Saturday, December 31, 2011

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year! Happy 2012.

I thought the Alfa Romeo would be my last kit purchased in 2011.
I was wrong.
Before the year 2011 ended, I purchased 2 more Meri kits from the bay. 1985 Tyrrell 014 and 1991 Ferrari 643. I am hopeless.

Tyrrell 014

Ferrari 643

And New Year's day morning, I snatched up 2 more kits from Tameo. Continuing my quest of collecting backmarkers, I grabbed a Brabham BT55 and a Leyton House CG901. So, 2012 started pretty well so far.

Brabham BT55

Leyton House CG901

Brabham BT55 was Gordon Murray's last car at Brabham before he moved to McLaren and helped Steve Nichols to design the very successful MP4/4. Leyton House CG901 was Adrian Newey's design before he got fired by the team in the summer of 1990. Newey joined Williams that same year and the rest was history.

Wish whoever reading this all the best in 2012!

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Yeah, it's an addiction

Sigh... Couldn't help myself. I Bought another kit from the bay. Another addition to my collection of also ran backmarkers, a 1984 Alfa Romeo T184. Benetton ditched Tyrrell and sponsored Alfa Romeo in 1984 and 1985. Then the money went to Toleman and eventually Benetton bought Toleman and formed Benetton Formula 1.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

In the Name of Glory

Was told by Marty that both Lauda's (Ferrari 312T2) and Hunt's (McLaren M23) for the 1976 season are available from Tameo. One is a WCT and the other is a Super Kit. But Tameo being typical Italian, they're having their winter break, so I probably won't get to see the kits until end of February 2012. (Well, at my rate, I may still be working on the Simtek S951)

The 1976 season was a fascinating one. To get to know more about their story, I recommend reading Tom Rubython's In the Name of Glory. Read half of it on the flight to California. Really interesting story about how the 1976 season unfold, what was going on behind the scenes. Rivalry within each team fighting to be the number 1 driver (Lauda vs Regazzoni and Hunt vs Mass). It also tells Lauda and Hunt's personal story during that year.

Also, famous director Ron Howard is working on a movie of the same story of the 1976 Grand Prix season. Don't know when it'll be released, but I really look forward to seeing it in the theater.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Simtek S951 4

This is probably the last update of the Simtek S951 build for the year 2011. I'll be "home" for Christmas and won't be back in my workshop till 2012.

The side deflector plates are photo etched instead of cast (as in the case of the BBR Ferrari F399). Tameo provided a jig to bend it to shape. But there are these 2 little support at the bottom that need to bend at a right angle to the plate. I broke one off by mistake. And unfortunately, the piece flew off and disappeared. So I have to fabricate using the Photo Etch stem and solder it back.

The seat belt harness is painted and is now on the seat, just need to put the decals on. Top of air box is painted white, inside got a coat of flat black. The picture shows a test fit, it'll still need the dash, steering wheel, and head rest on before closing up the body. But that will be for 2012.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Simtek S951 3

The last time I went to Marty's store and chat with the guys there, I learned a new airbrushing trick - use lacquer thinner to cut acrylic paint! Yes lacquer thinner. I added a bit more clear and lacquer thinner to the Tamiya X-16 and sprayed the car body. So now they looks like Barney the dinosaur. After it is dried, the body will need some polishing, then I'll need to spray the top of the air-box white and the inside of the body with flat black.

The base got a coat of flat black.

The wheels, head rest, front wing, front and rear brake cooling duct all received a coat of matt black. The rear wing needed more work. First the side plates were sprayed purple, dried and then masked before spraying flat black on the inside of the side plates and the 2 horizontal wing elements.

The 4 Brembo brakes with gold calipers were also put together.

Simtek S951 2.5

Well, I am still waiting for the primer to dry before I can continue work on the car's body.

Simtek is one of those short lived F1 teams, but they've been around long before they compete in F1. They have been an engineering consulting firm which was founded by Max Mosley (yeah, that Max Mosley) and Nick Wirth. The F1 competed in 1994 and (part of) 1995. Simtek was an unlucky team. 1994 San Marino GP, everybody remember that because of Senna's death. But not many people still remember the day before Senna's crash, rookie Roland Ratzenberger was killed during practice in the Simtek S941. The team finished the 1994 season without scoring 1 single point. In 1995, MTV the main sponsor of the team cut back their sponsorship and then other sponsorship deals all fell through. The team only competed in the first 5 races and then went belly up.

The team was only in existence for 18 months.


Monday, December 12, 2011

Simtek S951 2

All holes are drilled. The body pieces cleaned up. And a coat of white primer on.

