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    1. Kit: Airfix, by (Yearly Subscriber) Jo NZ is offline
      Builder Last Online: Oct 2019 Show Printable Version Email this Page
      Model Scale: 1/12 Rating:  (1 votes - 5.00 average) Thanks: 8
      Started: 08-15-16 Build Revisions: Never  
      Supported Kit Bashed Attribution

      This very much comes under the heading of future projects, but I believe it can be built from the Airfix kit, with a scratch built 1/12 Birkin Blower Bentley single seater body. I've already found some 3D print files for the body, which even if not accurate, could be used as the basis for a body buck.

      Has anyone attempted it?

      1/12 Birkin Blower Bentley single seater-birkinbentley_1500-jpg


      1/12 Birkin Blower Bentley single seater
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  1. Jo NZ's Avatar Yearly Subscriber
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    Thanks! all drawings welcome. I have several of Roger Taylor's drawings from Scale Models, but not that one! I'll PM you my email address.
    The more I see the more I realise that the car ran through several versions, from standard sports (this was Blower no.1 of course) through a fabric single seat body (painted blue) which caught fire, then the aluminium bodied single seater (possibly blue, then red). It was raced after Tim Birkin died, pre-war, and then stored. It got a 2 seater body (painted green) and ran like this in the 60s. It then had the single seat body refitted, but with a wider cockpit and other replacement parts. It's now been apparently "correctly" restored to it's 1932 state, but it has front drum brakes which it didn't have in 1932... presumably so that it can be driven on the road; but it does makes you wonder what else has changed.


    1/12 Birkin Blower Bentley single seater
    QUOTE QUOTE #17

  2. Jo NZ's Avatar Yearly Subscriber
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    So - on to cutting it up!
    I'm using the model cars magazine drawings (thanks David) which incidentally are the same as the ones on Blueprints.com. There is a scale on the Model Cars drawing, and they check out as the long chassis.
    I cut the chassis just behind the rear gearbox crossmember - it seems to work best and is where the chassis legs are parallel and constant section - i.e. not tapered.
    I had some trouble working out how long to extend the chassis. 13 inches in scale is 28mm - but to match the drawings I needed to insert 34mm. I double and triple checked the scaling up I'd used, measured the "actual size" drawing on the Airfix box lid, and still couldn't work out what was wrong.
    It was only when I compared a chassis leg the the box drawing that I realised that the kit is 6mm too short - so an ultra short chassis version!
    The reinforcing piece is 1/4 x 1/8 brass RHS

    Here's the extended chassis. I've also started to remodel the rear springs to take proper shackles, and fixed a tube across the back of the chassis to give some rigidity.

    1/12 Birkin Blower Bentley single seater-img_2348-jpg

    1/12 Birkin Blower Bentley single seater-img_2352-jpg


    1/12 Birkin Blower Bentley single seater
    QUOTE QUOTE #18

  3. koehlerkment's Avatar Yearly Subscriber
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    Klaus
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    Hi Joe,

    I know I'm fastidious, but I found different measurements.

    My info is based on "Cars in Profile No. 9: 41/2 litre Bentley", page 216.

    The wheelbase for the short chassis given there is 9'9.5", or the overall length 13'3.5", which equals 4041 mm. Divided by 12 is 337 mm. This is exactly the length of the Airfix chassis.

    The standard or long chassis, which is used for the Birkin single seater has an overall length of 14'3.5" = 4354 mm. A twelfth is 363 mm. So the difference is a little more than one foot, that is 313 mm. On the model that is 26 or 27 mm.

    It seems to me that the scale given in the blueprints is wrong.

    Sorry for supplying the info that late, as I see you've alkready lengthened the chassis. Anyway, a few more millimetres may add to the sleekness of the design.

