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111 Posts
Discussion Starter · #23 ·
Thank you lino and X-Filer.

The solder I use for brass is 145°C solder, which contains lead, tin and cadmium along with a liquid flux. I'm currently using the flux below for the first time, as my previous stock ran out. I don't know the composition of the flux, but it works very well. It's not possible to solder brass to diecast metal (unless it is copper plated, which I've tried without success), so you need an adhesive, either cyano or epoxy resin. Impact adhesive (Evo Stick) can also be used in some cases.

I don't know how much you know about soldering brass, but it's a much different technique to electronic soldering. Multi core solders are a no, no as the flux is a pig to wash off and causes problems with paint adhesion. After soldering with liquid fluxes the work piece must be rinsed well in water to remove the flux.
Fluid Office supplies Wood Writing instrument accessory Table

My current soldering iron is a 70 Watt Hako FX-888D. For what I'm doing on the cars it's over kill and you could get away with a lower power iron. However, in 30 years of building etched brass locomotive kits, this is the best I've used. It chucks out plenty of heat and has a quick recovery time.
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I hope that helps but if you have any further questions, please ask.

Back on the P4, I've done further work on the the rear suspension. First the top end of the uprights was drilled through 1.6mm with the bottom drilled part way, also to 1.6mm. Here the first attempt at the top struts, which I wasn't happy with and replaced.
Cutting mat Hood Wood Toy Vehicle

And the second iteration. The struts are fixed in the uprights with CA, but only butt up against the firewall, as the suspension needs to be removable for painting. The existing diecast struts on the bottom of the uprights have also been filed and sanded to thin and improved the appearance.
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At the bottom the struts are fixed to the floorpan and are loose at the uprights.
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The struts are 1.5mm brass rod and can be a little difficul to get a tight 90 degree bend, which I wanted at the front end. To facilitate the bend, the brass can be annealed which requires heating it in a gas flame until it glow red. This softens the metal making it easier to bend, but over time it hardens again.
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Here's one ready to fit.
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To make the upper floating arms I drilled a 1mm hole in a brass tube then soldered a length of 1mm rod into the hole. After filing I got the example below on the mat. The other one has been fed onto the upper strut.
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Later in the build the I will apply CA to the ring and fix the rod under the rear frame where it will be hidden by the exhaust. Here they are just resting over the frame.
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I've made a start on the anti roll bar with the addition of the vertical struts at the rear.
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Plus the lower mounts for the shocks and springs.
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758 Posts
Darn, I'm almost dizzy with all that metal work... I think next time will just send one of my projects to the "sinking island", will be finished quicker and way better!

111 Posts
Discussion Starter · #25 ·
Hi Joao,
Despite being dizzy, I hope you like it. When you live in Atlantis, you have to work quick before the island sinks beneath the waves. 😂 😂 😂 Or to put it another way, it's easy to finish quickly when you don't have a day job. One of the perks of retirement.

A bit less metal bashing today as I moved on to the front end for a while. But first I fitted the lower mounts for the rear shocks and springs, glued in place with epoxy.
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The existing steering "rack" located to the rear of the front axle line has been removed as have the ridiculous horizontally moulded springs on the lower wishbones.
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Shocks and springs have been fabricated from plastic tube and copper wire and the mounting lugs for the disc cooling ducts added from plastic rod.
Wood Auto part Toy Metal Fashion accessory

A new steering rack and pivots have been made from brass rod. The steering rack ends were annealed to soften the brass then hammered to flatten before drilling the pivot holes. The ends of the rack need to be angled to avoid fouling the moulded frame when the wheels are turned left of right. The mounting lugs for the cooling ducts will be cut back later.
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A quick pose with the wheels
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And with the bodywork on. In the background my latest acquisition a Bburago E Type along with wheels from the Maisto MkII Jag. @X-Filer's wonderful upgrade of the Bb E Type (The X-Clinic: Jaguar E-Type FHC) convinced me that the Bb model was worth an upgrade and I will unashamedly copy his use of th MkII wheels, plus other ideas from his thread.
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111 Posts
Discussion Starter · #27 ·
Stellar job, Peter, stellar job. If I get any more dizzy from your work , I'll definitely need some Vomidrine! So, you'll be making the rear coil-over struts after all? Good call.
Those anti-roll bar rocker arms are stunning. Let me guess: brass rod and a thin slice of brass tubing welded together, right?
Thanks Joao,
Yes, the rocker arms are brass rod soldered into a hole drilled into a thin slice ov brass tubing.
The P4 spyder was my 1st attempt at a model car upgrade. I'm pleased with the result but I knew I could have done more and with a few more upgrades under my belt since then, I have to go further with the berlinetta. As well as that I've picked up a few ideas from your P4 thread, so all in all it should be better than the spyder.