Suspension arms were bent. Rear wing partially assembled.

Could have done a bit more, but I'm a bit lazy.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Simtek S951 1

Debated a little bit which kit I should work on. At the end, I picked the relatively simple kit of Simtek S951 1995 San Marino G.P.

Got most holes drilled. And now is just cleaning up all the flashings and fix any body imperfection.

Bigger issue ahead is to get the right purple paint. The paint chip provided is some kind of metallic purple. Not quite sure what to do yet. May be I'll just use an off the shelf non-metallic purple.

After 1 whole evening of elbow grease, got the body cleaned up.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Williams FW07/FW07B Complete

I think I am done. Overall a good learning experience. Building this S.R.C. kit made me appreciate the thought that Tameo put in when designing their kits even more. For one thing I think all kits should come with 2 sets of decals. Wheels should be turned machine parts rather than cast pieces. The mistakes I made in building this kit caused me to salvage parts from the FW07 kit. So, instead of 2, I only have 1 car built.

Another note - I did it again. Went down to Marty's store and picked up a Tameo SLK015 BAR 006

Monday, December 5, 2011


Just found out my current project at work will be wrapping up this week. So, I pretty much can resume my Williams FW07/FW07B full time! So, it's actually possible to finish before end of the year!

Read about the upcoming movie that director Ron Howard was shooting in the latest issue of F1 magazine. A movie about the 1976 GP season and the Rivalry between James Hunt and Niki Lauda. On top of that I just got the Model Art Extra Auto Modeling vol. 23 on 70's F1 cars. One project idea came up, build the McLaren M23 and Ferrari 312T2 that Hunt and Lauda drove in the 1976 season. Tameo made both kits, but both of them are super kits. Not sure if I have the skill and patience. But I just shot an email to my supplier to see if they are available.If not, I am out of luck. Even if they have them, the lead time is going to be 2 months.

Meanwhile, I'll be building my 3 recent purchases: Tyrrell 023, Simtek S951 and Benetton B189b.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!

Searched through my boxes of stuffs tucked away in Mom's garage and found these 2 books that I bought years ago.

Alan Henry's book about the turbo era is especially interesting read.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

My continuing effort to help the Italian economy

Building the SRC kits made me appreciate the thoughts that Tameo Kits put in when designing their products.

Even though I have way too many kits on the shelf that I couldn't possibly finish in a year, I bought 2 more in the recent weeks.

Both are the backmarkers of the 1995 season. Tyrell 023 and Simtek S951. Simtek folded in the middle of the season, but who can forget the purple car with the MTV logo on? I like Tyrell 023 may be because of all the Tamiya marketing of its 1/20 kit back in the days.

I know I'll build the Simtek to Jos Verstappen's #12. But for the Tyrell, I cannot decide whether it should be Mika Salo or Ukyo Katayama.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Williams FW07/FW07B 12

Have been very busy at work even though I didn't need to travel. Very very slow progress. Will be spending the entire Thanksgiving week out of town, so won't be able to work on the model at all. I hope I'll be able to finish at least the FW07B before year end.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Bailing out Italy

They arrive! 2 old kits from FDS. A Ferrari 312T and a Ferrari 312T3. They are pretty simple kit with not much detail. It'll be fun to build, probably won't take too much time. Can't wait to build them. But I'll have to finish the Williams FW07 and FW07B first.

For the 312T, I'm planning to build it into the Niki Lauda version. For the 312T3, I have no choice but to make it the Carlos Reutemann version. The body is molded with the air inlets that are on Reutemann's car but not Villeneuve's car.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Adding a couple more pieces to my collection

I know I should not. But I can't help it...

Bought 3 kits on the bay.

1. Provence Moulage kit Senna's Ralt Toyota F3
2. FDS Ferrari 312T
3. FDS Ferrari 312T3

The hobby store just got a shipment from Tameo Kits! Not sure what new stuff do they have, can't wait to check them out this Saturday.

(Even though right now, I have way more kits than I can finish)

Monday, November 7, 2011

Williams FW07/FW07B 11

Making progress, though not a lot. Here we have FW07 on the left and FW07B on the right. Both are number 27 - Alan Jones, my F1 hero when I was in 2nd grade.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Williams FW07/FW07B 10

Decal time! A couple of decals make a big difference. Too much stuff going on, didn't have a lot of time to build. Luckily, no need to travel this week, will have more time to work on the car.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

1978 Canadian Grand Prix

Found this video when I was waiting for the primer to dry on the FW07 and preparing for the next project - a big one Ferrari 312T3 Canadian GP 1978.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Williams FW07/FW07B 9

Since what got me started this project was the 1980 Williams FW07B SRC kit that I picked up. Besides all the photos that I got as reference, what is better than the actual video footage of the race in Brands Hatch? 

