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

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An historic moment...

- On this workbench at least. The last of the primer for this long - patient Rolls.

Waiting to dry overnight, then 600 wet tomorrow and color will appear. Temps in the 70F range and low humidity, we lacquer guys live for it! The color won't go fast because I color sand a jillion times - but we're getting there. Clear after that. Polishing cloths after that - you all know the drill by now.



I don't blame anybody for hating prep but here it is - or actually, continues. If any of you are satisfied with paint jobs as they come out of the can, ignore the following because it's tedious and time consuming. Perfect paint will tax you that way.

The filled and sanded top hood panels were crying out for color so here are the first three coats of Dark Red Duplicolor lacquer. They were applied on an 80F day yesterday and 50% humidity. All three coats were more than mist but were fine, even light coats. Just wanted even color and some body to sand into.

My experience with Duplicolors is that they dry to a fine 'leather' texture but not full 'orange peel'. For my methods that's just fine.

Here is my procedure for wet sanding overnight-dry paint; a basin of tepid water, a drop of dish soap and 600 and 1000 wet-or-dry. This procedure works best if any spouses are out on a shopping trip, which greatly eliminates the noise factor. With three coats on, you can sand without fear; the goal is to flatten the surface which also dulls it. Steady and even as you go. Note the red residue in the basin and the fact that the panels are not sanded through - just go carefully near the edges. It's OK if you can't get right into a corner or edge (like where the outer raised edges are); later coats and clear will make that 'go away'. You want to get the leather texture flat with even color - that's all:


Clean and dry, here the surfaces are seen as dull but evenly flat. Subsequent coats will lay on a flat surface, not build up more texture. The next coats will be 'medium' coats - wet but not 'heavy'. Again color sanding will occur. My method is to clear a flat, smooth surface which both lays out smooth and enriches the color beneath. And then even that gets sanding with cloth grits.

Seen with the top panels are the sides and a scrap of the cream they will become. The coachline is in gray for the Dark Red, which will get masked, then the cream shot on the white prime below by the same methods:


Paint progress...

I appreciate that some of you find value in my methods enough to save them, but I'd like to stress that this is what works for me. There are 100 ways to skin this cat and there are very excellent painters all over this forum so please do not consider this the 'last word' in paint methods. A good deal of paint success comes from 'feel' - another word for experience. The real learning process for me was three decades ago on my 1:1 Cobra.

A successful tip from way back in the thread when I painted the main body and later, the doors, is using tin foil for large surface masking. I like to use as little masking tape as possible on adjacent painted surfaces. I never cover the whole surface in tape. Tin foil (without holes in it!) is an absolute barrier and the hottest lacquers will not soak through . Easy to handle and fold in place too. Here the side panels are covered so the coachline can get its red coat. I use the 2mm Tamiya for a sharp edge and a minimal amount of tape contact. Then Tammy yellow tape at the very top edge of the foil and to overlap the 2mm tape. The only tape adhered to the panel is the 2mm and the large section is completely free. Note that the foil easily folds around the sides and bottom of the part eliminating the need to tape it down:


Here the hood tops have received their first round of color coats and have been wet color sanded with the grits written on the towel. Baby-bottom smooth and any imperfections gone. Notice that at only 2400 grit final, the reflections are becoming distinct. If you continued up to 12.000, you'd have a mirror glass finish. But for me, A wet coat or two more of red, repeat the sanding, then it's time for clear:


I'll repeat a wacky tip I mentioned earlier about drying the paint - for those who have such a set-up. I paint on warm and as humidity-free days as are available, in my garage. I keep my sedan parked in the driveway (windows closed and cracked open to regulate temps) and on 70+F sunny days the cabin gets to between 105F and 120F or so. Perfect for drying and out-gassing lacquer. Gives the paint a chance to flow together, just like a bake booth in bodyshops. Also keeps pollen and dust off while drying. Sanity plays no part in good paint jobs.

The pain is worth it...

This is why Testors Wet Look Clear is  my weapon of choice for this paint combination. Here it is straight from the can. And why all the tedious prep is worth it. The second round of two wet (but not dripping!) coats of red has been sanded to 2400 and thoroughly dried, as seen above. Today I shot a coat of TWLC, medium wet, 'baked' and sanded it (2400, 4000, 6000) and two hours later shot another the same way. And here that is without any sanding - yet. I will take this to 12,000 tomorrow. Notice the lamp reflections and that there is virtually no 'leather' or 'peel' in this. The Testors really lays out well if you get enough on the surface. It's remarkably forgiving:



And here's the panel in its future home, just sitting there. Note that the gloss on the cowl (about 18 months old) is a near match for the un-polished new clear. You can't tell unless in person but this clear enriches a base color and makes it 'diamond-like'. Makes your colors 'pop'.

