Jump to content

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


Recommended Posts

Hellooo Roger,

Glad to have you back.  Wow, the door really became several issues.  I am confident that you will handle them as you always do, with logic and engineering.  Bet you are glad that there are only TWO doors to fiddle with.  Can you imagine a 9 passenger wagon with operating tail gate and  glass? Only you could handle that task.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes, Randy there are only two doors, but the rear quarters will create the same troubles!

Indeed, a wagon would be easier: usually, the doors are simpler with less details; usually they don't have electric window as standard, si I could make them manual!

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 2 weeks later...

Roger,  I know this is probably a silly question to ask, but do you have an estimated time frame when you think you may have your master piece done?:rolleyes:  I'm still amazed at how small the hardware is and how you can fabricate stuff that small.  Keep up the great work.

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

Martin, there no silly question! When I began that mad construction in 2010, I estimated that I would need 10 years to complete it. I have the impression that this timeframe is realistic. In 4 years maximum the model should be ready.

With the same number of hours, I could restore 3 or 4 cars the way you are doing your Mercury with major differences: I could sit into the cars when they are done, there is much more money involved restoring cars but I can sell them.

I will not be able to sit into the model; it's an hobby which does not involve high costs but I would barely find a buyer of the model when ready.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Roger,

 

You said " would barely find a buyer of the model when ready", I am certain there would be people lined up for your car. I can see it now going across the stage at a large auto action watching the bids fly by. I'd be 1st in line (depending on how big the number would have to be on the check!) I could not even begin to guess what one would be worth, but it would not surprise me if it was more than the actual car. (as it should be).

 

I have an affinity for anything that is done to a high standard. Your work is exactly that. It is without a doubt some of the world's greatest art pieces to be revered and admired. Make no mistake, there are no appropriate words for what you do. I would love to just hold it in my hands to experience all that it is. Not may things would leave me speechless, any one of your models would do that. That last thing I held in my hands that did that was WIllie Nelson's guitar (handed to me by WIllie himself, which is another story itself). That is a cultural icon for any Willie Nelson fan with life and a it's own history.

 

So keep on, keeping on! Let me know when I should start sending the pictures and measurements for you to build an Amphicar for me! (A guy has gotta dream!)

Link to post
Share on other sites

Well, John, thank you for your comments. When I wrote "would barely..." it implied: at the price I think it should cost! You are right, and it's also my point of view, more than the actual car. Therefore, few people on earth who appreciate what I'm doing would be in a position to write that check...

Even if I don't know Wllie Nelson, I'm understanding what your feeling was when you had that guitar in your hands.

 

About your dream to get a scale model from the Amphicar, I will put it that way: when I was in the process of restoring my third Cadillac (a '56 Biarritz), most people asked: what will be the next? and my answer never changed: I'm over with the restoration work. It's more or less the same here: I'm over with that. I have almost no time to drive my cars because I would like to finish the model before it's too late (read: before I cannot work on it anymore); therefore this will be the last one. I would probably not say NO for doing a part or an element taking maybe some months to finish but no more for a project needing years. Sorry!

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

The RH door panel is done; before I'm looking for the quarter panels, I did some details at the dash board: both small round lamps (I had an inquiry to make them functional but I decided the added value v/s added work is so marginal that it makes no sense).

Ralph Nader would not appreciate the way I did the lock for the glove box with the shaft protruding that way! Don't worry, this is just to be attached to the chrome's tree. Once the part will be chromed, the shaft will be cut!

The "ribbed" plate under the heat and A/C controls was also added as well as the grille for the speaker. The pitch for the "holes" is coarser as it should but I have the impression it's a good compromise as I had to have a visual difference between the lower plate and the grille. Once plated, the indentations will get some black paint, creating the illusion of holes.

 

 

807 Dash board.JPG

808 Speaker grille.JPG

  • Like 4
Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Roger. When the forum upgrade happened I stopped getting the update notifications from your story, so I forgot to keep checking. I've just caught up with your progress after a long reading marathon.

I know others have said this, but with almost every set of photos I have literally shaken my head in disbelief that you've created so much detail and functionality in this model. I could not believe that these things were possible by hand in someone's home workshop. I would like to comment often, but many things are said by others and I don't need to repeat the same wonder. Now that I can 'Like' your posts I'll do this and I hope it helps to reassure you that there is a silent majority who appreciate your efforts, both with the model and with your forum updates. Thank you for continuing with both!

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
13 minutes ago, Roger Zimmermann said:

Thanks for the comments! According to the relative few posts but the high number of views, there is effectively a large silent majority!

