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Alfa Romeo 8C 2300, Monaco GP '32


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After the 1/8 Citroën I feel the need for a race car on the work bench. The choice has fallen on the Italeri 1/12 Alfa Romeo 8C 2300 Monza, released just over a year ago. I had it on pre-order and it has never been very far from the bench since I got it.

 

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Here are the main sprues in the box.

 

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Then we have tyres, some thread and wiring, clear parts, mesh, photo etch, various screws, decals and pre-cut masks for spraying the race numbers.

 

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As soon as the kit was released Fernando Pinto, FPPM, set about creating a set of replacement wire wheels. I placed a pre-order on these as well, as I have always liked his work, and knew they would be an improvement over the kit parts. The tyres used will still be Italeri.

 

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An important detail on these cars is the large amount of wire lock bolts, and the twisted wires between them. They are small and not much if anything is present in the kit. I have a set of 3D-printed parts that @Schwarz-Brot printed last summer for this kit. I think I need two different versions though, the more I study it now, so I may have to look deeper into this when I get there.

 

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I suspect a problem with the leaf springs in the kit as they appear to be bent the wrong way; upwards. This does not correspond with any chassis drawings I have seen, not with the Alfa Romeo spare part illustrations and not with what little can be seen in period reference photos. I will see how to deal with this when I get there.

 

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Otherwise I'm not looking for any super detailing and apart for the wheels I will probably use most of the kit parts. Some wiring will probably be substituted, some small detail perhaps added, and of course the locking wire bolts.

 

There are quite a few race versions of this car that are well worth replicating, but I'm going to stick with the option in the box, the 1932 Monaco Grand Prix winning car #28, driven by the legendary Tazio Nuvolari. Actually it would have been good to build the white #2 8C 2300 of the equally legendary Rudolf Caracciola at the same time, but I'll settle for one now... A good summary of the race weekend in Monaco 1932 can be read at Leif Snellman's excellent Golden Era Grand Prix page: http://www.kolumbus.fi/leif.snellman/gp3202.htm#8

 

A race poster doesn't get much better than this:

 

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And to get in the mood; a few well known reference photos of Nuvolari wrestling his car around the street circuit in Monaco on the way to victory in 1932.

 

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It will not be easy to make this hero some justice in the model...

 

I have made a start on the frame. There were a number of ejector pin marks I think could have been better placed that needed care, but I'm not a mould maker so... The frame rails needed a good deal of cleaning up minor imperfections. They are not bad, not at all, I'm just a little surprised. But after a while all parts for the frame were ready.

 

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The frame went together well with some tape keeping it together when drying, and it came out straight and nice. Half parts for the axles glued together after very little cleaning.

 

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The finished front and rear axles.

 

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The shock absorbers, of the old school friction type, are built up from individual parts. It took a while to make all of them ready for paint, which will be done individually. The shackles for the leaf springs are also assembled and readied for paint. But I must attend to those suspicious springs themselves, lurking in the background, first.

 

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Good luck with the build.  I'm nearing the end of my build and  am baffled as to where some of the flexible tubing should go.  The directions leave a bit to be desired in this area and actual photos of the real car fail to show any of the tubing.  Hopefully your build can be used a s a guide.  

thanks,

Ken

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21 hours ago, Kenneth Cooper said:

Good luck with the build.  I'm nearing the end of my build and  am baffled as to where some of the flexible tubing should go.  The directions leave a bit to be desired in this area and actual photos of the real car fail to show any of the tubing.  Hopefully your build can be used a s a guide.

Thanks a lot Ken.

I haven't studied the instructions much yet when it comes to the routing of wiring and hoses, but I expect them to be sort of compromised. We'll see what I end up with, but I expect some other sort of compromise... 😎

 

7 minutes ago, Vesa Jussila said:

Nice project. I need to bookmark this for myself.

Thanks a lot Vesa, I hope you will enjoy.

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The brake backing plates and steering knuckles ready for paint.

 

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To rework the leaf springs I made a simple temporary jig. With the spring pinned in place I heated it with a hairdryer and when the heat made a difference, but not too much, I begun changing the curve until I was happy and let it cool off. Now, do not try this at home, unless you know what you are doing or are very willing to take a chance... I thought I should make them with a very slight curve down, or at least straight, and that would be a good enough compromise. The more I change them the more problem it will perhaps create later on.

 

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Here are my "new" springs. Cleaning up mould lines well on full leaf spring sets is a real chore, and these were no exception. Of course this alters things around; roughly I have now raised the rear end 3,5 mm and the front end 2 mm from what Italeri intended with their spring set up. I will see as work progress what implications this will have, if Italeri had made the correct stance of the chassis (or not...), and deal with it then. But no matter how I study the old photos and other references, this had to be done.

