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AMT Ferrari 250 GT SWB; Completed with final pics
Topic Started: Aug 1 2017, 07:41 PM (164 Views)
Bernard Kron
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This project constitutes a first for me, or maybe a couple of firsts. After nearly 10 years back into auto modeling this is the first non hot rod/custom/straightline racing subject I have started. It may also be the first Ferrari I've ever done, unless you count a Merit Lancia-Ferrari D50 when I was a kid. I was fairly conscious about what model to pick for my First Cavalino. I had scored a Hasegawa 250 TR incredibly cheaply on eBay by being essentially the only bidder but, frankly, that was way too nice a kit to cut my teeth on. Then one of the dreaded ESCI/ERTL/AMT 250 Berlinetta SWBs popped up for cheap and I thought I'd start with that one. It promised to be less intricate and perhaps would look OK with less finesse than the Testa Rossa.

Building iconic cars that are well known to everyone is not what I normally do. I build hot rods, lakes cars, customs and drag machines strictly from imagination. I'm a hard-core kit basher and I almost never have built a replica. In fact except for a few months as a child I've actually never built an airplane or ship model or gotten into model railroading. So even this relatively straghtforward project is quite a departure for me. My plan is to build a street Gran Turismo Berlinetta as opposed to the Competitizione variant, so it'll have bumpers. One reason for this is because the little vent nacels on the corners of the front valence of a bumperless SWB are not on the ESCI molding and I couldn't figure out how to model them. So bumpers it is. I'll try to detail it as best I can within the limits of my abilities, but you can be sure that it won't be up to the standards I've seen for many a museum-quality full-detail Ferrari build (Alex Kustov for example). So clean and simple but with enough detail to be somewhat convincing will be considered an overwhelming success by this humble hobby builder.

The kit isn't quite the horror-show that many led me to believe. It's got plenty of parts and detail to work with. But I can see the deficiencies in the body shape. I tried to re-contour the areas around the grill opening where they meet up with the ends of the fenders so it didn't look quite so flat faced. It seems to have helped a little. Other than that I cut open the hood and the roof vent but forgot to do the same for the rear fender vents. It's small and dark enough in there that hopefully it won't be noticed. I went with a metallic silver color to emphasize the voluptuous contours of this extraordinary design (the paint is Duplpiocolor Silver over dark gray primer). It happens also to be a classic Gran Turismo color for these cars. I made Italian Tri-colore decal stripes that extend from the grille to the edge of the rear pan. The whole thing is sealed in 4 coats of clear. I'm going to let it harden thoroughly before any polishing.

The kit is engineered so I can set the body aside and install it on the chassis and interior at the very end of final assembly, so now I'll focus on motor, chassis and interior detailing and paint colors. I'm resigned to having to spend real money on decent tires and wheels, too. But I'm no die-hard Ferraristi so I'm sure there will be plenty of mistakes. Nonetheless, I've been around these cars all my life so hopefully I've picked up a few things that will aid me in making a respectable effort. In the meantime here's where I'm at thus far.

Thanx for lookin',
B.


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Keep on buildin'
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Throback
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rrr rlr :)))
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Another Rick
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Going to be another smooth build from your workbench. Never been a real Ferrari addict, although some of the 50's and earlier 60's were pretty neat. I like the roundness and smooth lines, unlike the angular Star Wars appearance of the later models. Really like where you are going with this one. You said you "cut open the hood" is this one a curbside, or does it have an engine. Looking forward to progress reports.
I build models because GOD allows me to and because I can't afford the real thing!!
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Bernard Kron
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Another Rick,Aug 3 2017
03:43 AM
... You said you "cut open the hood" is this one a curbside, or does it have an engine....

Thanks guys. The kit is an oddball. It comes with a full detail chassis, interior, and drive train, and yet the hood is molded in place. I cut it out VERY carefully using the back of a fresh #11 blade and then laid in thin strips of styrene to act as support around the edge of the opening. Detailing the motor will probably be the biggest challenge since I'm relatively unfamiliar with Ferrari V12's, at least compared to American V8's. Lots of Internet research goin' on...
Keep on buildin'
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Bernard Kron
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Progress is being made, mainly in areas that are proving to be pretty straightforward.


When I was doing the bodywork and paint I had planned on using the kit prancing horse shield decals that go on the fenders between the leading of the doors and the side vents near the top of the denders. But it turned out they were pretty vague in detail, printed on clear stock so that the underlying paint affected the final colors, and were visibly undersized. Other than that they were perfect! So I got a nice sharp image of the classic Ferrari shield and made my own version in a slightly larger size and printed them on white decal stock. While I was at it I scanned the instrument dials from the kit decals and made additional copies. And finally I found a properly proportioned actual vintage license plate from Modena, Italy (home of Ferrari) and made front and rear license plate decals. One of the nice things bout printing your own decals is you can cheaply and quickly make spares. I new that cutting out the shields accurately would properly be hit or miss, and that for sure the tiny gauge faces would give me trouble, so, after making the decal art I printed evrything out in triplicate. It turned out to be a wise move! Here's the decal art I made:

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Model kit chrome often bugs me because it has a tendency to make parts look overly thick and heavy. On the ESCI/AMT 250GT SWB this is especially true of the egg crate grill. It's actually a very nicely done piece, but the reflectivity of the kit chrome makes the grill look far too thick. Along with the flat nose this is one of the things about this kit that attracts criticism. The actual Ferrari grill I believe is polished aluminum and not as shiny as the kit piece. But before going all the way to stripping and refinish the kit grill I thought I would apply a coat of Testors Aluminum Plate Metalizer to the egg crate portion of the grill. I'm inclined to preserve the chromed grill surround because it offers a nice contrast to the silver body color. My hope was that refinishing just the interior of the grill might thin and lighten its appearance. I think it might do the trick. Below is a comparison of the grill with the all chrome original (A) and the refinished grill bars (B). The prancing horse shield can be seen as well.


