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    1. Kit: , by (Yearly Subscriber) Roger Zimmermann is offline
      Builder Last Online: Oct 2019 Show Printable Version Email this Page
      Model Scale: 1/12 Rating:  Thanks: 1
      Started: 06-10-19 Build Revisions: Never  
      Supported Scratch Built Completed

      Since a boy, I was always fascinated by cars. There were some cars in the small village at the countryside where I grow up, especially VWs (I will never understand why this ugly thing, noisy, unpractical was sold in such quantities). I believe that one of both grocers from the village had a early fifties green 2-door Chevrolet; this was probably the king of the village!

      Ironically, my parents had no car et never had one. If by chance a Studebaker was parked at one of both cafés from that 300 inhabitant's village, I could stay hour(s) to look at it. The 1950 model was the one which started it all.

      We are going forwards for some years: in 1963, the Studebaker Avanti was shown at the Geneva Show; I'm sure that I was a nuisance for the stand's personal as I could not away from this stand!

      I will not relate here all my attempts to recreate cars during my youth using cardboard and a frame done with the Meccano kit. The last vehicle done with this hybrid material was a 1963 Chrysler. I did for this model an innovation: by wetting the cardboard, it could be better shaped in both directions at once.



      After the Geneva show adventure, I had to replicate this Avanti. At that time, I was 18 years old; my father, a wood worker, had not the right tools for my needs. Anyway, I began to do a frame using as a guide the image from the sales catalog I reluctantly got in Geneva. My father had some galvanized sheetmetal; I used that for that frame.
      Why did I choose the scale 1:12? Probably because the available skinny Meccano wheels were suitable for that scale. The construction went muck quicker than what I did in the recent years; there were less details and the resemblance was...marginal at best!



      I was proud from my front suspension and steering system miles away from the reality:



      The main idea was to do again a body using my "new" technique with wet cardboard. However, one of my colleague at the apprenticeship told me that I would get much better results using polyester and fiberglass (he was living in a town and me in the countryside, what a difference!). It was totally new for me and I had to do my experiences with that product. A small story about it I still remember: the instructions stated that it was important to have about 25°C to allow the polyester to set. I waited that my parents went away a Sunday afternoon to heat like hell the furnace in the living room using wood to get the desired temperature, even more, for my first experience. As it was probably autumn or winter, all windows were closed. I still hear the exclamations from my parents about the heat and the bad smelling when they came back!
      I learned quickly enough that a positive mold was necessary as first. Then, as a second step, a negative form should be done using the positive mold. Finally, the negative mold is to be used to get the final part. How easy it was with cardboard: not overheating needed, no bad smell and quickly done!
      How could I do the positive mold? I choose probably by accident the plaster. Not the one used by the sculptors but the cheap one to do walls and ceilings!
      It's easy to work with once it's dry (sometimes too easy) and it's doing a lot of dust. This later aspect was not important, the shop from my father was full of wood dust. A little more did not matter.

      The first result:



      Me at work, probably 1965 or 1966:




      The story about my 1:12 Studebaker Avanti
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  1. Roger Zimmermann's Avatar Yearly Subscriber
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    November 19, 2008

    The frame is naked, without any accessory. I removed all the suspension elements; here it is with the first coat of primer The story about my 1:12 Studebaker Avanti .





    The four rods at the ends of the frame are needed to put the frame upside down during the painting process. The other strange thigs are used as a protection for the threads. Some paint on them and they are no more usable.
    Tomorrow, if nothing is coming across, I will spray the black paint.

    November 20, 2008

    As I expected, I could spray the frame. He is drying in the paint booth (in fact the kitchen!) It’s now time to give some attention to the frame’s accessories. The rear axle is painted too, now the steering box is under scrutiny. A view from it just after it’s construction :



    Once the pictures were done, I saw that it was full of dust!
    A view from the inside:



    I did not do the gears myself, I just bought them. The worm is from a toy store and the sector was indeed done by a mechanical shop for the Oldsmobile according to my specifications. As I let do two pieces, the second one is here.
    The gear box will be painted to simulated cast iron and the side cover (removed on the picture) will be painted aluminum. The gears will get some grease during the final assembly.


