model car


1:35th scale Land Rover roof rack


I took a break from writing about zombies and vampires to do a bit of designing for 3D print. Having recently bought the Italeri 1:35th Land Rover Series 3 109″ hard top kit, I want to design some suitable accessories for it. The first is this roof rack. It looks simple enough, but it was painstaking work getting all those uprights and cross members aligned.

Of course, once I have my Landie kitted out with survival gear, I’ll probably be putting it in a post apocalypse survival diorama. So I didn’t really get away from zombies at all.


3D printed model cars for OO gauge

Not some of my 3D designed products, but definitely ones of which I approve. Digitawn has designed a load of variants on popular cars (all Fords so far, I think) from the 60s to 80s. Originally available in 1:87th (HO), they’re now also in 1:76th (OO).

My first car was a Mk2 Escort estate, and, as far as I know, this is the first time it’s been available in this scale. There are some very good diecast models available, but they don’t have the variety of versions that Digitawn offers.

Source: digitawn by digitawn – Shapeways Shops


1:32nd resin car bodies

Every so often I’ll get obsessed with a particular modelling subject and buy lots of kits, most of which may never get made (by me at least). A couple of years ago, whilst writing a “propellerpunk” sci-fi tale, I got loads of models of less well known planes- prototypes which never made it into production, Luft46 fantasies, that sort of thing. I’ve still got the flying wing, and that may yet get built, but most of the rest have gone the way of EBay.

My new obsession is 1:32nd scale model cars. They don’t take up too much space and they come in some interesting subjects. Arii do some cool Japanese retro vehicles, though I have to find them on EBay as it seems no-one in the UK stocks them. Airfix did an equally interesting range of British vehicles. But they’re mostly out of production now, and the rarer ones can get a bit pricey.

These resin slot car bodies by Pendle Slot Racing may be a source of interesting British classics to customise, if I ever work my way through the backlog I’ve already got. The bodies are £20-£40 each, it’s true, and I’d have to provide chassis and interior detail, but I could have fun creating a very British custom car meet with a few of them.

Or I could buy myself a Scalextric track, build them for their intended purpose and re-enact chases from The Sweeney and The Professionals with them.


1:76th Rover 100 banger

This was the project I set myself after watching all those banger racing videos on Tuesday. Build an old school banger to sit in a corner of some model railway layout just waiting to go out in metal rending glory.

The Base-Toys Rover 100 used in this project

This is what I started with. A 1:76th (OO) Rover 100 by Base-Toys. Their not the most detailed models out there, but the Base-Toys vehicles have the advantage of being held together with screws rather than rivets. This makes taking them apart to work on so much easier. Oxford Diecasts do this as well, and the Corgi Trackside cars I picked up this week, it makes modding them so much easier.

It screws apart easily

See what I mean.

The interior with seats removed and roll bar added

The first job was the interior. Like any racing car the Rover would have had its interior stripped out and a roll cage added. Seats were removed with a saw, though the driver’s was glued back in after having masking tape seatbelts added. In future I’ll use a Sharpie to make the tape black before doing this. The roll cage was made from solder, bent to shape and super-glued down. After this picture was taken I added some more detail, a gear lever and fire extinguisher. Looking at my pictures from the banger racing I should have added a fuel tank. Another thing to remember for next time.

After painting

Before painting I took my rotary tool to the body to remove details like the radiator grille and door handles and also to gouge a few dents and pre-existing bangs. I forgot to take a picture before painting the body. Citadel foundation colours were used, red and blue, whilst the wheels got some matt black.

Finished car number 32

My small selection of transfers supplied variations on number 32, so that’s what the car became.

Finished car number 32 Finished car number 32

Ready to rumble. One day I may make a whole race meeting worth of bangers, but for now this one can be yours.


In Soviet Bulgaria, model builds you! 1

Here’s some interesting finds on eBay. Soviet era Russian models, of British cars. The Bulgarian seller has listed three 1:18th scale car kits- a Vauxhall of some type, a Jaguar E Type and an Austin Morris. It seems odd that the Soviets would want to make models of Western vehicles, particularly such decadent items as an E Type. The models came with an electric motor, though not all three listed still have theirs. I must resist the temptation to bid and find out more.


South Cheshire Militaire 2010 1

South Cheshire Militaire 2010

Yesterday I went to Crewe for the South Cheshire Militaire model show. There are many more pictures on Flickr.

I have a modelling table in the living room, next to the computer desk, but I don’t do enough modelmaking. Shows like this, and the high standard of the entries, both inspire me and make me despair of ever being making anything that good. Nonetheless, I bought some models, including the AMT ’49 Ford I’ve been wanting. The AMT and MPC re-releases through Round 2 Models are hard to get in this country (the Polar Lights and Star Trek stuff less so, much of it is stocked by my local model shop), so it’s nice to find. My 3d modelling this afternoon shall be customising kit suitable for the ’49 and similar models.

A few links follow, clubs and companies who were there-

Model Design Construction do a lot of resin and brass upgrade parts for aircraft in 1:48th and 1:32nd. I bought some rockets and machine guns for future road warrior style vehicles. They also have a range of figures and busts which look good. This robot is a modified version of one of their products.

Sutton Coldfield Model Makers Society.

The Staffordshire Moorlands Model Club.

Science Fiction and Fantasy Modellers:UK.

Great North Roads. Diorama bases and materials.


Some inspiration for French customs

I linked to the full size bike designs of Olli Erkilla on Two Wheels Good. But if you look at his website you’ll find lots of other cool stuff. The Digital Art section has lots of cool customs, mostly based on the good old 2CV.  I’m a fan of the Traction Avant coupe shown above, and I have an old Matchbox kit I can make up like it.

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Ratty T is finished


Ratty T, originally uploaded by spinneyhead.

I completed the rat rod T bucket a few weeks ago, but have only just got the photos uploaded.

Ratty T engine

The engine wiring is fairly basic, just the wires going to the spark plugs, no fuel or coolant lines. The exhaust pipes are aluminium tubing trimmed and superglued to the block, a bit more realistic than the plastic pipes that came with it.

Ratty T interior

The interior is basic. I didn’t add any extra detailing. All the gauges are sporting a very ratty black on black look.

Ratty T rear end

The fuel tank is a drop tank, probably 1:72nd, from the spares bin.

Ratty T

And here’s the T from the side. I’m looking for interesting new ways to display my models, this one’s going to be mounted in a picture frame, so it can be stood on someone’s desk like a photo of the family.

There are a few more photos of the build in the Ratty T set.