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Pintopower

Fiat 131 Abarth - There, I Fixed it.

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Have you ever started a project out of pure spite?

 

The Fiat 131 and I go way back. For those of you in the US, you likely have never seen one even though they were indeed sold here. It is one of my all time favorite cars and I'm in the process of buying an '81 Brava 4 door. As such, I know how the 131 looks....

 

Tamiya seems to not know.

 

Thus the start of project "Spite".

 

While I am aware that manufacturers need to alter things on the bodies to fit a chassis, usually they will focus on important details that make are definitive for the car. The front of the 131 with its boxy grill and quad lamps are imbedded to anyone who is into rally from the '70's and '80's. Somehow Tamiya screwed that up. For example:

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Here you can see the grill I designed with the image of the 131 overlayed VS what Tamiya has done. Next we needed an interior and body mount system. The stock ones are way too noticeable and even protrude out of the side of the hood scoop. This was tough since the MF01X chassis is huge and left no room for any depth. Some magnets attached to the body mounting areas worked great.

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Seats and dash are separate since I am lazy and didn't want to mask. Since I could not model a driver, I jammed the Frog driver bases in there (I moded the arms to taper into the interior). The rear seats and speakers are not there for décor. They are needed since the rear upright is so tall, it protrudes into the greenhouse 7mm.

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I also made a dash with lights on the cluster and radio (this is the Stradale version) so the details were good enough for the inside.

The wheels....oh the wheels....well the rear offset was increased 7mm per side to fill out the wheel arch. The fronts were 6mm (again, per side). I also like the 4 spoke campys so those needed to be modeled. Threw in some discs and we were good. There is also a faux lip (2mm in rad per side) that increased the look of the side walls.

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I also modeled lic plate lamp pylons, front marker lights, side repeaters, aux front lamps, and now I'm making a skid plate. Here is a comparison from the original to what I have whipped up.

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Here it is pretty much done with about 300 miles of lighting from MyTrickRC. I used the UF-7R:

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Note the lic. plate lights?

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Ah, dash lights:

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I need to take some outdoor shots but its been rainy lately.

 

This is the second 131 Abarth that I have fixed. The first was the Rally Legends 131 in Alitalia livery. I made a grill (of course, repeaters, wheels with fake sidewalls and significant offset) and of course, lots of lights. Next, I will peel the window tint decals and scale the Tamiya interior up for this one.

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Side note, this car came painted and while there are weird things about it, most of the livery is actually on the inside. It is also bigger than the Tamiya, came with full electronics, bearings, oil shocks and cost LESS than the Tamiya.

Everything shown will have a comprehensive build video starting with chassis assembly. I am just beside myself how well this came out and of course, I did immediately launch it of the old AMPro sidewalk jump. I did have to make a bumper/skid plate as the front spoiler would have been destroyed. 

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That's a well executed correction on the front. I thought the Tamiya front was a little off proportions when I saw the body the first time. This corrects it nicely. 

 

My teacher in german on the gymnasium drove a green 131 Series 1. It was almost sensationally healthy, given it was a daily and it was the early 90s. Most of them were returning back to the elements already then.

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I imagine it's because the grill is a very difficult shape to mould.

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Nice job!

I like the license plate lights, might also be usefull on a Lancia Rally 037 as well when it’s build as an Evo 2 version.

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On 2/17/2024 at 1:47 PM, Andreas W said:

That's a well executed correction on the front. I thought the Tamiya front was a little off proportions when I saw the body the first time. This corrects it nicely. 

 

My teacher in german on the gymnasium drove a green 131 Series 1. It was almost sensationally healthy, given it was a daily and it was the early 90s. Most of them were returning back to the elements already then.

I love them. I am looking at a '81 Brava right now....

On 2/17/2024 at 2:48 PM, Elbowloh said:

I imagine it's because the grill is a very difficult shape to mould.

There are a lot of parts molded for those light on this body but given that both Tamiya AND Rally Legends did not do this, perhaps. 

On 2/18/2024 at 4:36 AM, CRC505 said:

epic! perfect details!

Thanks so much!

On 2/18/2024 at 7:16 AM, Yoshisaur said:

Nice job!

