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Porsche 904 GTS Carrera - Completed with Presentation Photos

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  • Member since
    February, 2008
  • From: Seattle, WA
Porsche 904 GTS Carrera - Completed with Presentation Photos
Posted by gbk1 on Saturday, February 23, 2019 10:39 PM

As I add sports cars and road racing subjects to my modeling mix (having been almost exclusively an old skool hot rod modeler up to now) I’m going through my mental list of favorites and the Porsche 904 rises to the top of the list. Not only is it a beautiful car and a classic example of the early 60’s “streamline” style, but the model is available in a good quality kit for a relatively affordable price in the form of the classic Monogram kit, the basis for this project.



In researching this project there were two versions which served as inspiration The red Scuderia Filipinetti car, in its restored form, is striking in its pure simplicity with its oversized white roundels contrasting against the striking paint. A modern competitor in the European vintage road racing and rally scene is Jean-Marc Bussolini, CEO of French agricultural coop and hypermarchè chain E.LeClerc who is somewhat of a Porsche specialist. His 904 is the centerpiece of his collection with its striking Bleu de France and silver livery.




I’m going with the Bussolini color scheme combined with the pure simplicity of the Filipinetti car. Because the interior is finished in flat black in the 1:1 I shot the interior surfaces in black primer before going to the outer body surfaces in blue and masked the interior off. Unfortunately, until the exterior paint is finished including clear coats any body mockups will necessarily be a bit dodgy as the photo below will attest. The basic exterior scheme is finished in Tamiya TS-10 French Blue. The racing stripe is the classic French bleu, blanc, rouge in the form of a homemade decal printed to white decal paper. I’m congenitally unable to build a true replica model so I have invented a fictional 60’s privateer (in a tip of the hat to the Swiss Filipinetti outfit), the ostensibly Paris-based Equipe Lutèce (Lutèce is the ancient French version of the Roman name for Paris, Lutetia). The team badge is based on the Paris coat of arms and adorns the fenders and rear Kamm tail. I still have trade decals and roundels to apply and then it will all get clear coated and polished. Then on to chassis, interior and motor.

Thanx for lookin’
B.

Bernard Kron Keep On Buildin'

  • Member since
    January, 2005
  • From: sunny Sydney, Australia
Posted by nottheband on Tuesday, February 26, 2019 4:26 PM

You're off to a great start, Bernard, the painted body looks totally realistic for an Historic racer.  I'll follow along.  Cheers.

Steve

  • Member since
    January, 2011
  • From: long island, new york
Posted by chucky on Tuesday, February 26, 2019 8:01 PM

Cool subject, Bernard! Saw one in silver at the old Bridgehampton Race Circuit back in the day. (I think it belonged to and was driven by local Porsche racer Joe Buzzetta.) It looked so cool it became one of my favorite 1/25 scale slot racing bodies in the mid sixties. I like where you are headed on this and look forward to seeing the final photos. 

chucky

  • Member since
    December, 2003
  • From: Nova Scotia
Posted by Bainford on Wednesday, February 27, 2019 7:25 AM

Looking great, Bernard.

I've had 904s on the mind lately, so your post is timely. I assume the only kit of this gorgeous little car is the old Monogram (please correct me if you know otherwise). I've never seen one out of the box, so I'm curious as to how this kit builds up, and what degree of engine and chassis details it has. I'll certainly be picking up the next one I see, but in the meantime I'll be watching along on your build.

Perfection is achieved not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away.
       - Antoine de Saint-Exepury

Trevor

  • Member since
    February, 2008
  • From: Seattle, WA
Posted by gbk1 on Thursday, February 28, 2019 1:34 PM

Thanks everyone. This is a bold new adventure for me.

Bainford

Looking great, Bernard.

I've had 904s on the mind lately, so your post is timely. I assume the only kit of this gorgeous little car is the old Monogram (please correct me if you know otherwise). I've never seen one out of the box, so I'm curious as to how this kit builds up, and what degree of engine and chassis details it has. I'll certainly be picking up the next one I see, but in the meantime I'll be watching along on your build.

