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3D modelling and printing

Working as a mechanical engineer has its advantages.
For one there is the acquired knowledge of 3D modelling, which I'm intending to put to use for my scale modelling activities.

Actually, I already did use SolidWorks for some modelling activities in the past (creating a (sheet metal) flat pattern for folding the brake air ducts for Gigi Galli's Peugeot 307 WRC). But with 3D printing coming of age with companies like shapeways et all, my modelling activities are expanding into that direction too (as if I hadn't more than enough on my hands with just building kits...).

How good were the times in the mid-eighties and at the start of the nineties when the only way of getting reference images was through buying books and/or magazines...
As my budget was quite tight in those days, choices had to be made between a new kit, or a new book/magazine.
The kits won most of the times. And thus I just build my models following the instructions to the letter to churn out the odd model every month or two.

Times have changed...
With the growing availability of reference images, mainly on the internet, I'm hard pressed to build anything out of the box these days. There's always something that can be improved upon...

For instance, some time back, before Studio27 offered this model, I bought a resin Ferrari F458GT2 in 1/24 from Auto Place Model 24 to build into the Le Mans racer in which Kamui Kobayashi raced in 2013.
The model was bought without decals, counting on the fact that Studio27 or another aftermarket company would release them sooner or later.
I wasn't disappointed as some time later Studio27 released their own transkit for this model (of course riding on the popularity of Kamui) and, luckily for me, a separate (spare) decal sheet, which I promptly bought.

Looking through the available reference images I soon found out that the wheels for this particular car were completely wrong.
Included in the kit are BBS wheels, but the AF Corse team used Motegi wheels during the 2013 WEC season.
No aftermarket company has these in their catalog. So I finally decided to draw them myself and I'm going to have them 3D printed.

Below an image of the original wheels, a screenshot from the front wheel I made in SolidWorks and reference images of the car and wheels during the 2013 WEC season.

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Euro Model Expo 2015

Last weekend I went to the Euro Model Expo event in Heiden, Germany.

The event was spread over 2 days. I visited on the first day, Saturday March 28th.

Just like last year the location was packed with stands occupied by a good mix of vendors and modelling clubs.

The quality of the models on show, it being on the club stands or the competition area, was once again very high.

During the day members of the Belgian modelling club KMK-Scaleworld were giving demonstrations of several modelling techniques.
I decided to visit the demonstration of Jeroen Veen who showed the public several aircraft painting and weathering techniques.

For me, as a n00b on aircraft, it was a very interesting and entertaining demonstration and I hope to apply some of the techniques I saw to my coming build of the 1/48 Tamiya Lancaster I got waiting.

It was also a nice occassion to talk to some fellow modellers.
Amongst others I had a nice chat with Sascha Müller who had a stunning diorama of a Le Mans pit stop on …

Corvette C5-R Compuware (part 2)

In the previous post I already mentioned that the moulds had seen better days as this is quite an old kit (original moulds seem to be from 2000/2001).
A direct result of the age of the moulds is the fact that the kit is based on the early version of the C5-R, more precisely on chassis no.'s C5R-001 to C5R-004.

The version of the car that can be build from this kit is the Le Mans 2003 version, being either chassis no. C5R-008 or C5R-009.

I found a lot of useful information on the C5-R on the this site.

I tried to highlight some (but not all) differences between the different versions of the C5-R below.

As can be seen are there quite a few challenges ahead if you want to build your Corvette as it raced at the 2003 Le Mans event.
I will try to rectify the most obvious differences, but won't be taking on all of them.
My original list of modifications was looking like this:
close the naca ducts (2).removing the louvres of the radiator outlet (3).increasing the radiator outlet open…

Corvette C5-R Compuware (part 9)

Getting there
The drama with the tires finally seems to have come to an end.
My suspicion that the aggressive solvent-based clearcoat triggered some sort of reaction with either the water-based clearcoat and or the material of the tires appears to be true.
My options were rather limited, so I decided to spray a new water-based clearcoat over the tires, hoping to cover the previous layer of clear and stop the reaction.
For 3 of the 4 tires one layer of clear was enough.
The rear tire with the most problems received 2 layers and that seems to do the trick. Even after more than a week of drying the clear stays flat.

The clearcoat I used was my own Revell Aqua Color mix as used previously. But this time thinned with it's dedicated thinner and applied by airbrush.
Although the image above does little to hide the imperfections I'm happy I finally am able to finish this chapter so I can divert my attention again towards the rest of the kit.

Work has finally continued on the body.