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Bengalensis

Kawasaki 500 Mach III

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Hello all,

I too would like to make a late entry to the group. Would have joined earlier if I had found the kit I wanted to build, but that wasn't as easy as I thought. I realise there may be a slight risk of not finishing in time, as I seem to be going in and out of some sort of modelling blockage right now (winter is doing me no good, even more so this year...) but I take a chance that a group build might be a cure for me.

So, I will build an old Kawasaki Triple, the 500 Mach III, from the old Revell 1/12 kit. I'm not that much of a bike person really, but I do like some of them and especially a bit older machines, when they were still quite simple and basic looking constructions. This high revving two stroke three cylinder made an impression on me as a kid as one of the fastest things there was.

Here is a nice example I have saved as a reference: http://michaelsmotorcycles.com/1971Kawasaki500A.html

It's ages since I built a bike kit last, and this very kit must have been the last I did, in the mid to late -70's. In my memory it was the later 750, but I'm sure it was this kit so my memory is probably failing, it was the 500. As I now wanted one again I was expecting ebay to be full of them, or at least giving a descent choice, but only incomplete half builds showed up for quite a while. At last I found an untouched kit a week or so ago, although at more of a collectors price, but never mind. I got it this friday and haven't had time to more than check it over quickly. Here it is, complete with yellow aged instruction paper and almost rock hard black vinyl tubing.

MachIII_1.jpg


MachIII_2.jpg


The vinyl tubing was going to be replaced anyway with various other more original looking materials, but luckily the tires are still in great condition. The decals are slightly yellowed and I'm also not sure if they may crack to pieces. We'll see how I handle that, worst case is that I have draw up my own decals, maybe also painting some of the decoration. But if I just get that far it won't be a problem what ever. The chrome is of course too much and too thick, so the first thing will be to strip both sprues completely. I'll use Alclad to repaint everything. So of to buy some new oven cleaner tomorrow.

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Hi Jorgen, like you I built one of these in the 70's when I thought the chrome was great. Having watched a couple on e-bay I know what you mean about 'collector's prices'. Well done for geting one, and good luck with the build. Another great one to watch.

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I saw the post and it brought back some memories, here is a younger version of me at Oulton Park on my Mach III

DEN_OULTON_KAWASAKI-2.jpg

Cheers

Dennis

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I saw the post and it brought back some memories, here is a younger version of me at Oulton Park on my Mach III

Cheers

Dennis

Well you haven't changed a bit Den. Well maybe a little less hair.

I'll be following this build Jorgen so good luck. I hope the kit is easier to handle than the original was.

Chris.

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I saw the post and it brought back some memories, here is a younger version of me at Oulton Park on my Mach III

DEN_OULTON_KAWASAKI-2.jpg

Cheers

Dennis

'J' reg must put that '71-73 ish. J was '71 if I remember right, and two years would be a good lifespan for a KH500 back then.

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Welcome Jorgen and NIIIIIIIIIIICE!

These Revell kits, even though quite old, are actually quite good, and I have a couple hiding in the cupboard, but not, unfortunately, this one.

This is definately going to be one to watch.

Steve

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Great pic Dennis, and welcome Jorgen, this will add some class to the group build.

Ring-a ding-ding!

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Hi Jorgen, Welcome aboard, the bike kit looks rather good, a lot better than the Revell Chopper kit I purchased lasty year. Looking forward to you build pics.

Colin

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That's a nice looking bike! Is oven cleaner the way to go for de-chroming parts? I probably have to strip some (or all - might keep the spokes?) of the chrome on mine and then lose my Alclad virginity...

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For the amount of chrome on the YZ, Id leave it, unless it has some horrid mould lines.

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What a nice period picture there, great atmosphere. And someone who actually used to ride this beast - and survived to tell the tales :thumbsup: . Thanks for sharing.

I haves started to clean up the blue parts. Quite a few ejector pin marks to fill. The kit shows it's age here and there, but apart from replacing the vinyl tubing I will try to stay reasonably within the kits confinements and do the best I can with the parts. I think. I might need to be reminded. And having just written that I will have to raid all my scrap boxes to find a cap for the oil tank as the kit doesn't have one...

Will, you may very well find that many of Tamiyas plated parts are quite good. As Steve says the mould lines may of course be a problem, but Tamiya can do some good plating and in varying shine too, some have a nice satin finish where needed. The kit I have however is just full of very think super shiny US-car kit style chrome...

