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roymattblack

1/8 James Bond Aston Martin DB5

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First off - my apologies to those hoping the Datsun 240Z would be next.
In fact, I'm probably going to build it alongside this one to alleviate huge-car-itis.

Also, my apologies as this build will probably involve another build diary epic as it seems that some people actually LIKE my endless waffle!

I’m rather fond of the larger scale model cars as some may have noticed.
After working my way through numerous 1/12 Tamiya F1 cars and various other 1/12 sports cars, I embarked on the 1/8 Revell Corvette Stingray, and then the E Type Jaguar.
Then it was the 1/8 DeAgostini Lewis Hamilton McLaren.

Finally it was Pocher-time and the enormously complex Rolls Royce Phantom Torpedo followed, taking up 4 months of my time for anywhere between 4 – 10 hours per day.

I was determined to build something smaller and far easier as my next project, so after looking at various 1/12 cars and a few 1/24 and 1/32 models, I settled on my next task.
The 1/8 Aston Martin DB5 James Bond car…

This kit was produced as a weekly part-work adding up to around £700 by the time the car was finished. I didn’t subscribe to the model and for the next two years regretted it.
When one popped up on E-Bay for £400, all parts/magazines still untouched, I snapped it up.

As already mentioned, the kit was a part-work and therein lies one of the major problems.
The body parts are all die-cast resulting in a hefty 20lb model but it looks as if they were all painted at different times and maybe in different factories.
The car is Silver Birch metallic – at least five different shades of it!
From what I’ve read, none of the parts match and some of the built examples I have seen look horrendous – doors, boot lid, bonnet, roof ejector seat hatch, ALL different shades, and none of them even remotely match the main body.
It all needs repainting.
Being metallic dark silver, it will be a nightmare to rectify ‘at home’ to a satisfactory degree, as the car is just so big, at around 27” long.
If needs be I will give it a go, but I’m already prepared with ‘proper’ car body shop quotes of around £100 for a professional, lacquered job. Expensive, but with such a large and potentially impressive model, (as well as being £700 worth…) I want the end result to look right.
When I bought the kit as a ‘job-lot’ I already knew that it had received a hammering in the modelling world.
It genuinely is a giant version of the famous Corgi toy, with only a little more detail.
The redeeming features are the sheer size, and possibilities of improvement.
It does however have an amazing amount of working electronics.
Lights, horn, brake lights when you press the brake pedal, Engine ignition sound when you turn the key, engine sound that changes with pressure on the accelerator, illuminated dash, interior lights when you open the doors…….
However, it’s a model of an Aston Martin that I’m primarily interested in so I’ll describe the poor parts at each stage of the build if/when needed.

Let me say straight away that the magazine instructions are rubbish. Actually, there aren’t any. (Did Pocher have an input here???)
There are very good PDF files that can be downloaded from the company website so I have done that. All 42 of them.

THEN I discovered that Eaglemoss (the publisher) produced an ‘extra’ issue – part 86 – that includes a really nice tailored-to-fit Aston Martin car cover, complete with logo, and a complete set of instructions!
I’m guessing that there were quite a few complaints about the dire information in the weekly magazines.

The first stage strangely enough, is to build the drivers seat…..?!
I have ignored this, and made a start on stage 2 – the engine.

It didn’t take long to see that the engine is actually very poorly modelled with very little detail, virtually NO plumbing and even less wiring. Ancillaries such as the starter motor, alternator, distributor etc are extremely basic and need major attention.
The carburettors look too small – a difficult fix – but most noticeable to me were the horrendous rectangular box shaped cam covers.
They are NOTHING like the shape of the real ones. A lot of surgery needed here so this is where I intend to start.
First, cut off the plastic blobs that are supposed to be acorn nuts so that I can re-shape the covers themselves. The blobs will be replaced with real acorn nuts.
Then file the covers into a far more rounded shape, sand smooth, prime and paint as polished aluminium.
After a fair bit of filing and sanding, the cam covers were primed and then painted Humbrol chrome.
When dry, they were rubbed with a damp finger to remove the shine so they look more like polished Aluminium.

