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cmatthewbacon

Lola T-70, Union/IMC, 1/24

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Well, it's good to get back to the bench. After five weeks enforced absence caused by a hospital stay to have a dodgy heart valve replaced with a stainless steel one with a 25-year warranty followed by some down-time for recovery and rehab, I've got my mojo back. Since i need to rebuild strength and fitness before going back to work in December, I should be able to get in some serious building! Triggered by the discovery of an "Owner's Workshop Manual" for the T-70, with many helpful diagrams, I pulled this kit that I found cheap at a model show back in February out of the stash. Although boxed by "Union", it's the old IMC kit with new instructions telling you how to deal with the various issues with the aging plastic...

t70-chassis-rear.jpg

 

t70-chassis-front.jpg

 

Since the vast majority of the chassis and components are bare aluminium or silver, I've decided to assemble it before painting, and then do some detail painting afterwards

 

front-suspension.jpg

 

rear-supension.jpg

 

The suspension is pretty reasonably detailed and quite accurate.

 

rear-clam-1.jpg

 

rear-clam-drilled.jpg

 

rear-clam-vent.jpg

 

One of the less satisfying details is this pair of vents to let hot air from the rear brakes out from the wheel well. A lumpy depression on the clamshell as moulded, I think they look a lot better cut out and opened up.

 

mockup-1.jpg

 

mockup-2.jpg

 

mock-up-with-doors.jpg

 

mockup-with-doors-2.jpg

 

I've heard lots about the fit issues with the body clamshells and doors, so I thought the sooner I can get it mocked up and start fine-tuning the shape of the doors with some plastic card shims, the better. I'd really like to get the whole thing fitting properly while it's still a "body in white", before I go near it with primer and paint.

 

[LATE EDIT]: See later for more detail, but the outer corners of the firewall bulkhead are actually part of the rear engine cover, forming the lower face of the intakes. Now is the time to cut them out, having marked where they meet the clamshell, and fix them to it. There will need to be some packing and blending between the outer edge of the bulkhead and the inner face of the clam.

 

That's it for now!

best,

M.

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Best wishes for your full recovery, Matt.

 

Looking forward to this build.

 

Dave

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engines.jpg

 

One of the intriguing things about this kit is the engine. Apparently, the very earliest Mecom Lola T70 Spider was fitted with a Ford 289 V8 on delivery, but it was soon replaced by a variety of small block Chevy V8s of increasing sizes. They also became the engine of choice for most other T70s, up to and including the much more common and still raced MkIII. The engine on the left is the one that comes with the kit, which fits the chassis mounts and through the rear suspension. On the right is a Chevy V-8 from a handy 69 Camaro kit. I thought I'd see if there was any chance of getting the more prototypical engine in the car, but as you can see, there's no way it's going to fit into the chassis or under the clamshell, even if I switched the transmissions...

Hmmmmm.....

best,

M

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That seems like a scale difference in the two engines Matt. The deck height of a 289 is 8.2" and 9.0" for a small Chevy. The Chevy here looks huge compared. Even if the Camaro was 1/25. Looks like a 396/427, 9.8" deck block but the exhaust ports are correct for a SBC.

Maybe try other kit mfgrs Chevy's for fit.

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Good luck on the recovery, I'm sure doing a lot of modelling is the best way to get back into shape 🙂 

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14 hours ago, Codger said:

That seems like a scale difference in the two engines Matt. The deck height of a 289 is 8.2" and 9.0" for a small Chevy. The Chevy here looks huge compared. Even if the Camaro was 1/25. Looks like a 396/427, 9.8" deck block but the exhaust ports are correct for a SBC.

Thanks, @Codger. I took out my small ruler, and now I understand what "deck height" is (a useful learning experience in itself), I've measured both engines. The deck height on the Chevy block is 9mm, which, seems like a pretty good match for 9" in 1/25 (which is what the AMT kit is billed as). The T70 kit engine is just over 7mm, so it's a lot smaller (as well as less "bulky"). Since I have a T70 "owners manual", I can measure up the kit and see whether it is actually 1/24... it seems like it would fit inside the 1/24 Tamiya slot bodyshell I have. Of course, it's possible that THAT is a Mk III Spider, which is a rather different beast from the Mk1...

 

best,

M.

