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1/24 Citroën 2CV6 RHD UK conversion...


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Hi folks,

As a dyed-in-the-wool aircraft modeller who can count the number of completed car models on the fingers of one hand, this is a complete change of focus for me! I'm returning from a 14-month absence from modelling for work-related reasons and thought that I really ought to press on with a project that I've been contemplating for the last couple of years. This may take a while, but I know from previous experience that posting a WiP thread does wonders for motivation!

 

The challenge that I've set myself is to turn this (1:24, left-hand drive, lurking in the cupboard):

 

20220209_184018

 

...into a miniature replica of this (1:1, right-hand drive, parked about 8 feet behind me on the other side of the wall):

 

20220209_185043

 

There'll doubtless be some discussion about, and explanation of, the various full-size 2CV models (eg Charleston, Dolly etc) but suffice it to say, for now, that mine is a 1989 2CV6 in a non-standard colour scheme of Iceplant Green and Ford Frozen White based closely on the 'Dolly' 2-colour pattern. Why 2CV6? Because the later models had the 'big' 602cc engine that, when new, produced a whopping 29bhp!

 

I made a tentative start when I first bought the kit but didn't get far. Here's what is in the Revell box.

 

Firstly, a very nicely-moulded body shell, a good assortment of decals (most of which are not relevant to my chosen subject!) and an A4 instruction booklet:

 

20220209_183815

 

The various sprues, with the cabin floor and chassis separated (and some minor work already done):

 

20220209_175511

 

Although the shape and general detail of the model are very nice, as I've been examining it I've realised that significant parts of the kit bear little or no resemblance to my car. The obvious key difference is that, like the Heller and Tamiya offerings, the Revell kit is of a LHD car whereas my UK-spec vehicle is RHD. The door interiors are completely different, the seats aren't terribly representative and the engine bay needs work. This means that there will be lots of planning, quite a bit of scratch-building and -converting and doubtless the occasional use of Anglo-Saxon vocabulary along the way!

 

My first area of focus will be on the cabin floor. I'd already carefully cut open the boot on the body shell and started to shape the spare wheel well using plastic card. The rubber floor mats have a patterns of raised rectangular ridges, as can be seen here below the pedals:

 

20220113_134552

 

The real thing has a smooth heel-rest section in addition to the flat section below the pedals; these mats are replicated on the model floor but obviously for a LHD vehicle, so I scraped the front mat detail flat and now need to come up with something to replace it in RHD form as marked out in pencil:

 

20220209_184144

 

That's all for now; there will be plenty of reference pictures in future posts but not much weathering - I wouldn't be looking after it very well if that was required!

Jon

Edited by Jonners
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What I meant was, that's nearly all for now: I've been tinkering with a piece of aluminium foil food tray and come up with this for the front floor mat:

 

20220209_203734

 

It's probably a bit heavy-handed, but I'll think about it. If I could find some suitable rectangular mesh then maybe the pattern could be replicated using a painted effect. Hmm. 

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1 hour ago, Spiny said:

would something like this work?

Cheers Spiny; yes, something like that but rectangular mesh rather than square. I'll have a look for something similar.

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This is definitely a build to watch, You have a great eye for detail.

 

Oh and I have to say that I like Revell's selection of number plates, especially the Dutch and UK options.

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13 minutes ago, johnlambert said:

Oh and I have to say that I like Revell's selection of number plates, especially the Dutch and UK options.

🙂

Yup, agreed - and the German plate is similarly appropriate!

 

For those who are wondering, the 2CV has been blessed (!) with a variety of nicknames including 'tin snail' and variations on the 'duck' theme. It was sometimes referred to as the 'lelijke eentje' (ugly duckling) in the Netherlands, and 'ente' - check out that number plate decal! - is, of course, 'duck' in German. It has been called other names too*, but I won't repeat them here!

 

 

(* Especially by my teenage daughter who refuses to be seen anywhere near it.)

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Some small steps in between Real Life today:

 

20220210_190652

 

Firstly, I used a sharp needle to try scribing/embossing thick foil to simulate the front floor mat, rather than the blunt needle I used previously. I think that the result will look okay once trimmed, glued in place and painted.

 

Secondly, the kit seat frames have tabs that locate into slots in the floor. In the real car these frames slide fore and aft in rails that are bolted to the floor (photo to follow later - my smartphone has just lost all my camera photos going back about 6 years ☹). The floor slots were filled with plastic card inserts and rails were simulated by creating grooves in a scrap piece of plastic card using my Tamiya scriber, then cutting either side of the groove to make strips. These were then cut to length and cemented to the floor.

 

Finally, the seat tabs were removed (the seat on the right in the pic has yet to have this done) and the heavily-overdone diamond seat cover pattern was filled and sanded. And filled again. And then sanded again. And it still isn't smooth. 😠 While some 2CVs have seat covers in this diamond pattern, mine doesn't so it will have to go.

 

What's next (apart from more seat pattern filling and sanding)? Well, probably working out what to do about the hollow back of the rear seat, which will be visible through the open boot.

