Over a year ago I met a great friend from California, USA, over the Internet in the newsgroup known as RMS. Ever since we have been swapping pictures, tips and kits of all description. In one package from Dan was an unexpected surprise. It was a box of a 1/24 Hasegawa BMW318i with a post-it note on the top with the message "Tony, you can finish this or throw it away". Whatever the case I thought it would be a shame to waste. As I opened the box the body had already been painted and decaled. I emailed Dan and asked why he had given up. He said that he had built it so many times in his head that he lost interest and hoped that I could finish it. "It would make a great IM article if you do" he said. With this encouragement I got to work.
The car was already decaled to represent Steve Soper's BMW 318i from the 1993 British Touring Car Championship. This car (and driver) finished in second place with three wins. The car that won, was his teammate, Joachim Winkelhock, who had five wins. The two cars have the same markings except for red or blue patches on the front windscreen and the corresponding name and numbers of the different drivers.
I started by applying a few small decals to the body then sprayed it gloss coat by Testors. While drying I made up the chassis. There isn't much detail so I decided to add some seatbelts. I had an old Hasegawa set laying around so I used that. The roll cage caused a few headaches by not staying to together but it was finally constructed. The underside was very basic and only took an hour to finish.
The dash and roll cage were added and the whole thing was complete. The only thing missing were the wheels that were busy drying after having been sprayed gloss white.
The body returned from drying and I added the lights and painted the front grill. While looking at the box pictures for inspiration, I noticed the driver's side window was down with a safety net draped over the opening. I thought that was a good idea and went about it. I cut the window out of the one-piece clear plastic with a hobby knife that was heated with a cigarette lighter. It took a few goes but this avoids cracking the glass.
The remaining windows were painted using the masks and then glued to the body. I then made the net out of strips of black electrical tape. This was glued to the roof of the car with the sticky tape side facing inward.
The body shell was then mated to the chassis. No problems occured and the safety netting remained in place. The cut pieces of glass had to be painted black to represent the window seals which looks convincing. Finally the window decals were placed into position and the wheels attached. The rubber tyres were sanded with a dremel tool to remove the centerline and to produce a worn finish. The last parts attached were the mirrors and wiper blade.
The end result is a pleasing to the eye and clean representation of the BMW 318i, this was one of the fastest builds I undertook. Thanks to Dan pre-decaling it, it took me three days to complete!! (Only working at night after work mind you).
A great combined effort that traveled halfway across the world from the USA to Australia to be completed. A testament to the Internet and what can be learned by sharing.
I'd like to thank my great friend Dan Hartz for his work and donation kit. It makes a great addition to my ever growing collection.