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Advice on assembling photo-etch radiator grille wanted - any ideas?


mattbacon
05-16-2012, 05:30 PM
Hi, all... I've just started work on a Gunze Ferrari 250 SWB. The radiator grille is built up from strips of photo-etch. The short verticals are slotted half way through on the front edge, and the long horizontals half way through on the back edge. In theory, they interlock criss-cross fashion to make up the "egg-crate" grille. Gunze would have you place the centre two verticals and then the centre pair of horizontals, and then fill outwards vertically and horizontally a pair at a time. The problem is, once you have placed the first pair of verticals and crossed the horizontals, you have to lift the whole thing up to get the next pair of verticals "underneath", and repeat over and over. The fit is good, but not completely snug, so the whole thing can move at any stage unless the joints are stuck. Currently, I've got as far as placing the first pair of verticals on some double sided tape, dropping the first pair of horizontals in place, and marking all the locations of the rest of the verticals. My thought is to remove the horizontals, place all the other verticals at the marked locations, and then drop all the horizontals. I'm worried, though, that if I join the slats with liquid superglue, it'll run down and stick the grille to the mat below. I also might be barking up the wrong tree entirely!

Anyone built either this kit or anything like this out of etched brass and have any hints and tips that they'd care to share?

Many thanks!

bestest,
M.

CrateCruncher
05-18-2012, 11:01 AM
Hi Matt,
I built this kit a few years ago and did an extensive WIP on AF. Before fitting the slats together I would suggest polishing them with some micromesh. The grille, as you say, is a handful because the parts don't stay together. After playing around with different methods I finally came up with the technique of using stiff eraser clay. It looks like modeling clay and can usually be found at office supply or craft stores in the drawing department. If that is too hard to find I suppose any kind of clay or workable putty would suffice.

As I built up the grille in the clay face down, I placed a "dot" of rubber cement at each intersection just to hold everything together long enough to remove it and check the fit in the body opening. It likely won't fit using the configuration Gunze suggests but when looking closely it will be obvious that some slats are a little too long and some a little too short for the opening. I traced the inside opening of the chrome grille surround onto a piece of card stock so I could do a more accurate comparison. If you switch those parts you'll get a closer fitting grille. The viewer see's only the lower half unless they stand on their head so priority should be given to the fit of the lower portion. Once I had the grille fitting as well as I could expect I replaced the rubber cement with tiny drops of 5 minute epoxy in the same locations.

http://www.automotiveforums.com/vbulletin/showthread.php?t=932437

EDIT: Ok, I just saw your WIP and can see you're further along than I thought when I wrote my reply above. One thing I would suggest is removing the 90 degree bent tabs from the lower ends and sides. The real car obviously didn't have them and the grille will look much more realistic without them. Once those tabs are removed you can also shorten any slats that extend outside the opening with a file.

mattbacon
05-18-2012, 11:58 AM
Thanks for the reply... I'm pretty sure it was your WIP that gave me the important info that the slats didn't fit, and the idea of drawing the interior shape of the opening onto the tape to get the slats right.

On the subject of the 90 degree tabs -- the real car actually DOES have them:

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/b/b5/Ferrari_250_GT_Berlinetta_SWB_-_Flickr_-_andrewbasterfield.jpg

The Gunze etch is probably too thick for scale, but I'm not going to try to thin them down!

Thanks again for the advice...

bestest,
M.

MerlinPro
05-18-2012, 02:14 PM
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/b/b5/Ferrari_250_GT_Berlinetta_SWB_-_Flickr_-_andrewbasterfield.jpg
.
Matt,
Fantastic reference shot for your project and a SUPER view of an Enzo in yellow! Should help all the new Enzo guys decide.:naughty:

CrateCruncher
05-18-2012, 05:36 PM
On the subject of the 90 degree tabs -- the real car actually DOES have them:

The Gunze etch is probably too thick for scale, but I'm not going to try to thin them down!




Well I'll be dipped... I probably have 200 pics of the car and never saw those grille tabs. Good luck with the build. BTW, dark blue is now my favorite color for this car. I plan to do the #16 Tavano car using the MFH kit some day.

Mike

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