Jump to content

Aurora's Super Spy Car: James Bond's DB5 wannabe


Recommended Posts

First things first... this will not be a quick build. I am posting this to kind of force myself into finishing my Dalek build over on the Sci-Fi forum ( http://www.britmodeller.com/forums/index.php?/topic/234945056-scratch-build-16-scale-dalek-an-eye-for-an-eye-and-some-painkillers-please/?p=1382230 ), and then commencing with this. Posting this will hopefully force me into finishing one and getting on with the other.

I've always had a thing about the Aston Martin DB5, especially the Bond version.

I'm lucky enough to own a Danbury Mint version of the Bond DB5, and recently I acquired several more versions. The first one I managed to lay my grubby mitts on was the old Aurora version. Of course, it wasn't officially licensed, so it was sold under the completely different guise of "Aston Martin - Super Spy Car"

Good versions of these seem (like the original Airfix version) to go for stupid money. So, me being tight and looking for a challenge found this beast up for grabs on evil bay.

What on earth am I getting myself into? These are the original photo's from the listing and you can see just what kind of state it is in.

The box itself wasn't too bad considering it's about 50 years old.


But as for the kit.... maybe just a tad too much glue methinks!




Where do you even begin on something like this?

Well, obviously, it has to be taken apart to see what we have got. Fortunately, it's almost complete. There are a few parts broken, but should be able to be scratched without too much difficulty. I also broke a couple of pieces taking the thing apart - no surprise there.

I tried the soak in water, then leave in freezer method, but to no avail - there was just too much glue. I eventually discovered that the glue bonds were actually quite brittle, so, some judicious coercing and some downright forcefulness arrived at this collection of parts.


As you can see I have already primed a few parts - I needed a break from my Dalek build when it wasn't going too well.

At this stage I think I can rescue 95% of the parts. A few others can be scratched, but my biggest areas of concern are around the windows. I just don't know if these will be salvageable at all.



The side windows aren't really a problem but the front and rear windshield may be beyond repair and I may have to try molding new ones myself. - That's a ways off yet!

I have invested may hours scraping off decades old glue, with some limited success. To give you some idea of just how bad this is... here's a wheel hub


and here's what's left of the ejection seat and occupant


Okay, intro over, now back to my regularly scheduled Dalek build and I shall return here in a few weeks (probably!)

perhaps I should also mention that since winning this on ebay, I also managed to obtain a copy of the Airfix Bond DB5 - in a slightly better state but with some parts missing - that shall also become a WIP in due course.

Edited by hendie
  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have tried (briefly) using micromesh, but I believe the transparency has been compromised. Once I get a bit further into the build, I'll try again.

I'll keep my eyes on ebay as well in case any spares crop up

Link to comment
Share on other sites

With my Dalek build on hold as I wait on paint drying and curing, I thought I could take a few moments on the Super Spy Car - this is more of a listing of observations than actual progress

Ouch, it is indeed a mess.

Here's a shot of the ejection seat roof panel - plenty of decades old glue on there....


and it's on both sides....


Methinks there is some sanding and repair work to be done there.

spent about an hour or so going over various parts, seeing what condition they were in and dry fitting a part or two, just to get a feel for the kit.

Now I know this was manufactured almost 50 years ago, so my expectations shouldn't be too high, but I was slightly taken aback by some of the fit issues.

Here's the front of the car with the lower valance panel. Yeah - nothing lines up as it should. The indicators don't line up, the outer edges don't line up, the grill doesn't line up and it isn't even the same profile on the left and right hand sides. I won't even mention the headlamp apertures!


The rear valance panel is just as bad.

According to the instructions, the chassis is fitted before the front and rear valance panels. Given the very poor fit of these panels, I don't think I want to fit the chassis and internals to a finished body, and then have to graft on the valance panels.

I would much rather get the valance panels fitted and blended in before attempting to fit the chassis and internals.

A quick dry fit attempt showed that it may just be possible to do. I need to look at this in more depth.

I think I have my work cut out for me here.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

What you need is a friendly Timelord to go back & shoot

whoever butchered the kit in the first place.

Now where can we find one?

I'd go back to your Dalek if I were you.

Best of British with the Aston!


  • Haha 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

You've certainly got your work cut out. I'd send it back to Q branch and let them fix it...

Thanks for the kind words -- feel free to PM if you're in urgent need of answers on crash moulding!

I'm intrigued by the layout of this kit. I've also got the Monogram box of the Aurora DB4 kit, which I must dig out and compare with these parts. If they did modify the DB4 to get a DB5 Super Spy Car, then there's no sign of it on the later mould.

