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414 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
As I'm relatively new to diecast car collecting and am not really a petrol head, there are many cars and models out there that I am not aware of. This is one in question, which I came across while searching Google for information to assist me in upgrading my AA 917k. I did of course know the Minichamps brand but the Carrera GTS and their model of it were completely new to me. Bottom line, I had to have one. Prices for this model are on the higher end of my budget but I found one that was acceptable. Here's what it looked like out of the box.
Tire Land vehicle Wheel Vehicle Car

Automotive parking light Vehicle Car Automotive lighting Hood

Wheel Tire Vehicle Car Hood

Tire Wheel Vehicle Car Hood

Land vehicle Vehicle Vehicle registration plate Car Automotive lighting

No damage or scratches but some slight paint rash in one or two areas, that was removed by fine wet sanding, Tamiya rubbing compound and polish. The Porsche and Carrera scripts on the rear are very nicely done so care was needed to avoid damaging them.
Car Wheel Vehicle Hood Motor vehicle

Not the best of images but the dials are nicely represented.

Car Vehicle Speedometer Motor vehicle Steering wheel

This is a better exposure showing the dials and steering wheel. The latter is nicely moulded but will benefit from some sanding to remove the mould line on the rim and a repaint. The seats are flocked but look faded with uneven colour. On the down side there is a lot of unpainted plastic in there, notably the floor pan and dashboard mouldings. The windscreen, head lining and rear window are one clear moulding but the head lining area is unpainted and poorly fitting towards the rear. The door cards are not shown but they at least are painted
Vehicle Car Steering wheel Steering part Personal luxury car

Again, a lot of unpainted plastic under the rear engine cover although the moulded inserts and cantilever opening struts are well done.
Automotive tire Toy Hood Automotive design Motor vehicle

The engine is pretty accurate with distributors and separate plug and coil leads but no coils. I've seen these on other examples of this model located centrally on the lower panel in front of the engine but there are no obvious signs of broken mountings or glue residues where they would have been. On the down side the black areas of the engine are all unpainted with some parts poorly aligned. The air filters are nice mouldings with the mesh represented by a sticker which looks good from normal viewing distances but is starting to peel. It also lacks the starter motor, fuel and oil piping along with any fuel pump or oil filter, so some research is needed to suss all that out so it can be made and fitted.
Tire Wheel Vehicle Automotive lighting Hood

The cover cantilevers work well but the struts are a little thick, but that's only to be expected when using plastic mouldings.
Wheel Tire Vehicle Automotive tire Hood

The front mounted fuel tank has the sensor wiring moulded in relief along with a pipe running from the filler along the rear edge.
Wheel Land vehicle Tire Vehicle Car

The spare wheel is tucked under the fuel tank and was glued in place but was easy to remove and clean up the glue residue.
Wheel Tire Automotive lighting Hood Motor vehicle

So all in all a very good model albeit lacking in some refinement which I can hopefully improve.

Breaking it down is pretty straight forward only requiring the removal of 4 screws from the floor pan, followed by screws in the dor hinges. Dog legs unfortunately. To remove the enging cover two small screws have to be removed at the base of the front struts, followed by a push fit metal pin for the rear one.
Green Rectangle Watch Textile Cutting mat

The interior moulding was well glued to the floorpan and took some time with a chisel blade to remove without breaking, as did the seats.
Motor vehicle Vehicle Circuit component Rectangle Metal

Most of the glue residue had been removed when this image was taken, but whoever put it together in the factory must have used the whole tube just on the seats!
Flooring Wood Floor Grass Rectangle

As mentioned earlier, the seat flocking, whilst intact appears to be faded and patchy. I've seen images with royal blue seat covers so I'll give them a whisk of matt paint via the air brush.
Wood Flooring Floor Hardwood Rectangle

These Porsche engines are really weird and look more like something you would fine in a washing machine rather than racing car!
Wood Fashion accessory Metal Circle Font