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3 minutes ago, cmatthewbacon said:

. Since I have a T70 "owners manual", I can measure up the kit and see whether it is actually 1/24... it seems like it would fit inside the 1/24 Tamiya slot bodyshell I have. Of course, it's possible that THAT is a Mk III Spider, which is a rather different beast from the Mk1...

Great idea and likely the cause.

Speedy recovery too !

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Thanks, all... So, @Codger, I have measured the wheelbase, and as built the kit dimension is 96mm, which is a pretty good match for the 96" quoted in my manual. The precise track will have to wait until I get the wheels on, but seems OK at a first rough measure. So the whole thing isn't too small.... maybe just the engine.

 

The doors are definitely a sloppy "fit." I've added some plastic strip on key edges, on the basis that it's easier to sand and trim to shape from an oversize starting point:

 

filler-queen.jpg

 

completely-armless.jpg

 

The not-at-all bad driver figure is under way.

 

right-hand-door.jpg

 

left-hand-door.jpg

 

top-down.jpg

 

First pass at getting a better fit on the doors. The rear clam has a couple of tiny pins in it to click better into place, the front is free floating at the moment.

 

dricer-mockup-3.jpg

 

driver-mockup-1.jpg

 

dricer-mockup-2.jpg

 

Mocked up with the driver and steering wheel so I can set his arms in the right place. The rod in the headlights is filling some serious sink-holes and will be trimmed off shortly...

 

best,

M.

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I have no doubt that you will make more of this than the sketchy kit would allow.

Still can't figure the motor discrepancy. Found this engine size chart but I place little value in it.

http://www.carnut.com/specs/engdim.html

They took the measurements from bolt on ancillary parts; water pump pulley, oil pan, aircleaner. Should have been at the block machined surfaces of the bell housing, timing case, oil pan rail and china rail. The only possible comparison of the SBF and SBC is the width (again at the valve cover) but it shows both engines the same at 22". You can try to scale that but it indicates that they are closer in size than the kit presents. :mental:

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Looking forward to watching it progress. I just came back from “Ford vs Ferrari “ and this kit was on Ken Mile’s son’s bedroom shelf. 

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Thanks for the support, guys! I've decided to plug on (geddit?) with this engine: it's just too much hassle to find and fit something else, and it's not bad, with a bit of help.

 

carb-parts.jpg

 

Here are the carburettor parts. The instructions would have you drill the tops in the name of greater accuracy, but since I have a plentiful supply of aluminium "bootlace ferrules" in multiple sizes, I thought I'd put them to use instead. I trimmed the top of each plastic carb until all that was left was a little nubbin for fixing the ferrule to, and here we are:

 

engine-with-trumpets-1.jpg

 

engine-with-trumpets-2.jpg

 

engine-test-fitted.jpg

 

engine-test-fitted-2.jpg

 

There really isn't room for a bigger engine in there, especially when I start plumbing it in...

 

painted-driver-mockup.jpg

 

driver-in-situ.jpg

 

Our driver is making progress. He's an amalgam of some Le Mans drivers from "Sports Car Racing in Camera 1960-69" and James Garner in "Grand Prix" to give an appropriate period look. A few final details to add, but he's more or less ready to take the wheel, as you can see...

 

distributor.jpg

 

My take on wiring teeny-tiny V8 distributors. There's no way I can drill 8 evenly spaced tiny holes around something 1/8" in diameter, even if I hadn't broken all my smallest super hard but brittle PCB drill bits. So, I start by drilling a hole in the centre of the distributor, big enough for a piece of plastic rod about half the diameter of the whole thing, and almost all the way through. Then, using that as a pilot hole, I drill a bigger and bigger hole in the top half of the distributor until it's more or less hollowed out. I drill a small hole in the middle of the plastic rod, and then glue it into the centre hole in the distributor, where it leaves a deep circular slot all around. This slot is wide enough to take the wire core of my plug wires, after I strip a bit of insulation off.

wired-distributor-1.jpg

 

wired-distributor-2.jpg

 

I superglue the wires in at 12 and 6 then 3 and 9, and then at the halfway points between those to get my eight evenly distributed. You have to look pretty bloomin' hard to be able to see that they are all in one circular slot rather than individual holes. Now I just have to mock up where the exhaust manifold goes (the headers go upward, not down) so I can figure out where to run the spark plug wires down and around rather than over them and locate the coil somewhere near the engine (it should be visible in the cutaway picture in my Haynes manual, but I haven't found it yet! It doesn't help that the Chevy engines have the distributor at the opposite end, so the coils is somewhere different. The alternator is mounted onto the gearbox, though, so that I can construct, with its drive belt.

