In previous instalments we looked at the basics of scratchbuilding (material choice, tools), through worked examples of increasingly complex scale objects, and so on, to starting a scale body.
Some of the details (notably window and door apertures) were easier to do at an early stage, but this time we'll look at adding the layers of exterior detail that make a body a proper scale build. We'll also cover body mounts & glazing.
You will need:
- Various styrene strip forms: 2.5mm square strip, 3.2mm square strip, 2.5mm round rod, 4mm, 5.5mm, 7.1mm and 8.7mm diameter tube (e.g. Evergreen #s 175, 186, 213, 225, 227, 229 & 231);
- 0.5mm styrene sheet (A3), 0.75mm styrene sheet, 1mm styrene sheet, 2mm styrene sheet (A3), 3mm styrene sheet (A3);
- 0.75mm square strip (Evergreen # 131) - optional;
- 1.5mm round brass rod (e.g. Albion Alloys code BW15);
- Hot air gun, Dremel or other rotary tool (getting to be essential TBH) + various burrs & sanding drums;
- Power drill, Archimedes drill, drill bits (esp. 1.5mm, 5mm, 6mm);
- Cutting mat, scalpel/craft knife, steel rules, pencils, Scriber (e.g. Tamiya Scriber II);
- Means of drawing circles (e.g. circle template or a pair of compasses);
- Glue (preferably EMA Plastic Weld or bulk DCM), filler (e.g. Squadron White Putty), 2 part, water smoothable epoxy putty (e.g. Milliput White).
- 1mm polycarbonate sheet (e.g. Lexan);
- Masking tape(s) incl. 6mm;
- Printer, paper, light glue (e.g. Pritt stick);
- Old CD case, razor saw (optional).
Time needed: because I've been writing this up, photographing the various steps, making the occasional template - not to mention making the plans - I haven't really been able to keep an accurate track of the time needed just for the building ... my guess is somewhere between 48 and 60 hours to complete the details described here, probably spread over several weeks.
Note on the plans: generally a part has only been included in the plans if it had a curve on it or wasn't easily described, so simple strips or rectangular parts tend to only be described in the text.
|Link to plans for download:|
Printing the Plans
Apparently this hasn't been as easy as I thought ...
In MS paint (which most people are going to have access to):
- open each file and select the "Print" -> "Page setup" option under the main Paint menu;
- select "portrait" under "orientation", reduce the margins to a low value (e.g. 3mm);
- select both the "horizontal" and "vertical" " centering" options;
- "scaling" - "adjust to 100 % normal size" & click on "OK";
- Paint menu -> Print option -> Print button.
Note: don't use "Paint menu" -> "print" -> "preferences" -> "page layout" or "advanced" as it's not the same, the settings can be overridden & the printouts can come out smaller than required.
Roof & Gutters
For the gutter, start with a strip of 2.5mm square & put a tight ninety degree bend in it approx. 3 1/2" (80mm) from one end. You can do this by hand at first, but ideally you should apply a bit of heat from a hot air gun to relax the plastic, so it holds the shape after it's cooled. Hold it on to the back of the body so you can put the second bend in. Cut the ends square (often they're not that good straight out of the packet) & glue the piece on.
Depending on how square you managed to keep the front corners during sanding in the last instalment, you might have to bend the front ends a little to match up properly. All four corners will probably need a little filler - I'd suggest using a 2-part epoxy putty like Milliput, which can be put on & smoothed out with water before it sets. That will be needed in a couple of other places too, so I'd suggest waiting & doing it all in one hit, right at the end.
Initially I just went for simple ribbing over the whole roof, but then thought better of it. I wasn't able to find any pictures of the roof of the C303, so the detailing I've gone for is based on earlier military models. The starting point is nine longitudinal ribs made from 3mm wide strips of 0.5mm sheet, each positioned 17mm apart (mark the middle of the roof at each end, and pencil marks 17mm apart on narrow masking tape - see image 001).
The important imaginary lines across the roof are 1) level with the rear of the side door (where the five ribs rear of the roof hatch should terminate), 2) level with the front of the side doors (where the remaining four rear ribs should end), and 3) 6mm forward of line 2 (where the cab roof ribs should end (see image 002, noting that the lines should be parallel, they're not in the photo due to the angle it was taken from). This translates to needing five ribs 170mm long, four 247mm long, and nine 102mm long.
