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Pretty in Pink - Porsche 917/20 (MFH)
Cosimodo
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Posted: Saturday, April 18, 2020 - 06:16 PM UTC
1971 and the 24hrs of Le Mans is due to begin. Porsche were the defending champions. Out of the 49 entries for the famous race, 33 of them were Porsches. One of them became one of the most famous and photographed race cars.

In their attempt to win Le Mans at the end of the 1960’s Porsche created the iconic 917. Sixty 917’s were built over 1969-73. For Le Mans and sportscar racing 44 cars were built, 36 short tails, 5 long tails, 2 spiders and 1 experimental chassis, 917/20. There were also 16 turbos built, 13 917/10’s and 3 917/30’s. The 917 came about from Porsche’s desire to take overall honours at Le Mans. It had class wins in the 2 litre categories, but like Ferrari and Ford, it wanted the big one. What it lacked was an engine to tackle the big boys. What it came up with has passed into history as one of the great racing engines. It built an air-cooled, 4.5 litre 12 cylinder engine. The air cooling, unheard for a car engine this size, allowed Porsche to save substantial weight versus a water-cooled engine. The 917 would go on to dominate sport cars racing in the early 70’s in Europe and then in Can-Am in the US when the engine was turbo charged. The 917 competed at Le Mans for 3 years, 1969 – 71, winning in ’70 and ’71 before being banned. That was not the end of the car, as Porsche switched focus to the US and the Can-Am series. The turbocharging of the engine took horsepower to over a 1000bhp. It dominated the 1972 and ’73 seasons, with 917/10 and 917/30, before being banned from that series as well. However what Porsche learned from turbo-charging the 917 allowed it to develop the endless stream of sport cars that dominated Le Mans for many years to come.

Back in 1969 Porsche had initially struggled with the aerodynamics of the 917 and as a result had asked different groups to develop solutions to balance both drag and downforce. In early 1971, Chassis 917/20, was given to a French aero specialist, SERA, who took on the task of creating a new body shape. They had previously worked on the 917 langchek (long tail) versions for the 1970 race. The result was the “pig”. The pink came later.

The French designed car was generally agreed to be an ugly racing car. The car had an unusually wide body with lateral overhangs to lessen airflow over the wheel arches. There has already been plenty of tension between the Porsche engineers, who were unhappy with French involvement, and Choulet, the French designer. Anatole Lapine, the head of engineering back in Germany and working on their own aero revisions for the 1971 race, said it looked like a pig in a barn. The short, stubby car was revealed in April, for the Martini International racing team. Count Rossi was not impressed and refused to let the car run in the famous Martini colour scheme. So, in a rare moment of humour, Lapine, who had entered the psychedelic 917 longtail in 1970, decided to paint it pink and mark out the bodywork in cuts of meat as a butcher might have done with a real pig. It became known to us the Pink Pig, but also Cochon Rose and Big Bertha
Despite its looks, the aerodynamics worked and the Pink Pig was dominant in testing and performed well in the race and was running in third place by the 12 hr mark at the 1971 24hrs Le Mans when it crashed due to brake failure. It was never raced again and now resides in the Porsche museum in Stuttgart.

(Porsche Museum, Stuttgart, Germany - Photographer - Morio)

The kit is by Model Factory Hiro. They have produced a number of 917 kits in 1/12 scale so you can build about 12 different versions. This kit, K673, was released in 2018.
MFH’s kit comes in a hefty box, not surprising given the mix of materials of resin, rubber, aluminium and white metal. The box is coloured with a nod to pink, though looks more orange. Inside it is tightly packed with the shell of 917/20 plus all the various parts.

The body shell is white resin, split into various sections of top front and back, floor pan and structural sills.


The doors and “bonnet” are made of aluminium.
There no sprues to speak of, with most parts in their component bags. Kit parts in general are not numbered and care will need to be taken to use the correct parts during assembly.
The overall parts list is very long due to the nature of construction which has a lot of pieces screwed and riveted into place.

