I created this blog because I could not find the kind of tutorials I needed for some models and miniatures I wanted to build. I hope it will be a useful source of information for anyone who may experience the same lack of first-hand, step-by-step reports.
I am not an expert by any means, so feel free to comment my posts or to contact me to share your advice.

Friday, 6 January 2012

Front wheels

Since they move freely around their axle, the front wheels are not difficult to put into place. I just hope that the stopping parts glued on that axle will be strong enough. I would have prefered them to fit a bit more tightly because the way I see it, only the bead of glue will hold the wheels. Once again, it is not a problem for a static model, but could prove tricky when it is moved from one location to another. The toe angle will have to be adjusted manually too, because of the weight of the wheel vs the softness of the steering links. Finally it looks like the right hand side wheel is a bit more forward than the left hand one.

Front wheel hubs, part 2

The hubs take their proper location easily. The links between the hubs and the steering rod are very small and flexible. Given the weight of the wheels, it will definitely be better to make it a static model. There was no problem fitting the black tubes to the brake calipers and inside the monocoque. I would mention though that it is easier to slide it there before trying to the bal joints in place. One of the glued part of the upper arm deatched itself while I tried to pry and move the tube. It was not broken however, and was soon back where it belongs.

Torsion bar

The torsion bar would have been easier to work on before the rear suspension. There are two attachment points to the engine and the upper suspension arms come in the way. On the other hand, those arms help a bit to keep the attachment points in place. The links between the hubs and the torsion bar must be joined by "hot fix" (flattening the end of the parts with a hot device), a process which I do not enjoy much, but seemingly efficient. This whole assembly looks very fragile anyway.

Thursday, 5 January 2012

Rear suspension

There is not much left apart from assembling the remaining parts. The rear suspension is a complex sub-assembly with no less than six contact points to either the monocoque or the engine to fit in one single operation. I always wanted to avoid touching the chromed parts with my dirty fingers, but now it is just impossible to do. I hope there will be no long time stains or blemish developing from that.
I started with the left side, which I figured was to be the most difficult because of the side duct. I chose the following order:
  1. lower triangle attachment. It is the stronger point of the whole assembly and its conception should prevent a total collapse if anything goes wrong afterward.
  2. transmission shaft. It is easy to forget (I forgot it on the right side, fortunately early enough to correct the situation) and cannot be positioned later on.
  3. short upper arm. It slides around a sub-assembly on the engine.
  4. spring. It fits tightly on the shock absorber lower half. It is then easy to compress and slide under the long upper arm.
  5. shock aborber. The upper half slides around the aforementioned sub-assembly once the shaft is placed inside the lower half. At this point, the suspension shows its higher strength if need be.
  6. long upper and lower arms. They fit inside the holes at the end of the monocoque.
There are finally two body panels to cement over the long arm attachment points, with no problem at all. At first sight, the wheel hubs look to follow a vertical axis. None of the parts is cemented, the suspension is meant to be a fully working assembly, but I would never try it as it looks very fragile.

There are a few defects popping out at this stage. The left lower long arm is pushing on the exhaust pipes, even though it looked like the latter were in the right position. It is unfortunately impossible to gauge this before. The left upper attachment hole on the monocoque is not quite aligned with the hole on the left hand cam cover. It is a serious issue since it shows that the engine tilts slightly clockwise. I am afraid that the car will not stay on four wheels but on three... Like the front suspension coil springs, the rear ones are flexed a bit and I do not like the look of it. The ends of the springs sit quite well on the shock absorber parts but the plastic is simply not strong enough for the stiffness of steel.
Even though it is not pictured below, the right rear suspension is quite similar. The only issue to be mentioned is the long upper arm pushing onto the little boxes moulded on the cam cover.

Wednesday, 4 January 2012

Side duct

I ran out of white and racing green paint and postponed the side duct. However here it is, stretching fore to aft, properly attached to the rubber tubes and to the side of the cockpit. The multiple paint and clear coats sprayed on the cockpit made it impossible to fit the duct in the holes: the holes were no more at the right size. I preferred to shrink the attachment bits instead of widening the holes because I did not know how brittle the paint job could be. Cracks or other types of damage would make me very sorry at this stage of the assembling... The duct holds by itself, I did not use glue to cement it on the body of the car, I shall see whether it is a long term issue or not.
Painting the duct itself was not much trouble, except that the white paint tended to run a bit, even though I kept the part horizontaly while painting and drying. Consequently, I made several thin layers instead of building thick ones. I sprayed some clear onto it aftewards and applied 3M compound onto the surface in order to give it some shine. I sanded the straps and painted them in their right colours (Red Gore for the "rubber" parts, undercoat of Boltgun Metal then Titanium gold for the metal straps).

Thursday, 22 December 2011

Attaching the engine

Today is the big day: the monocoque will be joined forever with the engine, until death, or a cat, does them part... The operation was not straightforward. Without the bottom black tubes, the engine fits quite easily: the bracket slide in and the engine is put into place thanks to one plug on each cylinder bank. With the tubes, nothing moves, so I have to widen the holes at the bottom of the rear bulkhead in order to give more room to them. Nothing is quite rosy though, as the engine seems to be tilted upward at the rear...

Tuesday, 20 December 2011

Roll bars

I am about to end the building of the Lotus quite soon, or so I guess. There is not much paint job left, and lots of assembling to do. I put the roll bars in their place but had a bad surprise. The front bar does not fit the model at all! Its left hand attachment point is completely out of the body of the model, and looks weird (see picture). There is not much I can do about that except replace the bars, but I have no material at hand, nor talent enough to do so.


The tyres provided in the kit are made of soft rubber. It is still stiff enough to stay firmly in place when the tyres are fitted on the rims. I am not sure whether they are true to the real tyres, I simply have not enough documentation. There are pictures from 1967 showing no side markings, markings outside and inside, whitish markings and golden ones... I have not found any proof of the "F" logo, or at least of a highlited one. So it will be kept free of paint. Another weird detail: one side of the front tyres have "Fireston" with a missing e... The main "Firestone" and circle are painted ochre #15 (Andrea Color). They look golden on pictures, but gold paint looks always bogus on a model, except for metal parts. For obvious reasons, the metal particles in the paint are not scaled down, so it looks somewhat off. The ochre paint will have a better finish, especially on pictures. It is hard to paint accurately, so every area where the brush went a bit too wide was cleaned up with a toothpick. Unfortunately, that means that the paint does not adhere to the ruber that well either and will be vulnerable later.

Friday, 16 December 2011


The spokes of the rims are in chromed plastic too but I am no fan of that at all, especially because the real spokes are not chromed. I painted them semi-gloss black but left the rest of the rim in all its blingy glory. The overall paint was sprayed, but the sides were touched up by brush. It is highly unlikely that it will be spotted out once assembled. In order to highlight some details, I painted the nut assembly chrome silver, then titanium gold for the washer and titanium silver for the threaded end. Due to the poor covering of those titanium paints, I would advise to paint a metallic undercoat to get a better looking visual impact.
Both parts of the rim were then glued together and finally the brake rotors are attached.

Brake rotors

The brake rotors are painted boltgun metal. On every colour picture I have seen from the cars in 1967, the rim of the disks were fairly rusted (due to heat probably), so that was painted Tin Bitz.