Revell Mini Cooper MK1 998 c.c
After buying a couple of thsee models when they first hit the shelves, and being a great fan of the original Mini, after doing a review of the kit here,
It is now time to get plastic and glue together and get the model built, while going through the build I will be comparing it against the Tamiya version, as I have built 5 of these to date.
The body will be painted in BMC Fiesta Yellow with an Old Englsih white roof, both genuine BMC colours, although Fiesta Yellow was the most unpopular colour for the Cooper range and was dropped in late 1965 and never replaced with anything, Surf Blue was also an unpopular choice for the Cooper range, and was replaced by Island Blue in late 1965.
The chrome wheel trims will be stripped and redone using Alclad, the chrome is pretty good, but the real things were not chrome plated, as they were polished stainless steel.
One bad point with the body is a pretty deep mold line on the front wings, Revell's plastic is a little softer than some of the other plastic model companies, and this makes removing anything like this a little easier, a little time spent with a few sanding sticks and fine wet & dry paper and the wings are like new, the mold line runs through the joint between the wing and the front valance, and after getting rid of the mold line, I rescribed the line, but that's the only part of the body that needs cleaning up.
After I had cleaned up the body, roof and bonnet, I started work on the engine, I will build this so far before it gets painted, which will be done in green, and then the rest of the detail parts will be added to the engine, the parts went together without any problem, and parts fit was first class,
With the engine built up as much as I can before painting, I looked at the instructions for the floorpan, inner wings and bulkhead, with the Tamiya version one of the inner wings is molded as part of the floorpan, and the other side with the radiator mounted on is a seperate parts, so I thought it would be better for painting the inner wings which need to be done in body colour, if they were fixed to the floorpan first, I dry fitted everything first, and it looks like there is plenty of room to get the engine in place with the inner wings fitted before installing the engine, so that's what I have done, again the parts fitted without any problem, but I did use a clamp to clamp the bulkhead between the inner wings and then ran a bead of plastic weld around the joint, the radiator will be fixed on after the inner wings, bulkhead and floorpan have been painted in body colour.
Another nice touch in this kit is the seperate front & rear subframes, with the Tamiya version the rear subframe is moulded as part of the floorpan apart from the two outer sections, the main subframe is one complete molding, with the two outer section added, a nice little touch is the electric fuel pump that was mounted onto the subframe on the real car, Revell supply that part, even though it is hardly seen after being built up, well done Revell ....
With a lot of the small parts mounted ready for primer, the body was ready for the same treatment, for this I used an acrylic plastic primer, as the parts were molded in grey I desided to use a white primer, which was needed for the yellow gloss coat, but it's a lot easier to see white primer going on grey plastic than grey primer, once the body had been primed with a few coats, it was left for a few hours to gas out, after which it was dry sanded, dusted off, and once again the body and body parts were wiped over using a tack cloth, the cellulose paint was thinned 70:30 with pure cellulose thinners, I don't count how many coats of topcoat I use, but just carry on until I think I have got things right, the body will now be left for a few days to gas out before being wet sanded and polished out
One thing I didn't really like in the kit was the chrome wheels, the chrome looked a little on the thick side and was too shiney, so the wheels were given a soak in some household bleach for around 20 minutes, and then washed off the bleach under running cold water, they will be re-chromed using Alclad lacquer, so hopefully they will turn out more like the real thing, which were polished stainless steel and not chrome plated, once dry the wheel front and back were glued together, the wheels can be made to roll by following the instructions and not glueing the centre section, but as I have had models roll off my bench in the past, I glued them so the wheels won't be able to move when there fitted to the model, they will now be primed, painted in gloss black, then the fronts will be done in Alclad ....
Most of my time in the hobby room today (21st Feb' 2013) was spent mounting a lot of the parts on wooden cocktail sticks, I do this on all of my builds, as once the parts have been painted, the cocktail stick is easily snapped off and the part can fixed on, hiding where the stick was fixed.
Today (22nd Feb') I managed to get all the smaller parts and the interior panls all coated in primer, my all time favorite kit of all time was the Tamiya Mini Cooper, but the more time I spent working on this one from Revell, the Tamiya version is in danger of getting relegated, the reason behind this is Revell's version really does have more detail in the kit, the seats and the parts of the interior that would have been covered in Vinyl cloth on the real thing, have a very fine grain molded into the plastic, the rear seat is more prototypical in the way it mounts to the floorpan.