There are three sheets of decals. Two are for the race car scheme of the Pink Pig and one for the Firestone decals.There two small sheets of photo etch. The clear parts are vacu-formed, clear with no distortion and very thin but need to be cut out from the plastic. Five unmarked rubber tyres are provided. Le Mans cars at the time were required to carry a spare.

This will be my build for the Strip, Track and Trail Campaign. Helping me along is an old Motorsport magazine I have from when I used to be a subscriber

and a fantastic book on the history of the 917.


Should be a fun build.

cheers
Michael

Stickframe
#362
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Posted: Saturday, April 18, 2020 - 06:21 PM UTC
Hey Michael,

I remember you mentioning this project a while ago. Great to see you’re starting on it. Looking forward to watching this!

Cheers
Nick
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Netherlands Antilles
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Posted: Saturday, April 18, 2020 - 07:53 PM UTC
Michael, what a fantastic build this one announces to be!
The colour scheme I find it very interesting, but, as a matter of taste, not very easy to swallow - no, I'm not a vegan! but we know French humor it's "special"
Thank you for taking the time to transcribe all the info about the car - I really appreciate the attention you prepared the build with.
Unnecessary to add, I am already hooked!
From a different perspective, the only time I used a full resin body, it was the only time I had issues with my primer - I was using Testors enamel primer at the time. I don't know if it was a fluke or these two are not making friends, but for me it was the reason I dropped the above mentioned primer.

Waiting for next update!

Gabriel
AussieReg
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Posted: Saturday, April 18, 2020 - 08:01 PM UTC
Michael, way to make an entrance mate!

Superb introduction to the history of the car and to the kit itself, it really looks like this will be a real treat to follow. I will just nip down to the shop and get a huge bag of popcorn and settle in!

Cheers, D
RussellE
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Posted: Saturday, April 18, 2020 - 09:46 PM UTC
Buckled up and watching with interest Micheal

If you can work in Molly Ringwald somehow, it will be even better
Joel_W
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Posted: Sunday, April 19, 2020 - 01:23 AM UTC
Michael,

This my friend will be the build of the GB for sure. A 1/12 scale MFH Porsche 917/20 no less. Honestly, the Pink Pig isn't ugly, it's just turned out to be the "Plain Jane" of the family, that turned into a legend along the way.

Your build will truly be an epic one just for the fact that it's MFH 1/12 build, so at the end you just connect the battery, add oil and gas, and fire up that massive 12 cyl engine.

I'll be following your build as closely as possible. Please, post often, and with as many pictures/detailed descriptions as possible.

Joel
Cosimodo
#335
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Posted: Sunday, April 19, 2020 - 02:37 PM UTC

Quoted Text

Hey Michael,

I remember you mentioning this project a while ago. Great to see you’re starting on it. Looking forward to watching this!

Cheers
Nick



Thanks Nick. Having followed your build using MFH parts I am forewarned at least about the task ahead. The instructions look intriguing and I haven't looked past the engine yet.

cheers
Michael
Cosimodo
#335
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Posted: Sunday, April 19, 2020 - 02:43 PM UTC

Quoted Text

Michael, what a fantastic build this one announces to be!
The colour scheme I find it very interesting, but, as a matter of taste, not very easy to swallow - no, I'm not a vegan! but we know French humor it's "special"
Thank you for taking the time to transcribe all the info about the car - I really appreciate the attention you prepared the build with.
Unnecessary to add, I am already hooked!
From a different perspective, the only time I used a full resin body, it was the only time I had issues with my primer - I was using Testors enamel primer at the time. I don't know if it was a fluke or these two are not making friends, but for me it was the reason I dropped the above mentioned primer.

Waiting for next update!

Gabriel



Hi Gabriel,
I find it usually the backstory that gets me interested in builds. Having done a lot of reading about 917s and in particular this car I am looking forward to the build. And if you don't like pink, it actually took part in pre-Le Mans testing in white, ready for its Martini stripes, so there are options.
I think the painting, as always, will be a huge challenge. There is a whole lot of territory to cover here.

cheers
Michael
Cosimodo
#335
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Posted: Sunday, April 19, 2020 - 02:46 PM UTC

Quoted Text

Michael, way to make an entrance mate!