The valances are a worry. As you can see, I found a way to assemble the Maserati's chassis by "folding" it into the completed body in two pieces. It doesn't look as though this kit is engineered the same way...

I'll be following this with interest (and I, too have an Airfix one waiting to be built, so maybe we can organise a "dual build"...)

Good luck!



  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I also have managed to acquire an airfix kit which is waiting to be built.

I thought I would practice on this one, so, hopefully my skill level is reasonable when it comes to building the airfix version.

The airfix is missing the engine and a few small parts, but I think I can take care of that.

I had thought of purchasing some scale borani's for it, but they're pretty expensive, but certainly look the part and would really set the model off!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'll be fascinated to see what you make of this one.

It looks like a REAL mission!

I'm lucky enough to have got the whole Eaglemoss 1/8 James Bond DB5 partwork for a peanuts price, but I won't be starting it for quite a while.


Cool! I really wanted that but thought twice when I saw the price - and I have also heard that there are some issues with paint finish and some detail work.

Still a cool thing to have though

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Cool! I really wanted that but thought twice when I saw the price - and I have also heard that there are some issues with paint finish and some detail work.

Still a cool thing to have though

I've heard about those issues too - and looking at the parts, it really is BIG but very basic.

But TBH - If it was a straight-forward 'screw it together' job, I wouldn't enjoy it half as much.

Part of the fun (for me) is making it into a reasonably detailed model.

Have fun with this basket-case though.

I'll certainly be following your progress.


Link to comment
Share on other sites

Right then! ... the Dalek build is finally over, so what next?

Well, I had already started down the path of the Aurora Spy Car, so I guess, by default, I should carry on with this.

After pouring over the instructions for some time and trying some dry fits, I came to the conclusion that I can, with a little bit of wiggling, fit the chassis after the body is completed. I may be proved wrong later but what the heck.

The front valance panels were fitted along with some dabs of filler. - Look at those headlamp apertures - what a mess.


Followed by the rear valance, and some more filler


And just for good measure, some dabs of filler on the sides too. Then the body was set aside to dry.



And for no reason that I can think of, here's a shot of the makers mark, dating the molds to 1966. Yup, there's glue all over the inside there too.


I really had no plan of attack when I acquired this kit and began this build. I think my intention was to build it pretty much out of the box. However, the more I looked at it, the more thoughts began to pour through my head.

Some parts were damaged, so I had to scratch build replacements anyway.

Then I found an excellent web site showing some great detail of the DB5 ( http://luxedb.com/cars-to-drive-in-a-lifetime-aston-martin-db5/ )

Disaster! Now that I had that information, I just had to do that little bit more to the kit!

After viewing the interior shots, I noticed that the DB has electric windows - the Aurora kit has some nice interior detail (which the Airfix kit seems to lack), but they had included both a door release and a window roller handle.


So, first thing - Off with the window roller on both door cards.


The control pedals in the kit were basic to say the least, and I broke them when removing them some time back.

So, I used a paper clip and some styrene sheet to fashion these new ones. A tad more realistic I think.

I also took the opportunity to cut the top off the gearstick, drill through the cover, and insert a pin, which came with some shirt I think. Again, I think it looks a little better than the original, with the bonus that it is actually a metal shaft, and looks like a metal shaft, as opposed to the cruddy chrome of the original.


The handbrake was next. I removed the handbrake shaft, and drilled a locating hole in the cover section.

I used another dress pin, held in my pin vice and sanded the top to look more like the handbrake lever, and inserted that into the cover.

A few more views of the interior on the web site referenced above convinced me that the hadnbrake lever didn't look right. The shaft was too thin, and the end didn't look right either.

I searched about, but couldn't really find anything suitable (I wanted metal again). In the end I settled for some styrene rod, which was the closest I could get in diameter.

Using two different diameters of styrene rod, I drilled through to allow me to insert another dress pin (handy things!)


Then drilled the handbrake cover to accept a short length of pin to act as a locator.


Which, when assembled, looks like this...


You can see I have left just a very short piece of the pin sticking through the front - this is the actuation button for the handbrake! This looks much more like the actual lever as shown in photo's of the real thing.

Getting close to actually assembling some parts here....

I seriously recommend checking out that website, it is a great reference for anyone interested in the DB5.