    The story about my 1:12 Studebaker Avanti
    QUOTE QUOTE #62

  2. Roger Zimmermann's Avatar Yearly Subscriber
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    November 22, 2008
    The definitive assembly

    As I wrote some days ago, the frame is now black. After a good drying time, I can begin to assemble the various elements belonging to a frame. On the first image, the rear axle and the steering gear are installed. All four temporary are still there; it this position the frame is resting on them.



    This picture is showing the frame from above.



    As I cannot paint all elements in once operation, I’m taking one element after another to sand The story about my 1:12 Studebaker Avanti , spray the primer The story about my 1:12 Studebaker Avanti and final paint. Here are some parts in my « drying boot ».



    This is in fact a lamp with a magnifier glass which is very convenient for this unexpected task.

    November 28, 2008

    In my garage (the one for the 1 :1 scale cars), the temperature is near to 0°C ; therefore, it’s very convenient to continue the model's work at home !

    The plating company told me some days ago that the tree The story about my 1:12 Studebaker Avanti for the matt chromed parts is ready.

    The next pictures are sowing the treated tree The story about my 1:12 Studebaker Avanti . Front brake rotors can be seen; this is not exactly to correct color for rotors; it’s difficult to give to brass parts the aspect of iron.





    With the progressing work at the frame, the brake rotors will be soon installed as the suspension levers are now painted. I just discovered that I forgot to fabricate the brake shields; I had to do them as a rush program!


    The story about my 1:12 Studebaker Avanti
    QUOTE QUOTE #63

  3. Roger Zimmermann's Avatar Yearly Subscriber
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    November 29, 2008
    With the paint hardly dry, I installed the LH front suspension with the brake caliper and its external tube (made with 0.5mm steel wire). The shock absorber is not yet installed, it must be painted first.
    The plastic tube at the end of the lower suspension arm is a temporary stop; it will be removed when the steering elements are installed.



    The brake rotors have the same surface look as the gray paint sprayed on the calipers and brake shield. In real life, there is some difference.



    On this view, the very long wheel lugs are rather odd. I did that because the actual wheels are plain rubber and the length was necessary to attach the wheel. I’m not yet sure if I will do other wheels.



    Now, I’m doing the other side: remove the parts, sand The story about my 1:12 Studebaker Avanti them, etc.


    The story about my 1:12 Studebaker Avanti
    QUOTE QUOTE #64

  4. Roger Zimmermann's Avatar Yearly Subscriber
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    November 30, 2008

    What you are seeing is a front shock absorber. Inside, there is a product (HYVIS) I got from PB years ago when I was searching a solution for the Brougham rear levelling valves. I have two viscosities from that product: the front shock absorbers got the thick material and therefore are too hard; the rear ones were filled with the low viscosity and, with the time, the product leaked. Some weeks ago, I had to do 2 new parts again, they were empty!



    I still have some paint on the nail. The irregular shape is a collateral damage: by grabbing the parts with the nails to file them, sometimes the file bits the nail!

    December 08, 2008

    After the paint on the frame, the turn is now to the engine. This is requiring a compete removal from the parts to improve the surface and then the painting process. The pictures are showing what I did that afternoon December 8.
    In the background, a wood block with the small drills and taps.



    Some parts are already in the work process. The 8 holes into the block are just done to be nice; there was indeed no reason to do them.
    The exhaust manifolds are still attached to the heads; there is no reason to remove all at once; there are enough parts to be treated.







    The big question now is about the engine color. R1 & R2 Studebaker engines are black. Not especially nice, it was the Studebaker’s problem. However, on a scale model, a black engine will create a black spot in the engine compartment and I don’t like that. I not respect the authenticity and paint the engine dark red or dark blue.
    R3 engines are orange; this paint does not please me because the top R3 engine is very different from the R1 version (the one I’m doing). Further, the fan on Avanti models is already orange; I want another color to have some life!


    The story about my 1:12 Studebaker Avanti
    QUOTE QUOTE #65

  5. markus68's Avatar VIP/Sponsor
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    You are the king of soldering. :-) Markus
    QUOTE QUOTE #66

  6. Roger Zimmermann's Avatar Yearly Subscriber
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    Thanks Markus, but I can also have bad parts or just a gob of silver solder!


    The story about my 1:12 Studebaker Avanti
    QUOTE QUOTE #67

  7. markus68's Avatar VIP/Sponsor
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    I know there is always a bad part. :-)
    QUOTE QUOTE #68

  8. Egon's Avatar Moderator
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    You won't go wrong with silver on engine and flat black on some parts, ? I like silver
    QUOTE QUOTE #69

  9. Roger Zimmermann's Avatar Yearly Subscriber
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    Egon, thanks for your comments, but you are 11 years too late! Anyway, thank you for your suggestion.