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I found a suitable oil cap, but then discovered that it's location was too far forward on the tank. So a bit of rework and filler. The cover on the opposite side has a small knob at the bottom, I assume it's a threaded knob that you unscrew to open the cover, and it's represented by a huge moulded in blob.

MachIII_3.jpg

So I thought I might improve on that as well, while I was at it. Found another useful piece in a scrap box and made a little flange for it. There is also a very visible tube on the oil tank which must be for checking the oil level. I had to do that as well. I hope to use something slightly thinner to replace the hose I have here when it's time for assembly.

MachIII_4.jpg

Lot's of clean up work remaining.

MachIII_5.jpg

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The thick toy like chrome was really stubborn to get rid of. The chrome itself went off easy, but the thick yellowish varnish underneath required four long treatments, and then there was still a few pools left. But they peeled of rather easy in the end with a little mechanical effort and no damage to the parts.

MachIII_6.jpg

I didn't expect that much from this old kit, but once the thick chrome is gone the parts actually look quite good.

MachIII_7.jpg

I have made some progress gluing half parts together and cleaning joints. I do some dry fitting as I go along to check the fit. We'll see how much problems I will encounter by joining the frame halves now, instead of fitting them around painted parts as the instructions want and having ugly seams to deal with. I think I will be able to get away with it.

MachIII_8.jpg

Had to rebuild som details on the carbs as they just broke by looking at them. Glued engine parts are drying, waiting for further clean up and part fitting.


MachIII_9.jpg

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Cleaning up the wheels was not fun at all, and they did have some ugly mould lines, but now they're done. I think they came out ok, a little more work may be needed. The joint line between the halves is not perfect, but very difficult to improve on. I'm not that keen on starting to work with filler and filing/sanding between each spoke, and I'm not sure how necessary it will be. I'll have to scratch my head on that for a while.


MachIII_10.jpg

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Engine taped together and test fitted. Looks rather large in that frame. I will paint the engine in parts to make it easier to get varying metal shades on the
different parts.


MachIII_11.jpg

MachIII_12.jpg

Front fork and rear suspension test fitted. Somewhat to my surprise there are no real problems. It's certainly not up to modern kit standard, but with careful cleaning and preparation of the parts it goes together quite nicely. I'm enjoying this build so far. I added the small loop on the front fender strut, through which the speedo and brake cables are routed.

MachIII_13.jpg

MachIII_14.jpg

Tank and seat fit. It really starts to look like something.


MachIII_15.jpg

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The instruments looked a bit crude and nothing like I see in reference pictures. I filed the down a bit and made a new rim to give the faces a recess. There are no decals for them, but I will make my own.

MachIII_16.jpg

The rear springs doesn't look good at all. I will have to find, or make, some suitable metal springs and cut the shocks apart to make a new centre piece.


MachIII_17.jpg

Edited by Jörgen Stendahl

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ooo those shocks really are nasty

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These early Revell m/c kits are tough.You have a handle on this one though.Good work.

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Of course I couldn't find any suitable springs in the house. Here is my first attempt at winding something up. With some minor adjustments and painting it may do the job.


MachIII_18.jpg

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Lookin' good there Jorgen, I think you are taking the rigth approach with getting rid of the kit chrome. Your trial assembly looks inpressive, especially on the instrument dials.

Colin

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The three exhaust pipes required some work with the joints between the halves, but they sanded out nicely. I may be stretching my luck a bit far now, but, I take the chance. I really want to assemble the three pipes completely at this stage, including the bends, so I can also fill and smooth the rather ugly joints between them and the pipes before any painting. I think they will all fit as they do now when it's time for final assembly. I hope...

MachIII_19.jpg


MachIII_20.jpg

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Those rear shock absorbers look very good now Jorgen.

Don't forget, there was a joint between the exhaust downpipes and the expansion chambers so you could always replicate this if it would make for easier installation after painting.

Keep up the good work.

Chris.

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Thanks, I'm happy with the shocks and springs now.

The exhaust joints you mention is there, moulded into the expansion chambers, but Revell have then extended the parts another 0,5 mm forward and put a new awkward glue joint there to the kit downpipes. Not the best solution no. However, I removed and refitted my three assembled exhausts a few times this moring and it seems to be fitting very well now. Will sand the filler later today and hope they are ready for paint. Just love the three-pipe look from behind :).

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Just love the three-pipe look from behind :).

Yes it looked great, it reminded me of the 3 cylinder MV racers

Cheers

Dennis

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