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Gunze Sangyo 1:24 Porsche 959 Rally Paris-Dakar High Rider


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Hello!

 

I'm getting back into the hobby after about 20 years, and I wanted to share the build progress of a fairly rare kit I just obtained in the past week. The kit is the Gunze Sangyo 1:24 Porsche 959 Rally, which models the 1985 version of the vehicle. Porsche was very successful with their 1986 entry, but less so with the 1985 version, which was a DNF for Porsche in the Dakar. An odd choice to replicate this version! AFAIK, this is the only plastic kit of the 959 in its rally/raised ride height configuration.

 

FqTyokI6_o.jpg

Example of the road version compared with one of the 1986 rally versions, showing difference in ride height

 

The kit is I think from the 80's, and I obtained it from ebay, in near-mint condition. The bags had not been opened, and the decals seem to have survived. The clear plastic windows have some scratches likely due to being stored with other clear plastic parts in the same bag.

 

The kit is a kerbside model, so there are very few internal details to focus on, and from the pictures I've seen, the interior cabin was very sparse indeed. Therefore my focus for this model will be attempting to recreate the 1985 version with as much accuracy as possible. My research shows that the body details were quite different from the 1986 version.

 

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Box art (mostly accurate!)

 

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The kit unboxed

 

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Body shell for later reference

 

Research

 

As my primary goal for this build is accuracy, I needed to do some research into what the 1985 car that ran in the Paris Dakar rally actually looked like. There are not a lot of pictures out there of this particular car, but I am happy with what I've managed to find. This specific car has been restored and is now in a museum in Los Angeles, which helps get more detail. I did learn along the way that the museum version, while mostly original, had significant body parts rebuilt from scratch, so pictures of the original 1985 car are still more valuable.

 

I am working on a list of items that I'll need to add to the model, items that need to be removed, errors on the model that need to be corrected, and clarifications when there is conflicting evidence of what should exist.

 

So far this is what I have, and should be enough to allow me to get started on the body shell. I'll add more research into things like paintwork, interior, etc. as the build progresses.

 

Items to add

 

Not on the Gunze model and will need scratch-building:

 

Mudflaps: I don't have a great picture of these, but the rally version has some rather giant rectangular mudflaps.

 

Spoiler struts: There are two struts that attach the spoiler to the rear boot lid, pictured:

 

Eq7KnEW1_o.jpg

Restored 1985 version, rear view showing struts

 

Items to remove

 

Air inlets above rear wheel arches: A clear plastic fill part is provided, but will need more filler and work (no inlets here at all on the 1985 version). Interestingly, the body shell in the Gunze kit looks like the 959 road production model, which makes me wonder if the very popular Tamiya 959 kit could be modded into the rally version. Also, this area of the model is a very "organic" shape, so I am a little concerned abut filling and sanding this and not making a mess of it.

 

Turn signal hole: There's a hole for a turn signal of some kind on the wing. No such item on the rally version.

 

Side-rear vents (right of the Recaro logo in the above pic): The extrusion is present, but the grille is blocked out (a rubber part is provided to patch this, but really doesn't seem suitable at all) 

 

Side-front vents/grilles (below Dunlop logo): Nothing should be present, so the extrusion and the grille need to be removed (pictured below). The prep car for 1985 also shows nothing in this area.

 

cb66MFia_o.jpg

Restored 1985 version, front view showing lack of air inlets beneath the Dunlop logo

 

Kit errors

 

There are a few errors with the kit that will need correcting:

 

Rear windows should be matte black: the kit does correctly list the rear side windows as black, but the rear hatch window is also black as well. On the 1985 version, this actually appears to be a removable panel, giving access to a storage compartment, containing a spare wheel. There should also be no window trim/sills on each of these black panels. I will try and muster the courage to cut these out if the window parts will still fit after doing so.

 

Decal errors: From what I've found so far, the Africatours decal is incorrect (wrong font, spacing, box styling), and the Recaro name is misspelt as "Recard"! I am thinking I can get new decals made for this. I have started a vector file with the right designs.