Superb introduction to the history of the car and to the kit itself, it really looks like this will be a real treat to follow. I will just nip down to the shop and get a huge bag of popcorn and settle in!

Cheers, D



I am happy if you can find a shop open in these times to sell you popcorn Get comfy because 5 months could be tight though I have manage to speed up my building process a little.

cheers
Michael
Cosimodo
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Posted: Sunday, April 19, 2020 - 02:48 PM UTC

Quoted Text

Buckled up and watching with interest Micheal

If you can work in Molly Ringwald somehow, it will be even better



Mate, that didn't even occur to me! If I can find her in 1/12 scale Molly can be the driver
Cosimodo
#335
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Posted: Sunday, April 19, 2020 - 02:50 PM UTC

Quoted Text

Michael,

This my friend will be the build of the GB for sure. A 1/12 scale MFH Porsche 917/20 no less. Honestly, the Pink Pig isn't ugly, it's just turned out to be the "Plain Jane" of the family, that turned into a legend along the way.

Your build will truly be an epic one just for the fact that it's MFH 1/12 build, so at the end you just connect the battery, add oil and gas, and fire up that massive 12 cyl engine.

I'll be following your build as closely as possible. Please, post often, and with as many pictures/detailed descriptions as possible.

Joel



Very happy to have your support Joel. I know you're a racing Porsche man so I hope I can do the build justice. I will try and post as often as possible since I think I will need some suggestions along the way.

cheers
Michael
Joel_W
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Posted: Monday, April 20, 2020 - 01:49 AM UTC
Michael,
My two all time favorite Porsche race car families are the 908 and 917 series. Both I have a limited personal connection to as I've seen them on the track doing their thing. I've only built one 917, but with Indy Cal now offering a assortment of 917 decals, I'm looking for a few more of the Fujimi kits which are always out of stock world wide.

You certainly have the skills to successfully build this extraordinary kit and take it to the next level.

Joel
Cosimodo
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Posted: Monday, April 20, 2020 - 01:59 PM UTC

Quoted Text

Michael,
My two all time favorite Porsche race car families are the 908 and 917 series. Both I have a limited personal connection to as I've seen them on the track doing their thing. I've only built one 917, but with Indy Cal now offering a assortment of 917 decals, I'm looking for a few more of the Fujimi kits which are always out of stock world wide.

You certainly have the skills to successfully build this extraordinary kit and take it to the next level.

Joel



Thanks Joel.
I have only ever seen one 917 in the flesh. A friend of mind has designed and was building his own supercar using a BMW V10 out of an M5. In the garage he was building the car there was stored a black 917. This was about 15 years ago, long before I thought of building car models or phones had cameras otherwise I would have been all over it.

cheers
Michael
Cosimodo
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Posted: Monday, April 20, 2020 - 07:38 PM UTC
Since I am in the mood, some background on Step 1 of the instructions.

The engine.
Hans Mezger created the legendary type 917 twelve-cylinder engine. Mezger thought it a highlight of his career, first because it was so successful, and then also because it was so simple. Basically, the engine, initially 4.5 litre, before settling on 4.9, was a large twelve-cylinder, four stroke engine with two flat cylinder banks, four overhead camshafts with fuel injection. But the most striking difference was the power take-off, not only from existing Porsche engines but all other racing and production engines of the time. Large engines have long crankshafts and the longer a part the more prone to vibration. So Mezger put a large gear wheel in the middle of the crankshaft and used that to drive the rear wheels, but also operate the four camshafts, primary oil pump and large cooling fan. All relevant parts have an operation that is free of vibration and with both ends of the crankshaft free of clutches and gearboxes, oil can be pumped in from each end allowing for better lubrication. (the 917 has 7 oil pumps).

The engine, in trademark Porsche fashion of the time is air-cooled. Having the fan centrally placed due to the central gearwheel helps the cool all twelve cylinders so evenly nothing else is required. A simple 6 bladed plastic fan versus the weight of radiators, hoses and water cooling for the engine allows Porsche a significant weight saving over traditional large capacity engines.

