DiecastXchange Forum banner
1 - 13 of 13 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
77 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi,

My name is Peter and I'm new to the forum. I've been a railway modeller for about 40 years, building mainly O guage (1:43 scale) steam locomotives
from etched brass and nickel silver kits. I've recently become interested in diecast model cars and have purchased 3 models from Ebay, all Ferraris. The first was the JE Ferrari P4, purchased purely to see what I could do to upgrade it and make it into a better display model.

I completely dismantled it, stripped the paint with Nitromors and then attacked it with files, saws and grinders to remove over scale unprototypical details (rear clam hinges, rivet detail) and open up the various vent slots in the front and rear clams and the main body section. All mould lines and flash on the edges was also removed and rubbed smooth.

At the front end the radiator and brake cooling ducts were scratch build and the hideous steering rod removed and the wheel mountings reversed so that the replacement steering rod is at the front not the rear as modelled be JE. In doing this I lost the connection to the steering wheel, so although the wheels can be moved left and right, the steering wheel no longer moves. I also scratched up the shocks and springs from styrene tube and copper wire and although they are purely cosmetic, they are visible with the clam removed. The large plastic clamps on the clam were binned, the holes in the clam and body plugged with 2.5mm copper wire and after cutting back the ledge on the body I drilled and tapped it 1.0M. Holes were drilled in the clam and it is now retained with 1.0M flat head screws. Not prototypical in appearance but a whole lot better than JE's efforts. As well as opening the smaller vents at the front, I also ground out the screw fixings from the upper and lower castings so that I could epoxy the two together, fill the joint and rub smooth. I did the same thing on the rear clam. The windscreen wiper was binned, the mounting holes plugged and refilled to take the replacement cantilever wiper knock up from some etched parts and brass wire.

On the main body section I kept the screw fixings, but after removing the over scale rivets, the gaps between the upper and lower casting were filled and rubbed smooth. I did think about replacing the rivets and adding the missing ones, but decided that would be too onerous. I've also noted that on many very expensive models of the P4, the rivets are also over scale. With some mods to the cockpit moulding, it is possible to insert it (and the windscreen) after painting. In the cockpit, the steering wheel, gear chang knob and gate were replaced with scratch build items and Tamiya 1:20 scale seat belts and scratch built rear view mirror also added.

One of the worst features of the model as it comes are the rear clam hinges. These were removed and replaced with something more realistic made from brass sheet and secured with a screw. The plastic insert had the flash on the vent holes opened up and was cut back at the rear and front edges, but other than gluing instead of screwing,, is mainly as it comes. The screw mounts were removed, vents opened up and the castings epoxied together. The prototypical but over scale clamps were binned, the holes plugged and the clamps replaced with items fettled up from brass. Purely cosmetic and although not perfect, they are a whole lot better. Although I decided to ignore the riveting, I added some small hex bolts to represent the fastenings on the rear and front spoilers. With the clam lowere it is lacked in place with handles pushed into holes drilled in the plastic brake cooling ducts inside.

Underneath the clam, the engine had added detail by way of the lower part of the block, distributors and plug leads, plus the air trumpets were opened up. The missing upper and lowere struts to the suspension were added from nickel silver rod and the brake cooling ducts were modified and the pipes to the discs made from silicone tube.

The wheels were cleaned and repainted and after removing the Dunlop branding from they tyres, I airbrushed the Firestone branding using a stencil. The gold line was also painted using a draftsman's spring bow pen offset from a cross head screw placed in the axle hole. The bodywork was primed with grey acid etch primer and the top coat is a Ford red colour, both Halfords from a rattle can.

It's a bit disappointing to find the maximum file size is only 150K, so I can only post one image. Anyway, enough bla, bla. Here's the finish model.



Cheers,
Peter
 

Attachments

·
Registered
Joined
·
77 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Many thanks Craig.
I don't have a Flickr account but I'll look into it. The model railway forum I use for my locomotive builds allows direct posting of images of unlimited size with a maximum of 15 images/post, so one up to the railway modellers. In the meantime I'll just have to post one image at a time as I've resized them to around 150K. Here's a broadside view of the right hand side.



From what I've gleaned from various websites, JE are clearly at the bottom of the pile in terms of quality and I assume they were sold as children's toys rather than display models. I've also got a Bburago Ferrari F50, also from the cheap and cheerful end of the market, but on the whole much better quality than the P4. What struck me about the plastic on the P4 was how poor quality it is. When you file it or saw it the cut edge goes very "fibrous" and are a devil to get smooth again. The F50 is now dismantled for upgrading and the plastic parts are much easier to work with.

