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I think I should throw my hat into the ring here, and stop prevaricating. At least put a marker down, a statement of intent. 

I quite fancy having a go at this, 

IMG_20210419_000719

I've been doing a bit of research on the type and the era, and it's thrown up some interesting information already. 

Airfix states 1904 on the box, but I'm reading up on the 1903 Gordon Bennett race, and I've seen it referred to as the 1902 production. 

I got 2 cars for £12 and the other one is a PYRO kit, remember them?? 

Any way the box contents are just as you'd remember them.... 

IMG_20210419_000813

 

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Should be an interesting diversion 😎

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Cheers @Brad, I think I'll be happy here! 🙂

I have had a moment or two to tinker with the bits in the box. It's such a simple kit that it's really inviting to "have a go" at some of the items. 

The driver has a slightly strange pose, like he's looking at the scenery. 

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So I've turned his head so he's looking ahead, and some wire goggles are in the early stages.... 

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I built up the back of the other seat so they are the same now. 

And I'm having fun with the radiator. Brass paint is always a disappointing finish, isn't it? So I decided to try cladding the item. I'm a great one for covering things in Ali foil for the bare metal look, but finding brass foil is another matter. 

Searching through sweet wrappers etc and then remembered my bits of brass photo etch - mostly unused - in the spares box. 

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The brass strip is shaped to fit on top and then a segment goes on the front. 

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The opening is then framed with brass wire and a strip across the bottom. I'll hone that a bit and polish the metal and see what it comes up like. 

See what I mean....? Tinkering...! 

This little kit is calling for it. 

The bonnet piece has a big lumpy strap moulded on which I removed. If I want one, I'll make one later. 

But then I made a copy of the piece with piedish Ali foil.... 

IMG_20210420_221448

Don't know which one to use now 🙄😎

And I keep looking at those mudguards and thinking they'd be easy to fabricate. 😇

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I started building one of these a couple of weeks ago, Rob, but my figure was even worse than yours and looked like Quasimodo! It is ready for painting but I have held off doing that until I come to paint a red and white Airfix SR.N4 that I start tomorrow. I am glad that I have delayed the build as I could well borrow some of your ideas before I finally paint mine!

 

Dave

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19 minutes ago, davecov said:

started building one of these a couple of weeks ago,

Dave, i just had  a quick whizz through your "Quest" thread.Wow! That's an epic quest indeed

I've been picking up some of the Airfix Vintage Classics releases- planes that is. Heron, Jetstream etc. It's come to my notice that the Jaguar saloon- is it 640 ?- is scheduled for release. May already be out? So I don'''t know if they are thinking about releasing more cars and bikes in the future. But it looks like you have plenty to be getting on with anyway!

 

 

 

 

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Rob, the Jag is the 420 although @rs2man informed me that it is actually a 420 S-Type.

 

It appears that the easiest part about my "Quest" was finding all the kits and paying for them - the hardest part is finding the time to make them all.

 

Dave

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5 hours ago, davecov said:

Rob, the Jag is the 420 although @rs2man informed me that it is actually a 420 S-Type.

 

It appears that the easiest part about my "Quest" was finding all the kits and paying for them - the hardest part is finding the time to make them all.

 

Dave

I don't think that's what I said . The kit is a 420 , which I suspect I described as an S-type with a 4-headlamp front end , but that was just a description - 420 and S-type are 2 distinct vehicles , though both derived from the same base , namely the Mk2 

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Sorry for the misunderstanding, rs2man ! The Airfix Jaguar is therefore a 420S!

 

Dave

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1 hour ago, davecov said:

Sorry for the misunderstanding, rs2man ! The Airfix Jaguar is therefore a 420S!

 

Dave

We still seem to be at cross-purposes here Dave . The Airfix kit is a 420 . It is a derivative of the S-type but is not classed as an S , just as a 420 . 

The story starts circa 1955 with the introduction of the Jaguar compact saloon , later known retrospectively as the Mk1 . It had single headlamps , a fairly short rounded rear and rather small windows , those in the doors having wide painted steel frames . It was available with 2.4 or 3.4 engines .

Circa 1959 it was replaced by the Mk2 , which was much the same shape but had a larger rear window and larger door windows with thin chromed steel frames . Handling was improved with a wider rear axle and it was also available with a 3.8 engine in addition to the two options in the Mk1 . It is this vehicle which Tamiya's 1/24 kit represents . 

Next in line was the S-type . This had a longer and , to my mind , much more attractive tail incorporating the new independent rear suspension from the E-type together with twin fuel tanks in the rear wings . Being heavier than the Mk2 , there was no 2.4 engine option .

