I've had this model on the pile of kits to be built since September last year, and since I haven't been in the hobby room for a while, I needed a model to get my Mojo back, and after having a tidy and rearrange in the hobby room, I found a tin of VW Brilliant orange which I've had for around 18 years but never had a model I could use it on.
Revell says in the instructions that this is a 1500, and also mentions in their catalogue about the 'Super Beetle', this model is non of these but a basic 1200, sometimes referred to a 1200A, the 1500 has cooling louvers in the engine cover, the 1200 doesn't have or need these, the basic 1200 was available with the original torsion bar suspension and the smaller rear wings and light until 1973.
Hopefully when the model is finished it will come out looking something like this ....
As with all my other builds, I always start with the bodyshell and body parts, and this build was no different, there's a few mold lines to get rid of and 6 ejector pin marks on the rear of the front bonnet, removing the mold lines didn't take too long using a medium grade sanding stick, the ejector pin marks were filled with 2 part bondo.
1200 Engine Compartment
The wheels and the running boards are supplied as part of the chrome parts sprue, for this build the wheels need to be painted silver, the chrome hubcaps will be covered in BMF afterwards, but I'm really not sure why the running boards were supplied in chrome, the only part that is chrome is the small chrome trim on the edge of them, the rest in real life were covered in black rubber, they will be painted satin black and the trim will be done in BMF.
They were all taken off the chrome parts sprue and given a soak for an hour in 'Oven Pride' oven cleaner and then rinsed in cold running water.
Engine Cover Hinge Assembly
Photo Above & Below :- Front seat, bottom photo showing the detail of the cloth molded into the seat.
Mold Lines removed from front wing
Body support brackets fitted
Front Steering arms & Hubs
24th Jan' 2014, was spent sorting out most of the smaller parts onto wooden cocktail sticks ready for painting, the steering arms were fixed using heat so once put together the steering can be made to work, the wheel backs were glued together, although the instructions tell you not to fix the centre parts with glue as the wheels can be made to move, but as I have had models roll off the work bench in the past, so these will be made fixed and I won't have any problems with a run a way model.
The front seats are molded in two parts and once glued into place the back panel is a great fit with no unsightly gaps around the edge, the seats themselves fix onto seperate seat bases, unlike the '66 Beetle from Tamiya which just fix to four pins molded into the floorpan, the rear seat is also different to the Tamiya version and in my mind a much better way to the Tamiya offering, the Revell one is molded as a seperate part where as the one in the Tamiya kit has the seat base molded as part of the rear interior part that fits over the engine cover, so that's another plus point to Revell.
Photo's above and left show quite a few holes molded into the inner surfaces of the bodyshell, like the Mini Cooper kit that came before the Beetle, it looks like other models are on the planner, looking at the number of flashed over holes in the roof, to me that suggests to me that a German Police version might well be the next Beetle model.
Once the mold lines and ejector pin marks were sorted on the body, the next step and this is where the instructions tell you to start is the engine & gearbox, all parts are well molded with no flash to remove
Heat Exchanger & Exhaust Pipes
Front inner wheel arches fitted, the fit of these, like the rest of the kit so far is first class, Revell have certainly upped their game in the last few years.
Steering arm mushroomed over using heat
Front Seat Base
Photo Above :- Engine liner, I deviated slightly from the instructions here, as Revell tell you put these in place after the engine has gone in, but after doing a dry test I could see no reason why they couldn't be fitted before, and now can be painted satin black along with the floorpan.
Another nice tough in this kit is the inclusion of an inner roof liner, this will be painted in satin light grey to match to vinyl of the original.
Well before the month of January is over, I thought that I has a day to myself I would lock myself in the hobby room and get all the smaller parts and the bodyshell and body parts ready for painting, the front & rear wheel parts were fixed together before painting, all parts were given a coat of primer, for this I used Hycote grey plastic primer, left to dry out for the day then the body and body parts were wet sanded using 2400 grit paper.
After the primer had been wet sanded, it was time to start with the colour coats, for this I used VW Brilliant Orange automotive acrylic paint airbrushed with my Paasche H airbrush with the # 5 tip and needle fitted, it will be left to dry out before being wet sanded and polished out.
Over the weekend (Feb' 1st & 2nd), all the smaller parts that were previously primered were sorted into groups to be painted in there colours of satin black, gloss black and steel, the wheels were airbrushed using decanted Tamiya Leaf Silver (TS-30) it's a great choice for small parts as this silver has no flake to it, so unlike other silver paints does not look out of scale, the engine and gearbox and other parts that needed to be done in steel were done using Testor non buffing steel.
Photo's above show the body after being wet sanded and polished, it was wet sanded using 4000 grit paper, then polished out using different grades of cutting compounds and polish.
