Forums Scratch Built Models 1934 Aston Martin Ulster kit for the Pre-War GP series in S32

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    • #7150
      FelixFelix
      Member

       

      (This is my very first post to any forum or website, so please excuse any peculiarities!)

      I have always been interested in cars from this era. I have the 1/24’th scale Heller kits of the 1930 Bentley 4.5 Blower, the 1932 Alfa Romeo 1750cc Zagato, the 1927 Bugatti T35B, the 1930 Bugatti T50, the 1936 Mercedes Benz 540K, and a few others. I have not built them yet because there has been no track to run them on, and the people racing 24’th scale don’t seem interested in vintage cars. So I was glad to find that S32 was considering a series for them.

      I recently bought three Matchbox 1/32’nd scale kits: the 1934-36 Aston Martin Ulster, the 1936-41 Jaguar SS (Swallow Sidecars)/100, and the 1933-34  Bugatti T59 GP. I am also inquiring on the shipping cost for a 1933 Alfa Romeo 8C; it’s an old MPC kit, so no chrome parts and no rubber tires.

       

      Here’s my Aston Martin Ulster kit:

      a; Matchbox Ulster, Parts

       

      Having never built a 32’nd scale model, I did a dry-fit build of most of the parts, to test the fit and do some measurements.

      b; Matchbox Ulster, Setup

       

      It has a ride height/track clearance of 7.5 mm at the Rr axle and slopes upward to the front. The finely detailed chrome two-piece spoke rims have a diameter of 14.8 mm. It has rubber/vinyl tires, well cast tread detail, with a total diameter of 23.0 mm installed on rim, and a width of 4.8 mm. The wheelbase is 81.0 mm and the Rr track is 53.3 mm without the wing nuts, same at front. The width of the body/chassis plate just in front of the Rr axle is 30 mm. I hope to use the kit’s spoke rims as detailed wheel inserts on the scale racer, as well as the front tires.

      (Unfortunately I may not be able to devote enough time to the hobby for the next few months, a few of my other projects have been set aside for too long.)

       

       

      c; Matchbox Ulster, Side

       

       

      Thanks; hope to see you at the races.

      Felix.

       

      • This topic was modified 1 year, 8 months ago by FelixFelix.
    • #7152
      ArtArt
      Moderator

      That’s a great looking model! Thank you for posting all of the detailed measurements too – they seem to accord with many that we’ve discussed so far and will surely aid in completing rules for this class… Cheers! :good:

      Let's Get Building!

    • #7166
      ArtArt
      Moderator

      Felix, the front track/rolling assembly width looks wider than the rear (53.3mm) to me – is it?

      Let's Get Building!

    • #7169
      FelixFelix
      Member

      Hi Art:

      Both Rear and Front tracks measured at 53.3 mm, by measuring at the axles themselves without knock offs.

      Yes, even looking at a straight top view, the front rolling assembly does look wider, probably because the body tapers to a narrower width.

    • #7248
      f1nutzf1nutz
      Moderator

      Great looking kit Felix! Hope to see it on the track at some point.

      I have a couple of those I’m working on as well.

      Welcome to the site!

      • #7278
        FelixFelix
        Member

        Thank you for your note, F1.

        I finally received my 1933 Alfa Romeo 8C 2300, that I mentioned earlier. It’s an MPC re-box of the original Airfix kit from 1969. It was issued 6 times between 1969 and 2004, twice under MPC in Michigan. The moulding and overall quality of the Matchbox series seems to be better. They are made by Lesney Products, from Essex England, 1975 engraved on the chassis. The MPC body is moulded in L/R halves. There are some strange and unnecessary divisions of other smaller parts. There is no chrome, no rubber tires, and no motor. The windscreen and lenses are roughly moulded. Spokes are surface-moulded onto one face of the rim, although the tires are separate. There are 5 parts to each wheel.

