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Hi all! I started this one a little while ago but I've been way to busy to get time to post up a diary on the forums until now!

 

So this is the Lotus 49 driven by the late Jim Clark in the South Africa GP of 1968, this was the last formula 1 race Jim Clark drove before his untimely death.

 

This is an MFH kit which means lots of white metal and resin with zero plastic! Despite MFH kits being designed to a very high level of detail there are some areas and issues which need to be improved on and corrected. As the build gather pace I will go through the amendments and modifications made.

 

To start here is some photos of the box and the kit contents:

 

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The box contents:

 

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This is how I organize my MFH builds, unlike traditional kits, the parts aren't on sprues which means you need to organize them based on their step in the instructions, once you have your parts organised like this then it becomes much easier to build without delays and it also will help you to single out any parts which are missing:

 

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The version I am building is the 1968 South African GP, Jim Clark:

 

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Some of the books I am using for reference, there are some more which I will post later on:

 

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I hope to update this thread soon so stay tuned!

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Thanks Pascal! I totally forgot to update this build thread!

 

So I started this build by working on the cockpit, As always the first thing you must do with these white metal kits is to check fitment and mock up as much as you can. After looking at lots of reference I noticed that MFH got a few small details wrong, the first one was the dashboard and the configuration of the dials, so this issue will be corrected.

 

I also noticed that MFH supply you with seatbelt material and the hardware to create lap belts, so when I began mocking up I noticed that the section where the belt is supposed to come up from was very tight and so a channel was filed in to create some space for the belt to be fastened down the side, if you look closely at the photos you will see where I did this. So after doing all that work I found out that Jim Clark never used seatbelts in his Lotus 49 and in fact back then the preference was to be thrown out of your racing car rather than crash with you inside it!

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Starting with the dashboard, this is how the part looks box stock, on the left side I added a dial there which is the detail that MFH got wrong:

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I was also not keen on just trying to paint and enhance the kit dahboard as it is, so I put my lathe to use and decided to turn all 5 of the dials on the dashboard. This meant having to very carefully and accurately drill out the moulded in white metal dials. Now if any of you reading has worked with white metal you will know that its very soft and can warp especially when you are drilling such large holes as I have, so if you look very closely you will see the holes for the dials are not perfectly round, this isnt a problem because the turned dials will sit on top and cover up imperfection!

 

I also had to put a good deal of logical thinking and work out with the little reference I had on how the wires and cables were arranged out the back of the dashboard. I'm pleased with how it came out and although strictly speaking its probably not 100% accurate it does give a fair resemblance to how it looked. Once again I turned lots of tiny parts for the connectors at the back of the dashboard and also the front selector knob which has the red cable running out of it. This next photo shows all the different components for the back of the dashboard, some parts are scratchbuilt, some are PE, and some are metal turned fixings and rivets from T2M and Top Studio.

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Here is the dashboard complete, the black surround has a texture to it which was recreated by spraying Tamiya gloss black from a distance so it would spray on rough and give the desired look

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Some photos of the back of the dashboard after it was installed:

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Here are come finished up photos showing the dashboard complete and installed with the cockpit itself painted with rivets and miniature bolts installed and the seat completed with a textured faux leather supplied with the kit

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And finally, after looking at loads of reference I noticed that in my opinion the tyres supplied by MFH have very rounded edges rather than square which is what I see in all my reference, so I decided that I will try to transplant the Ebbro Lotus 49 wheels and tyres, this decision will be based on how it all looks once its pretty much complete (I plan to install the uprights and wheels at the end of this build). In the meantime here is a little comparison between the two tyre profiles:

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Thanks for reading and hopefully I will post up another update asap!

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Perfect work Imster.
The dashboard looks very realistic and correct , very well implemented .
Do the Ebbro tires fit on the MFH rims?

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12 hours ago, pg265 said:

Speechless, jaw dropping... both of them in fact!!

 

Stonking build as usual!

  

Pascal

 

Thanks Pascal, the work you did on your McLaren gives me lots of motivation mate

 

8 hours ago, mueller said:

Perfect work Imster.
The dashboard looks very realistic and correct , very well implemented .
Do the Ebbro tires fit on the MFH rims?

 

Thanks Mueller, unfortunately they dont so if I decide to go with the Ebbro route then I will need to make modifications to the hubs so everything ssits correctly. I have noticed the Ebbro wheels look a little bit larger which in my opinion look correct as in lots of photos the car looks like it has huge wheels with small body, once everything is done though then I will determine if it the proportions are correct to transplant

 

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Hey all, been pretty slack on this one! I will be putting up a few big updates as a result!

 

So lets get started then....

 

Now that the dashboard is done and installed it was time to get the bodywork sorted out and painted. I decided to paint the yellow stripes rather than use the supplied decals, the main motivation behind this decision was because the decal especially at the front nose would wrinkle and not sit flat no matter how well you do it. I had a friend cut me some masks, all I had to do was to send him a scan of the decals and he plotted that on his computer and made the masking templates.

