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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I started this project back in 2018. I started with a 1/32 Betta and Classic polystyrene shell, with another clear shell for the windows and headlights. The basic shape of the shell looked good, but, as with most of these Betta shells, it was designed for the maximum width regulations, so it was wider than scale. Some of the minor details looked wrong to me, too, so I followed what has become a routine process for me. Comparing the shell with a scale plan, I took sections out of the shell to make it narrower. the polystyrene is a pleasure to work like this - very easy to cut, bend and glue, and easy to fill, too.

I fairly quickly had a complete bodyshell, which seemed to match the plans quite well. I used an inline chassis from a Fly Ferrari 512S Coda Lunga, which needed no modification. (Regular Forum readers may remember the subsequent developments for the Coda Lunga shell). I painted the 312P with Tamiya TS49 Bright Red and printed my own decals to represent the Rodriguez/Piper car from the 1969 Le Mans 24 Hours.

The finished car ran reasonably well, although, with no motor pod, it was no match for Slot-It or NSR cars even when I fitted a stronger magnet. Somehow, it never looked right, but it wasn't until KensRedZed posted his resin-shelled version of the same car on this Forum that I realised what was wrong with mine. The 'stance' was completely wrong. It was much too high at the back; almost like a Porsche 917K. I'd also messed up on reducing the width of the original shell, so it was now narrower at the back than at the front and, also, not symmetrical.

Fast-forward to the dark days of the late-2020 lockdown. Time was now something I had in plenty so, taking a deep breath, I decided to destroy my 312P. I considered replacing the Betta-based shell with a resin shell, but, when I compared the two, I realised it would be just as much work to get the resin shell to my satisfaction as to modify the Betta one.

As I had suspected, it was a lot of work! I found I had to do some pretty drastic surgery, cutting the shell into 4 pieces to correct the stance. It took me weeks to put it all back together, mainly because I developed perfectionist tendencies and insisted on modifying the shape of the windscreen and the rear end as well as widening the rear and narrowing the front. This time, I avoided the mistake with the stance by constantly trial-fitting the shell on the chassis as it evolved. This taught me a lot of lessons about not changing too many things all at once..... In the end, there was hardly any Betta left in the car except for the front wings and the rear window!

Of course, the driver and interior no longer fitted now the car was so much lower, so I had to modify them. I didn't intend to do much with the standard Fly chassis, but I put a 'stopper' on the rear axle which greatly improved the gear noise and also improved the magnet pocket so the magnet was closer to the track, which allowed me to get rid of the second magnet from the original chassis.

I made a new windscreen, side windows and headlight covers from packaging material (Terry's Chocolate Orange for the windscreen), as the original ones no longer fitted, then repainted and re-decalled the car. I'm really pleased with how it looks now. It no longer looks odd next to my Fly Ferrari 512s and it's faster, too, thanks to the reduced weight and the minor chassis improvements.

I hope you enjoy reading about my trials and tribulations!

Mike
 

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Nice job! 👌

I thought after 1966 the Ferrari Racing Team changed to the 412P, as they were the natural succesors of the P4.

Havent checked the wikipedia but Im sure Trisha knows one thing or two about these cars😉

Cheers
 

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GDS

The 412P is usually considered as the customer version of the works' cars. Customer cars had carburettors while factory entries had fuel-injection.

The 1969 312P coupe (from memory, 3 were built) was more akin to its F1 sister, which drew contemporary criticism. Ferrari were floundering, wrote the critics, because they were trying to compete in too many championships, and succeeding in none.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Nice painting, Trisha.It captures the difficult, elegant shape of this car very well. That's the same car the next year (1970) at Sebring, I believe, after they'd been sold by the works team to North American Racing Team (NART).

GDS: in 1968, the FIA changed the rules for sports GT cars. The engine size for prototypes was limited to 3 litres, with the aim of eliminating the advantage of the big American V8s and opening up the field to F1-based engines. Unfortunately, the 4 litre Ferrari P4/412P also ended up banned. Ferrari sulked during 1968 and refused to compete, so the 312P Spyder, when it appeared in 1969 using mechanicals similar to the rather unsuccessful F1 Ferrari of the era, was underfunded, undeveloped and unreliable. The 312P coupe was a one-off aerodynamic special body for Le Mans, but one car was destroyed in a first lap accident and the second (the Rodriguez/Piper car) didn't make it to the finish. By this time, Porsche had exploited a loophole in the Sports regulations to build the wonderful 5-litre 917, so Ferrari abandoned the 312P and built their own 5-litre 512S instead. NART ran the cars in 1970 and then, in 1971, Ferrari brought out the 312PB with the new Boxer engine from F1, which was completely dominant in 1972 after Porsche had temporarily withdrawn.

Mike
 

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Thank you, Mike. Most kind. At the Le Mans Classic a few years ago, I paused to study (and sketch) a 312P coupe on display in the paddock. It struck me just how low the car is.

I tried to imagine sitting in the cockpit (impossible, as I'm too tall), and got a feeling of claustrophobia - exacerbated by the heat of the day - just thinking about it.

An undeniably beautiful car, however. Would have been interesting with the 5-litre engine.
 

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Wow, that was a labour of love! A lot of people think that the 312P coupé is the most beautiful Ferrari. It was as quick as the Porsche 908 but hardly ever made it to the finish. Here's a shot of the spyder at Brands. Chris Amon rushing out of the paddock with not much time to spare till the race starts, wondering why that idiot schoolboy won't get out of his way . . . .

Land vehicle Vehicle Tire Car Motor vehicle

Clothing Car Vehicle White Hood

Just made it!

Andy
 

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The NART car finished 5th overall at Daytona, which probably shows that, with development and a little more care, the 312P might have become more successful than it actually was.
 

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Mike your patience astounds me! Really nice. Some years ago I simply "settled" on building up the Beta vac into the #23 NART car pictured above (after gulping! at the price of the contemporary Racer brand products;) my usual response being "I can just build it, by golly!!" Mine sits on vintage running gear, in this case the old brass "Super 80" anglewinder product from those days (so it fits that "regulation" width perfectly).
 

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Muy bien acabado ese coche y más aún cuando lo has cortado en dos.

Very well finished that car and even more so when you have cut it in two.

Frederic
 

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Beautiful cars! My favorite Ferrari. Mine isn't as nice... so I'm not showin' ya.
banana.gif
 

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At the risk of embarrassing myself, I will share my 3DP trio......

Car Vehicle Tire Wheel Automotive design

They are not as round as they should be, but I couldn't afford the Racer version. And I don't have the patience to do the wonderful work in this thread.

I will get a better file eventually, but these worked for me.
 

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