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dustcollector

Pocher Alfa Noob Restoration

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Posted (edited)

Hello All!

 

I am new to this forum and this is my first post. I live in Norway and although I can read english well my writing is not the best. Sorry for misspelling and the occasional new word. 

 

I come from the world of RC-cars, and while reasearcing static 1/8 scale models that could be modifyed into RC, I stumbeled over this forum and Pocher models inparicular. Reading the brilliant WIP-threads on here and seeing the amazing detailes kits, I got bitten by the bug, Pocheritis I think you call it, and knew I had to try to build a Pocher. I have not much modeling experience building static models. As a kid I did use enough glue to make kits stay together, but no painting or detailing. Now I am trying to make my RC´s look and behave like real cars. I have buildt a Rc4wd Trailfinder 2, Gelande 2, Axial Wrtaith and a few Tamiya kits, but my detailing skills let me down on a regular basis. Just by reading this forum I have learnt loads, and I hope to learn more. So a big Thank You to all who share their tips, tricks and techniques. It is very inspiring!

 

Ebay is a dangerous place. There are many NIB kits for sale, some parts and some ready built models in various states. I was thinking I did not want to ruin a "new" kit so I am going to start with ready built models, try to restore and hopefully bring new life into them. It is a good way to know the model, disassembling, cleaning and try to put everything back together. I put in a bid for two built up Alfa Monzas, the price was not bad and I won! Lucky me! 

 

In this thread I am going to build up one at a time. Since this is my first, I am going to take my time, do some reaserach, find a car I want to build and slowly put a model together. I am going to need some help, I am going to steal ideas/techniques(Thanks again to you all for sharing!!) and comments, suggestions, banter are very much welcome!

 

The Alfas arrived with both front axles broken due to packaging issues, but apart from that they were as excpected. They need love. Its apparent the builder did not have PaulKoos very helpful dvd at hand. There are stripped screw holes, some broken and misshadeled parts. There are missing spokes and broken "leafsprings". Glue has been used but no paint whitch is good. Some panels are warped and plastic as been bent to make parts fit. Need to bend theese back into shape, a task im dreading. Any tips on how to bend the plastic back into shape? I have read about a heating technique using hot water and also a hairdryer/heatgun, but it seems quite intimidating. Theres a big chance to ruin stuff. Anyways here are som pictures.

 

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This is where I stand. I have dissassembled everything, washed and have started to clean the parts. There is still flash and mould marks on almost everything. But the detail is great and I am enjoying the experience. Once that is done I think I will have to put the frame and body together to see if I can get a good fit. From what I have read thats where the biggest issues with the Alfa is. This is all for now.

 

Thanks for looking!

Terje

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by dustcollector

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Welcome to the madhouse, Terje!!

You'll fit in rather well around here. Looking forward to your project!!

 

Cheers, H

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Welcome to the Pocher Restorers Club too ...

And good luck!

Dan.

PS: The first pic is incredible, congrats.

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Pochers post better if you remove the wheels....

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Posted (edited)

Thanks for the kind comments! I am glad to be here. 

 

I told the seller to remove the wheels but he did not. The wheels were in a bad state almost falling apart by themselves, missing pokes made the very fragile. He was not the one who built the models so I dont really blame him. Luckily for me the plastic-weld-glue-chemical (Samestuff freom Micromark) reacted well with the plastic so the axle is mended.  The point of breakage was clean so the axle now look nice and straight. I even think it will hold up!

 

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Edited by dustcollector

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The front axles do droop over time. Think about reinforcing the axle with a piece of metal in the slot. Or possibly go for the Model Motorcars version....

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Hmmm Thanks for the tip, Jo NZ! Will look into that. I have been drooling on almost everything MMC has to offer and its very nice parts, albeit a bit expensive. So many nice metal parts. I would love to build this model with OOB parts, but seeing what is on offer it is very tempting to splash some cash, and will probably do at some point. Need to be very careful though. I dont have the tools nor the skills to make parts that good. They enhance the model at once and the parts look very scale correct. One can spend many times the price of the model on hopups. But they do look GOOD!

 

Terje

 

 

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Previous builder did a nice weathering job though.

 

Good luck with this build, hope you'll be okay with a static model in the end :)

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46 minutes ago, Roy vd M. said:

Previous builder did a nice weathering job though.

 

 

Yes, wish I could do scale cobwebs like that 😁

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Haha! Almost sad to clean it. Untouched, unrestored barnfind cars like this fetch good prices at auctions don´t they? Well, it had to be done.

 

Thanks Roy vd. M! Have to admit it´s a bit frustrating knowing this nice model will never move. Imagine racing these beauties!! Some serious modification is needed, all plastic in the chassis must be switched for steel/alu and all links and steering assembly must be strengthened. You need a drivetrain, transmission, motor, servos and hide everything so the model will look excactly like the 1:1 car. What a transkit that would be!!