        I was surprised to find that this Alfa is described as a “low four seater body typical of its era”. I had only seen artwork of the front end. The kit wheelbase is 14 mm longer than my Ulster, narrower, and higher, at 10 mm from the track to the edge of the chassis. (As with many cars of the era it has large mechanical components well below the chassis frame.) Being higher, narrower, and that much longer, I don’t know how well it will compete as a slot car, though it had a very successful racing career in the 30’s. In any case it should be a good addition to the S32 series.

         

        1933 Alfa Romeo 8C 2300, Le Mans

        1933 Alfa Romeo 8C 2300, at Goodwood 2008    (Note large tank below the chassis; muffler is under chassis on the left.)

         

        I am looking forward to building the A-M Ulster kit (but I have to continue with some more practical work that is seasonally scheduled on the house). My priority is to build it as true to scale and as detail as possible. I intend to use almost all of the kit parts. Using reference photos, I have continued with some planning and design work, and have most of the details worked out. I’m having difficulty adjusting to the small scale, especially in terms of getting enough room to add the suspension details I want – limited by size, and material strengths. At this point, I can’t proceed further until I get the Alu rims from Art. The geometry of the rims, especially the size and shape of the inside face, may affect the suspension components and the overall track width.

        You mentioned after the Ringwood XXVI event, that you had used some cast rims and other components on your Bugatti. I’m curious to find out more about those materials.

        Thanks again; hope to see you soon.

        Felix.

         

    • #7284
      f1nutzf1nutz
      Moderator

      Looks like it will make another nice addition!

       

      Rims I used were cast by John kit of Studio64.

      I’m not sure if he is doing any more but will ask next time I see him.

    • #7286
      MiAMiA
      Moderator

      Felix:

      Can’t wait to see these 2 built up. Two of my favourite marques as others will attest! The 8C Alfa went on to spawn a whole series of different body styles, including some of the most beautiful road going automobiles ever produced!!!

      Having run the Blower Bentley on track yesterday I can attest that higher/ narrower/longer handles remarkably well.  With a very slow motor of about 13K and Art’s wheels and tires it’s about 20% slower than our our sports cars, (seems to be a perfectly appropriate speed), just sits there on rails, didn’t seem to have any tendency to want to tip or slide and looks perfectly dignified in the process. That Alfa will make a marvelous companion. What colour are you going to do it in??

       

      • #7292
        FelixFelix
        Member

        Thanks for the info, F1NUTZ and MIA.

        I have some casting compound that is very hard but not brittle, and appropriate to use in chassis components. I got it in order to mould suspension uprights and bearing holders for 24’th scale work, but haven’t tried it yet. It may be worth trying it for casting rims, if the appropriate size cannot be found in aluminum.

        The Bentley is a great car, can’t wait to see it on the track. Glad to hear that it handles well, so there’s hope for my Alfa. I don’t know about the colour yet; I’ve been looking at photos. The light blue is a possibility, as suggested in the kit instructions, sometimes done with red grill bars and red spokes. The bright red body colour is a possibility, or the deep red more typical of Alfa’s may be best.

         

    • #7977
      MiAMiA
      Moderator

      Having just seen your preparation for this build, I can’t wait to see it on track. Chassis is going to be fascinating and hopefully you can manage to complete it without losing too much of the underpinnings of the original model.

      What a beautiful little car!! :yahoo: As I recall the tail of the earlier 1931 LeMans International that I have is not as pretty.

    • #8125
      FelixFelix
      Member

      The Story So Far – sorry I don’t have more finished work to show.

      Thank you for your note MiA.

      I thought I would give a progress report, though there is not a great deal of progress yet, and much of it is still not visible. I got the wheels, motor and a few other parts from Art. I am now waiting for delivery of some other key parts, including flanged bearings and bushings. Until I can get the axle setups I can’t finish the measurements and continue planning the details of the chassis. I have the Rear suspension parts figured out. The Front is going to be much more complicated, especially for what I’m trying to do.

      With this car, a Normal person would build the chassis to the right length and height, cover the axles with tubes, cut out the bottom of the body shell and attach the upper part to the chassis. Or they may retain some of the suspension detail from the kit and cut a slot for the axles to pass through, as some manufacturers have done. I sometimes wish I was Normal !

