Monday, August 25, 2014

Mini review of Thunder Valley F1 1/12 scale “Formula Perfect” super kits for McLaren MP4/6 and FW14B

I've received my copies some time ago. 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 bases. All the turned parts look very good and their price to quality ratio is excellent, in my opinion.

Wheel Nuts/Spindle sets have to be ordered and purchased separately. Machined parts look very good to me. Again price to quality ratio is excellent for those sets.

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 sets cover pretty much same set of parts as PP sets.

I have to wait till I actually build my 1/12 kits to make a conclusion on how much extra TVF1 sets add. But from visual review I think they look to be a great value for the price and should add quite a bit of details to the builds of already excellent Tamiya kits.

FW14B set from Thunder Valley F1 is actually unique and does not have similar set available from Perfect Parts.

Also note that brake detail sets were always separate sets and not included in Perfect Parts sets. Same goes for Thunder Valley sets - brake detail sets are separate products.

My understanding is that it is possible to get turned dumper parts from Thunder Valley as well, but they are made per order and availability is sparse.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

917LH 1971 conversion project started

I've started a new project. With all the fuzz around MFH 1/12 917LH and with arrival of Fisher body with Fujimi donor included, I could not resist and started the conversion project. Idea is to use chassis with most of the components from Fujimi donor kit and Fisher body of 917LH car from Le Mans 1971. Decals I have are for the car with Martini livery. I think it is a cool livery.

First I've detached all parts of Fujimi kit from plastic trees and cleaned them up. Next step is to modify Fujimi parts, so Fujimi chassis fits under Fisher body. I actually had to shave quite a bit of resin from Fisher body as well. Fit still not 100% as I want it, but not too bad. One kind of funny thing was that Fujimi chassis did not want to fit well until I removed Fisher copyright block. I guess Fujimi chassis wasn't happy to mate with foreign body :)

First photo shows how Fujimi chassis looks like after modifications. Never mind masking tape, it's there just to hold parts together for test fit tryouts. Next couple of photos show body and chassis' fit. And the rest show how chassis with wheels and tires fitted works with Fisher body. Front looks too high. In the rear wheels don't fit well under body and end up with too much negative cumber. Not sure yet what I could do about the front ride height. For rear wheels I will have to reduce their track width a bit and remove some more resin from the body.

Monday, August 11, 2014

F1-GTR chassis is taking shape

Had two productive sessions on weekend. First assembled and put in place the roll cage. Next touched up black paint and attached roof structure. Accessory items were attached to the back of the roof just before that. I also attached engine air intake and couple of pipes underneath it. Next I put fuel lines in place. Then worked on brakes. All 4 corners were done and I proceeded to attach whole engine /gearbox assembly to monocoque. Last items to attach were rear brake cooling ducts and diffusor. And here are photos of intermediate steps and how the chassis looks now.