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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
You probably think I have finally gone completely round the bend but the hint in the thread title to the Kevin Costner film "Dances with Wolves" comes about because we have very confident foxes in my neighbourhood and for the last few years our garden has been used by them most days with several of them sleeping and warming in the sun for hours at an end on the lawn.

Quite often when I am carving, sanding down or painting a slot car body shell in the garden I am accompanied by one of the foxes who will quite happily sit about 10 feet away and watch me at work. I find this very relaxing and really adds to the pleasure of the model-making process.

Anyway, the purpose of this thread is to describe a scratch built Lotus 23 I have just made, I thought it was about time I added this car to my collection of Jim Clark slot cars.


This is Jim Clark in the Normand Racing Lotus 23 winning the British Empire Trophy at the Oulton Park Spring Meeting in 1963.


I used balsa wood for the bodyshell and although I have no drawings of the car I do have lots of photographs and the dimensions so this carving is by eye rather than a slavishly accurate model but it will do for my purposes. This is the shell at an early stage.


The shell here has had the final shaping and surface detailing added, it has been hollowed out underneath and then had superglue rubbed into the surface before a light sand and sprayed with a Halfords primer and paint.


I masked and sprayed the blue and red stripes of the Normand Racing team which was a rather laborious process maybe I should have used decal paper instead. The interior tray is a thin sheet of plastic card with a balsa dashboard.


I vac-formed a windscreen using my "Sedona Vac Former" that John Cahill kindly made for me a few years ago.


The finished shell with driver figure, mirror and race numbers added. Now I have a Lotus 23 I need somewhere to race it, hopefully it will get a run at Colchester's annual meeting next year.

David
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
QUOTE (Ian H @ 8 Aug 2012, 21:01) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Absolutely delightful work!

How do you do the headlamp glasses!

I cut out a small piece of clear plastic (usually packaging material) put the plastic on my thigh and roll a curve into it by rolling a round needle file handle over it, keep working it until you get the right contour. I then put it in place on the bodyshell and trace the shape of the headlight opening into the plastic with a compass point then cut and sand to the final shape. There are other ways of doing it but I find I can make up a pair of headlight covers in about 10 minutes this way so I stick with this method. I hope this makes sense, it is easier to do than explain.

QUOTE (John Cahill @ 9 Aug 2012, 00:28) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Beautiful rendition of a Lotus we rarely see modeled.
I think we need a pic of your foxes too please *grin*


This one obviously got bored watching the carving and nodded off.


I have lived in my current house for 31 years and never seen a woodpecker but suddenly one has moved in to a tall tree and sometimes feeds in my garden.

While I'm carving I hear him doing his woodwork, pecking at the trunk of the tree...

John
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Jason
Thanks for the info about the Woodpecker, very interesting. The bird was eating ants when I took the picture of him/her.

Dick
Going by the dimensions of your 1/24 plans my 1/32 shell is 2mm short and 1mm too wide. I am planning on doing a more accurate master and casting a resin shell, if you would kindly send me a 1/32 scaled plan from your original I will happily send you a shell for your trouble.

David
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
QUOTE (JasonVizor @ 10 Aug 2012, 14:51) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Hi David,
Glad to provide a little information, personally I find birds fascinating, all wildlife and the outdoors really. Your bird is a juvenile female, the male has red on the cheek, I'll guess you often hear a strange bird call that sounds a little like maniacal laughter, this is the Green Woodpecker.
Kindest Regards Jason

Jason
Like you I love the outdoors. What I am surprised at is that I have had numerous walking holidays all over the UK including various woodland areas and never seen a woodpecker but now I have one in my garden.

QUOTE (JaakBeentjes @ 10 Aug 2012, 20:13) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>David,

That looks great,
never seen this car but it seems like a low cart i bet it will be abel to handle some proper corners.

Love the fox too that's a pretty one, seen a lot in Switzerland but they where all lighter colored,
seen one here at me new place in France but it was a youngster.

Had a Badger walk around late at night, i turned the lights on outside it was like 2 meters away from me and could not care less that i was there...
somehow a bit intimidating.

Jaak
I've had very close encounters with foxes but I have never seen a badger although there are quite a few sets in the area, to be that close to one must have been wonderful.

Dick
Thanks very much for the drawings. I resize drawings in Photoshop rather than doing it in the printer. I will make a start on the master shortly.

David
 

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Discussion Starter · #21 ·
Nothing to update you about the Lotus 23 re-master as I've been diverted by a carving of another car at the moment but on the subject of the foxes some of you might be interested in these photos I took last night.

They are poor quality because it was quite dark at about 8pm and I had to set the camera to 1600ISO so there's loads of grain/noise.

This family spent about 45 minutes playing and resting and digging up the grass for food, we watched there activity as it made a nice alternative to the TV







More news on the Lotus/foxes as and when there is some progress.

David
 

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Discussion Starter · #26 ·
QUOTE (Bigtone @ 30 Aug 2012, 09:03) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Are they digital or analogue ?

I took the pictures with a digital camera.

QUOTE (Mr.M @ 30 Aug 2012, 09:31) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Their C of G is obviously woeful - two of them have toppled over in the last pic. Try making them some lexan heads or perhaps brass paws.