    December 12, 2008

    When I did this report in 2008, nobody did an objection about the engine color. As nobody argued about this very important topic, I had to decide myself: the engine will be metallic The story about my 1:12 Studebaker Avanti red. At first, I wanted a solid color, because the metallic The story about my 1:12 Studebaker Avanti paints are needed a clear coat The story about my 1:12 Studebaker Avanti , rendering the work a bit more complicated. But metallic The story about my 1:12 Studebaker Avanti paints are so much better looking ! I tried first the water pump. After a while, I wanted to spray the clear coat The story about my 1:12 Studebaker Avanti . Bad luck, my old can is too old and probably the gaz is gone.
    Back to the town to get a new can. As the water pump is good looking, tall the other parts are getting their red paint.
    The oil pan is at the LH top corner; the flywheel on the top right corner, the block is at the left, plus other smaller parts.



    December 15, 2008
    Hard week-end !
    It was devoted to the assembly of the block and the transmission. Cylinder heads and intake manifold will be installed when the engine is on the frame, because, as I’m alone for the job, the weight of the engine without accessories is what I’m able to carry. Oh sorry, its’ a wrong explanation : we are not dealing about a 1:1 The story about my 1:12 Studebaker Avanti engine, but a scale model! The reason is another one : If the heads would be installed I could not screw the nuts at the front engine supports.
    Maybe some of you will notice that there is a mix with screws with hex heads and other with cylindrical heads which are far from usual on engines. The reason is easy: I discovered last year a store in Germany which is selling small hex bolts and nuts, when most was already done for screws with cylindrical heads. Many of them are 0.7mm; dimension which does not exist with hex heads. I should go to the smaller diameter, requiring plugging the already done holes. I’m a fool, but there are limits!










    The story about my 1:12 Studebaker Avanti
    QUOTE QUOTE #70

  10. Egon's Avatar Moderator
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    Sorry I was sleeping
    QUOTE QUOTE #71

  11. Roger Zimmermann's Avatar Yearly Subscriber
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    Hey Egon, sleep further!

    December 17, 2008
    I’m lucky : the crane to place the engine on the frame did not collapse !
    As I wrote earlier, cylinder heads and accessories will be installed later. In fact, the cylinder heads will be assembled on the engine with the exhaust manifolds and the fist exhaust tube; this is the only way to assemble the elements with the appropriate nuts.





    There will be no gasket between the block and the heads.

    Imagine the engine in black! With the black frame, there would be a gob of black paint.



    On those pictures, don’t you have an impression that something is not right ? I don’t speak about what’s laying around the frame but AT THE FRAME. No, nothing?
    Well, I’m disturbed by something: the wheels. If the tires are just acceptable, the wheels are now totally inadequate with the frame. I took the decision: when the model will be ready, I will do other wheels and maybe other tires. On my small lathe, it will be a lot of work; ideal when there is snow outside!

    December 21, 2008
    According to what I wrote 11 years ago, it was snowing this day. It’s a real pleasure for me not to have to go outside! The assembly could continue without regret.
    The assembly from a scale model is almost like the same duty for a car scale 1:1 The story about my 1:12 Studebaker Avanti like: Oh! I forgot that or: s.it, I have no more the things for this or that; I must quickly do 2 or 3, and so on.
    The following pictures will be the last for the year 2008.



    The air cleaner and other parts for the ignition system are not yet installed because they are not yet chromed.



    The fan belt is a funny one ; who saw just once a blue belt ?
    The exhaust attachment at the rear is not yet done; I forgot it while I was doing the frame. As I cannot make holes at the proper place, I will have to improvise.







    The carb is also not very detailed; in fact, it’s just a piece of brass on which the air cleaner will be attached.
    I will do spark plugs because, depending the angle one is looking at the engine, there is just a hole. A shame!