Roy.

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The cam covers as supplied... AAARRRGGGHHH....

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The first cam cover re-shaped.

.

Edited by roymattblack

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Excellent looking forward to watching this one unfold, the Rolls Royce build has been a delight to follow as well as inspirational I'm sure this build will be too and such an iconic car. :thumbsup:

Glen.

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I'll be bookmarking this one as I've got this in the stash and want to see what pitfalls there are.

Roy, where did you get the acorn nuts from?

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These are the nuts. You'll need two packs.....

http://www.prime-miniatures.co.uk/content/m10-acorn-hex-nuts-brass-nickel-plated-10

They are the ones for the cam covers as they are smaller than the cylinder head nuts:

http://www.prime-miniatures.co.uk/content/m16-acorn-hex-nuts-bright-nickel-plated-10

Roy.

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Fair play to you Roy, I bought the first 3 issues and gave up, primarily because of the quality I'd seen and secondly because of the rude manner in which they phoned me demanding money up front for any further issues. Bum to that, so I got the McLaren instead.

Roy, if you want those three issues worth of spares, PM me and they're yours.

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I had the McLaren too. Amazing kit.

Apparently Senna's car is on the horizon as a 1/8 model from the same people......

I'm tempted but might give it a miss, purely because I already have too many huge kits!

Roy.

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These are the nuts. You'll need two packs.....

http://www.prime-miniatures.co.uk/content/m10-acorn-hex-nuts-brass-nickel-plated-10

They are the ones for the cam covers as they are smaller than the cylinder head nuts:

http://www.prime-miniatures.co.uk/content/m16-acorn-hex-nuts-bright-nickel-plated-10

Roy.

Ordered, thanks.

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Good lad Roy! Will stick to this like glue, it looks very impressive.

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Looking forward to this - you'll probably finish this one before I finish my piddly little 1/25 Aurora version!

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Looking forward to this - you'll probably finish this one before I finish my piddly little 1/25 Aurora version!

Not too sure about that...

This car needs a LOT of attention to lift it from being a giant toy, to a half decent model.

Love your Aston model though.

Roy.

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The engine block parts are painted the same colour as the car body as supplied (glossy Silver birch?) which I suspect isn’t correct…
A quick Google found me an amazing Aston Martin website with hundreds of pictures of Astons being restored – great reference.
The engine should be a dull aluminium colour so I toned mine down with a mixture of Humbrol Aluminium and matt grey.
The starter motor has had the electrical connector box fitted as well as the solenoid underneath – both missing. It was then painted and BMF’d before having some lengths of wire added for future connection.
The oil filter had the huge seams removed and was painted the correct light blue – on some DB5’s they were also light green.

The block halves were assembled after fitting the starter motor and oil filter and I immediately noticed that the starter was strangely angled upwards toward the rear. After checking numerous pictures of the real engine it was obvious that this was incorrect. Also, when the gearbox and bell housing were offered up to the engine, there was a 3-4mm gap between the starter and the clutch housing. The assembly was taken apart and the starter mounting altered to make it fit straight on the block. The gap between the starter and clutch housing was filled using some white metal 1/43 wheel rims from my scrap box. The engine and gearbox was then reassembled after the gearbox had been repainted gunmetal and satin black.

The cylinder head was the next part to get attention.
This, like the engine block, was cast metal and quite heavy. There were a few seam lines that needed filing off and then the head was re-sprayed dull aluminium.
The spark plug caps and boots were quite accurately cast so only needed painting matt black. The head bolts were picked out in silver and then the cam covers were screwed in place.

The exhaust manifold was de-seamed next and then sprayed a mixture of Metalcote steel and titanium, more to give some variety to the engine than anything else.
The carburettors were a different matter.
The carbs and manifold as supplied are incredibly basic and lacking in detail. The upper linkage and breather tube(?) were all moulded in one piece so this was immediately discarded after the end fittings and lever arms were cut off with a razor saw.
A complete new assembly was made using ally tube, 1mm steel rod and rubber sleeving, and the support legs were also made 4mm shorter than the ridiculous long legs on the kit part.
The hose clips on the rubber fittings were made using BMF. The balance tubes and linkages were made from fine wire and more rubber tubing. Fittings were added to connect the fuel lines which were made from clear tube.
Although by no means perfect, the finished carbs and fittings look considerably better than the supplied part.