 

Thanks for the positive comments; when I stop cursing my phone camera I'll take and post some pics of the real car to compare with the plastic version.

 

Jon

 

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Having put in the seat rails, I had the nagging suspicion that they weren't quite right. I was sure that the front floormat had small cutouts to accommodate the fronts of the seat rails, and also that the two inner rails were joined together. So, this morning, I went to look in my car - I know, I should have done that first!

 

Sure enough, the centre rails are joined closely together and the front mats has short cutouts:

 

20220212_102632

 

I'd set my model's seat rails the same distance apart as the seat frame for each seat, but correcting my efforts to bring the two pairs of rails closer together would leave big gaps between the seats and the doors. Something wasn't right, so I fetched a tape measure and did some calculations. Hmm. Compared with my 1:1 seats, the kit seats (or at least their frames) are each 4mm too narrow! That throws the geometry of the seats and rails out completely. I considered cutting the seats, inserting a plug to widen them, replacing the frame crossbars and spending the next week filling and sanding but, as life is too short, decided to accept a much wider joining piece between the two centre rails. It isn't accurate, but it's done. I also noticed that the back of the seat rails  starts just forward of the rear of the door opening:

 

20220212_102620

 

I moved the model's rails forward slightly, which made them protrude into the mat and matched the original's cutouts. I also used epoxy glue to secure the foil floormat in place:

 

20220212_161128

 

The kit construction sequence would have you attach the interior sides (ie the door inside panels) to the floor part before lowering the body shell down onto it. This is how the kit parts look:

 

20220212_161035

 

Compare that with the insides of my car's doors:

 

20220212_102912

 

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Any similarity is purely coincidental...

 

It has been obvious for some time that these parts would be useless for this model. Unfortunately the inside of the body shell is smooth, with no moulded detail, so I'm going to have to scratch something here. I briefly considered opening at least one of the doors but, as the outsides of the doors are very nicely moulded, I don't want to risk damaging that detail by trying to scribe/cut them out.

 

Instead, I used the kit parts as templates to make some 20 thou plastic card pieces with which to laminate the insides of the doors. I've added the curved slots for the door opening handles and I'm in the process of shaping scraps of 20 thou card to fill the recesses around the windows. I've also scribed the door joints on the card pieces. This will be cemented to the insides of the body shell in due course and the various details - eg front window clips, door locks, pull handles etc - can then be added:

 

20220212_161216

 

The 'problem' with having the real thing almost literally on my doorstep is that I can see at a glance just how much work will be required to convert the kit! Still, in for a penny...

 

Jon

Edited by Jonners
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Righty-ho, while that modification is being fettled, here's a pic of the kit left-hand drive 'dashboard' parts:

 

20220212_201132

 

Here's a corresponding photo of the same part of my RHD car:

 

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(That's the 'Emergency Toolkit' stowage in the centre.)

 

So, some work to be done to move the parts across...and the instrument panel is completely different. Here's where I've got to so far:

 

20220212_211917

 

Dry fitting the big bits together on the chassis gives me this:

 

20220212_211831

 

That will do for today

 

Jon

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Great looking build, I look forward to seeing the RHD mods.

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Snap Jon! My main interest is aviation but I've just started the Heller 2CV as a bit of a palate cleanser, a gift from work for my birthday in the summer. I have to say the Revell offering knocks spots off the Heller. I'm not sure I'm going to get bogged down with too much detail, I'd rather OOB this one, and have a play with weathering it. Your build may tempt me away from that plan though!

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2 hours ago, Sabrejet said:

Nice work so far. I used to hate 2CVs with a passion but as the years have passed I've warmed to them so much that I now think I'd like to own one! 

🙂 I used to, too, and my daughter most definitely still does!! My wife think that they're the best thing since sliced baguette, so eventually I gave in to the pestering, sold my Morris Traveller (sigh) and bought the 2CV. It is definitely entertaining to drive, but you really wouldn't want to be hit by anything while driving one (they have the structural integrity of a yoghurt pot), calling it 'no-frills- motoring would be flattery and  they aren't known for their resistance to corrosion! Still, it gets used regularly when road conditions allow and even has a degree of practicality. For example, I used it to help a relative move some old junk to the tip (sorry, recycling centre) and she was quite amused when, true to the designer's original intent, I rolled back the vinyl roof to get the bigger items in.

 

4 hours ago, Quiet Mike said:

Snap Jon! My main interest is aviation but I've just started the Heller 2CV as a bit of a palate cleanser, a gift from work for my birthday in the summer. I have to say the Revell offering knocks spots off the Heller. I'm not sure I'm going to get bogged down with too much detail, I'd rather OOB this one, and have a play with weathering it. Your build may tempt me away from that plan though!

Oh, I don't know about that. Mike - if anything, I suspect it's likely to confirm that you made the better decision!

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3 minutes ago, Jonners said:

It is definitely entertaining to drive, but you really wouldn't want to be hit by anything while driving one (they have the structural integrity of a yoghurt pot), calling it 'no-frills- motoring would be flattery and  they aren't known for their resistance to corrosion!