    The story about my 1:12 Studebaker Avanti
    QUOTE QUOTE #72

  12. JunkGTZ's Avatar VIP/Sponsor
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    I love the color choice on the engine and never would have thought to go with a metallic The story about my 1:12 Studebaker Avanti color. It provides a nice visual pop without going too far such as it might if you did a candy red shade. It’s high enough contrast to bring out the details of the engine but not obscure them as a brighter color might. Wonderful build!
    QUOTE QUOTE #73

  13. Roger Zimmermann's Avatar Yearly Subscriber
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    Thanks Larry! Fortunately, the aluminum particles are small, so it's not too disturbing.
    Metallic The story about my 1:12 Studebaker Avanti colors on engines are not usual, but there are a few, like gold for some Olds engine, I believe.


    The story about my 1:12 Studebaker Avanti
    QUOTE QUOTE #74

  14. Roger Zimmermann's Avatar Yearly Subscriber
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    December 30, 2008
    Some days ago, I tried to put the body on the frame to trace down eventual issues. It was a good idea: I noticed that I could not install the brake module: the booster is making an interference with a screw from the rocker cover! The sole solution is to do another booster support to raise it for about 1.5mm. Not more because another other interference with the hood is programmed! This situation is happening when some parts are done too early.

    I hope that I will get no other bad surprise…

    January 18, 2009
    As the frame is almost complete, I had to remove all the elements installed in or on the body to finish it. I did some corrections: the floor under the rear seat was too far away from the reality; the trunk lid was bulging too much; it should be practically flat. I could not correct that much, but now it’s better. Before the correction, it was looking almost like a dog doing its business!

    Small imperfections from the polyester are corrected with filler. It’s easy to apply but takes a long time to get dry, especially to fill pores: it’s dry at the surface, but not through. If the body is sanded too early, the solvents will continue to evaporate and the surface will have a small depression.

    What can I do during the waiting time? Parts to be chromed! There are still many to do. The bright work was rather restrained on the Avanti, nevertheless there are many plated The story about my 1:12 Studebaker Avanti parts. Anyway, not quite like a ’58 Buick Limited!

    Here is the second batch to be plated The story about my 1:12 Studebaker Avanti . You can recognize the air cleaner, the wipers, the side window frames, the front bumper ends and many more. The tree The story about my 1:12 Studebaker Avanti will go to the plating company soon because the roads are beginning to be cleaner after the snow and very cold weather.



    January 19, 2009
    Once the parts are ready, I can continue with the body. I sanded the single stage filler and finished the underbody.



    People who know Avanti models well will recognize the « hog trough »; those parts are the reinforcement parts at the sills. On the original cars, they have the tendency to rust from inside out. Like Corvette cars, there are some structural parts made with steel.


    The story about my 1:12 Studebaker Avanti
    QUOTE QUOTE #75

  15. Roger Zimmermann's Avatar Yearly Subscriber
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    January 25, 2009

    Drying time
    It’s always frustrating. Even if the filler can be sanded after 24 hours, I prefer to wait longer. Anyway, I’m not without work: I could begin to finish the front seats. It takes a long time and stressing: the bit of leather to be glued must be positioned with precision and done rather quickly as the glue is getting dry rather quickly. One of both seats is almost finished; the other one is far from ready.



    In between, I do continue with the body shell. The other day, I had a shock : the flange between windshield and hood is too low on the left side by about 1mm. I saw it only when the primer The story about my 1:12 Studebaker Avanti was sprayed on the surface. What can I do ? As I’m far away from the final paint, it’s still possible to correct it witch is requiring modifications to the hood, body and left door. The needed modification is done with a 2 components filler which is almost yellow on the picture.



    January 30, 2009
    The second serie of the shiny chromed parts is back.



    Chromed parts are always difficult to photography, especially if the chrome is well done which was not the case at the first serie.

    The fourth picture is showing the parts which I was not happy with: they had a lot of tiny pits; at first I was thinking that I would let them that way, but the more I looked at them the more I was unhappy.
    They will be back to the plating company as the third batch, together with the rear bumper, the center bar from the front bumper and other parts.



    January 31, 2009

    The parts from this second batch are very well done. I believe that plating parts is a difficult art and the results are not always predictable.
    Yesterday, I assembled the door’s locks. they are made with 4 main tiny parts which can be as slippery as a soap! Fortunately, nothing was lost and the locks are functioning as intended.
    After that, the last chromed parts for the engine were assembled.





    On both engine’s picture, you can see a spark plug!
    The blue belt is still a problem; I’m sure a solution will come one day.


    The story about my 1:12 Studebaker Avanti
    QUOTE QUOTE #76

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