Now that the body and chassis has had a few days to dry off, before going any further with it, today I decided to dry fit the parts together, I don't think I have ever had a model that went together so well, as the chassis just fell into place, I just hope it still lines up as good when the interior is fitted ..... another plus point for the Revell version.
With the airbrushes still out, I decided to get as much done today as possible, the wheels which had previously been stripped were primered and given a couple of coats of gloss black lacquer, most of the smaller parts were also given a coat of either satin or gloss black, the roof panel was also given a few coats of Old English White lacquer, this will be wet sanded and polished out when the paint has hardened in around three days time.
The interior of the Revell version compared to the Tamiya one is totally different, with the Revell having the body colour door frame and interior panels molded as one part, (see photo on the left), I airbrushed the body colour without masking, as when these are dry, the body colour parts will be masked off and the grey door panels will be airbrushed, the fllorpan is also molded as one part, where as the Tamiya version has the floor strenthening panel as a seperate part, again I airbrushed this in body colour and will be masked off when the interior colour will be airbrushed, the carpeting will be replicated using a light blue flocking.
Without the need to mask, the rear parcel shelf and the vinyl trim that will be seen at the side of the rear seat were airbrushed using Tamiya light grey acrylic, all these parts will be masked off when the floor will be airbrushed in blue acrylic.
With the Tamiya grey in the airbrush, the front & rear seats were also painted, these will be masked off once dry to paint them two tone grey & light blue.
With the airbrush still out, the engine and engine parts were painted using Vauxhall Leaf green, a shade I have found that replicates the original BMC engine green very well.
Before I cleaned out the airbrushed and closed the hobby room for the night, the rest of the parts that needed to be painted in body colour were given a couple of coats of Fiesta Yellow cellulose, these will not be wet sanded and polished, as in the real car they were painted in whats known as 'Gun Finish'
Today (Feb' 24th) I managed to get the body wet sanded and polished out, after the sanding process I use a cotton polishing mop on a Minicraft modelling drill set to a medium speed and a polishing compound meant for polishing real cars, (Poorboys SSR2) which is a medium grade compound, care has to be taken around raised detail as it is easy to burn through the paint as it always much thinner on these parts, if I do managed to burn through I use a 10/0 size brush and the paint I mixed for spraying as it's much thinner than the pot of paint that was supplied, most of the time you can touch up and not even notice, once the machine polishing is done, I then go over, this time by hand, using various products from the Meguires range, and then a polish using Novus # 2finished by a quick going over of Novus # 1 polish.
Building the front end like I have and not following the instructions, it meant I needed to do a little more masking, but will be worth it, as the inner wings look better fitted first and then painted, otherwise there would have been a gap between the two, all masking was done using Tamiya masking tape, also while masking, I made a start on the side interior panels, which had been painted in body colour, now the panels in between the door frames needed to be done in light grey, these will be done using Tamiya acrylic paint airbrushed on using my smaller Paasche F1 airbrush.
Parts masked & ready to be airbrushed
Today (26th Feb') I spent some time in the hobby room getting some airbrushing done, got the side panels done, and with a little bit of touching up after the masking tape was remove, they look just fine, sprayed the subframe, which also turned out great, and also got the wheels done in Alclad, a couple of coats and there looking o.k, much better than the high gloss chrome them came in, all in all a good day in the hobby room ....
After the final application of the flocking it was left overnight to dry out, and then given a brush over and a blow with a hairdryer, this is the first time I have used the Detail master brand of flocking and I've found it a lot finer than I have used in the past, I think next time I use it I will try to put it through a fine sieve, I didn't notice before, but on the label it does say it's 'Velour Flocking', but it turned out o.k
Now that the interior flocking and seats are dry, a little detail work just makes them look a little better, the front seats have some very nice seat frames that are molded as part of the seat bases, and look very like the originals fitted to the Mini, this is another plus point for the Revell version over the Tamiya, as with the Tamiya Mini you don't get these, just a few little mounting points at the front of the seat, and a couple of molded in parts that are supposed to replicate the part that the seats rest on, they were simply brush painted black, the rear seat was fixed in place and is a very good fit.
The engine and engine bay were finished off by adding all the small parts, again all fitted without any problems, the front steering and suspension fitted together really well and was finished off with the subframe, this is located by two small pins at the rear and a further two towards the front, it was fixed together with 5 minute epoxy and clamped while the glue was drying, the remote gearchange housing was also fitted at this stage.