The plan for the cream color; I will gently clean up the red then shoot the cream and go through the same steps of color sanding as the red. Except for those louvers. I'll soft mask them to limit build-up as color goes on, then unmask for color. You can't sand or abuse those. Then I'll clear the whole panel to eliminate a hard line of clear between colors.



Couldn't resist!...

Paint still wet! Clear yet to come. Things just hung on...Had to see what I was after all this time:



Concern for The Flying Lady...

“A little question though in that respect: where is the "Flying lady"  ("Spirit of Ecstasy")?

The Little Lady, Eleanor Thornton,  will appear when all is done. She is too delicate for any kind of handling. She sleeps on a tuft of cotton, in a small plastic box - safe for over 3 decades. Hopefully, she will guide my Rolls just as long...

“The 'Spirit of Ecstasy' must be getting quite excited of her impending debut. Maybe even on this page.”

“Dear Codger, please don't finish this masterpiece yet...and the little lady is comfortable in the box, so why take her out of her sleep?”

Thank you for the sentiment...But I HAVE to finish it before IT finishes ME.

I'm neither dragging this out nor rushing to the display case just yet. Still some small baubles to add, tidy things and attach the big bits with hinge pins. And I have to make tiny sunglasses for the Little Lady so the light doesn't hurt her eyes. So some time remains.

A critical success - so far...

I'm sure you're all tired of seeing what looks like the same photos over and over - but these are actually different. They are the completed driver side hood panels, down and locked and opened and up. Getting the geometry and placement right was a huge challenge for a guy that flunked geometry. They are the last steps in the evolution you've suffered through of the gestation of the critical nose of the car.

Critical because they are what makes a vintage, classic Phantom the legend it remains today. Almost a trademark - arrow straight, flawless, symmetrical metal work. To me it was vital to get those reflections, gaps and joints right as best I could. So far with one side done, I'm satisfied.

Clear going on the passenger side top panel very soon and we'll see if I remain lucky:



Turns out you can see some engine detail I fretted over so many months ago..



The Spirit of Ecstasy...

Or 'Ellie In Her Nighty' as we Rolls owners refer to her. But I learned that the true Spirit of Ecstasy is what one feels when completing an extreme build of a Pocher classic. Here Eleanor is in all her beauty, guiding the path of my Gentleman's Express.

Now something nice to say about Pocher; our mascot Lady is a gem. In fact. she 'works' just like the prototype. If you make your hood panels hinge to open upward, (instead of having to pull them off to see the engine), she must be turned 90 degrees so her flowing 'nighty' allows the panel to clear when opened. The threaded cap allows this and when hood is closed she will point forward to lead the way to the next casino: 


Yes the day has finally arrived when all the bits are in one place with permanent (or removable) units all together on four wheels.

Here now in January 2020, nearly six years after starting, is how my Rolls looks today. The glass case constructed while finishing the last model steps has kept it as the day I stopped. Nothing fell off or covered in dust.

I prefer these plain graphic backgrounds because I feel they most effectively present the pure shape of the thing – and the clearest statement of my dream. Other portraits taken outdoors and with the backdrop and detail shots will follow.








An unexpected thrill was having the car featured in the January 2018 issue of the US Rolls-Royce Owner's Club magazine, 'The Flying Lady'. My thanks to Sabu Advani, Editor in Chief.

Before I continue..

I wrote the following on June 4, 2017:

I would be remiss were I not to thank so many who made this a magical experience for me. To David Cox of Detailed Model Cars, my deepest gratitude for the techniques he shared with me and the wonderful parts he fabricated to my wishes which set the model aglow. Thanks too to Marvin Meit of Model Motorcars Ltd. for the beautiful bronze, brass, resin, stainless, rubber and chrome parts he makes for these cars which are like Crown Jewels . Many are seen in these shots.

I must also express my gratitude to the moderators here for allowing my work to drag on for over 70 precious pages of bandwidth. In that vein, I thank you, the forum members who found this all entertaining, valuable, or laughable. Your questions, advice, and support have made this much more than opening a model box and slapping glue on plastic. Very often I have changed my mind or direction based on thoughts expressed by caring and expert modellers. This thread has brought me a few very dear friends and I would be fortunate to keep them.

Should any Pocher builders or RR builders in particular find the construct information of value, I am most gratified.

