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
Turned part put into position, you can now see it all sits flush
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
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
Here is the MFH version
Ebbro from the front corner
MFH from the front corner
Ebbro side on..
MFH side on..
Ebbro top view
MFH top view
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
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
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
The starter motor was assembled and painted up
Turned bolts were added to the starter motor clamps as well as to the body of the motor, then an oil wash was done
The starter motor was then attached to the transmission housing
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
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)
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
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
A better photo showing the alignment
Zero camber on the front
Next up was the rear end of the car, here are the rear uprights mocked up
I then mocked up the rear suspension arm to get an idea how it all goes together and to check alignment
I'm not a fan of MFH's electroplated whitemetal parts, they were very difficult to work with
Checking to see how the ride height looks
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
Adjustments were made and now the rear wheels sit correctly
Alignment check without the wheels
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
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
0.35mm solder wire was used for the brake lines
Another angle of the rear upright ready for installation
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
And the next morning it all was set
Next up was to tackle the exhaust pipes, as always I mock everything up to ensure correct fitment
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!
I painted the inside of the exhaust pipe tips black
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
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
The exhaust headers were painted white as per reference. You can also see the rest of the rear brake line plumbing which was added
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
Exhaust tips installed and the car was mounted to its base as well
The last of the decals completed
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
Mock up of the first part of the windscreen
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.
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!
Windscreen done, only if you look closely you can see the black double sided tape bead
the holes were drilled to accommodate the side mirrors
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
Thats it for now! Next update will have completed photos in glorious high resolution!!!