Speaking of ideas from your thread, I wasn't happy with the springs I made from copper wire. The coils didn't look consistent enough so I had a look at what you did on yours. Springs from ball point pens! Now why didn't I think of that. I've changed them on the front and made the rear ones as well. The diameter of the springs was spot on for the rod I used as well. These are the rear ones. The pistons are just push fit into the cylinders and will separate for painting.
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And the front reinstalled with the pen springs.
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When I replaced the steering rod on the spyder, I lost the link to the steering wheel which I wasn't concerned about. However, I thought I'd try to make the link on the berlinetta so I soldered a loop to the steering rod.
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And then trimmed the excess.
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I added a length of brass rod to the crank on the end of the steering wheel to locate in the loop and it worked a treat. Well sort of. Unfortunately as I've move the steering rack from behind the axle line to in front of it, the downward crank on the steering wheel rod turns the wheels in the opposite direction to the way the steering wheel is turned! For the steering wheel to turn the wheels in the correct direction, I need the loop on the rack to be above not below, and the end of the steering rod needs to crank upwards. Sorry I didn't take a photo with it installed, but I'm leaving ig for now.

Here are the rear springs dry fit in their locations.
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When this area is finally assembled, the upper end of the shocks will just rest against front of the frame supporting the spare wheel. The lack of any mounting detail will be hidden by the exhausts.
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I've also made the anti roll bar. Here it is dry fit to check clearances and that it will all go together after painting.
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And from the other side. The clamp on the vertical rod is a simple loop of copper wire soldered to the top of the rod. I'll take some photos with exhausts and frame removed to better show how I've done it.
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This shows a view of the rear springs. I left the rocker arms off as I've already checked the clearance, but like the upper end of the shocks, the inner ends will be hidden by the exhausts so no need to make any detail.
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Circuit component Electronic component Electronic engineering Office equipment Electrical wiring


111 Posts
Discussion Starter · #29 ·
Many thanks ws6_22,
I'm not sure it will be better than GMP, but thanks for the compliment.

Yes, the Firestone decals came from Indycals. I got the 1/18 scale for 10 USD + 3 USD for postage. The postage to UK was pretty quick and they accept payment by PayPal, so an easy transaction. The decals are really easy to apply and the results are excellent. Much better than I could do with the stencil and spring bow pen on my spyder.

This shows the issue with the steering. As you can see, steering wheel turned to the right, wheels have turned to the left. Can you imagine the fun you'd have at the end of the Mulsanne Straight if it did that? As I said before, I'm not that bothered about it so I'll just leave things unconnected.
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This shows the anti roll bar with the exhausts out of the way. It just rests on top of the gearbox and when finally installed it will be glued at the ends to the vertical rod at the linkage.
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This cruel macro shot shows the linkage to the vertical rod.
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Moving off on a tangent again, I decided to make the locking handles for the rear clam. The raw material is 1mm nickel silver rod. It's strong enough to lock the clam in place and when polished looks similar to the chrome plated real thing. First I take a lenght of the rod and anneal one end in the gas flame until it glows red whilst holding the rod in a pair of pliers. I then insert the end into a pair of pliers with parralel jaws and then flatten the end by hammering the pliers whilst resting on a hard surface. I then reverse the rod and do the other end.
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After cutting the rod, the flat is bent at 90 degrees to the rod and a line scribed with the spring bow dividers. The position for the holes is then marked with a center punch and the holes drilled.
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The handles have five or six holes which reduce in size from the pivot to the end. However, for simplicity I just drilled 3 holes at 0.6mm. The pivot and handle can then be trimmed to length, filed to shape and polished.
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To give these.
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A hole is then drilled in the clam and with the clam held in the closed position, drilled through the duct for cooling the rear brakes.
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To lock the clam, the rod is just pushed through the hole into the hole in the duct. Not perfect, but a reasonable representation I think.
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I also made the oil cooler today, but I'll explain how I did it in the next post.
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Tire Wheel Vehicle Car Motor vehicle