      I am trying to retain all of the detail from the model kit, add a few extra details, then plan my chassis to fit within. That presents many problems. For example, in the model, the rear suspension has leaf springs under the transmission axle, which then has scissor-like dampers above it. All of this is above the chassis pan. I will be putting the in-line drive axle in place of the model kit axle, and surround it with those other components, all sandwiched between the pan chassis and the main upper body. I will have stationary drum brakes on the inside of the aluminum wheels. I should be able to support the rear bearings or bushings and axle from inside the body shell. I have a few plans for the front axle, suspension and inner wheel hubs, but I don’t know which will fit until I get the rest of the components. Either way, none of the designs will be easy to build; I’ll leave that description for a later post.

      I’ve thought more than once or twice, that I may have ‘bit off more than I can chew’. I really like this car and want to do a detailed build on it. But it may be better for me to set the project aside; possibly start with one of my others from this series which does not have a closed pan chassis, or else do a closed wheel car like the Ferrari 312PB that I’m planning. Considering that I have never built a 1/32’nd scale car and never done a full scratch build of any type before, this may be too ambitious a project to start with.

       

       

      DSC04121; compresd

      Here is another view of the kit car.

      (Only the three pieces of the chassis pan are fused/ liquid welded; everything else is temporarily held together with either double-sided tape, ‘shoe goo’, or masking tape.)

       

       

      This is the start of the brass chassis (doesn’t look like much, but took a lot of work to get the details).

      Side rails are 3/32” square tube, curved along two directions to fit smoothly against the plastic chassis. The brass plates are 1/32” sheet (as I was de-burring the cut edges I discovered that this stock is far from planar so I had to sand it flat – that’s why it’s shiny). The plates are over-sized at the moment in order to allow a wider range of contact positions. They will be cut out to accommodate the motor and drive train, then drilled to lighten.

       

       

      https://secureservercdn.net/184.168.47.225/c52.429.myftpupload.com/wp-content/uploads/hm_bbpui/8125/k65y33tw6pj9s13vgzjwm0u6246tf5uq.jpg

      Here is a bottom view, including the front suspension that I will be working with.

      I have figured out a few options of how I’m going to work within the front suspension and wheel hubs – it will be the most complex part of the build. I have to wait for delivery of the other parts before I can test what will fit and how. I still have to plan how to work in the guide keel, and how to connect that whole assembly to the rest of the brass chassis (without cutting out much of the model detail).

       

       

      DSC04126; Compresd

      Here are some of the components separated out.

      (The black plates are 1 mm polystyrene. They will be fused to the inside surface of the green chassis pan to provide enough strength to hold counter-sunk screws which will thread up into the brass plates. Those joints must be strong enough to hold any stresses and strains between the whole plastic pan and body, and the whole brass chassis.)  (Soldering together the brass components precisely will be hard enough as is, even with a jig. Now I need to join the brass plates to the square side rails with a 1 mm gap underneath. I’m hoping I can find 1 mm thick aluminum spacers.)

      A great deal of more work to come. I’m sure there will be other new problems encountered. Maybe now’s the time to quit!

       

      Hope to see you at the races.  Felix.

       

    • #8126
      ArtArt
      Moderator

      It is the journey that makes this hobby fun! Don’t even consider quitting this one Felix… no matter how long it takes! If I had to guess spindles (or stubs) up front then brings pivoting, camber and toe in/out into the equation which I’ve seen once in 1:32 but never dared to attempt myself (I wish I took a picture of that chassis.). Keep the details coming!  :yahoo:

      Let's Get Building!

    • #8135
      MiAMiA
      Moderator

      Wonderful looking job!! :good: Very ambitious certainly!!

      If building this little devil to the level you intend becomes too frustrating at times, set it aside and work on a more conventional effort while waiting for Ulster parts/inspiration  to arrive. And don’t worry, a ‘conventional’ build will have more than it’s own fair share of challenges!!

