Sunday, February 24, 2013


Cut the axles and mounted the wheels. Car mounted to the old BBR case. I thought I used up all my old BBR cases. The same day I received the newly ordered BBR cases, the box of 3 old ones showed up. I'll save the new ones for later.

All that left are the tiny little things like hood pins, door handles, front license plate... etc.


Finally got all the belts done. That's all for the interior. Not shown in the pictures is the mounting nut. For F1 cars, ground clearance is small, so a tiny nylon washer is enough to mount them. But this time for a rally car, I need a standoff that is 0.25" tall which I don't have. So, I made one out of the wood dowel. Next up will be cutting the shafts to mount the wheels. But that will be for tomorrow. It's time to hit the sack.

Friday, February 22, 2013


 80/20 rule states that 80% of the outcome can be attributed to 20% of the causes. On the flip side, the last 20% of the outcome are from 80% of all the causes. Therefore, the last tiny bit to complete a project is always the most time consuming part. That's what I am facing now.

I am now discovering all this small details that I have to pay attention to. Last night, I found that there is the tow hook, all these hood pins, door handles, brackets... All tiny tiny pieces. Not to mention that I still have to finish the seat belts - out of the 8 shoulder belts and lap belts, I finished 3.

Even though I will still need a couple more days or weeks to finish this, I think I can start thinking about the next project. The 1/87 Porsche 911 GT1?

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

When masking tape is stronger than decal

Ran into some trouble last night. After a coat of clear over the decals, I was going to paint the window trim. So I put masking tape over. The problem is the bond between the decal and the white paint below failed at several spots. When I peel the tape off, there goes the decal.

Sigh... I was speechless.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Just checking

Spent Sunday working mostly on the interior. Put the wheels on just to see how the thing looks.

Back in 2011, I bought 5 cases with white base. The Ferrari 641/2 used up the last of that batch. So, recently I have been trying to find decent looking cases on eBay. I like the white ones, but no one is selling them anymore. I cannot leave the models not mounted, so last week I ordered a bunch of cases from BBR. I had BBR cases before. In fact, my first 1/43 F1 kit, the Ferrari F399 is in a BBR case. Took them a short while to process the order and just got a notice that they have shipped it. This time I ordered 6, hopefully they will last for a while.

Talking about display case. The model needs to be mounted to the base. I used to double sided tape and shims to hold the car to the base. It is not ideal. Then I started following blogs of other modelers and found that they drill and solder a nut to the base of the car and mount the car rigidly with screws. I started doing that since the BAR 006. For F1 cars, since only the cockpit is open, there are plenty of space that is not visible that I can mount the nut. Now, I am building this Audi road car, the center of the car is the cockpit, and it is not really a good place to put the mounting nut in. The only places left are the front and the back. I am still trying to decide where I should put that in.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Oil Cooler

When I first saw the rear wing, I was wondering why there is a vertical thing right under it. I've seen the road version of Ur-Quattro, there isn't such a thing there. Thank goodness I did not cut that off. In the 1981 rally car, Audi put the oil cooler right under the rear spoiler. The kit came with a piece of photo etched for the rear face of the oil cooler. But for the front that is facing the rear window, nothing but a piece of decal. That is not very realistic. The solution? Fabricate!

A couple pieces of brass rods, 2 pieces of brass; solder, file and drill; painted black and dry brush gun metal over...

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Steering Wheel

Unbelievable efficiency! No wonder that giant online retailer is what it is. Book ordered yesterday, book delivered today. It has quite a number of historic rally photographs, mostly external shots, not many pictures of the inside of the car. That's a bit of a disappointment.

Back to the car. All I did was just fabricating the replacement steering wheel using copper wire and brass sheet soldered together. It does not look too bad. Should look ok once painted and is inside the car.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013


Finally found a reference book on the Audi Ur-Quattro rally car from that giant online bookseller. It will arrive on Friday. So, I'll stop working on the car and resume when the book is here.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Oh Crap!

I thought I won't be fabricating any more pieces for the Audi. I was wrong.

I forgot to turn down the soldering iron temperature and melted the steering wheel. So I will have to make a new one.