 

Mocking up as always on MFH kits, I also drilled the holes for the front nose attachments, I will build it so the nose can be installed but I will display it with the nosecone removed

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The final drill hole for the nosecone is done! You can also see the holes drilled for the rivetsIMG_0123.JPG.e377789eb16aad722ff3704e112ed949.JPG

 

Mocking up the front end, I plan to add lots of detail to this area as the standard kit is fairly simplified in this section

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Body parts sanded and readied for primer and paint

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Testing paint colours, I am painting the yellow stripes rather than using the kit decals, I plan to paint it all yellow then green on top, the colours used were Tamiya TS-16 (Yellow) and TS-43 (Racing Green)

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Rivets! I used 0.4mm resin rivets for this build, I also inserted them after all the paint was on, this allows me to polish the bodywork without worrying about flatting and ruining the rivets.
There was a total of about 350ish rivets in all, most were painted green and some were painted yellow and silver

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Here is how it looks after polishing and rivets insertedIMG_0785.JPG.9b2a279a3ffd8483f1054684a17f8ab2.JPG

 

Nosecone painted yellow, then masked, and then green will be paintedIMG_0731.JPG.fc1ceeff0297be6310e1622f794a6d1e.JPG

 

Step 1 of polishing was to flatten the paint, I didn't go too crazy with this because I didn't want a super smooth and shiny finish it would be too unrealistic for this vintage of car

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Paint flattened and polishing done up to 12k grit hereIMG_0787.JPG.e2cddbcae2e7d716f7890c78a2ae6581.JPG

 

Final polish completed and now ready for rivets to be installed

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Polishing the nosecone (before)

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Polishing the nosecone (after)

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Bodywork painted and polished ready for rivets

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Rivets installed and bodywork put together! My camera was playing up so the colours look totally off!

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Advice! If you are able to, then its always prudent to protect your paint work from accidents like scratches and fingerprints etc

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Another update will come soon!

 

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Next update!

 

Between the intake trumpets sits an electrical box, I assume it is linked to the distributor and other electrical parts. When I looked at the kit part I saw that it was poorly casted and would be very difficult to paint and get a good result, so I decided to modify the part and also add lots of wiring to it.

 

This is how the part started, as you can see the connectors and the plug cap are all one piece. To get a good result it’s necessary to cut off the plug cap and connectors and scratchbuild them

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So starting with cutting off the distributor cap

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You can see how rough and poorly casted the surface is

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The surface was filed and wet sanded flat to accomodate the modified parts

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I made the connectors out of styrene (0.5mm thick)

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The new distributor cap was turned on my lathe

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Here it is all complete! I’m really annoyed with myself for not taking photos of all the scratchbuild parts before they were attached.... Sometimes I get on a roll and don’t think to stop and take photos! The small connector wires are 0.1mm painted with a marker, and the larger yellow wire is 0.4mm thick. All that is left to do is to polish the box surfaces and its ready for installation!

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Next on the task list was to work on the engine. Lots of enhancements were undertaken including cam covers were enhanced with turned bolts, engine block was painted and given an oil wash, the fuel metering unit was completed and plumbed in, distributor cables installed.

 

Here is an example of the importance of washes and shading, this is a photo of the engine block with just paint on it (TS-30)

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Here is the same part after an oil wash, notice how the details of the engine stand out more, it may not seem much but once the model is completed it makes it all look much more realistic

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Here's a side by side comparison

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Added plumbing from the mechanical fuel pump through the filter and into the engine

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A little exploded view of some of the engine parts before they were cleaned up and painted/modified

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Cam covers, here you can see I’ve already cut off the moulded in bolts and drilled my holesIMG_E1174.JPG.133b7c30a25112e08e0c140df600fc49.JPG

 

Paint on, and then I scraped off the paint to show the FORD logo

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Cam cover complete, the bolts were given a darker colour by dipping them in blackening solution

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Cam covers installed

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Another close up of the cam covers, I did a pin wash on the bolt heads, not instantly noticeable but the difference is there

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Fuel metering unit complete, painted and plumbing ready

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Fuel metering unit installed

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Distributor cabling, the wires were installed as per the firing order on the 1:1 carIMG_E1495.JPG.29f4101116d1ac3736a6b49c8fce248e.JPG

 

Distributor cabling complete, I wrapped the wires to recreate the tape they used to keep the cables tidy

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Side view showing the various pumps on the side of the engine as well as the breathing tubes that run from the cam cover down. These tubes were only present on the early DFV engines as there were some engine breathing difficulties in the early days

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And here is the result, electrical box installed, engine ready for the fuel lines to be installed, I've photographed it next to a tamiya paint bottle to give an idea of the scale of the parts

