After more then 8 years of one aircraft model after another, and being a long time road racing fan from the early 1060s, I thought it was about time that I included racing cars into my model building schedule. And with time no longer on my side, now is the perfect time to start.
Rather then jump into the world of Formula 1 as it seems to be the most modeled series, I thought I'd model a personal favorite from the FIA Endurance races of yesteryear. For me the Iconic Porsche 917 series totally dominated the 1970's Prototype class, and was by far my favorite P type car. Unlike most makes, Porsche didn't race the cars under the Porsche factory banner, but rather had a team or a few teams that it treated as their factory teams.
My favorite team from the late 1960s through the the 1980s was the John Wyler Gulf Team. And so I set out to build one of the Fujimi 1/24 scale Wyler Gulf Porsche 917 K versions. Unfortunately, the kit isn't available except from the Orient, so I decided go with the Team Piper version which I picked up at the 2018 Noreastcon for steal. I figured I'd just buy new decals from IndyCal, but when I checked they didn't make any Wyler/Gulf Porsche 917K decals. So I switched "gears" and went with the Martini 1971 LeMans winning car decals. When I opened the box to start the kit, to my horror I discovered that the Piper version was a short track car, without the vertical Stabilizers that Porsche added for the 1971 race, which preceeded the long tail version. So I was faced with this:
The correct tail looks like this:
So I decided to just make my own out of .020 sheet plastic using a tracing of the decals as a guide.
I drilled holes for pins in both the rear deck and the bottom of the Stabs to add a little more strength to the joint. Also, the car doesn't have those intake ducts on the side of the engine fan housing. The kit does contain plugs, but the fit is pretty poor. So after the glue had dried I sanded them to shape, then a libral coating of Bondo, and when dry sanded and polished. Feels pretty smooth to me.
The rear of the engine deck also needed every seam sanded and puttied, and it's a sinlge piece molding in real life. Only the tail winglets were bolted on.
The front deck which is also the top of the cockpit, had it issues, none that weren't easy enough to correct. Fujimi has both radiator housing covers in the kit, so I glued the correct one into place. The cover was to tall, and the Zues fasteners were way out of scale. I sanded them off, and took down the radiator cover to be level with the body. Now I just have to figure out how to make new fasteners or buy some. Also there is another small intake right in front of the windscreen that wasn't used on this car, so I plugged, and then Bondo'd it. The last item is the cockpit top window. Fujimi gives you a plug for it as almost all the various 917s didn't use it. I glued the plug in. Then Bondo and sanded smooth.
Fujimi molded the front clip as a separate piece as I'm sure that it was due to how they made molds back in the 1990s, so I glued it on, then sanded, a nice coat of Bondo filler, and got the clip to look like it was molded with front boby section.
Final polishing is next to get ready for the primer coat. Unfortunately, my order from Gravity paints which inlcudes their complete painting process that I ordered on May 17th was 1st held up due to Mate' recieving the wrong bottle caps. Then on 6/1 he started to accept orders again, but everyday when I check my order status, it's still listed as being processed. Daily using he contact form, I ask for the status of my order and if he offers tracking. Unfortunately, he never has replied to this point. If I need to cancel my order through PayPal, then I'll go with MCW Paints as they get top marks as well.