I like the license plate lights, might also be usefull on a Lancia Rally 037 as well when it’s build as an Evo 2 version.

Oh yes, for sure. I made that a few months ago too!

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The wheels definitely look better, I like the rims that the original kit comes with but the offset never looked right.

I wish that those "Rally Legends" would return, I can't imagine a plastic bushing/friction shocks MF01X being THAT much better (or worse) than an old Exceed chassis.

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Great job, Tamiya should've done extra part for mask, like they did with Delta or E30. Sticker just doesn't look as good, especially if proportions are off.

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20 hours ago, Kowalski86 said:

The wheels definitely look better, I like the rims that the original kit comes with but the offset never looked right.

I wish that those "Rally Legends" would return, I can't imagine a plastic bushing/friction shocks MF01X being THAT much better (or worse) than an old Exceed chassis.

Yeah i could not handle the terrible offset. I also wish rally legends was back. The issue with the plastic shocks it that the shaft is also plastic. This was too expensive for that nonsense. 

29 minutes ago, Honza said:

Great job, Tamiya should've done extra part for mask, like they did with Delta or E30. Sticker just doesn't look as good, especially if proportions are off.

Thanks! Yes I agree. I think they did that since it was a larger scale platform. This car is very, very small. It is the same size as the Fiat Abarth 1000 (the Fiat 600 based car). 

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45 minutes ago, Pintopower said:

This car is very, very small. It is the same size as the Fiat Abarth 1000 (the Fiat 600 based car). 

Yep, I know that platform quite well :) But I don't think that's the reason, since the aforementioned Abarth also has an engine replica and Rally Beetle has large chromed bumpers and other hard plastic parts. Either it's extreme cost saving, or they consider sticker to be easier for newbies (still doesn't excuse bad proportions).

 

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23 hours ago, Honza said:

Yep, I know that platform quite well :) But I don't think that's the reason, since the aforementioned Abarth also has an engine replica and Rally Beetle has large chromed bumpers and other hard plastic parts. Either it's extreme cost saving, or they consider sticker to be easier for newbies (still doesn't excuse bad proportions).

 

This is a great point. Those cars are covered in molded parts. who knows. I love the thread on your MF01x. Just outstanding! I am surprised they allowed you to place it in the build series. When I used to do this, everything was removed since it was printed. Just total nonsense and one of the many reasons I really don't come here much. Seems things have changed for the better!

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2 hours ago, Pintopower said:

Just outstanding! I am surprised they allowed you to place it in the build series. When I used to do this, everything was removed since it was printed. Just total nonsense and one of the many reasons I really don't come here much. Seems things have changed for the better!

Thank you!

I also wasn't sure if I can put a build with custom parts there, but other threads inspired me to give it a go. Personally, I think it's fine as long as it keeps the "build" format. Design portion of the custom parts is documented in this section.

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23 hours ago, Honza said:

Thank you!

I also wasn't sure if I can put a build with custom parts there, but other threads inspired me to give it a go. Personally, I think it's fine as long as it keeps the "build" format. Design portion of the custom parts is documented in this section.

I totally agree. I was posting a very custom build years ago but...yeah, rather not get into it. 

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4 hours ago, Pintopower said:

I totally agree. I was posting a very custom build years ago but...yeah, rather not get into it. 

Oof. Well, I won't ask, but my current build thread is all my own custom designs too. Nothing against those who do a great job of a stock model, but that's rarely for me either. I thought doing one's own thing was half the point of this hobby? 

PS. Thanks for the inspiration - seen a few of your videos and whatnot. And kind of nicked a Falcon idea (but couldn't use your part since I'd changed a load of other stuff).

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On 2/23/2024 at 4:03 PM, BuggyDad said:

Oof. Well, I won't ask, but my current build thread is all my own custom designs too. Nothing against those who do a great job of a stock model, but that's rarely for me either. I thought doing one's own thing was half the point of this hobby? 

PS. Thanks for the inspiration - seen a few of your videos and whatnot. And kind of nicked a Falcon idea (but couldn't use your part since I'd changed a load of other stuff).

As long as it helps the car work, that’s what counts 

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@Pintopower Pretty much all my builds over the last 3 years have had a lot of custom bits. I think things might be a little more relaxed these days. Would be nice to have you back.

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