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

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Not having the pistons, rods, crank, gaskets, etc. is a good enough reason to have a carburetor that isn't working. No need, is there? Certainly not going to use the optional supercharger either. haha, of course. That engine- and your other ones as well look so real that they could very well be running examples. Man, you are good, Roger.

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Don't remember where I wrote that the model  indeed never produced in this configuration: R1 engine (the supercharger was the R2), 3-speed transmission, no power steering and no A/C. I wanted to be just basic. Later, I saw how it's easy to be lost into the details like I did on the Mark II.

Pat, my goal was always to fool people if I wanted to let them think it's the real thing!

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December 30, 2008
Some days ago, I tried to put the body on the frame to trace down eventual issues. It was a good idea: I noticed that I could not install the brake module: the booster is making an interference with a screw from the rocker cover! The sole solution is to do another booster support to raise it for about 1.5mm. Not more because another other interference with the hood is programmed! This situation is happening when some parts are done too early.

I hope that I will get no other bad surprise…


January 18, 2009
As the frame is almost complete, I had to remove all the elements installed in or on the body to finish it. I did some corrections: the floor under the rear seat was too far away from the reality; the trunk lid was bulging too much; it should be practically flat. I could not correct that much, but now it’s better. Before the correction, it was looking almost like a dog doing its business!

Small imperfections from the polyester are corrected with filler. It’s easy to apply but takes a long time to get dry, especially to fill pores: it’s dry at the surface, but not through. If the body is sanded too early, the solvents will continue to evaporate and the surface will have a small depression.

What can I do during the waiting time? Parts to be chromed! There are still many to do. The bright work was rather restrained on the Avanti, nevertheless there are many plated parts. Anyway, not quite like a ’58 Buick Limited!

Here is the second batch to be plated. You can recognize the air cleaner, the wipers, the side window frames, the front bumper ends and many more. The tree will go to the plating company soon because the roads are beginning to be cleaner after the snow and very cold weather.


January 19, 2009
Once the parts are ready, I can continue with the body. I sanded the single stage filler and finished the underbody. People who know Avanti models well will recognize the « hog trough »; those parts are the reinforcement parts at the sills. On the original cars, they have the tendency to rust from inside out. Like Corvette cars, there are some structural parts made with steel.

132 Chromage, 2ème série.JPG

133 Soubassement.JPG

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January 25, 2009
Drying time

It’s always frustrating. Even if the filler can be sanded after 24 hours, I prefer to wait longer. Anyway, I’m not without work: I could begin to finish the front seats. It takes a long time and stressing: the bit of leather to be glued must be positioned with precision and done rather quickly as the glue is getting dry rather quickly. One of both seats is almost finished; the other one is far from ready.

In between, I do continue with the body shell. The other day, I had a shock : the flange between windshield and hood is too low on the left side by about 1mm. I saw it only when the primer was sprayed on the surface. What can I do ? As I’m far away from the final paint, it’s still possible to correct it witch is requiring modifications to the hood, body and left door. The needed modification is done with a 2 components filler which is almost yellow on the picture.

January 30, 2009
The second serie of the shiny chromed parts is back.

Chromed parts are always difficult to photography, especially if the chrome is well done which was not the case at the first serie.

The fourth picture is showing the parts which I was not happy with: they had a lot of tiny pits; at first I was thinking that I would let them that way, but the more I looked at them the more I was unhappy.

They will be back to the plating company as the third batch, together with the rear bumper, the center bar from the front bumper and other parts.


January 31, 2009
The parts from this second batch are very well done. I believe that plating parts is a difficult art and the results are not always predictable.

Yesterday, I assembled the door’s locks. they are made with 4 main tiny parts which can be as slippery as a soap! Fortunately, nothing was lost and the locks are functioning as intended.

After that, the last chromed parts for the engine were assembled.

On both engine’s picture, you can see a spark plug!
The blue belt is still a problem; I’m sure a solution will come one day.

