GT Models ERA 1937

GT Models ERA 1937

Postby wixwacing » Mon 22 Oct, 2012 9:37 pm

.
.
.

George Turner Models
ERA


Image


It’s not that long ago that when you bought a resin model there was a basic moulding which needed hours of attention before you could even start to put a chassis into it. The ‘swirl ‘ type mouldings were very primitive and excess resin was one of the main features. Poor detail too was attributed to people taking mouldings direct from die cast models where the fine detail didn’t cross over to the resin medium and consequently it snapped off in the mould removal process.



Image



Other detail like front grilles and lights and rear/tail detail also suffered from the moulding process. The next issue was the vacuum formed glass detail; this would be taken from an original model, but the clumsy thickness of the casting ensured there where more hours to be spent with a dremel just to get the clear bits to fit. And then again, the clear bits themselves were that poor that they themselves were a shoddy fit in a body which had just had several days preparation spent on it!!


Image


The reason we pursued these headaches was because, once we had acquired one, we were almost guaranteed the pleasure of building a slotcar which few others would have and it would stand out on the grid and no doubt attract a good deal of comment from the bench racers. There was also the opportunity to custom paint the bodies in your favourite drivers livery, or even settle for a fantasy livery of your favourite sponsor.



Image



But it is now plain to see that all that is due to change. This model itself is part of the milestone achieved by contemporary resin models. Not only is the scale authentic, (as opposed to some so called 1/32nd scale resins still available), it has the crispest moulding of any current model, and although not beset with the intricacies of modern race car lines, the makers have given it the best of detail in body and louvres, filler caps, exhausts and even suspension detail, not to mention the driver detail.



Image



So what is ERA?? A quick search of Wikipedia reveals that ERA (which stands for English Racing Automobiles) was an all English racing car. Designed and raced by, amongst others, Raymond Mays, who was instrumental in forming another famous racing team called BRM in the forties. The car wasn’t an out and out Grand Prix car but was known as a ‘voiturette’ (small car). These had supercharged 1500 c.c. engines which, when running on methanol, could produce 180 – 200 bhp! and this was 1937! The car contested its class very well and on the right circuits was more than a match for some of the continental competition. At one event at Nurnburg in 1935, ERA’s came 1st, 3rd, 4th and 5th. As with all racing teams, the component members were disseminated by the war and by the late forties the key members of the team had moved on.



Image



The model is produced by George Turner Models. George Turner has been working many years now in prototype construction and has built models for Lledo, Matchbox and Corgi to name a few. His foray into the world of slotcars is our gain, and as he specialises in not so run of the mill models, we can expect more excellent models in the future. Check out his website at....

G Turner Models

This model is full of potential but it will require a degree of planning before it’s is going to work for us. So, the priority before painting is to get the chassis working, and to get the body a good fit on the chassis! The last thing we need is to be filing and dremelling a painted body, that approach is doomed to failure. So first up.........



Image



I wanted to get the axles in place because this will determine how the model sits. Everything else comes second to that so we don’t want to be moving axle positions later in the piece. There are a couple of nylon bushes in the kit and a blank axle was installed with these buses. The bush recess in the resin chassis took some very light sanding and the bushes soon fitted snugly. I chose to fix the bushes in to stop them moving during the assembly process. This was achieved with a spot of superglue on the exposed under side of each bush. The model was placed on a set up board with wheels and tyres in place and the model adjusted to get it sitting upright.



Image



Once cured the crown gear needed to be fitted which had its share of problems. The next problem was that the brass boss on the contrate was rubbing on the underside of the drivers seat moulding. I scraped away and retested the contact point until the gear, once in position, allowed the axle to slide through freely. With the gear and axle in place the motor was slid into position. Next problem!! The motor shaft is too long!! After measuring the clearance I ground a couple of mil off the end of the motor shaft and the pinion had to be slid a couple of millimetres closer to the motor to avoid the mesh binding.



Image



With the motor shaft trimmed and the motor in place the next hurdle was the gears binding against each other. With the motor shaft entered into the contrate slot and the pinion engaged with the crown gear, the mesh was binding due to absence of any clearance; so much so that on powering up the motor it would not spin the axle at all, and just buzzed in its locked up position. The solution here was to coat the gears in a light coating of Tamiya fine plastic polish; I ran the gears by hand for a few minutes and then reapplied electrical current. The gears turned very noisily but did start to pick up speed. As the motor speed got faster I reduced the current until with the voltage backed right off the motor ran quite comfortably. During the process I stopped and applied fresh polish to the gears several times.



Image



The last problem to be overcome was the contrate grub screw. Its protruding head was hitting the underside of the drivers seat too. The solution this time was to mount this tiny screw on the Allan key and grinding about a millimetre off the pinch end. Once refitted, the screw turned further into the gear and out of reach of the body moulding.