The join between cab and rear is quite pronounced on all the side view photos I've seen, and to a lesser extent, all the way across the roof too - but given the quality of the source photos it could just as likely be a dip caused by the roof panels on either end having a bit of a "break" on them. It's a bit too late to put a suitable deep score in, so I went with an addition - a simple 1mm wide strip of 0.5mm styrene, approx. length 185mm.
Roof Hatch track: cut a 3mm wide strip off the long edge of an A4 sheet of 2mm styrene, measure & mark the middle, then 39mm either side of that. Put tight 90 degree bends at those points to form a square U-shape - warm them first with a hot air gun so the strip doesn't break. Cut the legs down to 100mm & fit to the roof.
The roof hatch is a simple 78mm (or however wide the gap in your track is) x 60mm rectangle of 3mm styrene.
Windscreen - cut out the "glass" from 1mm lexan sheet to inside of plan lines & test fit to the aperture (image 004), fettling as required. Don't glue any of the glass in yet - it should'nt be permanently fixed until painting is complete - way later in the process. Cut out the "rubber" to outsides of lines from 1mm styrene, sand off any ridges or irregularities left from cutting. Glue in, checking for an even gap on the inside (image 005). Tape the window in so it doesn't fall out. I seem to have missed taking an exterior shot of the windscreen "rubber", but it does appear in photos later in the article (see images 072 & 078).
Rear Window - cut out the support section, sand & glue in (images 006, 007, 008). Cut out rear window glass & test fit to aperture in support. Cut out the "rubber" section (to insides of the lines), sand & glue in. Once set, refit the glass & tape in (image 009).
Side Windows - very much as for the rear window, but with upright dividers on 4 of the 6. Mark the "glass" as you fettle it (e.g. L3, L4, L5, R3, R4, R5) as they may all be slightly different.
Cab Door Windows - cut out the oversize rear pane & fit strips from 1mm styrene to locate it (shown in orange in image 011). Cut out the front pane & fettle to fit. Temporarily fix both in with masking tape, Repeat for the other side.
Inner Seals (Vinyl) - just put this sheet to one side for now.
Depending on the colour of the vehicle, quality of the photo and light level when it was taken, pictures seem to show this feature as being anywhere between a barely visible swage, and quite a chunky feature. In hindsight I was probably influenced by the diecast model too much and used 3mm to add stiffness & definition - making them more "spats" than "pressing" ... That made it a long process, I even resorted to a (untidy & inaccurate) tile cutting burr in the Dremel at one point.
I'd suggest 2mm or even 1.5mm is a much better choice. Print out the relevant parts & join at the yellow lines, using the body sides to check the length & angle of the join (image 013), & temporarily fix to the styrene sheet.
Round the outer edges slightly & sand smooth before fitting. Make sure you make one for the left side & one for the right - not two for the same side. The rear end should be sanded out to almost nothing at the trailing edge, but the front end should remain quite square. Carefully glue on, starting at the front so the door gap doesn't get lost (image 015). There were a couple of areas on my prototype where the 1.5mm panels protruded beyond the arches (image 016) so those were dremelled/sanded back.
Rear Body Mounts
I'd hoped to have a hidden turnbuckle hold the body on at the back, but that would need some sort of structure to fix it to - which could well interfere with the rear interior floor later down the line. Instead I've used the standard Tamiya CC-01 Pajero body rear body mounts.
5mm holes were required so I marked a line 12mm up from the bottom of the rear end, found the middle of that & measured out 64.5mm each side - i.e. the hole centres need to be 129mm apart.
I missed taking any photos at this point, but once again is obvious in later photos (see images 045, 054 & 074).
Front Body Mount
Referring to the plans, cut out 3 bits of styrene to fit over the CC-01 chassis front mount tongue (two in 3mm, one in 2mm) and a 1mm blank to cap one end (image 017). Bond together & sand off any discrepancies. This leaves a block around 9mm front to back, 14mm tall & 96mm wide (image 018 your mileage may vary).
Due to making this up as I go, the panel on the underside needs a bit notch taken out of it - same width as the mount block (e.g. 96mm) and deep enough to accommodate it while it's on the chassis (13mm) (image 19).