Roy.

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Supplied Carb linkages - awful!

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Oh boy, I'm not even done catching up on the Phantom and now there's a new project to follow?!?!?!? :banghead::winkgrin: Regardless I'm looking forward to seeing this one unfold too. Where is this 1/8 Corvette build you keep referring to though?....not that I need another build to follow. :-) Keep it coming :thumbsup:

John

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More on the DB5 whilst I'm running frustrating tests on the Rolls Royce soft top!

The minute acorn nuts for the cam covers were fitted by first gluing them with Cyano to thin wire and feeding the wire through drilled holes in the covers. The wire was cut short and a dot of Cyano secured the nuts from the inside of the covers.
All of this was done from within the confines of a deeply dished tray. If one of the nuts had decided to ‘ping’ itself into orbit, I didn’t want it succumbing to the clutches of the carpet monster, particularly as I had exactly the right number of nuts.
As it happened, all the nuts behaved themselves and they were all fitted in about half an hour.

The cam covers were fixed with screws to the cylinder head and with the exhaust manifold and carbs in place, the head was fitted to the engine block.

As already mentioned, the kit is very lacking in any real detail considering the size. Mission oil return pipes between the oil cooler and sump, and the oil filter gearbox feed pipe were also added using aluminium tube and braided hose. The starter motor solenoid pipe was also added at this point.
A dipstick and tube were fabricated and fitted as well before starting work on the distributor and ignition wires.

Close inspection of the distributor brought a smile of disbelief.
There are six plugs on the engine, five wires exiting the supplied ignition wire tube, and only three wires coming from the distributor!
I suspect the car would not run very smoothly with this configuration….

All the wires were duly cut off and new locating holes were drilled into the cap in the correct places.
The wires were also cut off the chrome ignition tube and the holes drilled out to accept new leads which were made from correct yellow/black striped wire. Distributor cap boots were made from the black tubes from the cap that were originally intended to form the ignition wires.
The cap/distributor was repainted black and gunmetal before assembly of the wiring began.

The next step was to assemble the front of the engine. Once again the parts were de-seamed and repainted and the alternator was cut and reshaped into something closer to the actual thing, rather than the plain cylinder as supplied. Wiring was also added to this part for future connection elsewhere.
The dipstick tube and dipstick aren’t included in the kit so these parts were scratch made from tube and steel wire.

The next task to consider is to cover the seats in real leather of the correct sea grey.
I bought a whole kid skin from Pittards – it’s incredibly thin, close grained and feels amazing.
The skin is around 48” x 36” – more than enough for the whole interior – and cost a ridiculous £15 plus p/p!
we’ll see how it goes…

Roy.

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I agree - I've seen just the basic (crappy) engine go on ebay for several hundred pounds!

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Many thanks all you guys...

The 'test' seat parts were covered next – with some difficulty.

First, the seat back was cut down by 1.5mm all round to allow the leather to be wrapped around the edges.
The seat ‘top’ (the bit you sit on) was the first ‘proper’ part to receive attention.
A piece of leather was cut large enough to cover the whole piece in one go.
a line of Cyano was run into the central seat flute (groove…) and the centre of the piece of leather was pressed into it using the blade of an old blunt razor saw to get the leather in tight.

After that, each flute was glued in turn working from the centre outwards.
The front squab flutes were glued in the same way, all the while pulling the leather tight over the seat base.
Finally all the edges were pulled under the base and glued inside.

The seat base was next.

A template was cut from paper and this was transferred to the leather. Once cut out, a piece of wire was glued along the top edge, and the leather folded over it. This was pressed firmly together to form a tight bead along one edge. This edge was glued to the top of the seat base, with the bead standing slightly proud. Once dry, the lower edges were pulled down tight and glued under the base.

The upper part and base could be fixed together and the bead on the base covered the join.