In my head I can see it clearly, but to get MY hands and fingers to execute is just a dream. The Rc4wd yota axle is close to the same width as the stock axle so that´s a start. haha. 

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A very ambitious project due to the poor starting condition but your ideas and skills seem up to it. R/C is a good training ground for repairing car models - I did that frequently for my then-young son.

 

Carry on and have fun. Plenty of help and advice here; Endeavour is doing a master-build in his 'Sectioned' thread below. But don't get discouraged, get inspired...

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Looks like fun! You're in luck if you need some spare parts; I have 3 or 4 four of these kits in various stages of completeness. I have extra fenders, springs and axles etc since I also have the MMC upgrade parts to replace them. I was planning on building this same car before I got involved in the F40 with the transkit. If I ever finish the F40, I plan on resuming the Monza build. You can get small stuff from Marvin at MMC like the distributor cap in resin. I did some parts straightening on my Mercedes build and sort of detailed it in the build thread. Here's the link to the page if it helps. 

 

https://www.britmodeller.com/forums/index.php?/topic/234976747-pocher-mercedes-540k-true-roadster-build/&page=7

 

Along with the these kits being quite old and the plastic becoming somewhat brittle over time, the main reason the frames and axles sag is because of the weight on an all plastic frame. The kit provided small stands the go under the frame at each corner to help prevent the sag. It seems that, Pocher was aware that it was going to happen before it ever did, hence the supports.

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6 hours ago, Codger said:

A very ambitious project due to the poor starting condition but your ideas and skills seem up to it. R/C is a good training ground for repairing car models - I did that frequently for my then-young son.

 

Carry on and have fun. Plenty of help and advice here; Endeavour is doing a master-build in his 'Sectioned' thread below. But don't get discouraged, get inspired...

 

Thank you for the reply!

There are so many great builders on here, yourself amongst them. Its a shame the pictures in your Sendaca build is gone. I started reading but fell off its not the same without pictures. 

My back gets a bit humid thinking about everything I cant do. Yet:) But its great fun reading bulid threads. It shows me everyhing is possible!

 

1 hour ago, larchiefeng said:

Looks like fun! You're in luck if you need some spare parts; I have 3 or 4 four of these kits in various stages of completeness. I have extra fenders, springs and axles etc since I also have the MMC upgrade parts to replace them. I was planning on building this same car before I got involved in the F40 with the transkit. If I ever finish the F40, I plan on resuming the Monza build. You can get small stuff from Marvin at MMC like the distributor cap in resin. I did some parts straightening on my Mercedes build and sort of detailed it in the build thread. Here's the link to the page if it helps. 

 

https://www.britmodeller.com/forums/index.php?/topic/234976747-pocher-mercedes-540k-true-roadster-build/&page=7

 

Along with the these kits being quite old and the plastic becoming somewhat brittle over time, the main reason the frames and axles sag is because of the weight on an all plastic frame. The kit provided small stands the go under the frame at each corner to help prevent the sag. It seems that, Pocher was aware that it was going to happen before it ever did, hence the supports.

Hey! 

That is a very kind offer, thanks! The two Alfas I bought are very much complete, there were even some extra parts in the deal. Extra firewall and dash board with dials and cables and a rather nice metal inlet gasoline manifold(?). Its from Scaledetails and it show the previous builder had some ambitions for the car. Which is nice. There is also a alu-floor «transkit» that consist of one piece of alu-plate 1.5mm and a A4 paper with the parts drawn up. There should be a word here but I cant remember. I might need extra spokes to make 8 wheels but for now I know I can make 4. What is missing are  the 4 outer breakdrumms for one car, but I have my eyes glued to ebay and hopefully they will turn up at some point. 

Ok enough rabble now. I’ll definantly check out your Mercedes build. Thanks for the headsup.

 

Terje

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Template? I also have the aluminum floor and pretty much every MMC added detail for the build with the exception of the front and rear shocks. I went through some of my pictures a while ago to see how far I got and I was somewhat surprised that, I was fairly far along. I made some modifications to the engine/rear cross member brace and the body. I sanded off all of the rivets and drilled out the holes for metal rivets and the safety wire pegs as well as cutting out the seat to modify the body so, it will sit down on the frame correctly. I drilled holes through the molded on rear cross member on the engine to allow the linkage to pass through as on the real car; anyway, I digress.

I haven't posted anything in a while on my Pocher F40 build but, in case you are interested here's a link to that. 

 

If you need any help on the Alfa let me know and I will help or any number of other guys here can help you out. Lastly, If you need any historical research on a particular Ala, I have the complete three volume set of "The Legendary 2.3 Alfa Romeo 8C2300" by Simon Moore.

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Template!! Spot on! I wonder how very useful words can disapear just like that. 

