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Old 11-13-2019, 05:50 PM   #1
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BMW M Roadster

Hey all, it's been a while.

Not terribly long ago I did Hasegawa's BMW E36 318i kit. (Of course, photobucket won't let you see the pics now. Photobucket in die screaming in a massive distributed denial of service attack. But I digress....) It was a fun build for me, I enjoyed doing a model of a car I'm familiar with. Well, familiarity has yet again failed to breed contempt for me- it's inspired be to move onto yet another E36 based BMW!

This time it's Revell/Dragon's odd but awesome little M Roadster kit.



Some history-
When BMW put out the Z3, it was almost universally adored. Except perhaps for the fact that the engine it was built with was a rather small 1.8L inline four, which put out a bit under 140hp. It is a lot of fun to drive a small, fantastic handling, underpowered car quickly- but the world quickly wanted to know what this car would be like with more power. So BMW put out a 2.8L inline six version of the Z3. Better, many said. But the inevitable question became, what would this car be like if you crammed the 240hp 3.2L S52 engine from the M3 into it...? The answer came a couple of years later when BMW finally produced the M Roadster. The resulting car was not underpowered.

I found this kit nearly 20 years ago in a toy/hobby shop somewhere in Bavaria. I say odd kit, because it was an attempt by Revell to make a model kit that didn't really need to be painted. The body came prepainted in a red lacquer. In the kit box it was in a protective plastic clamshell, complete with windshield and headlights.







Don't know how well this experiment worked for Revell- but they don't seem to have done a lot of kits like this since.

Meanwhile, it was obvious that this one was going to need a proper paint job.

So the preattached windshield and headlights needed to come out.



The windshield was secured in a singe point where it was melted in place to secure it to the body. A bit of gentle grinding with a suitably sized drill bit made easy work of it. The headlights took more creativity/grinding/cutting/swearing, but they too were soon freed.



A bath in isopropyl alcohol made quick work of the kit paint. Then, sanding and priming.


But then, what color....?

This one was going to be done in a factory color. But which? The M roadster was released in the same limited M colors that the M3 was offered in. And while they were a good match for the M3's body style, some of them weren't quite as good on the M Roadster. Black, red, and silver were conventional, but boring. Estoril blue sold pretty well - and while gorgeous on the M3, it was somehow less so on the Roadster.

A quick perusal of an M car brochure from '99 left the answer clear-

Techno Violet 299. Perfect!

Somehow, I've never seen a Techno Violet M Roadster. In fact, attempts to scour the internet have left me unsure if there was ever an example built. How? Why? No matter- if there was no real world example produced, I was prepared to rectify that astonishing oversight in 1/24.

A search yielded paintscratch.com, who appeared willing to mix and send me a touchup bottle of Techno Violet 299. For $17, plus shipping. No matter, perfection comes at it's price. Worth it, I was certain!

The results gleam for themselves.



Yesss!!!

This was in fact the color this car was meant to be.



The touchup paint worked beautifully. I'll have to write up a review.

More to come. Soon, hopefully.
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Old 11-13-2019, 08:05 PM   #2
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Re: BMW M Roadster

Nice to hear from you again! I too hate Photobucket. Good start! Splashpaints.com is a great alternative for in-scale model paint, and they'll do custom colors for $14. Others include Gravity Colors (takes forever to get your order, though), Zero Paints (available in the US at hobbyworldusa.com), or Scale Finishes.
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Old 11-14-2019, 08:44 AM   #3
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Re: BMW M Roadster

Good to see you're still around, too!

Remember those Z8 decals you sent me? This is the build they were for. The kit came instead with stickers, which completely fail to look the part. Thank you again!!

Happily, I still have enough unused bottles of Cobra Colors to keep me going for a long time to come. But sometimes of course, you need that special color. I chose Paintscratch in part because they specified their paint was acrylic lacquer- just like Cobra Colors. It's good working with a medium you're familiar with.