      There is no rush, and as far as I can see the results will be well worth it. Hopefully I’ll get the International done (to a much less ambitious level no doubt) to keep the Ulster company on the track.

    • #8136
      f1nutzf1nutz
      Moderator

      Looks great so far Thanks for posting the progress!

    • #8147
      FelixFelix
      Member

       

      Art, MiA, F1Nutz, thank you for your words of encouragement. Each of your cars looks excellent and seems to run beautifully. I should have done a similar build. I adopted some overly ambitious objectives without having any experience in scratch building. Also, my frame of reference is 24’th scale ‘Euro-mechano’ structured chassis, everything bolt-together, modular, adjustable, replaceable. I’ve done quite a bit of innovative building there, with designing and fabricating upgrade parts out of brass, aluminum, phenolic plate, and carbon fibre plate, to solve various structural and performance problems. But I have not yet done a full scratch built chassis.

      With that mindset, I think some of my plans and objectives for 24’th scale work crept into this project. ( I have been developing plans for building 24’th scale racers from the Heller kit of the1930 Bentley Blower, 1932 Alfa Romeo 1750cc Zagato, other 30’s vintage kits, as well as the Heller kit of the 1948 Talbot Lago T26C, and the 1975 Ferrari 312T. )  Unfortunately, I’m new to 32’nd scale and don’t have an experience based understanding of what works well and what doesn’t in this scale. Personally, I’m finding that some of the parts designs, sizes, and imperial measurement units are very awkward to work with. Also, a lot of details are harder to do in 132!  So, I continue to stumble along as best I can. In the mean time, the expert advice from Art, and others, is of great help.

      I received delivery of some more parts at the end of the week. However, fitting together the axles and bushings/ bearings into the chassis is still a major problem at the front end. It would be easy if I didn’t want to keep the current suspension structure and add detail, or keep the drum brakes in place. The inside hub bosses on the vintage Alu wheels, the bushings/bearings, and the drum brakes, don’t fit properly together. Also, there are other things I want to do on the car that I won’t disclose at the moment, for fear that the men in the white coats will come to carry me away today!

      Thanks again.   Felix.

       

    • #8169
      KenKen
      Moderator

      Hi Felix,

      The car looks great! Nice work!

      Ken

      Fun facts...
      Chuck Norris can slam a revolving door.
      Chuck Norris did in fact build Rome in a day.

    • #9620
      ArtArt
      Moderator

      What’s progress like on your Ulster Felix?

      Let's Get Building!

    • #9690
      ArtArt
      Moderator

      Looking forward to any update Felix. :scratch:

      Let's Get Building!

    • #10812
      FelixFelix
      Member

      Sorry for my delay; I have not been keeping track of the forum. Previously I had received automatic notifications whenever a new posting occurred. Talking with Art yesterday at the Grp25 show, I was informed that what I had assumed to be ‘automatic pre-programmed notifications’ were in fact ‘automatic manual’ ones!

      Unfortunately I have no progress to report on the A.M. Ulster car. At the last stage I had been waiting for another delayed delivery of a specially dimensioned brass profile, one that I needed for the combined motor-haulter/bearing-holder. In the interim I got involved with a house project, and from there onto other projects. Then there’s the 24’th scale work, building, racing, and responsibility for tech inspection on two of the series. So I finally realized that I had to pack up all of the Ulster parts into a bin, and throw in a couple of moth balls!

    • #10822
      ArtArt
      Moderator

      Hi Felix,

      Yes – as of the new year the UPDART poke stopped but I’m glad to hear that it was just life that got in the way of your build – understandable my friend.

      Let's Get Building!

    • #13963
      KenKen
      Moderator

      Hi Felix.

      Just a quick FYI. Mothballs are harmful to Astons. They make the leather and woodgrain dash panels smell funny.

      Not to mention… Aren’t there enough castrated moths running around? Let’s give them back to the poor little guys.

      How can we inspire you to restart this beautiful car? :good:

      Fun facts...
      Chuck Norris can slam a revolving door.
      Chuck Norris did in fact build Rome in a day.

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