have meshes for radiators. I've removed plastic tabs from insides and put Hobby Design PE there. Studio27 PE went to outside. Also used HD PE rings to simulate brake rotors. Haven't figured out how to apply minimum glue and still be able to slide then into place. So, got quite a bit of glue marks and CA glue fogging. I use Tamiya fine polishing compound to remove fogging and some marks.

Mini review of Thunder Valley F1 1/12 scale “Formula Perfect” super kit for Ferrari 641/2

Apparently Thunder Valley F1 is back on track with Ferrari 641/2 detail kits and shipping them out to customers.

I've received my copy yesterday. Everything was packaged nicely and shipped on timely manner. Detail sets currently produced do not include turned parts for dumpers.

Overall impressions are positive. Spoiled by cheap and inexpensive photo-etch sets from China and Japan, I felt that there could be more PE parts for the price. But I guess it costs quite a bit more to produce those parts in USA. Besides, I understand that PE parts on rubber backing are even more expensive to make.

I especially like turned velocity stacks and cast in resin replacement air box base. All the turned parts look very good and their price to quality ratio is excellent for the money, in my opinion.

Wheel Nuts/Spindle set has to be ordered separately. Machined parts look very good to me. Again price to quality ratio is excellent for this set.

It is claimed on TVF1 site, that some of their detail sets provide more PE items compare to sets produced in the past under Perfect Parts brand. I've reviewed images I have of PP parts and beside washers and turned dumper's parts, I think TVF1 641/2 set covers pretty much same set of parts as PP set.

I have to wait till I actually build my 641/2 kit to make a conclusion on how much extra TVF1 set adds. But from visual review I think it looks to be a great value for the price and should add quite a bit of detail to the build of already excellent Tamiya kit.

Just for the sake of comparison I include a photo of PE sets provided in 1/12 scale MFH 643 conversion kit.

Monday, August 19, 2013

MP4/22 rescue build

There was another twist in the story of this model. Last November after returning from IPMS contest, I was placing models and trophies back into my glass cabinet. Somehow one of the heavy wooden trophies slipped behind from top shelf onto lower one and landed on MP4/22's rear wing. Rear right suspension and rear wing were damaged.

Fortunately damage was repairable. I've since re-applied CF decals to insides of wing end plates and put clear coat over them. Then reassembled rear suspension and finally put together rear wing last night. I've used different jig this time and managed to avoid formerly present gap between top horizontal planes. It's again not perfect, as end plates ended up not exactly parallel to each other, but it'll do for this build. I'm just happy to have this model back on the shelf in my cabinet. I love this car.