Simply, 'thank you' to all and more to come!

Today, I can repeat that exact same message of gratitude. In addition, administrator Greg B has been most kind in allowing this reconstruction to happen, and his technical help invaluable. He will also soon unlock the thread for questions and comments which I will gladly address.


Edited by Codger
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no questions from my side for now - we'll get to that when I start my own big build. But since nobody feels the need to say anything at all I'll say at least this: THANK YOU. THANK YOU SO MUCH for reviving this glorious topic. For many hours of restoring work after the PB-disaster.  @Greg B - thank you for allowing this and helping out, and also for keeping this thread clean.


I said it in private, and I say it again: I am very glad to see those beautiful and helpful pictures back online. You know I read through every single post and it is really helpful to have this all condensed down to the very essence. Without the countless (well deserved) comments inbetween the information density becomes insane. While most of the emotions that made the long thread such an epic journey are now missing, this pure documentational thread is even more valuable for every large scale builder. Specific tips and tricks for old Pochers are one thing, but this goes far beyond that: It gives motivation and encourages to hack away on even very valuable kits. It is a strong reminder of what can be achieved with patience and perseverance. It teaches to evaluate the own boundaries and to re-evaluate and push them constantly.


I hope this thread will stay pinned for at least a very very long time. And I hope it inspires others as much as it keeps inspiring me.



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3 hours ago, Schwarz-Brot said:

But since nobody feels the need to say anything at all

Man, I'm still catching up on this one! Reading the thread is hard work let alone the building itself 


Great work @Codger and an asset to this forum. I just measured my workspace, it's 55 by 40 centimeters so 1/8 is not going to happen for me, I'll just stick to the smaller scales and watch you guys build these behemoths 🙂 

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3 hours ago, Schwarz-Brot said:


no questions from my side for now - we'll get to that when I start my own big build. But since nobody feels the need to say anything at all I'll say at least this: THANK YOU. THANK YOU SO MUCH for reviving this glorious topic. For many hours of restoring work after the PB-disaster.  @Greg B - thank you for allowing this and helping out, and also for keeping this thread clean.


Thank you Jan for your support and encouragement throughout. I am pleased if my work has value to you and any observers.

In constructing this second revised thread I had to edit the input, suggestions and encouragement of many contributors and well-wishers and you were prominent among those. I had much laughter and and warm feelings seeing them again after these passing years. The support was like a magic elixir in the rough  and uncertain times when difficult areas were encountered.

Sadly I realized that so many members are simply not here, even on an occasional basis. So many promising Pocher classic builds were in progress back then that have now gone silent. Indeed, one main purpose to my original posting was to encourage and promote the rescue and building of these now-relics.

Of great sadness is the loss of Paul Calvert who became my web friend because of his support of the Rolls. My hope that all the others who were a daily part of the build are at least, all well and enjoying the other aspects of the hobby. To Paul and every single other member who posted encouragement, my deepest thanks. Every time I revisit the thread or look at the car in its case, those fond memories return.  A huge addition to the satisfaction of the experience. I made many friends as a result of the project, a great value for me.  

If I can repay that experience by answering a question or suggestion I would be greatly pleased.


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38 minutes ago, JeroenS said:

Great work @Codger and an asset to this forum. I just measured my workspace, it's 55 by 40 centimeters so 1/8 is not going to happen for me, I'll just stick to the smaller scales and watch you guys build these behemoths 🙂 

Of course a crazy like me would suggest you build an addition to your home or displace a family member or two from their living space. :devil:

But failing that, I hope you can find a tidbit of info on materials, adhesives or techniques that can help you improve your modelling experience in my soap opera project.

Thank you for struggling through it and taking time to compliment me.

Much appreciated.


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2 minutes ago, Codger said:

Of course a crazy like me would suggest you build an addition to your home or displace a family member or two from their living space. :devil:

Great subject for the dinner table tomorrow!

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In the interest of keeping this thread as a point of Phantom II reference, here are two photos I relied on to 'get close' to what the engines were in the day.

These are probably older, careful restorations because they are virtually intact with original parts - but with freshly painted and some polished parts. Of note is the stock firewall which is different than Pocher's as discussed, and the fact that these engines do not have the block-mounted additional oil lines. Also the block freeze plugs employ small studs and nuts rather than the large hex bolts Pocher molded on.

These were easier to study than Haddock's excellent drawings - at least for me.

I hope new Rolls builders find these useful.

Any of you that may have P-II photos of any type, feel free to add them here. Especially photos taken 'in the day' circa 1932. These engines are in a '31' and a 33'.



