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A BIG Rolls-Royce Version II 1-7-2020


Codger

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1 hour ago, Octavian said:

Amazing stuff. I apprenticed to a master upholsterer for a year and a half or so when I was 18; it was a very enjoyable job, though I was doing fairly basic stuff most of the time.

You are revealing a varied and broad background of interests and skills. Great to have you here and I know these will surface in your builds.

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Very glad to be here. I am quite interested in learning more about the prospect of doing actual upholstered seats in a build. Making seats look realistic is tough, and I don't feel like I've ever really succeeded at that.

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42 minutes ago, Octavian said:

Very glad to be here. I am quite interested in learning more about the prospect of doing actual upholstered seats in a build. Making seats look realistic is tough, and I don't feel like I've ever really succeeded at that.

My shot at it is way back a bunch of pages. Plenty of doing and re-doing as I went along.

Secret; it's all in the adhesives you use....:devil:

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Steady progress...

Work on the cockpit has continued and here is the instrument panel. Not the usual 500/540 combination but remember David is building to a client's wishes:

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Cox frequently uses the ModelMotorcars resin seat which saves some work. But not out-of-box.

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Here a balsa slab is added to the seat section to increase its length:

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The backrest section also has been augmented and shaping begun:

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The cockpit gains a more plush appearance with these additions befitting a luxury sports car of the '30's:

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More soon....:whip:

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Insights from the edge...

As we know, David is building an advanced Pocher-based Benz. His modifications to turn it into a very accurate 540 Spezial are highly involved. He refers to many quality reference books of the real car as well as decades of his personal study of classic-era cars. He also frequently confers with quality restorers of these museum pieces and attends concours and high-end auctions.

I will first bring you the eye-watering interior upholstery to die for he is just now finishing after two weeks work. Then, of great value to Pocher Benz builders, I'll share the insights he shared with me after my intense questioning...:whip:

This scandalous red was the customer's wish and is being applied here. A huge skill needed to do this is to get kid skin down to .005" thick so it stretches around edges like this. The adhesive of choice is gel CA which will not stain or 'bleed' through to the surface. Cutting over-size is vital also because you can't 'piece in' without notice;

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Several of us would sacrifice body parts to turn out an interior like this. Note seat adjuster:

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Seat angle brackets in chrome are wonderful details. Just like Mercedes would do:

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Now in the previous post I showed the dashboard. I questioned David on why the leather went all the way to the cowl and windshield base. He replied that it wasn't trimmed yet. This led to further hounding by me which led to the following significant findings.

A better look at the near finished dashboard:

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David generously allows me to print verbatim, excerpts from our conversation:

"...the body gets painted before the dash is installed.  The real issue is the troublesome V’ed windshield which must be installed before the body is mounted.  Once the body is installed, the dashboard can be installed, but not before working out how to attach the steering column to the bottom edge of the dashboard, a subject on which our Pocher friends are strangely silent.  Finally, the issue of which car to copy regarding the detail of the leather between the lower edge of the windshield and the top of the dash.  My guess is that the leather will be tucked right up to the windshield."

A quick reminder here is that Cox has already moved the body aft, widened it at the cowl and shortened the doors - to 'make' a 540 Roadster. This plays havoc with the angled and vee'd windshield frame. The Pocher piece is terrible for finish and accuracy so the ModelMotorcars optional piece is used. It is greatly better than the kit piece but slight compromise in its design was needed so it would fit all three main Pocher kit designs. (None of which are 'accurate'  500'540's, the Cabriolet being closest).  Remember too that Cox was partners with Marvin Meit in MMC in the '90's and is responsible for many of those gorgeous optional handles, brackets, fittings and trim bits being cast in bronze and chromed. They were all well researched from real cars and beautify so many Pocher classics.

A museum car from book reference with commentary:

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From Cox:

"You can see the museum car has a trim strip to kill the leather, painted cowl, and then windshield.  Several cars omit the chrome strip and a few run the leather to the windshield.  Not much of a worry with the Pocher because there is not enough room because the windshield is too shallow to allow enough space for so many materials.  The Pocher is considerably wider, the V of the windshield is considerably flatter, and a chrome strip would need to be mounted right at the seam between the dash and the cowl.  Did I mention that the dash is supposed to be a friction fit onto the lip of the body?  If I forgot to mention the friction fit, it may be because I was distracted by the fact that the curvature of the cowl and the dash has to match in order for the dash to fit, and, of course, the curvature has been altered in order to widen the cowl in order to get the body to fit farther back on the frame."  :wall:

To sum up with very telling info for those that open a Pocher box and expect a museum piece:

"The issue is that there are three Pocher bodies and only one MMC windshield.  The angle is correct for all three. (Mercedes also used similar hardware on all three body styles), the V is correct for the K-91.   The height is pretty close for the K-91, almost correct for the roadsters, and a tad short for the cabriolet."