 

Interesting to read about your plans. They resemble a lot with with what I want to accomplish with this build. The more I study pictures (on google) the more I see needs to be done/modified. There are so many details that could be added. And where to stop?

For this build I need to look at what I have. Get to know the kit, how the parts are attached and how they respond to glue/heat/sanding/sawing. The easy basic stuff. Get the stance and the body to sit right. From experience I often spend more time fixing my own mistakes than actually make progress. This time I’ll have to fix someone elses mistakes which is better for the self image. Ahem. That could be the «famous last words» knock-on-wood.

 

From the decals i found the chassis number 2111046. Does every pocher Alfa have this chassis number? Is the any info about this car in Simon Moores book?

From google I found the car, it looked to me pretty much restored, but I have not dived into the abyss just yet. From what I have found not many Monzas were built, many were crashed, others restored. Old black and white photos are great but the often lack in detail. Contemporary photos reveal loads of details but how do we know if the cars in the new pictures are the same as the original cars, if you know what I mean?  

The ideal would be to build a «replica» of the car as it was back then, but with the material I have found I dont know if that is possible. Or maybe there is just too much info right now. Anyway it good fun:)

 

Again lots of words. Not much sanding:)

Thanks again for the warm welcome. Lots of help and ideas. Im glad Im here.

 

Terje

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Interesting about the chassis number; I never paid any attention to it before but, I will look into it and let you know. Unfortunately, the Simon Moore book doesn't have many color pictures in it and really deals with every 2.3 Alfa ever made and each individual car's history. It's great for researching a specific car and how it looked etc. There's a number of variations of the Monza, for instance, fenders or not, spare tire or not, and I think that some even had the full fenders like the Spyder and so on. 

 

A quick word about mocking up the frame and getting the stance correct; the engine has to be complete and the frame should be painted before you can do that, otherwise you will have to take it apart again. The engine has one of the main cross members molded onto it and is integral to the frame assembly.

 

There's also a problem with where the engine is mounted on the frame. In the OOB build it will be too far forward and the fan is almost right up against the radiator. There's also some discussion and debate about how far back to move it. If I remember correctly it's somewhere between 3-10 mm or somewhere in between. This is talked about in Paul's DVD for reference. You can also just leave it where it is but, it's going to crowd the radiator and leave a bigger gap between the rear of the engine and firewall. 

 

I also had a problem with getting the cylinder head to sit flat on top of the engine block due to it being badly warped. This a fairly common issue with the Alfas. A lot of them have warping of plastic on the head. I spent a lot of time sanding mine flat and I don't intend to display or make the head removable. There's too much stuff that would have to remain unattached if you do. 

 

I've found that, you really have to think the whole build all the way through before you start and have a clear direction that you want to go. Making changes in the middle is not hard but, it complicates the build. Think 3-5 or more steps ahead especially if you decide to modify it. Things like moving the engine, cutting the seat out, modifying the body to sit on the frame better will all affect something else down the road. I'm sure that you are aware of these things but, I only mention these because these are things that, I'm doing and I know first hand.

 

I have a lot of pictures of my Alfa as far as I have gone and I can share them with you but, this is your thread and I don't want to high jack it by posting my stuff. Some of the pictures are of the modifications that I have made and if you decide to go down that road I can show you what I did. I know that there's at least 5 or 6 other guys on this forum that, also have built Alfas and might be of more help than myself. Since mine is only at a point where I'm making modifications and deciding what car to actually build and theirs are actually completed.

 

Ok, I've rambled on long enough; I'm looking forward to seeing how you progress.

 

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5 minutes ago, larchiefeng said:

I've found that, you really have to think the whole build all the way through before you start and have a clear direction that you want to go. Making changes in the middle is not hard but, it complicates the build. Think 3-5 or more steps ahead especially if you decide to modify it. Things like moving the engine, cutting the seat out, modifying the body to sit on the frame better will all affect something else down the road. I'm sure that you are aware of these things but, I only mention these because these are things that, I'm doing and I know first hand.

 

Wayne is exactly right here. But it's still a difficult proposition even with much advanced planning. In my case, I had a very good idea of what I wanted my Rolls to look like - a Gurney Nutting coach P II. But had no idea a Pocher could be pushed-around enough to make such radical modifications to what Pocher gives you. Only studying the techniques of Dave Cox did I learn the methods to achieve this. But by then, I had many of the main elements constructed, and as Wayne says, I had to de-construct, saw-off and throw out (to replace with scratch built) parts and details - some more difficult than others. This is how you wind-up with a 38 month build.

 

Our friend David is demonstrating the 'proper' method for advanced modifications and more accurate models with his radically altered Spyder. Much advanced planning and measurements. A very good road map for any Alfa builders. Along with Wayne and Jo NZ's help, you benefit from a lot of smart, experienced work.