 

Thanks Trevor. I'm playng in your ball park now! I'll look forward to your comments. There are at least two other 1/24-1/25 904 kits that I've encountered, both I believe are Japanese.

One is the LS kit dating from the 1980's:

It looks to be a curbside kit with a single piece body and the front bonnet panel molded in place. The body is single piece in contrast to the Aurora/Monogram 904's multi-piece body.

The other is the Sharp Porsche 904 GTS kit, which, if anything, is even simpler. It has a Merit-style two piece body and is designed to be a motorized model.

The Aurora/Monogram kit is the only full detail kit I know off. But it truly is full detail, even down to a separate and accurate pressed steel chassis. My only concern is that like many of these Golden Age full detail kits it's fiddly to build; in particular I have concerns about panel fit for the body pieces during final assembly. But it's a fine kit. Here's a link to the inbstruction sheet on the DPMCC Fotki site: https://public.fotki.com/drasticplasticsmcc/mkiba-build-under-c/monogram-instructions/automotive-cars--pi/porsche/monogram-porsche-90/

Bernard Kron Keep On Buildin'

  • Member since
    January, 2008
  • From: Plano (Dallas), Texas
Posted by mmthrax on Thursday, February 28, 2019 5:02 PM

This is great Bernard.  I am really becoming interested in unusual subjects so I'll for sure be watching this.  Having seen what you are capable of, I am sure I will learn a thing or two also.  Bonus!

Carry on sir...

 

Just keep picking away at it...

  • Member since
    April, 2012
Posted by litespeedsae on Thursday, February 28, 2019 8:27 PM

I have seen 3 of these cars 1:1 in the real and your version is definitly doing it justice. If you stopped at this stage with the four way pictures and no wheels on stands you would already have something worthy of a glass display case. Big Smile

Little Rock, Arkansas

  • Member since
    December, 2003
  • From: Nova Scotia
Posted by Bainford on Friday, March 01, 2019 8:50 AM

Cheers Bernard. Thanks much for the info on the additional kits. Looking forward to seeing this one come together.

edit: I just went to ebay for a look-see. I was surprised to see a large number of the LS kits and a couple of the Sharp kits, but clearly it is the Monogram kit I want. There were only two of those and one was $316 (!), and on the other the shipping was too high. I'll keep searching for a better deal, but in the meantime I consoled myself by buying a couple of surprisingly inexpensive Ferrari kits.

I also saw a couple of Aurora Porsche 904 kits. Do you know if those are basically the Monogram kit?

Perfection is achieved not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away.
       - Antoine de Saint-Exepury

Trevor

  • Member since
    February, 2008
  • From: Seattle, WA
Posted by gbk1 on Saturday, March 02, 2019 11:14 PM

Bainford

Cheers Bernard. Thanks much for the info on the additional kits.... I just went to ebay for a look-see. ...clearly it is the Monogram kit I want. ... Do you know if those are basically the Monogram kit?

 

 

I believe they are the same kit. Here's the history of the kit on Scalemates: https://www.scalemates.com/kits/aurora-561-198-porsche-904--1150395

Bernard Kron Keep On Buildin'

  • Member since
    November, 2006
  • From: Belmont MA
Posted by nells250 on Wednesday, March 20, 2019 2:08 PM

Interesting... I also invented an imaginary race scheme, and it was very similar!

;-)

Great minds think alike??  

  • Member since
    June, 2007
Posted by Eagle36 on Wednesday, March 20, 2019 6:24 PM

Those are two different kits.  The confusion is that both subsequently became branded as Monogram kits.  The ex-Aurora kit has complete engine, drivetrain, and chassis detail.  The later Monogram 904 is a curbside kit, derived from the slot car.  If you put the bodies side by side, you'll see that the kits do share a designer, the bodies are very different.

  • Member since
    February, 2008
  • From: Seattle, WA
Posted by gbk1 on Saturday, April 27, 2019 5:49 PM

Thanks for all the comments, everyone.

