1/24 HELLER E-TYPE JAGUAR



October 2017
Inspired by seeing the CUT8 racing E-Type on a visit to Goodwood for a Revival Test Day I built this ‘fast road’ version model from the old Heller kit.
Originally released in 1978, the kit is basic but it seems to be the best option among the limited range of kit options available.
The main challenge with this kit is the horizontal seam in the body (I presume caused by the moulding limitations of the time) created where Heller have the lower body panels moulded with the chassis\underbody.
The design of the kit prevents the joining of upper and lower body until the interior and side windows are installed by which point filling and sanding is likely to damage the completed interior and allow water to get trapped inside whilst wet sanding.
After researching similar builds I found on the internet and various dry fittings with parts taped together I decided to separate the lower body (sills and rear valance) from the chassis parts using a razor saw and attach them to the main body, reinforcing the join with strips of plastic card. I then glued the boot floor to the remaining chassis parts, the end result allowing the chassis to slide back into the main body after painting.
My assembly method would leave a small slot where the body sides curl under and meet the chassis but this would be out of sight when finished so was an acceptable compromise. What I didn’t realise at the time was that once the side windows were installed (they are moulded with the interior door card detail) during finally assembly, they would prevent the two sections sliding together as planned ! (see below)
I decided to modify the left hand drive dashboard to RHD, using plastic card to make the glovebox look like the instrument panel and removing detail on the moulded left hand panel to represent a new glovebox.
Remainder of assembly was as mainly as per the instructions; I added ignition leads from fine (approx. 0.3mm) wire inserted into holes drilled in cylinder head and coil, running them back to a distributor made from a small piece of plastic tube (which replaced the lumpy kit distributor).
Body was painted with Halfords car paint; Plastic Primer then Rover British Racing Green with clear lacquer to finish. After 3 weeks drying I user 6000/8000/12000 micro mesh to smooth the lacquer before applying Autoglym polish to give a final shine.
Chassis was sprayed with can of Humbrol 85 satin black acrylic. Engine, interior and other details were brush painted using Vallejo, Citadel and Lifecolor acrylics.
The wheels and other chrome parts had their heavy plating removed using bleach before painting. The wheels were then finished in Humbrol 56 acrylic, again from a spray can. Etched Knock-offs from detail master were added to the wheels as the kit parts were very crude.
Chrome was added to window frames and other details using a 1mm Molotow pen; these pens really are chrome, not silver, and are far easier to use than foil.
The side windows were added to the completed body and then I went to slide the chassis (with attached seats and dashboard) up into the body. The chassis snagged on the side windows so I couldn’t get the boot floor and chassis rear in position so I had to carefully separate the boot floor using a razor saw and insert it first before squeezing the reminder of the chassis into position.
Once together I re-glued and re-painted the cut parts through the open rear window opening as best as I could.
Steering wheel was also added at this point, tricky manoeuvre via front and rear window openings using tweezers.
The front and rear windows fit from the outside of the body, I added these last only to find they didn’t fit well, in part due to paint build up leaving the rear screen proud of the bodywork.
Lights were added to the completed body, Tamiya clear red\orange being used for the lenses. Numberplates were printed from my PC onto photo-paper. Bumbers were intentionally left off for a ‘road racer’ look
Lots of work in progress pictures here: https://twitter.com/search?q=cjhm%20heller%20jaguar&src=typd


1/24 FUJIMI PORSCHE 917K 1971 1000km MONZA

Finished this in October 2016 after 4+ months effort
The Car

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 Model
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 ….
Further reading:
Work in progress pictures
Group 5 at Goodwood 74th Members Meeting (March 2016)
Chassis 013/034 at Beaulieu (August 2016)
Porsche 917 at Goodwood Festival of Speed