Status: New built
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This is probably my most involved build to date as, like all my builds, I like to try something new and learn new techniques. Like all my builds, I started to gather together a file of photos and screen grabs to try and learn as much as possible about the cars and their drivers as possible. I also have the 1/24 kit version and I'm on a number of FB scale model car groups which helps a lot. I think I enjoy this bit of the process as much as the build itself!
This build did present some issues to resolve; firstly the required PS-4 blue polycarbonate paint didn't match the blues in the sticker set. This is not unusual in my experience!
Secondly, the front grille moulding on the body shell is a legacy of the original 1999 Focus and is split by a bar into two segments - the 2001 version onwards was modified into a single large aperture. I've seen this mod done; however, I didn't want the €˜notches' left in the sides of the aperture.
The first issue (mis-matched colour shades) was resolved by shooting the larger areas (eg front corners) and sections of white vinyl in PS-4 and then carefully cutting out the shapes above the headlights, across the roof. I then cut out the while and neon yellow lettering from the blue backed stickers where possible. Mark Parnell at RC Decals provided some very high quality alternative lettering in an almost perfect match for the €˜Telefonica' neon yellow on each front corner (as well as providing some extra cockpit stickers).
The second issue was only kind of resolved by the careful removal of the central grille €˜bar' leaving €˜tabs' on either side that I could then fold inwards to fill the notches. I then covered the whole inside area with a loop of 2mm Tamiya Tape to try and diffuse the effect. Whether this has been wholly successful or not, is probably up for debate! I'll return to the bodyshell a little later.
The Chassis is a period stock TL-01 with adjustable upper arms and steering tie rods from Antony Gascoigne at Tony's Tamiya Limited. I wanted a low tarmac stance and a nice bit of camber front and rear to give the overall car some €˜weight'. The wheels are original Tamiya which had gone a bit yellow with age. As I was fitting a set of alloy brake discs/calipers which needed shooting in TS-87 Titanium Gold. Mark at RC Decals again supplied the Brembo stickers. So the wheels would fit over the calipers, I had to remove the strengthening ribs from behind each spoke. I then shot them in Tamiya Fine Surface Primer and several coats of TS-101 Base White as this produces a very slightly semi-gloss finish which I prefer, and the higher pigment content covers the yellowing really well. Wheels were finished off with €˜Ford/OZ' stickers, a bronze cut vinyl centre circle behind the nut and a set of tyre valves (that are actually 1/12 static model versions!) finish them off. Each wheel has an MST LTX Realistic tyre. These are a favourite of mine, and, luckily, have a scale €˜Pirelli' tread and squarer tyre-wall which makes adding Mark's Pirelli stickers a lot easier! These stickers aren't in keeping with the original car which had small, yellow items, but I like them. I also added extra scale tyre marking decals from Spotmodel. Each wheel is shimmed out to fill its wheel arch using M4 washers and held in place with a low profile bronze nyloc nut. I think stance is important on a car and like to try and get the track and camber just right (...and that usually means a low ( €˜tarmac' configuration for me!).
The cockpit is an area I particularly enjoy working on and this one was no exception! I find it's the one area where you can be a bit creative; however, it's often the part of the build that takes me the longest..! Starting with the Tamiya Rally Cockpit Set, I replaced the spare wheel with a version in keeping with the kit wheels and the driver heads with more contemporary items from L&L Models. They were, in reality, too modern (great for my previous Yaris build!) and so needed a bit of adaption. I started by removing the Integral helmet microphone and then commenced the process of sanding and finishing the helmet surfaces. Once happy, I then shot them in Fine Surface Primer and TS-101 before finishing with a few coats of TS-26. I sanded between each coat using 2500 and 5000 grit paper to build up a uniform gloss finish. Grist's helmet was finished with TS-49 Bright Red and TS-43 Racing Green. McRae's was finished in TS-93 Pure Blue and finally TS-13 Clear (a word of warning with the TS-13: it can soften the paints underneath it, so go for light layers if doing something similar yourself!). Microphones were replaced with scratch built period items using sections of sewing needle and styrene rod €˜slices'. Each is fixed with a short needle section glued into a hole in the side of the helmet. Again, Mark at RC Decals helped with the helmet stickers. The cockpit was shot in Primer and TS-26 Pure White then masked and TS-6 Matt Black added to the dash, seat backs etc. The steering wheel section and gear stick were also shot in TS-6/TS-29 Semi-Gloss Black respectively. The roll-cage was then planned out on paper from photo references and cut from sections of 4mm styrene rod. I tend to use solid rod rather than tubes because they're more rigid and I can bend gentle curves into them to mimic the real thing and €˜notch' the ends more easily to fix them to each other. This is particularly helpful when building more modern cars, as they often have more complex and curved tube sections. I build the structure inside the upturned bodyshell and start