111 Posts
Discussion Starter · #31 ·
Thank you lino, I'm glad you are enjoying the build, or should that be rebuild?😁

So, here's how I made the oil cooler. The pipes are made from 2mm brass rod with the vanes produced by turning a thread on it using an 8BA die. I don't have a wrench for the die but it is easy to turn by hand. You can hold the rod in a vice but I found it easier to do it with mole grips. They do of course mark the rod, but the marks are then hidden when you cut the thread. I wrapped the die in double sided tape to increase grip for turning.
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It creates a lot of swarf (sharp bits of metal), so you have to be careful not to get them in your fingers. I have a watchmaker's apron which I wear when I'm doing jobs like this to catch all the crud, which I then brush off into the bin. You can off course buy threaded rod and save yourself the trouble or the whole thing could be made from styrene rod and sheet, which would be easier and quicker to work with, but I like to work in brass.
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The frame for holding the tubes was cut from 10 thou (0.25mm) brass sheet. This thickness of brass is robust enough for the job and is easy to cut using a scrawker (Olfa cutter) and curves can be cut with embroidery scissors. Here it is before folding up the ends. I soldered a strip of 0.7mm brass rod either end to act as a mounting for the tubes. It doesn't look it in the photo, but the two scribed lines for the fold are parallel and the outer edges are sloping.
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After folding. The threaded rod is then cut into lengths and is first soldered go a base plate to line them up.
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Once it's all soldered together, the curved tubes outside the frame were added from 1mm copper wire. First you have to drill holes through the frame into the tubes and the copper can be fixed with CA. If you don't get the frame height correct it can easily be raised by adding plasticard to the base as I had to.
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And dry fit. I have also extended the cover plate over the front suspension using brass sheet epoxied to the casting.
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The existing radiator has been modified with the addition of PE grill and pipes from styrene rod.
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There should be three layers of piping on the cooler, but only the top layer is visible. That said, I will add another pipe under the front one as it can be seen that it is missing from this view.
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758 Posts
Great stuff Peter! That oil cooler is really... cool! BTW, have you found any close-up photo of the 330's radiator? All the photos I found are kinda old and I can't quite see the actual pattern it should have. I've come to think it probably has a mesh grille in fromt of the radiator...?

111 Posts
Discussion Starter · #33 ·
Many thanks João,
Sorry I haven't been able to find an image of the radiator. I checked my files and found this photo from the internet of a MFH P4 build, which I use for reference only. Assuming MFH have the resources to do better research than you or I, if this is correct then it should be an interwoven mesh like you used on your pair of P4s and I used on my spyder. Don't know why I used the PE mesh, but I'm going to change it to the woven type. Well spotted sir!

Grille Automotive lighting Hood Typewriter Motor vehicle

111 Posts
Discussion Starter · #34 ·
Here's a comparison with my spyder version upgraded some months ago. My first foray into upgrading diecast model cars. I used a woven mesh for the radiator grill so I don't know why I went with the PE grill on the berlinetta.

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So I changed the grill before added the cooling ducts.
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I'm sticking with silicone tubing for the ducts as my attempts at making them from coiled copper wire did not work out. I will try to colour them grey using an indelible marker pen.
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There is a third duct to add on this side when I get to it.
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The silone tube is very soft and pliable so does not interfere with the steering. I'll add the retaining brackets to the top edge of the grill, as well as doing the same to the spyder, which I overlooked.
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The inner panelling to the rear of the fuel tanks has been made from brass sheet.
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And the cooling ducts to the rear discs added. The silicone tubing will be removed before the painting is done.
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Here you can see the lef hand inner panel.
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And the right hand one which is taller.
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A new floorpan has been made from a lamination of 0.5 and 2.0mm plasticard. As I'm keeping the screw construction of the upper and lower main castings, holes have been drilled to allow the screws to be added.
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And epoxied to the lower casting. The joint at either side will be filled and rubbed smooth, as on the real thing, the panels were wrapped under the car and fixed further in. I've scribed a lind to represent the joint between the floor and fuel tank panels.
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On the spyder, I didn't need the holes for the screws as the upper and lower main castings were epoxied. Unfortunately, I cant do it this way on the berlinetta as with the enclosed cockpit, it's wouldn't be possible to install the seats etc.
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And zipping off on a tangent, I've removed some of the excess riveting on the door windows along with the silver paint from the sliding vents, as these were perspex as far as I can tell. They will of course be given a good polish up before painting the frame. I think I'll add the vent glass part opened on the inside of each window. The rails should actually be on the inside but I'll live with them as they are,
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