Today (4th March) I decided that the wheels I had previously painted using Alclad lacquer, really wasn't up to the standard I have got with Alclad in the past, it looked more liked polished aluminium and not polished stainless steel, usually for striping paint I use either Caustic soda (Lye), or Fairy Power Spray, sadly I was out of both of these, so while out doing a bit of grocery shopping came across a product called 'Oven Pride' I read the label and it listed that is contained Soduim Hydroxide, and also there was a warning that the product causes burns to skin, so for £4.00 I took a chance and bought the product, I poured a small amount into a plastic container and left the wheels in soak for a few hours, a quick scrub with a toothbrush and the wheels were back to there bare plastic state, they will be primered in the morning and then given a couple of coats of gloss black enamel.
Today 5th March I got the wheels primed, this time I used acrylic grey primer, which went on smoother than the white I had used previously, and then they were given a couple of coats of Testors gloss black enamel thinned out with lacquer thinners, with Alclad, you need the best high gloss black finish you can get, this time I'm very happy with the finish.
Wheels (Left & Centre) finished using Alclad chrome lacquer
Today (8th March) I stated detailing the interior parts before the interior can be all fixed together, there are two pieces of chrome trim on the front door pockets that needed doing before they were fixed to the side panels, the kick panel and a chrome trim at the top of the door pocket, both of these were replicated using chrome BMF.
11th March - managed to get the chrome trim done on the rear cubby bins, now this is where the Tamiya kit scores over the Revell version, the Tamiya has a clearly molded line where to put the BMF, sadly the Revell version doesn't, it has the molding on the side, but nothing on the front, it's a simple job but requires a lenth of masking tape being applied so you have an edge to cut up to, but one the plus point, the Revell version has a nice decal to replicate the ashtray, you don't get this with the Tamiya version ....
I now turned to the dashboard, which had previously been painted body colour, then masked off to do the satin black, all this was masked off once more and the centre part of the dash was airbrushed in Tamiya XF-19 Sky Grey, the chrome trim at the base of the dash that seperates the dash pad will be done using chrome BMF.
The last item to add to the interior before it's finished and ready to go in the bodyshell is the steering column and steering wheel, the steering wheel as a bit of a tight bit on the column, but I put that down to the paint that I had put on, simple fix is to run a slightly larger drill in the hole in the steering wheel, it was then fixed onto the column using cyano' glue, and then the column was fixed into place using 5 minute epoxy, it fits in easy to the mounting point molded into the underneath of the dashboard, one last thing to paint before the interior can be fixed into the bodyshell is the interior rear view mirror, the instructions tell you to paint it satin black, this would correct for a pre autumn 1964 Cooper, I did mine in matt white, which is correct for a post autumn '64 Cooper, as after that date BMC used a white plastic mirror in place of the black crackle finished metal item.
One thing that really needed doing was to paint the roof lining matt white, with all the Tamiya Mini's I've built over the years I've always brush painted the interior, but I've never really been happy with the results, even though it's not really seen once the roof panel is fixed on, this time I decided that it would be airbrushed, so the body was masked up using Tamiya masking tape in 6 & 18mm widths, care was taken to burning the tape down well, and took extra care around the window frames, as I didn't want the paint getting past the masking tape and getting onto the bodywork, the bottom half of the body was covered over with paper towels, then the roof lining was airbrushed using Tamiya flat white acrylic, the paper and the masking tape was removed as soon as the paint had gone tacky, the interior mirror will have the mirror face done using BMF, there is a decal supplied to go onto the mirror face, but BMF will look a little more realistic, the mirror can then be fixed into place then the interior tub can be fixed into the bodyshell.
Today (18th March) the interior mirror was finished off using a small piece of BMF to replicate the mirror face, then the mirror was fixed onto the inner roof panel, before the interior goes in the bonnet needs to be held in place by a couple of pieces of masking tape, then you can turn the bodyshell over and fix the bonnet hinge into place, the only part that needs glueing into place is the part of the hinge that fixes onto the bonnet itself, the other side of the hinge is held into place by the interior pod, before commiting any glue to hold the interior into place, as always I did a dry run, and made a few marks on the inside of the body using a pencil, this gives me the locating points were the glue needs to be applied, with the interior in place (without being glued) I tried the chassis/floorpan to see if everything lined up, luckily it did, so the chassis and the interior were removed and a few spots of 5 minute epoxy were applied to the marks I have marked out with the pencil,the interior was now fixed into place permantly and held in place while the glue set, once the glue holding the interior into place had dried, the masking tape holding the bonnet into place was removed, one nice thing about this version of the Mini, is the bonnet can be opened and the way the hinge is held into place, the bonnet stays open on it's own ...... Looking inside once the interior fixed into place, the dashboard lines up perfectly with the bottom of the front window sill, Revell have really worked hard engineerring this model to fit together so well, the top of the interior panels are engineered to fit into the recesses molded into the top of the doors, before the day was over, I decided that I was going to fit the tyres onto the wheels that had previously been stripped of there chrome and redone using Alclad chrome lacquer, they were fitted onto the axles using 5 minute epoxy, and I was pleased when all four wheels sat perfectly on the ground .....
