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70s F1 Restoration Shop 1/20 scale

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Hello dio builders. 


This project didn't start as a dio, but it has changed into one, and I decided to go for it a bit, you know, not just building a backdrop.  This project was supposed to be a model of a Penske PC4 F1 car, built using a 1/20 scale, Studio 27 kit, and I started a thread in the Vehicle WIP section - all good:







As you can see above, well underway - a model coming together that I was nice and pleased with, in fact, it was very close to being done.  Then - well - sh*&!  while installing the windscreen, a big chip of paint flicked off of the cowl covering the driver's area....well...!!! not good - at all, not good.  This is a resin, etch, and white metal kit that was a lot of work to pull together, and honestly, a guy couldn't have asked for a better paint job on that body!


First plan was to just fix the chipped area - tape off the decals, windscreen, and good paint, sand it down, repaint it, and hope for the best. 


As I went about this repair, I wondered - rather than a potentially half baked re-paint, why not do a dio of this car in a shop, but in current times?  a place that reworks Ford DFV engines/cars from the mid/late 70's - as these engines were very successful in the period.  It turns out I have a Lotus of the same vintage with several Studio 27 detail sets, so maybe it gets to be in this shop too, and as this scenario will also provide me with two more of the DFV engines, maybe one can be on a stand?  And with that, plans changed.


I began posting the dio progress on the original thread, but now, I think it's getting a bit dio heavy, so I think I'll flick back and forth - big dio steps here, big auto steps on the original post.


My self imposed rule on this project is that the dio should reflect the level of detail shown in the car, so this will be somewhat elaborate.  As this is an unintended project, I didn't spend as much time as I might have otherwise to resolve layout questions, but did decide that this will not be a pristine shop - instead, an old shop/light industrial building being used now as an auto shop.  For inspiration of building types, I'm using some examples near where I live:



These old buildings are wood frame with metal siding. 


So, on we go - some progress on the dio build, starting with the base.  The white area (lightweight filler over cork roll) will be the shop, and other area, drive aprons:










Above - I did all of this backwards - you'll see I made a "concrete" stem wall around the shop area - but, as a guy wasn't really in the dio mode yet - well, sort of spaced on the building sequence....perfect - and still before the "concrete", had to weather some wood....




Almost as thrilling as placing all those bricks, but needs to get done eventually....and finally, on to some "concrete", using form boards, rebar and all:




Now, if a guy had done any planning before hand, well, he would have done this first....well.  Despite a few harrowing moments (the hydrocal was soupy when poured in place and came close to having a blowout or two!, just resulted in a big mess), it turned out OK:




As this foundation is supposed to look old - say 1920's era, the concrete form work is intended to look like board on board rather than plywood panels.  This is done using scribed bass wood sheet.  


With this done, a guy decided this shop will need lots of tools, racks and tool lockers, so, into the scratch building/junk box/multi media mode:




Any self respecting shop, needs a milling machine, so I cobbled this junkbox special together.  No shop drawings, but lots of on-line images, and:




Same for a vertical air compressor, some tool lockers, on to:




Parts cleaner, floor jack, drum, another tool locker, and:




Various racks (you'll see the culprit cowl above - I removed the Tamiya tape I was using to try and fix it, and replace it with some "scale" tape), an engine puller, jack stands - the racks (since built another one) and tool cabinets have or will get casters like this:





This collection of shop tools, almost done!  I'll add an engine stand, but won't do that until I have an engine built.  For now, I'll likely use the Studio 27 engine, which is white metal and highly detailed, as such, I want the stand to match/fit to it, so it will get built later. 


The current effort is focused on building the walls.  So far so good - hopefully will post some image in the next few days.


So, hope you enjoy seeing this.  I like building dios, something I seem to have forgotten a bit lately!  






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Looking really nice, a great idea.  You could also have done a paddock scene under awnings for a historic festival?


Just how bad is the chip on the cowling? Could you not pose the cowl on trestles with someone's overalls/a sheet draped over the chip?  Then all the good work on the paintwork can still be seen?


Awesome build.

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Hello dio builders, time for an update.


@Alpha Juliet and @Vicarage Vee, thanks - I haven't built a dio in a while, so it's been fun getting back into it.  @Vicarage Vee, you raise several good ideas - not exactly sure why I thought of a shop rather than other options?  Maybe so I could include two cars and figure out how to show off the engine?  not sure?  As for the chip - very strange.  The cowl is resin.  I washed, primed, added two layers of paint, two layers of clear, decals, and more clear!  Hard to believe a chip of any size would happen??  Anyway, it was about 1/4" x 3/8", from the windscreen forward!  Couldn't have been more prominent.


