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

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February 09, 2008. Tensioner or not ?
As some little changes were needed, I had to cut the string to remove the window. Once the repairs done, I did the same number of turns with the new string on the drum to raise the window as to the drum to lower the window which I did not the first time. I gave a good tension on the string before I did the knot to attach both ends and I noticed that the tensioner was no more needed. I played a lot with the window until the shaft from the drum almost seized into the bearing! It was gradually more and more difficult to turn the handle till I understood that a drop or two of oil would not harm. Once the situation coming back to normal, I let the assembly alone. It will be good for the next 40 years !


February 29, 2008
That bitch of left window gave me a lot of trouble. The window was jamming, the string broke, the handle was turning with difficulties; I had a lot to do to save the situation. Curiously, the RH side went without any difficulty. It seems that now everything is under control and I can go further. To hide that mechanism, a door panel is needed. I used a 0.3mm sheet of brass; the padding at the top of the panel is done with a two components filler.

The various bits of leather were needed to get the proper alignment of the lock escutcheon. This part is attached to the door’s panel with 2 screws. (first picture)

The final trim will be glued on this base. I have first to do both horizontal moldings, the one located between the fawn and blue leather; the other molding is between the blue leather and the carpet at the door’s bottom. The armrest is not yet finished; there is still plenty of work ahead!  

A detail of the lock, with the strange looking escutcheon. (second picture)

A view from the other door, without the arm rest I could rescue and modify from the original model.


83 Panneau de porte gauche.JPG

84 Détails serrure.JPG

85 Porte droite installée.JPG

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March 05, 2008
As the hardware is ready, it's time to go to the software. Oups! to the upholstery. I'm showing how the "stitching" is done. On the brass basis, I'm gluing strip of leather, 0.5mm thick, with just enough space between each strip (first picture).

The upper molding is there as a guide, the strips are not going under the molding.

All strips are glued on the second picture. I can begin with the skin wich is a 0.1 to 0.15mm thick leather. If something is going amiss, I will have to begin from zero. I'm pushing the leather between each band, one after the other; therefore, it takes a rather long time for one panel.

With some luck and not too many difficulties, the first door's panel is ready. The arm rest is screwed from behind; it helps to keep the leather at its place. The lower part will be cover with velvet to simulate the carpet; the excess leather will be cut when the glue is set, after about 24 hours.

The next step: to cover the padded part with the fawn leather. Here, I will be able to stretch the leather to get a pleasant structure.



87 Collage des bandes.JPG

88 Collage terminé.JPG

89 Revêtement définitif.JPG

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People, thanks for all the  "like" you are attaching to my various posts, I do appreciate that! It means that some folks are still following my adventure with small cars.


March 09, 2008
Here we are ! the almost finished door panel is on the first picture.
Missing are both moldings and the locking lever (wich is not functional). Those parts must be chromed first.

The door’s bottom is not ready either : the carpet (velvet) is not yet glued. This will be done at the final assembly because the velvet is attracting the dust I’m producing in quantity.

Now, I can do the other side.

When all parts will be ready, all will be removed for the paint preparation.

April 06, 2008
What is that strange part on the second picture ? a misrepresented elk ? Yes, this part will go into the model ; two accessories are missing. If they were there, the answer would be evident. On the real car, this is covered with vinyl. On the model, I will use some leather because of the thickness.

90 Panneau presque terminé.JPG

91 Switches.JPG

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April 24, 2008
It’s not a surprise that my question stayed unanswered! The strange part is the inner molding assembly with the overhead switch module. It’s not the nicest part of the model but will be hardly visible.

The sunvisors can be lowered, as you can see.

The leather on the frame is not yet glued ; it will be done at the final assembly.

After the windshield molding, I did the rear ashtrays. They are not large : the outer frame is measuring 6 x 5mm. They are polished, ready to be chromed.

The cover can be opened, of course.

92a front header.JPG

92 pare-soleil.JPG

93 cendriers.JPG

94 cendriers ouverts.JPG

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May 19, 2008

The jewellery
There are just a few chromed parts on this vehicle; the hood emblem is one among them and its shape is particular. It seems easy to fabricate, but the difficulties are coming when starting the build! .