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I thank the Gods (admin) for the rejuvenation of this incredible work by our Mr C. It deserves to be "pinned" for eternity as the holy bible for any Pocher builder.


Chas, once again, I'm blown away by your achievements...… firstly, for the stunning Rolls' and secondly for your efforts in re-writing this WIP. That surely has to have been your most daunting project, to date.:worthy:


All hail Mr C.

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15 minutes ago, harveyb258 said:

Chas, once again, I'm blown away by your achievements...… firstly, for the stunning Rolls' and secondly for your efforts in re-writing this WIP. That surely has to have been your most daunting project, to date.:worthy:



Too kind Harvey-too kind. Yes I admit I got my tush kicked while compiling the thread again. :banghead:Largely by the intermittent outage of the photo host. But they finally got it right - at great cost to my few remaining follicles.

I must say that this site's software was faultless handling 50+ picture uploads (plus text) at a clip.

Kudos to all the boffins here......:winkgrin:

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Motoring to the concours...

I offer the premise that the enjoyment of a Pocher classic can extend beyond the actual build. Outdoor photography and creative graphics can place your work in real-world settings. Far away from the cutting mat clutter of construction. From time to time I will offer examples as encouragement and inspiration to build these now-rare classics. Creating day dreams is an added value for the effort and expense involved and a wonderful return on investment.


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More inspiration...

I offer here a model by professional Pocher builder David Cox. This is a prime example of a highly advanced build with what seems like simple modifications. Dave's techniques of body lowering and alignments were shared with me which I have shared with you here. Nothing new for him; this was built for a customer in 2009. 

It started as the 'Ambassador' version of the Sedanca which Dave converted into a top-down Cabriolet. It comes with the Barker-style full fenders. Of course Dave never leaves well-enough alone in his builds and this one has the rear fenders bobbed, an opening Bugatti trunk and a relocated spare with cover. Note the level hood line and even louvers, a huge change from the stock kit. Functioning lights, opening windscreen, door glass, chrome plating and a leather and veneer interior make for a happy customer.



And also never leaving well-enough alone, for fun, I graphically added my 'trademark' color sweep to further lengthen and lower the car visually. I'd love to have this car right next to my own but it now lives in California:


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Brace yourselves...

Wishing to keep my thread a focal point of Pocher Rolls Royce interest, I present the EXTREME END of such constructions. Not merely an advanced or detailed build, I once again present the work of David Cox, specialist in this sort of thing. He proves once again that what I did is merely kindergarten child's play.

Dave calls these types of thing his 'Monsters'. You will see why presently. Some of us are fans of the aero-engined classics that wealthy owners commission from time to time. Big Merlins and such stuffed into impeccable classics, usually of the 1930's. But David's fertile imagination goes beyond even that and creates engines that never existed.



What could be under that impossibly long hood? It's name gives a hint: The Double Six.


What you see are TWO Rolls Royce six engines joined into a single crankcase casing with complete -everything- in total functional form. A straight 12 engine. His extensive 1:1 hands-on knowledge allows him to build visually operable things as if they were able to actually be cast and machined full size. Complete fuel, cooling, oiling, ignition and control systems are presented as 'real'.

This one is on a stock length Pocher chassis- with an enormous body set back. Note the steering box at the front engine section when it is normally where the rear is now. Everything in the build is thought-out as though it were real construction.


Most of us have enough trouble building ONE presentable Pocher engine. Therefore the scope of this build becomes evident.


Why does it have TWO sets of spare sparkplugs on the edge of the firewall?

A. Because David's car's are nothing if not flights of imagination-and

B. Because it CAN...:smartass:

A cockpit full of levers, gauges and switches is needed to monitor all that mechanical mayhem. There is barely room for driver's lower body and the fright factor looking out over that mile-long hood must be terrifying:


Exposed fuel tank and line, lashed-down spare and flared Bugatti rear fenders add to the outrageous visual air - another Cox hallmark. As is chopped leather roof and radically shortened and lowered body:


But hidden in the tiny trunk, the power source for the completely operable lights:


As I often said of my build, this may not be everyone's cup of tea. But seen in total, I find the visual presentation completely exciting, romantic and the stuff of inspiration. Wildly impractical but certainly viable down to the last rivet. When I was a boy this was the sort of dreamy sketches I made. It never left me.  Apparently, David too:


Built 17 years ago, it still looks like this today on David's shelf. But the Double Six never fails to draw incredulous enthusiast bystanders on the road...


