Monogram static kit 'Shelby Cobra'

Monogram static kit 'Shelby Cobra'

Postby wixwacing » Fri 11 Jun, 2010 5:35 pm

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Once upon a time , a long time ago, there was a dearth of suitable 1/32 scale static kits to convert into slotcars, let alone resin or fibreglass bodies. What we had were a run of the mill selection of average road going sedans and a large selection of vacuum formed bodies for us to stretch our modelling skills on. The plastic kits were very unstable as slotcars due to their diminished dimensions and the vacuum formed bodies were barely as interesting as jelly moulds, which they would probably functioned better as.



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Now, things are quite different, and have been for several years now. There are at least a dozen respectable resin body makers, and static kit manufacturers who have rejoined the slotcar fraternity, this time producing slotcars AND separate bodies. Not only that, there is a commitment among the leading manufacturers to supply salient spares such as wheels, tyres, axles, guides etc. to help the customiser / scratchbuilder add more than a touch of reality to your model. So, the only thing we need to ponder these days is what model??? Tough choice!

For those who visit these pages regularly it will be obvious that I am attracted to Classic and Historic models simply because to me they represent an era of style and innovation and most of the mainstream manufacturers are too busy producing the latest offerings to spend time developing what might be a low volume model in today’s market. It therefore goes that the scratchbuilder can build something quite unique and original for themselves, even if the body is a regular slotcar anyway.



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The choice in this case was not an unusual model, but a very popular model of a greatly overdone car, and the choice for this was twofold. Firstly, I have a softspot for the Shelby / AC Cobra variants and secondly, I was looking for a model which might well fit straight in to our local Group 1 classic sports cars currently dominated by Ninco XK 120 Jags. Group 1 regs are for NC1 / NC8 type motors. The Cobra has an impressive footprint and should offer a low centre of gravity if built properly.

There are still plenty of seventies and eighties 1/32 static kits available on eBays of all nations and the unopened Cobra cost me about $25.00 including postage from Melbourne. I have actually had one of these before, several years ago in fact, but I confess I may not have done it justice and it was soon sent on its way via eBay. This time I am determine that it will be as good, if not better than my other recent models, and hopefully as competitive too! So lets get on with the narrative.



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The choice of model was good from the point that it has a good axle width and the 1/1 has a good pair of wide tyres on the rear! The other plus for me was that it has a full detailed cockpit. And with the purchase of a full length driver figure, I should have a great model. Even the Ninco Cobras don’t come with a full cockpit! The model in question is of one of the early Cobras as there is no intake in the bonnet. A minus will be that it is going to be a front motor model so getting the front / rear weight distribution right is going to be a challenge. But I’m hoping MJK’s on the rear will allow me to move the 60 / 40 split a little closer to a 50 / 50 split? Mmmmmmm?



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Anyway, what did we do? Mostly what we have been doing on a regular basis with the Wixwacing PCB chassis. A straightforward job. Wixwacing patent axle mounts, A prop (tail) shaft driven rear end and a ‘wixle’ up front. Nothing new there and a set up which has to date won races. The chassis was marked and cut out to fit the body before any paint tins were opened. No need to be handling fresh paintwork (especially white!) while we are getting everything to fit and work on the track.



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The transmission spring is a Fly spring from a good friend who had converted a front motor to a rear motor. These springs can be a little loose on the shafts because the Fly shafts have some radial crimps on them, so my solution was to tin the end of the shaft and the motor shaft, slide the spring into positions and apply the soldering iron once more and fix the spring ends to the shafts. I have some MB slot springs on order, hopefully these are a more snug fit (when they arrive).



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I settled for ‘old faithful’ SCX contrate and pinion, the latest ones I have found are really noise free and they cost half that of Slot.It and other spares. Once the motor aperture was cut then the whole was lined up with the rear axle and a dab of solder was applied to both sides to fix it in place. The motor is the Cartrix TX1 from Cincyslots. These are almost indiscernible from NC1’s and fit into our racing classes a treat. The guide is a Ninco board track guide. This is a bit deeper and a bit longer than the regular guides.



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The chassis of my latest creations has a three screw fixing as opposed to my twin screw originals. This has an advantage in some respects. The two screw mounting requires a method of holding the chassis flat in the body which requires some side supports to be fitted. With the three screw mount the two screws at the front hold the body flat on the chassis without any further supports. The screws are ‘two gauge’ PK screws from the aero modeller shop and are fitted and removed rather neatly with a small in hex screw driver.



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Once again the chassis mounting posts are created by telescoping three different sized plastic tubes inside each other and gluing in place. Once set, the posts are screwed to the chassis and the whole entered into the body. The posts are trimmed until the chassis fits flush with the bottom of the model. Once the standing height was achieved the body ends of the posts and their respective contact points in the body are scored with the back of a modellers knife and these areas have a liberal coating of super strength epoxy and the chassis is fitted to the body. This is left to one side for a day or so to allow drying and curing.