Cheers,
Peter
 

Attachments

·
Administrator
Joined
·
33,630 Posts
Unfortunately we don't have the ability to allow larger sized pictures to be uploaded directly.

You can use imgur, to upload, you don't need an account to use that, but apparently they compress the picture quality a bit.
If you use them, add .jpg to the code when you copy it onto the upload box on here.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
77 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Hi Craig,
Thanks again, but setting up a Flickr account is no bother. You mention that Imgur compresses the files so that's no use and I see you have already filed Photobucket in the F**k it bucket, so I guess that is crap also. It's taken me a while to work out how to work with Flickr, but I'm sure it will get easier the more I use it. Here goes.

20210318_141017 by Peter Dunne, on Flickr
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
77 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 · (Edited by Moderator)
Well it's a slow way to add the images, but it works, so here are some more images.

The front clam gap isn't too bad as the screws pull it tight, but there was nothing I could do about the door gaps. The edges of the aperture to the brake cooling ducts were filed to remove flash and thinned to improve the appearance.
20210318_140914 by Peter Dunne, on Flickr

I don't think it would be possible to replace the grill under the spoiler as it is integral to the structure of the casting and in any case if would have been a real PITA! The larger lights are the original JE ones jazzed up a bit. The bottom ones were turned up in the mini drill from some spare clear sprue and the original cast in representations ground off. They could have been done better, but due to covid restrictions I don't have access to my lathe which is at my workbench at my brother's house. I ran some thinned mat black into the grill and then wiped it off from the high areas. The clasps on the clam were filed up from brass and the bungee cords on the spare wheel made from shirring elastic and 0.4 mm copper wire.
20210315_190944 by Peter Dunne, on Flickr

I tried to make some better covers for the front lights but they didn't come off, so I re-used the originals after much fettling to improve the fit. The main beam headlight is a spare from a Tamiya 1:24 model, not correct for the P4 but better than the original. The curve of the cover is distorting their appearance as they are circular. I should have done something with the loops on the clam but I'd already epoxied the two parts together before I thought of it and by then it was too awkward. The original Ferrari logo was too big and was replaced with a smaller one after painting.
20210320_135206 by Peter Dunne, on Flickr

Here's a view into the cockpit showing the scratch built mirror, steering wheel and gear lever/gate. You can just make out the dials which are white. They should be black but I wanted them to be visible.
20210318_140801 by Peter Dunne, on Flickr

Here you can see the Tamiya seatbelts and gear shifter. The gear knob is original after turning down in the mini drill and fixing on some 0.8mm brass rod. As it comes the original knob would have been bigger than a tennis ball if scaled up. The screw heads retaining the front clam can be seen and although not prototypical, I think they pass muster.
20210315_182215 by Peter Dunne, on Flickr

This is the inside of the front clam. The screw fixing pillars were ground off and the headlight housing superglued in place to allow the crosbeam fixing to be binned. I ommited the duckting from the vents but opened up the vent hole which fed air to the cockpit ventilation.
20210314_161559 by Peter Dunne, on Flickr

Underneath the front spoilers I added a strip of brass to represent the flanges with some hex bolts for the fixings.
20210305_173052 by Peter Dunne, on Flickr

Here you can see the cut back ledges under the clam and the threaded holes for the M1 screw. The metal is just thick enough to tap and the screws can be tightened without stripping the threads. I used the original front section of the radiator with added grill from brass mesh, and the tubular section was scratched up from 8BA threaded brass rod, brass sheet and copper wire. The air duct pipes are silicone tube. They should be ribbed but that was a mod too far for me. I used silicone tube for its flexibility so that the movement of the steering would not be impaired. Unfortunately it does not take paint well so I left it white. The wheel mountings have been reversed so that the steering rod is in front of the axles and the hideous JE rod replaced with copper wire. The windscreen wiper was bodged up from some etched parts and 0.5mm brass rod.
20210318_141207 by Peter Dunne, on Flickr

As previously mentioned, the plastic used on the model is a nightmare to cut and file smooth. The vents on top of the rear clam had lots of flash which is easily removed with a sharp knife. However, I tried to thin the edges with a file but it is impossible to get a smooth result. It looks OK to the naked eye from normal viewing distances but not so good in this cruel close up.
20210314_173957 by Peter Dunne, on Flickr