 

The Shell logo and name is used a lot, but the front bumper has the wrong variant. It should just be plain "Shell", not "Shell Puissance 7" as is used elsewhere on the model (apparently that was the product name for a motor oil they marketed in France in the 80s?). This one might be difficult to correct, as it is featured on the gold stripe.

 

The German license plates are missing their vehicle inspection seals above and below the hyphen. The restored version doesn't have them; the original rally vehicle did.

 

Clarifications

 

There are actually two filler caps and both should be kept; one in the body panel and one in the rear side window. Initial glance looked like the body filler cap should be removed, but this is not the case.

 

The front latches for various panels are silver/metal

 

The rear latches are matte black

 

Unknown / Mystery

 

There are what look like two strobes on the roof of the car (not the mounted brake lights). The paint sheet lists these as clear red, but everything I've seen on the original have these as matte black. I'd like to know what these things are. I think I've seen them on other Dakar vehicles.

 

BJ4CAI0I_o.png

Mystery "strobes" on the roof

 

OK. That's the research so far! Enough to start building things...

 

Starting the Build

 

After the basics of inspection and washing the parts, the first few days have been primarily focused on the body shell.

 

Trying to find moulding lines and other seams on a bright white body is a bit of a challenge, but with a raking light and a soft 4B-ish pencil, I can mark the lines rather effectively and sand them out.

 

5xq7R6cq_o.jpg

 

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Finding and removing unwanted lines

 

Next up is removing the vents, front and rear. On the front the entire extrusion needs to be removed, so lots of sanding there first.

 

MQdif48f_o.jpg

 

After this, I filled in the front holes with JB Weld PlasticWeld. It was workable-ish, but has lots of large flakes that make it cumbersome. However, being an epoxy, it seemingly provides a very solid base layer to build up from.

 

MzZViPWn_o.jpg

A very cakey initial fill 

 

I found some Model Master Red Putty that is about 20 years old now :D it is very stinky stuff so I was trying to avoid using it, but here we are. It should be finer. I applied some, sanded, noted it was still pitted, then applied some thinned with modeling glue. Still not perfect, but getting better.

 

xZgbbyKS_o.jpg

Front vent after a coat of thinned Red Putty and some sanding

 

While I let that rest a bit, I moved onto the air vent over the rear wheels. I fitted the clear "plug" part Gunze provides, as it seemed to fit fairly well, and hopefully reduces the challenge of getting the right shape with the filler. I tape up any panel lines that are nearby when working with filler. The plug once seated, glued, and sanded felt quite smooth but will certainly need filler.

 

SOdnE7fK_o.jpg

Clear plug fitted into wheel arch vent

 

Next I'm moving on the rear bumper vents which need to be only filled, not sanded down first. I'm intending to use just the Red Putty for that, but we'll see how it goes!

 

That's everything I have so far. Please let me know what you think, and feel free to offer tips as I progress!

 

Thanks!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by 959fan
resized images for better loading
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I'll be following your build of this. I have the same kit and at the same time I bought a cheap Tamiya 959 kit to possibly use as spares/combine with it. In particular the headlights and what (or is not) behind them, seemed a bit lacking in the Gunze kit. I also did wonder "should I just use the Tamiya kit with the Gunze wheels and interior?"  The headlights to me look different on the Dakar car to the road version however.

 

Amongst other things the amount of work filling the various vents and intakes is one of the reasons I've not built mine yet. There are some weird rubber flaps in the Gunze kit to cover them up in an entirely unconvincing way.

 

Welcome to the forum and back to the hobby!

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Thanks for the welcome :)

 

Your comments about the headlights made me go and check and you are right! I hadn't checked them closely. There's nothing behind the clear lenses at all. I'll need to think about what to do there. They are quite thick so maybe painting the rear side of them a solid white or silver might be OK, but I'm not excited about that prospect. I wonder what others would do, as I haven't encountered such a shortcoming before.