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While all this is going on I have prepared and started to paint a lot of the body parts and accessories. The body had its usual coating of flat grey acrylic which exposes blemishes in the body. All the blemishes are fixed and the primer reapplied to these areas. The cockpit has to be measured up to fit the chassis. This is located in the body by a couple of pins. Once in place the chassis was offered up and the touching points which were stopping the chassis from going right home were slowly, scraped and ground. Fortunately the cockpit has a transmission tunnel as part of it which is fine but the front needed some trimming to allow the rear of the motor to slot in and the propshaft rear mount needed a bit more clearance to allow the cockpit to eventually sit flush. Once that was achieved, all the items of the cockpit could be painted with confidence knowing they were only to be handled a few times during final fitting.



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The driver is a Fly driver and to get the whole driver into the cockpit, the driver’s seat had to be moved back and his right foot needed some judicious trimming before he could slip down behind the wheel. Other cock pit detail includes a well detailed dash. The dash got a couple of layers of silver and this was left to dry. Then it got a sprayed coat of thinned satin black. Once this was dry the dash was rubbed with a piece of clean linen. This had the effect of rubbing off the thin layer of black on the gauges, revealing the silver underneath making the dash look very convincing! The cockpit was spray painted in matt (flat) black and the seats were painted in satin finish.



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The drivers door mirror had its mounting pin cut off. The mirror was bored where the pin used to be and a short length of piano wire was superglued into the mirror. This would then be superglued to fix it in the bodywork and present a lot more strength against inevitable deslots. The windscreen was cleaned up and flash removed and the silver areas were masked ready for painting. The steering wheel and other small parts were all painted and it was a case of finishing the body ready for final assembly.



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The primed and filled body was checked once more and rubbed back with a piece of clean linen. The first coat of flat white acrylic was applied and once dry again rubbed back with some clean linen, Why linen? I have found it has the abrasive quality of about 2000 grit wet and dry and a lot easier to find. My supply is a pair of old bed sheets which have passed their best and been put in the rag box. Next up is a coat of acrylic white gloss!! Not too thick and making sure to do the reveals and difficult to reach places before spraying the expanse of body.



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Once cured for a few days the first coat of clear enamel goes on. You heard right, enamel. The advice here is not to touch any part during this process. The enamel will soften the acrylic but will set hard and is a bit more durable than clear acrylic. Again, after a couple of days drying the masking tape was applied for the application of the stripes. The secret here is that once the masking tape has been applied some clear enamel is brushed into the tape edges to stop the colour to be applied bleeding under any air gaps under the tape. The stripes were applied in two layers. A thin even coat was applied and again left a couple of days, then the second coat was applied and once again left to cure. Finally the final top coat of clear was applied. Not too thick, but thick enough to allow it to flatten out into a nice smooth finish without running! And yet again, the model was left a few days to harden. This minimises the risk of leaving finger prints in the paint job whilst assembling the rest of the model. Once dry, the exhausts and bumpers and fuel cap and other bits were finished. With the headlights I decided to use bare metal foil on the back of the lamps. These then had the headlamp rims painted and they then had a coat of clear enamel over them. Eventually these were pressed into the holes in the body.



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The only other detail was the wheel inserts. I had decided to use some alloy rims from BWA and shod them with MJK’s on the rear. The fronts had a pair of Scalextric (BMW) mini tyres from Scalex world. The original ‘Snaptite’ kit had four very presentable hubs as part of the kit. They had a reasonable boss on the back so without further ado I mounted them in a small rechargeable drill and using the side of a modellers knife blade, proceeded to turn and scrape down the hubs, stopping every now and then and measuring the diameter until they were a snug fit in the wheels!! Eventually the hubs were glued in place and sprayed ‘bright chrome’. Again, once dry, they had a couple of light coats of clear enamel.



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The chassis had been test run before final assembly and all the gremlins removed but there were still a couple of tight spots on the front axle. These were either sanded or filed and eventually all the motive parts were free moving and the chassis and body moved well on the test block. With the model finally assembled I took it along to the Red Teams home track. Mmmmmmmmmm! Just perfect. The model behaves beautifully, all that is left is to run it under race conditions, this will show up any last faults.



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Kit bashing can be greatly rewarding, even if it is just a case of fitting a stock chassis into a kit body. This is where you start. Before you know, you’ll be doing the whole lot!! I hope this has inspired at least one person to take that next step.
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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!
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wixwacing
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Re: Monogram static kit 'Shelby Cobra'

Postby wixwacing » Mon 17 Jun, 2013 11:01 pm

I took this model for an outing last Saturday to the Eggdome (see features) and with sixteen racers in the field I bravely rolled it out for competition against a variety of NC1 powered Ninco Classic sports cars including XK120 Jags and Corvettes and a a couple of spritely 356's!! After a couple of unnecessary deslots in the early part of the first heat I drove it steadily over a series of four heats totaling 88 laps for a total race time of about twelve minutes. When the results came up the model had come second by three seconds! Not a bad run for a front engined model!! With a couple of tricks still up my sleeve I would like to think I could get the top spot at the next outing, but we'll see?
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


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