Glue the block in the gap so the body sits at the correct height (image 20) + brace all the way round both sides with 2.5mm square styrene strip (angle the strips to fit as closely as possible - not pictured).
Headlamps: I can't see how you'd shape the reflectors without a Dremel TBH ... Tamiya Wild Willy headlamps (available on the full body driver sprue) could be a solution if you don't mind not being able to light them up.
- Outer rings (A) - make from 3mm sheet, 23mm inside diameter (ID), 28mm outside diameter (OD);
- Backplate (B) - 30mm OD, 21mm ID from 1mm sheet;
- Reflector bowl parts (C) - 24mm OD in 3mm (two per headlight);
- Bulb holder (D) - 10mm OD, 5mm ID from 3mm sheet;
- Glue the reflector parts together in pairs, add the backplate & form a bowel shape. Using a Dremel I initially tried a spherical burr, but moved on to a larger grinding stone, finishing with wet & dry paper. Glue the bulb holder & outer ring on;
- Lenses - remove the protective film from one side of a bit of 1mm Lexan sheet, then score a suitable pattern on that side - I used a Tamiya "Scriber II" to make a simple grid pattern with lines 3mm apart. Draw out 23mm diameter circles & cut the lenses to size - they should be a sliding fit in the outer ring on the headlight.
Radiator vent ("waffle"): I made this by cutting square strips from 0.75mm sheet* & gluing them to a further piece of 0.75mm sheet (77mm x 27mm).
Note: preformed 0.75mm square strips (e.g. Evergreen # 131) might be preferable. Image 025 shows fitting in progress.
Cutting & fitting eighty very short bits for the vertical bars didn't appeal, so I cut notches in the horizontal bars & glued in the required ten uprights (image 26). After sanding it doesn't look too bad.
Indicators: these won't be functional on my Laplander, so if you want them to work on yours (using a full lighting kit or whatever) you need to remember to leave space for the LEDs on.
Cut the corrugated side off a CD case (remember those?) - it's brittle stuff and won't tolerate the score & snap technique, so will need sawing up - a razor saw will give a fine cut. You should be left with a strip around 7mm wide - so cut off two 23mm pieces. Alternatively you can put some decorative lines on a bit of 1mm Lexan & cut that to size.
Cut two 7mm x 23mm pieces from 2mm styrene sheet, and cut a 3mm wide strip from 1mm sheet. Add sections of the latter around the edges of the 3mm pieces & once properly set, sand back so the edges are neat & even - you should be left with a recess on one side for the CD case "lens", and a flat back. Tape the lenses on (or use Blue Tac) so they don't fall off & get lost.
Grille Backplate: cut from 1mm sheet, including cutting out the holes to clear the headlamp backs.
Grille Surround: cut from 3mm sheet to the outer & inner (black) lines. Fix to the backplate and very carefully cut through the intermediate (red) line & remove the outer section of the template (image 29). Dremel/sand away the outer part of the styrene so the grille surround tapers inwards (image 30).
Cut the "trim" part from 0.5mm sheet, sand the edges & glue on.
Dry fit the headlamps making sure the holes are big enough. Temporarily place the grill on the front of the body & mark the positions of the headlamp backing holes. Cut those out & check for fit/position again.
Fit the headlamps, indicators (making sure you don't glue the lenses in at this point) & the radiator waffle panel, then glue the assembly to the front of the body.
Door "Hamster Cheeks"
Cut out all the parts for the left hand side from 1mm sheet & sand off any ridges (image 33).
Glue the lock bezel part to the lock backplate (image 34), then glue that to the back of the main plate. Details are short lengths of 2.5mm square strip & 2.5mm round rod. Note that the door handles could (or perhaps even should) be more detailed than this - it's up to you.
Fit 3.2mm square strip to the top, bottom & front of the main plate, sand a slight angle on the exposed part (image 35) and also to the relevant edges on the top & bottom angle pieces & glue on. Add the rear infill and front angle - the two parts on the plan are only a guide, you'll have to fettle them to fit (image 36).
Repeat the process for the second part of the "cheek", then and/file off any obvious faults on the parts. Using the card mockup as a guide to position, locate the assemblies on the body & determine where the ends need to be shaped to fit.
