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Porsche 356A - Speedster Wars Style - Completed with final photos

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  • Member since
    February, 2008
  • From: Seattle, WA
Porsche 356A - Speedster Wars Style - Completed with final photos
Posted by gbk1 on Friday, March 15, 2019 10:06 PM

I’ve started a second Porsche race car project while I wait to receive some small parts for my Porsche 904 build. This one is based on the venerable Revell Competition Porsche kit, which represents a classic SCCA style Porsche 356A Speedster as raced in the late 50’s and early 60’s. The cover art on the box promises much and captures the flavor of the era, but unfortunately this is an ancient kit with the old Revell multi part body, consisting of the top of the tub-shaped body, and the two side panels in the area between the wheel wells. The kit also has some pretty glaring inaccuracies, the most important of which is that the wheels openings are radiused into a round shape and are somewhat larger than the real car’s characteristic shape. Below is a composite picture showing the cover art, a picture I found on the net of a straight out-of-box build of the Revell kit, and a side view of the real 356A speedster. The oversized, rounded wheel wells should be obvious. The build-up picture also shows the rather horrible stance of the kit build and the fact that the wheels appear to protrude somewhat. I’m not too thrilled about the wheels and tires either. The 4th panel shows the bodywork I’ve done. Most of the Speedsters of the era tended to be street cars which were quite often driven to the races. Many of them kept the stock side trim. But just as many can be seen to have undergone some mild clean up include removing the trim and filling the seams around the front and rear pans. After reinforcing the body structure where the side panels joined the top of the body with styrene strip I looked at the result, and while it was quite clean, the side strip was all wrong (see the build up picture again). The side trim is too short on the Revell kit, and, with the oversized wheel wells, stops short of the wheel openings. It looks awkward so I decided to fill and smooth the body.



Correcting the stance and doing something about the wheels and tires will be a challenge, If anyone knows a good source for period Porsche wheels in the right scale (1/24th), I’m open to suggestions. In the meantime I’ll keep plugging away. The paint scheme will be bright red with white stripes and roundels.

Below is a composite picture of two period cars which are examples of the style I’m after. The upper car is an east coast as campaigned by Bruce Jennings, the legendary King Carrera. The lower two pictures are of the Ray Kimble “Kimble Special” which is a west coast car known mainly for all the movie work it got.



Thanx for lookin’,
B.

Bernard Kron Keep On Buildin'

  • Member since
    January, 2011
  • From: long island, new york
Posted by chucky on Saturday, March 16, 2019 5:46 PM

I love Speedsters, Bernard! I used to enjoy watching them on the old Bridgehampton Race Circuit and had to have one for myself.  A friend had several in various states of repair. He had a modified 1600 S in his and was preparing it for Corvette silver pearl  paint. I bought one with a 1600 N that needed some body work and paint. I eliminated the side moldings and replaced the bumpers with chrome nerf bars as was the fashion. I did mine in Mustang Poppy Red with black racing stripes. Before I got mine on the road in my senior year of high school my friend had a terrible accident with his. I lost all interest at that point and replaced mine with a '57 Bel Air hardtop. The Speedsters are such great handling cars and perform well with small horsepower due to the extremely light weight. While I would never own another one (even if I could at today's prices) I still enjoy watching them on the road courses. I'm sure you will make the necessary "adjustments" to yours to yield the proper appearance and I'm looking forward to seeing the photos. 

chucky

  • Member since
    June, 2007
Posted by Eagle36 on Saturday, March 16, 2019 6:34 PM

There were two slightly different versions of the competition Speedster kit issued by Revell.  The original version had the smaller wheel wells, the later releases had the enlarged wheel wells, apparently for slot car racing.  I have an ancient SAE article with patterns for filler panels that fix the problem.  That article also pointed out that the rocker panels are too short and should be extended downwards by about 1/8'.

Nice work on this kit.

  • Member since
    January, 2005
  • From: sunny Sydney, Australia
Posted by nottheband on Monday, March 18, 2019 2:08 AM

"    If anyone knows a good source for period Porsche wheels in the right scale (1/24th), I’m open to suggestions."

G'day Bernard.  Any of the Fujimi 356 kits have very good wheels. Cheers.