 

Not dissimilar to our old kombi. You sit on top of the front wheels! (And no seat belts 😳) One wit wrote a book on his adventures with one, and called it 'Welcome to the crumple zone'. I often wonder, would we drive better if we all had vehicles that made us very aware of the dangers of driving? (Spikes of steering wheels often gets mentioned as a 'safety feature'!)  Do I drive differently than someone in a new bullet proof 4x4 built like a tank?  (I'd like to think so, but I've seen so many photos of old car crashes I think I'm guilty of donning the rose tinted specs 👓)

 

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11 hours ago, Quiet Mike said:

Do I drive differently than someone in a new bullet proof 4x4 built like a tank?  (I'd like to think so, but I've seen so many photos of old car crashes I think I'm guilty of donning the rose tinted specs 👓)

I don't think you are, Mike. When you drive your kombi I bet you're usually hyper-aware of the other traffic, especially those high-speed Chelsea tractors with their plethora of safety devices and, increasingly, no experience of drum brakes. At least my 2CV has front discs!

 

Having mentioned structural integrity, or rather the lack of it, the 2CV has a tubular frame that runs around the inside of the cabin. I'll add a photo of the real thing once I've taken it, but here's my interpretation on the model using copper wire:

 

20220214_094710

 

I recently wired up a new extractor fan in a bathroom and the earth wire from the 3-core-and-earth cable turned out to be perfect for 1:24 2CV structural tubing!

 

Thanks for all the positive comments; they're really appreciated.

Jon

Edited by Jonners
New pic with amended tubing location...
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No new work done this morning, just a quickie to show what's next on the master plan* alongside fettling the dashboard. The rear seat in the kit looks like this when located on the floorpan:

 

20220214_094626

 

You can see that its back is hollow, its sides are moulded with cutouts to rest on the wheel arches and its base rests on two solid 'fins' of plastic. Here's the real thing, viewed through the open boot: 

 

20220212_103228

 

Its back has a foam pad with numerous tensioning springs keeping the seat cover in place, the sides don't overhang the wheel arches and the base rests on three upright tubes with no supporting 'fins'. There are also some obvious horizontal pressings on the wheel arches themselves which aren't featured in the kit, as the boot door is moulded closed.

 

The small blocks of wood, by the way, are there for two reasons. Firstly, while the original jack is present it lifts the body shell rather than the chassis, with the attendant possibility of ripping one from the other, so I also carry a standard scissor jack for the chassis; unfortunately the 2CV's crazy suspension leaves each wheel just in contact with the ground at full jack extension, so the wooden blocks are to put under the jack to allow it to lift the wheels clear of the ground. The second reason is that the rear seat can be removed in a matter of seconds and makes a useful picnic seat (See? You don't get that feature in a Tesla); the wooden blocks sit under each corner to prevent the seat frame from digging through the grass and into the earth. Simples.

 

I think some more plastic surgery is imminent.

 

Jon

 

* If you think I really have a master plan, and I'm not just bumbling along hopefully, stop kidding yourself!☺

Edited by Jonners
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More small steps on the 2CV. Firstly I splashed out on a pack of Milliput for the first time in years so that I could simulate the foam and drawn-together seat cover at the back of the rear bench seat. I'd forgotten about the joys of Milliput: it stuck to my fingers, it stuck to the cutting mat, it largely failed to stick to the plastic where I wanted it to stick. The seat is still definitely a work-in-progress. 

 

Secondly, a quick squirt of primer on the floorpan is enough for me to be happy with the foil front floormat.

 

Thirdly I progressed the dashboard. I sat in the car and took some measurements, reduced them to 1:24, then assembled the basic panel from plastic card and stretched sprue. Although there is more to be done, I was feeling very pleased with myself as it looks reasonably good in the flesh...but I've just seen the close-up photograph and it looks horrendous! Oh well. 

 

20220215_212654

 

Finally I knocked together a fire extinguisher to replicate the one that I keep in front of the passenger seat.

 

Thanks for looking in!

Jon

 

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Nice work John , the back of the rear seat is going to be interesting work.  The wire for ghe inner roll bar structure looks good too.  The dash looks good,  when painted it will surely pass muster.

I  have a stalled build of my last Beetle  which I recently took into the mancave, I ended up using the Tamiya seats cut down and then made up the backs and bolsters from Milliput was quite pleased,  but my painting of the Leopard skin fur (believe me this is tastefully tacky) inserts leaves a bit to be desired!!!

We're you making vroom vroom noises whilst sat in the car measuring the dash:whistle:

Great work 

Chris

 

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11 minutes ago, bigbadbadge said:

my painting of the Leopard skin fur (believe me this is tastefully tacky) inserts leaves a bit to be desired!!!

We're you making vroom vroom noises whilst sat in the car measuring the dash:whistle:

Leopord skin seat covers! Nice!! When I was young my dad had a white Mk2 Escort with fluffy zebra pattern seat covers... As for "Vroom, vroom" noises, I took the car into town yesterday to make real "vroom vroom" noises instead...or at least what passes for "vroom" in a 2CV but actually sounds more like a sewing machine.

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