 

I agree the rubber flaps are weird and don't generally seem to help with the modifications to the body shell.

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I'm by no means a WRC or rally expert of any kind so I'll just sit in the background and admire the attention to detail and push for accuracy.  Great start to what promises to be a very interesting build.

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Don’t think I have seen this kit built before so extremely interested to watch progress.

Good to see the initial differences of kit to the real car and how you are overcoming them
Looking forward to the next instalment.

Chris

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22 hours ago, 959fan said:

Thanks for the welcome :)

 

Your comments about the headlights made me go and check and you are right! I hadn't checked them closely. There's nothing behind the clear lenses at all. I'll need to think about what to do there. They are quite thick so maybe painting the rear side of them a solid white or silver might be OK, but I'm not excited about that prospect. I wonder what others would do, as I haven't encountered such a shortcoming before.

 

I agree the rubber flaps are weird and don't generally seem to help with the modifications to the body shell.

 

Without knowing exactly what they look like I can't really definitively comment on the headlights, but what I would probably look to do is to paint the headlights with chrome ink such as Molotow or Green Stuff World. If the back is relatively flat and you're proficient with Bare Metal Foil that could be worth a try too.

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I looked at both the restored version and the original, and these were the best pics I could find of the headlights. Looks like the bulb is recessed somewhat deep into a black housing. Maybe a scratch build of some kind? 🤔 I wonder if I can source an interior bulb at least. I don't have any spares from other kits (yet!) ;) 

 

vW5nUCMH_o.jpg

 

Another error on the model I discovered is that the opening for the boot/trunk is in very much the wrong place. The road version has a boot lid that extends out to the edge of the body, and the model erroneously copies this. Here's a pic of the rear open at the rally. It should be much narrower, being about the width of the rear window. Compare that with my shot from earlier in the thread. This will be a test of scribing skills as well! 😬

 

IDZ31wVD_o.jpg

KLVjRuRk_o.jpg

 

Edited by 959fan
typo
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A couple of build updates...

 

The air intake below the windshield was bothering me. It's a very noticeable gap on the actual car, so no opening on the model was a problem. I spent a long time slowly scribing away with the knife until it got through the very thick plastic. Sanded it once it was opened up. Before and after:

 

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8sakvLet_o.jpg

 

I also started work on the tricky and dreaded vents in the rear wheel arches. Instead of the aforementioned Red Putty which keeps caking, pitting and generally smells; I used Elmer's Wood Filler, which is not smelly and much better to work with. There isn't much documentation out there about using it on plastic bodies, but I figure I can hit undo a bit more easily if I decide to try another approach. I applied it generously, and let it cure for about 8 hours. The result is pretty decent, but we'll see how it holds up. I probably need to take another pass to really get it smooth.

 

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Vent fill after sanding and rubbing in a bit of pencil graphite for visibility. Some of the clear plug part is visible here. The black lines are for the boot lid delete.

 

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Looking at the fill under a lamp

 

I also started on the boot lid adjustment. This means deleting the old panel lines that go to the edge of the body, and scribing in some new ones. I have placed tape as a guide for the new panel lines. I temporarily attached the rear light bar to guide where the lines should go.

 

M2IT7kW5_o.jpg

 

That's it for now!

 

 

 

Edited by 959fan
typo
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Thanks @JeroenS - I've been watching your Golf build thread and wondering what primer you use? I saw you mention it was good at removing scratches and I might need some of that capability too... 🙂. My panel scribing is going OK, but I do occasionally hop out of the groove.

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1 minute ago, 959fan said:

Thanks @JeroenS - I've been watching your Golf build thread and wondering what primer you use? I saw you mention it was good at removing scratches and I might need some of that capability too... 🙂. My panel scribing is going OK, but I do occasionally hop out of the groove.

Scribing is my least favourite part!