Back to the work at hand.  In brief, this dio will include a shop with four full walls set on top of the concrete foundation, and next to it the facade of a smaller shed, clad in wood siding.   The walls include a 1/16" thick or so sheet of cardboard, with studs on the inside, and required framing and sheet material on the exterior.  Both inside and outside surfaces of the primary building will be visible, so both require attention.  


First up though, the facade of the little shed.  This starts as noted, with wall construction, then weathered siding added:




The windows are leftover from another project.   This shed wants to look pretty old.  You can see to the left, how this is attached to the main wall for the rear of the building.  It will make more sense in a few images.  But, first, the walls of the main building. Below, is the first step:




Sorry this is a bit out of focus, but you'll get the point - corrugated plastic added on the legs.  The material for the rest is flat (ie sheet metal), but because of the difference in thickness, a subframe was added, so the "sheet metal" would sit higher than the corrugated - as in real life, rain water would drain over, and not into the lower parts of the corrugated material.  Next, done and painting and weathering under way.  As you'd guess, first, primer and paint, then, adding anthracite grey.  Rust is added over the grey:




Somewhere along the dio building way, I figured out, without the grey base, the rust just looks like orangish washes and not rust.  This also received several washes of the grey, then onto rust.  I make my own rust color using Vallejo Model Air colors - burnt umber, white, and orange:




Once the rust is on, the whole wall receives a wash of Lifecolor Dust 1, and then AK weathering material for bolt heads.  This is sort of slow going, but I like the results.  This is the main forward facing wall - and below, the wall that opens onto the small side drive area:




And, back to the small shed, now with a couple layers of pastel colors:




The doors still need some grabs.  


The next picture broadly illustrates the two wall planes in context:




So, sort of a strange image.  First, the wall left of the wood shed, will sit atop the concrete stem wall (the shed is sitting at grade), and the metal wall will be located about 18" forward of the wood shed.  In this pic though, you can see how the material and colors look together.  


Finally, this is the rear wall, alone:




Clearly, a long way to go, but you can see the basic elements.  A sloping roof will go atop, matching the triangle shape.  More "metal" siding will be added above the roof line in the parapet.


And that's where it sits today.  I need to weather the left side wall, but as it will be largely unseen, it won't be as elaborate.  Then, on to adding some interior details, like fuse panels and some conduit.  


Thanks for having a look,





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@Vicarage Vee, thanks - glad to hear you like it so far.  I've got to say, I enjoy trying to get the grimy look of a somewhat dilapidated industrial building.  It's almost too bad the exterior is about done! 


I spent a fair amount of time today making and installing casters on the tool lockers, and auto rack....each little wheel (from 1/72 scale aircraft landing gear) gets one vertical wire that goes into the base of the tool locker, but, as the scale is relatively big, each wheel also gets a wheel support, which is a small piece of aluminum sheet - drilled out on each end for an axle, and bent into a "U" shape, to slide over the wire in the wheel.  While this sounds easy enough, it's slow going! I made and installed 16 of these today!  I just finished spraying primer over all of the shop tools, racks, and lockers, hopefully paint tomorrow. 


Like many where I live, I've been working at home for months now - the trick is to avoid the temptation to make a "quick" trip to the workbench between calls and real work!  




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Nice one, Nick. Shame about the paint chip, but in the long run it's good it happened.

The car and equipment look good and I especially like the rust effects. (Nice shed too).

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Hi @Pete in Lincs, yeah, funny how projects evolve.  In the long run, I agree with you.  This is certainly turning into a more interesting project than initially conceived.  Thanks for noticing the rust!  I've now used this method on buildings and cars and like it.  I started out trying to use the various chipping techniques and ultimately decided this is the way to go for me!  