My sincere thanks to David Cox for allowing me to share his years of work and amazing insights with you all here.

More 'Pocher Dirty Secrets' next time......:wicked: :devil:

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A masterclass in upholstery...never easy...even in  1/8 😱

Surprised at use of CA gel for adhesive...would have thought it would be a problem...in as much as it tends to dry crystalline at times...showing small lumps!...my thought would have been a 'contact' adhesive...Evo Stik...Uhu...or some such...live and learn eh :)

 

Dashboard is another superb piece in it's own right.

 

Top dollar work in every respect.

 

Look forward to next installment.

 

Ron

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Amazing work; just exceptional. Do you know how he made the piping that goes around the base of the seat and down the sides, or did he perhaps use an existing product for that, some type of tubing or rolled leather or vinyl?

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7 hours ago, silver911 said:

A masterclass in upholstery...never easy...even in  1/8 😱

Surprised at use of CA gel for adhesive...would have thought it would be a problem...in as much as it tends to dry crystalline at times...showing small lumps!...my thought would have been a 'contact' adhesive...Evo Stik...Uhu...or some such...live and learn eh :)

 

I embraced gel CA after much testing - with it and some of the type solutions you mention. I found the slightly longer working time superior to regular CA (staining and instant stick) and contact adhesives  (instant also and you only get one shot). The time is needed so you can grab/clamp leather or fabric and pull it tightly around corners - THEN stick it down. This keeps wrinkles at a minimum. For the pleats, I applied a thin smear in the grove, tucked leather in with a razor saw blade and voila! It stuck tightly with no crusty lumps.

Many ways to skin a cat and others will have fine results with their methods. I considered contact for the large area roof fabric adhesive but again - testing - found ATG double side tape easier to apply and more forgiving. Sometimes you must combine methods as I used ATG for the broad areas and gel CA at the top corners, all edges and piping. Glad to say it's all still drum tight today 6+ years later.

I learned model upholstery is an art unto itself to be mastered for an advanced build. I thank the stars for my luck as a first time hacker...

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7 hours ago, Octavian said:

Amazing work; just exceptional. Do you know how he made the piping that goes around the base of the seat and down the sides, or did he perhaps use an existing product for that, some type of tubing or rolled leather or vinyl?

Great questions on a thorny subject. Piping is a VERY fiddly area. A mistake can ruin an otherwise perfect upholstery job.

David and I differ on this material. He prefers thin electrical wire which is NOT Teflon coated - CA won't stick. He paints it to color match and trims it with precision cutters. Lots of work...but his experience-borne results are beyond criticism.

I found round leather cord to be far superior, especially for a first-time upholsterer (ME !). Although commonly available on the web I love this supplier for huge range of colors and diameters at very reasonable prices:

https://www.leathercordusa.com/product/0201-1MM.html

I found sizes of 1, 1.5 or 2 MM to be ideal for 1/8 scale but thinner .5MM is available if you make suitcases and such. It's as flexible as your shoelace so goes around any contour with ease.

Again I use gel CA for a bit of working time, no staining and ferocious grip. I apply tiny amounts with the edge of a 1 MM PE scrap blade, while pulling the piping taut with tweezer  for 5 seconds or so until it sets. 

I found a perfect match to my gray and deep red for the headliner, fabric top trim and carpet binding.

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Final word ; if you want perfection, test and practice to delirium.............:mental:

 

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Codger,

 

Thanks for the piping info; I had meant to reply earlier about your upholstery work following our initial discussion but it got away from me (hectic week). To look at the work you did on this interior, no one would ever guess that it was your first time doing model upholstery. The seats are immaculate.

 

Best,

Andrew

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Oh baby...

Hot off the press - apparently a productive weekend for Mr Cox; a full mock-up in primer.

Simple lacquer spray can primer. But now easier to see the body relocations, splices and tweeks, all in one color.  The inside of the passenger door shows the splices and reinforcements when shortening a door. More as I get them...

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A fascinating peek into how the puzzle comes together.

 

Personally...I much prefer the 'elegance' of the Rolls...to the 'brutish' Merc...which always feels better suited to a blustering show off...more brawn than brains...so to speak.

 

Look forward to next update.

 

Ron

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4 hours ago, silver911 said:

Personally...I much prefer the 'elegance' of the Rolls...to the 'brutish' Merc...which always feels better suited to a blustering show off...more brawn than brains...so to speak.

 

First, thanks for posting an interesting opinion. One I largely agree with. Discussion always welcomed here.

Having tried to emphasize the RR 'elegance', I find it a much more subtle expression of that than the Benz. 'Stately' rather than 'flashy'. Even in the short chassis  two seat Rolls roadsters and cabriolets.

The 540 however is 'in your face' Teutonic, symbolic of what was happening in that country in 1935 - exuding strength, brawn and 'superiority'. 'Elegance' was forced - by swoopy proportions and fluid lines - many of them. And then to further force the concept, lavish chrome everywhere possible to make the point. 