 

Silent because were are in stunned silence and in awe of your art (it truly is an art!) and commitment. I only wish I could see your shop and sit with you for a day. I will extend a virtual hand shake of gratitude and great respect for your efforts and hours of entertainment.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I could take my Amphicar, fill the fuel tank, pack a lunch (or 2) and head on over! I assure you that watching a master of his craft as you are, would not be boring for me at all! I'd love to video you working using time lapse to see all the effort you expend. Not boring for me.

Link to post
Share on other sites

If the planning is right, you may cross the ocean when the weather is calm. However, I doubt that you will cross the sea with just one tank. Maybe you should be escorted with a small tanker...And when you arrive at my door, the model may be finished! Your adventure would be a perfect topic for this forum!

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

The first picture would let think that Switzerland is also affected by typhoons...Not quit; this is the result of the next step.

Indeed, I expected to begin the quarter trim panels, but before that, I have to prepare the definitive roof installation. And this is boring and frustrating. Without the roof, the LH quarter window was OK. With the roof, I noticed that while closing the window, it's jamming at the upper guide. I saw also that the leading edge from that window is not far enough from the body. When doing one correction at the mechanism, it makes something else worse. Finally, I found a way; I just hope that the electric motor will be strong enough to close or open that window. All tests are done without motor and there is more friction now as before.

The good news is that I still can go inside the car with one hand when the roof is installed!

 

 

809 Typhoon.JPG

810 adjusting work.JPG

  • Like 3
Link to post
Share on other sites

Roger,

 

Are you close to attaching the roof to the model?  Once the doors are finished and the wiring is routed, will you hang the doors before the roof goes on?  I am assuming that once the roof is attached, It will not be removed again.  But there is so much more for the interior to be done.  Upholstery, carpet, finish paint, headliner, etc., etc.  I assume that the items I just mentioned will be done before the roof is attached.  And once it is attached, can it come off again?  Is it attached with screws and nuts or is it soldered on?  Is the roof one of the last steps before the final finish?   So many questions.  

 

To Amphicar Buyer: I have a very fast daycruiser (23' with a 454 Mercruiser powerplant).  Maybe I could get you to share the costs and we could tow a fuel barge across the Atlantic and get to Europe in a much quicker time frame than his nice little Amphicar could get there.  AND it would have to be in a calm, storm free time that the Atlantic would offer.  I motor from Oceanside or Dana Point harbors to Santa Catalina Island off the coast of Southern California.  It is 55 miles from Oceanside Harbor.  I get there in a little over an hour.  I have to leave at 6 AM when the ocean is "flat". Nice little jaunt.  Crossing the Atlantic would be some adventure ! Suffice it to say, Swiss Air would be the modus for traveling to Switzerland.   

 

Back to the Continental.  Even though the ashtrays wont open or the inside door handle will be in op, the fact that they are there and at one time were functional is all that counts.  Who is going to reach into this beautiful masterpiece and try the door handle?  Or for that matter, the ashtray?  The visible feast for the eyes will be consuming most of the admirers time LOOKING at this beautiful model.

 

When you are finished with the model, there may be a time to make a video presentation and "walk around" with you, Roger, showing the model and  demonstrating the features of the car that are operable, I.E. opening the hood, trunk, doors, moving the windows up and down, honking the horn (just kidding), turning on the lights, etc., etc.  We would all love to see you doing just such a video.  I am sure that there are one of us out here that could set up and stage a "set" for just such a project.  It certainly would be a LOT less labor intensive compared to what you have been doing for the last 6 years. And this model and your story must be shared with the world outside of the Forum.

 

Food for thought.

 

As always in awe of your prowess and magnificent craftsmanship,

 

Randy

 

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

Randy

Before I'm forgetting to answer, here are some responses to your questions: no, I'm not yet ready to attach the roof because I recently saw that I have to make the mold for the headliner (cloth or whatever material will be glued on that base). That mold and the positive part which will be resulting are made with polyester. Due to the strong odor, I have to wait till spring time as I'm doing that outside; right now, the temperature is too low that the polyester can cure. The roof will be soldered on the lower body, this is effectively one of the last step before the finishing will begin. The idea to have a removable roof as I was asked is not practical and would create too much compromises. The wiring will be done when the body will be painted; maybe I can do a pre-wiring to facilitate the electrical matter. The doors will be attached during sanding and body preparation, then removed again to clean and paint first the jambs.

