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AMT Ferrari 250 GT SWB - Completed with final pics

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  • Member since
    February, 2008
  • From: Seattle, WA
AMT Ferrari 250 GT SWB - Completed with final pics
Posted by gbk1 on Tuesday, August 01, 2017 7:42 PM

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.





Bernard Kron Keep On Buildin'

  • Member since
    December, 2003
  • From: Nova Scotia
Posted by Bainford on Wednesday, August 02, 2017 8:15 AM

I was quite unaware that AMT marketed a kit of this car. It's looking good so far,and great job on the stripe. It really pops with the silver paint. I'll be watching this one.

Power matters in the straights.
Lightness matters everywhere. - Colin Chapman

Trevor

TnT
  • Member since
    September, 2016
Posted by TnT on Thursday, August 03, 2017 12:43 AM

Looks good. Them stripes look good also. Think they make me want a good pizza.

  • Member since
    April, 2012
Posted by litespeedsae on Thursday, August 03, 2017 6:37 AM

Like colors other than red on a Ferrari as it offers variety. This is going to be good.

  • Member since
    February, 2008
  • From: Seattle, WA
Posted by gbk1 on Saturday, August 05, 2017 5:12 PM

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:

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.

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:

Thanx for lookin',
B.

Bernard Kron Keep On Buildin'

  • Member since
    February, 2008
  • From: Seattle, WA
Posted by gbk1 on Thursday, September 07, 2017 3:57 PM

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 (see http://www.ebay.com/itm/1-18-1-12-1-24-1-20-1-43-chrome-metal-decals-Ferrari-B-2077-/182741002250?hash=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 at http://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:


The FPP Modelos hand-laced 1/24th scale Borranis:


The Detail Master Weber stacks modification:



Bernard Kron Keep On Buildin'

  • Member since
    February, 2008
  • From: Seattle, WA
Posted by gbk1 on Saturday, September 09, 2017 8:53 PM

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!



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.

Bernard Kron Keep On Buildin'

  • Member since
    February, 2008
  • From: Seattle, WA
Posted by gbk1 on Sunday, October 08, 2017 1:26 AM

All Done! Here are the final "beauty pics".

Thanx for lookin',
B.

Bernard Kron Keep On Buildin'

  • Member since
    May, 2008
  • From: Louisville, CO
Posted by maniacalmodeler on Friday, October 13, 2017 2:34 PM

Well done! You took a subpar kit and made it into something fantastic! The color and the wheels really make it stand out. Next to the Ford GT40 this is an all time favorite car mine. 

  • Member since
    December, 2003
  • From: Nova Scotia
Posted by Bainford on Friday, October 13, 2017 11:57 PM

Very nice looking Ferrari, Bernard. The details you added really brings the kit alive. Those wheels are gorgeous, and thanks for the tip on the Ferrari metal transfers. I didn't know of these but they will come in very handy.

Power matters in the straights.
Lightness matters everywhere. - Colin Chapman

Trevor

  • Member since
    February, 2008
  • From: Seattle, WA
Posted by gbk1 on Sunday, October 15, 2017 1:10 PM

Thanks guys! This was a pretty tense build for me, things fought me quite a bit along the way, especially losing small parts the the carpet god. The kit is actually quite a bit better than many people have said. The main flaw, admittedly a very important one, is that the body shape is quite innacurate. The green house and the quarter panels behind the side windows, are seriously "off" with the rood extending higher and further back than it should, creating a bulbous shape the 1:1 lacks. In addition the grill opening slightly too high and vertical, giving the nose a less gracefiul, more boxy shape than it should. I tried to correct the nose a bit, but there was nothing I could do about the roof without a major reconstruction which was far beyond the scope of the project. The chassis and motor are really quite nicely detailed, with major (the intake trumpets) and a few minor exceptions, and the parts fit is uniformly excellent. The wheels and tires , of course, are just gawd awful.... LOL

Bainford

Very nice looking Ferrari, Bernard. The details you added really brings the kit alive. Those wheels are gorgeous, and thanks for the tip on the Ferrari metal transfers. I didn't know of these but they will come in very handy.

 
Thanks! Along with the racing stripe, I think the wheels make the model. Sometimes we have to make a decision about what we are willing the financially put into a model. I knew it was hopseless to try to make a decent representation from this kit without a major outlay for improved rolling stock. No matter how hard I looked the minimum outlay would have been well north of $45.00 USD. The metal transfers are great. The one thing to remember is that they are covered with a very thin plastic film. Once your have rubbed to transfer down into place be sure to remove the covering film. Then I absolutely guarantee you will be delighted! (BTW the same vendor offers Maserati transfers as well).

Bernard Kron Keep On Buildin'

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