When disassembling the model way back, there was so much glue that some damage was unavoidable. The pedal box was one area which didn't do too well. Again, reference photo's pointed to a small pedal box fitted on the floor, or, it could have been my imagination. Regardless, I opted to stick a new piece of styrene on the floor where the pedal shall be located in order to provide me with a solid section to bond the pedals to. (Still to be drilled to accept the pedals).


Now to head back down to the basement and see what's next on the agenda...

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks Steve.

Next up was the center console. The Aurora kit does not provide one, instead, just giving the impression of some kind of tray just behind the gear stick. It's not even molded particularly well.


Out with the styrene again, a piece of 0.125 thick styrene seems to fit the bill. Cut to size and file square ('ish)


Interior shots of the real DB5 seem to show a main center console, which contains all the gadget switches, and a smaller console just to the rear of that. In an effort to replicate that, I merely filed a groove across the console approximately where I thought the rear console began.

As many photo's as there are of this iconic vehicle, there are very few of any of the interior beyond the front seats. Only to be expected I suppose, as everything of interest is up front. Therefore, the length of the rear console is supposition on my part.

No, I am not going to add the beading around the console lids!


When satisfied with the overall shape, place in vehicle and secure with glue....


and a quick dry fit of a few parts to see what it looks like...


The console really should be blended in to the tunnel, but once the seats are in, the small gap will never be seen.

I really need to do something with that handbrake cover, it looks awful.

Next up was some scratch building/repair work. The front wheels have a backing disc, one of which was beyond repair. The other is shown here.... and I just happen to have a disc punch of the correct diameter.


I believe that small protuberance on the disc is supposed to be a brake caliper, although it's in the completely wrong location when fitted.

I punched a few discs out of a suitable thickness of styrene, then used the original part as a drilling guide.


Then cut a slice out of one of the discs, quick check of the fit....


and then fix to the backing disc. Simple.


I now have the requisite pair of brake discs for the front wheels.

Now I have a question for you.

I am about to begin painting some of the interior. I still have not acquired a compressor and airbrush, so the painting will be done by the hairy stick method.

I have a selection of Humbrol enamels and I think I shall have to mix a couple in order to try and achieve the sort of blue grey of the interior leather. My question is: Should I thin the enamels? If so, what kind of ratio?

It's been 40 years since I did any model painting. My Dalek was achieved straight from aerosol cans. Therefore, my skills are definitely going to be rusty, well, just damn poor.

Any advice on how to approach the painting would be gratefully received.

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

What on earth am I doing here??? why can't I just leave things well alone ???

I took a close look at the instrument panel for the first time, and guess what? Yup, it's wrong.

Wrong number of gauges, wrong size of gauges, wrong position of gauges, wrong wrong wrong


So let's be straight up here... have NO idea where I am going with this, absolutely none at all. Who knows what could happen? This could (and most likely will) turn into a complete mess, but here goes....

AAAaaaarghhhhhhhhhhhhh... what is he doing?


Well, I had ordered some rivets for the Dalek build and by mistake had ordered the wrong size, and I thought there may be a chance I could make use of them here.

I thought they seemed about the right size for switches on the dash here - looks not too bad!


and a closer view reveals that it actually works out quite well indeed. Result!


But I just couldn't stop there could I ?

Like a complete idiot, I carried on. The number and position of the gauges was bothering me... so I grabbed some tools and... there's no going back now!


At least we have the right number of gauges, sized reasonably in relation to each other, and in almost the right position.


but that's as far as my brain took me today - I have no idea where to go from here.

I have vague thoughts that I need to thin down the IP from the rear, but no clue whatsoever as to how to deal with the actual gauges themselves. I don't think there ever was a decal in the original package - if there was, it's long gone.

I guess I can see if I can grab a decent photo of the dash, print it out and see what I can do from there..... who knows???

not me, that's for sure! IDIOT !!!!

Edited by hendie
  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Stick some white plastic card behind it, then paint the dial faces black (I use Citadel Chaos Black). When it's dry, use a sharp needle (in a pin vice for easier handling, if you have one) to scratch through the black paint to the white base plastic to create markings and needles, working from a pic of the real thing. When you're happy, put a drop of gloss varnish in each one for "glass". With a bit of practice you can make it look pretty convincing -- and the doors don't open anyway!



Edited by cmatthewbacon
  • Like 1
  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites


Humbrol & the hairy stick.

Around 8 parts paint to 2 of white spirit.

Works for me. Especially on a primed surface.

You may want to start/test with 9 to 1 at first,

And see how it goes on your primer.



