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


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Following the renovation of the Toronado is just as rewarding as watching the construction of the Mark II. Awesome work as always Roger and reading through your descriptions makes it as if we are literally there watching you perform the tasks. 

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22 minutes ago, Spinneyhill said:

Just had a thought. In printers, VHS and cassette players etc. they use "rubber bands" to drive the moving parts. What about that sort of tech rather than "string".

 

Something like this perhaps...

https://www.ebay.com/itm/Universal-Repair-60PCS-40-130mm-Mix-Cassette-Tape-Machine-Square-Belt-Assorted-/202400051683?_trksid=p2349526.m4383.l4275.c10#viTabs_0

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People, wake up! and have a look at the picture again. Try now to put your rubber band or whatever in the same room...

When I did that "design" about 40 years ago, I had wonderful examples of window systems operated with a rather rigid rubber or plastic band. If I'm right, Cadillac Sevilles had such a system in the eighties. It was my best to scale down such a system. Perfect? No way, but something larger in diameter is just an illusion. Further, my goal here is not to reengineer the model completely, but just try to give it a second life. A 100% mechanical system like in the Mark II would be 100% more reliable but, read what I wrote just before this sentence.

42 new tensioner.JPG

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Roger

A gain you are the best, love you talent. I would like to mention on what has been a problem to me when wiring. I started to use ribbon wire that made a world of difference. 60 conductors 28 awg in multi colors. Here is the site on EBay:

https://www.ebay.com/itm/60-Conductor-28awg-Color-Rainbow-Ribbon-Wire-Cable-Belden/233079526104?hash=item36449f52d8:m:mKvqcbrq6RkQQeijPJL520Q

Best wishes, you are the best!

Nelson

 

 

 

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Roger, I am very late to this thread but your work is nothing short of amazing.  We have a little something in common as I was a District Service Manager for Oldsmobile in the 70's.  I imagine you were quite good in the job!  Wondering if you ever worked with Darwin Clark from the US?  He was posted in Switzerland for a time. 

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12 hours ago, NCollar said:

Roger

A gain you are the best, love you talent. I would like to mention on what has been a problem to me when wiring. I started to use ribbon wire that made a world of difference. 60 conductors 28 awg in multi colors. Here is the site on EBay:

 

Thanks for the link, Nelson! I had a good luck with a computer or printer cable; from it, I could get many color coded wires, diameter 0.8mm. As the Olds completion will not require a lot, I'm set. I could not evaluate the outside dimeter from the cables in the link; anyway, I don't need any wire for the moment.

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31 minutes ago, Steve Moskowitz said:

Roger, I am very late to this thread but your work is nothing short of amazing.  We have a little something in common as I was a District Service Manager for Oldsmobile in the 70's.  I imagine you were quite good in the job!  Wondering if you ever worked with Darwin Clark from the US?  He was posted in Switzerland for a time. 

Thanks Steve for your comments! As a moderator/administrator, you cannot see or comment all treads!

Interesting that you were yourself also a DSM! I was certainly not good in the beginning: it was the bad period where the engines stalled without reason, mostly in A bodies and V6. I had at that time many unhappy customers at the phone; it was not funny at all. Support from GM was...very remote. Fortunately, things improved a bit early nineties; probably most dissatisfied customers left. The quality of the products was still miserable in the nineties; there was some improvement early 2000. Right now, the quality is OK, but the customers are almost all gone. Only some fools are still buying GM US vehicles; there is no marketing, no organization behind the product. Sure, China is more promising and the number sold there is incredible; I have difficulties to understand why GM still has a minimalist presence in Europe; why not pull the plug once for all?

In the early nineties, GM created an organization for Europe; I'm wondering if they just sent to Europe the most dumb people, because nothing good cam from that. An example? at the end of the nineties, they had a great idea: to promote and sell in quantity the Chevrolet Astro Van! A certainly nice delivery truck well adapted for the US, but certainly not a modern, efficient and stylish vehicle to be sold in great numbers in Europe. That stupid idea was presented in one staff meeting somewhere in Europe; that day, I destroyed my chance of a promotion when, as a Service guy, I asked if they were serious with such a stupid idea when all the Sales people said nothing! Nevertheless, the Astro Van never came.

We could certainly speak for hours about our adventures with that company!

As we had not frequent contacts in the US, the name Darwin Clark is unknown or I forgot.

