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1/24 Terrible Transit Camper


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Introducing the next one on the Anteater bench, a second crack at an Itateri Ford Transit. 

 

I rarely build OOB so the first Italeri Transit I made became a crew van. I wanted to build another one as it's a kit with so much potential, but what to do? Eventually I decided on a camper van, specifically the type you really wouldn't want to spend a holiday in. 

 

I sourced it "pre-owned" from Kingkit, in reality exactly the same as an untouched one but a few quid cheaper. Here goes:

 

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Period Transit camper conversions took various forms but I'm going for the Autosleeper / Dormobile type where the basic body is retained, rather than replacing it wholesale with a big garden shed / caravan type construction. That still means quite bit of modification, including the removal of a side cargo door. The Italeri kit has a cargo door on both sides but most campers of this type didn't have any side doors. I'm only removing one however, ala Hymer. My approach to this conversion isn't 100% prototypical, more a greatest hits of my favourite bits.   

 

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Some cutting and filling later and it looks... terrible. 

 

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Logically you would imagine the door shuts would need completely filling and sanding flat, but that's not how Ford made them. Vans without cargo doors had an infill panel welded in, so seams are still visible. Some days later and... it's awful. Much more work needed! 

 

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The clock ticks round again and it gets better.

 

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Just the impression of the infill panel left. In hindsight I started with too much filler and made work for myself. Less is definitely more in filler-world. 

 

In the meantime, I went shopping. When I built the crew van I spent an inordinate amount of time manually scoring out the two side windows, but a camper requires a lot more removal of material. The Italeri plastic is really thick gauge, so I went to B&Q and bought a Dremmel. 

 

Lining up the side window against one I made earlier...

 

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The Dremmel proved to be very effective, if highly destructive. Good for making large holes, but needing much manual finessing on the edges. 

 

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In the photo above you can see the aftermath of test cuts on the roof. I need a big rectangular hole for the pop-up top but despite having the whole roof to play with I cut these a bit too far forward, because I'm stupid. No turning back now!

 

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And tidied up with a bit of angle-strip and filler.

 

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I'm about a week in but there's a long way to go yet. This could take a while. 

 

ANTEATER

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Cool! I loved your previous one so I'll absolutely be following this 🙂 

 

That's a great start. Always nice to hack away at plastic. 

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Believe me, this will be a very unappealing camper. 

 

A bit of a mod to the doors. The side windows click into position, which is great apart from the door frames have big cutouts to locate the tabs. I won't be using the kit windows so they have to go. Before (L) and after (R):

 

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The door handles are a bit clumsy too so they need hacking out and replacing with a bit of rod. This really needs to be 1mm diameter but I only have 1.5mm so I had to slim it down. Should look ok once it's painted. 

 

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I bought a set of cargo door inners from Motobitz but clearly I'll only use one on this build. Rough test fitting as below. I've added a strip of plastic to represent the strengthening bar that runs down the inner body between the two windows. It doesn't need to go all the way down because the lower half will be hidden. Some camper converters cut one big window the full length of the van body, which must have required horizontal shoring up otherwise they'd be well floppy.  

 

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And finally so this update, filling and drilling for right hand drive wipers. 

 

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I sometimes think a camper van would be quite a useful thing to own but have you seen the price of them them? Anything worth buying is a million quid, but the cheaper/older ones don't really work because they tend to lack a shower and toilet. The mind boggles. Presumably you just Febreze yourself every morning and manage the other using little bags like people do with dogs. 

 

 

 

 

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For reasons unknown, the Italeri kit only contains the rarely-specified hatchback rear door. It was rarely specified here, but perhaps it was more common in Italy? Certainly a web search shows quite a few LHD Transits so equipped. Camper conversions are 50/50 in their rear doors choice and there are pros and cons each way, but I fancied conventional twin doors so Mr Motobitz got some more of my money. 

 

The bodywork above the door needs some fettling back in order to fit the twin doors and in hindsight I could have been neater but I'm hoping it'll look ok. 

 

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The door hinges had me temporarily foxed but I bumbled my way through. 

 

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Salt and vinegar on your Transit, mate? Only salt please, guv.

 

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And a preview of the colour scheme. Ford Tuscan beige with Vauxhall Brazil brown stripes. Lovely. 

