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Found 3 results

  1. Here is my interpretation of the graphite grey Mercedes Benz 300 SL Gullwing that John Fitch drove to victory in the famous "Mille Miglia" race in 1955 (5th overall and 1st in his own class GT +1.3 !). At that time, it was numbered 417 (which indicates, for the curious, the authorized starting time of this car for the race, 4 :17 AM). This model that I entirely built on a Tamiya base at 1/24 scale – with addition of more than 200 scratched or 3D printed parts - is to my knowledge the second scale model in the world of this mythical car to have been entirely built by a modeler. I was able to find this during my documentary research that the first one was built over 2 months between September and October 2015, on a FROG kit n°705 base, by a modeler named Ian, whose work is exposed on the “themotormuseumminminature.co.uk” website (link : http://www.themotormuseuminminiature.co.uk/1955-mercedes-300sl-mm-fitch.php). Ian voluntarily omitted the chassis and the engine, glued the bonnet and the rear trunk lid, and made though not only a very nice model, but a remarkable work, in spite of some mistakes and omissions, if you compare it with the pictures of this car taken during the race, some of which can be found quite easily on the Internet. I have to say that he was less lucky than me, who benefited from a wealth of advice and documents, such as those kindly and generously provided by a member of this Britmodeller.com forum, @ejboyd5, a Mercedes Benz 300 SL Gullwing enthusiast from New York. It must be said that it was Edward Boyd who suggested, not to say asked, that I make this car, after seeing my first silver Gullwing, and I gladly accepted the challenge. I didn't know yet what I was getting myself into, and had no idea of the difficulties I was going to encounter in creating or recreating certain indispensable and characteristic parts of this car. In the end, it will have cost me 2 Tamiya kits, more than 400 hours of documentary study, drawing in Fusion 360, 3D printing, assembly, a lot of hardware and supplies I didn't have, a few nervous breakdowns and a lot of beers. I also discovered and sometimes mastered new techniques, which improved my modelling skills. Nothing would have been possible and I would not have succeeded in completing this model if I had not benefited from the support and sometimes the suggestions of all my contributors, whom I will not mention all, for fear of forgetting one, but they will recognize themselves without difficulty. I could never thank them enough for their enthusiasm and for giving me the courage to go through with it. Of course, there are still many imperfections (At least, my clear coat, which is covered with a lot of micro-scratches, because I sanded it too early after application) or mistakes on this model, but I assure you I don't intend to build it a third time. During the building, I noticed that the first chassis had a little and un-fixable defect, which would lead to the impossibility to close the bonnet. So, I built a second one, avoiding to repeat the same mistakes, and this is the one I’ve incorporated in the body of the finished model. The first bare chassis has been even more improved, and is exhibited below with the car. And now some pictures (Sorry for the dust particles, they wasn't visible with the naked eye nor on my iPhone's screen ) I hope you enjoyed this journey And I invite you to follow my thread on the assembly of this car by following this link: Enjoy
  2. Good afternoon everyone As promised, and considering @ejboyd5 suggestion, I'm starting today the second build of this kit, modifying it a bit to represent the car driven by John Fitch during the 1955 edition of famous Mille Miglia between Roma and Brescia. All of us know that the overall winner of this race, in all categories, was Sir Stirling Moss, driving a Mercedes Benz 300 SLR, and that the second place went to Juan Manuel Fangio, driving him, too, a Mercedes 300 SLR. Only a few know that John Fitch won the race fort its category (GT cars over 1.3 liter), driving a non enhanced MB 300 SL, exactly as it was once produced, at the average speed of 160 km/h (approx. 100 mph), what was incredible in this era. The car started the race on April 30th, crossing the start line at the pre-determined time of 4:17 am, what explain it got the number 417 (Sir Stirling Moss started at 7:22 am, getting 722 number) For this race, the front bumper had been removed and a kind of deflector had been fixed over the bonnet The body was graphite grey (DB 190) and the interior blue tartan for seats, and dark blue for lining and covering. The car had Rudge wheels option. Well, I'm of course going to take account of all my previous mistakes and defects, intending to build a better model than the previous one. It will be built 100% OOB ....except needed modifications to represent the real race car....However it is greatly possible that my fingers would twitch and that I would scratch some additional parts here and there, only where It's visible, and only to be closer to the real car in order to pay homage to its fabulous engine and stunning bodywork . The underbody will be removable, allowing to inspect all the mechanical organs of the beast. I've probably to buy a color inkjet printer and decal sheets, because it's impossible to find the special lettering for its race numbers. Wish me luck, guys, and thanks for watching and criticizing
  3. I know I really shouldn't be starting another build, but with a major relocation looming I don't want to be adding masking which may stay in place for over 3 months. Since my other builds have mostly reached the stage of masking, and having just picked this up on evil bay, I couldn't resist opening it up to see what was needed. This will NOT be a quick build, as it will take a backseat to all other builds I have in progress. However, I always enjoyed these Matchbox kits as a kid and I love the subjects (I also just got hold of the Auto Union!) so time to take a look.... that was expected...... this wasn't... What?? Looks like the Chinese are reproducing these! Oh well, the result should be the same. First items on the agenda then are the chassis frames, Pretty basic, and in need of some TLC. The flash was cleaned off and mould lines removed, then it was time to start looking into what was needed to bring them up to scratch. First, the gap between the springs and chassis rails was corrected, as seen on the left. Then the connecting arm for the friction damper was removed, and the lightening holes were drilled out. That was the easy part. Now the wheels! This is what came in the box Not pretty. A bath in bleach helped, and at least shows that the moulding is not too bad, it's just that chrome that filled the gaps! The rear wheels are going to be a bigger problem, as the brake drum is moulded as part of the wheel. That will have to be removed, and of course all the spokes will need replacing. I'm now trying to figure out the best way of going about that. The plan at the moment is to drill through the rims from the outside to give me a starting point, then remove the spokes and file a groove into the hub to take the "wires", which will be either invisible thread or fishing line. Any tips are more than welcome! Thanks for looking in! Ian
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