Steve

 

  • Member since
    February, 2008
  • From: Seattle, WA
Posted by gbk1 on Tuesday, March 19, 2019 5:56 AM

Eagle36

There were two slightly different versions of the competition Speedster kit issued by Revell.  The original version had the smaller wheel wells, the later releases had the enlarged wheel wells, apparently for slot car racing.  I have an ancient SAE article with patterns for filler panels that fix the problem.  That article also pointed out that the rocker panels are too short and should be extended downwards by about 1/8'.

Nice work on this kit.

 

Thanks for the explanation. It makes perfect sense to me. I’m committed to making this version look as good as I can without the additional bodywork changes, but I look forward to a later, more correct project using the Fujimi 356A Speedster as the base.

B.

Bernard Kron Keep On Buildin'

  • Member since
    February, 2008
  • From: Seattle, WA
Posted by gbk1 on Tuesday, March 19, 2019 5:57 AM

I’ve gotten the main paint and graphics done. The basic color is Duplicolor Bright Red with a white racing stripe. The stripe was done by spraying a base coat of white lacquer and then masking out the stripe and applying the top coat of red. The white number roundels with the fine red stripe around the outer edge are leftovers from my ’57 Corvette project from last year, as are the red numbers which I had printed as extras at the time. The bodywork is essentially done, waiting only for a clear coat and final polish. Now on to the chassis, motor and rolling stock! I’m going to try to adapt the kit wheels to larger, more period correct tires, in the hopes of filling the enlarged wheel wells in a better proportioned, more pleasing way. We’ll see…

Thanx for lookin’,
B.

Bernard Kron Keep On Buildin'

  • Member since
    February, 2008
  • From: Seattle, WA
Posted by gbk1 on Thursday, March 28, 2019 11:34 PM

Overall, I’ve been making good progress on this project. This is an odd kit in that it is crude in some respects and yet quite detailed and true to the spirit of its subject in others. As discussed earlier the body is a three piece assembly with separate lower body sides which necessitates extensive body prep to build the kit to modern standards. Also, it appears, the kit body was modified around the wheel wells subsequent to its first release, apparently to allow for slot car wheels and tires. The result is the loss of the Porsche 356 series’ signature slightly enclosed wheels. As the stock build-up picture I showed earlier demonstrates, this gives the model an awkwardly high stance with too much air around the rolling stock. In addition some details, like the engine  and parts of the interior, while they look convincing once assembled into the completed model, lack the accuracy and detail of a modern kit. For these reasons I’ve decided not to overdo things with this build, and mainly stick with what’s in the box and focus on paint detailing as the main way to get a decent contemporary result from this old chestnut.

The one exception is the rolling stock. The kit tires are undersized in diameter and yet hugely  wide for the period the model is supposed to represent. In addition the kit wheels, left unmodified, make the wide tires protrude slightly beyond the wheel well openings. This really needed to be changed. I was lucky enough to find some period correct racing tires in my stash. I suspect they came from a set of early Halibrand mags by Historic Racing Miniatures that I got for a recent hot rod project. They are slightly larger in diameter than the kit tires, properly narrow for a late 50’s SCCA racer, and with the right modifications, the kit wheels, which look quite acceptable, can be made to fit inside the bodywork in proper manner for the type of car I’m representing. I got4 rid of the kit wheel backs which caused the protruding wheel problem and substituted some inner rims from an old AMT ’36 Ford kit. The composite photo below shows the kit tire compared to the narrower HRM tire and also compares how the old kit wheel looks in the front wheel well vs. the modified version.



I has originally planned to detail the motor somewhat. But the way the motor is constructed in this kit, it’s an integral part of the engine compartment sheet metal and it’s hard to add additional parts to it. The kit motor lacks any ignition system at all, not even a distributor, for example. And I can’t even remember how long ago it’s been since I didn’t wire and plumb a motor. But as it turns out, the motor builds up with an acceptable overall appearance, especially once it’s buried deep in the recesses of the engine compartment. So, other than the usual paint detailing, it’s straight out of the box.

The interior is another example of this semi-detailed approach. The kit comes with only one seat and with only a driver’s side door panel. The idea is that you can’t see under the tonneau cover, so why include these unseen details. Once again I decided to roll with it rather than worry about these “missing” parts.