Before the roof goes on, the seat belts needed attaching to the 'B' post, a drop of cyano glue and the top mount was held into place for a few seconds, the chassis/floorpan was again dry fitted before any glue was applied, again the fit was o.k, so some slow setting 2 part glue (Araldite Blue) was mixed up and applied at the front, rear and along the inner sill, and held in place with masking tape, and then a few clamps were attched while the glue dried, it will be left so the glue can set up, around 6 hours with this 2 part glue I used, although I will leave it overnight just to be on the safe side, with that set aside, I applied a coat of wax on the roof panel, which came up real nice.
Front & Rear valances fitted
With the chassis/floorpan fitted, the next job on the list was to fit the roof panel, as with all parts it was dry fitted before putting any glue near it, the panel just dropped into place, no gaps, nothing, so some 5 minute 2 part epoxy was mixed up and put into the four slots in the roof panel and popped the roof on, it was held in place with four strips of masking tape, just to make sure the glue got into all the joints.
The model is not coming to the end, and apart from the windows that still need the trim painting, and the side windows need there trim done in BMF, the rest of the build now just needs the chrome parts fitted, and a few clear parts fitted, (front & rear lamps) and a few decals, the rear lamps which had previously been masked off and painted clear orange were again masked off and airbrushed clear red, they will be mounted onto the surrounds when there dry.
The rear lights are totally different to the Tamiya version, Tamiya molded the rear lights and the chrome trim as part of the rear lamps, and once painted the trim needed picking out, I usually use BMF for this, but it's a tricky job to do right, Revell's way is to make the clear lens a seperate parts to the chrome surround, also the chrome surround has the chrome backing, making the lenses look a lot more realistic when there fixed into place, another plus point for the Revell model.
Below - Rear lamps airbrushed clear red & orange
(Above) Rear lamps fitted
Today (27th March) more chrome parts are starting to be added, the chrome grille also suffered from having it's cut off tabs on the chrome tree exactly where they are going to be seen, it is held onto the parts tree in 6 places, 3 at the top and 3 on the bottom of the part, the marks left in the chrome at the bottom can't be seen once fixed into place, so were left as they are, the top though needed to be sanded down and the top chrome bar covered in chrome BMF, again I could have gone down the road of stripping the chrome and doing in using Alclad, but the chrome plating is of real good quailty, I just model companies would mount chrome parts on the tree where it won't be noticable once there cut off .....
The chrome grille really looks nice, and comparing it against a Tamiya model looks to be a little wider, and has the extension pieces molded as part of the grille, the Tamiya version has them molded as part of the body, and needs covering in BMF, so the Revell version is a little easier to work with.
The bumpers were a very good fit, the front one needed a bit of BMF burnished into the top of the overiders, as they were attached to the parts tree by two points on the top of the bumper, and two underneath the bumper, although not seen I still covered the marks with a small piece of BMF, the rear bumper was attached to the parts tree by only two point, thankfully these were both at the base of the bumper and can't be seen once attached to the bumper, although I still covered the marks with small pieces of BMF.
Front Screen Masked and Airbrushed
Rear Screen Masked and Airbrushed
(Above) Flocking being applied, (Left) Flocking finished .....
With the interior parts set aside to dry off, I now started work on the floorpan, before fitting the rear subframe I dry fitted it and found the pins were a slightly tight fit in the holes, not a fault with the kit, but just a little paint on both surfaces getting in the way, the holes were simply cleaned out using a small drill, not to drill the holes out any larger, but just to clean out the paint, but before the parts were fixed together, the fuel & brake lines were picked out using a silver permanent marker, then the rear dampers were fixed to the subframe and the subframe was fixed to the floorpan using 5 minute epoxy and clamped in place.
