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    1. Kit: , by (Yearly Subscriber) Roger Zimmermann is offline
      Builder Last Online: Dec 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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    January 13, 2010

    The « under wheel covers » were easier to do, even if the thinner The story about my 1:12 Studebaker Avanti material (0.2mm) gave more trouble that the brass used for the wheel covers (0.3mm).



    A completed wheel cover is on the first picture; it is attached on the wheel with a system which came to me during the night.
    The system is shown on the remaining parts: these parts have the same shape as the main wheel cover because they were done with the same tools. I flattened the outside surface at the end of the apertures; this way, the wheel cover with stay on the wheel. Sure, this system will damage the paint, but real wheel covers do the same!
    The apertures have a specific usage: I will soft solder the parts to the wheel covers through them.



    Now, I just have to polish the parts, let sand The story about my 1:12 Studebaker Avanti blast the recesses (I came away with silver painting) and let chrome the wheel covers.

    January 19, 2010

    The wheel covers are now polished and almost ready to be chromed. Almost ? Why ? Well, I have to cover with masking The story about my 1:12 Studebaker Avanti tape the surface which will be shiny. Once the task done, the plating company will media blast the surface which will be dull. Once the masking The story about my 1:12 Studebaker Avanti paper away, the tree The story about my 1:12 Studebaker Avanti with the wheel covers will go into the various bathes. The copper wires have been soldered before the masking The story about my 1:12 Studebaker Avanti paper was set on the parts to avoid that the glue is burning.




    The story about my 1:12 Studebaker Avanti
    QUOTE QUOTE #107

  2. Roger Zimmermann's Avatar Yearly Subscriber
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    January 28, 2010
    Manufacturing the tires

    Now, I have all the material needed for the tires. The silicone which will be used for the molds had a successful test: strong and does not stick to the brass.
    I got also the hand pump for the vacuum; this will be needed to eliminate the bubbles crated by stirring the silicone with the hardener. This will be excellent for the hand’s muscles !
    Now I’m doing a job which is necessary. The brown mass is paraffin. For what this could be used ?






    The story about my 1:12 Studebaker Avanti
    QUOTE QUOTE #108

  3. Roger Zimmermann's Avatar Yearly Subscriber
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    January 28, 2010
    The answer

    Tires could be entirely black, but at that time, it was unusual, even if white walls cost extra. The material which will be used for the tires cannot be painted; I had to find a different solution (already in use for the Toronado) by inserting a white ring into a groove made in the tire. The picture below is the mold I will use for that. It's slightly conical to avoid that the ring is coming out. I just hope that my calculation will be right!




    The story about my 1:12 Studebaker Avanti
    QUOTE QUOTE #109

  4. markus68's Avatar VIP/Sponsor
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    Deeply interesting. Thanks a lot for posting. Markus
    QUOTE QUOTE #110

  5. Roger Zimmermann's Avatar Yearly Subscriber
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    Thanks Markus! How far are you with your own project?


    The story about my 1:12 Studebaker Avanti
    QUOTE QUOTE #111

  6. markus68's Avatar VIP/Sponsor
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    I rarely work on it (time famine) but i`m still working (wooden frame).
    QUOTE QUOTE #112

  7. Roger Zimmermann's Avatar Yearly Subscriber
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    If you intend (who knows) also to restore a vehicle, you will have less time for all!


    The story about my 1:12 Studebaker Avanti
    QUOTE QUOTE #113

  8. markus68's Avatar VIP/Sponsor
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    That`s true.
    QUOTE QUOTE #114

  9. Roger Zimmermann's Avatar Yearly Subscriber
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    People who followed the Mark II construction have already seen something similar with the tires for that model. However, as the memory is fading, it’s a good opportunity to refresh what you learned!

    January 29, 2010
    Success or disaster?

    That's the day’s question. I will get the answer in one or two days…

    Some explanation:
    This day is the beginning of the tire’s fabrication. I’m doing first the preparation for the first negative half mold. The brass tire is put into some plastiline; to have a nice surface, a disc of brass is put on that plastiline. The inner diameter is a tight fit over the brass.



    Then, the white silicone is prepared with the right hardener proportion. The silicone is put into the desiccator; then some vacuum is applied to that silicon. Not a lot, about ˝ bar ; after that, my hand can’t any more.



    The picture is not too clear, but the surface is full of bubbles which are bursting one after the other. At the same time, the volume is increasing as the trapped air into the silicone is inflating. Then, the more or less free of air silicone is poured into the can and go back to the vacuum chamber.



    Some bubbles are still coming at the surface, but less than before. I probably did a mistake by mixing the silicone with its hardener because I was surprised by the difficulty to mix both products. The result is that the mass is not hardening at the same rate everywhere.