Ok, on we go with a relatively brief update.  I stopped fooling around with the building, and focused on finishing up all the tools.  They're all now painted, and where needed a total of 16 (!!!!!) casters made and installed.  While they look pretty good, that was slow going.  I used 1/72 scale airplane tires to start, and added a pin in the top of each to insert into the tool, but, before that, made 16 thin aluminum brackets, one for each tire, to look like, a bracket! haha - anyway, here we go:




This doesn't show all the tools etc, but it shows enough so might see what they all look like - you'll also notice, a second racecar has been started (on the right)  It's a Tamiya kit with lots of Studio27 details, but as we're talking dios here, on with the tools:







And here you have a couple of the more complicated tools - the compressor and the mill.  All said and done, I'm pleased with both.  Interesting bit of weathering discovery, while maybe obvious to you, less so to me.  The mill received a wash of NATO black - sort of a standard go to for me.  The compressor though, for whatever reason, the dark wash simply didn't show up.  So, of it I used a very light wash, specifically Life Color Dust 1.  As it's a light color, it provided some contrast to the dark blue.  Regarding the decals, they're just leftover from my HO model RR days - not at all relevant as brand names, but in terms of "looking" the part, I am happy with them!


And one more:




Again, not all the tools, but a good representation of what they all look like.  


I'll focus on the new racecar for a while, then come back to the dio - 


OK gents, thanks for having a look and stay well - 




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  • 3 weeks later...

Hello model builders, 


I have not forgotten about this at all!  have though, been working on car #2, a Lotus, that also ran the Ford/Cosworth DFV motor, so an ideal candidate for this shop.  As I'm close to being done with that car, I changed back to the dio and began dryfitting walls and seeing how this might shape up - please take a look:














While a long way to go, it seems to be shaping up as hoped.  I did some experimenting on the shop windows.  You'll note the lower panels are painted out, which is fairly commonly seen in shops (to keep prying eyes out), and used obscured "glass" on the rear wall (I ran out so only normal on side).  Then sprayed on a dusting of a medium brown on the exterior, followed by a generous wash of Lifecolor Dust 1on both sides.  I did this because I like to take finished photos outside, and those huge windows would otherwise show the "real world" in the background - including kids, dogs, cyclists, trees, cars etc!    "Mr Serious" and some friends arrived too, so once the big structural issues are addressed, they'll get some paint.  Onward:









Still plenty to add to the exterior - include roll up doors and some signs - thinking about some exterior lights (not working) and might try some model rr supplies? 








Part of the plan was to make big openings, so you can see in, but not so big they look ridiculous.


And, decided the base needs to be a bit bigger:





On the right you can see a new unfinished strip.  It will get a fence built around it.  This was done for the same reason as the obscured glass, to allow for more varied views of just the project - and not all that surrounds it.  I also decided the pump gets to live outdoors - it will get a little shelter.  Why?  because these things are remarkably noisy and I thought if it were my shop, I wouldn't like to hear it clanking away!  It won't get stolen because - they are remarkably heavy, and I'm adding a gate to the driveway!


And, while I was working on the car, made some more goodies for the shop:














And that's where is stands today.  I'll attach the side extension and add ground plane - not sure?  gravel? dirt? concreted?  and get the fence etc underway.


Thanks for having a look.


Stay well - 







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It's taking on a life of it's own. As these things are wont to do. It does look impressive, the end result will be worth waiting for.

Railroad bits will be good. Trollies, a sack barrow, pallets. dumpster etc. Welding gear, compressor, air lines, tools will all look good.

Find F1 pictures online, shrink and print as posters/ads on the walls. Scrap car bits? Amazon boxes?

Do you have a spare room? I'll come over and help! :laugh:


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HI model builders, thanks for having a look - 


@Pete in Lincs, ha! yes, these do take on a life of their own - which is I suppose why I like dios! they can require all sorts of scratch work and adapting of things.   As to your many points:  maybe, yes, and yes - lol - we're on the same page.  I've been looking for larger scale details, but some (model rr or 1/25 auto) have pretty mediocre quality - just won't cut it.  Which is too bad - there are interesting items avail, but many look like toys. I'll keep looking.  And yes, I've already found jpegs of vintage race posters - from the mid/late 70's which look pretty nice - and finally, yes!  I've kept all sorts of unused car parts to help fill the shop.  As for the extra hand - you realize if we did that, this would never be done!  and might go on to include a nearby aircraft hangar too!!  😄


As for today's update, had a go at one of our mechanics, Mr Grumpy.  Poor guy, clearly in the midst of a rough day:













Each of the figures I found are resin - some MFH and some DEF, and all pretty nice quality. Except, the mechanics are all looking down - we've had a few "corrective surgeries" to address this!  Also, as you can see above, some jump suits have been converted to regular pants and shirts - our trusted model building friend, lead foil to the rescue!  He now has a belt, pockets in the back, and belt loops to go with his more high spirited attitude adjustment.


