Roger Zimmermann

Construction of a Continental Mark II model, scale 1:12

1,328 posts in this topic

Posted (edited)

On the suggestion of Barry Wolk, I will relate here the constuction of a Continental Mark II, scale 1:12, built from scratch. However, before I'm coming to that subject, here is a little presentation:

I'm living in Switzerland; I will be 65 this year. I'm an automotive engineer and I, since a child, was interested by cars, especially by the 1950 Studebakers and othere US cars. My parents were living in a rural part of Switzerland (in the French part) and cars were rare, US cars even rarer. Most of the farmers had a Volkswagen; I still cannot understand why so many were sold: such an ugly, noisy and impractical vehicle is beyond my understanding, then and now. To perfect my own situation, my parents had no car, which was not unusual in the fifties in Europe.

When most American kids can drive at the age of 16, I had my first car (a 1965 Opel Rekord Coupe) when I was 25. My first US car was a 1980 Oldsmobile Cutlass Coupe which I bought new.

I began to work for GM in 1970 and was put in early retirement when I was 57. My last job was Service District Manager for...US vehicles.

Very early I began with the construction of car models; the body was...cardboard. In 1963, I began the construction of a Studebaker Avanti; this time, the body was polyester. When this model was completed, I began the construction of a 1966 Oldsmobile Toronado, a car which was revolutionary then. This model is extremely complex with electric windows, an electric engine inside the V8, a transmission, functionning suspension, steering, emergency brake, and so on. In 1982, I was a little bit tired of that car model and I began to restore a 1956 Cadillac Sedan de Ville. During winter season, as it was too cold to work in my "garage", I continued with the Toronado.

Once the de Ville finished, I began to restore a 1957 Cadillac Eldorado Brougham with its infamous air suspension. I was busy for 7 years with this car. After that, I began my last project: a 1956 Cadillac Eldorado Biarritz (nice rust is its name); I had 10 years to reconstruct it. I still have my 3 Cadillacs, but the Olds was sold in 2006 when I bought a 2000 Cadillac DTS.

After I was put in early retirement, I had a look at my old Avanti model and I desired to refresh the paint and do better wheelcovers. What was a quick job turned indeed as a reconstruction at 95% with very few parts rescued. Last year, when I saw that it was almost finished, I took the decision to do a very last one: a 56 or 57 Mark II.

Thank you for those who read until the end; I will try to add pictures from my cars (the ones I can sit in).

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Edited by West Peterson (see edit history)

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Roger

Thank you for coming to our forum and posting your work. I look forward to seeing it.

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Posted (edited)

Roger

Thank you for coming to our forum and posting your work. I look forward to seeing it.

You are welcome! I Hope that you will enjoy it.

Edited by West Peterson
Question added (see edit history)

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February 3, 2010 was the begin with this mad project: the construction of a Continental Mark II, scale 1:12, from scratch. Indeed, the project began earlier, gathering as many pictures as I could, buying some books and corresponding with some of the members of the Mark II forum. Feb. 3 was the physical begin: I will do first the rims. Strange choice isn't? there is a reason for that: my previous model, a 1963 Studebaker Avanti is almost ready. I'm doing now the tires for this Avanti and, as expected, there are difficulties. Furthermore, time is needed for the material to cure (about 24 hours) and I hate to wait and do nothing.

The rims for the Mark II are standard parts (more or less) which have to be done anyway. Then I will do the tires for the Mark II as my notices and experience with the Avanti tires will be helpful.

I did the same work with the tires for my first model (a 1966 Olds Toronado) but it was for 30 years and the products are no more the same.

I hope you will enjoy this adventure; you must be patient as progress are never quick.

Attached are 2 pictures. You may notice that my lathe is very small and the brass part is looking huge for this small machine!

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The begin of this model is not quite exciting; the frame would be more interesting. This will come, later.

The long cylinder was precut to have 5 drums. The final cut was done manually with a saw blade as obviously it was not possible with my small machine to completely cut each drum on the lathe.

Then came the regular work as a picture is showing it. When the first rim was done, my desk was covered with brass chips! Fortunately, it's easy to clean, and yes, I do it myself.

Now, I still have four rims to do....

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I finished the last rim on February 9. 5 rims are now ready to be assembled on the wheel's centers, when they will be done. For that, I will have to take dimensions from the cars located in Switzerland; it will not happens before 2 months.

The next step will be the tire's pattern. I ordered a bit of brass; next week I will begin with it. The first step with the Avanti tires are promising; let see what happens next.

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Some time ago, I began the work on the pattern for the tires. It will be made with brass, a metal I like. Easy to turn, no need to lubricade, easy to braze and soft sold.

The pattern is, for the small machine I have, a huge piece of brass, 1.25 kg heavy (about 2.8 pounds). As one of the pictures is showing it, it looks disproportionate on the lathe. It's time consuming; not only because I can take only a little bit material each time, but after about 20 minutes the electric motor of the machine must cool down...

The second picture is showing that there is already some progress, but it's far from finished.

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The work on the tire's pattern is going faster than anticipated. The tire's back side (picture) is almost ready. The tool to form the sides is a flat chisel. It cut into brass almost like butter! Of course, the chisel is held by hand; this technique requires some habit.

