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Mercedes-Benz 300SL Gullwing

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  • Member since
    July, 2004
  • From: Oakdale, CA
Mercedes-Benz 300SL Gullwing
Posted by carguybradd on Saturday, December 08, 2007 7:41 PM
Here's my 12th build for 2007: An old AMT kit of the MB 300SL. This one was so warped I almost didn't build it, but if nothing else I'm stubborn! EvilWink Those of you who have one of these know what I'm talking about. No comments on the body panel fitment, please...Disapprove

Anyway, here's what I did to this one: After straigtening the body, doors, and hood the best I could, I painted them with Testor's "AMC Sterling Silver" paint, followed by a clear coat, polish, and wax. The pics don't do it justice; it's tough to photograph in the Winter sun! It doesn't have the "metalflake" appearance in person. All trim is done with BMF. Instead of using the kit's unconvincing insert for the side "gills", I scratchbuilt a set from Evergreen sheet stock and half-rounds. I replaced the door and quarter window "glass" with acetate sheet, replaced the chrome "bullet" lenses under the headlights with some clear ones from the parts box, and also added parts box tires and outside mirror. I decided the opening trunk was a lost cause (incorrect hinges, bulkheads, tiny spare, etc.), so I just glued it shut. My example had poor/worn chrome on the bumpers so I covered them with BMF in some areas as well.

For the interior, I made a headliner out of tape, scratchbuilt a set of sunvisors, made a "leather" center hump "mat" from tape, and covered the floors with red flocking for carpeting. I also added the "luggage rail" in the back, used a set of photoetched headlight shields/screens to replicate speaker grilles, and swapped out the shifter for one made from a straight pin and a photoetched trim ring. The dash is painted with Testor's Ivory, with all details hand painted or picked out in BMF, and clear 5-min epoxy for the gauge lenses.

The engine compartment has been enhanced with wiring, plumbing, an intake manifold heat shield (made from aluminum foil), and valve cover decals (reduced down from a photo of the 1:1). I modified the radiator by adding an upper tank from my parts box, added the missing intake tubing and air filter box upstream of the throttle body, radiator and coolant hoses, and scratchbuilt a few other miscellaneous items such as the windshield washer resevoir/jar.

Well, I hope you all like it. This one has been lingering on the back burner for the last 2 years: With so many things to be corrected it just kept dragging on, and the more I worked on it the more inacuracies I found, so now it's time to call it "DONE"! Comments welcomed (and encouragedSmile)!





So much plastic, so little time...
  • Member since
    July, 2004
  • From: Oakdale, CA
Posted by carguybradd on Saturday, December 08, 2007 7:43 PM
And a few more pics...




So much plastic, so little time...
  • Member since
    November, 2004
  • From: New York, Paris, Hamilton?
Posted by Chillyb1 on Saturday, December 08, 2007 8:00 PM
"Why doesn't the hood fit correctly?" he queried sarcastically.

In the words of the Yardbirds: Mister, you're a better man than I. If there is one kit I've come across that I really hate, it is this one! I had three of them at one point because I love the car so much, but after building the first one I was glad to be rid of the others through a trade. And it is unfortunate because the kit was probably at one time quite spectacular in fit and finish. Was yours molded in white plastic? One I had was molded in maroon plastic and seemed much better, though I still wasn't about to even attempt it.

It looks like you've done as much as anyone could possibly ask. The paint job looks fantastic, and your engine bay has lots of nice added detail. You've suffered enough, now get going on something less punishing and put the bad memories behind you.

  • Member since
    July, 2004
  • From: Oakdale, CA
Posted by carguybradd on Saturday, December 08, 2007 8:07 PM
LOL - Thanks for the comments Chilly! I knew you would chime in on this one!

To answer your question, yes, mine was molded in white, and was the "Prestige" series issue. I was happy with kit at first (except fro the warpage), but as I researched the 1:1 and progressed through the build, I became increasingly frustrated. Your sentiments, though sarcastic, ring true. The phrase "polishing a turd" came to mind more than once while working on it, but I used my admiration for the 1:1 to see me through.

You have no idea how glad I am to finally put this one behind me...Black EyeBlush
So much plastic, so little time...
  • Member since
    August, 2007
  • From: Halfway between the Loop and the prairie
Posted by harry on Saturday, December 08, 2007 8:16 PM
I build a lot of Pocher kits, so I'm very familiar with "polishing a turd". Your result is pretty spectacular. A big PITA for sure, but you made it look fantastic. Great work. Thumbs Up
The pessimist sees the glass half empty. The optimist sees the glass half full. But only the realist sees that the glass is simply the wrong size. -------------------------------- "I've had a wonderful evening. Unfortunately this wasn't it"– Groucho Marx
  • Member since
    January, 2005
  • From: Cape Coral Florida
Posted by BigTallDad on Sunday, December 09, 2007 1:15 AM
Awesome build!

