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Well, after totally ruining my 3 month build of the Italeri Alfa Romeo 8C 2300 Monza (see below), it's got hidden away in a box until I can pluck up the courage to look at it again without crying.

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I've decided instead to have a go at spoiling a different Alfa kit I have in my stash instead, an Alfa Romeo 179C. This next build will probably be of the 179C that was driven by either Mario Andretti or Bruno Giacomelli back in 1981. My original plan was to have an Alfa Romeo racing car from the early days and one from nearer to today. Unfortunately, due to my ham fistedness with an airbrush and unfortunate accident with a Q-tip (do NOT ask!), its now just going to be the later car!

 

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As per usual, I'll be totally ignoring the order of build as advised in the instructions and so will probably end up with lots of containers all awaiting detail painting! I'll be using Zero Paints to apply the finishing colours but first a lot of research has to be done as I'll probably be adding and amending parts as I go along if the 8C was anything to go by!

 

Build progress photos to follow - when I actually do make some progress!

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Don't give up too soon on the Monza. Just give it some time, build up some confidence and then look at it again at a later point. I at some point started to build models anyway, even if I seriously messed up. There's still enough to learn along the way and techniques to test and gain confidence in. Most of these never see the light of day again, but at least you got them finishend and not as a burden on the shelf of doom. Disaster recovery can give you some nice learning experiences as well.

 

Good to see you posting. I'll follow 🙂

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I agree on salvaging the Monza. If you patiently remove the fittings and safety wire, the texture can be sanded (wet) out of the paint. I would start with 2400 grit. If it remains go coarser to maybe 1800 or so. Then go back finer to 3200, 4000 and by 6000 it should be gone. Then recoat. If you didn't break through the color you can clear over. patience is the key.

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I'd have to agree that this should be salvageable as the others have said, I can't really add much to what Codger has said, but a bit of sanding (even if not to perfectly smooth) will allow you to add some clear. That can then be sanded to a good smooth surface with less risk of burning through the colour coat before the final clear. Have a go at the newer one, then hopefully you'll be a position to face attacking this one again.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Its been a week or two, but I have at last made a tentative start on the 179. I've been spending time trying to resuscitate the 8C, first with some success, but latterly not so well. Its now residing in a black plastic bin bag - in several large pieces! Long story, not part of this build, but lets just say I won't be buying any more of Vallejo's decal fix and decal set!

 

Anyway, onto the 179 build. After looking this kit over, and bearing in mind my wasted efforts to detail the 8C, I've decided to make this model almost "out of the box" and not fret over detailing. The moulds for this model are obviously so old that the detail is starting to blur on some parts and the flash and ejector marks are going to make things more difficult than they should be anyway. The fit of parts is nothing to write home about either!! So, onward and upward.

 

I've decided to build the 179C variant, probably the one driven by Bruno Giacomelli in the 1980 season. I'm going to use mainly Tamiya acrylics except for the main body panels. They will be painted using Zero Paints colour matched fluorescent red and white paint set, which is solvent based. I may use the odd brushfull of Revell paints for some of the small detail stuff.

 

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Not a great deal done yet (other than the parts in the attached photo). The steering rack didn't go together too well, as it is supposed to actually work, but the rack and pinion are a bit crude and the fit of it all was a bit tight so I've glued it up solid. Who needs working steering on a static model anyway! I still need to tidy up the paint edges of the steel straps.

 

More reports and whinges as progress is made 😀 

Edited by Sloucher
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So, I've made a little more progress with the 179, but it's fighting me every inch of the way! Before the obligatory photos, I'll explain some of the pitfalls with this kit to forewarn any potential builders.

There is a lot, and I mean a LOT of shrinkage, cavitation and flash with this kit, especially on the sprue with the front suspension arms. I suppose I should have expected it, as the moulds must be quite long in the tooth now, bearing in mind that even though Italeri only released this kit in about 2018, it's been around since being originally produced by Protar in 1983, so 37 years ago!

