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rob Lyttle

Alfa Romeo Alfetta 1.24 Mistercraft

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I'm more of a plane builder, but every now and then I get a bit sidetracked with things that tick a box for me. 

And this old kit does just that! 



The car is from an era that is pure motor racing joy and beauty, with the TOP drivers and makers coming to the fore. 

Very sadly unrepresented by the kit manufacturers old and new. 

The kit has origins so old it is almost contemporary with the car. 

The floor pan has a big "SMER" stamp on the underside but as far as I know the original tooling is by Merit. 

There's many shortcomings with the kit, but I think it has the basics for a decent project, and at the price there's nothing to worry about! 

I did a search on here for a bit of insight into what can be done with it. 

Found a couple of WIP which ended very abruptly - one was just abandoned, and the other went "oh look, I've finished!" 


So I'm going to do one! 

It may not be a quick and coherent build, but it won't be abandoned. 

Obviously if you got BIG money to spend, you can have the pleasure of building the metal and multimedia Japanese mega kit, but frankly I want a real car for that sort of money! 

Thankfully there is plenty of pictures of this kit on the net, plus the real thing in various collections. 

I've made a bit of a start already and a few refinements in place, so I'll bring the thread up to speed fairly quickly. 


Here's the first mod I tried, converting the exhaust system to the 2 pipe configuration with lengths of Ali tube and the original manifold part. 



All good fun! 

More soon 😎

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PS... Don't tell the Plane guys..... I'm supposed to be making Lockheeds!! 

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Hi Rob, I’ll take your place if you like, I’m a car/bike builder usually but saw a 1/48 Tamiya Fairey Swordfish (complete with Tamiya photo-etch bits) at a swap meet recently and it just took my eye. My last aircraft build would probably be an Airfix Spitfire or similar back in the late 1960’s. Good luck with Alfa, it looks interesting.

Regards Ian

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5 hours ago, Ian T said:

a 1/48 Tamiya Fairey Swordfish (complete with Tamiya photo-etch bits)

Well, you'll notice the difference between this and the 1960's Spitfire, that's for sure!! 

It's an impressive kit by all accounts. 

Are you going to set about it straight away? 

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The only noticeable fail in the moulding was the instrument panel which was short shot... 


So a bit of a repair job to make up the missing plastic. 

The other thing I did was cut off the tail end of the floor pan,  behind the back axle, and attach it to the main body. 

This gave me the chance to tidy up the joint at it's most visually prominent place. 



And a clear run at trying to make something of the back axle and suspension. 

Here you can see that it is just basically an axle with 2 hubs, like a farm trailer, and with the floor pan sitting on a foam board spacer, it's still not right. 



While looking around the Web for info, I came across a major upgrade PE product for the kit... somewhere around £100 or $100 something crazy like that. 

And the photos seemed to show that the farm cart axle is STILL there when the job is done! 

I set about it myself, and that's next up. 

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This guy sure knows how to build one!! 


Exoto is the other name for a Google search. 

Plenty of references, but I'll assume that they are all © and not suited for pasting here. 

Anyway, it's clear that the rear axle is in need of a makeover. 

I made a crossbar from a piece of 1.144 kit sprue that had 90° legs at just the right spacing to fit between the hubs. 

Then I cut the axle off and the outer stub axles and drilled the hub centres to take lengths of Ali tube bearings. 

(I should explain, the 2 sizes of tubes I have are mainly for propeller fitting. One is a good sliding fit inside the other. 

I'll refer to them as Bigger and Smaller. One is specified as 3/32 x. 014 and I think that's the bigger.) 

Also made a differential block drilled and fitted. This is more structural than pretty. 

A length of the small tube goes through the lot as the drive shafts.

I glued the spreader bar, fitted the shaft for alignment, and left it. 

The kit leaf spring went on later with a little stand up piece to give the right height off the floor pan. 





Also visible is a strip of sheet sandwiched between the tyre halves for a bit more tread. 

It's taken a bit of fiddling to get the assembly to sit right, and I've since made a little gearbox block to sit under the differential to get it sitting more upright. 

The other detail I'm trying to sort is a couple of shock absorber units in front of the drive shafts. 

All I've got so far is a pair of brackets added to the floor pan for those. 

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Nice work.  That is a substantial improvement and some great effort.  This enhances the model to the next level. 👏🏻

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The back axle is fitted, 


It all looks like a bit of a lash up there but most of it is structural and not seen. 

What I'm after is this, 



I've sorted a few other things. 