At the moment, the weight is less than half it was at the beginning.

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Roger,

You are amazing. What talent you have. I am in awe. Beautiful, awesome what else more can I say.

Thank you very much for coming on here and sharing with us.

Looking forward to seeing more.....

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Thank you for your comments Tom! However, for the moment, there is nothing complicated or real delicate. The small and complicated parts will come later , you'll have to wait some weeks/months/years!

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Some time ago, I put the tire pattern for the Mark II on side to finish the Avanti's tires. This morning the last tire was taken out of the mold; I have the impression you may be interested by that.

First, some clear silicone is prepared with a black paste and catalyst. Then, the product is poured into the forms. The pictures show that a lot of air is entraped into the silicone; this air is removed by placing the forms into a desiccator. The needed vacuum is created by a hand pump, which is good for the muscles!

After almost one hour of this treatment, all air bubbles are gone, the molds can be taken out of the desiccator.

After 2 hours, when the product is still sticking but no more flowing, it's time to join both halves together and press them firmly to let escape the unneeded silicone. As you can see, I put all the wheight I found on the molds. Will the tire be good? I will know it after about 8 to 10 hours.

Fortunately, you will not have to wait so long!

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After the necessary curing time, the excess material at the outside can be peeled off. A small screwdriver is inserted then into prepared notches to separate both mold's halves, taking care no to apply too much force. When one mold is removed, the excess rubber around the tire is taking away with a cutter.

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Then, with some pressure on the tire, it is gently removed from the other mold. It's the minute of truth! Fortunately, the last tire is also good and can be used.

I did the pictures only with the last tire because I was too nervous before to think at pictures. With that run, I had 2 bad tires; I had to scrap them.

Once the center is cutted away and the tire cleaned, I can insert the white wall into the recess I molded and the tire is ready to install on the wheel, and the wheel on the car.

The whole process is rather complicated; it will be explained in detail when I will be ready to do the Mark II tires.

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Now that the Avanti model is almost completed (2 small parts will have to be added later, I forgot to let them chrome), I can continue with the saga with the tires for the Mark II. On the picture, you can see the "tire" and some brass bands. What can those bands to have in common with the pattern?

The answer tomorrow if nobody could find the reason!

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What can those bands to have in common with the pattern?

My thought is that the bands will be affixed to the wheel blank as tire tread and manufacture details (name/size). Then the finished wheel will become the master for the mold that will make the actual tires. I could be wrong, but that’s my thinking… Also, let me say now that I am amazed at those that have the talent and patience to be able to see this type of project through. I, along with many others will be following along and (maybe even impatiently at times) waiting for updates as you make progress.

By the way, when you are done with the Avanti will you be posting a picture of the completed model? Scott

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My guess is that the brass bands will be bent to become tread grooves to make the tire mold.

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Bingo Scott and Keiser31! You are right: the band will be milled and fixed on the blank. This is a long process, you will see later how this is done. If I had a sophisticated equipment, I would mill the tread directly on the blank. Would that be fun?

For the name and dimension, it will not be done with that. There is another procedure, again completely foolish.

To be honest, I did not "invent" the process to make tires. I got it from a book I bought in Reno at the famous museum in 1979 if I remember well. The book is: The complete car modeller from Gerald A. Wingrove. He must get the credit for it.

When the weather will permit it, I will do a serie of pictures from the Avanti with outside light and will publish them

Those who follow the construction of this new model must be patient: the planning go from 6 to 10 years...

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Up to now, you saw only my fingers. During summertime, they would no be so clean as I'm working from time to time to my real cars. But how is looking that funny guy from Switzerland?

As the publisher from Strudebaker toys asked for pictures, we did some this morning. Here are two at the "working" place...

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Simply fantastic work. Watching a master work is always enjoyable but this project looks to be especially enjoyable.

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This is one thread I will be following with great anticipation!

Where is that subscribe to thread button?

:)

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Hope you're a patient person. I'm sure it will be worth the wait.

Roger, you really should post some file pictures from your other projects to help fill in the time between progress reports.

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Hope you're a patient person. I'm sure it will be worth the wait.

Roger, you really should post some file pictures from your other projects to help fill in the time between progress reports.

He and the other readers have to be patient! Sometimes what I do is a repetitive work not worth to photography, sometimes I have other activities. Don't panic: since I have a digital camera, it's so easy to publish almost immediately failures or great parts!

I'm a little bit reluctant to post pictures from my other projects; it distracts from the real subject and can confuse people. What do think the people who are looking at that thread?

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No, I meant to post them in this thread as a comparison as to what went before. Since all of the operations have been done before a "preview" of an operation might be interesting.

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No, I meant to post them in this thread as a comparison as to what went before. Since all of the operations have been done before a "preview" of an operation might be interesting.

OK, I understand better. As far as the Toronado is concerned, bad luck. I have very few pictures. It will be better with the Avanti as I posted on a regular basis to the French forum. The first pictures were first with a traditional camera; since 2007 a digital one came home. Since that day, I did a lot of pictures and was (and still) amazed with the quality of the pictures at short distances.

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