 

That's it for tonight!

 

best,

M.

 

 

 

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Very common to mount coil and its bracket on the end face of the cylinder head. Many are drilled for it.

P6060012.jpg

Thankfully most of this motor will hide when bodywork is on. You already have detail that will disappear.

 

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Following @Codger picture above, the engine is wired and exhaust system made up...

 

engine-done-1.jpg

 

engine-done-3.jpg

 

engine-done-5.jpg

 

engine-done-4.jpg

 

I like the white "ceramic coated" exhaust headers for a bit of variety, even if today they mostly run with high end stainless exhausts. Contrary to the instructions, I built up the exhausts off the engine, because I wanted to be able to paint them before fixing in place. It took a bit of time and patience, but once the first (front) one is fitted, you have a datum to work to get the rest in line astern. Considering the age of the kit, the designers did an amazing job getting each serpentine piece to wrap round the others and end up in the right place at both ends. Kudos to them. I hope this slightly excessive number of pictures will help anyone else trying to make sense of one of these, especially if you're doing it from an IMC issue of the kit, rather than the Union version, which has some detailed instructions for this bit!

I can see a couple of ejector pin marks have re-appeared: a bit of delicate scraping tomorrow when it's all set solidly is going to be called for!

best,

M.

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Well, following @Codger's suggestion in the Cobra Coupe thread, I've had a look at the engine vs the 289 Ford V8 in the HRM Cobra thread, and the result is.... interesting. Length wise, the block in this IMC kit matches the block in the Cobra kit. However, the Cobra engine block is substantially wider, and a little taller. The Cobra water pump housing and front ancillaries are distinctly bigger, as is the bell housing. The IMC transmission is shorter, but that's as it should be. My surmise at the moment is that to get the complex exhaust header structure designed in a way that was both mouldable and buildable and still fit in the overall envelope of the back end of the car (bearing in mind that the scale thickness of the clamshells is substantially greater than the real things), the designers narrowed the engine block and heads, and moved a few other things around...

 

Now I need to figure out what a couple of parts that the instructions definitely mis-locate actually are, and where they really go...

 

best,

M.

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shells-on-front-left.jpg

 

Suddenly remembered this morning that I had some small and powerful magnets lurking in the toolbox, and had a bit of a "Eureka" moment about getting these clamshells to fit properly and stay on...

 

magnets.jpg

 

I glued some steel can material to the underside of the front and rear shells, which is enough for the magnets to pull the clams down and into position, and give a little "stickability."

 

shells-on-high-left-side.jpg

 

shells-on-front-right.jpg

 

shells-on-right-profile-XL.jpg

 

I added a small shim at the bottom edge of the rear clam behind the door, which kept springing up and back because it was squishing on something that I couldn't track down. I also ground out the the inside of the shell above the location of the exhaust header union to give a bit more clearance.

 

engine-in-XL.jpg

 

You can see the potential interference issue with the header joint -- it's the highest point on the engine that doesn't pop up through the opening in the clam top. The magnet is let into the cross-member above the transmission.

 

driver.jpg

 

Driver's finally done, with a few sponsor logos on his suit.

 

wheel-carriers.jpg

 

drive-shafts.jpg

 

wheels-steeled-and-washed.jpg

 

A few undercarriage parts, making use of Humbrol Metalcote steel and Citadel washes and "contrast" paints. With luck, you'll see quite a difference between these and the "after" pics still to some...

 

best,

M.

 

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Matt, I realize it may too late in the process or you may just not want to, but header collectors are almost always slip fit and welded to merge the 4 pipes into one collector. Therefore, the collector is much smaller in diameter than what you got in the kit-causing interference with the body there. You may still be able to remove them and sand down to the pipe diameter if you choose to, or for future builds.

P7220009-C-m.jpg

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Not great, but an improvement. The red on the header is actual blood, and I won't tell you how blue the air over the bench turned as I tried to get the darn thing back on again after the plan to trim it in situ failed...