Image



So that was the driving bits sorted, the next thing was to assemble other parts like the wheels for instance. Care needs to be taken here as the wheel parts are different front to rear. Sort all the front wheel parts out and put them to one side. Go through with a dummy assembly run because if like me you intend to superglue these bits together....you won’t get a second chance if you do it wrong!



Image



Following my illustration, a drill bit was passed through the hub back part, next was the back etched spoke part. The third item was the little boss which at first bemuses as to what it does? But it needs to be in the right way round with the larger boss to the back. Next is the second spoke unit (with the smaller centre hole) and lastly, the outer hub can go on. Turning it all on end, the outer spoke unit can be pushed into the outer hub, the centre boss is then fitted to the spoke unit and the inner spoke unit can be pushed into place using the back hub. Once in place it can be partly pressed together. In my case I put it in my hobby vice equipped with soft jaws to prevent marking the wheels. Once all the hubs are assembled I apply a sliver of superglue to the join between front and back hubs before finally pressing them together.



Image



The spoke units themselves are a bit discoloured, This looks to be a by product of the etching/cutting process and it would have been nice to have had shiny spokes rather then the discoloured ones. I suspect the discolouration is a surface phenomenon, and for those with the time and the inclination a deal of time spent with a proprietary cleaning substance could well produce the shiny spokes desired.



Image



At this stage it is time to prepare for painting. So, all body parts need to be tested for fit, the main one being the body on the chassis. The body was offered up and gaps identified with pencil marks. The high spots were then scraped, sanded and dremelled where necessary until the body was a snug fit on the chassis. Other body parts were fettled and I must admit, the moulding quality and fineness is quite remarkable, which meant there was little fitting to be done.



Image



Regulars will know my techniques for holding parts for painting and with no exception, all the parts to be painted were mounted. Everything received a coat of flat grey to highlight any moulding defects of which there were almost none. The kit owner had already requested the model be painted green and I decided to give the chassis a coat of satin black just to break the colour up. The real thing may well also have had a colour coordinated chassis. Things like the rear springs and dampers were also painted satin black.



Image



The driver got a single brushed coat of flat white. With the grey undercoat this gave the top coat some ‘shadow’ effect which looks a bit more natural than all white; and facial features and helmet detail were also added once the white was dry. The dash received a coat of finish and the gauges and bezels picked out in silver using the edge of a modellers knife as a spatula. Other body detail was the silvering of filler caps and eventually the grill, and exhaust also had a coat of satin black.



Image



All the exterior trimmings were fitted with superglue with the exception of the windscreen. This allows me to put all the extra detail on in a few minutes without fear of touching wet parts. I clean the mounting holes for the springs and other detail with a small drill bit mounted in a pin vice.



Image



The final detail for me was the screen. The clear plastic piece in the kit had a strip of masking tape applied to it and the slot in the body was measured to determine the screen dimensions. Once the screen was cut and filed into shape, some 5 minute araldite was mixed and carefully applied to the screen slot in the body. Then the screen was carefully applied using tweezers. Five minutes later the model is ready to handle! et voila !



Image



One thing I did have to do after the model was painted, and purely an unexpected oversight, was the height of the front wheels. The guide does not allow the front wheels to contact the track. In fact, the front wheels are some distance off the track! The chassis was remove from the body and after some judicious measuring it was determined that the model was almost nearly two millimetres too high at the front for the wheels that were chosen for it. The only solution was to cut down the guide hole in the resin chassis. This was done with the dremel with a new cutting disc, and, finally, the model was posing like a true champion on the test block!



Image



There is an option for a traction magnet to be fitted into the chassis, possibly one of the five m.m. button magnets, but this must solely be a sales gimmick. If the model were to be raced on a magnet track, and bearing in mind that it is a resin model with some pretty fiddly bits, then it would only lead to mass destruction of a beautiful model. Best leave it without a magnet I think.



Image



Finally, some hot laps!! I had the opportunity of doing some hot laps with this model on a Ferrador tracks and I was not displeased. The tyre compound is fairly soft but hard enough to allow the model to break out in the bends and do a bit of sideways racing. The motor as suspected is a bit too hot for the average track and if you were to get this model, consider getting a detuned FF motor as available from all good hobby shops! You’ll get far more fun from it in the long run, and it’ll last a bit longer no doubt!



Image



Many thanks to Chris Uttley from Sydney for letting me build this model for him
Image

When I'm not racing slotcars,
I'm out in the back yard, burning food!!

When I win, it's because of my talent, not my car or my controller!
User avatar
wixwacing
Marshal!!!
 
Posts: 1906
Joined: Thu 10 Jul, 2008 8:22 pm

Return to The Scratchbuilders Lair

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest

Untitled Document
Image hosted by Photobucket.com
Image hosted by Photobucket.com

Image hosted by Photobucket.com

Image hosted by Photobucket.com

Image hosted by Photobucket.com
Image hosted by Photobucket.com

Image hosted by Photobucket.com
Image hosted by Photobucket.com

















































































































































Image hosted by Photobucket.com

cron