It’s been several weeks since I last posted on this project. I got sidetracked by a second Porsche project, a 356A Speedster, which I completed. In some ways that distraction was a good thing since the funky Revell kit I used required more of the kit bashing style that I’m used to from my hot rod modeling and served as a transition to this far more sophisticated and higher parts count kit for the 904. Researching the detail for that project also got me more firmly ensconced in Porsche lore in general.

Having has some time to study the history of this kit I am surprised by the ambitious detail it has, especially now that I know that it was originally an Aurora kit from 1965. Aurora is not a name I associate with kits of this order.

This update is about the back end of the model, the engine compartment, transmission and rear suspension, all modeled from a complex array of small parts, which, with care, present a fairly faithful replica of the 1:1. Given than this is the only 1/24-1/25th scale full detail kit of the 904, I’m grateful for the care and effort that Aurora put into this kit well over 50 years ago. The rear portion of this model constitutes a model in itself. I spent time researching the 1:1 and added some small details and modifications, but most of what you see comes in the box. I added some 4-cyclinder pre-wired distributor caps from Morgan Automotive Detail which I grafted to the kit’s twin distributors, along with dual ignition coils, also from Morgan. I replicated the correct ignition wiring, which turnout out to be challenging since, with the dual distributors, each distributor is wired to both cylinder banks. I also fabricated a simple facsimile of the carburetor linkage.

The combination firewall and suspension brace *** roll over bar that comes in the kit is an odd piece. It’s designed to extend above the rear deck into the rear window area to act as a roll hoop, but it’s too short and narrow to conform to the roof panel and floats somewhere in the middle of the window opening. Research showed that 904’s often either had no firewall brace/rollover hoop at all, or if they did, it was a shorter piece that served primarily to act as a structural brace and ended just below the rear deck. I decided to fabricate my own replica of this shorter hoop using butyl coated wire and styrene rod. The shorter version is what you see in the composite summary picture of the rear end posted below.

Next up is the front suspension and interior., much of which has already been painted and detailed. This should prove somewhat simpler that the back end. Then comes the final assembly. In some circles this kit has a reputation for being fiddly and difficult to assemble. Hopefully the multi-piece body will go together without too much melodrama.

Thanx for lookin’,
B.

Bernard Kron Keep On Buildin'

  • Member since
    December, 2003
  • From: Nova Scotia
Posted by Bainford on Sunday, April 28, 2019 5:23 PM

Looking good, Bernard. It’s a much more complex kit than I imagined. I am as surprised as you that this originated as an Aurora tool. 

Perfection is achieved not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away.
       - Antoine de Saint-Exepury

Trevor

  • Member since
    February, 2008
  • From: Seattle, WA
Posted by gbk1 on Wednesday, June 05, 2019 7:54 PM

Thanks Trevor.

After being sidetracked by two new projects, both completed, I’m finally getting back to the 904. I continue to be impressed by the fine detail in this kit, and by the similarity in construction to the 1:1 the original Aurora kit designers chose as their strategy. The kit has a reputation for being “fiddly”, and that’s why. Lots of very small parts made to emulate the corresponding parts in the real car. It’s not quite the exhaustive detail you’d find in a large-scale model, but more than sufficient to create the experience of “constructing” the car. What has surprised me is that for a kit that’s over 50 years old the parts fit and alignment is really very good indeed. And this 1992 edition from Monogram is  totally flash-free.

One outcome of all this detail is, just like in a real car, much of it is hidden under other parts or bodywork. Once the model is completed much of it will never be seen again. So it’s there for the enjoyment of the model builder and, ultimately, no one else.

I’ve managed to complete the entire front end and the interior. The composite photo below features a “ghost” shot of the front compartment showing some of the highly detailed suspension which is hidden behind the fuel tank. Oddly, despite all this detail the kit doesn’t come with a spare wheel and tire as required by the FIA rules of the period. The spare you see in the picture is from a Gunze Sanyo Beetle and is the closest thing I have to a 904 spare.

