Monoplace Brabham BT34 by Ted

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Monoplace Brabham BT34 by Ted

Postby wixwacing » Sun 01 Aug, 2010 2:11 pm

MONOPLACE BT34 KIT REVIEW

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by 'Ted'


Ok, here we go a bit of a review on building the Protoslot / Monoplace Brabham BT34.
Firstly let me say that Chris from monoplace was only too happy to answer any questions I had and was very helpful when my original car went missing in the post.


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The kit came well boxed and water proofed with cellophane. Inside there was plenty of bubble wrap and all the bits came in separate packaging inside the main sealed bag.


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The resin kit itself was of very good quality, had very little cast flashing and no visible soggy sticky spots. The Decals were very crisp and well defined and the wheel inserts seem to be laser cut from some sort of thin sheet metal.

Unfortunately the Instructions are in French with no pictures, which didn't help me much and the internet translator page was no help in clarifying things. However anyone with even the most limited modelling skill should have no problems as the kit is relatively simple. You need a couple of small files or sandpaper, a dremel or similar, some small jewellers’ screwdrivers and a low wattage soldering iron in order to "unpick” the spot welds on the donor car, which in this case is a Fly March which you also need to acquire separately. You could get by without the soldering iron but it makes it a little trickier.

Step 1 is to strip your donor March, by gently prying the air box and injectors off the Cosworth and undoing the 3 main body screws and rear wing screw.


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Step 2 is to trim the chassis with the dremel. This is from roughly the centre of the side screw mounting hole parallel to edge of the chassis. Then File or sand it a little at a time until it sits nicely inside the resin body. At this point I had to file little section from the bottom of the nose section in order to clear the front of the guide once the central screw hole is lined up. This is ok because the front wing will cover this later.


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Step 3 is to screw the chassis to the body for a test fit, you have the option of either leaving the front brake scoops in situ or not and I decided to leave them in, some Fly March do not have these to start with and no other mod's are required if you want to keep them (apart from an obvious bit of paint later)


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Step 4 is to unpick the driver and Cosworth from the March body (this is where the soldering iron comes in handy) You need to trim a couple of extra bits of the front corners of the Cosworth that are part of the original donors body work but a pair of sprue nippers did that. Also you need to trim the lugs that hold the driver/ seat/ steering wheel assembly into the donor march to about 1/3 of their original width again with the sprue nippers.


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Step 5 for me was a dry assembly run holding the driver and seat assembly in place with a little blue tack, trimming and dressing the small amount of flashing off the front wing and sitting it in place and put the basic Cosworth and mock diff housing in place.
I easily removed the fuel injector tubes from the March's air box and sat them in place on top of the Cosworth and found to my joy that the bottom of the Brabham air box is moulded perfectly underneath to let the fuel injection tubes sit up inside the bottom of it.


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There is a couple of small holes in the back of the resin Brabham body to slide the original donor car’s rear torsion bars into, but they were already broken on my Fly March so a little bit of thin guage wire will be used later on.

Initial assembly showed that the kit all fitted together very well and now it required stripping apart again for painting and gluing of the small parts and the driver / seat assembly onto the painted body.

Step 6 was to thoroughly wash the resin body parts in warm soapy water and left to dry before priming in light grey. I was unable to detect any pinholes at this stage which was very pleasing. The washing part is necessary in order to remove any release agent from the mould.
This kit is available as a pre-painted kit or in bare resin. So if you don’t want the hassles of cleaning and painting, an extra 11 Euros will mean it’s all done for you. The pre-painted kit comes in the shade of blue as it was run at the French Grand Prix, along with the Paul Ricard Circuit decal for the rear wing.

As I was painting it myself however, I perused the net for pictures and it seems that the car was ran in many different shades. In the end I went with a shade similar to that the car is currently preserved in. Then I sprayed the front and rear wings a bright yellow. I also painted the original rear March wing as I feel that if actually used as a slot car instead of a shelf queen it would be a little more robust. Also the kit only finishes up with a single body screw with little room to add another, so the addition of a rear wing screw which goes through the back of the engine / trans cover and chassis would add a little more support. I did get a small fisheye in the front wing and no amount of stripping, cleaning or repainting would eliminate it, it will end up under a decal so I decided to finally live with it.

Step 7 was to glue the driver and seat assy back into the body which was a perfect fit and then to reattach the Cosworth and rear trans cover also to the body this was done with tiny dabs of superglue from the inside. I then reassembled the whole body to the chassis and attached the Injector tubes and new air box to the cosworth.

The clear screen came in a bubble of very thin plastic similar to the flexi bodies as found on womp type cars. This was not as well made as the rest of the kit with embossed guide lines to trim to. I feel that the kit would be better off with a clear resin screen; it wouldn’t cost much more and although thicker would look much neater. At any rate I trimmed it as best I could and attached it.

Then I cut bent and fitted two lengths of mig wire, painted grey for the rear torsion bars. (Due to the ones on the donor march being damaged.) Then I fitted the March wing. The Brabham kit one can be refitted at any time but the March one does not look out of place and is actually closer to the one on the restored car as it is now.

Finally the car was decalled (including the very nice Helmet Decal). The decals themselves were nice and thin and are precut on the sheet so you don’t have to trim in close to printed area just cut it out roughly and presto a nice neat decal, just like the commercial model kits. Don’t look for the Graham Hill decal in the kit as I had to make that myself.

I still have to fit the mirrors and the wheel inserts but all in all she's pretty much done.


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All in all this was a nice kit to build and the only criticism I have (although a minor one) was the windscreen which I feel could be a little better, also the lack of instructions in English and the lack of any diagrams to show exactly where to trim the chassis were a bit of a pain, but I guess the kit Is made in France and I suppose a keen kit builder would subscribe to the measure twice policy.

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The kit also comes pre-painted to order as already stated, and is available as the Graham Hill version or all white Carlos Reuteman version. Unpainted kits come with the decal sets to also suit these two cars. I doubt any of the main stream manufacturers will ever make anything this different so they are a nice addition to any classic F1 enthusiasts collection.

proto-slot-kit.com/monoplace


Cheers - Ted
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wixwacing
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Re: Monoplace Brabham BT34 by Ted

Postby wixwacing » Sun 01 Aug, 2010 2:28 pm

What a fabulous car, and a breath of fresh air for us slot builders and racers. No doubt it will perform well too knowing the thoroughbread status of its drive train!

Well done Ted
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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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