Daily archives: January 7, 2006

1:72nd scale race ready Mini

I’m about to set up a section of the Scale shop called Small Scale Customs, where I’ll sell cars for model railway layouts. The difference is, I’ll be taking other people’s cars and detailing or customising them. Some of the cars will be ones that occur to me but I’ll also be taking commissions.

The race ready Mini is the third car to be added to SSC’s forecourt, after the Capri and Beetle. I noticed that the little car was all decked out in sponsor’s logos and race numbers but was lacking a roll cage. I drilled the fastening lug out of the chassis and popped it open then fashioned a roll bar, rather than a full cage- I figured if this was an old school rally car I could get away with it, from a paper clip.

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Whilst I was in there it seemed right to do a little painting. The distinctive oval speedo was painted white. I would have put decal dials on it if I’d thought to look for any. The switches arrayed under the speedo were painted silver, as was the gear lever. If I do this again I’ll remove the little plastic knobble and replace it with a wire leaver and add a handbrake as well.

One neat little detail in the standard kit was the Recaro style bucket seat for the driver. I painted the plastic tub red and left the padding black. The other seats and the door inlays were painted tan. I guess this was a stock Cooper and the passenger seating stayed. In reality, the rear seat would have been taken out to save weight, but I wasn’t quite ready for that level of scratch building.

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With the internal detailing completed I superglued the car back together. External detailing only goes so far as picking out the door handles with silver. I may add a sump guard to hide the hole where I drilled out the attaching lug.

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The car’s finish is a bit too shiney for a working race vehicle, but I reckon it’s between rallies and has been spruced up and cleaned ready for its next outing.

The car can be bought for £6 (plus £1 p&p), payment by PayPal.

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What Would the Stig Do?

Despite the fact that it can outperform most of the cars that give the Top Gear presenters wet dreams, I don’t think the X1, electric concept car from Wrightspeed, is going to be doing a timed lap piloted by the Stig any time soon. Clarkson couldn’t make any milk float jokes if presented with the truth.

Check out a ride along in this video.

via Jalopnik

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Life in the Project:LIFE House

The Parnell family spent a year in an experimental eco house to test a number of features that could be incorporated in the home of tomorrow. It was originally meant to be a six month trial but they loved it so much they doubled the length.

Although the Project:LIFE house contains so much that is environmentally friendly and technologically advanced, the prime aim of the project is to investigate the changing households of the future, according to James Wilson, the development director of David Wilson Homes. “As house builders we often have to be more conservative than we would like,” he says. “In this project, we have pulled together a big collection of ideas. We’re trying to consider demographics and changing lifestyles, different expectations and requirements and combine all the latest ideas and thoughts.”

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Police Horse Power

Manchester’s Police horses are to contribute to cutting the costs of their upkeep. Dung from the equine coppers is to be compressed into bricks that can then be burnt to provide heating and hot water for the stables, helping reduce its £1.5m annual energy bill.

Shauna Carberry said: “This idea really stood out and as soon as we can find the money we are definitely going to put it into practice. The horse manure will provide heating and hot water for the stable block and it is likely to provide more energy on top of that.

“We’re not sure yet exactly how much money will be saved, but it’s likely to be a lot once the furnace costs are out of the way.”

There are other initiatives as well- all the force’s 1,275 diesel vehicles were converted to using biodiesel this week.

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