Finished this in October 2016 after 4+ months effort
The model represents the Gulf Porsche 917K as driven by Pedro Rodriguez and Jackie Oliver in the 1000km endurance race at Monza in 1971. They raced chassis 013/034, a car which survives and is regularly seen at historic events .
This Porsche was raced during 1970-1971 and took part in the film Le Mans which was made during 1970; during the making of the movie it crashed heavily whilst being driven by David Piper who lost his leg as a result. It left the factory as chassis 013 and acquired a new chassis frame numbered 034 as part of the post-crash rebuild hence the 013/034 classification.
At the end of 1971 a rule change to limit engine size to just 3 litres meant the cars were redundant (917s used 4.5, 4.9 and 5 litre 12 cylinder engines) and put into storage.
A few years later it was purchased by the Finburgh family from the Porsche factory and they have owned it ever since. I’ve seen it many times at Goodwood Festival of Speed over the years and at Goodwood Members Meeting in March 2016; it’s currently at Beaulieu Motor Museum Today it has a rear body without the fins which only seems to have been used at Monza in April 1971 as period photos online from the previous (Daytona) and following (Barcelona\Paris) races show the car fitted with the more common flat rear body and central mini-wing as it appears today.
If you want a real one it will cost around $20 million
The Fujimi kit is partway between a ‘curbside’ model and a fully detailed model as there are no full engine parts but the top mounted cooling fan (remember this is an air-cooled flat 12 beast) and transmission\suspension fill out the rear; there is a reasonably detailed interior including chassis tubing\suspension at the front. I glued the rear body shut so there was no need to fill in the missing engine parts.
The profile of the rear body isn’t that accurate and the naca cooling ducts don’t see to be quite the right size, shape and position but it looks like a 917 to me.
Fujimi provide various part variations on the sprues for different cars (ducts, filler caps, top window etc) as 917s evolved. This boxing of the kit is for the 1971 1000km race car and includes the correct rear bodywork with fins, appropriate fuel\oil filler locations and other details but along with all their 917s the headlight pods contain 2 lamps whereas this car raced in period with what seems to be a larger single lamp on each side at Monza.
The decals include a Gulf logo on the nose stripe but this does not feature in period photographs on the 1971 race however this logo does feature on the car today. I left the under nose decal strip off as it does not appear on race photographs (or indeed on the current car livery).
I built the model pretty much as it comes from the box, only addition was seatbelts which were paper prints of a picture of an Eduard set I found on the internet, given the thick windscreen mouldings they look OK to me.
Chassis\interior was airbrushed with various Vallejo Model Air and Tamiya Acrylics, details were picked out by brush in Vallejo\Lifecolor acrylics and Vallejo\Citadel washes.
Halfords car paint aerosols (White primer and Ford Bermuda Blue) were used on the body.The primer was quite ‘dusty’ after application and needed a good rub down before blue was applied. After a few weeks of drying it was polished out with 6000-12000 grade micro mesh cloths.
I don’t like the horizontal body split in the kit as it’s not possible to join up and fill the resulting gap before painting unless you risk damage to the suspension and interior by the large amounts of masking you would need before prepping\painting the complete body. When I do another one (I have the silver Martini car to do as well) I may try and separate the lower body parts from the chassis moulding during construction to allow them to be joined up to the main body prior to painting.
I fitted the side windows after painting the body but they needed trimming down to fit due to paint build up in the frames. The windscreen didn’t fit very well either and sits proud of the surface in places. Krystal Klear (white PVA that dries really clear) and Humbrol Clearfix (a clear goop that smells like UHU tube glue) were used to fix all the clear parts; on the next one I build fixing the glasswork in place before painting might be a good idea.
The kit decals were applied with copious quantities of Mr Softer decal solvent to make them snuggle down which seemed to go work well. I cut the top stripe around the rear view mirror bulge to help it fit better which left a sliver of body colour showing which was covered with spare decal from the under nose stripe I didn’t use and a tiny bit of Vallejo orange paint carefully applied with a brush.
As soon as the white racing number backgrounds were applied it became apparent that they were very thin and translucent, especially on the rear deck over the stripe. I used a cheap papercraft circle cutter from eBay to create extra circles of solid white decal (I purchased sheet from Fantasy Print Shop http://www.fantasyprintshop.co.uk/). One extra layer was added to the kit number backing all around and then a further 2 on the rear deck to stop the orange bleeding through (it’s still visible if you look hard but I didn’t want to make the decal edges too noticeable)
As the decals were applied after the body and chassis had been joined together it was not practical to varnish them for protection; again this is something to consider on next one I build.
The Firestone tyre decals come with the kit and finish off the model nicely in my opinion.
The base is from Coastal Kits, nice product for a reasonable price.
It’s a bit scrappy in places but quite pleased with result; may do one of the other Gulf variants at some point after the Martini one next year.
Right, off to watch the Le Mans Blu-Ray ….