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The X-Clinic: Ménage à trois - Lancia Aurelia B24S Spider America FINISHED!

4035 Views 30 Replies 9 Participants Last post by  X-meno
I've always heard that what's good always comes in pairs... so what if it's in threes? Well, what I now have on the table is nothing more than a trio of Italian ladies, namely 3 beautiful Lancia Aurelia B24S Spider Americas, reproduced by Bburago, respectively mine (metallic blue), my friend's Joel (light-blue) and my friend's Carlos (white). The miniature, by the brand's standards, isn't all bad but it's really a very simple model and I think the car itself deserves a bit better.

So, what I intend is to reproduce at least 2 original chassis as best as possible. Joel's will be approximated as closely as possible to reproduce chassis #B24S-1706:

The one from my friend Carlos will gain some new shoes (more on this later) and is intended to reproduce the specifications of chassis #B24-1034 (which is in fact a right-hand drive model but that is precisely what Carlos wants:

Finally, mine... is anyone's guess. I bought mine about 15 years ago and at the time I loved the metal-flake paintwork and the cream seats but the truth is that of the 240 Spider America, 181 B24S (with left-hand drive) were produced but of all the images I found, weather period or current ones, I have never seen any with a similar paintjob or color so I'm simply going to detail it as faithfully as possible without having a specific objective. More details:

So, this is the "to do" list for the 3 ladies:

- Paint the interior, upholstery and door panels in the correct colours;
- Paint steering wheel to simulate metallic arms and wooden handle;
- Paint the dashboard in body color, improve the dials, gauges and controls and add the dashboard trim in the color of the upholstery;
- Detail the engine (including ignition cables and distributor, fuel lines, detail air filters, carburetor, exhausts, dynamo, oil filter, etc.)
- Paint the interior of the bonnet, the trunk and wheel wella matte black;
- Change number plates according to each chassis;
- Detail fuel tank and fabricate the bottom (the mould is hollow where the tank sits);
- Paint the chassis in black, detail the transaxle and engine crankcase, add lines for the braking system, fuel, suspensions, etc;
- Paint exhaust pipes black and add metal tips (chassis #B24S-1706);
- Replace the original wheels with 3D-printed ones (chassis #B24-1034);
- Sand all tire treads for added realism;
- Include chrome frames on the tail lights;
- Add windshield wiper blades;
- Paint the chassi s#B24-1034 roof (if the paint I have at home is the right tone, otherwise it stays as it is);
- And everything else that comes up!!

This is the original state of the model:

All 3 ladies together:

Fully disassembled so all the parts get cleaned up and ready for the tedious job of eliminating mould lines:

More news to come!
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A few updates. This is undoubtedly the most time consuming and boring phase of these projects: disassembling, cleaning and removing (at least the most of) the mould lines. Here it's all broken apart and with all the parts bagged so I don't loose track on anything LOL:

The 3D-printed wheels I mentioned before:

The tyres don't fit perfectly. I think I'll have to fill in the rims a little bit so they fit nicely:

The fuel tank (which resides behind the seats), on the model, was simply... bottomless. Therefore, I fabricated a bottom for each out of a 1:43 stand, glued them and painted the whole part matt black:

Sanded down the tyres' thread:

After soaking the parts in bleach to remove the chrome finish, the dashboard panels were sanded down in order to remove the mould mark that ran across the panel. I'm still going to at the small ash tray on the centre console:

On the engines there were huge gaps where the upper and lower halves met on the heads so I filled them in so it fits more tightly:

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I took the opportunity and drilled the mould bits that simulate the spark plugs so I can afterwards insert the ignition cables:

On the exhaust lines I eliminated the fixation points (which in the model were fixated directly to the chassis...) so they are just bolted to the engine at the manifolds. On one of the models, metali exhaust tips will be added:

More news soon!
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Work has been advancing, slowly but surely. I've prepared the bodyshells in order to paint matt black the interior of the panels, but before that I had to correct some mould marks inside the trunk lids:

After some filler:

This is the part that annoys me the most: having to mask the whole exteriod face of the bodyshell. These are the mummies I ended up with:

Modificar mensagem

Some matt black paint later:

I masked the bodywork so that the boot rubber seals would be painted right away... but I will always have to give it some finishing touches:

I removed a series of "cylinders" moulded onto back side of the grilles... honestly, I don't know why they did it, it must have something to do with the moulding process. But presto, without these marks looks much better:

On the model's undercarriage, it was necessary to include the gearshift linkage tunnel to the transaxle, which I made from a cotton swab. I had to remove some of the mold to pass it thrrough but after everything is painted matte black it will soon look different:

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A few more updates on this triple-header. All 3 had their undercarriages paited matt black and are ready to receive all pipes and cables necessary (brake and fuel lines, clutch and gearbox linkages, etc.):

At the rear transaxle I added the linkage housing that was missing on the original moulding and paited the assemblies accordingly:

Dry fited it all and it lookslike a different model already:

I painted black the horizontal slats on the white car like the original car so that only the vertical slats pop out. I think one can spot the difference when comparing side-by-side:

Here I deleted the fixation point of the air filter and intake plenum assembly. A bit of putty and it's good to go to the spray booth:

Here I deleted the centre hole on the wheel nuts. That'll give the wheels a generally better look

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A few more bits and bobs... This time, the ladies went shoppping for jewelry!

