The Homestretch.

Model Car Building, What's new with me

There’s been a lot of new work and re-work on my 1:8 scale 1962 Briggs & Cunningham Jaguar E-Type Racing Coupe since my last blog. Test fitting of the front bonnet revealed fender well panels and the oil circulation port on one of the headcovers were preventing proper closure. It’s always painful when you have to tear apart nicely painted work. I accidentally popped the windshield wiper fluid reservoir loose while wrestling the oil hoses loose. Good thing is, I like the new circulation hoses better (even though I got the port angle backwards.)

The fabrication of a reasonably authentic roll bar was a real pain. What you see here is the fifth version I attempted. Getting the curvature right was the big challenge. I couldn’t get aluminum or brass tubing to bend right, and my 3D printer just couldn’t get the curves right. I ended up combining the 3D printed elbows with styrene tubes and a lot of putty to smooth things out.

Installing the roll bar system meant joining body assemblies in a different way than the stock kit was designed to join. I had to fabricate a semi-flexible flap and hinges to join the rear underside with the front underside so that there was a little give when it comes time to join the top with both sections of undercarriage.

The exhaust system had to be redone as well. The primer I used on the first iteration did not work well with the PLA 3D printed pipes. When I sprayed the silver topcoat, it warped the pipes. Once again though, I like the second versions better.

Next, it was time to paint the racing stripes. I took me awhile to find the right metallic blue color, but I located a great Tamiya match on eBay. Getting the masking straight was very challenging. I didn’t quite match the front bonnet to the body. My wife printed the circles and numbers on her vinyl cutter. I used masking tape to create a carrier mask to apply them.

The underside of the front bonnet needed some aging to look real, so I mixed a little cream-colored acrylic paint with Futura and airbrushed it to get that effect. Adding dirt was handled the same way: brownish acrylic paint mixed with Futura.

Foglight covers were especially challenging to fabricate. I found some bowlish-shaped parts from another model kit and adapted them for that.

Lastly, I modeled a wheel knock off nut in Blender and 3d printed four of them. It’s going to take a lot of work to smooth them out, but I think they will work.

Wrestling With Paint.

Model Car Building, What's new with me

Application of the white color coat has been a challenge. The Dupli-Color paint doesn’t seem to like the primer I used. I really couldn’t get a smooth coat and I got some crazing in some places. So, I wet sanded the problem spots and forged on to get pretty decent coats. You’ll notice that I rigged my small paint booth to better accommodate the 1:8 scale size.

Next comes a clear top coat, which is going to be Futura floor finish.

Progress.

Model Car Building, What's new with me

It’s been awhile since my last update on my 1/8 scale 1962 Briggs & Cunningham Jaguar E-Type Le Mans Racing Coupe model build, so here’s some photos of what I’ve been working on. I’m almost done with the engine compartment, but I have switched to body work, which is very tricky. The stock kit seems to be designed for beginners who are not going to paint it. If, like me, you’re going to paint the body inside and out, you can’t assemble the monocoque following the instructions. I’ve had to plan out the sub-assemblies and how I’m going to join them in the end. I’m painting each of the seven body pieces separately. Thankfully, the real car has body seams showing.

I’m using Rustoleum 2x Ultra Cover Flat Gray Primer for the first time and I’m really pleased with how easy it goes on. The final coat will be Dupli-Color Super White II.

The real car has a British Racing Green interior color. I’m guessing the original Jaguar was that color inside and out before the Briggs & Cunningham livery was applied. I custom mixed my own acrylic craft paint to get close to the right green. It’s applied with an airbrush.

 

Under the Bonnet.

Model Car Building

I’m adding all the sheet metal work under the bonnet that is not in the stock kit. This will include custom fabrications for the race car, such as duct work for brake cooling and interior ventilation.

 

Details, Details.

Model Car Building

I’ve made a correction to the break system: I had left off the dedicated rear master cylinder (I couldn’t see it in the reference photos I had), so I had to scratch-build another one and add it the assembly. Accelerator linkage has also been added, along with what I think is a fuel filter and a break fluid overflow canister. On the other side of the engine compartment I’ve installed the windshield wiper fluid reservoir and pump.

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.

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 tank 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.