Now working on shop details to go with these guys (there are four or five other figures), and deciding which parts of the base dio to glue down first.  I hate attaching something then discovering it's right in the way of something yet to be built or conceived, so, stick with odds and ends for now.


Thanks for having a look.









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My old man was a motor mechanic.  I grew up around them.  Some fabulous old boys.  I say my old man was - he may be the wrong side of 80 but if I pulled my car up on the drive and said something was wrong I suspect he would go and pull a board out of the garage and get under it.  He might not get up again quite so quickly now though.  He is still fun to take to vintage motor shows.  He will stop and chat to an owner and usually the conversation will contain an exclaimation of ‘how do you know that!’  He definitely doesn’t think he is as old as he is.  Neither do I for that matter.

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Hi fellas, 


@bar side  thanks for that picture!  makes me feel pretty good about the concept, as it seems to be somewhat plausible.  Nice to hear about your dad too, glad he's doing well. Mine is in his early 80s - and not too mechanically inclined, but he knows his cars, and very specific things about them - it's remarkable, American made from the early 40's to late 60's.  He can identify an incorrect taillight or piece of trim on a 1955 Buick without skipping a beat.   He's pretty modest about it, but he's usually right - good for him!  It's funny, he doesn't think he's old either!  He doing alright - slowing down a bit, but fair enough, and he still enjoys talking cars 😀.  


I did of course briefly wonder if I could open my little facade of a shed, and add more space behind the doors, as the one in the photo looks to be about two cars deep.  I concluded that sure, I could add depth - but, was caught by a wave of common sense and the question of what I would do with a large(er) and now "L" shaped dio!?!? - so, that idea was put to rest - lol - fun to think about though.  I'm still considering opening it up a bit  (add 3 or 4"), just to allow the doors to be  slightly open and give the impression of some depth - not sure about this just yet.


@Vicarage Vee, thanks for another source, I really appreciate it - those photos are great.  An interesting change in the way shops now operate.  Seems fewer fellows on mills or shaping panels, and more using CNC machines, 3d printing, and carbon fiber.  I find both processes interesting and wonder if the two merge in various shops?  There's a guy about a block from where I live who has a small shop with several very large milling and boring machines - he reworks blocks and heads.  I dropped by recently and he had a Packard straight 8 block in for work (quite a sight- it was huge - looked like a diesel tractor block), right next to some new marine V8, and countless others.  He doesn't have much room in the shop - just enough to walk from machine to machine.  While I didn't see a CNC, I did notice some digital controls on some of the machines.  He has a very large cylinder boring/honing machine that appeared to be manual, and not digital. 


@Pete in Lincs, funny, another famous small garage success story - Bill Hewlett and David Packard - about forty five minutes from here!  I guess if you have the right two guys, a shed, and some time, great things can happen!


Cheers and thanks for adding to the build! 



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Hello model builders,


I've been jumping back and forth between car and dio builds, and today have a few dio build updates.  The weather here has been skipping between fog, rain and sun, but as I'm still sheltering in place, and have been for months now, still go out for walks and look for ideas for this build.  A compilation of some images from the last few days:




As you can see, more examples of metal sheds in various states of decrepitude, and some other interesting old shops - I like the metal truss in the upper left.  That was used to provide cover in a rail loading area.  I might eventually build the same along the side of the main building.  Also, a fine example of another old, yellow metal shed! You can also see the various irregularities along the roof lines and facades - 


OK, on to the build - first up, some of the figures:




As I couldn't find too many 1/20 figures, I took what I could get - mechanics and a reporter/photo journalist, who's come by the shop to find out what's happening.  Her pose is certainly serious though - almost confrontational.  I'm going to hope that goes unnoticed, as while I'm brave enough to cut off and adjust heads, I don't have the skills required to rework her pose.


Next up, a mistake:







In some respects this little lean-to is fine - materials and weathering, I like.  But, the overall form is a dud.  The idea I had came from seeing the use of outriggers for eaves (the angled brace coming off the building) , which is commonly seen on both really old buildings (think Italian and other countryside villas, and on hipster architecture found here built in the mid to late 90's) - what could go wrong?  Well - the roof looks heavy and clunky, like it is overbuilt and waiting to fall over.  So, rather than tear it off, I added to it:







Adding a "metal" post, and extending the roof, which I find to be more believable - whew!


Another step, a chained link double gate and short fence - all still dry fit, but you'll get the point:













Like the rest, a bit rusty, bent up, and functional.