 

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ANTEATER PAINTS. 

 

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Great work on this kit so far!
 

Nearing the end of my British Gas build and whilst the kit isn’t perfect - though generally fairly good - it’s a great base for all sorts of wonderful and imaginative builds, as you are proving.  I’ll be getting another kit to do something with when I find one going cheap.

 

Anyways, looking forward to seeing how this turns out.

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1 hour ago, Anteater said:

 

Is there a WIP for that, or have I missed it?

No WIP I’m afraid. I have a few ideas for another build of this kit so will do one then.

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A quick update on the weathering so far. I still need to cut back and flat the paint, plus I must sort the clumsy drill hole where I had to realign the cargo door handle, but that's easy enough. I'll be continuing the stripes down the sides, in case you're wondering. First time I've tried painting stripes with a rattle can and I'm relieved to see the Tamiya tape is doing a fine job. The thinner divider stripe is masked using trimline because there is zero chance I could cut tape that thin and straight. 

 

I just use acrylics for the rust effect: silver followed by clear amber followed by watered-down tar black and/or the top layer of a murky pot of "rust" that I've never stirred. 

 

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Time for the last update of the week. 

 

From what I can gather, camper van stripes were often vinyl by the 1980s. It wouldn't be impossible for one wing to be bare, with the stripes peeled off, so I did a quick "negative"; masking off the stripe positions then going over the rest in Matt Coat. The illusion of stripes having been removed to find the wing had faded around them, right?  

 

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But there's no logical reason why somebody would have done that to a solid wing with good paint. So...

 

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That looks better to my eyes. By the way, you can also see from this angle that I painted the inside of the passenger door Jamaica Yellow, to simulate a blow-over on a secondhand door. After that I made the rear valance a bit more grotty. 

 

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Having got that far with the body, I probably need to get the chassis going and start figuring out how to build a camper van interior... 

 

 

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Nice. Or not, depending on your point of view. I'd hate to be stuck behind it in traffic anyway. 1600 engine I imagine?

To me, the rust looks rather dark, like it's been treated already? I'd dab on some dryish light brown.

How about one rear door being a different colour? Maybe with commercial signwriting on it?

Oh, and you'll need those little triangular multicoured stickers on the windows, 'We've been to Weymouth/Skeggness' etc.

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5 hours ago, Pete in Lincs said:

How about one rear door being a different colour?

funnily enough I had the same thought, but about the wing

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Back in the day one of my father's friends had a similar Transit Camper (kept in much better condition) and we occasionally borrowed it for family holidays, one event which still comes up in conversation is day one of our first trip away to Wales: my sister and I were fast asleep in the two bunk beds built into the tent-house roof when I decided to roll over and fell out of said bunk resulting in a very soft but sudden landing on my parents who were fast asleep on the fold out bed beneath us!  Needless to say on subsequent nights we were safely fastened into our bunks with bungee cord.

 

One detail point - Longleat Safari Park's monkeys love the taste of the windscreen washer nozzles.

 

 

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3 hours ago, Richard E said:

we were safely fastened into our bunks with bungee cord.

Which could have led to a lifelong love of bondage. But this is a family site, so we won't mention that sort of thing. 

BTW, I never realized how hard it is to type in handcuffs.....

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10 hours ago, psdavidson said:

funnily enough I had the same thought, but about the wing

 

Tough crowd. I thought about a mismatched panel but it's a bit obvious isn't it? Anyway, I thought ahead, that passenger door is already yellow inside. Subtlety innit 😉

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Last Sunday I had my first actual first day off in about 6 months. This how I spent it.

 

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You can't actually see the grot in this picture. It's a conspiracy I tell thee. The spare wheel is deliberately mounted upside down because it looks better that way.

 

But... AND NOBODY TOLD ME... I noticed this window is well out of true. I'll have to see to that...

 

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Is it straight or isn't it? Is straighter now...

 

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Some external frame definitely helps sharpen it up, as viewed in extreme close up. Yes, the cargo door window is a bit smaller than the windows on the other side, because all factory cargo door windows are the same size whereas third-party camper windows tended to be bigger. Is my story. 

 

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I needed some small diameter rod and some hex rod for wheel nuts. A large box arrived...

 

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That'll be the rod then. 

 

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ANTEATER

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