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I'd been browsing the Betta & Classic website and was intrigued by the availability of vacuum-formed shells made of .030 inch white polystyrene instead of the usual clear lexan or similar. I've always enjoyed working with polystyrene and the pictures of the available shells looked promising, so I put in an order. I've already posted my Alfa Romeo 33/3 on this site, but the first car I did was actually this Porsche 908-3, but I didn't post it because it coincided with the release of the NSR 908/3s and I didn't think there'd be much interest.

The Betta 908-3 shell represents a 1971 car with the fins on the rear deck, but I remembered the successful first race of the car in the 1970 Targa Florio, in Gulf livery with Siffert and Redman driving, so that was what I decided to model. I found some good modern photos of the car on the internet, which I used to make a 1/32 drawing of the car, from which it was clear that the shell was much too wide and that the front brake cooling vents and the rear deck air inlets were in the wrong places. (Betta make no secret of the shells from this period being made to 2.5 inch width which was the maximum allowed for 1/32 racing.) I planned to use a Fly Porsche 908-1 as a donor car. I had other plans for its shell. Looking at the 908-3 drawing, I realised the 908-1 was about 4mm too long in the wheelbase. I thought at first that this was a change made by Porsche for the 908-3, but a bit of internet searching showed that all 908s including the 908-1 and 908-3 had the same wheelbase of 2300mm, or 72mm in 1/32. Interestingly, the Porsche 917 also has a 2300mm wheelbase, although I'd always thought it was a bigger car.

After a lot of thought, I began carving chunks out of the polystyrene shell to get the width right, remove the fins and position the vents correctly for the 1970 car.

I glued on polystyrene reinforcements under the skin, around the lower nose and on the sills both sides to restore the strength and stiffness, at a small cost in weight, of course, but I intended this car to be at least potentially raceable. Sorry a couple of the pictures aren't very well-focussed.

I cut the Fly chassis in a dog-leg rather than a straight cut, just behind the front axle, to remove 4mm from the wheelbase.

It then fitted the 908-3 shell very well.

I added body-posts; filled and sanded the shell and sprayed it with Montana Gold Acrylic 'Fresh Blue' like my other Gulf cars.

I modified the Fly gearbox detail to be more like the 908-3. The Fly, cockpit and engine detail fitted well, although the Jo Siffert needed some surgery to get him low enough in the cockpit (same problem in the donor 908-1 - seems to be a Fly blind-spot).

I finished off the car with a set of home-printed decals and a coat of Montana lacquer, just in time to feature on a Christmas card!

Hope this is interesting, Mike
 

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Bob Chapman
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Thats a very nice project done.
I must admit redcat I also like the plasticard formed bodies. I went for the F1 body of the James Hunt independent Hesketh. I also had a thought that for plasticard sedans coupes tintops etc , to goe plasticard and use the lexan as an inner for the windows. Seemed to make sense. Ian does a very good job on the formings.
Bob
 

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Nice build, Mike. Nicely crafted. I've awoken today to the sight of snow covering the nearby Welsh mountains. Alas, there isn't a 908 tearing down from Hay-on-Wye - just the usual 4WDs plodding wearily from barn to field.
 

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An excellent display of model making and artwork by everyone.
 

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LOVE the 'cut and shut' job you did on that.
wub.png


It's VERY short, isn't it? Is it a tad twitchy on the track as a result?
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Hi, Kit. The shortness is a bit of an optical illusion caused by the lack of rear overhang. It isn't actually any shorter in the chassis than a scale Porsche 917. I expected it to be twitchy, but it's surprisingly progressive even with a standard Fly magnet fitted. It might be a different story with a 'hotter' motor; my Alfa 33/3 with a long can motor from China is certainly a handful!
Trisha - there are so many commercial models of the 908-3 about now I'm not sure I could get motivated to modify another Betta shell. Anyway, you've distracted me onto starting a pre-WW2 Grand Prix car now.....

Mike
 

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Mike

Glad to be of service in having distracted you. Love to know which pre War car you're building. Please be sure to show it when it's finished.
 
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