The final derivative was the 420 , introduced as a stop-gap to tide over the ageing range whilst waiting for the launch of the XJ6 . The majority of the body was the same as the S-type but the front was restyled with twin headlamps and a rectangular grille , giving the vehicle the look of a smaller Mk10 . It was available only with the 4.2 engine , hence the 420 name . 

 

I hope all this makes sense .

 

Cheers

John 

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Thanks for the explanation, John.

 

Dave

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Quote

The driver has a slightly strange pose, 

I think he's looking at the upstairs window of his home wondering about how long it takes for the wife to get ready for a drive.

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Not that universal, Rob. I thought he was looking up at the bird that just crapped on his head.

 

Dave

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Some research has brought to my attention the racing exploits in these early times, and in particular the 1903 Gordon Bennett road race. 

This series of annual races was organised such that each team of 3 represented their country. The cars, the components, the drivers had to be of that country. 

The winner's nation then hosted the next year's race. 

The 1902 race, from Paris to Innsbruck...!.... came down to 2 cars left running, a French Panhard and a British Napier driven by a chap called Edge. The Panhard broke down just 30 miles short of the finish and it was left to Edge to take the first win for Britain. 

The English authorities had already set their face against road racing round their tranquil towns and villages. Ireland and the Isle of Man were options, some leading figures in Ireland saw the potential and got behind the project, and the 1903 Gordon Bennett race was held on the roads around 3 counties with the town of Athy as the main centre of activity. 

It was for this series of Nation V Nation racing that the cars were painted in national colours. The French were blue, German were white, USA were red, and the Belgians were already yellow. This really only left green as an option for the British cars, but they washed out anyway and the French took 2nd, 3rd and 4th. 

The win was to a chap called Jenatzy driving for Germany in a Mercedes Simplex 60 HP that bears considerable resemblance to the subject of my build. 

I've read some debate over precisely which Mercedes is Airfix trying to represent here, but I'm all for doing a few mods, overlooking a few details, and aim in the direction of the Athy winner. 

Those national racing colours (apart from Italy taking on the red,) endured through decades and 2 world wars until the sponsors like Gold Leaf, JPS and Marlboro took over. 

 

My tinkering for today includes the fuel tank and filler, 

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And new, bigger, drilled out drive sprockets that are noticeable on the racing cars, and a metal shaft through the gearbox to take them. 

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I've started putting the Mercedes together, but before I started into assembly there was one more mod to try.... 

The very back ends of the chassis members have carriers for the leafspring links. These curl around underneath and the links reach up to the rear of the springs. 

I've tried to emulate these seeing they're on show. 

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I may make the link features but I'll see what it looks like when assembled. 

So, out with the glue-

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I decided to go with the kit bonnet piece rather than the Ali foil copy, but before fitting I made 2 side panels in the foil and a top hinge feature and glued them on. I'm hoping this will make it look more like a hinged, openable assembly rather than a plastic box. 

I trimmed some plastic off the back of the floor pan right up to the curved shape and fitted a chassis cross-member above where the tank will go. 

Basically I'm looking at pictures of the type and trying to make what I see. 

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Back axle fitted and the gearbox and drive chains slid into position. The placement of the gearbox is very vague underneath and really the axle with chains and sprockets on is the only way to determine its position. 

In the floor pan is a short length of brass tube into which will fit a smaller diameter brass rod to be the steering column. The enhanced pedal arms are actually the original shafts from the gearbox which were removed and replaced with the Ali tube shaft. 

I thought about the front axle..... could it be carved up and remade with kingpins and steering.....? Always tempting to have a go, but in this case I think it's a step too far. There's just so little to work with. 

 

Well, it feels like I'm getting somewhere 🤔

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One little retro-fix has been undertaken, namely raising the driver's seat. 

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The chair was removed from the recess in the floor pan, and the tool box between the seats came out too. 

The recessed area was lined with strips of 1mm styrene twice to bring it level with the area behind. Then back on with the chair and by butting it to the mechanic's seat, it comes nicely flush on the outside with the chassis, and the overhang is gone. 

That gives the driver a better, straight position and a bit more height. This seems to be the case in the reference pictures I'm seeing. 

Just that my laid back Sunday driver doesn't have the aggressive pose of a maniac road racer 😎

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This evening's fun was concerned with the little brass tank suspended from the chassis on the driver's side. The kit parts are usable, but I thought I'd try and make a brass item to match the radiator. 

To make a cylinder with closed ends I used 2 lengths of brass tube and 1 of rod that fit inside each other. A bit of flux and soldered. 

I managed to get an indent to take the end of the rod material and soldered a butt joint for the filler tube. 

Then some brass wire loops with length to act as attachments to the holes in the chassis. And a bit of a tidy up. 

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It's hardly precision engineering but it fits OK and looks like brass! 