With that set aside to dry, I now started to build the engine up, a few parts that had been airbrushed needed picking out in a detail colour, but all parts fitted onto the engine without any problem, now the engine can be fitted into the engine bay.
With everything dry it was time to pop the engine into place, now I really should have followed the instructions, as with the radiator in place, there was no way the engine was going in, so the carburettor had to be taken off, so did the radiator, and a small part at the base of the radiator was sliced off, you can't see this once it's all together, but doing it makes it possible to put the radiator over the cooling fan and slide the radiator into place, a few drops of cyano' glue on the engine mount and the engine was pushed into place, next one will be done as per the intructions ....
The wiper motor, which is molded as part as the bulkhead was picked out using Testors steel enamel, and the air filter was fitted, the water bottle for the washers had been primed using white plastic primer and was simply given a couple of coats of Tamiya clear blue to replicate the washer fluid that would be inside the bottle.
The chassis was put aside and I carried on work with the interior, the gearlever, handbrake and seats were fitted into place, again the parts fitted with no problems ....
(Above & Left) Left Hand side wheel arch and sill trim covered in BMF
(Above & Right) Wheel arch and sill chrome trim done using chrome Bare Metal Foil
(Above) Steering column & steering wheel fitted, (right) Mirror painted flat white
(Above) Wheels & Tyres, wheels were painted using Alclad chrome lacquer, (Right) Wheels fitted to axles, all four wheels sit perfectly on the ground
Rear lenses painted in clear orange
Front indicators airbrushed clear orange
The roof panel needed the gutter trim to be painted in body colour, this being Fiesta Yellow, the underneath and the top of the roof was masked off using Tamiya masking tape, 6mm to go around the edge, and the centre section filled in using 18mm.
The rain gutter trim was airbrushed using my Paasche F1 airbrush and the same cellulose Fiesta Yellow I mixed up to do the body, it's hard to see in the photo's that the trim has actually been painted.
Coat of wax applied to the roof panel
Exhaust System Fitted
Body waxed with Carnauba car wax
(Above & Right) Number plate backing plate and rear light mountings fixed into place
(Above) Number plate backing plate and light fitted
(Left) Looking at photo's of the real thing, the Revell model has my vote, as it is a little bit more realistic in the way the rear lamps look.
Front headlamp bowls fitted
Front Grille and bumper fitted
Today, 29th March, I had a bit of time to spend in the hobby room, so decided that the main job to get done was fixing on all the small chrome pieces, the front bonnet badge was fixed on, a simple job, next was the boot handle, which again was a simple job, the two door handles were a little tricky mainly because of the small size and some of the chrome on the bezel needed to be removed so they would fix into the recesses molded into the door, but one fixed in place, look very realistic, the Tamiya has the bezel molded as part of the body and is a little tricky to detail to look like the chrome that the real Mini's had.
The front indicators which had been painted clear orange needed the chrome ring picking out in chrome, I did this using BMF, a tricky job, and hardly seen once finished, but it's there on the real thing, so needed doing, they were fixed into place using 5 minute clear epoxy.
The next thing to do before I closed the door on the hobby room for the day was the mask the front & rear screen and get them airbrushed in semi gloss black, I used Tamiya masking tape, burnished well around the edges and then used Tamiya semi gloss black airbrushed and left to dry.
Well before the end of the day, I thought I would take just a little time and fix the front & rear screens into place, a few drops of 5 minute clear epoxy and both screen were fitted, I mush prefer the look to them to the Tamiya version, as the rubber seal on the Tamiya compared to the Revell model look a little over scaled, but the Revell version is a little harder to do.
Before finishing for the day, I desided to cut off the side windows from the parts tree and do a dry fit, this is where I found a slight listake in the instructions, the rear side windows are reversed in the instructions, on the left hand side the insructions tell you to use part # 101, but should infact be part # 99, and you need to use part # 101 for the right hand side.
