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9108 Views 68 Replies 11 Participants Last post by  Ecurie Martini
A few months back I picked up a rather sorry looking Airfix-MRRC Honda F1 with a view to renovating it - never thought I'd actually get around to doing it of course. Well, that's forums for you I suppose!

I began by stripping it down to it's component parts and giving it a general clean up:

Quite a few parts were missing: one mirror, suspension detail, drivers head and the underside of the nose. The nose was a bit of a curiosity in itself as it appeared to have a slight "V" indent and was a little short compared to my Model Cars plans. Maybe it ran like this somewhere or maybe I just had more missing from the car than I first thought?

Anyway, I set about correcting it as follows:

Armed with a tube of Chip & Dent filler and aluminium car repair mesh I made a small bridge to the underside of the nose:

This was held in place using Araldite Rapid.

After a quick fill (not one of howmet's snack breaks I might add), I lengthened the nose by gluing on a small piece of plasticard,

sanded it to shape and then hollowed it out by drilling a few small holes, finishing off the inside with a small Minicraft grinder.

Next I added more mesh and filler to cover the steering mechanism and rear motor mount cut-outs and ground out the inside of the shell to give as much room for the motor as possible:

Still more work to do but now on with the chassis...
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John, if you say so, then I probably do mean you!
So pleased someone told me who I meant!
Sorry about that - I must have got over-excited.
Let's not prevaricate - I definitely did!

Poor old sod is cracking up!

I wonder if anyone has considered using that paint for tracks?
It truly does look excellent - I am really very impressed by the visual appearance - never seen better.
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Thanks Tropi. Although the finish looks nice in the pit lane, my own feeling is that "from the can" the paint is too rough/abrasive for track use. Light sanding might sort this out - don't know. Like just about everything else it's on the to do list!

John (aka Grah on the last Thursday of the month
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With the chassis complete it was time to get back to the shell.

Having re-profiled the nose section, next on the agenda was to fabricate the wing mirrors, lower rear suspension detail and roll hoop.

Firstly, the mirrors were made by wrapping a length of copper wire (stripped bell wire) around a suitably sized flathead nail. This was soldered up and the nail end cut off. Some Green Stuff was then fashioned around the nail to form the shape of the mirror body. Once that had hardened the mirrors were superglued into the body like this:

Next, lower suspension arms were formed from piano wire and the roll hoop from plastic coated toy packaging wire.

The decals (intended to represent Richie Ginther's car as raced at Monza in '66) were designed using Paint Shop Pro and printed onto clear Crafty Computer decal paper. Once sealed they were cut and applied to the shell and the cockpit, driver, engine, exhaust and transmission parts painted up.

So, this is the car so far:

Still more work to do on the front and rear suspension and the body mount needs sorting. I tell you though, I'll be glad to see the back of this project.

Ah, there you go!
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Lookin' real good, JP!

Amazing how this 60's stuff gets under your skin, isn't it? Even though I haven't got the parts yet, my desk is absolutely littered with books, drawings, etc. And, the chassis is almost finished.... on my CAD program, that is...

Now, if I could only find my Champion chassis jig....
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Excellent, JP. Love the trick with the mirrors! I'm beginning to wish I could stop building cars and spend some time to pretty up my track instead. These gorgeous F1s certainly deserve a fine setting like yours.
Trouble is it's hot enough to roast a bison up in the loft right now.
QUOTE it's hot enough to roast a bison up in the loft right now

You do that often?
I like mine medium rare, btw....
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It is hot here today Fergy. Luckily I have a wash bison in my loft to help cool off
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Warm here too! 30C with a humidex of 35! That's why I'm in the basement just bison my time until my parts arrive!
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QUOTE Trouble is it's hot enough to roast a bison up in the loft right now.

Becoming quite popular here - to my taste, better than most beef with the added advantage of having a very low fat content.

I like the mirror trick although I'm not quite clear how it is done - is the nail head bent 90 degrees to form the mirror face and then wire wrapped to provide bulk before finishing the shape with putty?

EM, not exactly sure how John did it, but I've made them in a similar way before and I think John did it much the same. I didn't bend the nail, but wrapped suitable wire around the nail near the head, and soldered it. In fact, I used the end of the nail to hold it in a vise while I soldered hands-free. I cut the nail shank off to a suitable length and built up the body of the mirror with filler, then finished to shape. When painted up, they look quite good. I have to do this very thing on the Matra.

And yes, bison burgers get
from me!
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Yup, that's it in a nutshell! Also, because the bell wire is flexible you can still adjust the angle of the mirrors a little even after they have been fitted.
Which is very important just in case that little 1:32 guy can't see out of them properly!
I'll admit I haven't done it in 1:32 (yet) but I did this all the time in 1:24. Same thing.... just different size nails!
But yours are very nicely done, JP! Hope my eyes permit a similar result in 1:32!

Howmet, it's been a while! Are those bison burgers ready?
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Very, very nice John.

Nice little tip about the mirrors, by the way.

My chassis, like Fergy's, is "virtual" at the moment awaiting delivery of my new chassis jig from Chas Keeling, and my "fatties" class body shell the 67 Ferrari 312, should go nicely with the "thinnies" class 156.

Of course, Le Mans will interfere with building progress, but we all have to put up with these little problems!.

Howmet, much as I HATE to mention it, all is very quiet on the Xylon surely on not going to force me to re-introduce my sig. pic......are you?.



I do find Bison a little tough, but as an option Moose burger goes down well.
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Here's another pic for while you're all munching on your bison and moose burgers:

In fact I was just playing with the camera exposure - it seems quite difficult to photograph white cars on my digital without the detail "bleaching out". Any tips gratefully received. Otherwise I'll just settle for one of those burgers - medium to well done please!
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Very nice John, I particularly like the decals - you haven't said how it performs.

My digital tends to bleach whites as well but I've found that if I'm photographing a slot car outdoors then if I use a translucent white sheet of thin plastic as a diffusing shield against the sun the whites tone down and the colours balance. Indoors I use a long exposure without flash or sometimes use the flash with the camera some distance away on zoom to reduce flaring - not sure if that makes sense but it works for me with my digital.

Thanks for the photo suggestions David - a few things to try out there.

I haven't run the car with the shell fitted in this nearly finished form as I can't safely secure it to the chassis yet (I'll probably use Velcro as on the P68). However, I have run the chassis alone and the chassis with the unpainted shell taped on. Like that It runs just fine - stays in the slot and has no bad habits. The low gearing probably helps the smooth handling too. The only thing I'm not too keen on is the visual aspect of the tripod set-up (unlike your Lotus David, the tyres don't tell any tales here as I fitted new boots just for the photo session!).
I've now managed to get in a good few laps track testing and can report that I'm quite pleased with the car's performance around my little home track. How it will fare in the "International Race of the '60s" on bigger tracks and against such esteemed competition too goodness only knows. I guess we'll be finding out soon enough!

Here are a few views showing the finished chassis complete with single screw body fixing:

…and some more shots from around the track for good measure:

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Very nice, clean, neat, and tidy, JP!

Looks like this 60's race is bringing out the best in the builders!
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That looks so nice John. I think the earlier cars are even nicer than the late 60s - I feel a 1.5 litre car coming on. Your on track shots are wonderful.

Fergy - It's strange that the F1 cars are having their moment all of a sudden, for ages now most people have focussed on sports and CanAm etc. My first motor racing love was F1 but I've neglected it for years and I'm enjoying re-visiting the formula.

David - so true! Perhaps the lack of mainstream product has led us to hold the older F1's in high regard - I don't really know, but I'm not complaining!
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