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    • Citroen 15-Six "Traction Avant" - 1952 - Heller - 1/8

      About time I show you guys what I have been loosing my time on.

      I started the kit a lot of people like to call "un-buildable". Well, it isn't, or at least almost ...
      When I was about 15 years old (now 35 years ago ...) I passed a toy shop almost daily. There this kit lay on the top shelf, but I couldn't afford to buy it. Good thing maybe, since there was no way I could have got it together decently back then. I think I may have the skills to tackle it today, but it still remains a difficult task.

      Before proceeding with what I have done since about a year or so, I would like to apologize for my talents (or the lack of them). The talent shown on this forum is out of my league. Not a chance I can get to half the quality of what some of you guys are doing here.

      So here we go.The main problem with the kit is the material it has been made of. When Heller tried to make a super kit (in size, detail and prestige) they forgot that when a large and heavy model is once assembled, you need stiff material to prevent it from collapsing together under it's own weight. Notably the suspension needs to be reinforced (or as I did firmly glued to fixed position), the door hinges will need some attention to prevent to doors to "hang". If you want turning front wheels then you will have to replace the steering column to prevent it to sheer. You get the idea.

      Although, it is not all but misery and pain in the bottom. The result is always quite rewarding, and with a bit of attention, planning and imagination you can achieve a nice result. I know my model will never be a contest winner, but let's go for a "nice result" instead.

      Now, main thing to mention about assembling the engine is that I needed to straighten the block halves. The plastic is in general (like I said above) too soft and due to it's age (and maybe a storage problem) quite some parts have bent. That does not make your life easier, but it is all doable. I managed it by glueing guidance pins inside the carter pan to make the engine block align itself and so force it into shape.I "detailed" the engine by removing all moulded bolts from the parts and replace them with brass ones, turned off from hex rods in various sizes. Here and there you might find a very shy attempt to self created PE parts. This is something I picked up recently and the very first results are being built in into this car.

      The engine will receive further weathering afterwards. I am always afraid to overdo things like that. Then after a while, I find that it was not enough, and I need to add shading and grease etc.



      The front suspension arms could use a bit detail. I replaced the rubber covers by brass ones, and the plastic bars were replaced as well. Inside these rod is an extra rod to stiffen up.



      The handbrake assembly which excelled by showing no detail at all, so I made my own using various bits of material. Will it be visible in the assembled car? Not at all, but it was fun doing it.



      Engine and suspension support cardle. It contains working torsion bars made of nylon, allowing you to replicate a working suspension just like the real car. A little bit fiddly to assemble, and while doing it, it looks and sounds horrendous but you can get it together if done with care and planning.



      This how the underside looks like. Note drybrushing with flat aluminum which is toned down with a little bit of red brown to create a used effect. I don't want it to look brand new, but of course it cannot look like a true rust bucket either.A factory clean car would be non-realistic too, since some parts of the cars in that era (and not just French cars really) were already oxidized before the car even reached it's buyer...



      The firewall with modified throttle linkage (on the left with return spring), replaced brake fluid container and dynamo (turned in alu).



      The seats are covered with fabric. All uphostery will be done with this material from Tenco Proto. Just glue it on using thinned white glue and spray in the correct colour. I sprayed with ordinary Tamiya grey primer , then a mist coat German Grey over it and if needed milded the dark grey with another mist coat of grey primer again.



      The floor was covered in the same way.



      There is only correct colour for a 1952 version of the car: black. It think it was only from 1954 and onwards that the 15-Six was available in a different colour, at least off factory. I am sure that there existed companies which could repaint the car any colour you liked back then, but I wonder if that was common practice in the 1950's. I strongly doubt that.



      You throw all bits together and you get something like this. Again, shifting the body over the floorpan is terrifying. I thought I was tearing the body apart at some stage, and then it suddenly just snapped together. It all looks OK if done with care.