Here it is, polished and ready to be chromed. The surface around the "S" will be black painted, like the real one which can be seen on the picture in the background.

95 Emblème capot.JPG

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July 18, 2008
No, we are not yet in December, but what I will show to you is similar to the Christmas tree: we have a frame and we put the shiny things on it!
Most certainly you guessed that  I'm writing about the parts from the Avanti model which will go to the plater. It would be too risky and tedious to give the parts individually, therefore they are arranged on a frame made with heavy copper wire.

People who are building plastic scale model will understand as all the parts are grouped on a similar system; it was the inspiration to do the same.


There are 56 parts on this tree; 3 parts do not belong to th Avanti; maybe some of you will discover which ones. This is only a part from the parts to be chromed. The next serie will include the bumpers, window frames and so on. I hope that all will go on that second tree.

There will be a third one for parts having a dull chrome like the exhaust tubes, brake rotors and other small parts.

The tree, pictured with a different position from the camera.


96 Pièces pour chromage.JPG

97 Pièces pour chromage1.JPG

Edited by Roger Zimmermann (see edit history)
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Chrome is expensive everywhere! In a usual situation, when you are taking a part to the plating shop, the part must be first "dechromed", then the cooper removed, usually mechanically; then the part is polished and go to various baths.

In my case, the polishing is done; the plating company "just" has to degrease, put a flash coat of copper for adhesion and then chromed. I don't remember if my parts are first nickeled, but I doubt. For the batch in the above picture, the boss is asking CHF 50.- which is more or less $50.00.

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August 05, 2008
It’s is time to build the windshield wipers! Those parts are really small: the first picture is showing it. At the right, a part polished, ready to be chromed. On the left, the various parts needed to do the other wiper: the arm, which is articulated and the wiper blade, articulated too. Both large parts are shaped like a U, but the section is not constant, which is common to each wiper blade. Each complete wiper has a weight of a third of a gram, not enough heavy to have any effect on the suspension!

On the model, the wipers will be attached with a screw from the inside; therefore, they will not be movable; a spring will maintain them against the windshield.


August 24, 2008
Details, details !


You can see on the picture the battery, similar to the ones installed on 1953 to 1956 Cadillacs, then two horns. On their right, the voltage regulator; down on the left the relay for the horns; the last part is the relay for the starter motor which is independent from the motor, like on the Ford (and others) products.
I’m slowly coming to the end with the fabrication of the parts; soon all the assembled parts from the body will be removed to prepare it for the paint. The same process will happen to the engine and the frame.


The first batch from the parts to be chrome dis not yet ready; I’m getting nervous!

98 Wipers.JPG

99 Wipers1.JPG

100 Batterie, relais1.JPG

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@ Detroit_Electric: Time is one of the few things nobody can buy! Thanks anyway to try to catch up.

@ Spinneyhill: Probably during the patience distribution I was probably the last one in the row, and "they" still had a lot to distribute!


August 29, 2008
Finally, it’s done ! I could pick-up the finished parts. They will be stored until their definitive installation. However, some will be installed without delay: the moldings for the door panels, the ash trays for the rear and other small parts. The costs ? About $ 50.00. If those parts would have been at scale 1:1, the costs would not be the same!

This week, I began another large part: the name plate for the front end panel.

This part is about 20 mm (0.8 ») in length; sorry, I forgot to use a coin for comparison). On a screen, this part is really rough but, seen in real life, the irregularities are not disturbing.

This is one more part to be chromed!


November 14, 2008

Another tree was just completed. Those parts will not be shiny but mat chromed. As you can see, there is the complete exhaust system together with the clamps; the clamps for the radiator hoses and the brake rotors, plus other small parts.

The second picture from this tree is from the back side.

For all those who not guess how all that is done, I’m showing my machine « park ». First, the lathe. It’s not a large machine, but ideal to machine the brass. Turning steel is already more difficult due to a lack of rigidity. The lathe is used a milling machine or press drill with few changes.

Here too, the lack of rigidity is not ideal for some milling work; therefore just little metal is removed each time and there is a forced break to let cool the motor. Sometimes, a more robust machine would help a lot but for that I would need more space which I don’t have!


My first machine was more primitive and rather “flexible”. This machine is used (at the time of the report) as a flexible shaft or to polish the parts to be chromed.