: no, I'm not yet ready to attach the roof because I recently saw that I have to make the mold for the headliner (cloth or whatever material will be glued on that base). The roof will be soldered on the lower body, this is effectively one of the last step before the finishing will begin. The idea to have a removable roof as I was asked is not practical and would create too much compromises. The wiring will be done when the body will be painted; maybe I can do a pre-wiring to facilitate the electrical matter. The doors will be attached during sanding and body preparation, then removed again to clean and paint first the jambs.

As you probably saw, the front seat's frame is done; if necessary, the shape for the cushions could be done when the roof is on but it's easier without roof. Indeed, there are not so many parts to fabricate: the cushions, some moldings and a great number of details which will be done after the final assembly.

 

Your idea to cross the ocean with your boat is on paper a funny one; I'm sure that in reality it would represent a challenge.

Nice Sunday!

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Now, the work for the quarter trim can begin. First, I soldered the parcel shelf (it was long overdue) and did the upper molding. I'm lucky, it is pointed at the rear at the right location!

The leather will be glued directly on the support for the window mechanism; it will however be extended at the back.

The profile for the rear seat is figured by the cardboard in the rear compartment.

 

811 quarter trim.JPG

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

 

Quote

 I have a very fast daycruiser (23' with a 454 Mercruiser powerplant).  Maybe I could get you to share the costs and we could tow a fuel barge across the Atlantic and get to Europe in a much quicker time frame than his nice little Amphicar could get there.  AND it would have to be in a calm, storm free time that the Atlantic would offer.  I motor from Oceanside or Dana Point harbors to Santa Catalina Island off the coast of Southern California.  It is 55 miles from Oceanside Harbor.  I get there in a little over an hour.  I have to leave at 6 AM when the ocean is "flat". Nice little jaunt.  Crossing the Atlantic would be some adventure ! Suffice it to say, Swiss Air would be the modus for traveling to Switzerland.

 

Well, I guess I should start packing a change of clothing and a lunch!  Seems like a great idea to me!  If my time and finances would allow, I would have no second thoughts about going to visit Roger. That trip would be worth every penny to see such a world class artist. I fear that  Randy and I would have to take Roger out for dinner as I suspect his dinner plates and silverware may be 1:12 scale and I have a 1:1 scale mouth! ;-) 

 

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

The first rear arm rest is more or less ready. Missing is the side bracket which is attached to the body; 2 screws from the side will fix the arm rest to that bracket.

The large hole at the lower arm rest is for the window motor.

 

I had a look at the recently done rear quarter window switch; I can do it again: it's too large. When an item is done without the part into which that item will be installed, such disagreement is usual...

 

 

812 arm rest.JPG

  • Like 3
Link to post
Share on other sites

Roger,

   You continue to amaze, outstanding work!

I ordered and tried the solder paste you recommended, It didn't seem to flow well with a butane torch or with my 250W resistance soldering machine. What do you use to heat it?

Thanks!

Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks Murco!

I'm using a propane/butane torch. Maybe the parts you intend to silver solder are too large for that torch. It works very well on really small items for which a drop of regular silver solder's rod would make a mess. I'm attaching a picture of my torch. With that tool, 2 burners (i hope it's the correct work) were delivered. On the frame, the small one was totally useless, I needed the large one as you see on the picture. You must get the part to solder at the same temperature as the soldering will flow.

As I have no experience with resistance soldering, I just can suppose that the temperature is not high enough.

 

 

218 Blowtorch.JPG

Edited by Roger Zimmermann (see edit history)
  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

The RH quarter arm rest is now ready. Well, not quite: I have to do the caps at the upper door's molding and quarter molding, not a big deal. The window switch however is a concern: I have very limited space; I can probably save only the escutcheon. The switch itself must be done again; I'm not pleased...

 

Yesterday, I went to the store room to see a detail on a real Mark II. Then, I saw that the rear arm rests are not straight (view from above), but curved. After some hesitation, I decided to modify them as it was not too late. The modification can be seen on the second picture.

813 RH arm rest.JPG

814 arm rest corrected.JPG

  • Like 3
Link to post
Share on other sites

Roger,

 

I was noticing on your previous posting answering Marco's issue with the solder and his difficulty  with the brazing that he was doing.  I am amazed that you are using a large torch for your soldering.  Have you ever used a micro torch?  I have the Smith "The Little Torch" and use it extensively when I am soldering brass or even use it to heat difficult fasteners that need a little "help" to be broken loose.  