The engine may have been simple in design, but MFH have endeavoured to copy it as closely as possible with over 200 pieces for the engine alone, not counting the electrical wiring and fuel hoses.

So we start with a one piece engine block and 12 individual cylinders, all made from resin. MFH look like they use almost a styrene approach to resin, as the pour stubs are all very small, more like sprue connect points.

The block itself is blemish free while the cylinders have some very fine resin flash between the fins where the two halves are mated. Easily cleaned up with a sharp knife and some 2000 grit paper.


Sadly all this work will be invisible in the final result. But it is educational to me, not being mechanically minded. This is the block with half the cylinders dry fitted and some scale provided.


If you have ever built one of those large scale Lego kits, where they put all the same colour pieces in a single bag, and spent time looking for the single unique Lego block in black, then this is a bit like that. The metal parts are in 5 separate bags, loosely assigned to the general location of use e.g. engine, cockpit etc but it does take some sorting.


I think this is going to take some time.
If you don’t want to wait and see how this turns out, watch this time- elapsed video of a 917 engine being restored, and best of all, fired up. It’s only 4 mins.
https://vimeo.com/218975451

cheers
Michael
Joel_W
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Posted: Tuesday, April 21, 2020 - 01:48 AM UTC
Michael,
The design was truly so simple, yet so advanced. I've had a few friends build both 1/20 & 1/12 scale MFH kits, and some said that they supplied a parts diagram in 1:1 scale so that you could layout the parts per assembly without having to search and search for each part when needed. I hope that they still include those sheets.

The cylinder heads look perfect, not a single wavy fin anywhere. I sure hope that the flash removes and cleans up without any issues.

I've already watched that video twice, and will be watching it several more times. The details for us model builders is fantastic, just stop the vid & Snip it for reference. I do it all the time.

Joel
Szmann
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Posted: Tuesday, April 21, 2020 - 03:35 AM UTC
Michael, beautiful resin rendition of the engine. The way the air cooled cylinder jackets assemble to the block, reminds me of my marine shop restoring an aircooled Deutz auxiliary engine from a huge pontoon crane. Pretty much the same set-up, except it was a 12L. I wonder if the engine from my Jimny even has 200 parts. LOL!
Definitely, an epic build - I need to see this step-by-step so badly!🤤

Gabriel
Stickframe
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Posted: Tuesday, April 21, 2020 - 05:46 AM UTC
Hi Michael,

Thanks for posting what may even seem like little details and various likely unseen steps. I enjoy these builds and to your point above, I think its fun to learn more about what went into the actual car and how we as model builders try and assemble and ultimately represent the car. I'll bet this engine looks great when you're done.

I built the Historic Racing Miniatures 1/24 version of this engine and really enjoyed it. I'm currently working on 1/20 scale for the first time and like it, but now, seeing this....I have a 1/12 MFH Mclaren MP 4/5B that is waiting for me to build up the confidence to try, but man, it's sure tempting....

Enjoy the build!

Cheers
Nick
Joel_W
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Posted: Tuesday, April 21, 2020 - 09:43 AM UTC
Nick,
You've got the skills to build that 1/12 scale McLaren. I'd love to see you go through the build as well.

Joel
AussieReg
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Posted: Tuesday, April 21, 2020 - 12:27 PM UTC
Michael, the quality and detail on those resin parts is very impressive. Thanks for posting so much information and detail during your progress. I know that it can be a time burden but it provides all of us with a real insight into the kit and the history of the 1:1 vehicle, and also allows us to get to know each other a bit better personally which is very important right now.

That engine rebuild video is an absolute gem, as Joel said it will provide a perfect reference source for your build.

Cheers, D
Cosimodo
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Posted: Tuesday, April 21, 2020 - 07:17 PM UTC

Quoted Text

Michael,
The design was truly so simple, yet so advanced. I've had a few friends build both 1/20 & 1/12 scale MFH kits, and some said that they supplied a parts diagram in 1:1 scale so that you could layout the parts per assembly without having to search and search for each part when needed. I hope that they still include those sheets.

