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BRE Hino Contessa 1300


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This is one of those grail resin kits that I've had on the shelf for a number of years now, and one of those that I both want to keep and build. But I've never bought anything in my life as investment, so now the day has come for this one. Q Models of Japan, 1/24 scale resin. The Hino Contessa 1300, prepared by Peter Brock's BRE team (Brock Racing Enterprises) and raced in USA during the 1966 season. Despite being built in light weight versions for racing the Contessa was still a little heavy compared to the Minis it often raced against, but that didn't stop the BRE team from a couple of remarkable race wins. The Hino Contessa is stylish in itself, and it only gets better when prepared as a race car, at least to my eyes.

 

https://bre2.net/the-racing/hino/

https://www.datsun.org/fairlady/BREHino.htm

 

So what's that Q-model hype then? First a sturdy stapled cardboard box. I bought this second hand some 12-13 years ago.

 

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The main parts nicely cast in resin, bags of smaller white metal parts, some photo etch, vac formed front and rear windows, transparent sheet and templates for the side windows and two sheets of decals (I forgot to take out the second here). And in this case a bag with the melted remains of three tyres...

 

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There is a double sided instruction sheet.

 

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And we have some decal placement guides. There are five different versions on the decals sheet.

 

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I'm actually thinking of this 1967 test version, just because it looks so good with its lower suspension setting, even if the 1966 versions have their racing fame.

 

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This is not good, and not uncommon in older Q Models kits. The fourth tyre was already liquid in the original bag when I acquired the kit...

 

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This is the solution, 3D-printed tyres. These are actually about 12 years old now. We were using the print service from "PrintAPart" in those days, hence that blue material, which opened a new world back then. They must have been one of the first services like this. Sadly they closed down in 2011 and back then Shapeways could not match that quality and 3D-printers at home were not really even on the horizon. Me and my friend Johan Brusefält desperately drew and had printed all various parts we could see future need for in our projects in the last weeks of the PrintAPart service, and these tyres were in there. Cad work by Brusefält.

 

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They fit perfectly on the white metal rims and haven't changed or degenerated in all those years.

 

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That's what I have to work with. Here a quick mock up to get a view of the stance.

 

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I made a start a few days ago cleaning up the body and chassis and adding some filler.

 

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The few other resin parts were soon finished too.

 

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The main roll cage part was too wide. First I cut off 2 mm in width from the lower bar and reshaped it.

 

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Then I realized that the lower bar needed be moved up and shortened further. Here we are with all parts soldered together to a complete unit. There wasn't much of a cage in the cars back then...

 

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The smaller interior parts didn't require much work and were soon done.

 

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The kit comes with different exhaust parts for the -66 and -67 versions, this is for -67. The two moulded in "suspension arms" needs to be trimmed down so they aren't visible when viewed from the side.

 

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The chassis has been drilled for the metal axles and the -67 ride height tested for real. In -66 the cars were about 2 mm higher.

 

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The front parts were also easy work. If the headlights look crude and simple that is indeed the case, as they represent the lights fully covered by black protection sheets for racing.

 

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The rear end offers more work. First the recess for the photo etched part had to be cleaned out and improved in definition to get a good fit. Then the surrounding chrome strip is supplied as a separate very thin white metal casting. I think the idea is to polish it for a chrome look. Unfortunately it's far too large.

 

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I decided to glue it to the body at this stage, cutting it in pieces to adjust the size, and just use Bare Metal chrome foil after painting. More foil work will be needed anyway. This should work.

 

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Fitting the front and rear vac formed windows needed more work. The instructions is perhaps hinting at fitting them from the outside, which would look very awkward in this case, and the resin is quite thick on the inside with no provision to accept the windows. I used a rotating ball shaped file in the Dremel and worked the body from the inside to get thin edges for a good fit. A bit scary work, relatively slow speed and steady hands help.

 

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I'll take a seat as well if you don't mind? like those above I've not heard of this one either

 

       Stay safe           Roger

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I'd also not heard of the car until a year or so back and saw it mentioned somewhere, so I googled it and came across a great on-line article about Peter Brock racing them. Of course I can't find it again now....

 

Looking forward to watching another resin masterpiece taking shape Jörgen!

 

Keith

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I hope you don't mind me sitting in on this build, I've been told there's a resin kit on its way to me and I've never done one so this will be valuable experience for me.  I'll stay at the back out of the way and promise not to make any noise!

 

You must have an amazingly steady hand to have reworked the window apertures with a Dremel.  Looks really good so far... 

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17 hours ago, Pete in Lincs said:

Another one I've never heard of. It is a stylish little thing. Hints of a 64 Mercury Comet I think?. Looking forward to me more. 