 

That primer I used was Mr Surfacer 500, it's a filler primer, thick stuff. I'm currently out, but don't need it as much anymore. 

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4 hours ago, Vesa Jussila said:

Interesting project. I will follow too. I think -85 car was more prototype than anything near production. So lot of changes were done during development.

 

That aligns with my observations as well. There certainly are elements of the 1985 rally version that are closer to the the original 959 concept than both the 1986 rally and production versions.

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Another update:

 

I added in the panel lines for the boot lid and sanded out the incorrect ones. Lightly following the tape with first my hobby knife to put a very light track down, I then switched over to the Tamiya Scribing tool and gingerly continued. Here is the final result:

 

2rcXqIYE_o.jpg

 

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Rear illumination of the scribed area

 

I've also added just a touch more filler to the wheel arch vents and run over that with my thumb to try and fill a few tiny pits. At this point there don't appear to be any "steps" or other transition issues between the body and the filler.

 

I filled and sanded the ejection marks out of the spoiler. The spoiler seems to fit OK, but might be very slightly twisted which will be interesting when it comes time to fit it. I'll also need to scribe the spoiler to align with the new boot lid width.

 

voTmI53C_o.jpg

Ejection marks removed from underside of spoiler

 

I think my next step is to determine how much latitude I have to play around with the rear window fitting. Ideally, the sills in the rear quarter window and and hatch window should be removed, but I'll only do that if the glazing part won't look stupid with those removed. It has a slight lip for fit. I'll need to cut those out from the single glazing piece and do a dry fit. Either way, I need to cut those parts out of the single glazing part because they will be painted matte black, while the rest will be dipped in Future.

 

AO0BhRWp_o.jpg

Single glazing part

 

That's all for now!

 

 

 

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Rear windows update...

 

Cutting the glazing was much harder / riskier than I anticipated, so a good 30 minutes after starting to cut into the top of the glazing to start separating out the rear window, I decided to stop and take a different approach. The rear windows don't really have much curvature to them, so I wondered if I could avoid using the glazing entirely for the "windows" that would be painted solid. The prospect of trying to work with any more glazing parts than absolutely necessary was not enticing. Some styrene sheet for scratch building would let me get a feel for how much curvature there is and whether building a custom fill-in part would be doable. Small problem: I don't have any of that and not sure where I could get some in a timely manner.

 

Seeing as I didn't have any styrene sheet, I went to my local hardware store to see on the off chance they might have any. They did not have any sheets... but I noticed they had some signs, like "No Trespassing", "Yard Sale", etc. At the base of the sign was the plastic recycling mark, number 6/PS! I purchased the No Trespassing sign in a lovely yellow, as it had the least markings on it. I took it home, cut off some small pieces and glued them with the styrene cement as a test. Worked fine! So now I can continue with some testing / prep for scratch building... [for those who are wondering, this styrene sheet seems to be about 0.6mm in thickness. At least that's what I derived with the scientific method of looking at it next to a feeler gauge and eyeballing it]

 

LLsWxk93_o.jpg

No Trespassing sign ready for cutting

 

I cut some pieces out about the size of the windows, and decided there wasn't much curvature and I can probably bend this styrene just enough with a bit of heat. This was enough to convince me it was time to cut out the sills around the rear quarter windows... 😨

 

hURqOfnt_o.jpg

Reference pic showing the lack of sill and a recessed panel

 

Cutting the sill out was certainly a challenge. I mostly ran over it with the back of my knife until I got enough of a channel to run the knife along on its blade. The scribing tool was not much use here; being a slightly thicker blade, and generally larger overall made it a bit cumbersome for this finer work. On each side of the window frame, once the knife had started to cut through, I carefully used a razor blade to start extending the cut, using it like a tiny bandsaw. I had cut the razor blade in two lengthways to reduce the size, and reduce it to just one very dangerous cutting surface rather than two.