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Machine Metal Motor vehicle Toy Wood

It looks fairly accurate to me albeit missing some details and painting as well as being poorly assembled.
Green Circuit component Electronic engineering Engineering Electrical wiring

Not easy to see in this image, but the panel where the spare wheel rests is plastic and again unpainted.
Cutting mat Hood Motor vehicle Wood Flooring

Here you can see the upainted and poorly fitting head lining. It doesn't sit down on the locating pins and when pushed home springs up again. The problem is a lack of clearance at the rear edges next to the pillars, which will be easily rectified. Note also the unpainted insides of the wheel arches
Tire Motor vehicle Vehicle Automotive design Car

Hood Automotive lighting Motor vehicle Wood Rectangle

And the engine cover. The inner faces of the metal are painted but the inserts with the wheel arches are bare plastic.
Gas Bumper Metal Fashion accessory Auto part

So on with the modifications. Here's how the rear suspension and drive shafts are set up as it comes. The drive shafts are one moulding with an insert which fits into a slot in the bottom of the differential. I wanted to remove the suspension to facilitate painting but after removing the fixing screws from the two tabs, it is still sealed in place in the rear cage of the chassis. I can't remove the wheels as the retaining screws are covered by the wheel hub insert which is far too tightly pushed home to get out without damaging the wheels. I decide the easiest way was to cut the drive shafts from the differential insert and separate the suspension into two components.
Tire Wheel Automotive tire Vehicle Motor vehicle

With one side separated from the other you get this.
Motor vehicle Automotive tire Wheel Tire Gas

To refit, I've added a brass pin to the drive shaft with a hole drilled in the gaitor on the diff insert into which it will fit. As is often the case one of the plastic pins broke when separating the plastic parts and I've had to replace it with styrene rod.
Automotive tire Motor vehicle Wheel Gas Automotive wheel system

Here the differential insert with the gaitors has been glued into the diff and holes drill for the pins in the drive shafts to locate into. I'll remove the tyres to paint the suspension. They are a hard-ish compound but immersing for a minute or two in hot water will make them pliable enough to get off.
Automotive tire Motor vehicle Gas Wood Machine

Here's what the interior and floorpan looks like after some spray work. Airbrush for the seats and rattle can for the rest.
Rectangle Wood Toy Fashion accessory Scale model

The blue is a little on the dark side but it's what I had and I'm happy with it.
Green Rectangle Cutting mat Wood Metal

I replaced the stalk on the gear lever with a length of polished nickel silver rod glued between the gaitor and handle. The handbrake is original but repainted as are the foot pedals, which although a little on the thick side are accurate.
Green Wood Cutting mat Flooring Engineering

The sanding Mark's at the front of the floorpan are from removing some moulding pips which I felt interfered with the fit, but are not visible after reassembly so I didn't rub the smooth.
Green Wood Flooring Floor Cutting mat

Looking better already methinks.


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414 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thank you Steven and K1200lt.

A couple of things I overlooked at the start. First a view of the underside. Not obvious here but at the rear there is s moulded representation of the shocks/springs. They are not accurate as they are moulded in relief vertically, when they should be at an angle and they don't reach down to connect to the lower wishbones, so are much simplified. No springs at the front though. Other than that it looks good with master cylinder detail and anti roll barat the front, which is missing at the rear.
Vehicle Automotive lighting Automotive tire Toy Motor vehicle

The wheels and tyres are very good albeit there are no air valves in the rims. Also the central inserts which cover the retaining screws have been applied back to front. That is, the one on the rear wheel should be on the front and the one on the front on the rear. I've seen images of other models done the same way so they may all be like that rather than just an odd error or two. They are so tightly inserted that I doubt it is possible to remove them without damaging the wheels, so I'll live with them as is.
Wheel Tire Vehicle Car Hood

Here's the fuel tank and gear lever after modification. After scraping of thec moulded wiring I had to respray the tank which covered the black painted straps. I could have masked them but I'd decide to reinstate them with strips of PVC tape.