Link to comment
Share on other sites

On the real DB5, in the center of the dash is a large chrome heater control - quite noticeable in the real thing, and noticeably absent from the Aurora kit.

I cut a sliver from a 3/4" pipe I had lying around. It had something approaching the right curvature of the heater control.


After some chopping and shaping, it was ready to fit to the dash.... but not with my big fat digits!


Once the control was in place. I cut several horizontal slots in it using my razor saw, to represent the Hot/Cold/Air slots. I also drilled a couple of holes to accept the tiny rivets I have, hoping they will look like the control handles.


I tried some white plastic card behind the dash, but the thickness of the plastic was too great for the effect to work. I then tried thinning down the dash, with little to no success. I did however, manage to find some styrene tubing which is the perfect diameter to slip into the gauge holes, so I have a path forward for the gauges.

The plastic at the instrument panel is probably greater than 1/8" thick.


I took the opportunity to add the cover for the telephone to the door card using thin styrene sheet. I used a small length of paperclip to represent the hinge.

I also had a practice with the paint pen I obtained a week or two ago - I wanted to see how easy it would be to do the chrome trim on the door. As you can see, I wasn't too successful here, but with the little bit of care, I think I shall be able to highlight the chrome door trim (once the door card is painted).


Most of my time so far on this build is related to repair work, and trying to figure out how to rebuild missing or broken parts.

For example, this kit has "whitewall" tires, and of course, uses big plastic washers to represent the white walls. The previous owner of the kit had glued the white walls to the tires, and of course, had 3 of them the correct way around, and the fourth, the wrong was around.... with plenty of glue!


My first thought was - can I just reverse the washer? and the answer was "No"!


So, after much sanding and reshaping, I managed to get to this point. It is by no means perfect, but I think it is passable.


Other areas of work this week were the rotating license plates. The one shown here is in reasonable condition but the other one had the pivot points destroyed with glue.


So I decided to drill out the pivot points on the front and rear license plate...


so that I could use small lengths of brass rod as the pivots, which I think shall be much sturdier.


Then it was a case of dealing with the sink marks in the license plates.


My next area of attention was to deal with the rear axle.

The brake drums had been glued on at an angle, and since the wheels are eventually glued to the brake drums, this meant that the wheels would have been sitting at an angle too. It doesn't look too bad in this photo, but it is a quite an angle.


The axles shown above, consist of the axle itself, and the brake drum, which slips over the axle, and is retained by a small flange on the end of the axle. The drum was not meant to be glued to the axle, only to the wheel, but the previous owner had really made a good job of gluing these parts together.

I must have spent at least an hour (over many weeks) trying to separate these parts, but with no success.

So, I decided to make my own axles, using brass tubing. The first step was to drill out the axle mounting boss on the rear diff.


and of course, the rear diff came apart... no big deal. It lets me clean up the faces and re-glue - properly this time.


My plan was to use a single piece of brass tubing through the diff for the axle


And what should happen while I am handling these parts but the darn things should finally come apart!

and it turns out that for once, the previous owner did not use too much glue, and I could actually rescue these parts without too much trouble!


Of course, now I had drilled out the differential in order to use my scratch built axle.... Well, instead of using the full axle, I cut it down, and used some wooden dowel to fill the tubing in order to give it some strength.


Then that was trimmed and the center of the dowel was drilled to accept the original axle.

Shown here dry fitted.


So not much in the way of progress I'm afraid, but I think that is the way it is going to be with this build... there's a lot of preparation and repair work to be done before anything substantial starts going together.

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

well, I'm not so sure about "impressive" - time consuming, yes... a certain element of "what the h3ll am I doing?" and definitely some sheer-pig-headed stubbornness, and hopefully a degree of entertainment too.

The question is - how far do you take it? It is a model after all, and not a particularly well detailed one at that. How much of the model aspect do I retain, and how much detailing do I invest in?

And to be honest, I have no idea... Things have a way of taking on their own life in these matters.

I have spent most of today on the dashboard and still not finished.

More dry fitting of parts and pouring over the instructions has raised yet more questions. The tail light clusters are dreadful. One of them is broken and the retainers (they pop out) are missing. They don't fit particularly well, in fact they don't fit into the rear wing at all, they kind of sit outside.

So, do I try and make something more realistic? or do I go with the model aspect and manufacture parts to replicate the missing components? Who knows... not I!

One thing I may do is scan the instructions and upload them, then people can see what I am actually meandering on about.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Use only Aurora's Fireproof styrene cement. Funny.

Edited by bzn20
  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Create New...