135 Front seats.JPG

136 Body repair.JPG

131 Chrome serie2.JPG

134 Bad chrome.JPG

137 Mot. et chromes RH.JPG

139 Moteur et chromes.JPG

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January 31, 2009

This is a critical job: sanding the body. Usually, there are 3 steps forwards and 2 ½ backwards. It’s incredible how many imperfections and errors I’m discovering, even not so minor. Then, after the shape is satisfying, I have to sand with a 1000 sandpaper to have some gloss which allows seeing unwanted waves at the light. This is at this moment when unwelcomed surprises are seen.  
The kitchen is the perfect boot to sand, without dust as the water is near!

Second picture: one of the various corrections.

March 11, 2009
There is almost nothing to show lately, unless you like to see the sanding water! I’m getting slowly satisfied with the general shape, but I still have a couple of corrections to do. While the various products are drying, I’m doing something else. For example, the script “Studebaker”  which is on the trunk lid. I did a new one for 18 months but I had the impression I could do better. The first script is the one I did 40 years ago, still glued on the lid as you can see the excess glue.  

The new ones: the one I did 18 months ago is on top; the new one is in the middle and the last one is indeed the support to do the real one: I soldered a thin bit of brass on a thicker one, allowing the required actions without destroying the part. Once satisfied, I separated both parts.


140 Evier.JPG

141 Ponçage.JPG

11 vieux Stude.JPG

142 name plates.JPG

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March 30, 2009
New batch

This batch has the rear bumper on the right, the front central bumper bar almost in the middle, the name plates, etc. With that batch, the parts which were not well chromed are included. I had to polish them again and attach them to the tree. The second batch was perfect; I hope this one will be good too.

I expect that this will be the last batch of parts to be chromed. However, 4 parts will have to be chromed, but much later: the ones responsible for all that work: the new wheelcovers. They will be done when the model will be practically finished.


March 30, 2009
What is the purpose of this strange thing? Yes, it’s related with the model.

During the effective construction, I asked the people to offer suggestions. There were some who responded; one even found the solution.

Since years, I had the letters O L D S M O B I L E ready, but I had no idea how to let chrome them. They were too small to be attached with a wire ; while I was at the plating company I asked how the screws from the watch industry were plated. He said that they are put into a basket ; if some are getting lost, it’s not a problem, there are enough. As I did not do more letters as necessary, I did a closed basket. The letters will have a nickel plating which is not too disturbing.
Will the result be good ? The answer will come soon ! 

143 Chromage, 3ème série.JPG

144 Pour nickelage.JPG

145 Nickelage.JPG

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April 20, 2009

It’s only the beginning : painting the engine compartment. It will be done alone because with its complicated shape, the model must be held in different positions to be sure that all surfaces are getting some paint.

When the body will be painted, the hood will be installed and closed and masking paper will be used at the underside to avoid that paint dust will go into the engine compartment.

The whole model is covered with newspaper. After 13 grams of paint plus clear coat and a sag (will not be seen, the engine will hide it) the engine compartment is ready.

Once the masking paper is gone, it’s not bad looking. The rods at the left in the compartment are for the battery.

April 25, 2009
For a long time, I was undecided about the paint job itself : paint the body without doors and trunk lid or paint the jambs and gutter, assemble the doors and paint all in once ?

Finally, I opted for the second solution as metallic paint may have variations if elements are painted separately. Therefore, I had to continue with the preparation. The body is masked, there will be less surface to sand.


146 ready for the engine comp..JPG

147 Engine comp..JPG

148 Engine comp. painted.JPG

149 Engine com. without masking paper.JPG

150 Engine comp. other view.JPG

152 Doors and trunk apertures.JPG

153 Door aperture.JPG

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May 07, 2009

YES! Today I painted the body. This time with unrelated surprise : the dog gave back his breakfast. As the incident was on a carpet, I did the cleaning between the color coat and clear coat. It was ideal to avoid rushing to spray the clear coat!  

You will certainly appreciate the spray boot, in fact the kitchen which has not yet been cleaned.

Due to the shape of the car, I had to spray the paint up, on sides and from under. I found the solution to this problem by looking in a forum a modeler painting his model on a construction allowing the various spray directions. I copied the idea by using the base I had while building the Toronado and welding a tube. A steel sheet attached to the body and a bolt, welded to the sheet metal is allowing the model to be turned on the tube.

I’m satisfied at 95% ; there are small issues and dust. A sanding and polishing will be done after the paint is completely dry.

The same day, I pick-up the third batch from chromed parts.

