The car in the picture is the nearest I'll get to owning a Le Mans winning D Type.
It's 1/8 scale, and completely hand made.
Fancy showing off some of your miniature model marvels? Get posting...
As always, the model starts with a vac formed shell taken from either a hand-carved wooden master, or more these days, from a 3D printed shell.
Once formed in plastic the shell parts are easily trimmed and fettled to shape.
Always use good plans enlarged to the scale you're working in - in this case 1/8.
Not surprisingly, you can frequently find excellent workshop drawing and plans through good old Google.
The shell parts are cleaned up and primed and the dashboard cut from 12mm ply with sheet plastic additions. Remember - LOTS of photo reference before you begin. For this model I amassed over 200 pictures - all from Google images.
A simple former was made for the basic interior tub and once again vac formed.
The advantage with Vac forming is that it's relatively cheap and if you make a blunder with your work (I frequently do...) you can easily get another part made.
The gauges are self printed decals using - once again - photo reference of the real thing. Bezels are formed from thin cuts from the tops of my wife's make up tubes/bottles/goodies etc. (I haven't told her that, so shhhhh)
These are painted silver and carefully added with tweezers and little dots of Superglue. Once sorted, the gauges get a few layers of clear gloss acrylic.
Switches are made from the metal bristles of a £1 shop hairbrush. I kid you not.
The 'blob' end makes a great switch, and the thicker end that is fixed into the brush is also useful for making instrument lamps, choke controls etc. Just use a bit of imagination. It's amazing what you can make for next to nothing if you constantly think 'model car' when looking at stuff around the house.
So - now the body gets some primer and then the first colour coats.
I use ordinary 'real' car spray cans. Relatively inexpensive, plenty in a can and easy to get more if you run out. A few motor factors offer paint matching in rattle-cans and that's what I use for these old classics.
Finding the correct paint code is pretty easy using the web and then you can get the paint mixed.
Also, rattle-cans are really designed for use on 1:1 cars so when working on larger 1/8 scale stuff they are far better than trying to use an air brush which would take forever and use a fortune in model paints.
With the older classics, you might not want to gloss clear coat the finish as back in the 50's - 60's cars didn't have the toffee-apple wet look of today's beauties.
OK - with the body painted we're into the cockpit (lovely word...)
Detailing and parts are just built up using sheet hobby plastic. To get a really good aluminium finish go to your local £1 shop and buy a roll of Aluminium tape. It sticks like the proverbial 'stuff' to a blanket and looks exactly like ally - because it IS ally.
Real leather can be sourced from various places and if all else fails - even me.
The seats - don't laugh...
Ever heard of 'Fimo' clay?
Modelled into well-worn seats and then covered in real thin leather using potent double sided tape and Superglue.
The whole shebang is toned down with matt grass green rattle paint and further toned down with thin watercolour paint - very dark grey - washed all over and into the creases.
Once in the car, they look a treat.
The interior moved on with more detailing using bits of leather and a steering wheel cast in a rubber mould from a genuine 'proprietary' kit part. There are lots of 1/8 scale models out there so don't be afraid of nobbling various bits when you need them.
The 'Dunlop' style wheels were originally turned in real aluminium by and old contact who is no longer in the trade. I've kept them and make rubber moulds from them every now and then to create resin copies.
Once painted and decalled (home printed) they look a treat.
OK - Time to get on with the firewall and chassis.
Again, thick sheet plastic and brass section. Here's where the GOOD plans and reference are needed.
'But I can't solder' you say.
Neither can I.
Two-pack fast resin glue. That's the ticket. Looks like a weld when painted, lets you move the bits around for a few minutes before it sets rock hard and is a doddle to use.
Next up, more frame detail and then engine parts...
Keep tuned in.