Steering and Breaks.

Model Car Building

Here’s the installation of the brake master cylinder and steering systems in my 1/8 scale 1962 Briggs & Cunningham Jaguar E-Type Le Mans Racing Coupe model car. The break fluid canisters were in the kit, and it was hard to make the clear plastic look like semi-transparent, aged white plastic. the steering system is scratch-built.

Making a Break For It.

Model Car Building

This is the scratch-built competition brake master cylinder assembly I just completed for my 1/8 scale 1962 Briggs & Cunningham Jaguar E-Type Le Mans Racing Coupe model car. Next, I’ll add a little black-washing for grime, then attach break lines. Once the assembly is glued into place, I’ll have to fish the lines through the car and attach them to clips with fittings where the hard lines connect to soft lines that go to the wheels.

S.O.B

Model Car Building

Some aspects of model building are a son of a bitch. Take for instance this dry sump oil system on my 1/8 scale Briggs & Cunningham 1962 Jaguar E-Type Le Mans Racing Coupe model car. I didn’t even know what a dry sump oil system was until I was trying to figure out what this huge aluminum take was in the real race car. After a lot of research online, part of which was trying to find photos where I could actually see where all these hose go and what they do, I figured it out enough to model it somewhat accurately. In photos of the actual race car, I cannot find a scavenger pump, so I’m leaving it out. I also can’t see where the return hoses come from or go, so I’m leaving them out.

That’s just part of the S.O.B. Finding a reasonable facsimile of those hoses coming from the top head cover–to scale, and something that could be easily bent into a particular shape–was especially challenging. Rubber hose material wouldn’t keep its shape. I tried pieces of house wiring, but it was so hard to bend into shape. I had two pieces that I wrestled with for an hour or so. I gave up in frustration and went shopping for something else. I could’t find any soft wire that was the right gauge to mimic the hoses. I finally found some rubber-wrapped flexible wire cable ties at Home Depot. Even then, it was challenging to get the shapes and lengths just right.

The wire clamps, elbows, and rubber hose were difficult, but not terribly so. I know the brass wire is not terribly accurate, but I do like the look of it.

What you see here is where I’m at prior to adding some black-washing to the nooks and crannies for aging and post-race realism.

The next S.O.B. will be the heavy-duty breaking system on the driver’s side. I’ve been able to find pretty decent reference photos, but scratch-building it out of styrene will be tough. Then there is the matter of running the break lines. Wish me luck.

Back-tracking Again.

Model Car Building

This is what you have to do when you realize too late that the stock kit had a very unauthentic frame assembly and you have to scratch-build the missing components after you already have the engine and suspension in place. I did experiment with building and the subframe before mounting the engine (like a real car!), but the engine wouldn’t clear the firewall.

For those of you considering modifying the Revell or Monogram 1/8 scale Jaguar, talk to me! For the most part, it’s a pretty good kit, but many of the parts and subassemblies are toylike in design. I’m really becoming a proponent of building a kit twice, especially if you’re planning mods–once without painting to familiarize yourself with the stock models idiosyncrasies so that you can plan your build, and then the actual painted build. For this build, I had to really go against the order of assembly laid out in the instructions.

One other recommendation: Don’t be like me, and make it up as you go! Settle on the car you want to model and the level of detail you want include, then stick to the plan. I’ve always been impatient and too in a hurry to dive into a project, and I pay for it with a lot of rework.

It’s the Details.

Model Car Building

Here’s a side-by-side comparison of my 1/8 scale Briggs & Cunningham Jaguar E-Type Le Mans Racing Coupe model interior and the actual car which is in a museum in Venice, Florida. Still a few things to add. Not happy with the steering wheel. I worked with the kit wheel by filling in the holes in the spokes, but I keep getting seams, and it cracked, and the spokes are too big. I’m debating about scratch building a new one.