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And lastly the interior bits have been painted. I used my usual trick of using Testors Acryl acrylic paint which I cross-hatch with my paint brush as it dries. Combined with a light coating of black or dark brown wash it creates a reasonable facsimile of a distressed leather-like surface. The interior surfaces of the roof and cab have also been finished in this color.

The dash panel top on the 1:1's is generally the same black crackle finish as the cam covers, with the lower portion of the dash finished in body color. That's what I did here as well. The foot well assembly is part of the firewall in this kit and mounts to the fender liners and raditor assembly, so I'll wait until chassis assembly time to mount the firewall and dash to the rest of the interior bucket. Here's where I at so far:

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Thanx for lookin',
B.
Keep on buildin'
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Bernard Kron
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The parts I ordered from Portugal and China arrived and are in the process of being used. I thought I'd post this brief update showing what I got.

I ordered some miniature metal transers from vendor globaltoy on eBay (seehttp://www.ebay.com/itm/1-18-1-12-1-24-1-2...=item2a8c36680a ). They were shipped from China and are stick-on metal transfers of the Ferrari Logo and the "cavallino" prancing horse. The sheet includes various sizes for 1/18, 1/12, 1/24, 1/20 and 1/43 scale. They will be used on the rear deck, valve covers and grill center. They took about 2 weeks to get to me in the USA.

I also ordered some beautiful hand-laced Borrani wire wheels and tires from Fernando Pinto at FPP Modelos. They are drop dead gorgeous and fit the model without any modifications. They can be ordered either through eBay athttp://www.ebay.com/usr/crazycar19 or by contacting him through the FPP Modelos website (http://fppmodels.wixsite.com/fppmodelos ). They took about 2-3 weeks to get to me.

Lastly, I also did some minor modifications to the intakes, adding some Detail Master Weber stacks to replace the pitifully wimpy plastic tubes that come in the kit.

The transfers have been installed and the engine is being modified to add more detail to hopefully bring it more in line with the awesome FPP wheels and tires. I'll post an update in the next few days. Hopefully I'm not too far from final assembly now.

Thanx for lookin',
B.


The metal transfer sheet from eBay vendor globaltoy:
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The FPP Modelos hand-laced 1/24th scale Borranis:
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The Detail Master Weber stacks modification:
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Keep on buildin'
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Bernard Kron
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The motor and chassis are complete. Below are pics of the motor and the rolling chassis. The wheels aren't glued in place. Despite this kits' less than stellar reputation you can see that the chassis is quite nicely detailed and that the motor, with a little care, can be made to look quite nice. The tiny metal foil Ferrari stickers on the valve covers help things, as does adding ignition wiring and the aluminum carb stacks. Those FPP Modelo wire wheels don't hurt either!

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Left to do are the final assembly of the interior and engine compartment tinwork. The way the kit is structured these assemblies are glued to the chassis so that virtually the entire car is ready for a simple final assembly. What will be left will be foiling, window glass, bumpers, lights and attaching the body to the chassis and interior. This is the critical time where, if the build is going to go south on me, I'll typically find ways to do. So careful does it for my first Ferrari build...

Thanx for lookin',
B.
Keep on buildin'
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Bernard Kron
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All Done! Here are the final "beauty pics".

Thanx for lookin',
B.

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Bernard Kron
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wisdonm
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fbr She's a beauty Bernard.

Has a checkered past.

Stand on it....brakes only slow yoou down.
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Bernard Kron
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Thanx. I'm glad you like it. I have to admit I was mighty relieved it came out OK. Besides being my first try at this type of subject, it fought me all the way. I kept losing tiny little parts to the carpet god, often long after I had glued them in place, although apparently not well enough. For example I landed up having to fabricate a shift lever just before gluing the interior into the body. It had been completed weeks ago! Fortunately, after referencing some on-line 1:1 interior photos the replacement came out better than the kit version, with a more correct length and a proper looking leather boot (perhaps there's some sort of lesson there...). I wish the body shape was more correct because, with enough effort, it does build up into a nice model, and, as I said, generally speaking the parts fit is excellent and the kit quite well engineered. The only thing not covered in most commentary on this kit that I've seen (and there's really not much on the web) is that the kit stance is slightly nose high. I landed up having to open up the the holes in the wheel backs in order to offset the wheel position slightly upwards to bring the nose down. The front suspension is too finely cast to risk dropping the spindles, and besides I had glued the assemblies in place long before I received the wheels from Fernando Pinto. This was typical of the little things the kit requires to dial it in. But, as I said, with care it builds up to a pretty nice result, and the low market price took the cost issue off the table for my first Ferrari build.
Keep on buildin'
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