      Recently I bought a set of Lifecolor acrylic paints, the set of black paints in different shades. So I decided to test a few of these on the underside of the car. It is not my intention of showing the car in way that the undertray will remain visible so if needed can always redo this. This is also the reason why you can still spot a few sinkholes in the picture, but just don't tell anyone please?I am now working on the back seats. They have been upholstered (is this a correct English verb?) and in the process of being installed. Update in the next few days.Any remark always welcome. Thanks for looking.My Infamous Coupe Top-dsc16629-jpg
      This article was originally published in forum thread: Citroen 15-Six "Traction Avant" - 1952 - Heller - 1/8 started by DominiqueBeerts View original post
      Comments 229 Comments
      1. RonOC's Avatar
        RonOC -
        Dominique,

        Thank you for the paint numbers.

        Color photos can be misleading.

        RonO
      1. spinellid82's Avatar
        spinellid82 -
        Feel free to start a new thread to showcase your work on it's own. I know of at least two people who would greatly appreciate seeing your work!
      1. 3.Star's Avatar
        3.Star -
        "Tis mine your suppliant now to be,Ah, let the band of interest - be three!"

        based loosely on Friedrich Schiller

        Cheers
        Michael
      1. spinellid82's Avatar
        spinellid82 -
        We should ask admin for a section just for the Heller Citroen Traction Avant. LOL
      1. DominiqueBeerts's Avatar
        DominiqueBeerts -
        Quote Originally Posted by PaulW View Post
        I have also been working on this kit now for several weeks, and your experiences and pictures swell of those from spinellid82 have been both inspirational and useful. I am going for a style somewhere between the two. Used but clean. I have been taking photos and would like to share them with all interested parties. I've chosen some different solutions to some of the problems so may be of some interest. I'm not sure of the protocols or process for posting though. Do I post here or start a new thread?
        Hi Paul,
        I have never seen any of these kits being built on any forum before,suddenly we end up with no less than three ...
        Please feel free to start up your own build log, so others can benefit from your and our experiences. Thanks for the interest in the subject. I think a lot of these Hellers are just waiting in some to-do pile because the builders are reluctant to get them started. I feel we are changing things here and now !!
      1. spinellid82's Avatar
        spinellid82 -
        Admittedly, from what I had read about them and seeing the kit in my own two hands it was intimidating at first. Once you push past that all you have to do is follow instructions, plan your work and work your plan. It is actually a wonderful challenge and can be a beautiful model!
      1. CitroenTA's Avatar
        CitroenTA -
        Quote Originally Posted by DominiqueBeerts View Post
        For those wanting to build this kit and squeeze in some detail, here is a link to Belgian website who sells spare parts for these cars:

        Citroen Traction Avant

        Click on any page you want to view, and click again on the image to maximize it.
        You can also find some interesting info on the 2CV there.

        For the 4 cylinder versions of the Traction Avant, there is this catalogue: http://www.citroen-l-attraction.de/p...ction_2012.pdf

        On page 58 of this file, you can find very useful information about originally used color schemes. RAL3020 is apparently the correct match for the engine. That should match very close to Revell 32363 (or SM363) dark green satin enamel.
        (Yes, I know that you're free to pick your own colors, but I like to stick to the original game )
        And that was me, who found that RAL 6020 color first and did post it to Automotive Forums .com Car Chat - View Single Post - Citroen 15-Six "Traction Avant" - 1952 - Heller - 1/8 The original color for the wheels is RAL 1015 and for windowframes RAL 8019
      1. CitroenTA's Avatar
        CitroenTA -
        From this link Modelarstwo Plastikowe • Zobacz w you can see a finished model. It was build in Poland in years 2006 - 2007. The language is what is, but the pictures are multilingual.
      1. DominiqueBeerts's Avatar
        DominiqueBeerts -
        Quote Originally Posted by CitroenTA View Post
        And that was me, who found that RAL 6020 color first and did post it to Automotive Forums .com Car Chat - View Single Post - Citroen 15-Six "Traction Avant" - 1952 - Heller - 1/8 The original color for the wheels is RAL 1015 and for windowframes RAL 8019
        I did not realize it was you, but credit to the correct person. Thanks for that again, Jouko!
      1. spinellid82's Avatar
        spinellid82 -
        I just checked out the link for the "extra parts" for this kit. Judging from the pics and prices of individual parts I am thinking these are parts for a real engine. If not, this would be one incredible model of an engine!
      1. CitroenTA's Avatar
        CitroenTA -
        Quote Originally Posted by spinellid82 View Post
        I just checked out the link for the "extra parts" for this kit. Judging from the pics and prices of individual parts I am thinking these are parts for a real engine. If not, this would be one incredible model of an engine!
        What link, where? I want to see it too.
      1. spinellid82's Avatar
        spinellid82 -
        Check it out!