    Kind regards,

    Klaus
    Last edited by koehlerkment; 10-10-16 at 01:08 PM.
    QUOTE QUOTE #19

  4. Jo NZ's Avatar Yearly Subscriber
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    Hi Klaus
    You are absolutely right. Checking the drawings I have, the chassis appears to be sized to the 1930 long chassis dimension of 14ft 7in. As I haven't fitted the springs yet, I was scaling up the drawings to the correct wheelbase and then matching the chassis length to the drawing. I'll cut it back...
    I will also check all my enlarged drawings and pictures for scale. In having a first look I've found that using the picture below, If I scale it up so that the wheelbase is 275mm (close enough for now) then the chassis length is 352mm, which full size is 13ft 8.5in and so 10.5in short...
    Look at the position of the axle in relation to the rear spring. Normally a semi-elliptic spring has the axle mounted in the middle. In this view it appears to be 60% rearward, not 50%.

    Any help will be much appreciated!

    1/12 Birkin Blower Bentley single seater-birkinbentley_1500-jpg


    1/12 Birkin Blower Bentley single seater
    QUOTE QUOTE #20

  5. koehlerkment's Avatar Yearly Subscriber
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    I think that the photographer was standing right in front of the front wheel, as the offside wheel is not visible. The brake drum is almost in the centre. The rear brake drum and the offside rear wheel are off-centre. So most probably it's just the perspective.
    I know instances when the rear axle was fixed forwards or rearwards on the spring. But as far as I know this was not practice on the 4.5 litre chassis.

    How do you intend to build the body?
    QUOTE QUOTE #21

  6. Jo NZ's Avatar Yearly Subscriber
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    For the rear body, styrene 1/12 Birkin Blower Bentley single seater sheet over bulkhead formers - it's a pretty simple shape. I'd like to make the bonnet from aluminium sheet, and press the louvres in, As for the nose cowling, I'm not sure: styrene 1/12 Birkin Blower Bentley single seater won't be easy to form, and it needs to be thin to allow room for the carburettors. Perhaps copper sheet?


    1/12 Birkin Blower Bentley single seater
    QUOTE QUOTE #22

  7. Jo NZ's Avatar Yearly Subscriber
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    A little progress - I've shortened the chassis by 6mm to get it right. Started on the rear of the body - clamping it to the chassis, and adding notched formers to keep the shape and locate it on the chassis (I hope!)

    1/12 Birkin Blower Bentley single seater-img_2364-jpg

    1/12 Birkin Blower Bentley single seater-img_2365-jpg

    The rear springs have had the brackets cut off them, and new front hangers made

    1/12 Birkin Blower Bentley single seater-img_2363-jpg

    I've made the brake drums, with fins turned with a 1mm wide parting-off tool (rear only, no front brakes)

    1/12 Birkin Blower Bentley single seater-img_2366-jpg

    The cast - like finish on the drums is obtained by tumbling them in ceramic chips, sold for jewellers:

    1/12 Birkin Blower Bentley single seater-img_2356-1-jpg

    The tumbler is a kids one, for rock polishing. My kids got bored with that hobby, so I acquired it...

    1/12 Birkin Blower Bentley single seater-img_2358-1-jpg


    1/12 Birkin Blower Bentley single seater
    QUOTE QUOTE #23

  8. JunkGTZ's Avatar VIP/Sponsor
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    "(rear only, no front brakes)" It makes one realize that to drive one of these beasts at speed, one had to have a large pair of brass ones in the lower regions of the driver's suit!
    QUOTE QUOTE #24

  9. Jo NZ's Avatar Yearly Subscriber
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    Quote Originally Posted by JunkGTZ View Post
    "(rear only, no front brakes)" It makes one realize that to drive one of these beasts at speed, one had to have a large pair of brass ones in the lower regions of the driver's suit!
    Weight reduction
    Probably to offset the weight of the brass....


    1/12 Birkin Blower Bentley single seater
    QUOTE QUOTE #25

  10. Jo NZ's Avatar Yearly Subscriber
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    The frames to form the rear body...