Cutting mat Wood Rectangle Flooring Floor

Here are the front and rear suspension parts after painting, along with the front lower wishbones and anti roll bar. I used Tamiya metallic grey for the uprights, silver for the discs, gold for the calipers and mainly gloss black for the struts. The gaiters were painted rubber black.
Indoor games and sports Cutting mat Circle Jewellery Wood

And the repainted engine components.
Red Material property Rectangle Font Watch

The rear cover plate of the differential was black as it came but I'm going with silver.
Green Flooring Wood Cutting mat Creative arts

And the cylinder heads and carbs. I've decided to do it with the trumpets uncovered so I've had to scratch them up from Aluminium tube, styrene rod and cut down boot lace ferrules
Line Automotive design Motor vehicle Flooring Space

I sprayed the bare plastic dashboard in matt black after masking off the dials with low tack tape. I still need to paint the switches and maybe add some.
Flooring Rectangle Toy Wood Fashion accessory

The plastic parts inside the engine cover have also now been sprayed, matt for the inserts and gloss for the struts.
Motor vehicle Bumper Automotive exterior Electronic instrument Automotive design

Here's the engine in place after reassembly and adding new plug leads. As there is so much black in the enging bay, I decided to go for red cable to add a bit of colour.
Circuit component Motor vehicle Electrical wiring Gas Electronic engineering

After adding the starter motor to the bell housing, the unit would not fit between the rear panels so I had to cut them back to gain clearance. I don't think they are on the real car and have only been added by Minichamps to add rigidity to the moulding. The detail at the top of the springs was added from styrene rod.

Reflex camera Machine Camera Vehicle Rectangle

There's a removable cross beam above the starter motor that facilitates removal and insertion of the engine, which is held in place by screws underneath. I think the trumpets are a little tall but unless they foul the engine cover I'm keeping them.
Toy Motor vehicle Flooring Tile flooring Electronic engineering

Motor vehicle Automotive lighting Automotive design Automotive exterior Engineering

And a quick mock up to check that it all goes back together OK after the mods I've made. Yep, it all fits.
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The exhaust is just loosely located for the photo.
Wheel Tire Automotive tire Vehicle Car

Sanded the tyre treads as well.
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Here you can see the retaining screws for the engine.
Sewing machine Sewing machine needle Sewing machine feet Sewing Office equipment

And the new coils. The cables are not glued yet as I need to take it apart again to do make further additions to the engine bay.
Tire Wheel Vehicle Automotive tire Motor vehicle

Tire Wheel Car Vehicle Hood

Tire Wheel Vehicle Car Automotive tire

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Air valves have been added to the wheels from 0.6M bolts and hex nuts. You can see in this macro image where I've tried to remove the centre caps with a needle.

Tire Wheel Automotive tire Tread Locking hubs

Some cars have black wheel nuts so I may repaint them???
Tire Wheel Automotive tire Motor vehicle Vehicle

Handsome little bugger isn't it?
Car Vehicle Wheel Tire Hood


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414 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks again Steven.

Some further work on the engine. I found some small PE brackets on a spare fret from my model railway stash, that I was able to modify as supports for the throttle and linkages. Not perfect, but not bad.
Watch Toy Reflex camera Machine Personal protective equipment

And trial fit in the car.
Machine Toy Motor vehicle Engineering Automotive design

The trial was to check if the engine cover would close OK. It wouldn't. 😡 No problem with the throttle assembly, but the added shocker detail prevented the cantilevers from folding forward, so they had to go. I still need to touch up the top of the shocker mounts. I also added the metal strap to the oil tank and found a spare thumb wheel from my drawing instrument spares to represent the filler cap. Still to be painted of course.
Motor vehicle Auto part Automotive design Gas Machine

Here's the tank on it's own. The strap is PE strip with 0.5mm brass rod for the fastening.
Rectangle Liquid Bullet Jewellery Cosmetics

I tidied up the plug leads with some " cable ties".
Circuit component Electronic engineering Machine Auto part Automotive design

And after painting the throttle assembly.
Motor vehicle Automotive tire Automotive wheel system Machine Auto part

Auto part Machine Personal protective equipment Event Motor vehicle

I'm struggling with the hoses for the lubrication and fuel system, as although I have plenty of images of the engine bay, I don't have any that give a clear overview of where all the hoses go. In the end I may end up with a big of a "guesstimate".