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The answer I gave to the suggestions from Spinneyhill and Matthew was far from diplomatic! Well, sometimes nasty answers are coming out...Just for the perspective: I'm attaching 2 pictures; one with the motor and the drum on which the string will roll on (sorry, I don't have a rule in inches) and the other one showing 2 or 3 pulleys which guide the string. As I wrote, it was out of question to reengineer that system, for that, I could/must redo both doors which does not makes sense.

49 Motor and drum.JPG

50 pulleys.JPG

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For some of us that have never been into scale models it is difficult to comprehend working on very small bits of engineering. Your excellent photos tend to not show that the bits you are working with are so small. I have just looked at the measurements, on my ruler, of the pully for the operating string and I see that the inner diameter is about 1.5mm - tiny in my world of full size cars! Carry on the good work - for one, I find your work amazing.

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Thanks for the comments, Mike! Yes, it's a huge difference between 1:1 scale and in this case 1:12. What can be completely logical/practical on a real car may be impossible on a scale model. I believe the diameter from the drum is 2mm but the width between 2 walls is 1.2mm. Not very practical to run a rubber band 1mm width!

 

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The string at the LH door was replaced; I modify also the tensioner similar to the RH side.

The lower door’s molding was removed as I intend to sand and buff the paint under the character line; this lower part still has a strong orange skin.

51 LH door.JPG

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The trim was assembled on the LH door and the assembly was installed on the body, with the harness pushed into the A pillar. I began to solder the cut wires to have a functional door master switch. When I connected the positive and negative wires, I tried the LH window. It went up and down with some hiccup. Obviously, the thick wiring coming out of the door is touching the window front guide. I will have to add a protection here. There will be two more screws into the door shell!

52 wiring interference.JPG

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Today, I will relate the birth of that model. Some elements were already done as early as autumn 1967, like the engine and other small parts. My goal was to have a model as accurate as the real one, which means many elements would be assembled with screws. Therefore, the front fenders would be bolted on; a firewall had to be done accurately to allow that specific operation.

To spare on weight, I imagined doing a core with wood in two parts: once the main body was carved and the negative molds done, the idea was to remove the front end to do the firewall at the right position. The first picture from February 1968 (yes, this picture is 51 years old!) is showing the wood core. As you can see, those pictures are small and are scanned from some B/W pictures; some will be colored ones but the colors are faded because of the age.

There is some plaster on the wood at the second picture. Of course, I bought the cheapest plaster, the one for remodeling a room, which was not especially clever as this kind of plaster is too brittle.

The next picture is showing the overall shape of the body; it was in April 1968. After the negative molds ware done for the doors, I carved some plaster away to shape the B pillars.

The next picture from Spring 1969 is showing the carving for the hood reinforcement. When the mold for that part was done, the buck was cut to and the front end removed. This is the next picture.

The negative mold for the rear of the body was done in July 1969. Finally, all positive parts are sown on the last picture. Some rework is needed!

a1 Wood core.jpg

a2 Plaster on wood.jpg

a3 body shape.jpg

a4 details added.jpg

a5 more details.jpg

a6 firewall.jpg

a7 negative mold.jpg

a8 carving the firewall.jpg

a9 parts to be assembled.jpg

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With all body parts ready, the next step was logically to assemble them. At that time, I could take an incredible quantity of dimensions from a real car which was in the same town. I just had a bicycle; not very convenient to carry all I needed.

The first picture from that batch, dated Sept. 26, 1969, is showing the assembled body with the plaster one in the back.

That plaster unit was still in use: I carved the roof structure.

The next step was to do the floor. A difficult task, accomplished probably mainly with the help of pictures and the Jo-Han scale model seen on a previous picture. The basic material is again plaster.

The main problem, by working with polyester and fiberglass, is to separate the finished part when the polyester is cured. It this picture from spring 1970, it’s obvious that the separation did not go well. The floor is not yet glued to the body; it’s just temporary in place.

I assume that when I took this picture in 1971 or 1972, I have got the blueprints from Oldsmobile. Most crossbars from the floor were done with brass as I had their exact shape and dimension.

During summer 1973, the floor was definitively attached to the body. Inside rocker panels were done in brass too.

The last picture from October 1973 is showing the body; some internal structure has been added to it. I had also the blueprints for the frame; I assume that I did it in parallel to the body.