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I only laugh because these old aero engines are insane.....the cars that were built around them at the time … and the drivers who were nuts enough to put their foot down ( and all without a computer kickin' in and taking over to make 'em look good).


Aaahhhhh, the good old days!:worthy:

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A more conservative Rolls...

For lovers of the Torpedo four door body style, here again from the bench of David Cox, is the world-famous 'Star of India' 1934 Phantom II. The model was built for a customer who wanted an exact replica of the car originally ordered by the Maharajah of Rajkot, India. His Highness was an avid sportsman and loved to hunt tigers and other big game. As we shall see....


The car was designed with many custom features, the most visible of which were the highly polished aluminum fenders, hood panels, wheel discs and spare covers. Dave replicated this accurately by having those parts vacuum plated after carefully preparing the parts and making them flawless.

The model is an example of how far one can go when building a 'stock' Pocher yet with astounding amounts of added details. The only fundamental changes to Pocher architecture are the lowered body, windscreen and roof, which I show in my build, and the alignment of all the louvers.

The cabin is the first area where this becomes evident:


Operable windows, full leather, custom storage compartments and functional controls live there. The rear compartment shows the main love of the owner; double and single-barrelled 12 gauge shotguns and compartments for ammunition and refreshments. Elephants carved of ivory with green eye lights set off the opulent wood furniture:


Just getting started, Dave installed the functional 22 lights, many added for those nighttime hunting excursions His Highness loved. The paint was matched to original Saffron yellow. A completely functional folding canvas top was meticulously fabricated.


Not an afterthought, the engine compartment received full customary Cox detailing even though the coachwork screams for attention:


Dave created the Rajkot state crest seen on the rear windows and had 3D printed medallions made to affix to the doors, as His highness wished. Note the top is up in this view:


After several owners, complete restoration and world wide display, the car was purchased in 2009 by the Maharaja's nephew, the Prince of Rajkot, magically seen here with Dave's model at Amelia Island:


The car never fails to draw attention where ever it is displayed:


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A more conservative approach...

I have been regaling you all with with the imaginative and sometimes extreme work of David Cox. This because he has been at this for three-plus decades and far more prolific than I. And I've said all I can about  RR's with my one little bullet. But since I have his generous permission to share his work here, I think we all can benefit by what we see of it. Imagine his customers actually owning one or more of these gems.

Here is as close to what Dave will build 'out-of'box' - which is to say 'not at all like what you get'.

Here is the very popular torpedo kit which he named the Continental Express. Built for that express purpose - to travel the continent in style, grace and opulence, in 1932.

Essentially a stock Pocher kit but with the subtle changes that make it more a Barker-bodied touring car. If you know what to look for, it is a treasure trove of building ideas. I will help reveal those.

Its grace is unmistakable and that happens because the body and windshield are lowered on the chassis, the louvers are aligned and the top resides in an elegant cover. 


Yes I know the stock kit does not sit this way but I have outlined in detail above how to accomplish that if one is determined and patient.

A beautiful shade of blue unifies the whole presentation and sets off the tan leather and blonde wood cabin. Note the simple treatment of the running board treads- rubber coating, not requiring chromed strips. Of course the entire mechanical aspect received the standard Cox function and detail. As always, all metal tubing and channel is scratch-built chromed brass.



Not overwhelming but impeccably straight forward, the cabin is an inviting place to drive or sight-see. The Cox-trademark opening windshield is evident here. The sharp eyed among you will note the functional rear seat wind blocker for the comfort of those back there. Note the side glass raises and lowers in the doors. The cabinetry is a special skill of Cox and he delights in creating all sorts of useful furniture. Clocks, switch gear and cubbies for all manner of personal items or refreshments. Remember, 1932 was a different time than 2020.




Relocating the spare to the rear instead of the fender mounts contributes to the grace of these lines. And the trunk is loaded with ideas for the Pocher builder eager to advance without the mutilation conducted by me. Functional hinges, a warming lap blanket, a box of personal items (sunblock? camera? dancing shoes?) and those required fluids for 'spirited' motoring.


My hope is that you can take away ideas for your own Pocher classic or even the fine 1/16 classic kits that exist today. Although some may get costly, they are all tremendous value for modeling time spent. And they look brilliant on your shelf...


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Anyone contemplating building a Pocher Rolls should look at John Horrocks website where he describes a lot of engine detailing that can be done complete with many dimensioned drawings to make scratch built parts.

His site has a number of PDF's of the detailing that can be downloaded and should be of great help to any Pocher Rolls builder.

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