154 Painted body.JPG

155 Painted body.JPG

156 Painted body.JPG

157 Painted body without masking.JPG

158 Painted body without masking.JPG

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May 08, 2009
Not the last batch of chrome

The last one will be the one with the wheelcovers and two small moldings I forgot to add to the tree. Those moldings can be installed anytime; therefore this not a problem.

There is another small tree: the molding for the rear window and the basket with the separate letters. I opened this morning; the result is half good : some letters are stuck somewhere; I will have to be careful by totally opening that cage otherwise I could cut one or more hidden letters.

159 Chrome 3ème série.JPG

160 Entourage vitre ar..JPG

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May17, 2009
One of my side occupations is overhauling 1956 to 1963 Hydramatic transmissions. For the moment, I have 2: one from 1959 and another one from 1956. In between, I did sand and polish the Avanti body. I’m sanding with 1200 paper just to cut the orange look from the clear coat. That sanding paper is not very aggressive but anyway is removing material. My fear while doing that is to go past the clear coat which would be real bad. A spot repair is very impractical and both paint cans I have are almost empty. Yesterday I painted the body sill reinforcements using both cans: one has a slight tone difference. Therefore, minor differences are always possible with spray cans.

The buffing from the body is then done with the various products I have for real cars. I have also added some chromed parts.


June 08, 2009
The headliner

The headliner from the real Avanti is not quite conventional with a structure. For weeks I was searching a solution for that, knowing that I would not be able to reproduce it exactly. One night, I got the idea to use blotting paper. It’s about the same color and has some structure built in, of course not identical.

The brass hooks at the joint will be used to attach the safety bar at the roof.


161 first chrome.JPG

162 first chromes.JPG

163 Headliner.JPG

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We just got a 54 Hydromatic Jetaway from a Olds NintyEight for a rebuild. Its only the 3rd one we have ever seen. Is there any info on them available. I seems to remember they have a Torque converter and also a fluid coupling inside the front of the transmission.


Any info would be welcome


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Gerry, something is not quite right: 1954 was still the first generation Hydramatic, but not the Jetaway which came for 1956. Have a look at the identification plate.

Jetaway don't have a torque converter but a fluid coupling and, effectively, a second fluid coupling for 2 and 4th speed. There were specific shop manuals for those transmissions issued by Olds and Pontiac. On Cadillac, this was included in the regular shop manual.

Have a look at what I did on a '57 Cadillac transmission: http://forums.cadillaclasalleclub.org/index.php?topic=150731.0

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Roger, I want to thank you for what you have done with with your 1:12  work and for taking the time to document everything. I only found your post last month and I have been spending the last few weeks reading and looking at all of the wonderful information and photos you have shared. I have been sharing them with anyone I could get to look. I just reached page 88 and the completion of the Continental and wanted to post a note before I go on and see the work on the Toronado and Avanti. Your abilities, persistence and patience are absolutely amazing. My neck must be at least an inch larger in circumference with all the work outs it has endured shaking my head from side to side (as others have mentioned). The Continental is truly a work of art! The education you have provided us all on the techniques and tools, the insight into your thought processes and problem solving along with the dedication to stick to a project show what can be accomplished if we really try is much appreciated and respected. As many others have said (and I am sure so many more who have read but haven't posted have thought) thank you for all you have done!

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Thanks Detroit_Electric!


July 30, 2009
For me, the summer season is not ideal for modeling. As this afternoon was overcast, I decided to finish the ceiling with all associated parts.

On a French forum, there was a concern that the blotting paper could turn yellow. As you can see, it’s not the case, but it could get black if I continue to hold the body by putting my fingers on the ceiling!

The quarter trim panel is not yet installed; this is the reason of the excess leather at the window opening.

The small white lever just under the dash is the hood opening lever.


August 07, 2009
Carpet installation

Prior to that, I had to install the console definitively.

Then, the 5-pieces carpet was glued on the floor. It’s a difficult material: black velvet which is far from having some stability where it’s cut.

Seat and dash are only there for the fun because the dash cannot be installed before the windshield: windshield wipers are attached with a nut from inside the model. (4th picture)

The seats will be installed only when the body is definitively attached to the frame.

The door’s sills are still missing: they will be done later.