The joints will probably need to be improved with some filler, so do that & sand back before gluing to the body. Despite doing a lot of fiddling to make them fit, I had to glue the cheeks on a bit at a time, using clamps to hold the things in proper contact (image 37).
Repeat for the right hand side.
Depending on the standard of fit between the cheeks & the body, they may well need to be blended with 2-part epoxy putty - as with the roof, it's worth saving it all up to do at the end.
Side Door Interior Cards + Door Handles
We need to bung up the side door lock hole to finish the exterior, which is why this is getting done now rather than later ... cut out the door cards from 1.5mm sheet, then score & fold to match the body sides.
Cut/Dremel another four lock bezels from 0.75mm sheet; pull handles were 6mm x 32mm pieces cut from 3mm sheet & heavily dremelled; trim panels are 25mm x 32mm bits of 1mm sheet; exterior lock details were short lengths of 2.5mm square strip & 2.5mm round rod, substituting strips cut from scraps of 1.5mm sheet on the inside (image 38).
Glue the cards to the inside of the side door (note that the left and right hand cards are slightly different in shape, as well as the add-ons being handed) & bond the outside details (image 40). Line up the inside bezel to the outer one & glue in the other interior details (image 39).
Side Ribbing & Rub Strips
The Laplander has a number of rib details on the side which on the 1:1 version add rigidity to stop the large, flat panels warping, and reinforce the top edge of the pickup version (remembering that the "full body" version is basically a pickup with a topper grafted on). Some of the ribs are capped with replaceable wood rubbing strips. It may not look it from my original drawings (and therefore the card mockup), but these ribs share some common dimensions & positions.
Starting from the top right corner on the left hand side (also see Image 044):
|1||top right on LHS above two rearmost windows||5mm wide strip of 0.75mm sheet, 174mm long. Topped by 174mm length of 2.5mm square strip with rounded ends (with, ideally, 1.5mm holes part way through to simulate the fastener spaces on the 1:1 part (an Archimedes drill is suitably delicate in operation - see image 41)|
|2||below two LHS rearmost windows||5mm x 0.75mm, 172mm long|
|3||level with #2 on LHS side door||5mm x 0.75mm, 63mm long|
|4||level with #s 2 & 3 on LHS cab door||5mm x 0.75mm, 40mm long. Capped by 2.5mm square strip a la #1 top|
|5||above waist line crease, extending to side door at front & right around corner & on back panel to rear door||2.5mm square strip with outer face sanded round (see image 42), bent appropriately with hot air gun, 234mm long on mine but will depend on angle & depth of corner sanding;|
|6||immediately below #5||2.5mm x 0.75mm, 237mm long (caveat as for #5) & angled to match side door edge|
|7||bottom level with centre line between #s 5 and 6 between side door & rear section of hamster cheek - i.e. displaced upwards by 2.5mm||5mm x 0.75mm, length & angle to suit gap|
|8||between #s 5 & 6 and rear wheelarch||5mm x 0.75mm x 178mm, capped with 2.5mm square as #1|
|9||level with #8 on side door)||5mm x 0.75mm x 45mm|
|10||between side door & sill||5mm x 0.75mm x 131mm|
|11||bottom left corner of cab door, bottom is 2mm higher than top of #10||5mm x 0.75mm, 18mm long. Note that despite what's shown on the card mockup, one end is not angled|
Right hand side is a mirror image of the above.
Repeaters / Side Markers: these are constructed very much like the front indicators. Cut 11mm x 7mm pieces from the side of a CD case, round the corners, and make matching bits from 2mm sheet. Cut a 4mm wide strip from 0.5mm sheet & glue carefully to the base piece a little at a time, making two loops around the base. Sand back so it's even. Glue on just beneath the gutter as per the card mockup - but don't glue in the lenses just yet.
The side doors need a "reinforcing" strip adding to the body - a 3mm wide strip of 0.5mm sheet should suffice, trimmed to 73mm long, and glued in front of the door. Each hinge is 5 bits of 2.5mm round rod (one 10mm, one 12mm and three 2mm), one 5mm x 8mm bit of 0.75mm sheet with two of the corners rounded, and two slivers of 2mm round rod*.
One set of bits should be fitted at the very top of the side door, the other so that the bottom of the hinge is level with the bottom of the side door window.
