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1/12 Birkin Blower Bentley single seater
Goal amount for this year: 518 USD, Received: 200.00 USD (39%)
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1/12 Birkin Blower Bentley single seater 1/12 Birkin Blower Bentley single seater 1/12 Birkin Blower Bentley single seater 1/12 Birkin Blower Bentley single seater 1/12 Birkin Blower Bentley single seater
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    1. Kit: Airfix, by (Yearly Subscriber) Jo NZ is offline
      Builder Last Online: Aug 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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    That's how I was building it up to now. Indeed, how I have built it. That's the car in 2012.


    1/12 Birkin Blower Bentley single seater
    QUOTE QUOTE #287

  2. MODEL A MODEL's Avatar Yearly Subscriber
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    And . . .
    -craftsmanship is a lifelong project of
    self-construction and self determination
    QUOTE QUOTE #288

  3. MODEL A MODEL's Avatar Yearly Subscriber
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    I like your solution to the pressing of this shape. I did just notice the inside reverse of its contour at the top of this picture.

    1/12 Birkin Blower Bentley single seater-img_6787-jpg

    This is of the right side, your posted picture is of the left side, and in that picture you can see where the split in the bonnet is, below the exhaust, where in Daniel's time it was above the exhaust. The tear-drop was a little lower and the left panel was either removable and/or hinged at the chassis rail?

    Below is another view of the brake lever, and you can see that the poor thing had been manually adjusted several times!

    1/12 Birkin Blower Bentley single seater-img_6796-2-jpg
    Last edited by MODEL A MODEL; 03-31-19 at 05:09 PM.
    -craftsmanship is a lifelong project of
    self-construction and self determination
    QUOTE QUOTE #289

  4. MODEL A MODEL's Avatar Yearly Subscriber
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    And regarding the rear damper

    1/12 Birkin Blower Bentley single seater-img_6798-jpg

    1/12 Birkin Blower Bentley single seater-img_6784-jpg
    Last edited by MODEL A MODEL; 03-31-19 at 04:51 PM.
    -craftsmanship is a lifelong project of
    self-construction and self determination
    QUOTE QUOTE #290

  5. MODEL A MODEL's Avatar Yearly Subscriber
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    I'm sorry for all the bother Jo, -I hadn't noticed the wood / aluminum floor issue. But now the blue or black interior? You almost need to construct a time-line for this car!

    Some of the reason this car has remained of interest throughout the years is the fact that it was never a museum display. It has always been actively raced, shown, and driven. But then it acquires stickers, placards, and various changes to accommodate various owners, and of course it actually ages! Paint can be "freshened up" or allow to wear. More of a challenge to you than I thought it would be.

    -Don

    1/12 Birkin Blower Bentley single seater-img_6790-copy-jpg
    Last edited by MODEL A MODEL; 03-31-19 at 07:05 PM.
    -craftsmanship is a lifelong project of
    self-construction and self determination
    QUOTE QUOTE #291

  6. Jo NZ's Avatar Yearly Subscriber
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    The Birkin single seat Bentley – a short history

    Called Blower number one, registration UU5871, it was the first of fifty 4 litre blower cars. A long chassis car (only the three Le Mans team cars were built on the short chassis) it first raced at Brooklands in June 1929 with a 4 seater body.

    1/12 Birkin Blower Bentley single seater-image148-jpg

    In around September 1929 it was fitted with a red single seater body, made from a wood frame and stretched fabric.

    1/12 Birkin Blower Bentley single seater-paddock-2-jpg

    At the 500 miles race at Brooklands in October 1929 the exhaust disintegrated and set the body on fire. It was removed over the winter and replaced by the current aluminium single seater shell, designed by Reid Railton. The body was painted blue. At this time the front brakes were removed. It ran through the 1930 season, taking fastest lap at Brooklands at 135mph. Birkin soon discarded the cockpit cowl as he couldn't see over it.

    1/12 Birkin Blower Bentley single seater-image132-jpg

    Changes started to appear during the 1931 season. The standard two inch SU carburettors (called “vertical” for the orientation of the dashpot) were replaced by “horizontal” two and a half inch SUs. Even with the carbs on a quadrant manifold the nosecone needed an extension to clear them. The opening in the nose was enlarged at the same time.

    1/12 Birkin Blower Bentley single seater-ss-png

    Around Easter 1931 a Powerplus vane type blower was trialled, recognisable by its much smaller form than the Roots blower. This stayed on the car until October 1931 when the car caught fire (again) and the Villiers blower was refitted. This fire was the reason for Birkin trying to slow the car while sitting on the headrest…

    1/12 Birkin Blower Bentley single seater-321d27699938cab7b45e110cf211d4cb-jpg

    For 1932 the car was painted red, the oil pump on the front of the blower, the oil cooler on the nearside chassis, and the fairing over the handbrake fitted. Engine bore was also increased. At the Easter meeting in 1932 these modifications paid off with Birkin setting a new lap record at 137.96mph – a speed not beaten for two years. The last race for the single seater was in August, still lapping at 137mph despite gusty conditions.
    Birkin died of blood poisoning from a burn in 1933. The car remained in the possession of Dorothy Paget until 1939, when it was bought by Peter Robertson Roger, who already owned the Le Mans No.4 team car and had blown the engine. His car was repaired using parts from No.1 (including the special high capacity sump) and the Birkin car put out to grass.