Now the parts have been checked and dry fitted, the side windows, like the front & rear screen's have their frame molded as part of the window, I've done a few kits before that have the same way of doing the windows,(Tamiya's '66 Beetle & Citroen 2CV), the easiest way, for me anyway is to do the frames using chrome Bare Metal Foil, I have heard of some modellers masking the windows off and doing the frames using Alclad lacquer, but the BMF takes less time and is a little easier to apply, to cut down or illiminate the possiblity of getting any finger prints on the clear parts, I always were a latex glove on the hand that I am holding the parts in, get a glove that is skin tight and you don't even know your wearing a glove and I find I can work as normal, the window frames were covered using 4 pieces of BMF per window, cut slightly larger than needed to it can overlap the frame slighty and the once the window is fixed into the model the joins can't be seen, the rear side windows have a lot more detail in them compared to the Tamiya model, as you can see the catch and the hinge mechanism that the real Mini would have had, and which is totally lacking in the Tamiya model, another plus point for the Revell version.
Today (April 1st) I managed to spend a little time in the hobby room, the headlamps were cut off the parts tree and dry fitted into the headlamp bowls, they basically just dropped into place, so a few spots of clear 5 minute epoxy was put into the headlamp bowls and the lenese were fitted, the side windows were again dry fitted, and as I had trimmed the BMF away from the inside edge of the window frame the fit was still perfect, the windows basically just drop into place, so a few small drops of clear 5 minute epoxy was fut onto the inside edge of the frame and the windows were lowered into place, just the wiper arms and a few decals to fit, then the little Mini is finished.
Photo's (Left & Right) All Finished ....
So at the end of the build, how do I rate this against the Tamiya offering ? well when I wrote for the book 'Styrene Stars' I put the Tamiya Mini Cooper as my favourite kit of all time, if I wrote that again I might have to think long and hard if it would still have the top spot.
Obviously this model is the 'Cooper' where as the Tamiya version is the 'Cooper S' so if you want to build a Cooper S, then you have no choice but to buy the Tamiya version, but if you just want a really nice model of a Mini, then I can't recommend the Revell model enough, it really is a great model, slightly easier to build than the Tamiya version, and once built really does look like the real thing, hat's off to Revell, I will watching out to see if they release any further models of the Mini in the future.
The interior colour of the Fiesta Yellow Mini is grey and powder blue, the seats being done in two tone, and still need to be masked off.
I used the same paint when I did the Tamiya Mini Cooper S in Surf Blue, another unpopular colour at the time, the build can be seen here
Mixing some Winsor & Newton acrylic artist paint with a few c.c's of there Acrylic flow improver and then thinned with Testors universal acrylic thinners, gives a very nice paint that is easily airbrushed.
The interior tub simply fixes onto the chassis/floorpan, and is a great fit, this will be fixed permanantly in place once the interior is completely finished.
Today (28th Feb') I got the front & rear seats masked up and airbrushed, the Windsor & Newton artists acrylic paint really does airbrush nice when thinned to the correct consistency, and has a natural sheen to it that replicates vinyl really well, once the seats were set aside to dry off I made a start on the interior flocking, luckily I had the correct colour in stock.
Now I've desided which variant I was going to build the Mini as (Morris) so I placed the decals on the engine and the steering wheel, nice little touch, as you don't get any decals in the Tamiya kit for the steering wheel, which in real life is the horn push.
Today (March 6th) the wheels were given a few light coats of Alclad chrome, using my Paasche F1 airbrush set to 15 p.s.i, this time I'm 100% happy with the results.
Dash clocks (Above) trim is BMF and the rest is the decal supplied in the kit, snuggled down with a few drops of Solvaset.
Today, 13th March, I decided that it was about time that the interior was built up, the cubby boxes were fixed to the side panels, the front door boxes have a couple of locating points for the boxes to fix into, the rear one's don't, but it's a simply job to fix them on, as they follow the shape molded into the side panels, a few drops of 5 minute epoxy along the sides and bottom and clamped into place and left to dry.
Once they had dried, they could be fixed to the floorpan, they fix along the front edge, along the bottom of the floorpan and at the rear around the wheel arch trim and a small tab at the side of the rear seat backrest, 5 minute epoxy and a few clamps held all the parts together while the glue dried, once the clamps were removed the seat belts were fixed in, there is a small locating point at the bottom of the seat belt and also at the top of the side panel, a few drops of Cyano' glue at both points and the seat belt was simply put into place, there are some black decals to go over the decals, but looking at my reference material and my memory of the Mini back in the 60's, at least in the U.k, the seat belts fitted at the time would have been a silvery grey material, and not grey, so they were airbrushed with a mix of matt aluminium and grey, the mounting points were picked out using chrome silver fast drying enamel.
