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Creating the The Lotus 72C in 1:12 Scale
This will be a fully licensed Full Detail Kit and Trans-kit in 1:12 Scale.
Comments or questions regarding this kit please email: 72C@azracingmodels.com
For pre-orders please email AZRM72C@macsmodeling.com

Updated 8/7/09 
Page 2, Page 3
NEW Link to Build Diary MUCH more progress and quicker! :)

In the next few pages (and Months/Years) you will get to see what is involved with creating this kit from scratch.  The main help and reference is coming from Classic Team Lotus in England. Without them enabling me to look at the production drawings for the car and parts at their facility in April 2006, this project would not be possible. My gratitude and thanks to Clive Chapman for this opportunity.

April 30th, 2006

This project started as a thought back in September, 2005.  I mentioned the idea to a friend, while I was in Brazil, who suggested to me that, before spending any time on the project, I should contact Clive Chapman at Classic Team Lotus.  To find out what, if any, requirements CTL had, to enable me to proceed.

As most of you will know that have been visiting the website and keeping up with the News. 

In 2006 Clive Chapman gave permission for me to proceed, and said he could see no problem in granting me a license to produce the kit, and trans-kit in 1:12.

Before I can put the models into production I have to send samples and photographs to CTL for approval.

There was a Lotus 72 at the Classic Team Lotus workshops, being worked on.  Chassis number 72/5, which in it's first incarnation was a 72C, first driven by Emmo, who was testing it and was supposed to hand it over to Jochen for the race.  However, Emmo crashed it in practice and it could not be repaired at the track so was shipped back to the factory for repair. It was the same race that Jochen lost his life at.

The present incarnation of chassis 72/5 (it is the chassis that was eventually given to Emmo as one of his permanent race cars) is the 1973 72E, with the fiberglass or "deformable bodywork" as opposed to the aluminum (aluminium) bodywork of the 72C and earlier 72D.

I have started re-creating 1:12 scale drawings from the prints of originals, I was loaned by CTL.  There are a lot of drawings to do.  I will produce them first then start making the prototype parts from them, just to make sure I have done it correctly.

I have actually started on the rear wheels, and found a problem, which is an easy fix  I was not thinking.....duh!  I am actually making a PURE 1:12 scale model and not a Close to 1:12 scale so the wheels are scaled for 15" diameter. (Which I'm sure all the other Tamiya models were, well I assumed were) So I used the same size bar stock that I did for the McLaren.  Unfortunately it is the wrong overall diameter.  No big deal as the purpose was to find mistakes the rest of the wheel is correct......almost.....except for the lip on the rim which is smaller as well because of the wrong size stock. But the drawing is correct, which is the important part.

I have taken the liberty of not machining the outside of the rim as the real wheels, for the ease of manufacturing.  After all they are going to be covered with tires.  I may actually produce a few bare wheels for people that want some for a diorama, but not now.

I have a company in Phoenix that will be producing all the photo etch parts for me.  A very well known company in Japan will probably help in producing some very small machined parts for me.

I think I will produce the engines and all other parts myself, to try and keep the costs down.  With the exception of the tires.  There is a company in Brazil that will look at the possibility of producing them for me, but I have to make the pattern first.

There will be a lot of metal parts.  The details will include rack and pinion steering, working suspension and miles of wires and pipe work. The air-box will be removable, and maybe the windshield.  Talking of which, I am trying to locate some clear, yellow tinted plastic sheet for the windshield.  If anyone knows of a source, please email me mac@macsmodeling.com (I did find a source but the minimum order is approx. $14,000.00!)

The body, nose, air-box and wing elements will be produced in resin, the wing end plates and seat tub will be aluminum.

It will be a while before many parts are actually made, but once I am at the stage of making parts, they will come quickly.  All the prototype patterns and parts will be made from scratch by my fair hand.

 

May 4th. What a difference a couple of days make and the correct bar stock. Correct size lip and even looks better. :)  It's hard to see, but even the radius on the inside of the outer lip is there, just like the real one.  It's easier to see on the drawing.

I now have to make a jig to hold the wheel so I can machine the other side of it. The side that will be seen. This is two concepts on one drawing, of how I should make the rear wheels look.  Now imagine a drawing similar to this for all the other parts of the car........you will get the idea of what detail is going to be on the kit.

May 18th. Just so you know, I have been working on the kit.  There is just nothing I can show at present. Or nothing I want to show yet. :)

I have produced the drawings for the rear wing elements and end plates. And just finished working on the drawings for the front sub-frame.  It is a lot of hard work, but a lot of fun. 

I have also been laying out a lot of the brackets so I can produce plates for photo etching.

I am trying to fabricate the prototype parts in such a way that they can be reproduced, but also give the modeler something to do, not just take it out of the box and put it together.

As I am making the drawings I can see how easy it would be to make the parts if I was just making one model, but for a production run it is very different.

May23rd.  Well I managed to cut all the pieces to make the front sub-frame as I wanted, very happy with the result. Parts over the drawing of how I want it to look. Just for reference you can see here the detail I want.

The tool that helped, my miniature chop saw from Harbor Freight $20.00

Everything went well; I decided I was going to assemble the parts, with a little super glue to tack it all together then solder it.  Seemed like a good idea........this is where you learn it's not all fun and roses.  (Unlike a photographer that takes 100 pictures and only shows the 1 good one.) I'm letting you see the problems as well.

Heartache! Super glue does some weird $h!t when heat is applied, but more importantly, it does not allow the flux or solder to flow, it irrupts like a volcano and creates a great mess and some pretty toxic smelling fumes.  Perseverance is not the correct procedure, I have a pretty good cough today and that mess in the picture.

Rather than clean up the pieces I think I will just remake them. (update 11/25/07, the sub frame is wrong for the 72C and has to be remade.)

I am going to use a little known "Modelers License" and the kit will come with the two different rear wing end plates, but I'm only going to supply the later wing elements.  Not a lot of difference to the eye, but far more adjustable for any part of the year.

Continued on Page 2