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larchiefeng

Pocher Mercedes 540K True Roadster Build

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Amazing work.........Genius.

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I spent today testing the lights and found that one of the marker lights had a wire come loose from one side of the LED. Since they are so tiny, I'm just going to replace this one for now. I have everything finished on the body so, it was time to bolt it on and install the fenders. The following are some pictures from different angles showing that progress. I still need to add all the lights and wire them up but, I need to finish the jig modifications first. So, until I get that done i can't go any further.

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Obviously, there are still some small details to finished but, they can be done with the body assembled. Hopefully, the next update will have all the lights mounted and working.

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Those reflections tell the story; looks like a Paul Smith or White Post $300K restoration. Does not get better. Few have your patience or skill. The hood will be a crowning touch to continue those lines.

All those endless paints / strips / sands and re-paints now prove the worth of that drive for perfection. I am gearing up to rejoin that process on the Rolls. I have already redone some previously 'finish' painted parts because the curse is the critical eye. When you revisit parts after a time it either immediately looks right or it doesn't.

You have honed the look down to a fine point - Bravo Wayne.

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Gasp! Fantastic work......

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This is an absolute gem. The simplicity of just 2 colors shows just how elegant this car looks.

Those who didn't follow this post wouldn't have a clue how much effort and skill was needed for this finish.

Regards,

Jeremy

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Wayne, you put a lot of energy in this build and it shows. You have created a wonderful car. Fantastic.

Well done.

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Thanks guys, your comments are appreciated. Jeremy, you certainly have a point about all the work. It's funny when you read some of the longer build threads and see step by step just how much work and thought goes into each build. You tend to forget about some parts that have gone before. My build is in month 16 about to be 17 and, it is by far, the longest I've ever spent on any one model. When I started it, I was determined to get every aspect of the model as good as I could make it and there were times when I had to stop to either think about something or figure out how to do something that I'd never done before. Throughout this process, I've learned a lot more than I ever knew before. Building one of these will definitely stretch you and, if you survive there won't be much that you're afraid to take on going forward. This was my first Pocher and I knew I had to take my time so, it is also the most patience I've ever shown on any build.

Today, I manged to make the foam blocks to mount on the jig so, I can flip it over and work on the wiring and tighten up anything left on the bottom. i wasn't going for pretty here, I was just going for something that would cradle the fenders and not hurt the paint. It had to be stable and easy to use. So, the first thing was to get the profile of the fenders and carve the curve in the foam blocks. I've seen the model train guys use an electric hot wire to carve Styrofoam to make mountains and landscape on their layouts. So, this is my answer, the poor mans hot wire. I used a hand jigsaw and flipped the blade over so the smooth side was down and then heated it up with the propane torch and carved out the curves.

The tools of destruction

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The result

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A new use for old socks and the cat's in the cradle

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Now, I can straighten the tie rod on the right side and tighten up all the steering linkage while I'm working on the wiring

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I'll be turning it right side up tomorrow and taking the tires and wheels off and the other door then I'll mount all the lights and get all the wire through the fenders and turn it upside down again and be able to route and solder all the wiring neatly. And that will probably be the last time it's on its back. I have some appointments in the morning tomorrow so, I hope I can post an update but, if not, then Tuesday.

Edited by larchiefeng

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Superb work and a lot of clever thinking going on.

So very patient and meticulous.

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I'm going to take your jig and the new additions to it with me and see if I can create this for myself. Looks like it will make life (with a Pocher) much easier.

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what a piece of art Wayne... it was always beautiful ...but now put together like this... an inspiration to anyone who loves our hobby,

i hope Roy comes good on his virtual museum

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Thank you gentlemen, as usual I appreciate you following this somewhat slow build. It is creeping towards the end and somehow, having lived with it so long. it almost seems anticlimactic. I do look forward to finishing it up and polishing out all of my fingerprints and enjoying the finished product. I don't have much to show tonight since, I've had a fairly busy week with other personal stuff. However, I did sit down this afternoon and I managed to get the headlights mounted and one marker light on. As I was fixing the new LED into the other one I managed to mess up the paint. So, I had to sand it all down and repaint the marker. After wrestling with the headlights and markers, I think the best approach will be to finish up all of the front light connections and soldering before I mount the tail lights and do those. The tail lights are a lot more delicate and prone to breaking off it only makes sense to save those for last. So, all I have is a couple of pictures of the front end with the headlights mounted.

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Here's a little better overhead shot. At this point I don't have everything tightened down firmly because in order to get things lined up you have to fuss with it and do a little on each side in order to bring things together. I also still have to cut the wires to length and route them and solder the connections so, I still need some wiggle room.

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That's it for now, tomorrow, I'm going to try and get after it a lot earlier and get all the lights mounted and wired up.

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Looking forward to the grand turn on......Lovely build and great future reference for all builders. Thanks.

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Those wires look a lot more sophisticated then mine. However not even Conrad which is a very large electronics store around here had them (or I didn't find them).