This is the inside of the rear clam. Screw pillars removed, vents opened up, plastic insert glued in place and new hinges. The hinges were made from two pieces of brass sheet, soldered together then the resulting unit epoxied in place.
20210305_173138 by Peter Dunne, on Flickr

Here's the engine before it was fitted into the chassis. Although the lower part of the engine is not visible, I added the missing lower part from brass sheet and copper wire.
20210302_193852 by Peter Dunne, on Flickr

The distributors were scratch built from styrene tube with copper wire for the plug leads. The lower part of the gearbox is screwed to the chassis and then the engine is fixed with a screw through the top of the gearbox, which is then hidden by the spare wheel.
20210302_193804 by Peter Dunne, on Flickr

And a view of the completed engine bay. There should be four bungee cords but I went for two double cords to keep things simple. The baffle plates over the exhausts were cut back and some missing struts added to the suspension but it is still very simplified. I passed on adding the rear springs as they are not so visible and it would have been quite complex to do it. The handle on the mat is pushed into the side holes in the clam and and locks it in place.
20210318_141746 by Peter Dunne, on Flickr

Heres where the handle locates in the cooling duct.
20210314_174422 by Peter Dunne, on Flickr

And a view from the other side.
20210315_182533 by Peter Dunne, on Flickr

The opened up vents in the rear clam and air valve added to the wheel. The vents were a real pain to do, but worth the effort.
20210318_135946 by Peter Dunne, on Flickr

The underside.
20210318_142148 by Peter Dunne, on Flickr

And finally parked outside.
20210321_172441 by Peter Dunne, on Flickr

Hope it's been of interest and thanks for looking.
Cheers,
Peter
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
253 Posts
That's a big improvement, nice work.

Personally, I would drill the rear of the exhausts a bit deeper.

Did you clearcoat the body ? Some photos show an orangepeel effect in the red paint. A clearcoat, followed by polishing and waxing (I use Turtle Wax) will give you a smoother finish.

Sincerely

Pascal
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
77 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Hi Pascal,
Many thanks for your observations. I agree the exhausts need drilling deeper and there is some orange peel in places. I did not spray a clear coat as I did not apply any decals, so I though it would not be necessary. I have a medium and fine polishing compound which I used, followed by Turtle wax. I should have done more with the polishing compounds but was eager to complete it.

However, I will bare that in mind for the next project, a Bburago Ferrari F50. The P4 was a trial to see how I got on, but I hope to do better with the F50 and this time I have sourced the correct Rosso Corsa paint. What would you suggest for the clear coat?

Once again thanks for your comments.
Cheers,
Peter
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
253 Posts
Hi Peter,

For Ferrari colors, I always use Motip spraycans or Zero Paints with my airbrush.

This F430 was painted with spraycans. Primer and clear coat from Home Depot store (Action to be precisely) the metallic grey is Motip.

I sprayed 1 coat of primer, 2 light and 2 wet coats of grey, 4 light coats of clear coat.

The clear coat was left to dry for 5 weeks. This is necessary for the polishing. It was polished with water and pads (3200 to 12000 grid) then buffed by hand with Turtle Wax :



 

·
Registered
Joined
·
77 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thank you Pascal.
I'll order some lacquer from Zero paints. Nice model!
Cheers,
Peter
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
727 Posts
Great work Peter! It must've not been easy to remake the bottom end all that neatly, since you pretty much had to have the model finished before filling and painting.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
77 Posts
Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Great work Peter! It must've not been easy to remake the bottom end all that neatly, since you pretty much had to have the model finished before filling and painting.
Thanks Jaoa.
Yes it was a bit of a pain in the ass, but I'd modified the lower body casting and cockpit, which allowed the cockpit to be inserted from above through the open top. I don't recall the painting sequence but the cockpit was brush painted in-situ I think. The dashboard was done separately and added later as was the windscreen. I don't think it's possible to eliminate the upper and lower casting gaps on the berlinetta, as it has to be separable to allow the cockpit etc to go in from below.
I'll think about that when I get to my mine.

Here's the main body after priming. I had drilled a hole in the lower casting earlier to allow access for a screwdriver so I could remove the doors from the plastic hinges to improve access for brush painting.
Machine Engineering Auto part Metal


And later on after painting.
Toy Motor vehicle Vehicle Automotive exterior Engineering


Cheers,
Peter
 
1 - 13 of 13 Posts
Top