The next small item that needed detailing were the window locks, they were simply picked out with Revell semi gloss black enamel, the only thing to fix into place now was the dashboard, but this still needed finishing off, the clocks were fixed into place, the chrome trim that goes above the dash padding was picked out using chrome BMF, the switch panel was picked out in flat grey and a decal fitted that replicates the heater controls, the switches themselves were simply picked out using a black permanant marker pen, the dash is fixed into place but a slot in the top of the side panels, I fixed it into place with a small amount of 5 minute epoxy.
With the interior set aside to dry up, I started to work on the body, doing the chrome trim around the wheel arches and the chrome trim running along the top of the sill, this was done in three pieces, and didn't take long at all, I'm not sure why, but it seemed a quicker and easier job than doing the same job on the Tamiya Mini .... the trim was using chrome Bare Metal Foil, a simply job if you follow a few simple steps, here's a few quick tips on how to get a good finish using BMF,
1/ Cut the BMF slightly larger than the area your going to cover.
2/ Use a brand new # 11 Exacto or scapel blade, using and old blade will only tear the foil
3/ use a burnishing tool or cuticle stick to get the BMF into the place and then burnish using a new cotton bud.
4/ Try to trim the foil in one piece, let the blade do the job, there's no need to apply any pressue on the blade, doing this will only score the paint underneath and possible letting the blade slip off course and marking the paint around the area being foiled.
5/ Once trimmed to size, burnish again using a cotton bud, following these simple tips, you should be able to get a first class foiling on your chrome trim.
(Above) Interior tub fixed into bodyshell, starting to look like a Mini now ..... (Left) rescess in top of door is there to help locate the interior tub
Before the roof panel can be fitted to the body, the inside of the roof panel needed to be painted matt white to match the rest of the inner roof panel, the edges were masked off using 6mm Tamiya masking tape, while the rest was masked off with regular low tack blue tape, while I had the airbrush out the rear lights were masked up so the orange indicator part of the lens could be airbrushed, the front indicator were cutt of the parts tree and inserted into holes I drilled into a wooden stick, much easier than trying to hold the parts in a pair of tweezers, and less likely to fly off and be eaten by the dreaded 'Carpet Monster', they will be airbrushed clear orange.
Inner roof panel airbrushed matt white
Roof panel masked up ready for the rain gutter trim to be airbrushed
After the glue holding the floorpan/chassis in place, the front & rear valances were fitted, these were fitted using 5 minute 2 part epoxy, the rear needed a little help getting it lined up correctly and held in place with masking tape while the front one was fitted, the front was a much better fit and needed no help in staying in place, with them out of the way the exhaust system could be fitted, at the end of the exhaust there is a small piece which needs fixing on, I dry fitted to see what the fit was like, it was that good it didn't want to come back off, so instead of risking breaking it, I left it as it was, the rest was fixed into place, again using 5 minute two part epoxy, it attached at the downpipe coming from the engine and a locating pin under the centre silencer box and at the end, which attaches to the subframe.
(Above, Left and Below) Roof panel fitted
After the rear lenses were airbrushed they were left to dry for a day and were then fixed into place using 5 minute two part clear epoxy, the chrome backing plate really gives the lenses a more realistic appearance than the Tamiya version, although you can back the lenses with BMF to give a simular appearance.
The next job was the rear number plate back plate and the number plate lamp, the lamp comes as part of the chrome parts, now sadly, both these parts are not a good fit, although once the paint had been scrapped off the rear off the number plate back plate, the fit was much better, so it's probably safe to say, leave the rear of the plate unpainted, which of course won't been seen once it has been fixed into place, the lamp on the other hand has a oblong hole in the body for the lamp, but the mounting point on the back of the lamp was slightly rounded, an easy job to trim down, and again, I really wish model companies wouldn't put the cut off point on chrome parts were it will be cleanly be seen after the part is fitted, the top of the lamp was sanded down and covered using chrome BMF.
The headlamps are another in the point of not having the cut off point on chrome parts where it will be seen once the parts are fixed into place, Revell are not alone in doing this, the headlamps are secured to the parts tree by the top and bottom of the headlamp bowls, so are going to be clearly seen once cut off the parts tree, a simple but very annoying job to cover up the mark, I use a fine sanding stick to sand down the mark back to the bare plastic and the cover the offending bit with a small piece of chrome BMF, you could also strip the chrome parts completely and redo the using Alclad lacquer.
Rear Bumper fitted
Masking Tape Applied
Airbrushed using Tamiya Semi-Gloss Black Acrylic
Masking Tape Removed