 

a10 assembled body.jpg

a11 carving other details.jpg

a12 floor.jpg

a13 Molded floor.jpg

a14 floor and body.jpg

a15 Floor into the body.jpg

a16Floor glued to body.jpg

a17 Body and frame.jpg

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In fact, I was searching a precise picture for somebody. Of course I did not find it until I remembered that I had some pictures in a folder! As you can see, the text is very short because I don't remember every step of that build, just the main ones. If I'm taking the pain to do that, it's indeed to have that build documented somewhere.

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At the end of year 1975, I bought a reflex camera, analog of course. There was a dramatic improvement for the pictures, even if the scans do not do justice to the change.

During October 1974 and the end of year 1975, many improvements were done at the body. Unfortunately, I did no picture during that time. The doors were attached to the body with their hinges, the firewall was finished and it seems that the underbody was ready too.

During February 1975, I began to attach the front fenders to the body with the help of a temporary bracket at the frame’s front

October 1975: the body is rather complete; the front end was done in brass as well as the inner side panels from the front fenders. The last picture from the body is showing the hood open, maintained by the hinge’s springs.

The frame was done some years ago, but it was incomplete: the front suspension was not yet done. They were not part from the frame’s blueprints; therefore, I probably had to look at a real car for the dimensions.

The last picture from this retrospect is showing the engine on the frame; the front torsion bars are not yet done because I waited to have the weight from the model to do them.

I will continue now with the “normal” report.

 

I did a protection for the wiring; with a brass 0.4mm thick is certainly overkill, but my 02 and 03mm are gone!

I still have doubts about the reliability from the window system; something which is working all the time with ease: the door locks. Their design is much better than the one from the Mark II and it was also easier to do them.

a18 rear view.jpg

a19 Front view.jpg

a20 installing front fenders.jpg

a21 Front end ready.jpg

a22 Front end ready.jpg

a23 With open hood.jpg

a24 Frame with lower A arms.jpg

a25 With upper A arms.jpg

a26 Frame and engine.jpg

53 protected wiring.JPG

54 lock.JPG

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I'm sure I speak for all us of here when I say we're lucky you found those pictures!!   Very interesting to see the different method you took in making the bodies.  Amazing amount of detailed preserved in the negative mold and then to the parts... impressive.  Incredible really. 

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On the pictures, it seems that the details were finely reproduced. If I'm remembering well, there was a lot of rework: the plaster buck was too approximately done and a lot of bubbles were distributed through the polyester/fiberglass. This material is not kind at all with files and dentist mills!

Once the LH door was ready, I put it on the car and began to solder the previously separated wires. A test was done when each pair of wires was soldered. It was a good move: for an unknown reason, some buttons let the window down when up was desired. At the end, they all work the way they should; I’m wondering what for a gremlin I introduced!

The wires were next covered with the cover filler and the kick panel was installed. The next problem came when I wanted to install the light switch to the dash frame: the wiring coming from the front end has an insufficient slack to allow pulling the switch towards the back. The sole possibility was to remove the front end panel, motor and end travel switch. Before I’m installing the whole parts, I will test if the electrical circuit is still OK.

55 hidden wires.JPG

58 Dash.JPG

56 front end.JPG

57 front end.JPG

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Fortunately, I found the wiring diagram I did in 1980 for the motor actuating the headlamp/ headlamps and tail lamps.  I intended at that time to let run the motor for the headlamps with 2V and the lamps (in serie) with 6V! Why do simple when you can do complicated?  

Indeed, I will do 2 separate circuits: one for the engine with 6V with its distinct connector at the fuel tank (like I did for the Mark II) and a connector hidden into the trunk for 3V. This will power everything except the traction motor. Of course, I have now to modify the way each separate bulb is fed; they will all get 1.5V; therefore there will always be a group of 2 fed in serie: 3 groups in the trunk for the tail lamps, 1 group each for the headlamps and one group for the parking lamps.

There is a reason why I’m separating completely the circuits for the traction motor and the other electrical devices: if all would be connected with 6V with the corresponding voltage reducer for the window motors, the traction motor would be absorbing current without turning. To let it run, I have to “give gas” by pushing the accelerator; then, when the accelerator pedal is released, the engine is idling (but it does not start in this position) and I could demonstrate that the windows are going up and down (maybe!). However this situation does not please me.