For example, chrome trim around the aid intake:

New badge decals... unfortunately I got my measurements wronk and they came out to be like 1 or 1,5 mm too small... Also, will have to chrome respray the grille, this one is beyond salvation:

Chrome trim on top of the doors:

Chromed door sills:

Photoetched fuel cap locks:

Chrome taillight frames:

Two of the dashboards have already been resprayed, I managed to find some spray paint similar to each model's body colour except for the light blue. It's not easy but I have to find it!

Painted the steering wheel's rim to simulate wood, later I'll spray the spokes chrome for the correct look:

The exhaust pipes are painted black and added round metalic tips (for the light blue) just like the original car. The others retained the original "scallop" half-shells that were so common on the Aurelia Spider:

Airboxes are painted black (still have to chrome paint the air filters) and added printed plaques on the Weber carburettors:

I made some custom number plates for the light-blue (105930-FI) and white (ZA 328 AN) cars like the original ones, mine will retain the original plates since it doesn't really represent a particular car. Also, on the white car I had to change the placement of the front plate, since the original car had it placed above the bumper and not below:

The backs of the seats were opened so I used a bit of plasticard to cover them. I'll be priming them and afterwards paiting them accordingly (the light-blue car will be painted with Tamiya Desert Yellow and the white with matt red):

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Unfortunately I haven't been having much time to invest on this project but that doesn't mean it's come to a standstill. It's going forward, slowly but surely!

First of all, I just finished painting the seats for the white and light-blue cars (mine's seats will remain the original colour):

The fuel tank, sitting behind the seats, is already fitted with aluminum straps and has the fuel level probe inserted, so that no one runs out of fuel without unbeknownst:

On the body-coloured dashboards, I added the gauges, the choke knob, windshield wiper controls, indicator stack and the chrome trim around the steering column. Where the lid covering the opening where the owner could, if he wanted, mount a radio, the originals have a chrome effigy that I tried to replicate with aluminum tape:

In front of the firewall, the fuse box had its cover painted blue like the real car (I'm still going to add some colour to the electrical wires that go in and out of it) and it also added the chassis number plate:

Dry fitting the dashboard. The interior looks a bit better now, don't you think?

The light-blue's original paint was starting to show the decades it already had on its back and I thought, since overall it's still in good condition, it was best to polish it well before painting the dashboard and door trim:

The said trim painted with Tamiya's Desert Yellow:

After a tip I received from @P A D regarding a model shop in Spain (that is a true Alladin's cave for who likes to do this kind of work I) found a photoetched radiator grille made in the Czech Republic and a few euros, a few cuts and a coat of black paint later, the radiators gain a new look. Along with this one also got another one to make the gauge bezels that I will post very soon (hopefully):

Now it's time for the "real work": the engines. They already had the moulds corrected and painted aluminium, then painted the air filter box and the respective chrome grilles and started to add piping and ignition cables (which will only be inserted in the "rails" after the engine is in place; that's why the 3rd engine isn't on the photos, for it is mounted on one of the chassis to take measurements and test fit, etc):

Dry fitting the distributors, will be glued in place and the mounting points puttied after the cables are fitted correctly and the distributor caps are painted:

More news soon (and I hope it won't take that long)!
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I have just joined as I see what you are working on. Very nice work. I built one about 35 years ago, after finding a kit. I built it to be a friends' car. He'd bought it new in 1956. A few years after I took this picture he was in hospital, terminally ill. He sold me the car before he passed away, and it took me five years to get it running again. That was thirty years ago, and we still have the car.

I never finished every detail of the model, but it's mostly done. I scratch built the carbs, manifolds, reservoirs, wiring looms, etc. The glovebox (on US bound cars) opens, the seat belts open, the gauges have individual bezels, made a soft top, etc. I like that you blacked out the backing of the grill, I think I forgot that, or maybe was still learning. My biggest problem was the wheels. They didn't come standard with wires, and I don't like them on the design. But 3D printing was not available for most of us, only machining. And no printing of labels, had to be microphotography if you wanted. I scratched the label in the engine compartment under magnification. I will take some exterior pictures.

