Grastens Builds the Tamiya Ferrari 312T3 (47374) with speedy_w_beans

Recommended Posts

15 minutes ago, speedy_w_beans said:

Physical parts ready for detailing...


Just... wow....

Between you this is an epic build.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

In Shunsako Tamiya's book, Master Modeler: Creating the Tamiya Style, Tamiya-san expresses his excitement over model making when he was a child.  On page 24 he shares his overall attitude towards a school assignment to finish a glider:

"I kept going even when dinner time came around, only going through to the living room after my mother had called me three times.  I wolfed down my rice, and rushed back to my model making."

"Even when my mother said it was late and that I should go to bed, I begged her to let me stay up just a little longer because I was nearly finished.  In fact, I kept on working on the model until my father got angry and ordered me to stop right away -- or else."

"The model may have been homework, but there was no need to have it finished by the next day.  I did not need to make it with such passionate intensity, but once I had started, I just couldn't stop.  I was so excited that even after I had crept under my mosquito net, I couldn't get to sleep."

Today I felt a certain connection with Tamiya-san as I worked on finishing the motor pod and wing stay for the 312T3.  I had already sanded the print and pseudo-primed it with automotive vinyl & fabric paint two days ago, but yesterday I was busy with other things and it was only after completing some errands this morning I could turn my attention back to these parts.

I had an assortment of artist's brushes on hand and some X-11 Chrome Silver, X-18 Semi-Gloss Black, and XF-2 Flat White for this job.  First I applied two coats of X-11 to the gearbox, cooler, brake discs, brake calipers, tail pipes, and wing stay.  Then I detailed the tail pipes with two coats of XF-2.  The gearbox rubber boots and axle shafts were detailed with X-18, and a few small errors were covered up as well.

I still need to apply the chrome vinyl to the center wing stay, but the paint was just barely tacky and I was too excited to wait.  I built the 312T3 T-bar and motor pod, substituted my custom C2 part, and stole the rear axle from my Lotus 79.  The wing is held in place with M3x10 machine screws in these pictures, but maybe Grastens has plans for smaller fasteners since he didn't want the big screw bosses under the mount.

The final detail is I found a couple of 5 mm red LEDs in my 40-year old box of electronics.  After trying a few, I opted to press-fit a fairly standard one.

Anyhow, enjoy!  Grastens, you'll need to PM me your address again so I can send these two parts to you.





  • Like 7

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

How lucky I am to have you, your skills, and passion as part of my otherwise-humble build - that is a gorgeous engine detail and wing mount combination right there :wub: It will be worn proudly by my 312T3!

  • Like 2

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks!  Glad to be of service, and of course, when I build my own 312T3 kit I'll have the designs ready to print as a result.  It's a win-win.  I'm looking forward to seeing your driver figure and finished body; that'll really tie it all together.

  • Like 1

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Since the adventures of the driver figure, I have not made meaningful progress. However, recently, @speedy_w_beans designed a fabulous rear wing mount to replace the sorry-looking attempt I made at producing a slightly more-accurate part.

My sad-sack effort looked like this:


Compare with the 3D-printed excellence from speedy_w_beans:


No contest! I mean, his even has room for a proper tail light!

And today, I finally had some free time to install it:


You may recall that the new wing stay was designed as a part of a new rear motor mount panel that was reworked to include engine and brake details. All together, these would replace the stock rear motor mount panel, the plastic engine detail included in the original kit (if it was ever to be used for the re-release), and the wing stay.

So, off came the original part:


The only modification required was to nip off the locating tab on the left motor mount side. The 3D-printed part has no matching notch, so the tab has to go. It was such a diminutive price for such a massive upgrade in detail! This is certainly a well-designed piece.

Yes, a massive upgrade:


When speedy_w_beans consulted me on the part and modifications, one of my requests was to eliminate the bosses under the rear wing mount. The trade from 3 x 10 mm tapping screws to 3 x 6 mm machine screws and nuts were the reason:


Yet so well-designed was the part, and such attention paid to its finishing, that the holes for the wing were already tapped! The mount itself was just thick enough to make the nuts redundant, too:



Thus attached, the presence of the car has been greatly enhanced:


Another appreciation of the new part:


The rear wing is now straight, level, and at an accurate-looking height:


Overall, I am beyond thrilled by this latest addition to my build. Thanks, speedy!

While I wait for painting weather to finally appear (plenty of false alarms lately), I will prepare the polycarbonate body. This will include cutting out the cockpit section, to fit my own driver figure.

For the time being, I have decided not to proceed with a scratch-built roll bar for the chassis, instead ordering another chrome parts tree so that I can fit the rear roll bar and turnover pylon to the polycarbonate body, too. If I can successfully manage to bend plastic sprue or rod in the correct manner, though, I could revisit it. An accurate installation would mean more work on the cockpit piece…

Meanwhile, that driver still needs modifications to fit under the shell! I will make some cuts and putty it together over the next month.