How difficult are these to solder? I'm asking because attempting to solder the iPod headphone cable I was using drove me nearly nuts. The amount of solder I wasted on those few solder points is ridiculous (maybe those were even tinier)

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Thanks Neilm, I'm also looking forward to seeing if all this extra time and work will be worth the effort. If nothing else it's been a good learning experience.

Danny, I knew that you were having issues trying to stuff all those larger wires and connectors in some areas especially, the dash and console. That's why I was suggesting that you simplify and reduce the number of connectors. I also started out with a larger gauge wire, 24 gauge I think, and wheat bulbs and a large regular wire terminal block. I also was going to use two AAA batteries for power and I even mounted a toggle switch inside the transmission. As I kept researching and hunting for one part I was finding more and more smaller and better electronics. Actually, I have you to thank for making me keep looking because, as I watched your Lambo get more crowded I knew that I had to find a better solution for my Testarossa build. It is just as bad or worse for adding lights being diecast metal and I planned to add around 30-40 lights on it. As I searched for LED's for the TR it started making more sense to convert the Mercedes to LED's now as a run up to the Ferrari. So, I basically scrapped everything and started over once I found the subminiature SMD LED's using 30 and 32 gauge wire which is over twice as small as the 24 gauge wire. I have looked outside the model car world more than once on this build for things that I can adapt or use on this Pocher build. Fabric stores for fabric glue that I found on sailing ship build thread, piano hinges on RC plane and boat model stores, better color carpet from dollhouse suppliers, a wider range of quality leather at very low prices using a different search parameter from eBay, the electronic breadboard and plugin power adapter as well as the 12V power supply from eBay and finally, the SMD LED's, connectors and wiring from a model train layout supplier. So, as you can see, to get what I needed, I had to venture way out of the model car world and take advantage of the other modeling and crafts disciplines.

The soldering isn't too difficult. The 30 gauge wire has a coating on it for insulation and I just scrape it off and if I'm soldering it to the 28 gauge connector wire I have to strip the 28 gauge like regular wire. Then because the wires are so thin I add some small shrink wrap tube on each of the wires for insulation and then I try to twist the two wires together and when the soldering iron is hot I just get some solder on the tip of the iron and touch it to the wires and it melts into them in a couple of seconds and it's done. When both positive and negative are soldered, I slide the heat shrink tube over the soldered connection and heat the tube until it shrinks over it. If I can't get the tube on the wire, I use liquid tape and paint it on with a small brush.

So, I switched from wheat bulbs to three different sizes of SMD LED's that range in size from about 1mm square down to one that is slightly larger than the head of a pin. I went from 24 gauge wire down to 28,30 and 32 gauge wire depending on what it's connected to. I went from a standard regular wire terminal block to using an electronic projects breadboard with a plugin power supply adaptor that can give me 3V or 5V on each power rail. Finally, I decided to not use any batteries because as they start to lose a full charge things get dimmer or don't work at all, in favor of a 12V power supply. The 12V power supply is just like the ones that we use for all sorts of things. It plugs into the adaptor on the breadboard which then converts the 12V power down to the 3V operating power of the bulbs.

I could have added the IR sensor and eliminated the toggle switch altogether but, it's in there so I'm leaving it alone although I might add it in addition to the toggle switch.

I know that this is a much longer answer than you were looking for but, I thought I would take the opportunity to show everyone that, sometimes you have to look outside the box to find solutions; the box in this case being strictly car modeling. Also, part of this kind of gives you an idea of why parts of this build took so long. This was my first Pocher build and it has been quite a learning experience for me and now I'm pretty sure I can take on just about any future modeling project.

Edited by larchiefeng

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Looking back at my garage workbench pictures, in June, you can see what a mess it was and I really couldn't do anything out there. So, when the weather got warm, I decided that I needed to do a complete remodel out there so, I can use it during the winter even when it snows. So, I had to put the Mercedes aside for a while in order to clean out the garage and insulate and drywall the entire garage. This became a much bigger job than I ever imagined. Since this is not a thread about remodeling, I won't bore you with too many before and after pictures but, suffice it to say it was unusable out there. So, these first couple pictures only show, in passing, the current condition which, is still not finished. Mostly, the pictures show the new display base that I'm building for the Mercedes with the byproduct of also showing the garage work shop as it was always intended to be used.

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Assembly of the 13" x 27" display base today

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Biscuit joints

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Glued up

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Clamped and set aside to dry overnight. TV and computer access out here as well.

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Work table in the foreground will be the work area that I can spread out and have plenty of room to work on the Pochers. I still have to finish putting the top together.

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The Mercedes is back in the saddle again tonight.

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When I first mounted the headlights I noticed that one of the headlight lenses was smudged. Additionally, the lights weren't working for some reason. So, I had to take the headlight bar off and pull back all the exterior lights and fix the problems. I got all that sorted out and in the meantime, I was waiting for a replacement lens from Marvin at MMC. So, tonight the first order of business was to replace the lens and attach the center driving light lens.