 

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Starting to cut through the sill

 

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Razor blade to aid separation

 

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Most of the sill is free, just the back corner remains

 

With most of the sill now free, the tricky back corner was hanging on. This was a difficult area to scribe, and I made very small motions in this area to try and get a bit of progress. Ultimately, after running the razor as far as I could without pushing it, the sill had to be popped out, leaving a little piece of the corner sill attached. I carefully filed this out with a round needle file and a warding file. After that, it was time to do the other one! Removing a single sill took about 90 minutes...

 

weQlxuNm_o.jpg

Sill removed, with the corner piece needing more attention

 

With a bit more sanding, I am quite happy with the result.

 

dABRuoBt_o.jpg

 

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iw3Yy9He_o.jpg

 

With those sills removed, I still need to think about what to do with the rear hatch window. I will also play about with building a replacement rear quarter panel.

 

Thanks for following!

 

 

Edited by 959fan
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17 hours ago, JeroenS said:

You did a great job of removing that sill. That was a lot work.

Thanks @JeroenS! It was a confidence booster getting both sides done. I wasn't entirely sure I was going to get it done without a mishap.

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Two updates: first, the rear quarter window-replacement panels, and secondly the rear hatch.

 

Rear Quarter Window-Replacement Panels

 

To recap, I wanted to replace the rear windows with the panels they used in the rally version. The side with the fuel filler cap looks like the picture below; a fuel cap sitting in a fairly deep recess. The other side is the same, just without any fuel cap business.

 

hURqOfnt_o.jpg

Rear panel with the fuel cap

 

I've never scratch built anything before (hence why I am using a polystyrene No Trespassing sign... :lol:), but I wanted to make an attempt at the side panel. The recess and fuel cap makes it a little bit more interesting. The Gunze kit only supplies a very disappointing red "O" in decal form to model this detail.

 

I started by cutting out a rough shape for the panel, and then cut four more tiny squares, one square using the black text on the sign. I also found a tiny piece of "stub" sprue, measuring about 1/8" inch in diameter. I stacked and glued three of the squares and after they had bonded, put them in a clamp to hold them. I drilled a hole in them starting from the smallest bit I had, up to a 3/16" drill size. This resulted in the following pieces:

 

OpNNH5FT_o.jpg

Parts for the fuel-filler panel

 

I painted the parts with Humbrol matt 33, and fit them together, putting the small black square at the base of the newly drilled hole. I bent the panel slightly to get it to conform to the body shell, and also drilled a 3/16" hole in it. For the filler cap, I painted the sprue offcut the same black, using Tamiya XF-7 on the top for the cap.

 

qJWivMmw_o.jpg

Panel, recess hole, and fuel cap

 

I was happy with the progress so far, but the filler cap needed a little bit more realism, namely the moulded handle for twisting it off. I initially thought I could use a shaved off piece of the yellow plastic, but it looked too thick. Instead I used a piece of decal paper, and applied some XF-7 to it.

 

QzyY3BdN_o.jpg

Red fuel cap and handle

 

With a touch of PVA glue applied using a fine needle, I attached the twisty handle thing.

 

I've only applied a single coat of paint so far, hence the blotchy look, and the fuel cap is currently a dry fit, but I'm happy with the progress, and my first scratch build! (albeit just a tiny thing)

 

CmLv2voG_o.jpg

Panel with recess and fuel cap so far

 

Rear Hatch

 

This was enough progress to convince me I had a workable solution for the side panels, so I moved onto the rear hatch next. I hadn't made any decisions yet about what to do with the rear hatch sill. So I went back to the pictures of the hatch of the 959 to find out more:

 

kRlHfp2K_o.jpg

Removable rear hatch

 

The rear hatch is certainly a bit "rough and ready", and I wanted to try and model the way it sits over the sill, rather than how the kit would show it as a recessed panel. I cut another piece of yellow plastic and tried to cut it roughly to size, using an outline I'd made on paper. I then started to file it down to size. I didn't take many pics because I had fairly low expectations. I filed at first, then switched to a rough sandpaper when I got closer. I then ran the sandpaper over the sides at an angle to give it a "soft bevel" rather than a hard edge.