It is a very precise torch that is used in the Jewelry industry here state side.  If you have not heard of it, I have attached three photos showing the torch head, the acetylene/oxygen tank set up and the box showing the torch.  Had you ever used this type of torch?  They are very reasonable but beware of the knock off's.  One seller on Ebay was selling a Chinese (very inferior) torch that claimed to be a Smith torch.  It wasn't.  All of us that bought that torch found out what cheap junk results in.  My torch leaked at the knobs and caused fires in the stem. I was lucky that I was not burnt and escaped injury.  Smith came to the rescue and sent me their torch at a no cost replacement to me.  I called them and asked the rep why they were replacing the torch without any cost to me as I did not purchase the torch from them.  They said that they were going after the company representing them as "Smith" and they were replacing  all the torches for those of us who unknowingly purchase the fake torches.

 

I just love my torch.  It beats dragging my large oxy/acetylene rig to do small jobs, plus all my modeling that requires brass, bronze, copper and steel soldering. I even weld mild steel with it.  Brass and Silver soldering is a snap.

 

The torch is pretty reasonable.  I bought my torch for around $95.00  (US) several years ago. Plus the acetylene and oxygen tank set up.   Two months later, after experiencing leaking and flames coming out of the handle, I contacted Smith. The rep told me to send it back for replacement. I sent the knock off back to Smith and they sent me a brand new "Little Torch"  with the 5 Sapphire tips.  What is great about this torch is that you can direct a micro flame into very small spots and areas.  You can control the heat and amount of flame that you need. Perfect for modeling in brass or most any metal. Except for aluminium.  

 

Also, you being the expert, it is important to use a good quality solder, flux paste and KNOW what you are doing.  All your experience can't be bought.  Years of trial and error to find what works the best. 

In Awe............

 

Randy

 

 

 

IMG_1874.JPG

IMG_1872.JPG

IMG_1880.JPG

Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for your comments, Randy. By the way, I have a smaller torch which is totally inefficient on large parts like a frame. There are several torche systems available, I saw another model when I visited the supplier of the silver solder paste; the one in your picture is really neat! You are right, the torch I have is probably not the best one for delicate silver soldering jobs. You have to understand how I came to it:

When I began a little bit seriously with scale models more than 50 years ago, the money was tight, very tight. Next to that point, I had no experience and the "scene" was non existant or I did not dare to search. I went to a store, explained what I intended to do and I went home (with bicycle) with a torch and a rather large bottle of gaz. I was very happy with that and I could begin to silver solder with the best product which was then available: Castolin 1802. Still one of the best rod to silver solder at rather lower temperatures, made in Switzerland! (or was)

That bottle could be refilled without problem for many years. In between, I began to restore cars scale 1:1 and scale models were no more actual until I was put in early retirement. When I decided to "restore" the Avanti model, that bottle was empty. The store I used to refill it was long gone. I did some searches and I was told that this kind of bottles was no longer serviceable. As I intended to "just" do a minimum of work on that model, I bought an equivalent system which you saw in the picture.

Well, that small restoration became an almost reconstruction and I never thought for another heat source. Then, I began the Mark II with the same cheap method. As it will be my last project of such a magnitude, I don't see the need to have something better or more efficient...

You have also to know that all I'm doing is done in the flat we are living. I would be not so comfortable to use acetylene/oxygen in my room!

Edited by Roger Zimmermann (see edit history)
  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Today I could finish the second quarter window switch. Like his brother, I tested it with a spare electric motor. The switch is small enough to clear the bell crank for the quarter window. The wires which are shown on the picture are the definitive ones. They have a larger diameter than the ones which will go through the door's pillar; fortunately, the arm rest is large enough to offer the needed space to those wires.

I will now temporarily stop the construction. No panic, I just will do something completely different: prepare some parts for the plating which means filing, sanding and polishing. This has a good reason: the switches cannot be completed before the buttons are chromed. There are also other parts which will be prepared, like window frames, lower body moldings, inside moldings and maybe the bumpers.

 

 

 

815 quarter window switch.JPG

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

It's incredible how many parts have to be chromed on this model. This afternoon, I went to the plater with the second batch of parts to be chromed; by looking at the picture, some parts are easy to identify, some others less.

You may not remember at the first batch: there were the wheel and valve covers, some years ago! 

The bumpers are the candidate for the third batch; they are massive parts which will be tough to polish.

 

816 second chrome batch.JPG

  • Like 5
Link to post
Share on other sites

Do you take them tiny pieces to a special chrome shop that deals in small items or to a regular type chrome shop for automotive stuff?  If I was the guy doing the work I would be very nervous.  Would hate to have a part that small fall off the tree and get lost in a big tank.  Can't wait to see how they come out.  Looking good.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Zipdang: yes, I got probably the idea to do that way from the kits. About them: I was always deceived that the manufacturer could not make the connection to the tree in a manner that the removed part could be installed without that ugly spots in plain view...