For the cab doors, the lower hinge set should be just above the "dogleg" in the door shape (so the bottom of it is level with the base of the "hamster cheek"), the upper so that the top of the hinge is level with the top of the window. The top hinge will double up as the upper mirror mount stay point, so leave off the two decorative "bolt heads".
* Note: better 1:1 photos seem later suggest the forward parts should one low, flat piece of the same dimensions - i.e. a 2.5mm wide strip cut from 1mm sheet to 13mm long, instead of three 2.5mm OD rods. Also note the way the joint has opened up during fitting of the "cheek" part in image 048 - this will need raking out and filling again.
This is another area where my photo sources don't give a clear idea of what goes on below the surface - but reasoning that it wouldn't just be a bare rolled edge here, I beefed the inside up with a 45mm length of 3.2mm square strip on each side.
The mirrors as they appear on the card mockup are likely to be too fragile for handling and/or actual use. Instead, I made a much chunkier version that I've seen in some 1:1 photos, attached via a bit of brass framework.
The basic shape is a 29mm x 17mm piece of 3mm styrene, with carefully sanded edges on the "back" side (see image 50 - step 4 would be to do the 4th side). Round the corners and add a 2.5mm wide strip of 0.5mm sheet. Fitting a small bit of 3mm sheet (drilled with a 1.5mm hole) completes the mirror, with similar 3mm pieces fitted to the to the top door hinge & cab door. Drilling the hinge/door all the way through the body adds a bit of strength to the mounting point. The frame is just a length of 1.5mm brass rod bent to shape.
That's as far as I'll be taking the sides (see image 53). Depending how you feel there are some areas that could be improved - the door locks for a start.
Some details that are often very obvious on the sides of the 1:1 vehicles are a line of depressions rearwards of the side doors, and 3 similar lines between the rearmost window & the end on the body. My photo sources haven't been of sufficient quality to tell if that's shrinkage caused by spot welding, or similar stress causing by rivetting, but it's often there - and on particularly well used examples it can be seen in lines all over the place in straight lines behind the front wheel. Because I had to draw the line somewhere I haven't made any effort to replicate these.
Similarly, an "X" shape is often visible between the two rearmost windows, presumably where the thin outer skin warps over a more robust internal bracing structure.
A lot of the details I'd just made up on the original drawings can now be replaced with details culled from the sides:
- door "waist" strips have to match the parts that come around from the side;
- door handle/lock is yet another of the "bezel" shapes with similar added details, placed under the right lower corner of the window;
- hinges are the same as the side doors - upper one is at the top left corner of the door, lower one on the left side just above the waist line;
- door "ribs" are the same 5mm x 0.75mm strips, level with side strips #s 2 and 8. Lower one is 76mm long and has to be displaced a long way downward to clear the spare wheel mount, the upper one is compromised by the lock/handle & needs to be shorter at 63mm
Spare wheel mount: this is simplified from the mockup, being a 21mm square of 3mm sheet with a 3.2mm hole through the centre, and 5mm wide strips of 1.5mm sheet around the edges sanded down a little so they're level all over. It's also lower, being glued on below the door "waist" line details. This is intended to take the spare wheel cover made in earlier instalments.
Rear Bumper: the support panel ( cut from 2mm sheet) does look a bit like the top of an ornamental fireplace, but is complicated by the need to notch it to fit around the door jamb panel & rear body mounts. The bit in the plan should only be used as a guide.
The bumper is a 14mm x 198mm piece cut from 3mm sheet, with another the same size fitted on the reverse. Detail parts are 68mm x 12mm, 53 mm x 11mm and 28mm x 10mm bits of 0.75mm sheet stacked up, with 20 small slivers of 2.5mm round rod standing in for bolt heads (so a hexagonal form would be better).
I haven't included any sort of tow hitch so far, but there is the space & strength here to mount one.
Rear Lights: these are very basic on the 1:1 version, so I've used plain plastic 5mm LED holders. These are a little smaller than pictured on the mockup, but the next LED size up (10mm) would look much too big. The centres for the 8mm holes needed are 8mm down from the underside of the waist line, and 14mm and 28mm in from the outside edges of the rear. The holders (and nuts) are a bit longer than they really need to be, I may shorten them later.