Some more work on the interior - painting and installing the grinder and drill press, and the engine on the stand is just about done.  I'm not sure about where the guy will wind up - he also received the head removal and adjustment:




Finally, thinking about the Cosworth shed, I added some depth to my shed:







Just a few inches behind the double doors and painted with various blacks and greys - to imply some more depth.  Not sure of how to use this, or if it will matter?  But, at least it's something more to play with!


Finally - 




While the wrong car, it gives the appearance of where this is going.  in the meantime, will focus for a while on the ground plan, which needs something - maybe some dried out leaves, old paper, wire, metal scraps, etc,?  the gravel and dirt looks too clean - haha - 😄


Thanks for having a look - 



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Nick, Fabulous updates. I like the new figures. If you can find them, Nitto do/did 1/20th maschinen kreiger mechanics or there are the Tamiya Pit crews.

The changes to the buildings are impressive too. As is the chain link fence and gates. 

For the Cosworth shed, maybe you just need someone coming out of the door, perhaps carrying a nosecone or something as the spares are kept in there?

Dried teabags should give you leaves for ground litter. An old oildrum could overflow with litter? And surely there would be broken car parts piled somewhere?

Cheers, Pete

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It’s that dreaded intangible ‘stuff’ that you need.  Maybe even some ‘clutter’.  A pallet, packing cases.  I have never seen a garage without an oil stain somewhere on the floor.  Maybe a hoist bracket now disused above the windows?  It’s difficult to know what to add it you know when it looks like it should be there.

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Hello dio builders, I've been firmly entrenched in the dio world the last week or so, clearly not racecars.


@Pete in Lincs, thanks for the tips - I looked up some of those figures - some look pretty nice!  Interesting subject too - I had no idea what that was (Maschinen Krieger?) looks like you could do all sorts of dios with the figures and whatnot - the robots/droids/suits of mechanical armor seem great subjects for weathering....For now, I'm done with buying figures - spent too much already!


@bar side, indeed!  On with some decrepitude - I tend to build in somewhat irregular steps, and add elements as I go, hopefully in a pattern that lets me finish the task, but not destroy other steps along the way - so weathering comes in increments.


OK, here we go, and once again, some prototype images:




The downside to being stuck at home is obvious enough, the upside though is I have now walked around my neighborhood (about a two mile radius from home) more in the last seven months than in the last seven years!   There are nice, tree lined residential streets, but also plenty of decrepitude, which is ideal for reference materials!  and, it doesn't hurt me to break my strict regimen of work (from home), build models, eat pasta, drink wine and beer, resulting in the ideal sedentary lifestyle!   😄


Back to the serious stuff:




From my model RR days, a lone scraggly tree, that Mr Serious is griping about - just set in place for now, but it will be back.   In the meantime, some grime:








Using pink insulating foam board, I added a curb and gutter - that was more tedious than I planned.  Laminating together various strips of cut pink foam with wood glue, then shaping, sanding and applying a layer of joint compound to work out rough spots, then paint, and install - piece of cake.  Not all that hard to do at all, but slow going.  Once installed, back to the dio and some weathering. 


"Mr Serious" should be more concerned about his drainage problems!  I see a "slip and fall hazard"....yes, I worked at a corporate giant for lots of years, and in addition to all the other "courses" we were required to take, was safety!! 


And on to the area next to the fence:














The inherent dio task of making random - be it debris or leaves!   The tree will go where the rod is stick up - needed to keep the hole intact as I added leaves, glue etc - 








The fence is still dry fit - it would surely get destroyed if I left it in place!  You'll see, there's a gap between the little shed roof and the tree area - this will get some sort of auto debris.  I'm thinking of trying to make some abandoned/used F1 car sidepods, using left over kit parts and aluminum foil/thin sheets - as much to see if I can do it, as for the "need" to show them placed here - 


OK gents, stay well - 




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I'm In awe of all this stuff Nick. All I do is make cars! Quite interested in your local area too,we have been out walking,which I love,but in your area it just makes me think American Pickers- one of the few tv programmes that I actually watch...Interesting about HP, my surname being Hewlett !  Impressed of Kent, Chris.

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In a scrap dump you would probably have a bent monocoque too - and a couple of broken suspension arms, etc.

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Nick, you have an eye for grunge! I like the leaves, the staining on the ground and the tree. Despite the thoughts of Mr Serious!

Yes, Maschinen kreiger is all about detail and weathering. It's kept me amused for years now. Stay safe, Pete

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Love those leaves.  Purchases or hand made?  Surely only modellers are out there googling 1/20 scale leaves!

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