  • Like 3

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

At last, the rumours of paint weather were substantiated! I got my setup outside and got to work on several bodies; along with my Bruiser and Lancia projects was the Ferrari 312T3:


(The Bruiser is outside the frame, awaiting another coat of primer somewhere else)

The instructions call for the entire shell to be painted in TS-26 Pure White, before masking off the top of the shell behind the driver and painting the rest in TS-8 Italian Red. The white is most needed behind the driver, as there is no decal to replicate the car’s two-tone scheme on the top of the shell. A decal would be difficult to design and apply for such a complex surface, so paint is specified. Covering the entire shell would allow the red paint over top to appear more uniform, and it has the added benefit of brightening the overall colour.

The effect of omitting white paint is not something I particularly want:


The paint itself went on well, with the first very thin coats laying down without issue. Orange peel appeared later on, though, as temperatures dropped and winds picked up at inopportune times during the painting. I guess the rumours were not quite true, after all!

I was disappointed with the result, but reassured by the fact that the white does not represent the final coat for much of the shell. I will need to work on the top of the shell, nonetheless.

The successful metric for this session was that an entire can of TS-26 Pure White made it onto the shell. Again, as this is not the final coat, I am not too bothered by missed spots, which are mainly the radiator details that will be covered again with metallic paint. The top of the shell also looks passable. I will allow the paint to cure for several days (ideally a week) before treatment and the top coat of TS-8 Italian Red.

After my paint session had finished, I got to work on the polycarbonate shell. The plan was to cut anything I needed to cut before washing and preparing the shell for paint.

I intend to use the cockpit and driver figure I designed for both, swapping just the shells over top, so I needed to remove the driver figure moulded into it. It was not an easy task, and despite great care, the brand-new X-Acto knife did slip several times. Errors eventually led me to cut away the entire cockpit interior of the shell, leaving just the outer surface of what would be the cockpit glass.

In the end, I did manage to do just that:


Differences in the mouldings of the hard plastic and polycarbonate shells meant I had to remove more material behind the driver figure. Careful trimming got it to a point where the shell would clear the scratch-built interior part without issues:


I may require some creativity to paint the shell around the cockpit area accurately, but at the moment I am happy it fits:


The new opening proved an opportune time to fit the driver figure, so my next task became chopping up the driver at the shoulders and arms to fit the cockpit. This also involved shaving off plastic from the sides of the torso, to fit the arms more closely to the driver’s sides. The legs were cut by another 5 mm to move the driver forward, ensuring his helmet will clear the shell during changes.

I made great use of the carving and chisel blades on my X-Acto knife, and consequently was able to achieve a better-fitting driver:


This was the same work I would have done with a hot knife. While the carving and chiselling is far more time-consuming and produces a larger mess, it does allow for a more precise approach thanks to sharper blades and the ability to remove small shavings of material at a time. Most importantly, it also eliminates toxic fumes and fire hazards, so it was a good method. There were still fumes when the putty came out, though…

At present, the driver figure is curing along with the bodywork. The arms were ill-fitting to the torso, but I managed to tack them on with putty. Plenty of filing will be required to get the driver into proper shape, but that will require plenty of time for the putty to solidify, too.

In the meantime, I will look to build up the cockpit piece and perhaps paint it, along with the rear-view mirrors. The painting weather will not stay for the week, though, so it is possible I will be doing that in another few days. At least there is progress to report!

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

The putty has cured on the driver. Reassessing my work, it seems I will need to cut more plastic off the tops of the shoulders and build up the arms. However, I have indeed reached a usable width for the driver to fit in the cockpit.

I then figured out how the scale seat harness would work with the driver:


At this point, I am not committing to anchor locations for the belts; I am finding out if the size of the belts is appropriate for the driver figure. I will be studying the actual 312T3 to figure out the best places to anchor the harness.

For reference:


It seems the belts I have selected are too large, but any misgivings I had about the appearance were displaced somewhat by the sight of the driver figure sitting in the car, wearing the seat harness, with some sort of wheel in hand:


The height is just about where I want it:


I really do think a "Clear-Cowl" Ferrari 312T3 in this scale would be a cool project...

The head was affixed to the body temporarily using tape. In its ideal position, it seems I have the clearance I need to swap body shells. The steering wheel will sit higher in the finished cockpit; the top of the wheel is supposed to be closer to the top of the cockpit glass. The stand-in wheel is a plastic loop from the wheels sprue of a Lancia 037, which is the same diameter as the steering wheel piece issued with the stock driver figure.

The car is progressing:


Day 1 of the hard plastic shell's paint curing is done. I will be working on the cockpit and driver while I wait for another good painting day, and hope to have the polycarbonate shell ready by that time. It is nice to see the car at this stage, though!

  • Like 3

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now