 

t8g4fAmD_o.jpg

Shaping in progress (the shaded areas to be removed)

 

After a bit more filing and bending and whatnot, I got to this result:

 

0WtCZLq9_o.jpg

DIY rear hatch cover held on with blu tack from behind

 

QUlCwRnT_o.jpg

Different angle

 

Although it looks like it would be better placed in a cheeseburger, I am surprised how not-terrible this looked. It does seem to be "floating" a bit, which appears to be because the depth of the sill gets shallower as it goes down the hatch. I tried sanding the rear side to make the "cheese slice" taper slightly. I'm still not entirely sure about the fit, but I'm going to keep working at it for now.

 

aeumHStL_o.jpg

Hatch so far, after a bit more tapering

 

Thanks for reading!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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That fuel filler looks quite right, as does that rear hatch. Funny that you used a sign for material 🙂

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Making slow progress on a few things...

 

Bodywork

 

I found another error on the Gunze body shell. There were more vents that needed to be filled, this time right next to the exhaust pipes. I filled them with more of the Elmer's Wood Filler (I really hope this stuff holds when I get to the primer/painting stages 😅). It sanded down very nicely to make a smooth surface.

 

a917c4Bx_o.jpg

Rear vents before delete

 

vDWMdJkm_o.jpg

Vents deleted

 

Panel Lines

 

I'd felt like I've scribed every line about a million times by this point, going over the bonnet and other large panels even more as the real car is quite "gappy". After cleaning out the panels of any debris with a toothbrush, I applied a wash with a hint Testor's Flat Black. I mostly got the wash into the panel lines, but there were blotchy overspills in places. I was able to remove most with a couple of drops of mineral spirits applied to a cotton bud.

 

EIs7uKBq_o.jpg

Panel lines applied, still needing some clean up

 

Next Steps

 

I think at this point, once the panel lines are fully dried, and I've sanded the body with a very fine grit, I'll be ready to apply primer to the body. I've never actually used primer before, so this is quickly getting into unfamiliar territory! I obtained some Mr White Surfacer 1000, which of course is a white primer. I would have liked grey so I could easy see what needs attention, but because most of this car will be a white finish, I hear that's a no-no :) I hope the white primer applies well, fills fine scratches, and highlights other dings for me to fix. I'm also excited/apprehensive to see how all the filled areas look, especially the wheel arches.

 

Other Thoughts & Experiments

 

Headlights

 

@galaxyg had mentioned earlier in the thread that the headlights were a bit lacklustre, so I took another look, this time cutting them off the sprue and doing a dry fit, and comparing them to pictures of the real thing. The painting directions completely skip over the headlights, but they have molded a recess and frame, which according the 1985 pics should be black, and then the recessed lens can probably be painted silver on the rear side which @Spiny suggested. That should give them a bit more visual interest. Ideally there should be another clear lens over the entire headlight part.

 

EqMwAt7L_o.jpg

Attempt to show the interesting headlight shape, including the "frame"

 

eIs9bWdp_o.jpg

Dry fit with Blu Tack

 

Driver & Passenger Windows

 

The windows for the driver and passenger are quite flat, so I could decide to use an alternate material rather than use the one big glass moulding. This also give an opportunity to model them more like rally windows, which have a smaller sliding perspex within the window, like this

 

HWhxSuRq_o.jpg

 

I took a very simplistic attempt at this using some plastic food packaging to see what I could mock up. I think this might be beyond my range of skills!

 

HO37Ob4M_o.jpg

 

Decal Replacements

 

I'd mentioned at the start of the thread that one of the errors that needed fixing were logo errors on the decals. My plan is to remake the affected logos as a vector file and send them to a decal printer. I started the file, and started with fixing the first couple of decals. The first one, the Recaro logo (the decals said Recard instead) was an easy fix, locating the SVG logo on wikipedia. The second one, Africatours was much harder! 