 

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With the springs done I had a first spraying session. As for the colour of various parts; my references for this build are a number of non-detail B/W race and pit photos from 1932... Photos of various restored 8c 2300's of modern times vary infinitely in colours and treatment of details, and are of less use. I'm simply going with the old photos from 1932 as my main source and work from how my inner mind interpret them, and do what looks good and plausible to me. Do not quote me on what's right or wrong...

 

The red I'm using as the overall colour of the car is the mix Zero has made for this kit. My build photos will show this red during the work in various shades (I don't know much what I'm doing with a camera) and none necessarily exactly the real life look. It's a nice burgundy red that looks pretty good to me in real life. The clear coat I'm using on the red base is 2K PPG, but not the ordinary high gloss version, this is a semi gloss one (the number escapes me now).

 

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Looking really nice, Jörgen.

Full speed ahead, I notice.

Weird error in those spings. 

Have you seen in the reference pics that the front ends of the front springs are attached upside down (bracket is connected to the chassis below the end of the spring blades)?

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6 hours ago, Pouln said:

Looking really nice, Jörgen.

Full speed ahead, I notice.

Weird error in those spings. 

Have you seen in the reference pics that the front ends of the front springs are attached upside down (bracket is connected to the chassis below the end of the spring blades)?

Thanks a lot Poul.

It's indeed a strange layout of the springs Italeri made. I wonder why. We'll see how things develop with my modifications.

Yes, the front shackles of the front springs are oriented the other way, Italeri got that right. Thanks for the heads up anyway.

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This looks just like yesterday? Not quite. As the clear coat dried yesterday evening it came out much glossier than expected. Well it turned out I had mixed the clear out of the can containing a 25/75 semi/gloss mix I have experimented with on 1/24 shells... Do again, do right. All red parts got a new correct mix sprayed. Luckily these are thin coats, so no harm done, except possibly to my pride...

 

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A little bit of work needed on the resin hubs of the new wheels to make them fit properly. The brake drums and knock off's have been cleaned up.

 

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And some paint sprayed again. Some Alclad shades that looked suitable for the drums and nuts and semi gloss black enamel for the wheels. Black painted wire wheels tend to look so good on cars like this one...

 

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The first bit of washing was done on some chassis parts.

 

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The first of six shock absorbers lined up for assembly.

 

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The finished pieces, ready for fitting, and then some washing and dry brushing will follow.

 

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I wanted a somewhat work look to the tyre thread. When finishing the GP of Monaco in first place the tyres have been put to work. So I rigged them in my smaller lathe and sanded the thread while spinning.

 

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A little bit of dry brushing and washing done to the wheels, brake drums and knock off's.

 

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When dry the wheels were assembled. I plan some more weathering later on.

 

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I have very mixed feelings about the use of screws, often excessive use of screw, in modern larger car kits. It often results in a somewhat toy like or die-cast like look if nothing more is done. The good thing is that it is easier to do some temporary assembly, in case things have to be modified. I'm quite eager to find out how the frame will sit after my leaf spring modifications.

 

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And here it is. I'm quite surprised, positively. The top of the frame is actually horizontal. I had expected something much worse after my spring work.

 

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With the wheels very much temporarily fitted the frame looks like this. The top of the frame is 36,5 mm above ground. I will do some checking against two drawing copies to see what this all means before going any further, but I'm feeling hopeful.

 

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Jörgen, your paintwork is superb. If I wouldn’t know better, I’d say that you painted a metal frame.

Wheel assembly looks great too.

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9 hours ago, Pouln said:

Jörgen, your paintwork is superb. If I wouldn’t know better, I’d say that you painted a metal frame.

Wheel assembly looks great too.

 

Thanks a lot Poul, you are most kind.

I think the reduced gloss helps a bit.

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I have studied and measured the copy I have of an original Alfa Romeo frame layout drawing from 1931. The top of the frame is drawn horizontal, thanks a lot. The measurement from the ground surface line to the horizontal top of the frame scales to 36 mm, when the drawn (scale) 1,5 mm deflection of the tyres is added. I have 36,5 on the model with the still fully circular tyres "tip toeing", they will of course be "weighted" on the finished model. Thanks again. I now wonder when my luck runs out...

 

Given this I decided to be very happy with what I have, so I glued the front axle in place and fitted the shock absorbers and tightened everything up. To tone down the disturbing screws a bit I painted them all in, and that is also the look I'm aiming for. That paint will now dry fully before I can continue with adding some washing to them and the shock absorbers and then a bit of dry brushing here and there.