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More updates coming soon!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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1/20 Lotus 49: it’s finally starting to look like a car 😊
Engine completed, lots of additional wiring and details
Front end completed, plumbing added and some modifications made

 

Engine done, MFH supplied the intake trumpet baskets in gold but reference shows it as silver so they were painted

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Suspension components, I want to add some rake to the car and also have it sit lower so I compressed the spring and glued the shaft down to the required height

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I used two part epoxy to to attach the front end to the chassis, I clamped it up and left it overnight to set

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Front end, I added all the plumbing based on reference

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Front end, I used a real rubber cord to emulate the bungie cord on the front of the Aluminum tank, I also turned the cap at the top with my lathe

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Top down view of the front end, rivets were all installed by me and not included in the kitIMG_E2569.JPG.3cf6358e5c4591944f64c9004870bffb.JPG

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Mock up with the engine in position, all lining up nicely. I will be displaying the car with the nosecone removed but once built you will also be able to put the nosecone back on

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Big steps forward Imster.
Everything worked perfectly looks absolutely great!
Ha! For rivets, I also prefer Masterclub.
😀

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Thanks all for your positive comments :)

 

Next update!

 

Starting off with the front brakes, Here is a comparison of how the brake disks looked before and after I worked on them. When working with white metal you will often get lots of pits and unevenness so lots of work is required on every part of these kits. the bottom one is complete and ready to be installed, the top is how the part looks straight out of the box...

To achieve the finish I first filed the surface flat, then I used 600 grit wet/dry sandpaper to get rid of the big scratches, and finally I attached it to my lathe and used a sanding sponge to create the light circular scratches that you can hopefully see!

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Once I attached the disks to the hubs I proceeded to darken the cooling fins by using a combination of Taniya Panel Line Accent Colour (black) and some MR Weathering Colour to add a brownish tinge to it

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Another view showing the circular marks on the brake disk surface, I used an acrylic wash to accent the circular scratches a bit moreIMG_1177.JPG.9cf13263db03926be279c61a73ea46c3.JPG

 

The mocking up of all the pipework was done next, I ditched the straight whitemetal tube parts for stainless steel tubing, I also modified how they connect to make them more robust.

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Other side of the car, here you can see the stainless steel tubing between two white metal partsIMG_2644.JPG.fb227447f5dd11441a5951ce83728553.JPG

 

Here you can see the modification made to the tubing to make it stronger and also easier to install, you can also see some additions I made with the temp sensors from the green pipe as well as at the bottom of the metal reservoir at the front of the car

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Close up of the temp sensor wiring and the rubber bungy cord used on the front reservoir, the cap on the top of the reservoir was turned on my lathe

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Next big task was to bond the engine to the chassis! I used 2 part epoxy for this task, clamped it together and left it overnight to dry.
It is critical to ensure the engine is level and flat with the rest of the chassis otherwise you risk having a seriously warped looking car once you attach the wheels!

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Close up of the area where the engine has been attached, you can see the rivets here in detail as well as the additional rivets added to the firewall.
Sorry about the poor quality blurry photo

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Close up of the other side of the car, you can see the rivets here in detail as well as the additional rivets added to the firewall

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Side pipe installed, I used plastidip instead of the supplied heatshrink for the black elbow connection. Heatshrink is great on flat, straight surfaces but when you try to shrink it over the curved surface it never really sits correctly

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Pipes installed as well as the radiator and front end connections. MFH made a mistake with the front radiator where they instruct you to attach what seems like a funnel in front of the radiator, the 1968 SA car never had this installed and I am pretty sure that the funnel only started being used on the 49b.

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Time for a big update!

 

Starting off with the steering wheel, the MFH supplied wheel is incorrect, the centre round section where the Lotus logo sits should be flush with the rest of the centre section. After some careful measuring I turned a little 'horn' piece to fill the gap, look closely and you can see the turned part next to the steering wheel

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Turned part put into position, you can now see it all sits flush

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Steering wheel completed, the leather part of the wheel was painted a combination of Tamiya TS-33 Dull Red and Tamiya TS-49 Bright Red, the centre section was painted yellow with the logo decal placed on top

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After installing the steering wheel it was time to make the big decision.... should I go for the kit supplied wheels and tyres or go with the Ebbro versions.... So here are some comparison photos. Here is the Ebbro ones

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Here is the MFH version

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Ebbro from the front corner

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MFH from the front corner

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Ebbro side on..

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MFH side on..

