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This is the excellent 1/24 scale Hasegawa kit of the famous Ferrari Testa Rossa 250 pontoon fender as she appeared in the 1958 24 hours of Le Mans race. I spray-painted the body shell Tamiya Racing White, and polished her up with Micro Mesh abrasive 3200 grit before giving her a couple of coats of Tamiya Clear. Once the clear was dry, I polished again with Micro Mesh in increments up to 12000 grit, with a final rubbing using Novus #2, then #1. Next I applied the most excellent Cartograf decals that were included with the kit. The upholstery was spray-painted with Tamiya Dull Red. Seats were piped with Detail Master ignition wire bent to approximate shape, taped at increments, and then fixed to exact shape and clear-glued between the taped points. The ignition wire proved to be a perfect scale for the piping application! Seatbelts are made from masking tape spray-painted with Tamiya Gunmetal, with Studio 27 P/E hardware installed. (The texture of the masking tape and the paint color make for a convincing seat belt) Windscreen was trimmed with Bare Metal Foil. The power plant replication is a work of art by those craftsmen at Hasegawa! Engine block & timing cover were given a couple of coats of Alclad II spray-paint over gloss black, and the valve covers are Tamiya Italian Red with a satin clear top coat, and the Ferrari emblem and rib details were rubbed with a silver pencil. Throttle linkage is .005 guage wire from Studio 27, fuel line is clear/yellow rubber tubing from Model Factory Hiro. Ignition wire is from Detail Master, and the plug boots were cut from parts-box hollow rubber tubing. Headers were painted Tamiya NATO Black, and soft-polished with a Dremel tool. P/E hood & trunk pins are from Studio 27. The P/E wire wheels and real rubber tires are from Model Factory Hiro, and are the finest I’ve ever used, but sadly, are no longer available due to some license disagreement with Ferrari.
The Corvette Grand Sports were raced with several different engines, but the most serious factory engine actually used was a 377 cubic inch displacement, all-aluminum, small block with four Weber side-draft carburetors and a cross-ram intake, rated 550 hp (410 kW) at 6400 rpm. Body panels were made of thinner fiberglass to reduce weight and the inner body structure 'birdcage' was aluminum rather than steel. The ladder-type frame utilized large seamless steel tubular side members connected front and rear with crossmembers of about the same diameter tubes. Another crossmember was just aft of the transmission and a fourth one at the rear kick-up anchored the integral roll cage. The frame was slightly stiffer than the 1963 Corvette production frame and was 94 pounds lighter. A number of other lightweight components were utilized to reduce overall weight to about 800 pounds less that the production coupe. This is Accurate Miniatures 1/25 scale version of what looks to be either chassis #3, or chassis #5. I had the decals to build the car as it was driven by Bob Bondurant, which would have been chassis #3, I think. For the body, I used Tamiya Racing Blue Metallic on a base of medium gray, and polished it up with Novus #2 and #1, with a final coat of Tamiya clear. The interior was painted with Model Master auto lacquer Nassau Blue Metallic (no clear top coat). Some of the decal stripes were missing from my eBay purchase, so they were made from sign shop vinyl film, the windshield surround was painted w/ Testors Rubber enamel, the wheels were painted with an equal mix of silver and gold. Bare Metal Foil was used for the oiler cover hinge and hood pins. In the engine bay, those sweet Weber carbs were painted Testors Pure Gold, the engine block is Silver Leaf, and the trumpets are Krylon Satin Nickel finished. Plug wires were made from .01 bead wire and plug boots are from Detail Master, Oil and water lines are made from parts box hollow rubber tubing. The hood was fairly complex, since it involved some construction of a series of P/E brass vent fins to be assembled on a rickety frame -- I messed with 'em and cussed right much - but they came out fine. This is a beauty of a kit, and the instructions are very detailed and even include pictures of the real engine. I wish Accurate Miniatures was still around - I'd thank them myself for the love they put into their model kits!