 

My main fitting annoyance, so far, has been (or still is at the time of writing) the steering rack. As I mentioned before, I've glued it fixed so it doesn't actually operate, but in addition to that, when placed into position with the steering shaft located in the under dashboard mount, the clevises at the end of the steering rods finish up at an angle instead of horizontal as per prototype. This means I'm going to have to introduce an axial twist along the steering arms so they meet the wheel upright at the correct angle, i.e. horizontal. 🤨

 

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                                                                                                    Hmmmm, That Angle's Not Right!

 

The only other annoying hitch so far has been the shrinkage in the instrument decal locations on the dashboard. If I'd just applied the decals without addressing this issue, they would have been very concave, so it was a matter of filling the sink holes and sanding them flat using abrasive paper glued to the bottom of a couple of suitable size drills.

 

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                                                                       My Special Tools (Drills with Abrasive Paper Stuck to Them!)

 

Other than that, its just been a matter of using a lot of aluminium colour paint!! Unfortunately, my best aluminium colour paint is a solvent based paint, and as the bodywork is the only area I plan on using solvent based paints, Tamiya TS-17 rattle can is plenty good enough for this "out of the box" build.

 

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                                                     Bottom Half of Chassis Tub

 

The instructions suggest black as the colour for the master cylinders, but I disagree. All the photos I've seen show polypropolyne type resevoirs which are an off white colour with black caps. Interestingly, most of my reference photos also show an pressed sheet aluminium structure in front of the cylinders with the fire extinguisher mounted on the front of it. Hey ho, must remember this is "out of the box" and no mods!!

 

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                                                     Top Half of Chassis Trial Fit

 

Believe me, those black netting type covers on the top and bottom of the radiators are a right b^%$r to glue on!!

 

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                                                             Instruments In Place

 

I've not installed any of the pipework yet, even though its all been trial fitted. When messing around trying to sort out the steering rack issue, they just kept getting in the way, so I've left them off until such time as their locations are in danger of becoming inaccessible!

I intend making a start on the engine next. Again, as was my original intention with the 8c (RIP), this won't be a pristine museum quality representation of the car, more a mid season, raced look.

 

Onwards and upwards!

Edited by Sloucher
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To wrestle with this kit you're no Slouch. :rolleyes:

But let me suggest some brass tubing with eyes soldered on to improve strength and get the geometry better in the suspension. It's probably easier too.

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I must admit, I had thought about doing just that @Codger, but I'd promised myself that I'd keep this build as near "out of the box" as possible 😀. However, thats not to say I never break promises 🤫.

I may choose a halfway house eventually and drill out the kit eyes to fit some brass rod. I'll then connect them back together with the brass rod glued into them, albeit with the necessary axial offset. First though I'll try hot water, brute force (not too much!) and a great deal of ignorance 😂.

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So, over the last couple of days I decided it was about time to solve the steering trackrods alignment issue once and for all. My first attempt at introducing a twist into the rods however, failed dismally at the first hurdle! Hot water didn't get them hot enough to twist, and a hot air gun sort of made them a bit, well, droopy!! Further manipulation started a fatigue crack which soon became an out and out break😪.

 

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                                                            I Broke It!

 

I decided at that point the best idea then was to cut the actual rod ends off, insert them into a short length of 2mm thinwall brass tube and then use a length of suitable diameter (1.5mm) brass rod as the actual track rod. I could then adjust the angle of the rod ends to any angle I wanted.

 

 

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                                                                             Rod Bits

 

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                                                          Making a Rod For My Own Back

 

However, before I settled on the angle of dangle, I thought I'd have another look at the cause of the wrong angle at the actual steering rack. Long story short, after leaving it for a few hours in the freezer, I started to prise apart the steering rack to investigate. Freezer time was a waste of time, as it took just seconds to get back to room temperature and then a good hour to prise apart  - very carefully! Anyway, the answer to the mal-aligned steering soon became very obvious. The inside of the "tube" of the steering rack, when both halves were joined together, was not circular but oval, and hence was pinching the steering rod and wedging it into the wrong orientation. Judicious use of a small round file soon solved the problem. Carefully glued back together the refurbished rack now had an unexpected bonus - the steering now actually operates - win, win! It did mean of course that my work on the trackrods had not actually been necessary, but to be honest, I think my fabricated rods (with no introduced angle) look more prototypical than the kit supplied ones, and are certainly stronger, so another win!