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414 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thank you Stratos.
I got it finished earlier this week so here are the final additions. In the engine bay I've added a representation of the fuel lines and some of the oil feed hoses. I couldn't really get to grips with the oil system as I couldn't find images giving a clear overview picture of what was where.

Here you can see the fuel feed to the carbs coming up from the fuel filter lower down. I think the oil filter was to the right of the coils but I'm not sure about that. I had to remove the shocker details added over the springs as they impaired the movement of the cantilevers on the cover when closing and prevented it from sitting down.
Hood Automotive tire Automotive design Motor vehicle Automotive lighting

The oil filler cap on the tank fouled the inside of the cover and also caused problems with closing. Note the chipped paint on the filler still to be touched up. I had to chisel some clearance into the plastic lining in the cover with a mini chisel (sharpened screwdriver) to solve it.
Tire Wheel Vehicle Automotive tire Car

Motor vehicle Automotive design Vehicle Automotive exterior Car

Not 100% of course but better I think.
Tire Wheel Vehicle Automotive tire Hood

Inside the cockpit the seats have been refitted, albeit without seat belts. As it's a road version I prefer to fit lap belts but don't have any suitable PE parts. I can do that later.
Vehicle Car Hood Motor vehicle Automotive design

I've added the dash switches from brass rivets and tiny hex nuts as well as painting the steering wheel spokes in chrome ink and the rim with Tamiya acrylics, oversprayed with clear gloss varnish. If you look closely you can see I've added the tiny handle just forward of the gear shift. Anybody know what that was for?
Car Vehicle Hood Motor vehicle Automotive design

You can see it easier in this image.
Vehicle Car Hood Motor vehicle Automotive tire

The bulk of the work has been on the interior and the engine bay with only the air valves on the wheels, some replacement arms on the wipers (0.4mm brass rod) and a small hex bolt to represent the screen washer jet in place of the painted silver dot.
Vehicle Car Automotive lighting Motor vehicle Hood

I've not done anything on the underside other than spray the floor pan and add brake lines to the calipers. Again, I couldn't fine a good image of the piping on the master cylinders so I've ignored that.
Circuit component Camera accessory Camera lens Camera Cameras & optics

The front brake line. Oh, and I've added a simple representation of the shocker and spring, barely visible.
Home appliance Crankset Material property Audio equipment Automotive tire

And the rear.
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I've stuck with the silver wheels nuts in the end.
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It's not that visible but I've added the piping to the fluid reservoirs.
Wheel Tire Vehicle Automotive lighting Motor vehicle

Vehicle Vehicle registration plate Car Automotive lighting Automotive design

Not quite a fully opening model as the luggage flap at the rear is fixed. There is space to make the luggage area but the rear of the casting is quite thick and I didn't fancy trying to cut around the flap with the piercing saw.
Gadget Netbook Audio equipment Laptop Bumper

Well that's another one done. A relatively easy upgrade when there's no metal bashing or re spraying to do. Hope you all enjoyed the write up.


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Alrighty well done. I would also recommend using a bit of blackwash on the silver engine bay parts to help bring out some of the dimension/curvature of those parts.

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414 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Many thanks Gents.
So far I haven't done any "weathering" on any of the engines, but it's a good point. I might give it a try.

I meant to add this image to the last post but overlooked it. Whoever the owner of the car is, he/she also has the Minichamps model. See the box in the footwell on the passenger side.

Vehicle Car Steering part Light Motor vehicle

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