    1/12 Birkin Blower Bentley single seater-img_2369-jpg

    1/12 Birkin Blower Bentley single seater-img_2370-jpg

    1/12 Birkin Blower Bentley single seater-img_2371-jpg


    1/12 Birkin Blower Bentley single seater
    QUOTE QUOTE #26

  11. Jo NZ's Avatar Yearly Subscriber
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    This is a very crude way to make the body, but it will work in the end. I extended the frames to provide some curvature to the top of the body (75 mm diameter seemed about right) and then planked across the frames - sheet at the bottom, where it's only single curvature, and then 2.5mm and 4mm strip across the top - all 1.5mm thick. It looks a little like an upturned boat. I remembered just in time to provide a support plate for the fuel fillers 1/12 Birkin Blower Bentley single seater (not pictured).

    1/12 Birkin Blower Bentley single seater-img_2372-jpg

    1/12 Birkin Blower Bentley single seater-img_2373-jpg

    A quick check with the engine to make sure that the bonnet is going to clear it... yes!

    1/12 Birkin Blower Bentley single seater-img_2378-jpg

    Next is a lot of work with a coarse file and filler to get a smooth finish, and a large pile of white plastic dust.


    1/12 Birkin Blower Bentley single seater
    QUOTE QUOTE #27

  12. Jo NZ's Avatar Yearly Subscriber
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    Starting to look a little like the prototype. I've filled, filed and sanded, sprayed a witness coat, and filled and sanded again.

    The cockpit is cut out, I've fitted the steering column to check that the cockpit's in the right place, and started on the head fairing.

    1/12 Birkin Blower Bentley single seater-img_2379-jpg

    1/12 Birkin Blower Bentley single seater-img_2381-jpg

    1/12 Birkin Blower Bentley single seater-img_2382-jpg

    1/12 Birkin Blower Bentley single seater-img_2383-jpg


    1/12 Birkin Blower Bentley single seater
    QUOTE QUOTE #28

  13. Jo NZ's Avatar Yearly Subscriber
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    The screws in the head fairing are just to locate it on the body. I laminated styrene 1/12 Birkin Blower Bentley single seater sheet either side of the central rib, and filed it down roughly to the shape of the rib and the base
    1/12 Birkin Blower Bentley single seater-img_2386-jpg

    The seat is from the kit, with the base cut off. It's going to need to be shorter as it should fit within the body

    1/12 Birkin Blower Bentley single seater-img_2384-jpg

    1/12 Birkin Blower Bentley single seater-img_2385-jpg

    I'm using the floor as a pattern for a new one, and to locate the bulkhead. You can see the difference in height of the bodywork to the standard car:

    1/12 Birkin Blower Bentley single seater-img_2387-jpg

    After a lot (and I mean a lot) of filing, the headrest fairing is looking better

    1/12 Birkin Blower Bentley single seater-img_2391-jpg


    1/12 Birkin Blower Bentley single seater-img_2392-jpg

    1/12 Birkin Blower Bentley single seater-img_2393-jpg

    I've aligned the headrest parallel to the side of the chassis,,as that's how the drawings show it. It appears to be aligned at more of an angle - towards the centre of the tail. Does anyone have a better picture?

    1/12 Birkin Blower Bentley single seater-img_2394-jpg

    1/12 Birkin Blower Bentley single seater-6b7b73f381d3b50c76f3d05a640dcaa0-jpg


    1/12 Birkin Blower Bentley single seater
    QUOTE QUOTE #29

  14. sjordan's Avatar VIP/Sponsor
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    Looks to me like the headrest is at a different angle from the 1:1 1/12 Birkin Blower Bentley single seater . Seems to be angled more toward the center
    QUOTE QUOTE #30

  15. ssybrecht's Avatar Active Member
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    Sebastian
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    Great Job so far!
    Looks to me as if the headrest should point to the tip of the rear end above number 5 of the licence plate...
    QUOTE QUOTE #31

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