by lining the inside of the roof, glass and pillars with tape and cling-film to protect it. The A-pillars and central uprights/cross pieces go in first and are fixed using my superb Bosch cordless mini glue gun. Then the front screen cross member and diagonal roof €˜tube' go in. The assembly is then removed from the shell and I go through a nerve-wracking period of trying the align the cage/cockpit/bodyshell before reaming two holes into the sidewalls of the cockpit and fixing the assembly in place. Over-length rods get cut back after the desired height is achieved. It's always helpful to do this before painting the shell as you get an x-ray view of everything! I then add the rear triangle and cross members and any other brace parts. Like my previous Subaru, this has some drilled sheet sections on the main uprights by the driver's door, so I added these using 0.5mm styrene sheet. Once built up, it was sprayed in Primer/TS-26/TS-6 and 1mm sticky-back black foam bumper sections added. The rest of the cockpit including the figures is painted using a range of XF-acrylics and Posca Pens using the best photo references and screen grabs I could find. What I did notice was that these earlier Tamiya kits included stickers for the driver suits (which was nice!) and Mark at RC Decals provided the additional stickers. Microphone wiring/plugs/sockets and boxes were added using styrene and 0.5mm wire which can be coiled nicely in places by winding it around a needle. Wires are held using scale white cable ties (very fiddly to fit and they break easily!) from Model Factory Hero. The rear harness sections are strips of red electricians tape over painted with XF-86 Flat Clear. A very thin section of yellow electricians tape was added to the steering wheel as a centre line (not actually evident in my photo references but I like it!) and a rear view mirror was added.
The bodyshell was cut out, detergent washed and air dried before masking the windows and lights. I planned to add more detail to the light clusters to try and get a more realistic look. I then followed the instructions to spray paint the white/blue areas (I also masked the rear so I could paint the white section rather than use the stickers). I'd already cut out the front grille but left the other apertures until after I'd painted it. After backing in silver and, again, in white (photos indicate the wheel wells are white as are the interior pillars and roof areas), I then used a body reamer, scalpels and a range of shaped files to cut out the other grille and bonnet/wing vents. This bit takes some courage when you're looking at a gleaming new shell! I tend to adopt a strategy of removing all the material in the middle first before very slowly working my way out to the edges always cutting towards €˜dead' material or open space. The final edging is done with the files as they are much easier to control.
Body detailing was the last big job and I started with the lights. The fronts were easy as I'd been given a heads up by Adrian Frst (aka €˜Kuhfarben') that the Killerbody Corvette lightbuckets are a very close fit to this shell. I had some trouble finding some and while they were being shipped from the US, I set to work on the rear lights. The good thing about this car is that there are still plenty of them about and so getting high quality images of the rear lights was pretty easy. I noted that the Tamiya stickers were printed in red on all lenses; however, the WRC car itself did have amber indicators. I wanted to match the lense arrangement and different patterns/textures as much as possible, so drew out the relevant sections of lense and then used the drawings as templates. I used various textures of Wrap-Up Next 3D lense sticker. Unfortunately, I didn't have the wide line in red that I needed and only had clear. It was out of stock everywhere, so I had to resort to cutting clear sections and spraying them in PS-37 Translucent Red. The rear lights were probably one of the most challenging parts of the build and, whilst I'm happy with them, they're not 100%. At the front, I added a little triangle of lined clear texture to the lenses and then popped some LED bulbs into the lightbuckets once I'd given each bulb a coat of Molotow Liquid Chrome. The front grilles and vents have varying sizes and patterns of mesh sprayed in TS6 corresponding with the photos. The €˜Ford' roundel was sprayed using a vinyl template to cover the lettering area to keep it silver. I added a radiator with the additional intercooler pipes as per the real car. The pipes are 2mm steel rod bent using a makeshift jig. I tried to use styrene rod but couldn't get it to look accurate enough. Detailing was completed using aluminium tape, X-23 Clear Blue and X-19 Smoke to pick out the details.
A steel rod (more needle section!) was sprayed TS-49 Bright Red and used as the tow bar in the left hand front wing vent. 1.5mm styrene rods where sprayed in TS-17 Aluminium and TS-80 Flat Clear as cross members behind the grille. The kit stickers were applied and 2.5/2.0/1.5/1.0/0.7 and 0.4mm Kyosho Micron Tape was added for window rubbers, panel and shut lines. The rear wing was sprayed in Primer and the underside in TS-36 Fluorescent Red and the top in PS-4. A textured fog light and €˜extra' (non-standard!) Martini sticker was added underneath. Stickers were cut and applied on the top. PE Bonnet and boot catches, windscreen washer jets and wipers were also added.
All in all I've thoroughly enjoyed this build. As it's now becoming a bit of a rare kit, it was nerve-wracking at times, but I'm pleased I took the plunge and completed it.ðŸ‘