Cox has captured all of this in his 15 or 20 Benz builds over the years. Getting the proportions of this one correct from a Pocher start is a major accomplishment.

Thanks Ron / C

 

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Some more insights...

Along with this latest mock-up photo, David has shared more about the difficulties of the Pocher Benz. He grumbled that the last time he built a 540 from this base was ten years ago. And all the difficulties of course remain. He even called it an 'accursed conglomeration'  - OUCH!

He decided to mount the door latches before paint because of the difficult door/panel fit. He is deliberately going slowly to eliminate poor fitments.

A direct explanation:

It might surprise you to know that the radiator flexes at least 0.25” side to side, and backs that up with some flex fore and aft. (NOTE; the braces have not yet been installed but will be after paint) The body is unsupported from the rear of the rumble seat rearward, which is a dramatic improvement over the cabriolet which is unsupported from the rear of the cockpit rearward. ( ! ) And the cowl wobbles side-to-side by 1/8”.

Plenty of reason not to hack one up because like Humpty Dumpty, it does not easily go back together again. But Cox has made sufficient bracing to mitigate these horrors.

Latest photo to prove that cunning and persistence as well as huge experience pays off. A lovely classic profile. The swoopy windshield will add to the glamour:

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More soon.........

C

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31 minutes ago, silver911 said:

Very nice...but would like more pics please 🤬

:wall: :weep: SO WOULD I ! But please don't shoot the messenger - it's very telling though.

 

Dave is apparently having a steel cage wrestling match with this one and not taking any 'in the garden' glamour shots. I AM happy I got enough shots to illustrate the tough areas to help any interested builders.

He will always send more but I must wait by the mail box for progress to continue. Glad we got the cabin shots and that's almost ready for mounting. When paint goes on (imminent now and weather-dependent) we'll have more to see.

And as always there will be finished portraits to drool over.......:penguin:

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I just read up to this point. It is really amazing to see how much detail David is reproducing in this build. 

Fantastic upholstery, although I also would go for contact glue as I did on my Alfa. You mentioned that you have only one go with it but that’s not really so.

Remember that I had to downsize the seats because they were to wide? Was an easy job because I used contact glue. You can redo it without any problems.

For piping I would indeed also use leather strings, which can be had in many sizes.

 

IMG-324.jpg  

 

Anyway, it is fun to see how David tackles this. Love it. Keep it coming.

 

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Hard to argue with beautiful work like that Poul.

 

I always know there are other ways to do things and respect those that get great results like that. For David and I, gel CA suited us best. And I did use ATG tape which has similarities to contact.

 

Many ways to skin the cat...

 

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On 6/11/2021 at 12:33 AM, Codger said:

Many ways to skin the cat...

You might want to rephrase that. Skinning cats .... pfew😉

 

Yes, I agree. If a method works for you, keep using it.

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Some important take-aways...

I know I am preaching to a minuscule audience of those that actually want to build an advanced Pocher classic. But I feel we are all fortunate to see the work of Dave Cox under this microscope because it can apply to any other type of model project. And today I have some gems and personal insight of my own.

In this batch of photos, the fitment of doors and hood are explained as he does them.

The big thing to learn is to use mechanical fastenings as opposed to gluing for (heavy)  moveable parts. I learned this early on in my build from David.

Here the brass hood tops are taped to the piano hinge. That has been located to the grille shell area and the cowl and will allow the hoods to open/close just as the original, half at a time.

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This is the hood top's edge showing location for Pocher hinges to receive side panels. These are three different materials to be joined; brass hood, steel hinge, plastic side hood panel:

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A close up shows that Dave's method of choice employs very fine wire rod to 'pin' parts together. That means drilling tiny holes. Where appropriate fine 00-90 screws can be used as I did on my doors and hood central hinge:

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A snug fit to the side panel results:

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Note the pins pierce the plastic side panel and can easily be trimmed flush.

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A custom, slotted door jamb is made and a pin awaits insertion of the hinge, making doors very easy to paint off the car:

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Attention to detail; a custom tapered trim piece is made to transition from the door bottom edge to the hood side panel:

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The thing I want to stress is to be unafraid to seek superior fastening methods and non - Pocher engineering to achieve advanced results. Sure - it's nice to have a storehouse of spares as Cox does but there are a few places to accumulate such parts. Including derelict kits, half built and abandoned by the fainthearted. It often involves much cutting of an expensive kit but if you have and rely on your skills, you will always achieve advanced results. Cox taught me that in about the first quarter of my build. Which is why it changed directions so much over time. I explored and employed different methods as they occurred to me. That's a great part of the fun and satisfaction.

And here is latest magic-in-progress, dash top trim for the windshield area. A hellishly complex shape which will be stylish and graceful when he completes it.

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Don't despair- just enjoy:

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