 

Martin: Bienne (the watch city) is the location of that chrome shop. They work for the watch industry, therefore they deal with small items. The way the parts are attached to the tree is rather efficient; in all those years, all parts came back. Of course, they don't have to polish the parts, I did it. The operator has "just" to dip the tree in the various tanks.

I doubt that a chrome shop doing large parts would be happy with my request; they would probably turn it down.

Anyway, there is always a risk; I hope to get them all back!

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
20 hours ago, Roger Zimmermann said:

I doubt that a chrome shop doing large parts would be happy with my request; they would probably turn it down.

 

Oh, I hear you! Not being a machinist I have to farm-out my stuff and the medical micro-machining companies do not like to mess with small volume model parts and often blew me off when I'd call. Same thing with photo-etching companies, I went through dozens but the good ones have large volume work with electronics companies so getting a few sheets done takes determination!

IMG_2233_zpsnsdbvzh3.jpg~original

Link to post
Share on other sites

Roger,

 

The process for plating is the same for large parts as well as small parts.  The liquid vats that the parts go into may be the difference.  Are your parts "triple plated"  (copper nickel chrome).  or do you skip the copper step?  Having brass polished I do not know what plating you have been doing all these years but I am sure that they are well suited for what you are doing.  As far as the torch goes.  We have a saying over here;   "If it isn't broken, don't fix it".  SO for all those years that you have been using your torch, it is a comfort level that you are used to.  I am quite sure that you are "deft" (skilled) with the system that you are using.  The "proof is in the pudding" as they say.   It is sad that this will be your last model.  But the amount of work that you do in one of these masterpieces is monumental.   It is understandable why you would not want to tackle another one.  Maybe a "small" little project may be on the horizon?  You will let us know if you do so?  

 

The amount of polishing on these small parts is daunting in it's self.  What the layman out here may not know about metal finishing;  it is 90% preparation that gives the beautiful finish.  I know.  When I first started restoring my first Fiat, I used a company in San Diego.  A year later, the chrome started peeling off the bumper.  When I went back to them the owner just shrugged his shoulders.  A few months later, they were out of business.  Thank goodness, I found a good plating company right here in Oceanside.  He does fantastic work.  When I went into his shop, he was preparing a set of bumpers for a classic Ferrari.  They just came out of the copper tank and were a work of art.  It is sad that copper finishes don't hold up because it would be something to see a car with copper accents vs. the chrome.  

 

Any way, I had my Triumph Bonneville Motorcycle parts to do.  Many small parts.  He explained that it would take extra time to build a "tree" for all the small items, (screws, nuts, etc. etc)  so that they would not get lost.  He, not his workers, did this for me.  And I got all of them back!  (No small feat).  That cemented our business relationship.  As you well know, you get what you pay for.  I pay a little extra but he delivers the most beautiful work.  I had my Triumph Motorcycle, my Fiat parts, then my 36 Pontiac bumpers and other parts done (unfortunately, it will no be on the schedule to finish till I get the Fiat completed.  It is in the body shop now waiting on me to pick the color that will look the best on it).  

 

Being in the watch capital of the world, your plating companies are use to working with small parts.  I can imagine the quizzical looks on the tech's faces looking at the parts wondering what your "watch" looks like with all these unique parts.   :-)

 

We are awaiting the day to see how these parts will look when they go onto the car,   er  Model, er MASTERPIECE.  As everyone else responds to your postings, " A MASTER AT WORK".   It is so nice to be able to follow the Continental as it progresses.

 

What else is so enlightening is that you EXPLAIN the problems and issues and how you overcome the challenges.  For us out here who have attempted to build models  (from scratch or kits) we can somewhat grasp the magnitude of what you do.

I am looking forward to the next posting.  It is what we have to look forward to in the cold weather months knowing that you are at your work station hammering, sawing, machining, trimming and fitting the parts to the Continental.

 

We have our Thanksgiving season upon us.  We all here (stateside) take time to have a break from our work and give thanks to our families and friends, past and present, God  and all who came before us to create our great country. We are thankful during this season.

 

So Roger, this Thanksgiving, I am including you in my list.  I am thankful that you are out there with your Continental giving me the pleasure of watching this beautiful  "model" come together. I wish you good health and happiness to you and yours.

 

HAPPY THANKSGIVING TO YOU ! ! ! 

 

Randy 

     

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
×
×
  • Create New...