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I also got some stretched sprue shaped over a brush handle to fit on the side of the drive chains as they go over the sprockets to give the chain some presence, otherwise it all looks flat and undefined. 

The details on the dashboard are baffling..... It's like a set of mini organ pipes or something. 

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Does anyone know what they represent, what they are made of, or what they should look like?? 

I have NO idea. 

There could be one dial there, but it could be an ejecter pin mark on the plastic. 

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That's the great thing about Britmodeller,, you just put up a question about anything and back comes the information! 

The items on the dashboard are called the oilers and here they are on a car of the same era.... 

IMG_5754-600x400.jpg

Picture kindly shared by Black Knight on the vehicles section. 

Also the circular item is not a pin mark but a speedo and there's another one on the driver's side as a tacho. I can now see it. I'll try to pick things out now that I know. 

Oilers...... Who knew ⁉️🤠

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This is great build Rob and I'm impressed by all your enhancements :thumbsup2:.

As usual, Airfix are showing black tyres but presumably these would have been white?

 

Cheers

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5 hours ago, CliffB said:

Airfix are showing black tyres but presumably these would have been white?

Good point, CliffB. All the modern pictures of the preserved cars are black but the old pictures definitely show something different. Being a combination of the rubber and dirt and grime it's hard to make a judgement. 

Any ideas on appropriate colours?? 

I'm imagining a creamy light grey with added dirt 

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55 minutes ago, rob Lyttle said:

Any ideas on appropriate colours?? 

 

Hi Rob.  Modern 'vintage' tyres seem to be a creamy white, like this.  I think they're natural rubber colour (although I did read somewhere that white aluminium oxide was also added to the formulation).  Either way, I don't think they're likely to be grey (apart from any dirt that they pick up).

 

I'm no expert though - others may know better!

 

Cheers

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Up to about mid-WW1 period most balloon tyres were white, like a pencil eraser you'd buy in HomeBargains. From just before WW1 carbon black was added to balloon tyres and they became a light grey, like Humbrol 27.  Bonded rim tyres on coaches, from 1880s and early Ford T car wheels were black. Pure white tyres lasted right up to the mid-1920s

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I'd already started with rubber black on the tyres out of habit and looking at preserved vehicles, but not to worry. That'll do as a primer and a bit of extra thickness to the size won't go amiss! 

The front axle is on and set and I was thinking about cutting the hubs and fixing them back with a bit of steering action. But that led me to look at the trackrod piece and the arms are very small and short. 

I drilled out the attachment points under the hub carriers and made a couple of arms. 

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Stretched sprue and holes with a hot pin. I realised that the pin can fit in the pin-vice tool..... 😶Durrrr.... 

This makes things much easier. 

Visible there are the kit steering arms on the trackrod. These are now used to drop through the pinholes. 

IMG_20210425_213843

 

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I think that's enough fooling around in this area, and I'll leave the wheels straight. As for the rest of the steering mechanism, there's probably a link rod to some kind of gearbox but there is no hint of it with the kit, so I'll leave it at that. 

Something I spotted earlier is that Airfix made the front ends of the chassis to represent half leafspring items reaching forward to take the front attachments of the actual leafsprings. This doesn't seem to be the case with the Mercedes. 

So I cut a couple of strips of thin styrene and glued them on the tops after removing the lamp attachment lugs. 

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It seems that Benz had a major fire at the Works while preparing some special 90hp cars for the 1903 race. Undaunted, they set about some of the 60hp production cars, stripping out back seats and bodywork, lamps, mudguards and gearing them up for the race. I don’t know if there was a line-up of them for a team entry or if there was only Jenazy's entry 

I believe that, after winning at Athy, Jenazy took the car up to Castlewellan in Co. Down for a hill-climb competition and won that too. I can tell you that it's quite an imposing hill from Annsborough up to Castlewellan Town at the top. 

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41 minutes ago, rob Lyttle said:

 

It seems that Benz had a major fire at the Works while preparing some special 90hp cars for the 1903 race. Undaunted, they set about some of the 60hp production cars, stripping out back seats and bodywork, lamps, mudguards and gearing them up for the race. I don’t know if there was a line-up of them for a team entry or if there was only Jenazy's entry 

 

The fire destroyed all the race prepared cars. Mercedes borrowed back some 60hp cars that they had sold. In all they got back about 8 cars. 4 were prepared for the '03 G-B. 3 cars took part in the race and the 4th was held in reserve. After the race the cars were put back to standard and returned to their owners. 

In 1993 I was at the 90th Anniversary Gordon-Bennet. I took lots of photos of the original cars which had been brought to the event. My photos included plenty of the Jenatzy winning car as it was it 1993. Then it was still in the ownership of the family who bought it new in 1903. All these photos are on film and slides.

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