The other tools I have: some files, a small vice, some watchmaker tools and some dexterity!


101 Chrome.JPG

102 Chrome1.JPG

103 Avanti script.JPG

104 Chromage mat.JPG

105 Chromage mat1.JPG

2 Tour.JPG

1 Perceuse.JPG

3 Arbre flexible.JPG

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November 19, 2008

The frame is naked, without any accessory. I removed all the suspension elements; here it is with the first coat of primer.
The four rods at the ends of the frame are needed to put the frame upside down during the painting process. The other strange thigs are used as a protection for the threads. Some paint on them and they are no more usable.

Tomorrow, if nothing is coming across, I will spray the black paint.

November 20, 2008
As I expected, I could spray the frame. He is drying in the paint booth (in fact the kitchen!) It’s now time to give some attention to the frame’s accessories. The rear axle is painted too, now the steering box is under scrutiny. A view from it just after it’s construction :
Once the pictures were done, I saw that it was full of dust!

A view from the inside is included
I did not do the gears myself, I just bought them. The worm is from a toy store and the sector was indeed done by a mechanical shop for the Oldsmobile according to my specifications. As I let do two pieces, the second one is here.
The gear box will be painted to simulated cast iron and the side cover (removed on the picture) will be painted aluminum. The gears will get some grease during the final assembly.

106 châssis en primer.JPG

107 Châssis, vu de dessus.JPG

25 Boîtier de direction.JPG

26 Boîtier ouvert.JPG

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November 22, 2008
The definitive assembly
As I wrote some days ago, the frame is now black. After a good drying time, I can begin to assemble the various elements belonging to a frame. On the first image, the rear axle and the steering gear are installed. All four temporary are still there; it this position the frame is resting on them.
The second picture is showing the frame from above.
As I cannot paint all elements in once operation, I’m taking one element after another to sand, spray the primer and final paint. Here are some parts in my « drying boot ».

This is in fact a lamp with a magnifier glass which is very convenient for this unexpected task.


November 28, 2008

In my garage (the one for the 1 :1 scale cars), the temperature is near to 0°C ; therefore, it’s very convenient to continue the model's work at home !

The plating company told me some days ago that the tree for the mat chromed parts is ready.

The next pictures are sowing the treated tree. Front brake rotors can be seen; this is not exactly to correct color for rotors; it’s difficult to give to brass parts the aspect of iron.

With the progressing work at the frame, the brake rotors will be soon installed as the suspension levers are now painted. I just discovered that I forgot to fabricate the brake shields; I had to do them as a rush program!


109 Châssis peint.JPG

108 Châssis peint1.JPG

110 Cabine séchage.JPG

111 Chromé mat.JPG

112 Chromé mat1.JPG

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November 29, 2008
With the paint hardly dry, I installed the LH front suspension with the brake caliper and its external tube (made with 0.5mm steel wire). The shock absorber is not yet installed, it must be painted first.

The plastic tube at the end of the lower suspension arm is a temporary stop; it will be removed when the steering elements are installed.

The brake rotors have the same surface look as the gray paint sprayed on the calipers and brake shield. In real life, there is some difference.

On this view, the very long wheel lugs are rather odd. I did that because the actual wheels are plain rubber and the length was necessary to attach the wheel. I’m not yet sure if I will do other wheels.
Now, I’m doing the other side: remove the parts, sand them, etc.


113 LH front susp..JPG

114 Steering box.JPG

115 Front suspension.JPG

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On 8/24/2019 at 1:29 PM, Detroit_Electric said:

I am not sure where I will find the time to look at all of this post but I am totally blown away by what I have seen so far. Your work and skills amaze me!

Do yourself a favor and start at the beginning of this thread and take it the entire build, you won't regret it, I've actually went back through the entire post three times.

Roger thanks again for allowing us to experience your craftsmanship.

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1 hour ago, Paulie9fingers said:

Do yourself a favor and start at the beginning of this thread and take it the entire build, you won't regret it, I've actually went back through the entire post three times.

Roger thanks again for allowing us to experience your craftsmanship.