 

In your case, much effort will go into correcting and shoring-up damaged parts and poor assembly practices. My advice - don't get over-whelmed or over-ambitious. An excellent model can be built from it without being a 'life's work'.

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There are several builders here who can provide excellent information and advice.

 

The best single source of thorough basic information is Paul Koo's CD, which details how to overcome the kit's many problems and also contains many useful reference photos.

 

The CD will show you how to build an excellent OOB K71.  For modifications, your best bet is on line forums.

 

The photograph below shows a K71 body I modified so it fits properly on the frame.  I made the two diagonal cuts, positioned the two parts properly in position, and filled the resulting 1.5mm gaps with styrene strips.  Some prototypes were built in two sections that were connected with leather in these locations on the bodies.  If you want details on the modification, send me a message with you email address and I will send you work-in-process photographs I posted years ago.

 

image.jpg

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As a point of reference, it is Endeavor's method that I am going to use to correct the fitment of the body to the frame.

See, I told you that there are a lot of guys here that will help you out, no matter how you decide to proceed. 

There's guys like Codger, Endeavor and me that aren't satisfied with OOB building and then there is Paul that really doesn't do anything other than add some of the MMC pieces to his builds but, is the authority on how to build a Pocher. His DVDs are a must have for any Pocher that you build. If you don't have one, message me and I will give you his email address and you can buy one direct from him without going through a third party and he usually will select it for less that way. 

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Thanks for the replies and help! Your well of information and knowledge gave me lots to think about. So much infact I abandoned the whole project. No just kidding:) Luckily I also have The Paul Koo Dvd, which is great help. 

Since life is happening at the excactly same time as me building this, not much has happened the last week, but last night I started working the wheels. If they are difficult to put together, I can tell you they are a literal pain to dissassemble. I really did not know where to start, removing the tire first seem like a bad idea considering how loose the spokes and the hub were. Using any force would have started a small spoke explotion, I thougt. Instead I started pushing the hub trough the wheel with the spokes slowly getting released from the wheel and the hub. It seemed to work fine, my thumb on the hub were almost at the stage where al the spokes were about to be released, and as I tried to change position with my thumb lots of spokes hung up on the thumb penetrating the skin and made a perfect Thumb Trap. Quite painful and scary. I could not retract my thumb so I had no other choice than to push the whole thing through spreading spokes and theese tiny little spokeholders all over my workplace. Its a good thing my dask at the time were I good order so the cleanup and sorting went well. 

Afther that I found wheels were quite robust so I manhandeled the tires off, so I could unscrew the wheel properly. I had to heat every screw before unscrewing othervise I would have broken all of them. I managed to get away with 5 broke screws for the whees. Which need to be drilled out, cleaned and a new hole has to be made. The hub also needed heat to be released.

 

That is a major issue with the whole model. There are soo many broken screws and screw holes I need to fix those before I start the assembly.

I have a plan, although I do not know if it is going to work. On the shallow screw holes I will make a plasticweld mixture and just fill the holes, then drill out a new hole. On the longer screwfittings I will replace with styrene rod where i can. How does this sound? If there is a standard way to fix this pleas let me know. Or if you have better ideas I will listen. Thanks for reading. Thats all for today. Here are some pictures. 

 

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Oh my... Well at least you don't have to worry about having nothing to do for a while 🙂

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The plastic repair sounds good, nothing beats plastic to replace or repair plastic. I used pieces of the sprues to fill holes in the body of the Mercedes when I drilled holes in the wrong place. I just made a piece of sprue the same diameter as the holes and glued them in and sanded it down when it dried. The same thing applies here with your wheels and plastic rod is fine since even if you have any red sprues they might not be the right shape. 

Your best bet is to get the tires off before taking the wheels apart as, I'm sure that, you've already figured out. The best way to get the old tires off or on the wheels is to heat them up with a heat gun or hair dryer just enough to make them pliable and then work them off while they are still warm. You will have to experiment with just how much heat is needed. Since you already have one off, try heating it up to see when it starts becoming easy enough to work with.

Good luck with the jigsaw puzzle. If you are really adventurous, MMC has an Alfa wheel kit and they have a link to how to build them in the item description. It may or may not be of some help to you.

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Posted (edited)

If I can give you another advice / method to make the tires malleable: put the wheel in a cup filled with water, and put the cup in your microwave oven during 30 to 45 seconds...

You'll get the same result than with Larchiefeng's method, but without any risk of burning your tires.

But caution, you could burn your fingers with hot water, so you'll have to use a potholder when handling the tires 😉

Edited by CrazyCrank

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I managed to get the tires of wrenching the of using a flat screwdriver and tweezers(with a butt end). Will obviously have to try the heating merhod when mounting the tires again. Have not decided on what colourbthe wheels will have so the tires have to stay off for a while. Thanks

 

 

 

 

 

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