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Ebbro top view

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MFH top view

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For me it was a clear decision, Ebbro are far more accurate than the MFH. Here are the wheels ready to be installed.
Also bear in mind the actual rims are aftermarket rims that are designed to replace the Ebbro Lotus 49 kit wheels, I am not sure if they are still for sale but you can contact Scale-Details to see if they are. I gotta say the quality of these aftermarket rims are superb!
To finish off the wheels I added air valves and I scuffed the surfaces of the tyres with sandpaper to get rid of that shiny look they had

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So once the big decision about wheels was made I started to work on the transmission and starter motor. I turned the front end of the starter motor on my lathe because the MFH white metal cast part was pretty badly warped

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To get rid of the warping on the body of the starter motor I connected it into my dremel and sanded it down, here in this photo you can compare once the part is sanded compared to how it comes in the kit

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The starter motor was assembled and painted up

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Turned bolts were added to the starter motor clamps as well as to the body of the motor, then an oil wash was done

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The starter motor was then attached to the transmission housing

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Once the starter motor was installed it was time to mate the transmission to the engine block. I used 2 part epoxy to ensure a strong bond

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I also added the metal pipe that carries the electrical wiring for the starter motor, this isn't supplied in the kit and is a really obvious part that should have been included. I also drilled out holes for turned bolts on the transmission housing (you can see the holes drilled out in this photo)

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Once the transmission was done it was time to tackle the front wheels, brakes and suspension setup.
These washers were made on my lathe as they were needed as part of the modified wheel set to ensure proper spacing

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The front end was bonded with 5 minute curing 2 part epoxy, this allowed me to connect everything and get it all lined up before the adhesive cured, also 2 part epoxy is significantly stronger than CA glue and is always my choice when it comes to bonding critical joints. I used a set up jig to ensure proper alignment. The fisheye on my camera kind of made the alignment look totally wrong in this photo

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A better photo showing the alignment

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Zero camber on the front

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Next up was the rear end of the car, here are the rear uprights mocked up

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I then mocked up the rear suspension arm to get an idea how it all goes together and to check alignment

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I'm not a fan of MFH's electroplated whitemetal parts, they were very difficult to work with

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Checking to see how the ride height looks

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Here I am checking the rear end alignment with the uprights and driveshafts in place, lots of adjustments had to be made, even in this photo you can see the left wheel is sitting forward compared to the right wheel

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Adjustments were made and now the rear wheels sit correctly

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Alignment check without the wheelsIMG_3171.JPG.b584d49ff75844f724a34843bec41c8c.JPG

 

After aligning the rear suspension arms it was time to check everything out with the rear suspension mocked up, Some further adjustments were made to ensure everything sat just right

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In preparation for putting together the rear end, I used 2 part epoxy to bond the wheel rims to the rear uprights. I also added brakes lines as per reference

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0.35mm solder wire was used for the brake lines

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Another angle of the rear upright ready for installation

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The moment of truth!!! Making sure everything lines up correctly! I used 2 part epoxy to bond all the rear suspension connection points but unlike the front where I used 5 minute epoxy, the rear was bonded with 30 minute epoxy. This allowed me ample time to ensure everything was connected correctly and aligned just right. I left it like this in the alignment jig overnight

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And the next morning it all was set :)

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Next up was to tackle the exhaust pipes, as always I mock everything up to ensure correct fitment

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Mocking up the exhaust, some bending was needed to get the pipes to sit straight but I didn't go crazy with getting them perfect because the actual cars exhaust pipes were all over the place!

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I painted the inside of the exhaust pipe tips black

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The springs that hold the exhaust pipes in place at the rear of the car were very stiff, so rather than try to install them once the pipes were installed I connected them like this and then slid them over the pipes

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Here you can see the pipes were slid into position, be careful not to scratch the surface of the exhaust pipes as you slide them through

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The exhaust headers were painted white as per reference. You can also see the rest of the rear brake line plumbing which was added

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At this point the car is about 95% done, all that is left is to attach the exhaust tips, mount the car on a base, finish off the decals and install the windscreen

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Exhaust tips installed and the car was mounted to its base as well

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The last of the decals completed

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Time to tackle the windscreen! It was a double screen so the smaller one goes in first and then the bigger one covers all around the cockpit. getting these two parts to line up is extremely tricky and should not be rushed

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Mock up of the first part of the windscreen

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I used a handy tip originally suggested by David Thibodeau which is to use some extremely thin double sided tape to bond windscreens in place, so I used this technique to install the windscreens, here you can see the small bead of double sided tape I used.

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After the double sided tape was used I then ran a bead of future along the bottom edge of the windscreen just to make sure. Here is my hi tech method of keeping the screen in place while the bond set!

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Windscreen done, only if you look closely you can see the black double sided tape bead

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the holes were drilled to accommodate the side mirrors

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The cut outs for the roll bar in the windscreen needed to be measured and cut carefully, MFH do not give you any templates or help with this part, once again work slowly and carefully

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Thats it for now! Next update will have completed photos in glorious high resolution!!!

 

 

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Wow ! absolutely perfect implemented Imster .
Your love for the details is just wonderful.

 

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