 

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I then made a start on the engine, gluing the main parts together, cleaning up and preparing the joints. More half-parts are glued and waiting. The Alfa Romeo blown straight eight in these cars is a beautiful piece of engineering art, and a model engine like this should be rewarding to put some work into.

 

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The kit provides two options for the carburettor air filter, a one piece moulding or a styrene ring, a photo etched spider (that I have already shaped in the photo) and a nylon mesh. The moulded one piece part looks a bit plain so I decided on the more advanced approach, but the choice of a nylon mesh that can't be formed seemed strange. I picked a photo etched Aber brass mesh from my stock to see what could be done. It's finer than the nylon mesh but still too coarse to be true to scale of course.

 

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Working the mesh with a rounded tool on a piece of soft cloth the basic shape could slowly be achieved.

 

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The last forming around the edges was done using the kit one piece part as a template, then the surplus material was cut off.

 

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With the mesh glued to the ring (with the edge coloured black) and the spider adjusted and glued to the edge I had this piece. The inside of the carburettor now needed a good deal of Dremel work to give a smooth unobtrusive shape that can be painted black to not disturb under the mesh.

 

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Always great to follow a Bengalensis build, you are on a roll now with the Citroen and now this!

I am impressed with the FP wire wheels.

 

M.

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On 08/02/2021 at 11:34, Malc2 said:

Always great to follow a Bengalensis build, you are on a roll now with the Citroen and now this!

I am impressed with the FP wire wheels.

 

Thanks for your kind words. Right now it's so cold going out the door that I stay inside, keeping the fire going and working away at the model bench...

Fernando Pinto delivers, I'm a great fan of his work.

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All parts for the engine and its installation in the frame were readied for paint yesterday. So was also the brake linkage in the background.

 

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Today has seen some spraying. A few parts got a gloss black coat as the base for further painting.

 

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Other parts got their base coat sprayed and then some detail work.

 

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The brake linkage and some other similar parts were sprayed in the main red colour.

 

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With paint drying I started looking further ahead. The radiator parts looked very mundane and outright boring at first sight. But after studying some reference photos it seems the pattern isn't too bad in style, just too coarse and a bit flat. My main problem is that on the car I'm building the radiator is fully exposed and most important of all has the race number painted in white directly onto the core. It won't be possible to spray the number in a good way onto this flat pattern.

 

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Again I raided my stock of photo etched mesh and found a sheet from Eduard that might work out. My plan - I think - is to cut out the pattern from the kit parts, leaving a thin edge to fit the photo etch against. Then make new solid walls a bit deeper down. I don't want some thin photo etch and then see right through the core, that rarely looks right in my world. Then I can spray the parts separately with the mesh more grey-black, spray the race number, and assemble in the end. We'll see soon if it will work...

 

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Very nice so far!

Could you do me a huge favor and give me some dimensions for the wheel parts? I'm more interested in ratios so the parts I make for my Mercedes look right.

Key measurements that would help are hub diameter (outer and inner), rim diameter (inner, to get the ratio) and the depth of the hubs (ie how much do the hubs extend outside the rims to get the right spoke angles).

Many thanks!

 

Ian

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9 hours ago, klubman01 said:

Lovely work so far on a fabulous looking car.

Thanks a lot Trevor. Cars like this are always nice to work on.

 

4 hours ago, Brandy said:

Very nice so far!

Could you do me a huge favor and give me some dimensions for the wheel parts? I'm more interested in ratios so the parts I make for my Mercedes look right.

Key measurements that would help are hub diameter (outer and inner), rim diameter (inner, to get the ratio) and the depth of the hubs (ie how much do the hubs extend outside the rims to get the right spoke angles).

Many thanks!

Thanks a lot Ian.

These are the approx:

Hub outer: Ø8

Hub inner: Ø16

Rim inner between spokes: Ø35,5

Rim inner where spokes attach: Ø38

Rim outer: Ø42

The hub extends about 1 mm from the rim on the outside, can't measure the inside any more, but something similar.

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Here are the radiator parts I have ended up with. The tabs left on the mesh will of course be cut after painting.

 

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After assembly of the plastic parts the base paint was sprayed.

 

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More engine parts have also been sprayed and detail painted.

 

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The main engine part was sprayed a dark gun metal on the head and top section of the block, later on the main section of the gearbox was sprayed with a brighter gun metal tinted with green. More masking and more colours remain. The paint work, at least spraying, could have been made easier with a different parts break down, but it is what it is and just has to be done with.

 

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While paint was drying I prepared the first sections of bodywork and made sure they will the frame well.

 

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