So may I ask if it's possible to get a set of the wheels you made? Even better if the lettering was on them.

We were asked to bring it to Pebble Beach twice, the first time, 2008, receiving 2nd in class, post-war preservation. It has never been restored, but looks much better after a bit of cleaning.
Hey there Steve. Wow, I remember seing the photos of your car back then, for an unrestored car it sure looks amazing! I guess it must've had a few touch-ups since you had to remove the fender-mounted rearview mirrors and the central licence plate mount and there surely were holes to plug. Other than that, I remember seing the engine with the dual carb arrangement and the Nardi air intake and think "man, that must've been a serious performance option back then". Really cool stuff. May I ask the chassis number, if it isn't asking too much (I'm keeping a personal database, that's all)?

Your model looks really nice, way better than the work I did on this trio. For example, the ignition cable rails look so realistic, what did you use to make them? And microphotography for the labels? Never heard of that technique, wow!

Answering your question regarding the wheels, my customer had them made by a kid here in Portugal who has a 3D printer and knows his way around 3D modeling software. If you're interested, I can give you his Facebook contact and discuss the details with him. I knew Aurelias had either Borrani wire wheels or chrome-hubbed steelies but wasn't aware the wire wheels were exclusive to the European market. You live, you learn...

You wouldn't happen to indulge us with photos of the finished model with the real model, would you?😁

After 2 months without updates, I can say I finally am getting to the finish line. For example, been adding (small) details that I hope make the difference, like the side indicators as can be found on #B24S-1706:

Originally, the Bburagos didn't have windshield wipers, so I ordered some photoetched Tremonia kits to add a set to each of the 3 cars (well, for now, only the light-blue and white have them attached because I still have to paint the dashboard and door trim on mine):

I finally managed to find the right paint for the dashboard of the light-blue car, I found a car paint retail house, where they scanned the miniature and customized the colour. You oughtta see the girl's face when I showed her the miniature and told her it was to paint a piece "of that"... 🤣 I also ordered some metallic rings from Spot Model to simulate the gauge bezels, which give a much more realistic look to the dashboard. Then I applied 3 coats of clear varnish on the gauge faces to simulate the lenses and add some depth:

Also, the engines are done too. Here are all 3, ready to go into their respective chassis. First I had to route the front braking lines, which go over the frame and front crossmember, which without the engine in place was much easier (the

Now sitting in place:

With the upper half of the chassis in place, I added my crude ignition cable rails and connected all cables, pipes and wires to the engines:

Only after the entire lower part was assembled could I add all the wiring (handbrake, brake, clutch) and the fuel lines (after scratchbuilding a fuel pump):

Here I'd already filled the perimeter of the 3D printed wheels for the white car, now the tyres are a snug fit. Now, soften everything up, apply primer and paint up:

After installing the wiring and painting the interiors, the bodies can now be joined to the chassis (once again, mine still doesn't have one because of the unpainted areas):
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Looking better, I hope...

On the bonnets, in addition to the chrome trim on the air intake, I also added a grille like on the original car:

Car #B24S-1706 has a driver's side mirror, something the Bburago doesn't have. So I used a mirror I had from an E-Type, rectified the bracket, sprayed it with chrome paint and glued it in place:

The cover for the the jack mounting point is aluminum so I sanded the paint on the mould mark that already mimicks this element and voilá:

The rear bumpers are in place, which now include the turn signals (which I had to build from scratch from a piece of clear plastic with some aluminum tape on the back to give it the lens effect:

Finished cockpits:

The undercarriages:

The aforementioned fuel pump:

Basically, all that's missing are the white car wheels and the Pininfarina decals that have to be placed behind the doors (the Bburago has them incorrectly placed ibetween the from wheels and the doors) and the decals I was able to find at Spot Model isn't available until the end of next month... As soon as I have it all finished, I'll update you!
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Thanks Peter, I knew I fumbled it! The return spring you're mentioning is actually for the clutch, not the handbrake (that is the cable bent in paralell nets to it). And yeah, that was an old spring I had laying around and it really doesn't look great, especially next to the other I built myself from coper wire. Will replace it, for sure. Didn't know abou that designation, will be using it for some of my co-workers...:devilish:

The side mirror was simply glued together... you know I'm still a bit affrai of drilling a metal piece that's already been painted (oh how I loath bodywork paintjobs) but I know that solution would've made the fixation sturdier.

