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

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

      Kit: , by (Avid Member) DominiqueBeerts is online now
      Builder Last Online: Apr 2014 Show Printable Version Email this Page
      Model Scale: Unknown Rating:  (1 votes - 5.00 average) Thanks: 0
      Started: 02-22-12 Build Revisions: Never

      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.

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  1. #2
    Avid Member CTDavies's Avatar
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    Default Re: Citroen 15-Six "Traction Avant" - 1952 - Heller - 1/8

    This is incredible, Dominique! I'm already looking forward to seeing more.
    'Man's love of innovation will never die'Karl Benz

  2. #3
    Esteemed Member kmeaders@q.com's Avatar
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    Default Re: Citroen 15-Six "Traction Avant" - 1952 - Heller - 1/8

    Dominique, you definitely belong here as you have a great skill in making things look real. I am also looking forward to seeing more and thanks for posting your build.
    Old Sprinter

  3. #4
    Esteemed Member Egon's Avatar
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    Default Re: Citroen 15-Six "Traction Avant" - 1952 - Heller - 1/8

    I will for sure follow your build, I have 2 of them that I'm going to build some time, my parents had one in Cream collor and with a sunvisor, I'm going for that collor.
    There are some Citroen photos from a member Mario Lucchini here somewhere, his is unfortunately not with us no more.
    If you have some photos of the real car details, please share them in our gallery.
    Last edited by Egon; 02-22-12 at 04:53 PM.

  4. #5
    Ton
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    Default Re: Citroen 15-Six "Traction Avant" - 1952 - Heller - 1/8

    An excellent build Dominique! You are able to give plastic life!
    Last edited by Ton; 02-22-12 at 05:18 PM.

  5. #6
    Avid Member DominiqueBeerts's Avatar
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    Default Re: Citroen 15-Six "Traction Avant" - 1952 - Heller - 1/8

    Thanks guys, I appreciate it.


    Best regards,
    Dominique.


    Feel free to browse through my photo albums

  6. #7
    Active Member AirB's Avatar
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    Default Re: Citroen 15-Six "Traction Avant" - 1952 - Heller - 1/8

    Hello Dominique, i like to ask you what kind of material is that stuff you use for the seats (Tenco proto)?
    because i am looking also for a suitable solution for the seats, i was thinking to cast them in resin and covert
    them with fine flocking powder, but maybe is your solution better.
    Why they use such a bloody kind of soft plastic or pvc by Heller.
    Congratulations for your nice build.

  7. #8
    Super Moderator hot ford coupe's Avatar
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    Default Re: Citroen 15-Six "Traction Avant" - 1952 - Heller - 1/8

    Very nice job so far. I'm also looking forward to seeing more.
    Sometimes a handful of patience is worth more than a truck load of brains. Have the courage to trust your own beliefs. Don't be swayed by those with louder voices. W.S. Maugham :)

  8. #9
    Avid Member DominiqueBeerts's Avatar
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    Default Re: Citroen 15-Six "Traction Avant" - 1952 - Heller - 1/8

    Hi Rudy,
    this is what I use:



    The material looks and feels a bit like silk, but has a slightly rougher weave. It is available from a small company called Tenco Proto. Just mail the guy, I know him quite well, a nice person to talk to.
    I think the fabric is an industrial disposable. As I understand it is glued inside moulds and since it absorbes glue it can be easily torn off the mould and the casting . I think the Dutch term for it is "scheurvilt" or something like that. Could that be "tear felt" in English?

    @ Egon: I have got some very neat pictures of a mint auctioned car. I will post them in the gallery tomorrow or so, together with a few that might be interesting to have. I already had the parts catalogue of the both the model 11 and 15.



  9. #10
    Administrator ScaleMotorcars's Avatar
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    Default Re: Citroen 15-Six "Traction Avant" - 1952 - Heller - 1/8

    Very nice, this will be promoted to the front page.
    " He who works with his hands is a laborer. He who works with his hands, and his head is a craftsman. He who works with his hands, and his head, and his heart, is An Artist. "- St. Francis of Assisi

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