Joking aside - they are great pics, David. At our last house, we were regularly visited by the entire cast of British wildlife - foxes, deer, snakes and badgers. I will have to get Mrs.M to dig out a picture of her feeding peanuts to the badgers on the front door step. We found out on the web that badgers like peanuts - and they certainly do - but how do they know they like them??

There is a badger set about 200 yards from my house but I don't think they visit us. There was something on TV a couple of years ago where they showed a chap in a typical suburban cul-de-sac of modern houses and every evening at the same time about six badgers walked up the road to his front window and he fed them.

David
 

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Discussion Starter · #30 ·
QUOTE (howmet tx @ 31 Aug 2012, 06:54) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>David- I only mention this because you say you're having a go at another resin version. I've tried to do this car several times; a slight obsession with Jim Clark's Nurburgring car. The nose shape is very subtle. After the sides go round a soft 90 degress under the headlights, it bulges out to a very gently rounded point at the very nose, not a straight line, as many models show. It's a bit like the Lotus 19 only more refined. I've seen loads of 19 & 23 modles that didn't quite catch it. I spent a lot of time at Brands looking at originals and eyeing things up, and had about twenty goes at my own resin master. Also, that slightly sunken boot line is on the Revell 1/24 version, but not on any actual cars I've noticed. All the info I gathered showed a flush panel at the back, although usually quite poorly fitted! I gave the mould to Steve Francis I think, I don't know if it's in service.

And foxes rule, OK!

John

I am planning a (hopefully) more accurate carving now that I have the drawing from Dick. I am with you on the shape of the nose but I'm not sure about the sunken boot line - I have seen actual cars and photos where this is the shape I've attempted to capture. By sunken boot line do you mean where the boot lid blends into the rear wings or am I misunderstanding you? Any advice from you is gratefuly taken as your carving skills are a couple of light years better than mine.

David
 

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Discussion Starter · #35 ·
John

I haven't seen a 1/24 Revell shell for a while so I'm not sure how much of a "lip" there is in the area we are talking about. I have every Lotus and Jim Clark book going and there isn't one rear picture of a 23 in any of them.

Like you I have seen numerous 23s racing today and there are all sorts of inaccuracies in a lot of the bodywork on them

Having looked on the web the only shot I can find of a 1960s photograph of a rear engine cover is this one.



I think there is a very slight lip but it is much more subtle than my clumsy carving with the balsa shell. I will correct this on my next attempt.

Thanks for your input.

David
 

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Discussion Starter · #39 ·
QUOTE (howmet tx @ 31 Aug 2012, 16:45) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Hi David

I mean the back end, where the the boot lid blends into the rear valance. I think you can see in those blueprints that the line of the boot lid (behind the rear wheel wells) does just flow smoothly round rather than arriving at a sort of projecting lower lip, or shelf. As I said, it's a feature of the Revell shell, but not of any 1:1 cars I've seen. But then I have been very confused by the number of 'repro' Lotus 23s running around that are not faithful in shape. It would be interesting if there is a good rear view that shows the 'lower lip' across the back end. I've missed it completely if so! I love the smooth, clean shape of the car, and the Brabham BT8 (?) which I have a vac of. Sweet! Or foxy, you could say.

Cheerio and good carving!

QUOTE (dgersh @ 2 Sep 2012, 12:49) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>David,

Nice photo, and offhand it looks very much like the Revell...

I happened to have this photo of a couple Lotus 23s (and 19s...) in my photobucket, so am adding it here - but like on the 1/1 cars, no rear shots! Can take them if needed, but you'd probably do better on your own!

Don

PS: Mr. Howmet, none of your lip please...

John
Your mention of the Brabham BT8 reminds me that Dave Jones built a balsa shelled one and it is beautiful, he captured the shape perfectly.

Don
Thanks for the photo of the Lotus line up. Thanks to Dave Jones who has just sent me a great magazine article from 1962 where John Bolster track tested a works Lotus 22 and 23 at Goodwood which includes this picture, I think we can now say there is a subtle lip at the edge of the engine cover.



I think I now have enough info to tackle the new master.

David
 

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Discussion Starter · #43 ·
I do agree with you John that the 1/24 Revell shell is wrong in that area.

I have a picture of the press launch of the 23 and the panel fit is perfect, it also looked well put together at Jim Clark's famous drive at the Nurburgring 1000km but once they were well into their general racing service the panels were often "gappy" and a bit skew whiff (not sure how you spell that).

Thanks for the offer of the moulds but I'll struggle on with my clumsy carving, I've got to keep the foxes company.

David
 

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Discussion Starter · #47 ·
I am with John on this Tony, I am certainly not beating myself up about anything or under the impression my work was being questioned. I appreciate any help and advice from people like John or Mac Pinches or Dave Jones

I love researching a model as it gives me the opportunity to re-read my books and magazines and "live" the period once again, this usually also leads to wonderful tangents where I research something completely different and give myself ideas for another build. I like to make the best model I can with my limited skills and available tools but I am more than happy to accept the errors I make. Part of the fun with a specific car is to try and get all the detail right for that particular car at that race which you can do as long as you have the reference material - with other cars I am happy to make a generic version where there are compromises made.