August 18, 2009
The windows

As it’s a task I don’t like, I postponed and postponed the installation of the windshield. However, as long it’s not put in place, I cannot finish the dash as the wipers are screwed from inside.

I’m not a fan from silicone, but it’s the best way to glue windows. Once it was done, I had to glue the side and upper garnish moldings. I had some difficulties because the lower molding, glued with instant cement, was not correctly positioned; there was a gap between the molding and the body.

What to do ? The wipers did hide the problem partly, I was not happy. With a cutter, I could separate the molding from the window. This required some cleaning and a new procedure to glue the moldings.

First gluing with silicone the molding at the RH A pillar and the upper one. Those elements are held with tape during the time of curing. Then, I glued the lower molding with the instant glue and finally the LH A pillar molding was installed with silicone.
As 24 hours are needed for the silicone to set, the model will stay that way overnight.


164 Interior.JPG

165 headliner.JPG

166 Interior.JPG

167 Interior.JPG

168 collage cadre.JPG

169 collage cadre.JPG

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September 03, 2009
Another great day!

It went however not without pain: today, the body was attached to the frame. Almost everything was at the right place, the screws at the frame torqued. I did know that the cooling fan could not be installed on the engine because the shroud was in the way. I believed that I could slip the fan between the pulley and the radiator; to my dismay, I realized that it was not possible. The correct process it to place the fan into the shroud, taking care that it stays there, then lower the body on the frame, looking that the emergency brake’s cable stay in place too and, finally, the screw the fan into the pulley with its central stud.

I could not resist doing some pictures.

If the engine compartment is not yet ready at 100%, the dash is now in place definitively. The steering wheel will be installed later.

170 Body 3-9-09.JPG

171 Body on frame.JPG

172 Dashboard.JPG

173 behind.JPG

174 from behind.JPG

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  • 3 weeks later...

September 05, 2009
Bumpers installation and other details


Once the body is on the frame, it’s time to install elements which could not be installed before this important step.

The rear bumper was not an issue. 4 screws and it was done. The original car had more bolts, but not practical to install on the model.

Once the back bumper is secured, it’s time to have a look at the front one. 6 bolts and it will be done, a small job. Well, it went not so easy : when I tried to attach the front bumper, it was without the radiator and other minor parts. Without too many difficulties, I could install 2 bolts. The 2 other ones securing the main supports to the frame are near the radiator and the nut must go between the radiator and the frame. On the right side, I had the impression to have more space which was true once the horn was removed. I did a special wrench to maintain the nut for a short time. Fortunately, the nut did bite immediately. For the other side, I had to remove the battery and use a thinner wrench. After a while, the nut was willing to bite.

Both screws attaching the bumper ends to the front fenders could be screwed but the torque was not very important because the radiator was in the way, therefore the screwdriver was not square at the screw heads. Time needed for that bumper: about 3 hours!

The LH door is just installed for the pictures. I have first to finish the installation of the side windows.

It’s now obvious that the wheelcovers are far from mint!


Since the previous post, I installed the master cylinder and booster.

183 with rear bumper.JPG

182 with front bumper.JPG

181 front bumper.JPG

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October 19, 2009

No, I did not sleep the whole month. Quite the contrary: the assembly from the model is near complete. Obviously some are still not there like the rear window, emblems and headlamp doors.

And, of course, the heavy job is still ahead: new wheels, tires and wheelcovers. Here are some latest pictures, the second one with closed side window and the next one with open window.

190 Profil.JPG

192 Vitre fermée.JPG

193 Vitre ouverte.JPG

189 Tout ouvert.JPG

185 Capot ouvert.JPG

Edited by Roger Zimmermann (see edit history)
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October 28, 2009
As I’m waiting small bulbs for my 57 Brougham (scale 1:1), I decided it was a good opportunity to glue the back window. I used instant glue to attach the window to the body; the molding is glued with transparent silicone. As the setting process is rather long, some tape was used to maintain the molding.


When set, I will be able to remove the excess silicone; then I will be ready to glue the side emblems and the name plate at the trunk lid. The end is near !