The composite photo below shows the boot and engine compartment as I have completed them, as well as the dashboard and driver’s seat. As you can see the detail included is really quite adequate, although hardly up to contemporary kit standards.



A lastly, here is the body with the front grills and headlights installed. The headlights are covered in masking tape painted Tamiya Bright Orange. The rear view shows the engine cover grill. The taillights have yet to be installed.



As you can see, I’m not far from final assembly. The stance is the remaining major issue. Hopefully getting the wheels inside the wheel wells and adding the slightly larger tires will help in this regard.

Thanx for lookin’,
B.

Bernard Kron Keep On Buildin'

  • Member since
    January, 2011
  • From: long island, new york
Posted by chucky on Friday, March 29, 2019 8:33 PM

I'm loving it for reasons already given and then some! On something as "plain" as the Speedster, every detail adds to the realism. Still watchin'.  Geeked

chucky

  • Member since
    February, 2008
  • From: Seattle, WA
Posted by gbk1 on Wednesday, April 03, 2019 6:41 PM

This project was only going to work if I could solve the twin, and related, problems of the original kit’s crummy stance and funky rolling stock. Adapting the kit wheels to proper period road racing tires, as shown in my last post, was part of the solution. The other part, the stance, couldn’t really be known until I had finished the chassis and interior panels and installed the suspension and wheels and tires. As it turned out most things fit quite well but when it came down to dialing in a well-balanced race car stance the kit sat a little tall at the rear and, overall, the car required a very subtle bit of channeling all around, on the order of maybe 1/32” of an inch in the front and 3/64” at the rear. Small stuff, but critical to getting a decent looking model. To do this I landed up shaving a small amount of material from the tops of the front fender well panels and the rear bulkhead. The model would never have the signature stock 356 wheel well shapes, but with the taller tires on the kit rims and the slight channel now the car sits solidly on all its corners and looks like it’s ready for the Speedster Wars. Below is a composite photo of the model mocked up with the body in position and the final stance.
 
Now it’s time to glue everything together and attend to the final details. I hope to get this done in the next couple of days so I can get back to my Porsche 904 project.
 
Thanx for lookin’,
B.
 

Bernard Kron Keep On Buildin'

  • Member since
    February, 2008
  • From: Seattle, WA
Posted by gbk1 on Saturday, April 13, 2019 7:59 PM

Having gone to the trouble of correcting the Revell kit’s wheel/tire/wheel-openings problems I decided to add a little more detail to the kit to more closely resemble 1:1 cars of the period, in particular the Bruce Jennings #77 car pictured above. The most elaborate details were the leather tie down straps securing the front compartment cover. I searched the web and found some miniature buckles made for horse modeling hobbyists who make miniature horse tackle and harnesses. These are the smallest ones they make and are .0625”x.125” which scales out to 1.5”x3”. The leather straps were made from .010 thickness strip styrene. I sculpted a facsimile of a Porsche Spyder fender mirror like the one on the Jennings car. And lastly, again like the Jennings car, I added an aluminum quick release fuel filler cap protruding through the front bonnet panel. The filler cap is a resin piece from Replicas & Miniatures of Md. I had in my stash. Below is a summary picture of these final details.

I’ll post the final “beauty shots” of the completed model tomorrow.

Thanx to all for following along,
B.

Bernard Kron Keep On Buildin'

  • Member since
    February, 2008
  • From: Seattle, WA
Posted by gbk1 on Sunday, April 14, 2019 2:13 PM

This project is now completed! Here all the final "beauty shots":





Bernard Kron Keep On Buildin'

  • Member since
    January, 2011
  • From: long island, new york
Posted by chucky on Sunday, April 14, 2019 3:49 PM

Cool, Bernard! You captured the theme for sure!  Thumbs Up

chucky

  • Member since
    February, 2008
  • From: Seattle, WA
Posted by gbk1 on Tuesday, April 16, 2019 3:43 PM

Thanks Chucky!  I'm glad you dig it!

Bernard Kron Keep On Buildin'

  • Member since
    January, 2005
  • From: sunny Sydney, Australia
Posted by nottheband on Wednesday, April 17, 2019 6:07 PM

G'day Bernard.  She's an accurate and sharp looking little club racer, good job.  Cheers

Steve

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