The reflector is a short length of 8.7mm OD tube (7mm ID) with a 7mm OD disc of 1mm styrene glued in, and a 7mm OD disc carefully filed/sanded from more CD case edge (to be painted separately & glued in later). Location has to change from the card mockup due to the body post position, I moved it upwards & outwards.
Vent: this would look a bit more realistic if made from several parts, but would be a bit vulnerable so instead I used a 47mm x 7mm bit of 2mm sheet & did some careful filing & sanding.
Number Plate Panel & Light: UK plates are usually 553mm x 152mm (21" x 6") or 285mm x 203mm (11" x 8") - check for your own locale. Scaling the latter down to 1:9 scale (what this model "officially" is when it comes to proper measurements) gives 32mm by 23mm. I increased that to 35mm x 25mm for wiggle room later on & cut that out from 0.75mm sheet before rounding the edges slightly & gluing outwards of the card mockup position so the central light will clear the right hand body clip.
The light itself is a short length of 3.2mm square strip, sanded slightly & notched to take a dab of paint later on.
Filler Cap/Neck: this is made up of a short length of 5.5mm tube (45 degrees at one end, 90 at the other), 1.5mm sheet for the angled base (drill a 5.5mm hole & angle a little with a needle file), 2mm square for the top detail, and a cap made from 2mm thick sheet filed down to a 7.5mm disc (with an additional detail on the top made from a bit of scrap).
Completing the Front End
Cab Air Vent - this should be displaced 6-7mm to the right hand side, not centralised as it appears on the card mockup. Back was cut from 0.75mm sheet, lip from 1.5mm sheet. Grille slats are 4mm wide strips of 0.5mm sheet tacked on then trimmed back to clear the "lip" before final gluing. Fake nuts/rivets are 2.5mm round bar (hex form would have been better).
Ribbing - this is 3mm wide strips of 0.5mm sheet, 70mm long on the left, 60mm on the right.
Badge - the tidier, civilianised 1:1 Laplanders tend to have the Volvo text in overly large letters on the front panel. Adding it as decal or waterslide transfer after paint might be easier, but I wanted the appearance of raised letters so cut them from 0.75mm sheet.
Fake wiper mount bolt heads are 2.5mm (see previous notes), and what I guess is the screenwash outlet is a few mm of 3.2mm round strip.
Wipers - these are made from small strips of 0.75mm sheet + lengths of 2.5mm round. Refer to the plans for the general shape and to image 064 for more detail.
Based on previous experience, I've left the wipers loose to glue in after paint; this makes finding the Swept Area a bit easier. You don't have to do this as a mask is already on the plans, but the process is basically to mark the ends of the wipers in multiple positions throughout their sweeps, then smooth the curves out to make a negative mask to spray a "dirty" area on the windscreen for greater realism (later).
I've a few different things to stop styrene tube distorting & collapsing while being bent with the aid of a hot air gun: the best thing I've found so far is to stuff it with smaller diameter styrene tubes and rods - in this case 4mm tube and 2.5mm round rod.
Overall size of the top bar should be around 193mm x 43mm, the lower 193mm x 38mm. Scallop the underside of the ends of the upper bar (Dremel with a small sanding drum, or filing) , glue together & once set, round the ends a bit.
The large infills in the front are 55mm x 18mm* bits of 3mm sheet with the top & bottom edges rounded inwards. The small ones on the sides started as 9mm wide strips from 3mm scrap.
*Note: in hindsight the front bumper is too tall, it would have been better to make the scallops at a flatter angle & reduce the infill panels to 9-12mm or so high, and adjust the "box" section accordingly.
The sides of box are 14mm wide strips of 1.5mm sheet, 70mm on one side & 60mm on the other, with a chamfer on the short side. Back is also cut from 1.5mm, 60mm long and 10mm wide. Sides are 18mm wide & 16mm tall. * But see above note.
Glue the bumper on & brace with small bits of 3mm sheet - two 60mm x 6mm in the middle, plus two 22mm x 8mm (one each side).
Several areas needed a bit of smoothing out/refilling after the details were all made & fitted to the body - on mine, the corners of the roof gutter, the door "cheek" perimeter and a couple of joints.
Milliput white 2-part epoxy has several advantages here - it's white, grips very well, and can be wetted & smoothed out to minimise sanding.
In the next instalment we'll look at adding an interior, including dashboard, seats & a driver figure.
Written by TB member Jonny Retro