 

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                                                            Working Rack and Track Rods

After taking a break to watch the qualifying sessions for the British Grand Prix, I then picked up the engine and gearbox to make a change from tweaking the chassis tub. All went together quite well with the help of a bit of fettling here and there. One problem that niggled me for ages until I had an "Aha!" moment was that the gearbox sump/base panel (bottom cover) just wouldn't fit without a large gap between the flanges at the front. The "Aha" moment came when I was puzzling over why filing the flanges as flat as a billiard table wasn't solving the problem, and re-examined the parts. The actual problem was that the two parallel ribs on the inside of the gearbox bottom cover designed to locate it squarely on the gearbox was actually bottoming out on the internal location posts of the gearbox. A few quick passes of the already useful small round file on the locating ribs solved the problem.

 

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                                                                   Gearbox Locating Posts

 

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                                           Mod to the Gearbox Bottom Cover Locating Ribs

 

I'm now working on filling the rather prominent, but awkwardly positioned gap along the top of the gearbox. Unfortunately, one side is slightly proud of the other as well as there being the gap between them. With the suspension mounts having to have been mounted during the assembly of the two engine/gearbox halves, its now a very tight access to get any tools in there.

 

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                                                                             Awkward!

 

Well, if nothing else, this kit is making me think on my feet!!

 

To infinity and.........:work:

Edited by Sloucher
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It's nice to see that you've got the steering rack sorted Sloucher. 

To be honest, dealing with these types of issues can add to the fun (provided there aren't too many of them!).

 

Cheers

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Very good safe on the steering. Won't take you long and you'll be absolutely comfortable scratchbuilding your own details!

 

Many Italeri kits are well known for their bad fit. But they do offer some fine subjects.

 

You already filled the gap. My goto solution would have been adding some material to it with small strips of plasticard. Then on a flat surface grind both sides down to be absolutely level and of the right width. With a chisel blade the overstanding material can be carefully taken off after glueing the halves together. The chisel blade would help you very much with cleaning up in your situation, I think.

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On 7/27/2020 at 12:46 PM, Sloucher said:

I must admit, I had thought about doing just that @Codger, but I'd promised myself that I'd keep this build as near "out of the box" as possible 😀.

I've found it more productive to not make promises to one's self when starting a project. Sure, having a goal and vision is useful but projects invariably reveal problems to be solved and research can alter tastes and direction. The judgement process of how much effort and patience you'll have can only come by addressing such problems. Limiting financial involvement is always wise.

Having said that, I learned that over time my Rolls and 1:1 Cobra became 'cost-no-object' projects because of my absolute madness for each subject.

That stuff can happen......:mental:

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I was all for getting one if these kits until via scalemates I found out the true age of the kit

Keep up the good work Sloucher and the Monza will seem a easy fix after this one

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Its been about a week or so since I last updated this build record, so here's the next (less than) thrilling instalment 😀:

The component shrinkage problem continues, as you can see from this before and after shot of the alternator(?) mounted on the front of the engine.

 

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                      Before                                                       After

 

I have made some progress with the engine, but I was not particularly happy with the size of silicon tubing supplied to represent the fuel feed lines. Looking at photos of the real thing compared to the photo at the back of the instructions booklet, I think you'll see what I mean.

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                                                                             The Real Deal                                                                                                                             Italeri Model Photo               

 

Eventually I decided that 27kg breaking strain nylon fishing line (0.7mm dia) was much nearer scale. So, by using short lengths of the supplied silicon tube as a means of attaching the fishing line to the fuel pump and injectors, I think I've managed a more scale look to things. The black tubing supplied for the ignition leads is als a bit overscale, but heck, I won't tell if you don't!