I did, I have been spending almost all the time I can spare and have made it up to page 40. I keep wanting to comment as I go along but then I remember the posts I would be responding to were done years ago. Definitely getting lots of neck exercise of my neck as a shake it side to side in disbelief of what I am seeing. Absolutely incredible work 

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Well Paulie, somebody (me?) should give you a medal to have read that thread 3 times!

Detroit_Electric: thanks to spend your spare time to look at this thread. It seems that you need some more spare time. If you have a question about something you saw, put it here. Sometimes I remember how I did this or that, but not always.

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15 minutes ago, Roger Zimmermann said:

Well Paulie, somebody (me?) should give you a medal to have read that thread 3 times!



I know Paulie, I turned him on to this thread. The next time I see him I will give him that medal (Quarter dollar) for you. I’m looking forward to your v16 project.

Alex D.

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52 minutes ago, Roger Zimmermann said:

Well Paulie, somebody (me?) should give you a medal to have read that thread 3 times!

Detroit_Electric: thanks to spend your spare time to look at this thread. It seems that you need some more spare time. If you have a question about something you saw, put it here. Sometimes I remember how I did this or that, but not always.

I was already rewarded by following the build (I think that is a pretty good job of sucking up LOL 😉 )


35 minutes ago, Alex D. said:



I know Paulie, I turned him on to this thread. The next time I see him I will give him that medal (Quarter dollar) for you. I’m looking forward to your v16 project.

Alex D.

Alex I will accept the quarter with pride LOL

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Roger, I was very interested to see the parts for chroming, these were a work of art, even before chroming. In the past I have done some nickel plating in the workshop and found it rather annoying that the areas where the copper wire connected to the part,to be plated did not get coated in the nickel, do you get over this problem by carefully choosing an area to fix the wire where it does not matter?


Another plating question. I always assumed the plating was polished after the plating process and that the dull plating was where the chrome was not polished. It appears that I am incorrect in my assumption?

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Recently, I wrote that the tree idea came from the plastic kits. No matter how good the kit is, "chromed" parts are held to the tree at a place which can be seen after the part is cut from the tree. This is why I'm always attaching the parts to the copper wire at a place it cannot be seen when the part is installed. Usually, I have to mill the soft solder at the back; it belongs to the process. If you are good looking the trees I published, you can see where the parts are attached. Of course, the difficulty for you is to know what will be seen and what not!


I cannot answer your second question. All the chromed parts are shiny but it may happen that the end of a molding or whatever is dull. Of course, it would be foolish to try to polish that dull section.

It could be that large parts (for cars scale 1:1) there is a polishing process after the plating, but I'm not sure; I never asked. 

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November  30, 2008

What you are seeing is a front shock absorber (last picture). Inside, there is a product (HYVIS) I got from PB years ago when I was searching a solution for the Brougham rear levelling valves. I have two viscosities from that product: the front shock absorbers got the thick material and therefore are too hard; the rear ones were filled with the low viscosity and, with the time, the product leaked. Some weeks ago, I had to do 2 new parts again, they were empty!

I still have some paint on the nail. The irregular shape is a collateral damage: by grabbing the parts with the nails to file them, sometimes the file bits the nail!


December 08, 2008
After the paint on the frame, the turn is now to the engine. This is requiring a compete removal from the parts to improve the surface and then the painting process. The pictures are showing what I did that afternoon December 8.

In the background, a wood block with the small drills and taps.

Some parts are already in the work process. The 8 holes into the block are just done to be nice; there was indeed no reason to do them.

The exhaust manifolds are still attached to the heads; there is no reason to remove all at once; there are enough parts to be treated.


The big question now is about the engine color. R1 & R2 Studebaker engines are black. Not especially nice, it was the Studebaker’s problem. However, on a scale model, a black engine will create a black spot in the engine compartment and I don’t like that. I not respect the authenticity and paint the engine dark red or dark blue.

R3 engines are orange; this paint does not please me because the top R3 engine is very different from the R1 version (the one I’m doing). Further, the fan on Avanti models is already orange; I want another color to have some life!