The cylinder heads look perfect, not a single wavy fin anywhere. I sure hope that the flash removes and cleans up without any issues.

I've already watched that video twice, and will be watching it several more times. The details for us model builders is fantastic, just stop the vid & Snip it for reference. I do it all the time.

Joel



Hi Joel,
A parts layout would be good but sadly not in this kit. The cylinder heads are very good. I have trial fitted some of the white metal parts. They also fit pretty nicely with the occasional scrape with the file to clear some excess.
Glad you liked the video. The idea of stopping and snipping the picture had not occurred to me so thanks for that. It will be very useful.

cheers
Michael
Cosimodo
#335
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Posted: Tuesday, April 21, 2020 - 07:29 PM UTC

Quoted Text

Michael, beautiful resin rendition of the engine. The way the air cooled cylinder jackets assemble to the block, reminds me of my marine shop restoring an aircooled Deutz auxiliary engine from a huge pontoon crane. Pretty much the same set-up, except it was a 12L. I wonder if the engine from my Jimny even has 200 parts. LOL!
Definitely, an epic build - I need to see this step-by-step so badly!🤤

Gabriel



Gabriel, you right about air-cooled engines as this reminded me of a Wingnuts kit I built and the engine
e had individual cylinders like this for better cooling. The step by step will be interesting. MFH instructions are very detailed, as they have to be. There 27 steps in total. Step 1 is the engine which has 18 separate build sections.
It took a couple of hours to tidied up the cylinder heads and dry fit the inlet and exhaust with metal parts (Section 1), not painted of course . Fitting the plugs and cam cover should be much quicker.

cheers
Michael
Cosimodo
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Posted: Tuesday, April 21, 2020 - 07:33 PM UTC

Quoted Text

Hi Michael,

Thanks for posting what may even seem like little details and various likely unseen steps. I enjoy these builds and to your point above, I think its fun to learn more about what went into the actual car and how we as model builders try and assemble and ultimately represent the car. I'll bet this engine looks great when you're done.

I built the Historic Racing Miniatures 1/24 version of this engine and really enjoyed it. I'm currently working on 1/20 scale for the first time and like it, but now, seeing this....I have a 1/12 MFH Mclaren MP 4/5B that is waiting for me to build up the confidence to try, but man, it's sure tempting....

Enjoy the build!

Cheers
Nick



Absolutely Nick. this will be a major learning exercise for engines and engineering. And there are some attachment areas down the track which I will need your advise, especially the hinges which look delicate.

And fully agree with Joel. Go for it on the McLaren, which would be great to see, because I am sure you have the skills for a kit like this.

cheers
Michael
Cosimodo
#335
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Posted: Tuesday, April 21, 2020 - 07:36 PM UTC

Quoted Text

Michael, the quality and detail on those resin parts is very impressive. Thanks for posting so much information and detail during your progress. I know that it can be a time burden but it provides all of us with a real insight into the kit and the history of the 1:1 vehicle, and also allows us to get to know each other a bit better personally which is very important right now.

That engine rebuild video is an absolute gem, as Joel said it will provide a perfect reference source for your build.

Cheers, D



Thanks Damian,
I do get impatient with photographing steps but now thanks to COVID 19 I have my own set up at home. Before I was fighting a losing battle with my 17yr son to get on his computer. Gaming never sleeps!

I have really enjoyed learning the history of the 917 and its short life so I am happy to keep sharing the stories as I go along.

cheers
Michael
Joel_W
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Posted: Wednesday, April 22, 2020 - 02:09 AM UTC
Michael,
I already have one question which concerns the white metal parts, and that's of how do you polish the small parts that bend or break easily? Many of the builds I've seen, the white metal parts seem to be the one area that's the most difficult to finish to the same level as the other mediums in the kit.

Joel
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Posted: Wednesday, April 22, 2020 - 06:16 AM UTC
+200 parts, for the engine. That is serious detailing.