The interior is simple, but a faithful rendition of the race-car interior of the 1:1. At this point what’s left to do is install the glass and lighting and complete the final body assembly. My main concern now is with body panel fit. The front upper half of the body, comprising the front fenders, doors and roof, has been repeatedly test fit so I’m hopeful it will go in place with minimum drama. But how well the huge hinged rear body panel will align with the front half of the body will remain a total mystery until the final stages of assembly. Fingers crossed all goes well!

Thanx for lookin’,
B.

Click on photo for full sized image:

Bernard Kron Keep On Buildin'

  • Member since
    February, 2008
  • From: Seattle, WA
Posted by gbk1 on Thursday, June 13, 2019 8:26 PM

The upper body assembly and fitting is completed.  This is where the kit earns its reputation as fiddly, even more so than the suspension and motor assemblies. Even in the 1:1 904 panel gaps are not the tightest, but in 1/24th scale, on a model that’s been engineered to closely resemble the original car in terms of parts and subassemblies, getting the upper body to mate with decent alignment is a hit or miss proposition not so much because the parts are molded accurately to size – they are – but because of the way the original car was designed. The rear engine cover and the front body assembly simply rest on top of the bellypan with no interlocking surfaces. The front fenders and main body structure are molded in one piece and fitting the front compartment cover is very straightforward and the fit good. But the rear cover will always “float” and shift because it has nothing to definitively align it. There are two sets of hinges that allow the cover to pivot rearwards to reveal the motor, but they are loosely retained by pins and don’t want to hold in place, so the cover can shift regardless. When displaying or photographing the model it will always be necessary to set the cover in proper position.

The hinges don’t let the engine show all that much so I’m leaving the hinges taped away inside the cover if I ever want to use them. The picture below shows the hinge pieces and the cover pivoted open on them.  Also included are a side view and a view of the front compartment. I still need to make a proper prop for the front cover since none is included in the kit.

Click on picture for full sized image


Here are some views of the assembled body. The body work has picked up a good deal of dirt and polish residue during construction and will need a thorough cleaning. I also have to decide on how much of a race car look, as opposed to a show car, I want to give it, which will determine things like numbers and trade decals. So, along with mounting the wheels and minor details, there’s not much left to do

Thanx, for lookin’,
B.

Click on picture for full sized image

Bernard Kron Keep On Buildin'

  • Member since
    February, 2008
  • From: Seattle, WA
Posted by gbk1 on Sunday, June 16, 2019 6:59 PM

All done. Went with more of an "as raced" look with minor contingency decals and numbers. Here are the final presentation pics.

Thanx to all who followed along,
B.


Click on picture for full sized image






Bernard Kron Keep On Buildin'

  • Member since
    January, 2005
  • From: sunny Sydney, Australia
Posted by nottheband on Monday, June 17, 2019 1:59 AM

G'day Bernard.  That's a very nice job on a fiddly-detailed kit.  You've made her look very presentable as a period sports racer, with colours and decals all having the right look.  Also, I appreciate your skills and presentation of the photos. Cheers.

Steve

  • Member since
    March, 2019
  • From: Quitman, Texas
Posted by LostInStyreneAnd... on Monday, June 17, 2019 8:09 AM

Great looking vintage racing 904!!!  Fun little cars, and you've done a masterful job of creating a scale representation.   Beautiful work!

Eric Automobile

  • Member since
    February, 2008
  • From: Seattle, WA
Posted by gbk1 on Thursday, June 20, 2019 1:28 PM

Thank you both! Your comments are much appreciated.

In retrospect this was quite a challenging build, even though it was pretty much Out-Of-The-Box. This isn't a reflection on the original kit, which is extremely detailed and quite well engineered. It has more to do with the fact that this style of build is not what I usually do (I'm a confirmed kit-basher, working mainly in hot rods, kustoms and staightliners). But I intend to do more projects in this vein and I suspect I'll become more accustomed to the discipline it demands.

Bernard Kron Keep On Buildin'

  • Member since
    March, 2011
Posted by gulftarpon on Saturday, July 13, 2019 4:02 PM

You NEVER cease to turn in amazing work. I bought this kit a few months ago at a hobby show with the intent to turn it into a fiberglass replicar/hot rod Porsche. I doubt it will be anywhere as nice as what you've done.

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