Unlike Tameo kits' instruction that has a lot of photographs, SRC's is just 1 page printed in black and white. The kit includes parts for different versions of the car, but the instruction did not say much about what goes in which version. To build the British GP version of Alan Jones' car, I need to watch the video to figure out which rear wing should be used.

Ok. I could have done more today, but instead I had a nice after noon nap. So all I did today was priming some parts.

The body and engine cover of 1979 FW07. The front and rear wing of the 1980 FW07B.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Williams FW07/FW07B 7

Some setback. FW07B is going on fine, but I dropped the body while the paint is still wet. Ended up stripping it.

Painted and attached the mirror to the body. Still need to paint the inside flat black.

Painted the seat and the cockpit.

Engine cover and sides sprayed gloss white. When the white is all cured, will spray the green.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Procrastination, no progress

Hate it when the coat of acrylic base paint is still not quite cured even after 24 hours. Could have started to prime other piece, just don't feel like doing it. It's been a long day at work.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Williams FW07/FW07B 5

To make the mold to form the air funnel cover mesh, I got some epoxy putty from Home Depot. Still waiting for the mold to cure. It should be ready tomorrow and I'll give it a shot.

Also started to paint the parts. Waiting for paint to dry now.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Williams FW07/FW07B 3

I've been away this week. That means I did not spend any time on this project. This weekend is the homecoming weekend of one of the schools that I've attended, I am planning to be there for some of the activities. I don't expect I'll have any time working on the cars. Anyway, I am still waiting for some reference material for the FW07 to arrive in the mail, might as well just wait for it to arrive and continue.

When building the Toleman TG184, I was using the coffee table as my work bench. Last Sunday, I went out and got myself another desk as my work bench. I have it set up in the living room so I can watch TV while building my models. Here's my new work bench.

Just when I thought there is nothing else to update, I got these stuff in the mail:
1/43 harness from Z model in black, blue and red

1/43 mesh, going to try use this to form the air funnel cover

And the most important of all, the latest issue of F1 Modeling!

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Williams FW07/FW07B 2

The SRC made 1979 Williams FW07 and 1980 Williams FW07B kits share so many common parts. After some thought, I have decided to build both kits side by side. The differences between the 2 kits are the side pods, engine cover and rear wing. The rest are exactly the same. Not sure how they'll turn out at the end, but I'm sure I'll have a lot of fun putting them together.

The one on the left is the 1979 FW07, the one on the right is the 1980 FW07B

The mesh above the air funnels on the engine cover in in the kit is molded white metal. Inspired by the Japanese blog alpha macchina (who is building a Ligier JS11), I ordered some mesh material from Z Model. I'll try to custom make the mesh and cut out the molded portion of the kit.

My Addiction: 1979 Williams FW07

Ooops I did it again.

I went to the store to pick up some paint and ended up with this:

Another SRC kit, another Williams, but this one is a 1979 FW07. May be I should build both at once to save time.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Next Project Preview - Ferrari 312T3

This came in today. Tameo TMK 335 Ferrari 312T3 Canadian GP 1978 Winner Gilles Villeneuve.

Although it is a TMK, I think it's as complicated as any of the WCT kits. I guess the only reason it is not a WCT is that Gilles Villeneuve was never a World Champion. I was thinking about building this after the Williams FW07, but seeing the complexity of it, may be I should build a couple more simpler kits first.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Williams FW07

Now that the Toleman TG184 is done and out of the way, it is time to start the SRC made 1980 Williams FW07.

This kit is an older kit. As you can see, almost all parts are white metal. There is only 1 piece of photo etched part which is the 6 point harness. One interesting thing is that it comes with a real piece of spring for the suspension. I'll start cleaning up the flashings and parting lines. To really start building it, I do need more pictures from 1980 British GP.

With all these pieces, I think it will take me a while to clean them all up. Probably will be a while before my next update.

Toleman TG184 Complete

Done, done and done. Not perfect, but a good learning experience. Mounted on a newly purchased display case. Pictures are ok, but if you get close, you'll be able to see a whole bunch of blemishes.

Just got these reference books from Amazon Japan.

3 from the Joe Honda Racing Pictorial Series. Didn't know Model Factory Hiro publish them. They'll be handy when I start building the Ferrari 312T3, McLaren MP4/4 and the Lotus 97T.