On another subject I have finished another balsa car today which is riddled with errors but overall I like the look of it and obviously that is the important thing as I don't sell my stuff.

David
 

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Discussion Starter · #51 ·
QUOTE (superhornets @ 4 Sep 2012, 16:26) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Hi John and dave
sorry if my comments seemed like criticism as i was only trying to stop your percieved mental turmoil over the quality of your work
so i,ll shut up now ,but finish with the point that ,before any of us worry about making the perfect model ,let us consider that with the production standards of the day ,probably not many of the cars turned out from lotus, cooper ,lola etc probably wern,t that perfect either

cheers tony

Tony

I didn't take them as criticism, what I was trying to say but perhaps my answer was too brief to get my thoughts across properly (one of the potential problems with the web and forums leading to mis-understandings) was that I love all the researching and studying of photographs and talking about little nuances of a car. I don't care that this is sad and perhaps a bit obsessive but it keeps me happy.

I don't suffer mental turmoil although I'm sure I drive my wife round the bend with it all.... My rubbish bin is full of scrapped projects and half completed ones that will probably never get finished but this is all part of the fun of model-making as I learn from all my mistakes and never see errors as a problem as usually the second or third attempt is better - but if it isn't, no worry I enjoyed the process anyway.

The great thing is that balsa is as cheap as chips and the worst thing that can happen is that you throw away about £1 worth of wood and you have had hours of fun along the way.

I am always interested to hear your comments on the hobby.

David
 

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Discussion Starter · #58 ·
Nothing to update on the second Lotus 23 carving yet, as usual I have been diverted with other cars.

It has been far too cold for the last couple of months to keep the foxes company in the garden but here are some balsa carvings I've been working on.



The nearest one is a 1970 Ferrari 312B which is progressing reasonably well although it still needs quite a bit of refining, hopefully I'll have it finished for the Wolverhampton Classic at the end of this year.

The second one is a 1966 Cooper-Maserati, the monocoque and body is finished but it still needs extra work doing on the engine bay area. Hopefully this will also be ready for the Wolves event.

Third one back is a 1969 Matra MS80 and shouldn't be here as it is jelutong rather than balsa, this has been a work in progress for ages, it might end up in the bin and I'll start again as I'm not that happy with it.

Next is a 1966 Lotus-BRM 33 which has just been started and this is the result of an hour in the garden on the one mild afternoon when I could get out there this winter. Lots more to do.

The BRM V16 Mk1 No1 at the back is a body I'm working on using a different approach. Because I had scale copies of BRMs drawings for the bodyshop at Bourne I was able to make up all the cross sections attach them to a central spine to give me the overall shape and then fill in each area and sand to shape. Having tried it I think I prefer the normal way of just working from a plan view and side elevation and working by eye but it was worth a try.

We had two foxes sleeping in our garden for most of the day on Sunday and hopefully the weather will start to warm up fairly soon so I can join them.

David
 

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Discussion Starter · #61 ·
QUOTE (dgersh @ 4 Feb 2013, 12:24) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>This is a family forum David...

Beautiful work by the way...

Don

I hadn't realised how that could have been interpreted...

David

QUOTE (Jaak @ 4 Feb 2013, 13:41) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Great craftsmanship David,

I am in the starting phase of my first Balsa car,
it will be a 1:24 Triumph TR3 for the Good Wood proxy.

Would be great if you also joined in the fun, here is a link

This week I met the badger again for the first time since our last encounter.
I found out they have terrible eye sight or at least this one does.

It had been snowing around 20 cm's that day and I was shoveling/scooping the snow of our driveway in the evening,
I had done about 3/4 of it when I noticed something moving towards me in a weird way following the tire tracks of our car in the snow,
at first I thought it was one of our cats that was injured but as it came closer it was obvious it was too wide and slightly to low.

When it was around 10 meters away from me I recognized in the semi-darkness that it was a Badger and it was still coming towards me.
I stopped moving to see how close it would come...9 meters...8 meters...7 meters... 6 meters...
...5 meters... 4 meters and still hopping towards me..
At around 3 meters it suddenly stopped looked up straight into my eyes....stood there for a couple of seconds (seemed minutes)
it then turned around and ran/hopped as fast as it could away from me, towards a stairs going up to our neighbors garden.

Badgers are not so good with stairs I noticed as it fell about 3 times downwards trying to race up the stairs.
It was a short stairs of around 12 steps and the badger would do about 3 steps and fall one step back do another 3 and fall one step back until it reached the top and disappeared in the night.

The picture of it staring in my eyes like "hey what are you doing there" will be edged in my memory forever, it was quite a rush.

A lovely description of your encounter.

There are badgers very close to me but I've yet to see one, I hope one day I will. A friend of mine has them visit his garden and they are death to his very neat lawn but as an animal lover he accepts it.

When we had snow a couple of weeks ago we had the foxes doing that vertical jumping thing that animals do and diving into the snow searching for food, it was great fun watching them.

David
 
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