 

I first of all needed to find the logo. There's not much out there about a french Safari tour company from the 80s, and no logo files I could just download. Furthermore, I'd discovered that the restored 959 also gets this decal wrong. I was fortunate to find the (life size) decals on ebay, and used them as a reference.

 

From top to bottom; the Africatours logo on the restored version, the original, and the stickers on ebay

yqRyWknV_o.jpg

 

At this point, I knew I'd need to remake the logo from scratch. This logo is really all about the font, so I needed to find that. I used an online "font identifier" where one uploads a picture and it names the font. None of these worked. I made several attempts at correcting the image skew, and other tricks, but to no avail. I suspected that the designer manually changed the A, and the rest of the letters aren't very unique looking. After going through all these detectors, I tried using them just to detect the next most unique looking character, which in this case is the "S". Somehow, this actually worked and before long I had a very short list of possible fonts. The answer turned out to be. "ITC Avant Garde Gothic Pro". I had this font already, so I opened up Inkscape to make the vector. After changing the spacing, doing some trimming to make the "A" slope, and moving the C uncomfortably close to the A, I had a vector logo I was very happy with!

 

SIdIyEVW_o.jpg

The finished logo

 

I might still need to work on other decals, so this is yet another work in progress!

 

That's all I have for now. Next step is the primer...

Edited by 959fan
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Hello again,

 

Just a small update this time. I've been mostly working through completing a Revell VW Golf Mk1 I started back in 2019 and am trying to get that to completion!

 

For the 959, I added some final wash to the panel lines and the rear engine grille (which I'd forgotten to wash until now). I applied the Mr White Surface 1000, which went on very easily, although it was hard to tell with a white primer on a white body shell. After this, I checked the areas I'd filled and sanded to see how they were looking. The front vent and wheel arch deletes were very smooth, but the rear side vents were another story. I raked a bright light across them to really show the pits. I filled these with very tiny amounts of  the wood filler and an equally tiny spreader I made from an offcut of my plastic sign :) After that, I maybe applied another coat of primer, I forget. The next day I started to apply the paint.

 

The top half of the body is white (TS-26), the remainder in Rothman's blue (TS-15/X-4). I applied the TS-26, not trying to overdo it and put too much paint on in a single session. So far that's where I've got to. I've applied quite a few coats at this point as the Tamiya spray paint (the white at least) does not seem to be very... assertive? I spray outdoors and the acceptable weather for spray painting is right on the edge, so I've been waiting until the afternoon to get that done. While I make slow progress through that, I'll start looking into the interior tub, and what else I can do there. The model is very spartan (and also incorrect!) in this area.

 

Thanks for reading and for the encouragement so far!

 

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Final washes before primer, remembering the engine grille this time

 

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Nice smooth vent delete

 

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A vent that didn't quite get deleted

 

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Current status after priming and applying Tamiya pure white spray

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A couple of thoughts on the lights...

 

The "headlights" on the full size car look to be standard spot/driving lights mounted inside the space where the headlight should go. The open area area behind the clear cover just screams "non-production" to me. Maybe have a look for good quality close-ups of this area, to see if a brand is visible? These '85 cars were prototypes, after all.

 

The twin black lights on the roof may be infra red beacons, they certainly have that look.  If they are, I imagine that they'd be used as an aid to help find the car in the event of a no show at the end of a stage, in case the crew couldn't communicate their position due to equipment damage or injury. From the air, the flash would stand out for miles. Variations on this are used by modern soliders to indicate their positions to friendlies when needing support or extraction. If they're IR beacons, a very dark blue/nearly black would be an appropriate colour.

 

Edit. I've had a quick look at photos from '85, and it seems as if most vehicles have these (or similar) fitted. Given the requirements for contantly ON and impact activated satellite tracking devices to be fitted to this year's entries, I'd think that I'm not too far wrong in my IR strobe guess.

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