 

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                                          Size Really Does Matter!                                                                                                           Tubing Makes for an Acceptable Adaptor!

 

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                                                                End Result                                                                                                                                                  Taking Shape

 

I've also been doing some hacking and carving in an attempt to get a bit of separation of the exhaust manifold pipes so they look more like individual pipes and a leetle less like a solid block of, well, block shaped thing.

 

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                                                           As Supplied                                                                                                                                                   Work in Progress

 

The front wheel hubs are also almost complete. I need to do a little paint touching up and mount the brake ducts. Confusingly, for thicko me anyway, the parts are not marked Left and Right, but SX and DX, which in turn stands for sinister and dexter (left and right), hence the SX and DX penned onto the hubs!  To those fans of such, you'll be thinking "Shades of Monty Python "Life of Brian" there pal"😂. To confuse me even further, the parts are the same for both the two brake calipers on each hub, but swapped around front to back. See what I mean about confused...🤪

 

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                            Sinister, Dexter, Sinister, Dexter....Company... Halt!!

 

Last and by no means least this report comes news of the return to the paddock of the grid girls - yaay! Well, one grid girl anyway. As this car is from the 1980 season, I think its probably acceptable. She's wearing my "what if" interpretation of sponsored wear. When this car is eventually finished, the intention is to have it mounted on a dummy grid with the said young lady standing alongside. Unfortunately, I can take no credit whatsoever for the assembly and painting of this young lady (other thsn gluing her leg back on after I dropped her - long story, not proud). That honour goes to none other than Ian Lawrence - many thanks Ian!

 

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                                                                                        Grid Girl Front                                                                              Grid Girl Rear (🤭)

 

I'm afraid I fell foul of temptation the other day.....I now have a Tamiya Gold Leaf Team Lotus heading my way! Gotta love these old kits😀

Onwards....

 

Edited by Sloucher
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Very nice build Sloucher. Don't worry about the 8C. Hopefully your enthusiasm for it will return and the fix shouldn't be too extensive.

 

Now, the 179 is looking very good. Its from my favourite era of F1 and I'm really glad you've chosen Bruno's 1980 car. Protar's kits do take quite a bit wrangling and it looks like time hasn't been kind to the tooling either.  I'm looking forward to seeing your progress with it.

 

I have a lot of magazines & books from the late 70s & early 80s and your grid girl definitely looks right for the period.

 

Phil

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  • 2 weeks later...

I've just noticed there's been a bit of a gap since the last update. OK, let's bore you a little more then 😀

 

I've had one or two, or more, issues with the kit this week, not all with the fit this time, more with the assembly method and my own ham fistedness.

The seat belts are finally made and the cockpit almost completed. I had wanted to sew them as suggested in the instructions, but the supplied ribbon material frayed very easily so I bottled out and used CA instead. That made a stain mark on the ribbon material unfortunately which was a worry initially, but after the application of the decals and then a couple of coats of matt varnish, the stains have receded and effectively disappeared.

 

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                                                  Seat Belts                                                                              Direction Changer Twirly Thing

 

I then moved on to complete the front end by adding the front uprights and the brake lines. It was at this point I realised that I was never going to be happy with the look of the supplied black vinyl tubing retained by twisted copper wire as instructed in the kit. So Whilst I still used the tubing, I painted it silver and used very fine black insulated wire to represent the more prototypical zip ties.

 

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                                      Brake Lines Fitted

 

It was at this point I decided to take a break from the suspension and brakes and address the engine/gearbox assembly. When it gets assembled to the monocoque, a couple of tubes are connected to the front of it, to two features that look to me like they are supposed to be a water pump and another water connection. I think that's a fair guess, bearing in mind that the other end of the hoses will be connected to the radiators! The problem there though is that the pipe connections are moulded as front of the engine block.  Now, the instructions call for the pipes connections cast on the front of the engine to be drilled out to allow the hoses to be inserted. The snag with that is there isn't enough material there to do that. The ends of the engine cast pipe connections are nowhere big enough to be drilled out to the required 2mm in order to accomodate the radiator hoses. After a bit of head scratching, I found some brass rod of a size to fit inside the hoses and drilled out the cast pipes to match the rod diameter so I could glue short lengths of the brass rod. Later, I'll push the hoses onto the rods instead of inserting them into holes.