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While I've been working outside, I've been thinking about a wiring issue for the wire runs to the headlights and marker lights. I was having some issues with just how to attach and or run the wires so they didn't just look slap dashed on. I always knew that I wanted some sort of tubing to run the wire through and be able to hide it all. So, I'm running so 5/32" aluminum tubing along the the underside of the running boards to route the wire through. What I'm doing tonight is bending, cutting and shaping the tubes to fit. Once I get everything where I want it, I'll paint them flat black so, they'll be virtually invisible and the wires will run cleanly under the car.

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I know it's not a big update but, it is progress. Because of the lighting and eventual completion of this build I figured that, I would integrate the building of the display base/cabinet within the build itself. Anyway, I'm still working on this, I just got sidetracked this summer. More to come.

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Fantastic place to work.Garage and workshop heaven.

Great build and looking good.

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See? That didn't hurt. :chair: Now we have another Pocher to drool over.

Great to see it again and soon, more often. The tubing for wires is another neat solution to a problem like everything else you've done.

Just keep the sawdust off the thing while you're out there. :nono:

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Yea, the dust collection system is one of the next things to be piped in. I already have the big dust collector and now as I can get to things I'll be able to run the ductwork around the shop and hopefully keep it down to a minimum. In the meantime I'm going to pull another 20-25 boards out today and clean them up for finishing up the work table top and have a good stock of cleaned boards for future projects. I don't want to have to go get them out of the locker in the winter in the snow. I did buy a large container that I can put the Mercedes inside to move it from the man cave downstairs up to the garage work shop. This way I can work on it where it suits me and keep it clean when it's not being worked on in the garage. So, more woodworking today and shop work and possibly some wiring work tonight on the wire runs and lights.

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Tonight I painted and mounted the tubing for the wire runs to the headlights and markers. Here is one side and it sort of disappears along the underside of the running board.

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Because I have a roll of 30 gauge magnet wire that matches the SMD LED wire, I decided to wire the lights together with all 30 gauge wire.

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Given the problems I had a couple months ago leading to the replacement of a couple of the LED's, I decided that, before I insulate the solder connections and run it all through the tube, I would test everything first. I have already soldered the two lights together with the lead wire that will go in the tube but, I just twisted the plug in ends together with both sides just to make sure all the lights work. Here's the two plugins to the power block but, when I run everything permanently there will be two sets, one for each side.

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Dash lights, check.

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Headlights and marker lights, check.

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OK, now I need to clean up the wires and get the headlights sitting straight, Then I can finish some other bodywork straightening and aligning up front. Next will be mounting and wiring the tail lights. I just need to be careful with those and be pretty much done with putting the car on its back before I wrap that up.

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Thanks guys! I like to work with my hands and the garage has been a neglected area for many years and especially the last three with my work injury. I've been pretty sedate for a long time and my doctors wanted me to start doing something to get more active. When the weather got nice it was a good excuse to start doing something outside. The garage project started for a couple of reasons; the first being it was a complete disaster. The second is something you all can relate to; I bought that mini lathe and band saw a while back but the model workbench was already too crowded and there's really no room for more tools there. I knew that the garage had to be the best place for it plus the band saw was already out there and pretty much inaccessible. And, if I was going to be able to use it in the winter it was going to have to be warmer. So, insulating and drywall were a must. Then, it just turned into a giant cleaning process in addition to the remodeling. If anyone has ever tried to work on a house or a room full of stuff, you know what a PIA it can be. Anyway, this is why it's been so long off the Mercedes and even though the garage isn't finished yet, I've been coerced into getting back on it. I have to admit, it is a nice break from the garage in the evening. So, I will be continuing with both. Some days it will be all outside and others the Mercedes or a little of both.

Hopefully, I can do a little work on the Mercedes in the garage on the Big work table and enjoy the weather and space long enough to finish the big stuff and then start another Pocher or MFH car on the model bench in the winter, we'll see.

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I should also add a disclaimer here regarding some of the work in my garage. All of the heavy lifting was done or assisted by my neighbor. I'm still not up to dealing with the heavy stuff like wrestling with sheets of drywall and other heavy objects. But, all the lightweight stuff, sorting, cleaning and day to day stuff I can handle. I have two chairs out there so I do a lot of sitting in between. I am getting some strength back but it won't be what I was able to do in the past. I suppose this is also why it's taking forever to get the garage done and get back to spending more time on the Mercedes. Some days I feel pretty good and can spend more time out there but usually I'm done in by late morning or early afternoon. Then some days I just can't do anything at all; it's a frustrating way to live these days.

I know that this was a little off topic but, I really didn't want to be so long away from the build and what we're really here for in first place. So, maybe what would have normally been a couple weeks of work will get done in 3-4 months at my present rate of progress but, I am going to be working on the Merc a lot more going forward. I really want to finish it and start my new build and continue with the Ferrari.

Sorry for the ramblings.

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