28 Moteur brut LH.JPG

27 Moteur brut front.JPG

29 Moteur brut RH.JPG

117 pièces de moteur.JPG

116 Amortisseur AV.JPG

Edited by Roger Zimmermann
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I have been absent for a while. Sure is nice to be back and see this is still as consuming as it has ever been. The work, from concept , planning and construction is astounding and beautiful to see. But, even more is the patient photography, posting explanations (with humor), and then fielding our questions and comments. Roger, you are a genuine example of a true gentleman, as well as a rare craftsman. Thanks pal. Pat

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December 12, 2008
When I did this report in 2008, nobody did an objection about the engine color. As nobody argued about this very important topic, I had to decide myself: the engine will be metallic red. At first, I wanted a solid color, because the metallic paints are needed a clear coat, rendering the work a bit more complicated. But metallic paints are so much better looking ! I tried first the water pump. After a while, I wanted to spray the clear coat. Bad luck, my old can is too old and probably the gaz is gone.

Back to the town to get a new can. As the water pump is good looking, tall the other parts are getting their red paint.

On the first picture, the oil pan is at the LH top corner; the flywheel on the top right corner, the block is at the left, plus other smaller parts.

December 15, 2008
Hard week-end !

It was devoted to the assembly of the block and the transmission. Cylinder heads and intake manifold will be installed when the engine is on the frame, because, as I’m alone for the job, the weight of the engine without accessories is what I’m able to carry. Oh sorry, its’ a wrong explanation : we are not dealing about a 1:1 engine, but a scale model! The reason is another one : If the heads would be installed I could not screw the nuts at the front engine supports.

Maybe some of you will notice that there is a mix with screws with hex heads and other with cylindrical heads which are far from usual on engines. The reason is easy: I discovered last year a store in Germany which is selling small hex bolts and nuts, when most was already done for screws with cylindrical heads. Many of them are 0.7mm; dimension which does not exist with hex heads. I should go to the smaller diameter, requiring plugging the already done holes. I’m a fool, but there are limits!

118 Pièces moteur peintes.JPG

119 Painted engine, front.JPG

120 Painted engine, LH.JPG

121 Painted engine, RH.JPG

122 Painted engine, above.JPG

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December 17, 2008
I’m lucky : the crane to place the engine on the frame did not collapse !

As I wrote earlier, cylinder heads and accessories will be installed later. In fact, the cylinder heads will be assembled on the engine with the exhaust manifolds and the fist exhaust tube; this is the only way to assemble the elements with the appropriate nuts.

There will be no gasket between the block and the heads. 

Imagine the engine in black! With the black frame, there would be a gob of black paint.  

On those pictures, don’t you have an impression that something is not right ? I don’t speak about what’s laying around the frame but AT THE FRAME. No, nothing?

Well, I’m disturbed by something: the wheels. If the tires are just acceptable, the wheels are now totally inadequate with the frame. I took the decision: when the model will be ready, I will do other wheels and maybe other tires. On my small lathe, it will be a lot of work; ideal when there is snow outside!


December 21, 2008
According to what I wrote 11 years ago, it was snowing this day. It’s a real pleasure for me not to have to go outside! The assembly could continue without regret.

The assembly from a scale model is almost like the same duty for a car scale 1:1 like: Oh! I forgot that or: s.it, I have no more the things for this or that; I must quickly do 2 or 3, and so on.  

The following pictures will be the last for the year 2008.

The air cleaner and other parts for the ignition system are not yet installed because they are not yet chromed. The fan belt is a funny one ; who saw just once a blue belt ?

The exhaust attachment at the rear is not yet done; I forgot it while I was doing the frame. As I cannot make holes at the proper place, I will have to improvise.

The carb is also not very detailed; in fact, it’s just a piece of brass on which the air cleaner will be attached.

I will do spark plugs because, depending the angle one is looking at the engine, there is just a hole. A shame!


123 Engine on frame, LH.JPG

124 Engine on frame, RH.JPG

125 Engine and frame.JPG

126 Engine and frame, from under.JPG

127 Engine and frame, front.JPG

128 Engine and frame, LH.JPG

129 Engine and frame, RH.JPG

130 Engine, almost complete.JPG

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My inspiration? First of all, I'm an automotive engineer. Which does no means that I cannot have two left hand. But, from youth, I had the ability to do something with my hands. Further, before I went to the engineer school, I worked for two years in a body shop. When I left that shop, I did not think a lot about it. But, in the long term, it was a fantastic schooling.

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