    1/12 Birkin Blower Bentley single seater-268f3fe8abae67617be8235516f3dde8-jpg

    It re-appeared after the war as a two seater, in green, registered NUL 618. It was co–owned by Robertson Roger and John Morley. It was this rebuild that introduced so many of the differences to the car – for example the bent handbrake and gearlever (in order to clear the wider body). It also reverted to 2” carburettors – on the road a fuel consumption of 2mpg wouldn’t get you very far, not even with the 40 gallon tank! In addition it used a speed six radiator, much taller than the special single seater version, which necessitated new bonnet panels – and here is where the D shaped bulges to clear the magnetos came from (yes, the ones that I spent ages making a tool for).

    1/12 Birkin Blower Bentley single seater-0826f7aa4b7e953f567fe19724977b1a-jpg

    In 1964 it was sold to Rusty Russ-Turner. He rebuilt the original radiator and dropped the cowl and bonnet line back down to the same height as the single seater, refitting the nosecone. He also re-registered it with the original number plate – UU5871.

    1/12 Birkin Blower Bentley single seater-gettyimages-833713750-1024x1024-jpg

    Subsequently he re-fitted the single seat body. When it was road tested by Motorsport in 1973 Bill Boddy mentions the blue rear bulkhead – but not the side of the cockpit… He also said that Rusty had tried to get the car as close as possible to its Brooklands configuration.

    1/12 Birkin Blower Bentley single seater-1973-jpg

    In the early 1980s the car moved on to the ownership of George Daniels – renowned watchmaker, who preserved it largely as Rusty had left it (although some things definitely changed in this period – for example the cockpit side panel went from blue to black, all the switches and the speedometer disappeared from it) until George died and it was prepared for sale by Bonhams.

    1/12 Birkin Blower Bentley single seater-daniels-jpg
    George Daniels at Brooklands

    1/12 Birkin Blower Bentley single seater-04-img_8041sc-jpg


    It was sold to a German collector who embarked on a major refurbishment, apparently to get the car back to its 1932 condition. The front brakes were removed, the cycle wings and brackets removed, handbrake and gearlever replaced and the cockpit layout (particularly the left hand panel) changed again!

    1/12 Birkin Blower Bentley single seater-vde-cropped-jpg



    AND THEN - there are the replicas, guaranteed to confuse the uninitiated....

    1/12 Birkin Blower Bentley single seater-blower-2-jpg

    1/12 Birkin Blower Bentley single seater-image808012016424059-jpg


    Phew!


    1/12 Birkin Blower Bentley single seater
    Last edited by Jo NZ; 03-31-19 at 11:30 PM.
    QUOTE QUOTE #292

  7. MODEL A MODEL's Avatar Yearly Subscriber
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    Wow!

    -well that's pretty complete!

    Are there things you don't know?

    That patch on the cowl? are there any pictures of the car in use with the modification that the patch hides?

    The hydraulic shocks, B & D, Bentley and Dunlop? When did they show up? One per side in front of the axle? -and then two per side, fore and aft of the axle?

    When did the front mounted oil pump arrive? (I think it came and went and returned with different plumbing 1/12 Birkin Blower Bentley single seater ?)

    Exhaust, ceramic white, or black oxide?

    And of course the arrival and need for the Brass hex bolt head and Villiers badging on the super-charger?

    __________________________________________________


    When I was a shop clerk selling models, I did mention to mothers that making models promotes reading, studying, problem solving, and helps to develope patience. Was I wrong?

    -Don

    PS, When you do have a finished model sitting in front of you, just think of all the stories you'll be able to tell! You could write a book! Probably should write a magazine article! I'd buy it!
    Last edited by MODEL A MODEL; 04-01-19 at 01:00 AM.
    -craftsmanship is a lifelong project of
    self-construction and self determination
    QUOTE QUOTE #293

  8. Roger Zimmermann's Avatar Yearly Subscriber
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    Thanks for sorting that problem! This forum is not an easy one with pictures as I experienced many times!
    QUOTE QUOTE #294

  9. MODEL A MODEL's Avatar Yearly Subscriber
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    Hello Jo,

    Looking at the photo that I identified as being from 1981, zooming in, it looks to be rubber mat on the floor. A lot of uniform straight ridges. The most "recent" image I do believe is showing the wood, probably original-ish, (remember the fires?), and of course the Daniel's era aluminum floor covering. I imagine that the green two seat incarnation had Astro-turf?

    Wood might have been covered with rubber mat at any time? Even in 1932?