Are the "Prestige" kits the same as the "Trophy Series"? I have several of those kits and I'm wondering if they too are a PITA to assemble.

"In order to teach a dog, you must first be smarter than the dog" P.R. Ferguson

  • Member since
    October, 2005
  • From: Beirut, LB
Posted by elbeik on Sunday, December 09, 2007 4:43 AM
It was a kit worth all the trouble you went through. Quite a rare model to see around here, especially with all the superb finish on it. A really well done job!

Azmi

scale down, detail up  l  my builds gallery

  • Member since
    March, 2006
  • From: Spring, Tx
Posted by modelcarjr on Sunday, December 09, 2007 4:54 AM
Great build! I think everything fits great considering all the pain you had to endure to get there! Great work and great detail! CoolBow

If you cannot have a good time, what kinda time can you have? JR

Next on the bench:  Another 1970 Hemi 'Cuda, 1958 Chevy Impala, 1987 Buick GNX, 1950 Chevy Pick-up, Indy Reynard, 1965 Corvette, probably not in this order.

  • Member since
    October, 2007
  • From: Solihull, England
Posted by GeeBee on Sunday, December 09, 2007 5:41 AM
Lovely model, this is one model i have never made, i think the 300 is a cracking car,

I think Heller made a version of this,

if your model was anything like the AMT Dodge Super Bee i built, then you did a cracking job, the bodyshell in that kit was so warped it was terrible ....

As they say here in England, you can't make a silk purse out of a sows ear !!
  • Member since
    July, 2004
  • From: Oakdale, CA
Posted by carguybradd on Sunday, December 09, 2007 11:05 AM
Thanks for the comments guys!

BigTallDad, I'm pretty sure the "Prestige" version of this kit was just a reissue of the original "Trophy" version. It wasn't so much that it was difficult to assemble as much as the innacuracies and poor quality (warped everything). I spent most of my efforts correcting crude details or adding missing items. Some things went together well but just didn't look right, such as the front suspension. I had to cut and modify the tierods/A-arms/spindles to get the toe & camber right. Out of the box, this thing had more positive camber on the front wheels than an old farm tractor!

GeeBee, I've seen that Heller version too. There's also an Italeri kit (different tool), but I haven't procured one of those yet.
So much plastic, so little time...
  • Member since
    November, 2004
  • From: New York, Paris, Hamilton?
Posted by Chillyb1 on Sunday, December 09, 2007 11:15 AM
Not to veer too far off course, but I built the Italeri version of the 300SL roadster and thought it was magnificent. A dramatic improvement over the AMT. I've not seen the Heller or the Italeri Gullwings.
  • Member since
    July, 2004
  • From: Oakdale, CA
Posted by carguybradd on Sunday, December 09, 2007 11:28 AM
You're not veering too far, Chilly. I have one of those Italeri roadsters too, and while it is nicer than the older AMT version, it has its own issues.
So much plastic, so little time...
  • Member since
    October, 2007
  • From: Solihull, England
Posted by GeeBee on Sunday, December 09, 2007 12:41 PM
Revell did one as well, but i've not built any of these kits, so can't say what it's like

  • Member since
    July, 2004
  • From: Oakdale, CA
Posted by carguybradd on Sunday, December 09, 2007 2:13 PM
Interesting. I'd venture a guess that the Revell version is the same as Italeri's, judging by the chrome wheels and the 1/24 scale, but I could be wrong.
So much plastic, so little time...
  • Member since
    August, 2005
Posted by sjordan on Monday, December 10, 2007 11:36 AM
Looks like you've done your homework, all the way down to the Rudge knockoffs (are they part of the kit or your addition?), proper trim on the steering wheel and all those little interior snaps and rivets. Great job, worth your effort.
  • Member since
    February, 2005
  • From: Sandnes,Norway
Posted by bugace on Monday, December 10, 2007 12:47 PM
Revell AG's Gullwing are far older than the Italeri kit I belive. But I might be wrong.
Stupid me feeling a deep intence drawing against a modelbox up at the adic, might it be cause it appare to be very challanging. Guess I'll rod it insted!!!
http://public.fotki.com/bugace/plastic-modelbuilding/ Hmmmm, where is the glue, know I it got here some where.......hi,hi,hi,hi..........hmmmm Gues my wife has hidden it........................hi,hi,hi,hi................................
  • Member since
    February, 2005
  • From: Sandnes,Norway
Posted by bugace on Monday, December 10, 2007 12:48 PM
OOOOBS!!!