Yeah, as soon as I saw his engine photos I was like "hang on a minute... I've seen this car before!" That Nardi intake is quite special and not many have it. I went through my photo database and there it was! And yeah, his work is great, that detail of the working glove compartment lid, the scratchbuilt carbs and air intake (could've added metal mesh at the front and paint the background black to add a bit more depth), the ignition cable rails... and microphotography for the labels?? Whaaaaat?? Hats off!! 🎩

With these 3 Aurelias, if my maths aren't too off, I reckon I might've customized around 50 models so far with varying degrees of success and detail so I really see these with much more special eyes than those top-of-the-range, off-the-shelf models. First and foremost, they're "my babies", born from sweat, blood and sometimes tears so I actually put part of me on them. And second, they're one-of-a-kind models that even if I did everything exactly thesame (which I don't), it wouldn't be exactly the same. And even on these jobs when I tackle 2 or 3 models simultaneously, I always try and add something different and distinctive in each one of them so they are TRULLY unique.

Next up? Probably a quick job with a couple of Ferrari Monza SP1's and after that, will be detailing a Ford Mustang GT500 Eleanor. :cool:
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Peter, thank you for the tip, will be testing it for sure! I have to stop loathing paintjobs so much... my nemesis for now.

Steve, thank you so very much for the info and insight you gave on B24S-1117, a simple but really interesting story! BTW, what do you mean with "BaT"? Sorry, as you might understand, english isn't my native language and, albeit I think I understand it quite well, some diminutives evade me still... But yeah, the undercarriage of the model although not entirely incorrect does pose some challenges when adding elements. For example, I still haven't finished the gearbox selector linkage because the rear transaxle is way taller than the belly pan (which isn't on the original car). And thank you for clearing up the funcion of that element on the fuel line, didn't know it was a selector valve. I placed it where you see in my model according to a couple of undercarriage photos I found online and I know it should've been a bit forward but, honestly, I just didn't want to glue it over the Bburago badge (I have no problems showing the humble origins of most of my works, in fact quite the contrary).

I'm contacting the guy who has printed the 3D wheels and ask him for an email. If I get a positive response, I'll reach out for you.

Thank you both for your kind words!
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You've done a great job with that one, Steve, it looks really nice. Hope you manage to get those 3D-printed wheels that'll surelly enhance the overall look of the model.

Another month has passed, another small step towards the conclusion of this triple project, and for a good reason: contrary to the original idea, not only the white lady was entitled to princess slippers. These were painted red and chrome like the original car, they didn't turn out perfect but I hope they turned out good enough. Chrome is not very resistant, so now that it is applied, I do not recommend touching it again... ever again!

Unfortunately, these rims don't have the internal notch that allows them to be fixed on the axles and maintain the rotation capacity, so in order for them not to fall to each side, I had to glue them to the axles:

But in the meantime, a surprise. I was wandering around eBay and I suddenly stumbled upon a Romanian seller who had sets of metal spoked rims for sale that, by the measurements, were perfect for the remaining two ladies. They took some time to arrive, they weren't cheap but I think it was worth it:

Notice the difference between the rear (original) and front (metal) wheels:

And that's it, all that's left are the Pininfarina emblem decals to complete the projects! Spot Model indicates that in 1 week they should be available but the truth is that since last year the date indicated was March and in the meantime they pushed the date of availability to April 14th... As the blind tells the deaf: "we'll see"!
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Hey there Steve,

Yeah, these wire wheels sure look great. Unlike, for example, those we can get from BBR, the spokes are actually wire and not photoetched metal, they look really exquisite. The knock-offs are too large indeed but the problem is they are what keeps the wheels in place so I have only 2 choices: or I keep them and maintain the free-wheeling capability or I use the knock-offs that came with the wheels but I have to glue them in the axle cause I'll have to cut off the spindles. Not to mention the originals actually have the correct shape instead of the dome-like shape the turned-metal nuts the kit has.

As for the tyres I guess Bburago simply used the same moulding for the side walls as other models (the Bugatti Type 59 or the Alfa Romeo 8C 2300 also have Engelbert-scripted tyres) and personally, I rather have them with the wrong labelling than no label at all.

And the size? They're exactly the same size as the original wheels. I guess they look smaller because of the thinner and higher-count spokes...
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Finally, the Aurelias are finished! After like 6 months waiting for the Pininfarina decals to be available, they finally arrived! Quite a nice quality, I might add:

Finally in place:

Thanks to the information @B24Spider provided, I added the rub strips to the back of the seats too:

Ready to roll to their respective owners:

I'm currently moving from my parent's house so sorry but I couldn't make a better photoshoot, hope it's good enough to see the final result:

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Well, now that the owner of that baby blue wonder is here... :D

Once again, I'm speechless with the quality of your mods.
Thank you very much for your words. They really do mean a lot to me.
Ended up making this as well:
Rectangle Slope Font Parallel Terrestrial plant
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