Yes, there's a lot of nice 60's lines here, Michelotti penned this one.

 

17 hours ago, Marco F. said:

Never heard of this car. But looking forward following your progress up to another beauty

 

Marco F 

The Hino cars are among the lesser known in this part of the world. Toyota took over Hino in the late 60's and since then Hino only makes trucks.

 

15 hours ago, Anteater said:

NIce looking car, I look forward to seeing it come together. 

 

What happened to those tyres? Exposure to heat?

The problem with some softer "rubber" plastic materials; the softening agent in the material sometimes separates, or reacts with other plastic materials in contact, like the bag they are packed in. Had this kit been built in the late 90's when it was released, the tyres by now might have been rock hard shrunken rings with a pool under each sitting one on the display shelf.

 

Here is how the tyres in my Hino Samurai kit of the same vintage look today. Pretty crazy. Fortunately I have 3D-replacements here too.

 

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14 hours ago, Hamden said:

I'll take a seat as well if you don't mind? like those above I've not heard of this one either

 

       Stay safe           Roger

You're always welcome Roger!

 

14 hours ago, PROPELLER said:

Jörgen, you are the best exotic cars modeler! Thanks!

 

Dan.

Thanks a lot Dan! I try my best to build some odd subjects now and then, and I like working with resin.

 

13 hours ago, keefr22 said:

I'd also not heard of the car until a year or so back and saw it mentioned somewhere, so I googled it and came across a great on-line article about Peter Brock racing them. Of course I can't find it again now....

 

Looking forward to watching another resin masterpiece taking shape Jörgen!

 

Keith

Thank you very much Keith, I'll do my best.

It's very much the efforts of Peter Brock that's coming up when doing web searches on the Contessa. Hino was an important factor in the early days of BRE.

 

13 hours ago, Neddy said:

I hope you don't mind me sitting in on this build, I've been told there's a resin kit on its way to me and I've never done one so this will be valuable experience for me.  I'll stay at the back out of the way and promise not to make any noise!

 

You must have an amazingly steady hand to have reworked the window apertures with a Dremel.  Looks really good so far... 

You're most welcome to make a lot of noice too 😎. Resin kit can be a bit different to work with. The variation in quality and execution are huge. Some go together almost like a Tamiya kit, while some are best described as blobs to scratch from, and there's everything in between.

 

40 minutes ago, JeroenS said:

Another good one! Those wheels look really good with your 3d printed tyres on!

Many thanks Jeroen! I'm glad we did the 3D-models while there was still something to look at.

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The -67 test car had the fuel filler cap through the bonnet. It's not included in the kit, so I scratched it from some sprue and Evergreen strip, then drilled and cut the recess in the resin.

 

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The frames for the door and side windows are another tricky issue that is meant to be polished and fitted after painting. The fit is less than perfect and it will be difficult to get a sharp finish this way.

 

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I decided to do the same as the rear end trim, fit them now and use BMF. After some adjustment of both the resin and white metal I glued the pieces little by little, checking the positions as I went on. With some sanding and small dots of filler to make everything come together I have some descent frames in place.

 

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That looks a bit interesting. I remember the Contessa saloons in New Zealand when I was quite young, I never imagined them as a competition model. I'll be keeping an eye on this. :)

Steve.

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48 minutes ago, stevehnz said:

That looks a bit interesting. I remember the Contessa saloons in New Zealand when I was quite young, I never imagined them as a competition model. I'll be keeping an eye on this. :)

Steve.

Good to have you around Steve! Ah yes, New Zealand did see some Hino imports 👍

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The chrome strips on the sills were a bit short and also different from side to side, so I added bits of Evergreen strips to correct this. It's time for a first coat of primer.

 

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And so the stage has been reached when the build looks like almost any other build, with everything pinned up for painting.

 

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5 hours ago, PROPELLER said:

The quality of those kits seems really excellent! And with your skills...

 

Dan.

You are most kind Dan, thanks! It's a pretty good kit, it was released in -96 or -98.

 

4 hours ago, keefr22 said:

You don't hang about Jörgen ! :)

 

Keith

Not much to dwell on, it's fast, it's a race car! 😎

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The primer was sanded in the morning, correcting the last small imperfections.

 

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In case you have noticed the bulging body over the rear wheels it's not a mould problem. The rear wings were massaged this way on the race cars.

 

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Now the white has been sprayed as well. It's 2K automotive paint, Porsche Alpineweiß. It must be a good match for the Hino white as I had it in my stock after some 1/1 scale work years ago.

 

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