Current Projects

Projects I’m currently working on appear below. More photos are added as each progresses. Completed projects get moved off this page and into the Build Diaries list.

  • updated 8 May 2022

1989 Ferrari 640 / F1-89 (Tameo, 1:43)

The decision’s been made, this is the next build – Tameo kit # TMK89, Ferrari F1/89 Brazil Grand Prix. It’s a white metal kit with photo etch parts in 1:43 scale. The model will be built as the Nigel Mansell winning car from that race.

This was the first Formula One car to feature a semi-automatic gearbox with electro-hydraulic shift via paddles behind the steering wheel. The F1/89 (also commonly referred to as the 640) features a 3.5 litre normally aspirated V12 engine.

Amazingly, it won on debut. The car was notoriously unreliable in development and testing, so the team was not expecting it to finish, never mind win. The victory was also Mansell’s first in red, winning on his debut drive with the Italian team.

Tameo kit TMK 89, Ferrari F1/89 Brazil Grand Prix 1989. This early season version has the low engine cover with side intakes.
The two main parts in the kit (upper body and lower floor) are held together with a self-tapping screw that’s supplied in the kit. A hole needs to be drilled in the top body to secure and position it on the floor.
The raised blocks on the underside of the model (see previous photo) are not part of the real race car, but will serve a purpose with this build. With the body secured (temporarily) to the floor, I ran the model back and forth on some sandpaper to smooth them off and reduce their height a little.
The model will be built resting on these blocks, so they set the ride height and rake. As such, the wheels will not be bearing the load of the model (being white metal, it’s kinda heavy for its size).
The floor after grinding. Overall, the cast parts are going to require quite a bit of clean-up.
Floor mounted to the plinth with two self-tapping screws. Their position had to be carefully determined to ensure they didn’t impede internal parts of the model.
Prep on the casting begins… This is the rear diffuser, which is overly thick. I’ve used a file to thin the right side of the floor (compare to the left side, which in this photo is untouched).
Same deal with the rear hot air exit bodywork (right side here is untouched)
Rear hot air exit from underneath shows the new tapered shape to give the illusion of thinner bodywork.
Lots of individual photo-etch parts to cut off, file and in some cases bend to make fit. Locating holes for the arm ends on the main casting need to be deepened a little. Working on the rear here. Rear axle is solid and provides strength and guides location.
Front upright and very crude brake duct is two parts (the one on the left is assembled)
Back to thinning some parts, in this case the trailing edge of the front wings. Left of pic has been filed down, right of pic is stock kit.
Building the wheels. Each wheel is four parts – inner and outer rim from turned brass plus the spoke insert plus the wheel nut (not yet fitted here).
In order to do a suspension mock-up (to check & adjust clearance, ride-height and pushrod length) I need to fit the wheels and tyres. So, next step is to paint the rims semi-gloss black and mount the Goodyears.
Rims and front uprights done in Tamiya LP-5.
Once all the main parts had been test fitted, filed, adjusted and test fitted again, it was time to pull it all apart so that every piece could be cleaned and washed before primer.
Here’s a tip – before squeezing the glue tube, always check some hasn’t run out down the side… I think my finger stuck better to the tube than the endplates have to the rear wing I was assembling!
Almost all the parts get a quick shot of Tamiya fine grey primer. After this, the main body also got a thin coat of pink primer before the red went down.
Colour is on and drying; Tamiya TS-8 Italian Red and TS-29 Semi-gloss Black. The red was done in two sittings, 2 coats in the first and 3 in the second.
Decals down and clear coats on! Clear is Tamiya TS-13 run through the airbrush. Some of the decals seemed a little over scale to me (or the casting under scale?), eg: the big Agip decal on the sidepod should fit on the main sidepanel and not reach the bodyline of the top panel. I considered trimming the decals but thought it would start to look odd.
I had a bit of difficulty getting the decals to stick to the model. Tameo uses Cartograph decals which are normally pretty good, so not sure if these early kits were not that great, or it’s simply the fact this kit is well over 30 years old at the time of the build. Copious amounts of softener was used.
Seat is a separate piece that fixes to the baseplate/floor. Colour is a mix of Buff and Flat Earth, brush painted.
The kit does not include seat belts, but does have decals for the seat belt branding on the shoulder pads. I cut up plain paper into strips about 1.5mm wide, painted it black then folded and glued in place to replicate the belts.
Then added the Arexons decals from the kit and a dab of silver to (sort of) replicate the buckles.
The tyre decals are too big and are the incorrect radius to match the tyre, particularly the “Eagle” decals which are too flat (should be more curved). Conversely, the speedline rim branding (not shown here) is too curved!
Semi-gloss black is hand painted into the radiator ducts, inside the cockpit, head rest etc. Now we’re not far off bringing these two main parts together for the final time.

1979 Oldsmobile, Richard Petty, Daytona 500 Winner (Salvinos JR, 1:25)

This stock car kit has jumped the massive queue of open wheelers that have yet to be built…

Richard Petty won the 1979 Daytona 500 in his familiar STP colours. While I’ve yet to find the correct ‘petty blue’ paint, I’m going to make a start on this when attending the local model club meetings. This will just be the preliminary work of cleaning up parts and assembling whatever can go together without having to paint.

My first Salvinos JR build. Lots of parts on lots of sprues. The chromed sprue is surprisingly heavy. Even though this is an Oldsmobile, the kit includes multiple noses and tails for other models and manufacturers, eg Chev Monte Carlo. Also, the instructions are pretty poor compared to, say, Tamiya. There’s a lot going on in each step, some of the smaller parts are poorly illustrated and there are no colour references.
There are a LOT of ejection pin markings in the floor, which is in two parts. This is a generic floor that can be set at various lengths to suit a range of NASCAR models via the 5 locating holes visible in the tailshaft tunnel.
No mention in the instructions that this square tab at the base of the roll cage needs to be removed.
The chrome plating in this kit is very good. However, there are nasty mould marks in the parts! Should I just fit the bumpers as they are, or strip, clean up the imperfections, then paint with Alclad or similar?
The bodyshell is cast very thick. This panel thickness prevents the tyres from having a realistic proximity to the fender.
So all four wheel arches are trimmed down from the inside to be much thinner.
Scraping and sanding down molding seams and thinning the wheel arches produces a lot of plastic debris. Basic roll cage is assembled (top left).

To be continued…