191 Back window instal..JPG

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November 10, 2009
Something entirely different…

...but still for the same model: THE WHEELS! Not long ago, I bought some brass to do the rims; unfortunately, there was no tube available at that time, I took a plain stock. That bit of brass is heavy : 1 kg ! The beginning is to reduce the outside diameter from 40mm to 35mm. Due to the nature of the lathe, I cannot take more than 0.5mm each pass. If I’m taking more, there are too many unwanted vibrations.

Once the outside diameter done, I will saw 5 slices a bit more than 13mm thick. They will be about 110 grams each. Once each rim will be ready, their weight will be just some grams, but I will have a mountain of metal chips!


194 Heavy stock.JPG

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November 11, 2009

We are continuing with the rim work: I’m now turning the inside diameter. There are bits of brass everywhere !

The machining of the rim is coming well along. On those parts, angles are never at 90°. The small tool is perfect to machine such surfaces at odd angles. They must be recorded to facilitate the work at the other remaining parts.

The first rim is completed ; the weight is just 21 grams. For the 5 rims, I began with a 1 kg tube! Yes, there is a lot of waste.

196 Jante en travail.JPG

195 Working the rim.JPG

197 Completed rim.JPG

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November 23, 2009

After almost swimming into metal chips, I finished the 5 rims and began to do the wheel’s centers.


November 27, 2009


There is a lot of hand held tool work, especially at the rear of the wheel’s centers. I have to be careful with the fingers and with the tool. There are vibrations and, if the tool is not held correctly, it can get stuck into the part to be machined. The secret with this kind of work is to take away a maximum of metal but leaving enough to have a stabile part.

198 Rims.JPG

199 Flasque.JPG

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November 30, 2009
Not yet finished…

...and already something to repair?
The hub from the front brake rotor is 0.1mm too large for the hole at the wheel center. It can happen when there is not enough precision! I had to remove the caliper to modify the rotor.

For practical reasons, I could not enlarge the wheel’s center hole. Now, I have to do the same at the other side!  


December 01, 2009

The first wheel is ready. I had to modify the inside diameter because there was an interference with the caliper.

I just have to finish the 4 other wheels, fabricate the wheelcovers and the tires!

200 Roue démontée.JPG

201 First wheel.JPG

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December 06, 2009

All five wheels are ready. Two are seen at the back and the other ones at the front.

The next step: either the wheelcovers or the tires, I don’t know yet!

Regarding the tires: in contrary of my plan, I will do the tires for the Avanti first (at that time, the Continental Mark II was still in planning). The exterior diameter of the Toronado master tire is almost the same as a tire 6.70 (which is the tire’s dimension for the Avanti) but too small for a 8.20 tire for the Mark II.

December 07, 2009

I began today to modify the Toronado master tire. Compared to what I must have, it’s too wide and only 1 mm too tall. The white wall was very thin for the Toronado; it will be wider for the Avanti. I regret that the name « Good Year » will be destroyed with the modification. As usual, I don’t remember how I did it, but by looking carefully at the letters, it seems that I painted the surface, scratched the unneeded paint and added some with a brush to have more thickness.


202 finished wheels.JPG

Master tire.JPG

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December 09, 2009
Master tire

The first operation is to remove the brass bands which are soldered to the main « tire ». I hope to salvage most of them.

The master tire is coming on the lathe to modify it: a bit lass tall and narrower. Most of the work is done with the conventional tools belonging to the machine; the sides are modified with a hand held tool, like you would do with a piece of wood. The difference is that the metal is harder to cut!

The job is quicker than anticipated; the master is more or less ready: I have to add the bands for the profile and do the name.

The groove on the side is for the white wall. It will be made with silicone and pushed into the tire.

To do that groove, I used an improvised tool, very thin (the black arrow is showing it) ; due to its shape, that tool created a lot of vibrations. To maintain the white wall into the tire, the inside diameter of the groove is larger than at the outside.

203 Profil pneu.JPG

206 Travail du flanc.JPG

204 Master tire.JPG

205 Outil.JPG

Edited by Roger Zimmermann
spelling (see edit history)
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1 minute ago, Roger Zimmermann said:

Keiser31, it seems that you like it!

I like ALL of the posts that you share with us. I love to see how you cope with the tiniest of problems in the build, but somehow seem to come out ahead of the game. Your work is FABULOUS and I see nothing to "dislike" about it.

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