    As I had no more space into the desiccator, the first white wall is not under vacuum.



    After a long time under vacuum (my poor hands can no more!), I’m taking the « assembly » out of the desiccator. If there are still bubbles in the mixed silicone, they will be squashed by the normal air pressure as long as the silicone is not yet set.



    The next operation is to remove the plastiline and pure again a next mix of silicone. When this second operation is over, I will then know if the whole process was a success or a failure.

    At that day, there was like sunshine before the forecasted snow: the wheel covers are ready and I went to the plater to reach them.



    I’m satisfied at 95%. To avoid that the dull part is getting too shiny, the copper coat was reduced. The result is that on the shiny surfaces, polishing “scratches” can be seen. I still have some black paint to do on them.


    The story about my 1:12 Studebaker Avanti
    QUOTE QUOTE #115

  10. Roger Zimmermann's Avatar Yearly Subscriber
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    February 01, 2010
    As I did know that the tire story will not go without difficulties, I did something else to let the things calm down, the rear license plate, for example. There are decals for that kind of job, but I don’t want to begin with a new experiment. Therefore, I did an « Avanti » name with brass and glued it on a black plate.



    Another small job I did: put some black paint are the right places. Here is one, installed on a wheel. The comparison between the new and the old one don’t need any comment.




    The story about my 1:12 Studebaker Avanti
    QUOTE QUOTE #116

  11. Roger Zimmermann's Avatar Yearly Subscriber
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    February 08, 2010
    Victory?

    It’s still too early to say it, but things are gook looking. The second half of the negative mold was done yesterday. Why did I wait so long to do that ? Well, I needed a releasing agent; I got it yesterday. All my attempts with silicone grease, soap or other products failed. What I got is a wax spray can ; this is needed to avoid that both parts are definitively glued together.

    This morning, I took away the tube. The surface which was contacting the steel tube is looking good. What will I find inside at the separation line, full of air bubbles?



    Indeed, the surface at a first glance is perfect. The product is also a good cleaner: even if I washed the brass tire before the job, the surface has some black traces. The spraying of the wax was not very good; I missed a small surface and the silicone stick together, but this small problem will have no effect for the rest of the job.



    The next operation: pouring the same product into both halves. For that, no error is allowed. otherwise, I will have to go back to the starting line.


    The story about my 1:12 Studebaker Avanti
    QUOTE QUOTE #117

  12. Roger Zimmermann's Avatar Yearly Subscriber
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    February 14, 2010
    Yesterday, I poured some white silicone into one of the negative molds. The question was : will the product stick or not ? The problem with such a work is that the result can only be seen when the product is entirely cured, usually the day after.
    This morning : attempt to remove the positive mold from the negative one: The half tire on the right is perfect!
    At the top of the picture, there is something few would like to see at home: a syringe. This is needed to mix the catalyst with precision. No, I don’t have the needles !



    At the picture’s bottom, you can see the product which will used to do the definitives tires. I did a test to see if the colo ris suitable because the ground product is clear like water ; a tinted product must be added; 1 to 4% are enough according to the manufacturer of the product. I poured a small quantity into one of the Toronado molds; with only a very small quantity the products is getting black, a nicer color that I had with the Dow Corning product (which is now extremely expensive, more than $ 300.00 for one kg).
    I’m doing now the other tire’s half.

    February 14, 2010
    The breakdown!

    By creating vacuum with this hand pump, my hands are still OK, but not the pump ! Those tools in plastic are not worth…I will attempt a repair but I’m sure something else will go bad!



    By luck, I was at the end of creating enough vacuum…


    The story about my 1:12 Studebaker Avanti
    QUOTE QUOTE #118

  13. happyfreddy's Avatar Established Member
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    some vids of legendary studebaker avanti







    QUOTE QUOTE #119

  14. Roger Zimmermann's Avatar Yearly Subscriber
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    Thanks for the videos, Freddy! As I'm not too keen for searching, I probably never saw them. Interesting, one Avanti is from the Studebaker club from Switzerland!


    The story about my 1:12 Studebaker Avanti
    QUOTE QUOTE #120

  15. happyfreddy's Avatar Established Member
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    Roger , it´s only little part of videos in internet
    tape only : studebaker avanti and then chose vids button
    You also find then official promoting vids - sometimes really interesting

    by the way same procedure with toronado ......

    If You ask why I search ...... it´s really simply
    Often I search for my project BMW 2002 and because no real car for taking pics etc
    I search for vids/pics of restauration - the only way to get detailled informations
    QUOTE QUOTE #121

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