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Lotus 49 Drive Train, 1:20, Ebbro, Review Part 2

This article is part of a series:
  1. Lotus 49, 1:20 from Ebbro, Part 1
  2. Lotus 49 Drive Train, 1:20, Ebbro, Review Part 2

This is nowhere close to an easy build. Working on the suspensions means to test fit every single part with every single other part that it attaches to and in the majority of cases rework will be necessary which goes far beyond simple part cleaning. Example? The front attachment points of the wishbones that are supposed to hook into the subframe, by no means you’ll get them in the opening provided for this purpose unless you decrease their size by 50%.
The moulding of the Cosworth DFV engine is rather basic as much as the crank case is concerned. I’m quite sure that the according moulds are the ones we know from several Tamiya kits of the eighties.

Everything else, however, shows crisp detail and beautiful textures, clearly demonstrating that most of the kit was engineered in this decade. The valve covers e.g. are outstanding.

Paint Job

Chrome parts, the most pointless thing since the invention of scale modelling, have all been cleaned-up using oven cleaner, properly deburred and re-painted using Alclad2 Chrome over a glossy black primer. Lotus has chromed virtually every part of this car which was made of steel and the Alclad-jar which I normally touch once a year to paint landing gear struts, now is almost empty.
Aluminium cast parts have been painted using Mr. Paint White Aluminium and a very thin self-made oil wash.

Fuel lines and Ignition Cables

are not provided by the kit, though the ignition cables are at least mentioned in the instructions. I don’t speak Japanese, but I guess it says “go and look for some proper scratch build material” and so I went and looked for it. A set of five different diameter rubber cord that I bought at some jewellery shop on amazon will cover my wiring and plumbing needs for the next thirty years and I find they look wunderbar on the kit.
The ignition distributor has been detailed by adding eight separate outlets made of brass tube and if you found this a bit over the top, I think I would agree.

My Provisional Conclusions

Some parts of this kit fall into place very nicely, others seam to be engineered in a rather dodgy way. All in all the level of detail is really good and with some increased alertness to lurking issues, the kit can be turned into a pretty model.
Look out for part three which I‘m seeking to have finished before I will hopefully meet the friendly Mr. again at this year’s Nürnberg Toy Show.

3 additional images. Click to enlarge.

9 responses

  1. Simply amazing ! I am very impressed with all of the details. The distributor cap plug wire sockets are ingenious ... The way the chrome parts look after your removing the original chrome looks fantastic as well...

    I used to send my real life headers out for an "aluminizing process" where they ended up looking just like the ones on your model. The nice thing about the aluminum coating is that it would remain looking nice and white for a very long time. The grease / oil stains from working on the engine would vanish shortly after the engine was started up and run for a little while. It simply burned away the offending stains completely so the headers continued to look like new.

    Now I get them ceramic coated with a stainless looking finish from the manufacturer if it's available at the time of purchase. To me there's almost nothing worse than looking at a nasty set of rusted exhaust pipes on a show car... it just doesn't fit.

    Is the real 1 to 1 scale engine a true double overhead cam Hemi ?

    I drew up a set of plans for one as a project in my high school back in the late 1970's. I turned them into my shop teacher and that was the last I saw them. My drawing had an external belt drive system that operated the cams so it could be adjusted without having to tear into the engine... I have been a gear head since birth.

    Now I'm hooked ! and waiting for the next installment.

    Happy New Year !


    • Louis, my friend. I’m so proud on your feedback.
      First the chrome: it took me a good amount of testing and trying till it really came out nicely. The black primer coat must be as even and glossy as possible and the chrome coats very thin.

    • @lgardner, The real engine is a 3 litre Ford Cosworth DFV which was actually developed by Cosworth in Britain, sponsored by Ford. It has four valves per cylinder and double overhead camshaft yielding in a roof-like combustion chamber. The output was well above 400 HP and it’s not exaggerated to say that this engine reigned Formula 1 for almost two decades.

      • Amazing ! The chrome looks as if it was actually plated and is very realistic.

        The information you provided on the 3 L. Cosworth DFV is equally amazing. To get that much power from such a small engine was relatively unheard of until just recently. It was a very big deal when American Auto manufacturers achieved 1 horsepower per cubic inch in the 1950's.

        Going back to my high school plans, mine only had two valves per cylinder. One intake and one exhaust.

        This stuff has always fascinated me...

        Thanks again !

    • That's a beautiful engine, Johannes! Can you share any more details on the tubing you bought, especially the clear tubing (size, etc.)? Thanks and looking forward to part 3!

  2. Exquisite detail work indeed...the result(s) - outstanding..!

  3. Great work Johannes!

  4. 🙂 … Greetings … 🙂 :
    Interesting work there Johannes, looking forward to the end result.

  5. Hi mate!
    Building the engines is one of my favourite parts of modelling! They are miniature works of art in themselves. This is amazing stuff, the wiring and hosing is totally convincing, and believe me I know the effort you have put in!
    It's good to see the engines getting their own articles. 🙂

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