Nice build!!
http://public.fotki.com/bugace/plastic-modelbuilding/ Hmmmm, where is the glue, know I it got here some where.......hi,hi,hi,hi..........hmmmm Gues my wife has hidden it........................hi,hi,hi,hi................................
  • Member since
    May, 2008
Posted by Anonymous on Monday, December 10, 2007 4:56 PM

Nice work, this amt kit is surely one of the "tough" ones to build, needs a lots of patience to get thru... parts fitting is typical of a mid 60's amt kit!!!
The kit was last available 20 years ago in the red car prestige box.

Revell AG is surely not the excellent Italeri kit (the best plastic 1/24 kit, Heller kit is also not bad but like the amt kit needs a bit patience when assembling) surely an ex Japanese Gakken 1/24 kit....body proportion are a bit off, wheels are a bit to small.

If you are a 1955-57 300SL "Gullwing" fan, the Ex Gakken 1/16 kit, now owned by Minicraft, is a real gem.
  • Member since
    December, 2006
  • From: Keene, New Hampshire
Posted by MoPars II on Monday, December 10, 2007 5:03 PM
Very Nice , I have a question , I sometimes see them with a slanted front end and others without.What Gives?
Current Projects: no models, possibly getting a '69 Dodge Dart Somedays you're the pigeon, somedays your the statue...but if you can, you should only do things you love-Bruce Dickinson
  • Member since
    April, 2005
Posted by pboucher on Monday, December 10, 2007 6:03 PM
QUOTE: Originally posted by MoPars II

Very Nice , I have a question , I sometimes see them with a slanted front end and others without.What Gives?


You're probably referring to the 300SLR coupes (please pardon some inaccuracy here, I'll check my reference when I get home from work tonight) that were purpose-built for racing, and ran in the Carrera Pan-Americana, Mille Miglia, and other important road races of the early-to-mid '50s.

These were the cars that inspired American foreign auto-importer Max Hoffman to talk M-B into manufacturing a road-going version of these cars: the 300SL. He convinced M-B that they'd sell well enough in the States to justifying a limited production run; so...you kinda have the U.S. to thank for the very existence of the 300SL. The same holds true for the Porsche Speedster!

PB.
  • Member since
    August, 2005
Posted by sjordan on Tuesday, December 11, 2007 12:30 PM
QUOTE: Originally posted by pboucher

QUOTE: Originally posted by MoPars II

Very Nice , I have a question , I sometimes see them with a slanted front end and others without.What Gives?


You're probably referring to the 300SLR coupes (please pardon some inaccuracy here, I'll check my reference when I get home from work tonight) that were purpose-built for racing, and ran in the Carrera Pan-Americana, Mille Miglia, and other important road races of the early-to-mid '50s.

These were the cars that inspired American foreign auto-importer Max Hoffman to talk M-B into manufacturing a road-going version of these cars: the 300SL. He convinced M-B that they'd sell well enough in the States to justifying a limited production run; so...you kinda have the U.S. to thank for the very existence of the 300SL. The same holds true for the Porsche Speedster!

PB.


Quite right, but the 300SLR gullwing coupe of '55-'56 was the sexier, swoopier of the early ones and only two were built, one specifically for Rudolf Uhlenhaut, who developed the racing 300 SL that debuted in 1952. You can see the SLR's lines in the open race cars driven by people like Stirling Moss. The earliest racing 300 SLs (W194 series) could be said to be stubbier-looking with vertical grille bars and far simpler, less attractive bodies than the later production version (W198 series).

Here is the Uhlenhaut 300 SLR coupe:
http://www.ritzsite.net/300SL/03e_300SL.htm

The Stirling Moss open 300 SLR:
http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Image:Mercedes_SLR_Stirling_Moss_1977.jpg

An original 1952 W194 racing gullwing (plus a concise, excellent history):
http://www.gullwinggroup.org/history.php
  • Member since
    July, 2004
  • From: Oakdale, CA
Posted by carguybradd on Wednesday, December 12, 2007 1:08 AM
QUOTE: Originally posted by sjordan

Looks like you've done your homework, all the way down to the Rudge knockoffs (are they part of the kit or your addition?), proper trim on the steering wheel and all those little interior snaps and rivets. Great job, worth your effort.


Thanks. The kit came with both the Rudge wheels and the standard wheels with hubcaps.

Also, thank you for posting those links. I somehow missed those sights while doing my research for this build. Very interesting reading!
So much plastic, so little time...

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