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Like we say, there's more than one way to skin a cat. Sometimes. But, I sure enjoy reading of the thought process you use to decide what way to do that skinning. And, Roger, we are all pretty certain that you will adopt the most useful one in the end. The sheer amount of problem solving you have undertaken in the construction of your models is astounding. I boggles my mind to think that  you restored full size autos and held a job, along with conducting your life as well. Quite the fellow, we think. Thanks for allowing me, and the rest, to tag along with you. Pat

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Thanks for your comments, Pat! However, as you can read below, I'm not sure if I choose always the better solution! Anyway, as you stated, i was busy most of my life!

 

What was I thinking when I began this model in the sixties? I found notes about brake light and I remember doing a functional directional signal lever. The fact is that I installed tiny bulbs at the back together with larger ones. I did also a strange electrical circuit with a 6V wire connected to a derivation box and from that box, a wire going into the trunk. For what purpose? Brake lights? It could be. Anyway, there is no brake switch at the brake pedal and I have no intention to do one. I removed that wire and the black wires which were connected to the large bulbs are now cut because I have no idea where they are ending towards the front of the model. And, of course, there is no documentation.

I rewired the small tail bulbs as I explained previously and did a functional test. 2 bulbs were hardly lit when current was applied. If all bulbs would be connected in parallel, there would hardly be a difference. But with 2 bulbs in serie, if the internal resistance is not near the same, the brightness of each bulb is considerably different. I had to match at least two bulbs to have an acceptable result. If I remember well, some bulbs have a resistance of 8 Ohm and other near 10 Ohms.

Now, the back is ready, I can go to the front and find how the system should be functioning.

As you can see, the end panel was made with brass, like the gutter for the trunk. The license plate is of course installed on hinges.

59 Back end.JPG

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Indeed, the electrical system for the retracting headlamp is OK. Again, I had to search a bit; I had current to the motor but only if I added a ground. Then, I remembered that there is a ground wire at the inside switch. As I was not sure if I had to remove again the dash surround, I put only one screw; the nut was embedded in the polyester, therefore, I could not have a ground! Once the proper screw was torqued, the motor for the headlamps turned in the desired direction depending to the position of the headlamp switch. As the motor is now fed with 3V, it may too much voltage for this application. At first, I tried with 2 30 Ohm resistors in serie, but the motor could hardly open the doors. With just one, it’s better but I had to “massage2 the actuating rod to have the proper tension (either open or closes) at the LH headlamp door. As the rod actuating it is double the length from the RH side, it’s no wonder that it’s a bit tricky.

The pictures are showing the actuating rod, the bell crank and finally the actuating motor and the hidden resistor.

 

 

60 Headlamp system.JPG

61 Headlamp system.JPG

62 Motor and resistance.JPG

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It's starting to look like you are doing a "disassembly" thread on the Toronado hahahaha. I love seeing the guts and what you did to make certain items, even without telling us how you did it. It is as amazing as the Continental. Thank you so much for sharing your work.

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Well, it was not my intention! As you can see, it's like a real car: this unsolved detail is leading to another and another, and so on! here, of course, is not to relate how I did this or that (if I can remember, which is not always the case) but just to show the actual adventure. I'm on the good way now, as you will see with my next report later today or tomorrow.

Thanks for watching!

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Before I soldered the headlamp wires to the main lead, I tested several times the headlamp system. It’s functioning well now that I solved the problem created by the LH headlamp door going too far inside the front panel and jamming.

The light provided by the 4 headlamps is not very bright; the purpose was not a great illumination but a functioning one.

The orange/white wire is for the parking lamps located in the front bumper.

Now, most problems are solved, it’s time to install the parts lying around and do a new carpet.

68 Headlamps off.JPG

69 Healdlamps on.JPG

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Do they actually use Amber lamps for headlights it France? Never been, and don't want to if they like driving in the near dark. Anyhow, the progress on the Olds is good to see- the fact that it even has operating feature is still amazing to me- all my models ever did was sit still and collect dust until my mom made me toss 'em. 

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Fortunately, my mother never interfered with that!

The yellow headlamps from France is a thing of the past. They now have white headlamps like the rest of the world! Anyway, it was maybe possible to tint the round headlamps without too much costs, but now, with the integrated headlamps it's another matter. I'm glad they went away with that.

They may have now good light to drive at night, but they still are undisciplined.

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On ‎3‎/‎31‎/‎2019 at 6:02 PM, Roger Zimmermann said:

The yellow headlamps from France is a thing of the past. They now have white headlamps like the rest of the world!

As I thought, I must be living in the past! I haven't been to France for quite a few years and did not realise that they had stopped having the tinted yellow headlamps.

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