A little bit more done on this today (Feb' 14th) I got the panel lines done on one side of the body and the back vents, and the dash panel, the light grey for the roof liner and the back side panels were done with Tamiya acylic flat white with a few drops of grey mixed in to knock down the bright white
Well the last few weeks in the hobby room have been a little slow, but the interior has now been built up, the seats were fixed to their frames and were fixed onto the floor using 5 minute epoxy glue and clamped in place, the rear seat simply fixes to the floor and all parts were a great fit.
The side panels are a bit of a masking nightmare, first they were airbrushed in grey plastic primer, then the top and bottom of the inner door were airbrushed in the Brilliant oranage and let to dry before that got masked and the flat white for the rear vinyl trim was airbrushed, then more masking was done so the satin black could be done to replicate the door cards and rear trim that in real life would have been vinyl trim, once that was dry the whole lot was masked again so the dark grey at the front of the panel could be airbrushed.
Once the side panels had dried out, they were fixed in place using 5 minute epoxy glue, these parts are pretty much like a jigsaw and uses no less than five fixing points, with the interior tub set aside to dry out work commensed on the dash panel, this had been painted in body colour when the body was painted, the chrome trim was done using BMF and the black panel lines were done using Tamiya panel line accent colour and applied using a 10/0 brush, I find the brush included in the lid of this to be way too large to do panel lines in 1/24th scale cars, decals for the radio and the speedometer were fitted and fixed into place using a few drops of Walthers Solvaset, once the decals had set up I mixed up some clear epoxy and popped a few drops over the speedometer decal to replicate the speedo gauge glass.
After a break of around 4 month while I've been writing a few magazine articles and doing some commission builds, the boards are now clear it was time to bring out the Beetle to crack on with the build.
Before the body and chassis can be brought together there are a few steps to the build to complete before this can happen, the dashboard was fixed into place on the interior pod, the dash panel simply fits into slots molded into the side panels of the interior, it was held in place with some slow setting epoxy glue, the headlining was fixed into place using the same adhesive, and the left and right grab straps were fixed the headlining, it was now time to fix the interior pod to the floorpan, this is where the build can into problems, up until now the parts fit had been first class, but these two parts really didn't want to go together, the side panels, as seen in the photo on the right above needed a good sanding to fit between the wheel arches on the floorpan, but it still wouldn't sit level, so the dremel had to come out and the base of the interior pod had to have a lot of plastic ground away where there is a hump to go over the gearbox, and as it won't be seen once the two parts are fixed together, the grinding didn't have to be too tidy, but once done, the two parts were fixed together using a slow setting epoxy glue and left clamped in place over night.
After the interior mirror had been fitted, a dry fit of the body and chassis was done, as it turned out this step wasn't really necessary as the body was a perfect fit, the two are held together by glue positioned on the inside of the running boards and a few drop around the front apron.
Photo's above and centre, show the front and rear finished, the front bumper was attached to the parts tree by the bottom of the number plate backplate, so once cut off showed no marks once it was painted satin black, however the same wasn't the same with the rear bumper, it was attached to the parts tree by two mounting points at the bottom of the bumper, these cut marks were covered using chrome BMF, however the bumper was also attached to the parts tree by a point at the top of the bumper right in the middle, this was also covered up using BMF, I just wish model companies wouldn't mount chrome parts to the tree where the cut mark is going to show on the parts.
Rear window masked using 18mm Tamiya tape, using a sharp scapel the tape was trimmed along the line and the tape was left on the screen while the tape on the surround was removed so the rubber seal could be airbrushed acrylic satin black,
Photo's above and right, show the rear side windows airbrushed satin black and fixed into place using 90 second clear epoxy.
Today, (November 2nd) I started work on the windows, all windows apart from the front side windows need to be masked up as the rubber gasket needs to be painted satin black to replicate the rubber seal that would have been on the 1:1, before starting the painting the windows were polished using Novus # 2 plastic polish, while doing the dry fit I noticed that the bodywork could be seen through the window, so the inside lip was picked out using a permanent ink art marker, as seen in the photo on the right.
Above & Below :- Exhaust and towbar fitted
Images on the Left :- Headlamp bowls fitted, one bug bear with me is that model companies still insist on mounting chrome parts on the tree where the cut off point is going to be visible once fitted to the model, thank god for Bare Metal Foil.
The same problem applies to the rear lamp housings, being attached to the parts tree by tabs at the top and the side of the part, so again the trusty old BMF was used to hide the marks.
Photo Below:- Rear lamp airbrushed using Tamiya clear orange & red acrylic and fixed in place using 90 second clear epoxy.
Supplied in the kit are decals for the side chrome trim, which wasn't used as I used chrome Bare Metal foil instead, as it looks more realistic than silver coloured decals, there was also a decal supplied to replicate the chrome trim running down the middle of the front luggage compartment, but as I'm building this as a 1200A, which didn't have any chrome trim on the front luggage compartment. (See photo on the left)
Above :- Rear screen wiped over with Novus # 1 and then fitted into the body using small drops of clear 90 second epoxy glue.