    -Don

    1/12 Birkin Blower Bentley single seater-img_6779-jpg

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

    I think this was the interior Rusty Russ-Turner re-created? -I think you have wiggle-room on what to think of as authentic. Myself I lean towards the rubber mat, over wood. Though in that photo of the interior minus a body, we are perhaps looking at the glare shinning off a lacquered wood surface and assumed it to be metal? -Or- painted wood? in the above pictures I think I see a hint of blue?

    The other racing Bentleys had wood flooring at the time, carpet for the non-racing.
    Last edited by MODEL A MODEL; 04-01-19 at 06:52 PM.
    -craftsmanship is a lifelong project of
    self-construction and self determination
    QUOTE QUOTE #295

  10. Jo NZ's Avatar Yearly Subscriber
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    I think it's carpet - look at the uneven edging, it looks like binding. There is also a slight gap where it looks like there's ally underneath. Still doesn't tell me what the floor was in 1932...

    Other questions:
    Patch on the cowl - a repair to cover the extra air inlet (a cylinder about 3" diameter which protruded forward about 3")
    Hydraulic shocks - not on the fabric bodied car but seem to be on the ally body from the start - Bentley were introducing them on road cars at the time
    Front mounted oil pump - winter 1931, originally for cooling, then the engine was converted to dry sump. Pumping the oil back to the oil tank (behind the fuel tank) must have assisted the cooling too. It's a long run of pipe!
    Brass bolt on the supercharger - one of the possible causes of the fires was oil leaking from the drip feeds to the supercharger bearings. The front supercharger bearing leaked too. Amhurst Villiers suggested using grease for the front bearing. Is this the reason for the bolt? I haven't seen it in any contemporary photos. It also explains why there is only one sight glass on the dash, not two like the other blower cars.
    The nameplate I'm not sure about - it seemed to change from brass to coloured; enamelled perhaps? Villiers could have changed it on one of his many rebuilds. Certainly the main casing changed from elektron to aluminium after the elektron casing cracked - and was temporarily repaired with Plasticine.(!)


    1/12 Birkin Blower Bentley single seater
    QUOTE QUOTE #296

  11. MODEL A MODEL's Avatar Yearly Subscriber
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    I think your right! I was thinking of a rubber matting we have at work, similarly ribbed pattern, but I now see it as "tatty" carpet.

    And as garish as it is, the blue / red interior must be genuine. (I wish it were the black, Daniels interior, but it looks as though that was an aesthetic decision by Mr. Daniels.)(He seems to have made a few changes, -after all it was his car)

    Now, however, the red leather was pre-Daniels. -so again, that might be "more" correct than as the car sits now? -I assume that the new owner has a team of hot 1/12 Birkin Blower Bentley single seater -shot researchers tracking down all these variables. (But often with old machines, when repairing / restoring, you never know what clues will be found as you dismantle this, or clean that!)

    Not much chance that either of us will ever get that close.

    Thanks for the postings! You have so many decisions left to make, but what a wonderful model you'll have!

    -Don
    -craftsmanship is a lifelong project of
    self-construction and self determination
    QUOTE QUOTE #297

  12. MODEL A MODEL's Avatar Yearly Subscriber
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    This is not the "Single Seater" of course, but this is how the other racing Bentleys were fitted out.

    I took these pictures ages ago, and was allowed a surprising amount of access, but I didn't have my shopping list of photograph this, and this and look under here, . . . . -no matter how prepared you think you are, make a list!

    -craftsmanship is a lifelong project of
    self-construction and self determination
    QUOTE QUOTE #298

  13. MODEL A MODEL's Avatar Yearly Subscriber
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    Last edited by MODEL A MODEL; 04-04-19 at 02:50 PM.
    -craftsmanship is a lifelong project of
    self-construction and self determination
    QUOTE QUOTE #299

  14. MODEL A MODEL's Avatar Yearly Subscriber
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    -craftsmanship is a lifelong project of
    self-construction and self determination
    QUOTE QUOTE #300

  15. Jo NZ's Avatar Yearly Subscriber
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    Well here's a start on the retro-build.

    New bonnet sides. Don mentioned that the nearside was split differently to the post war version (1946 to 2012), he's right, the lower panel isn't cut around the exhaust manifold, it finishes underneath it

    1/12 Birkin Blower Bentley single seater-img_3193-jpg

    The new (i.e. 1932 bonnet side) is at the top of the picture


    Both sides, punched and formed, for trial assembly

    1/12 Birkin Blower Bentley single seater-img_3195-jpg

    1/12 Birkin Blower Bentley single seater-img_3196-jpg

    and then there's the wooden floor. I've used basswood, with a soak in tea to start, and then washes 1/12 Birkin Blower Bentley single seater of various browns and a bit of black. When I came to make a new cover to the gearbox it seemed a strange shape - and then I realised that it IS the gearbox! So here's another bit of Airfix brought into the build.

    1/12 Birkin Blower Bentley single seater-img_3204-jpg


    1/12 Birkin Blower Bentley single seater
    QUOTE QUOTE #301

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