The ignition cables appear to be arranged in a tube or conduit on top of the cylinder head with each wire coming out by it's spark plug. Thread sections on a plastic rod is my effort with this, and a bunch of threads coming out the front end and curling down in 2 bunches to a pretend distributor, all behind the radiator when it is fixed. 


The supercharger has been moved back a bit and got a longer Ali tube drive, and some kind of carb is initially there with a little bit of sprue. 

It looks like the air intake has gone through some considerable developments during the '50 and '51 seasons. 

I've gone for the Through the Bulkhead ducting with a heat-adapted 4mm sprue fitted in to a hole in the panel. 


So the challenge is to match up this, fitted to the body, with the carb /blower part which is attached to the engine in the chassis. 

Also fitted a little oiltank filler tube in the bulkhead. 


There's a headrest and a curved cover strip added to the panel behind the driver's seat. 

I want to keep the back of the seat slightly away from the back panel if I can. 

I keep looking at the front axle and wondering if I should take a saw to it. 

I probably will. 

Steering front wheels would be quite cool, and if it's a fail they can be glued back on, maybe with a bit of a turn on them. 


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On 01/07/2019 at 22:08, rob Lyttle said:

Well, you'll notice the difference between this and the 1960's Spitfire, that's for sure!! 

It's an impressive kit by all accounts. 

Are you going to set about it straight away? 

Nice work with the Alfa so far, I like what I see. As for the Swordfish, I’m under no illusions, but strangely enough I’ve just bought the Eduard photo-etch bits, so between the original Tamiya ones and now the Eduard bits I’m in for a steep learning curve with using photo-etch. I will start in the next few weeks, I want to get a bit further on with a traction engine that is currently in the same WIP section of the forum as your Alfa build. Also I need to buy a “bank loans” worth of paint as nearly all of mine are that nice glossy stuff.

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I've been fussing over the nose piece with the grill as I wanted to get the rest of the gloss red sprayed. 

I use sticky back Ali foil quite often doing bare metal aircraft. It's the stuff builders and plumbers use for lots of things. 

The details come through very well and it shines up nicely. 

I was trying to use a piece as masking over a paint job on the grill, and I realised all the very fine raised lines were coming through well. 


That's it after masking the foil and spraying. The leakage of the red cleans off easily. 

After a bit of work on the little rectangles, I painted matt black and left to dry, then gently revealed the grill lines with my new manicure polishing stick. 

Girls don't talk about grit numbers but this thing is a gem! 

Probably about the 2000 range. 

So, I got this.... 


I've already drilled out for the starting handle (?) and that's my handling stick poking out the front. 

I'd really like to do one of the painted bands around the grill, especially the blue and white striped version, but I'm doubtful that I could pull it off successfully. 

But I'm happy with the look of the grill 

I've used the foil on a couple of other parts.... on the radiator, the instrument panel, and I did the fuel filler cap and the intake vent in front of the windscreen before the paint went on. 


Still pondering the front axle situation. 

With the transverse leafspring in place it all starts to look tricky getting any movement on the steering. 

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Pondering is over..... 

Decision made. 




The hubs are cut, modified with Ali tube stub axles, brackets for the track-rod ends, and wedge shaped strip inserted to give the turn on the steering. 

Track-rod pieces can be added later, and I think the openings in the bodywork will need to be enlarged upwards to accommodate them. And I can get some smaller Ali tube right though from the front grill to the crankcase. 

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Well, major assembly has now taken place, 



Trackrods from stretched sprue, using the bit at the end where it starts to get wider and filing it flat again. I did them separately and cut long enough to let them overlap in the middle, and dropped a spot of glue onto the join. 




Sure enough, I had to enlarge the openings upwards in the bodywork to accommodate the rods, but that seems to tally with the arrangement on the real car. 

I wanted to get the instrument panel well forward under the deck - the kit position is too close to the opening, I think. 

So that took a bit of fiddling because the availabile height inside diminishes as you move forward. 

Some reduction in size was required to let the panel move to the position I wanted. 

This was all done and test fitted repeatedly before the big join up. 


And now the Ali tube drive shaft could go in from the clutch housing to my little gearbox. 

Better late than never, I made a fuel pipe from a piece of that 1.144 sprue bent to shape and glued into a hole in the rear panel. Trouble is, the other end doesn't have anywhere to go as I have no side tank. 


Anyway, it all seems like a big step forward getting the main components together. 

One of these would make a great slot-car


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You're certainly on a roll with this one.