The windshield wipers were modified. They're drilled and pinned now instead of just gluing it.

And then the seats, the chassis, the dash, the mirrors and the wipers all got a coat of primer.

I suppose I should also plan this build using MS Project. At the minimum, the exercise forces me to think through what needs to be done.

Tomorrow I will have to take a trip to the art supply store to get the right size wire to make the steering wheel.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

New Year, New Cars

Today is New Year's Day of the lunar calendar. What's better than visiting the Chicago Auto Show?

The new Porsche Cayman

Lexus LFA Nürburgring

Chevrolet Corvette Stingray

SRT Viper

Jaguar F Type

Nissan GT-R Track

Aston Martin DBRS

McLaren MP4-12C

A nice old Chevrolet Camaro

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Ferrari 641/2 1990 French GP Alain Prost

Ferrari 100th GP Victory Complete!

Finally, this project that was started back in July last year came to a conclusion. I think this is my best 1/43 work so far, and I can still think of a number of things that I could have done better. I manage to finish it before Chinese New Year. I'll be cleaning the house and the work bench and resume work on the Audi after Chinese New Year.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Almost, but not quite


Getting close to the end of the tunnel. But man, the front wing was a disaster. I should have done a better test fit in the very beginning. It took me the whole evening to fit and put the front wing together. Then it was the little extensions from the front wing end plates interfere with the lower front suspension arms. Again, it took me a while to figure out the angles of the arms were wrong. And while I was trying to get the wing and suspension pieces together, I rubbed off most of the metal transfers. It will be a task for tomorrow, to reapply the metal transfers. May be I can finish it before Chinese New Year!

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

I hate seat belts

Got the rear suspension together and the shoulder belts done. Man, I hate doing the belts. Using the photo etched belt pieces would be a lot easier, but the cloth belts just look so much better. I bought this Z Model racing harness set from an online retailer. Thank you エヌエフさん who recommended the Z Model harness. Originally, I was going to use it on the BAR 006, but was too frustrated because of the clear coat and decal incident. This is the first time I try. The buckles are so darn small. And in the process, I lost 3 buckles. They are probably on the carpet, looking for them would be just like finding a needle in a haystack. This is what the Ferrari looks like now. (And by the way, on a brand new cutting mat).

Sunday, February 3, 2013

High School, Manga/Comic, Baseball

I started reading manga since maybe around 1st grade. There's a monthly kids magazine that has Doraemon in it. Of course it was translated to Chinese, I didn't start learning Japanese until after college.

I started reading Adachi Mitsuru's あだち充 manga maybe around my first year in secondary school (7th grade in US System). It was because of his work Miyuki みゆき being published in a weekly manga magazine in Hong Kong. Unlike Japan, nobody play baseball in Hong Kong. So, there was no market for baseball manga such as Touch! タッチ. So it was not published until a TV station in Hong Kong started broadcasting the anime version of Touch! I was about maybe 11th grade or 12th grade at that time. I was watching the story of Kazuya 上杉和也, Tatsuya 上杉達也 and Minami 浅倉南 unfold, and learning the game of baseball at the same time. (That really helped me when I moved to US and watch MLB)
Recently, I came across a picture like the one above. Saw the Meisei 明青 uniform, two guys and a girl, very familiar composition, but it is not Touch! It's actually a new series call Mix. Baseball, Meisei High School, "Twin Brothers", brother and a sister with no blood relation... Isn't it a hybrid of Touch! and Miyuki? No wonder it is called Mix. I guess it will probably have the same old story line and nothing new.

The sad thing is Touch! was published twenty something years ago. I was a young high school kid back then. Now, I am just a middle aged dude. I still read manga, I still watch anime, and I still build models. Is it a good thing or a bad thing?

Today is Superbowl Sunday, no building today. Only Food, drink and TV is allowed.

Saturday, February 2, 2013


After putting together the Gantt Chart of almost all the tasks, I have been making small progress every day.

Just now, I put the transmission together and mounted it to the body, installed the dash and steering wheel, painted and installed the headrest. That's enough for the day. I should go outside, even though it is below freezing right now. That's the price I have to pay for living in Chicago.