 

 chassis-from-top-front-left.jpg

 

chassis-from-rear-left.jpg

 

chassis-rear-right.jpg

 

Made some ducting from wire wound round a piece of aluminium tube and covered with heatshrink sleeving... (more of this later)

ducting.jpg

 

Trial run with the clams on:

 

clams-on-1.jpg

 

clams-on-2.jpg

 

clams-on-3.jpg

 

Working on the front compartment now, and then some "gizmology" in the engine bay to come...

 

best,

M.

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Great work as usual Matt, and those wheels look very pretty indeed.

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I hope you weren't swearing at me after I "suggested" you buy this kit 😉

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On 11/25/2019 at 4:49 PM, JamesP said:

I hope you weren't swearing at me after I "suggested" you buy this kit 😉

Only a little bit... 😜

 

Thanks, guys!

 

front-end.jpg

 

There's going to need to be a tire in there as well as these wires and pipework. You can see the fake "ducting" at the sides, directing air to cool the brake disks -- in theory.

 

mockup-blue-clams-off.jpg

 

mockup-in-blue-clams-off-top-down.jpg

 

mockup-blue-clams-off-from-behind.jpg

 

So I had to carve off a fair chunk of tire and wheel to get the spare in place. It needs to sit low enough for the front clam to go on with the top intake duct sitting down snugly into the cutouts in the side walls of the front compartment. In real life, I think the radiator on the Mk 1 was more upright, with the tyre lying flat on the floor of the compartment. Later, the requirement to carry the spare was dropped, and the front compartment completely reorganised with the radiator further back and an air box sitting in front feeding the brake cooling ducts.

 

Just checking that the bodywork fits:

 

mockup-in-blue-high-front-left.jpg

 

mock-up-in-blue-front-left-2-XL.jpg

 

mockup-in-blue-low-left.jpg

 

mockup-in-blue-right-side.jpg

 

Paint is Tamiya spray Light Metallic Blue, which I have on hand, and looks OK to me...

best,

M

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Your quality paintwork makes marginal kits look much better than they deserve.

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Back to the bench... made a few steps forward, and the odd one back!

 

extinguisher-and-battery.jpg

 

Turns out it IS possible to get the spare wheel in flat, as it should be! I couldn't figure out the battery location from the instructions so I first put it where my reference photos showed it, in the front bay. However, they were clearly pics of a slightly later version, after the regulation requiring the carrying of a spare wheel was dropped, and the front end re-organised. As you can see, it really belongs in the "passenger" footwell, where there are actually a few small blobs on the floor to show where it goes, which I hadn't spotted before. The fire extinguisher is a home made addition... I just like the extra colour and "clutter" it brings.

 

radiators-in-the-raw.jpg

 

painted-radiators.jpg

 

I decided the engine bay needed a bit of busy-ing up, so made a couple of oil cooler radiators based on my references. Solder for connecting pipes.

 

engine-compartment-from-rear-right.jpg

 

engine-compartment-from-rear-top.jpg

 

engine-compartment-from-rear-left.jpg

 

Also added the alternator on top of the transmission: it's driven by a belt from the left hand drive shaft. In theory, the oil cooler radiators should be higher, but I didn't want any chance of them interfering with the fit of the rear engine cover.

 

opened-up-ready-for-cowl-from-top.jpg

 

opened-up-ready-for-cowl-front-right.jpg

 

opened-up-ready-for-cowl-front-left.jpg

 

opened-up-ready-for-cowl.jpg

 

The eagle-eyed will note that I've painted some of the bulkhead body blue. In real life, the upper section of the bulkhead is part of rear clamshell. If I was doing this again, I'd cut those sections off the bulkhead before installing it, and attach them to the clam before painting the whole thing... but I'm not taking it all apart again at this stage! So, now it's time for the last major operation: fitting the cowl and doors to the main chassis. The join is seamless, and bonded only at that 1/4" section by the slot in front of the door hinge pin sockets. So I'm using a combination of gap filling superglue and styrene cement, in the hope of getting the seam solid and filled in one go. It'll still need to be cleaned up and sprayed body colour, with some precision...

Wish me luck...

best,

M.

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A race car with driver would have dull tire treads.

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