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Lotus 72C 1:12
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Creating the The Lotus 72C in 1:12 Scale
Page 3 Updated 4/5/08

March 25th. 2008:
New page format as well. Lets see how it works out. I have made a couple of attempts at producing the Aluminum tub and made some discoveries along the way, hence more than one attempt. ;) It will be multiple sections all photo etched, with all marks for folding and rivets; you will have the option of drilling the marks and installing the supplied rivets, or you will be able to take a scriber on the back side and push down to produce the rivet head as can be seen in the pictures here.    
There is still quite a bit to do here. You can just see the edge of the seat just below the Gear shift pocket, in the 3rd picture. The final parts will be slightly different to what you see here, but not by much.

For the gear shift indent/pocket, I took a piece of brass wire gauze/fabric/mesh (whatever you want to call it) and pushed it through the hole in the tub from the inside, until I achieved the shape I wanted. I then poured a little resin in it (to make the shape permanent). Once it cured I smoothed it out then trimmed the mesh and checked the fit as you can see, it's not too bad. From that piece I will be able to make a mold and then cast it in either white metal or resin.

The side pods have caused me some concern to make them correctly, without having any decent drawings of them, however, with the aide of the Radiator drawings an one good reference picture (which unfortunately I cannot share with you) I was able to do it. Thanks to Erich again, for that picture. This is the final version, ready to make the master from.
Top view   Bottom view As you can see I have scribed in the panel lines for the 2" larger side pods, which were most commonly used through the season. Here you can see the inside of the side pods. The radiators will butt up against the edge you can see there. The groove, a little forward from the radiator, is for the wire screen to catch the garbage.

There were 4 different radiator sizes used through the season. They were all the same height, 14.5" and the same depth, 6 rows. They only varied in width. I chose to go with the 10.75" wide radiators, which seems to have been most commonly used through the season. The widest being 11.5" and the narrowest being 8.75". At the moment I have the radiator almost ready to cast for a master. You can see the water pipes top and bottom, which need a little clean up before casting. The recess in the face is there to accept a photo etch screen to give the radiator detail. . I did not need to, but I put the 4 holes in each side as well They are actually in the aluminum frame of the real radiators and being a bit of a stickler for detail...........I put them in, although they will be hidden in a fully assembled model. One other reason for detail like this is, some modelers like to build dioramas and have parts off the car. You will be able to do this with this kit. With the side pod removed, the radiators will still be mounted to the body.

The 72C actually had 5 fuel tanks in it. I will be including resin versions of the four in the sides of the car, for anyone that wants to install them. There will of course be the main one behind the driver.

March 28th. 2008:
Just a short update with pictures to show how the bodywork is progressing, this is the left side the holes are the temporary locating holes for the pins in the side pod. Side pod fits pretty well top and bottom I am happy with it so far.

I have been having a little trouble with producing the radiators with consistent quality. I am going to have to mold them in a different way. As you can see, with the brown resin I have a lot of air bubbles, which is due to the rapid cure time of that resin. The white resin cures more slowly and therefore flows better, but still has it's problems with the mold I made.
    . To give you a better idea of how the radiators will look, I have added a piece of photo etch. It actually covers up most of the air bubbles, which if I cannot improve that, is the worst that it could be, so if that is the worst part, I won't mind too much. Roughly how they will look installed I wanted to make sure items fit as I proceed. I would hate to get too far into the project and find I have to change it all (Again!)

I have made the master for the Gear shift recess. It is now ready to make a mold from it so I can try casting it in white metal. I am very happy with the fit. I think it has just the right amount of recess.

While this is going on I have also been working on the engine, which I'm hoping I will have completed by the end of next week. Unfortunately I ran out of mold material and had to order more. So I have to work on different parts in the meantime.

March 29th. 2008:
I went back to work on the buck for the windscreen. It has come a long way since I first tried it. :) I learned a lot since this
The new one is a solid chunk of resin. I have trimmed the shape so it will be easy to cut out from the Vacuum Formed bubble. I did find some Yellow clear plastic, that I will test, as it is very thin. If no good I will just go with clear and you will have to paint it clear yellow.













I have pointed out a couple of small problems. One being a stupid mistake where I drilled one of the mounting holes too near the front. (The idea is that when the windscreen is formed it will have a tiny dimple just where the mounting hole/pin will go and make it easy to drill in the correct place.) I will have to fill the hole in, along with a tiny bubble hole in the resin. The thing with the buck is, any blemish will show up when Vacuum formed, so I have to make sure the surface for the windscreen is really smooth. There are two more mounting holes to go on each side, but until I produce one windscreen I cannot locate them as they are on the head restraint section of the bodywork.
There are a couple of small blemishes I need to get rid of on this side as well. I have also become pretty good at sculpting now, as you can see. ;) (My Great Grandfather's skills finally rubbing off on me "Pittenedrigh MacGillivray") Not quite the same, but.............. :)

I have to finish off my vacuum forming box now, so I can test it and see how the windscreen comes out. I also re-thought the way to manufacture the radiators last night, so there will be a re-make on those.

Well I have started to learn about white metal casting, it is not going to be easy, and I now understand some of the problems that can be encountered.

From left to right, in order of pour, all within 10 minutes of the first one. All cast with the same mold and same pot of white metal. You can see how it degrades so quickly. This was a big surprise! :(

The first one was the best so I worked on it to make it look like aluminum, that was a lot of work as you can see the kind of finish achieved by the second and third pours. Not smooth at all, I was very surprised when I tipped them out of the mold. I will have to read up on white metal casting. I am going to try a different alloy tomorrow. I am going to have to get this right as there will be so many white metal parts.
I have done some research (If all else fails read instructions) and found that I should have used some fine talcum powder in the mold to allow the air to escape. I will do some more tests later.

April 5th. 2008:
In the last few days I have finished off my Vacuum Form box, so I could test it on the windscreen. I tried 3 times in my "Hi-Tech" vacuum booth. You may recognize the booth from my "spray booth" ;)
The system works pretty well actually   but I think I need more suction. It's not sucking down tight enough at the base of the windscreen, but this was only the 3rd attempt. Also I cannot find my yellow tinted plastic to test so I have to get more. But I tell you after testing this clear, I think it is too thin, a real pain to finish off.   I had a lot of problem with dust to start with, but I think more suction is the answer really. Hard to photograph as well. Anyway it must be the first attempt at the correct windscreen. :) So I may have "Chevron" in Japan produce them for me, I just need to send a "buck" to them.

I have also re-worked the axles, universal joints and drive shafts, they now look more accurate and are more to scale than before, all in aluminum this time, but we shall see what happens in the end. All these parts are prototype, not production.
This is the Axle and UJ body assembled as before with a screw inside the axle. Again I have used the same drive principal with a small pin inside the UJ body and a notch in the drive shaft. I also managed to produce a rubber boot for the UJ. You can see it on the UJ cover with the drive shaft going through it,
    Here it is all broken down and just for a reference photo,

That's it for today.

If you want to see all the pictures of the whole process, click here.

To be continued................