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Posted (edited)

I took the plunge and glossed bodywork with Halford's clear gloss lacquer and it looks like a decent shine has been restored. 

I'll just have to wait and see what it looks like when it's dry. 






I got the exhaust pipes fitted, and they will need some Ali heat shield pieces later. 

And I've made a drill mark indentation for the badge above the grill. 

Some brake-lines will be required. 

I've lost the windscreen parts.... Gluing the frame to the transparency with bits of the sprues still attached for handling, I achieved quite a tidy job, and then went to cut the sprues off.... 


I could tell by the time delay that it travelled quite a distance, and I know the general direction, but all searches have drawn a blank. 

Looking like a scratch replacement is required 



Edited by rob Lyttle
Addition link

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So it's out with the Ali pie dish, and a few strips bent over tubes etc and CA'ed in place to be the exhaust heat shield. The real thing is quite a loose fit - probably with airgaps - and made of bits. 


While I was messing with piedish Ali, I had a look at the windscreen arrangements and decided to take a shot at it.



Apart from anything else my effort needed to cover the two holes that were for the kit screen parts. 

Superglue on my finished paint surface is a bit nerve - racking....! 

The length of plastic rod is cut out and the ends may give enough styrene surface inside the brackets to glue the screen into place. 




I've left the screen extra long for handling while I sort out the construction. 

Not sure if I can finesse the metal bracket pieces. 

The decals seem to be working fine, what there is of them. I've got 2s and 6s to choose from, and a strange little option with a shamrock emblem and the legend "Shanty Irish"..... I have no idea!! 

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On 6/30/2019 at 10:23 PM, rob Lyttle said:

Don't tell the Plane guys.

You’ll be lucky.😁



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20 hours ago, rob Lyttle said:

a strange little option with a shamrock emblem and the legend "Shanty Irish".

Wasn't a four leaved clover the logo for the Alfetti?

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Posted (edited)
4 hours ago, bhouse said:

a four leaved clover the logo for the Alfetti?

Yea @bhouse I have those OK.

This is an extra 


Here we are, best I can do picture-wise with white on white. 


They've kept the decal printing scheme limited to just the green and white overall. 

My clovers are applied already 

Edited by rob Lyttle

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I think it was worthwhile fitting the spacers in the tyres for a bit more tread and presence. 


I just need to come up with a solution to the spokes in the wheels. 

The clear plastic discs supplied by the kit are not up to the job! 

The windscreen is assembled and I guess it is an improvement on the kit version.... never did find it.... 

There are times when it looks just a little bit ascew but I'll leave it for now. 


Had a first failure with the brake pipes, they should have been done earlier in the construction, but I'll have another go 😊

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Inching forward with the odd few bits and pieces. 

I decided to go with the "2"  race numbers. 


While the clover leaf triangles went on fine, the numbers were quite frail. 

The printers have kept the carrier film to an absolute minimum and that didn't help. 

Fortunately the kit had 2 examples of the little decal sheet, so the 2nd one got painted with clear varnish before dipping. 

It Could've done with a few more coats to be honest, but I just got away with it with a little bit of piecing together. 

The absence of carrier is a good thing now, and no big edges across the paint. 


And I had another go at the front brake hoses, this time with some phone wire. 

(remember the good old days when phones had wires...?!? 

HA... Back in the day, eh??) 

So,, one piece right through the front between the wheels, then kinked and arched back up to the top of the drums. 

It seems to have worked. 



Now trying to find some info on the back brakes. 

I did say quite a bit earlier about some shock absorbers on the back suspension, and I have done them. 

I keep forgetting to get a picture of them so you can see what I was on about. 

I'll take one for next time. 



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Rear shocks update.... 

Here they are, 


So it's a couple of brackets pointing out and down from the chassis, here, 


and just a couple of pieces of stretched sprue to the inside of the hubs and onto the bottom corners of the brackets. 



It all helps..... But I can't find anything useful on the rear brake pipes. 

I guess that with no steering involved it's a simpler, closer built, arrangement of plumbing, but even the stripped down Exoto mega kits don't seem to have any. 

I'll leave it for now 

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Posted (edited)

These photos from my MFH 1/12th. kit may help you with the rear brake set up.






Hope this helps,



Edited by Tankerman
photo addition

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Just the job @Tankerman

That looks like quite a comprehensive model of the subject!!! 

That's a good view of the shock absorbers too. 

I saw those (say) radius arms but as they are inboard I decided to leave them. 


You've had some fun with that build! 

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