The front of the seat ‘back’ was attended to in the same way as the top of the seat base but getting the leather tight around the upper edge and sides was far more difficult, without getting creases in the leather. The chrome fittings were added and the seat back was finally clipped in place.

This was all done with a reasonable degree of success but as this is a ‘test’ seat, I won’t be using it anyway and what I’ve learned from doing it will be of benefit when I do the ‘proper’ seats.

Roy

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Edited by roymattblack

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incredible.

really excellent work there.I think I can safely say that this is going to be the best example of the Partworks (is that correct?) DB5 out there, and an example that anyone would be proud to own. (and everyone will be envious of!)

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I kept looking at my drivers seat and was bugged by a small wrinkle in the leather....

It had to come off so I gritted my teeth and off the leather came...

After a bit of cleaning up, the part was re-covered. - Much better.

The next part to be looked at was the rear seat base.

This is in two parts and each part was ‘wrapped’ in leather before assembly. The leather was fitted in the same way as with the front seat, by gluing the fluted parts first and then pulling the leather around the curved areas before fixing it firmly on the back.

I then decided to look at the door panels.
What can I say?
They were hideous!
They bear very little resemblance to the actual car door panels and I had to look at a ‘Google’ image of a DB5 interior so that I could work out what the peculiar ribbed ‘box’ on the front lower edge of the panel was meant to be. At first I thought it was some kind of horrendously bad speaker panel but I was gobsmacked to see that it was supposed to be the door pocket which is a simple stitched panel of leather with a beaded top edge!

This was replaced with thin plasticard strips glued to a thin plasticard base, all being covered in leather.

Also needing attention was a substantially thick raised angled rib running across the door – which doesn’t even exist on the real car!
It should actually only be a very small step between the upper leather panel and the one below it.
Then there’s the chrome surround to the (also very incorrect) lower kick panel.
Scaled up, the chrome strip would be almost an inch wide!
In reality it’s probably no more than a ¼ of an inch.
I considered dumping the panels completely and scratch making my own but there are quite a few raised fixing points on the reverse that would cause problems so in the end it was down to rebuilding the kit panels…

The grotty door pocket was cut out completely and the resulting hole filled with 1.5mm Plasticard.
The huge angled rib was ground off completely with a Dremel and fortuitously, a ‘groove’ was left where the rib had been, giving a good line to press the thin leather into to replicate the separate panels on the door.
Finally the peculiar kick panel was ground down to be attended to later.
The outer edges of the door panel were also filed down by about 0.5mm to allow for the leather to wrap round and not foul the action of shutting the doors.
Now I had a nice flat panel with a raised top shoulder cap that would eventually be black leather, with a grey leather door panel below.

A leather panel was cut and glued into the groove below the door top shoulder cap. The leather was then pulled over the door top cap and glued to the rear.
Next, a thin bead of Cyano was run into the angled groove on the door panel and the leather pulled down tight and forced into the groove with a cocktail stick.
Next, the leather was pulled to the bottom of the panel and glued at the lower underside edge.
Finally, the sides were pulled into place and similarly glued. The remaining overhanging leather was cut off with a new craft blade.
Once dry, the door handle and door pull holes were poked through from the back and then trimmed out with the new blade.
The door pull, although a complex shape, was actually fairly easy to cover with the leather and once clipped in place, the door panel was starting to look promising.

The driver’s door panel was attended to in the same way except this panel has an opening flap that conceals a nice old ‘60’s telephone. The compartment had a leather bead added to make it look a bit neater in the door panel.

Roy.

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Looks like I've hit my bandwidth limit on photobucket.....

Sorry about that chaps - not sure what I can do about it except pay....

Roy.

NOTE...... All sorted - I paid up for the upgrade.

Roy.

Edited by roymattblack

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This is quite some project Roy, the work you are doing on it is looking great.

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Many thanks for the supportive comments you guys.

The leather bits are fun to do, but many of the parts have needed several attempts.
Although the leather is quite stretchy and forgiving, getting it to go smoothly around some of the multiple compound curves without wrinkling is a challenge.

Getting there though.....

Roy.

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