SlotForum banner

Hatching an Eagle

11528 Views 68 Replies 21 Participants Last post by  David Lawson
After five years of wandering around before the inevitable '60s 1/32 F 1 race at Las Vegas, I vowed (in public) that I would have my own car this year. Despite having a drawer full of Ferrari, Cooper and BRM bodies, most of which would accomodate a more-or-less conventional motor/chassis set-up, I decided to tackle the Eagle body that I obtained several years ago (a Fitzpatrick glass body)

When I first metioned my concerns about the space inside on a DL some time back, Russell, ever helpful and generous as he is, sent me one of the rare K's motors advising that it was about the only thing that would fit.

Take motor in one hand, body in the other and push them together - hmmmm - not going! - and add some side plates to the motor to form a chassis and it gets worse!

Opened the motor drawer and here is what came out:


Left to right: a version of the currently popular Bear Dog mini-motor, the TMM (Taiwan mystery motor), K's, an (MRRC?) eBay find, and, for contrast, a standard Mabuchi can. Although the K's is 0.002" narrower than the TMM, by the time side plates of any reasonable thickness, say 0.032" are added, you are at 0.66" - a non-starter for this chassis. The MRRC is about as bad, even without the screw heads. The mini-motor and the TMM are the same cross section, the only difference being length. Since my friend Jim Butt has a wickedly fast Indy Turbine powered by one of the latter and since, like the mini-motor, an end-of-the-can mount can be done, it got the nod. Like the mini-motor, the shaft needs to be sleeved to accomdate a 2 mm bore pinion (more about gears later).

Looking at photos of the Eagle Weslake, I decided that, in addition to the distinctive body shape and paint scheme, several other things defined the "look" - the solid polished (titanium?) upswept front A-arms, the long rear suspension trailing arms and the very distinctive polished exhaust system. The model would need to incorporate these.

Next consideration - the guide: The front overhang on the Eagle is long but narrow. Both the Sakatsu (trailing) guide and the TSRF guide can be accomodated without extending past the tip of the nose. The TSRF guide is more easily adjusted for height and has the wires extending from the back of the braid mount rather than the front (in the case of the Sakatsu), an advantage with the narrow nose so the nod went to the TSRF.

Thanks to wheel and tire size info from Mr. P and wheelbase and track data ( 96.5", 61" F/R) from Prof. Fate, I was ready to start cutting metal. I decided on a wire sprung pivoting chassis ( and am not at all certain that my version of this type will have any handling advantage over, for example, an out-of-the-box MRRC brass Clubman). Working on this scale has its pitfalls - most of what you will see is second and third tries (but I keep telling myslef that I am learning with each mistake)

On the jig:


and right side up:


The rear assembly is machined from brass stock. The front section is 0.062" brass and the front axle carrier and origami-like upper A arms is 0.032" brass sheet. the pivot is 1/16" drill rod and the torsion springs are 0.047" music wire.

Here is the first trial assembly:


The wheels and tires are temporary but they are of the right diameter - 0.80" front, 0.85" rear.

Now, about gears - notice the little green crown gear above - it is the smallest (24T) Slot-It gear. I would have loved to have fitted a 64 DP crown with an internal (same side as the teeth) hub but to the best of my knowledge, no such animal exists and the width does not allow for the fitting of an external hub. I know that the Scaly etc. crowns are a bit smaller but I am not about to spend the time to build a scratch chassis and then fit a P.O.S. gear set! Here are the consequences of my choice:

Dr Jekyll:


Mr. Hyde:


And that amount of cutting does not allow for any body movement! I believe that I can accomdate a little body shake by skimming 1-2 mm off the diameter of the gear (they appear to survive much more powerful motors) and chamfering the outer edge. Beyond that, I plan to add a little built up detail of some lines, add rear suspension detail including the coil-over spring units, paint the gear silver or black and hope that those measures, along with the extension of the exhaust pipes, will mask the surgery.

An Eagle or an omlet? - we shall see.

See less See more
1 - 9 of 69 Posts
Dash it all, EM. Beautiful work, raising the stakes once more! My MRRC Eagle is already in it's second rebuild, but it looks as if I'll have to start all over again.
I reprofiled the nose, hacked away the heavy bits of the chassis and made front suspension arms out of ali. The big square holes in the front bodywork for the steering got filled and reshaped to get those little airdams in place, and I fitted rudimentary p/wire rear suspension. New w/screen out of Easter egg packaging to replace that horrible thick piece of wodge. New decals from Pattos. But I kept the standard motor and wheels. The Cheetah's fine, even if it makes Dan perch up a little high in the airstream- but then he is a tall fella. But the wheels are a desperate compromise. I tried the Maxi-Models ones, but they're too wide, and then basically gave up.
But the competitive instinct is strong in me... My Eagle shall soar again!
The mesh covering the inlet trumpets is neat- I shall start poking around in the cutlery drawer for an old tea strainer... unless anyone can suggest better sources?
See less See more
Nah, EM- you are the focus of my jealous thoughts still. It's the endless cunning of your wheel reproduction scheme that got to me!
The MRRC shell is really a waste of time in the end- as you say, it's all out of scale and designed to accomodate the motor, so all that beautiful sculptural shape in the body sides of the original is completely lost- the MRRC car looks more like a tank than a shark, but I thought I'd made the best I could of a bad job.
I might yet tap you for some of that mesh, since my email to Messers Crew has just been bounced back! I'll try again....
Anyone modelling that car would be arrested immediately. Sawing the nose off an Eagle contravenes article 12 subsection 14 paras 8-15 of the Laws of Scratchbuilding; aesthetics and morality.
And that one is now officially entered into the Ugly Car competition, alongside the similarly truncated Cooper-Maserati.
No more warnings, Russell....
Absolutely beautiful, EM- but keep that testosterone under control. Don't go crashing that honey.
Sympathies for the late Eagle, EM. A brave man...

Lovely pic, Russell. Any info on that All-State Special there? That made my waters move...
Absolutely- tragic history, but nevertheless a wonderful looking car, and a fantastic model. Gorgeous chassis! Any info on the body shell, or is it a scratchbuild?
How do we get to see more of Mr Cunningham's work?
Nice to make your acquaintance, Jim! Congratulations on your beautiful work.

I know I shouldn't do this but.... I really, really want to make that car! If I have anything that you'd want in trade for those decals, I'd be happy to post them. Is that Patto body resin or vac?
1 - 9 of 69 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.