 

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                    The Problem (That's a 1mm Hole)                                                                               The Solution

 

Then it was back onto the rear suspension, and this is where things really started to try my patience. The rear uprights attach by screws, and during screwing them in, I managed to break the thinner of the two top upright supports - on both sides! CA to the rescue again. The final thing to give me grief in this area was the brake ducts. I just couldn't get the left hand duct to assemble squarely and ended up using loads of filler and loads of time sanding it down to get the profile of the duct to match the right hand one.

 

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                                  Lorry Load of Filler                                                                      After Much Filing and Vacuuming

                                                                                                                                                  of Dust (plus a Splash of Paint)

 

If there's anything I've learnt from this build, and I offer this advice free, gratis and for nothing - before you use any of the self-tapping screws in this kit, drill out the screw hole at least another 0.2 mm larger, otherwise the screw is so tight you end up snapping things.....yup, I did!! That's just one of the reasons I don't have any decals on the rear brake calipers!

 

Finally, another piece of advice to prospective builders of this kit. When you come to attach the engine to the monocoque, if, like I had, you've followed the assembly sequence and fitted the rear suspension and drive shafts, bad news! Unless you've enlarged the screw holes in the monocoque bulkhead AND removed or better yet, not yet fitted, the rear suspension, you'll have a devil's own job fitting the attaching screws. Unless, that is, you have very strong fingers and a very short screwdriver. There's just no room for the screwdriver with the rear suspension fitted.

 

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                       Restricted Screwdriver Access

 

And finally, finally - don't believe Italeri's number annotation of the screws. According to the instructions you're supposed to attach the engine to the monocoque using a number 12 on one side and a number 13 on the other. Number 12 - fine. Number 13? Best of luck with that, a number 13 screw is 6mm long and the engine bracket is 5mm thick on its own! Use a number 15 screw (11mm long) instead, its not as if they appear anywhere else!!

 

Onwards

Bernie

 

 

Edited by Sloucher
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  • 2 weeks later...

This is great stuff Sloucher. It may feel like a slog but you're overcoming each issue. Your comments on enlarging screw holes and which screws to use are gold too. In fact, my credit card is starting give me ideas about buying thus kit myself now I see what are doing with it. 😁

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Thanks for the encouragement PHIL B 😀

 

Not a lot to report this week as I've been distracted by a load other commitments (and, it has to be admitted, other models!).

Most of the work that I have done has been mainly filling, sanding, and priming followed by more filling, sanding, and priming followed by more....well, you get the picture!!

 

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                               More Sink Holes than the State of Florida!                                                                             Probably Around the Third Round of Sanding!

 

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                    Yes, I Did Prime the Wrong Version Nose Cone at First!

 

 

However, the wheels and tyres are now fitted, although the screw thread protrusion in the wheel hubs aren't really long enough, so the wheel nuts are only just gripping! I think if I was to assemble another one of these kits, like the earlier 179 variant, I'd source a whole load of different length self tapping screws first (good source I've found is ModelFixings) and choose a length to suit each purpose. Some of the screw lengths used in the kit are strange to say the least. Some (like the wheel retaining screws) are far too short whilst some are far too long.

 

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                                                                    Naked chassis

 

The next main task is going to be painting the white finish coat on the body panels. Whilst I wait for that to dry thoroughly I'll have a go at the painting and installation of the exhaust manifolds/pipes. Th fiddly part of that will be the four springs that hold the pipes down on the scalloped bracket on the transaxle. I'll document my trials and tribulations on that task later!!

 

Onwards?

Bernie

Edited by Sloucher
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