        Citroen Traction Avant
      1. DominiqueBeerts's Avatar
        DominiqueBeerts -
        Quote Originally Posted by spinellid82 View Post
        I just checked out the link for the "extra parts" for this kit. [B]Judging from the pics and prices of individual parts I am thinking these are parts for a real engine.[/B] If not, this would be one incredible model of an engine!
        They are prices for real spare parts on 1:1
        The pages are ideal for reference. I use them all the time.
      1. CitroenTA's Avatar
        CitroenTA -
        Quote Originally Posted by DominiqueBeerts View Post
        They are prices for real spare parts on 1:1
        The pages are ideal for reference. I use them all the time.
        Just what I tought. But had to ask anyway.
      1. CitroenTA's Avatar
        CitroenTA -
        I think that there is no aftermarket parts for this car. You have to make all from scratch.
      1. PaulW's Avatar
        PaulW -
        OK guys, have started a new thread for my humble build. All 'grist to the mill'. Had it in the wrong place at first but eventually found out how to move it to this section. Been posting while on holiday in Malaysia, with not much to do and only intermittent access to the internet. Looking forward to getting back to it.
      1. PaulW's Avatar
        PaulW -
        Quote Originally Posted by DominiqueBeerts View Post
        Hi Paul,
        I have never seen any of these kits being built on any forum before,suddenly we end up with no less than three ...
        Please feel free to start up your own build log, so others can benefit from your and our experiences. Thanks for the interest in the subject. I think a lot of these Hellers are just waiting in some to-do pile because the builders are reluctant to get them started. I feel we are changing things here and now !!
        You could well be right Dominique. I bought my kit from someone in the US who had originally bought 2 kits intending to build two versions, but got daunted by page 10 or thereabouts. So I got lucky with his untouched one, along with a Proto 1/6 Moto guzzi. I've been sending him progress pics on request for encouragement to get back into it, so may well work for others out there. I gave up the hobby for many years myself when working as a jeweller, which satisfied the desire to make small things quite sufficiently.
      1. DominiqueBeerts's Avatar
        DominiqueBeerts -
        Finally an update on this build:


        Both wings have been sprayed and mounted onto the chassis. This was quite a struggle since the mounts against the radiator sidewalls did not fit. I had to adapt them in both size and shape t be able to make the wings connect.
        Then also the airfilter had his own say. I temporarily removed it and I will remount it when I am 100% sure that everything fits, including the hood lids.
















        The chromed parts have been de-chromed first, because I feel that the factory chrome is not really realistic and looks too "plastic". So I bleached it off the parts, and used Motip Chromspray over a layre of ordinary Tamiya grey primer . It does not look too bad, I must say.








        More updates to come.
      1. spinellid82's Avatar
        spinellid82 -
        Looking good Dominiqe! Makes me even more anxious to get back to mine!
      1. PaulW's Avatar
        PaulW -
        You're going to be a hard act to follow Dominique. The Motip chromspray is unknown to me. Looks good. I'd love an alternative to ready chromed plastic especially when there's heaps of flash on parts.
        Love your wiring and weathering .
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