But since we're on that topic-
Do you have one of Hasegawa's 2002s? Interested in doing it in Golf Green? I'd very happily share a bottle with you. An ounce is far more than I need.
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Old 11-15-2019, 04:51 PM   #4
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Re: BMW M Roadster

The chassis took much less effort. All kit parts, just paint and assemble.



I "upgraded" the shocks and struts with Konis, and a Bavauto swaybar. The kit had no swaybar in the rear- but strangely, no E36 BMW kit I have seen (Tamiya Z3, Dragon M3, Hasegawa 318i, etc) include a swaybar in the rear. I suppose I could have added one, but I've decided to not let it bother me (too much).



Annoyingly, three of four polycaps glued themselves static to the brake hubs, so they don't move at all. Even more annoyingly, the polycaps are super freaking tight- to the point that it threatens to damage suspension parts to attempt to remove the wheels. So the wheels are more or less permanently attached. But as that's the worst issue I encountered, it's hardly a disaster.

More soon. Onto the interior.
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Old 11-15-2019, 09:15 PM   #5
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Re: BMW M Roadster

Love the color choice!!and a great looking build so far!.
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Old 11-17-2019, 06:48 PM   #6
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Re: BMW M Roadster

Looking good!
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Old 11-28-2019, 10:07 PM   #7
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Re: BMW M Roadster

Hey Andy, love it. Nice touch with the BavAuto sways, I miss these guys. ECS just doesn't cut it.
Love the TV on it too. Though, as you probably have already guessed, it was never offered on the MR. It was only available on the E36 M3 and then only for a couple of years before they switched to Daytona (seemingly the same color).
Nice build!
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Old 12-05-2019, 09:42 AM   #8
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Re: BMW M Roadster

Quote:
Originally Posted by 360spider View Post
Hey Andy, love it. Nice touch with the BavAuto sways, I miss these guys. ECS just doesn't cut it.
Love the TV on it too. Though, as you probably have already guessed, it was never offered on the MR. It was only available on the E36 M3 and then only for a couple of years before they switched to Daytona (seemingly the same color).
Nice build!
Ha- I thought you might appreciate that. Yeah, I miss BavAuto. It was a rude surprise to see them go.

I do still have that BMW USA M Cars catalogue from 1999 (covering the E36 M3, Roadster, and ClownschŘ). 299 Techno Violet is listed as a color option, and it doesn't say exclusive to the M3. I would guess/hope that if anyone was stylish enough to order a violet Roadster, BMW would have built it.

I check ebay occasionally for the Revell ClownschŘ kit. It remains one that got away....

Should have more on this one soon.
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Old 12-12-2019, 03:12 PM   #9
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Re: BMW M Roadster

Because the top would be down, the cockpit needed a bit of work. The shape of the kit parts was ok, but detail for the instrument panel and center console was in the form of stickers. Something had to be done.

Unlike the fairly conventional interior styling of the normal Z3, BMW tricked out the cockpit of the M version with lots of small chromed details. Especially notable are the chrome rings surrounding dials and instruments. I initially thought to try cutting tiny little rings from aluminum tubing- but it quickly became apparent that it was going to be completely impractical. So to make the rings, I wrapped freshly heat stretched sprue around metal tubing, and dipped it into boiling water. The rings were then individually cut free and cemented in place where a dial would be. They were covered in BMF, and then the cockpit was painted. When the paint on the rings was carefully scraped off, they resulted in suitable looking chrome instrument bezels.



BMW did the M roadster cockpit a fairly loud two tone scheme of black and a contrast color that complimented the body color. But there was no interior contrast color matched to Techno Violet- realistically, if this car was ever ordered in Techno Violet the interior would have been a pretty basic black on black. It would have been a small concession for having a cool car in a gorgeous violet body color. But since this build is an exercise in what BMW really should have done with this car, I decided not to half ass the cockpit scheme. Which meant I would need a suitable complimenting color.

It is surprisingly difficult to find a good purple color in hobby paint.

I initially tried Tamiya X16. Immediately it was clear that it was a non starter- X16 is astonishingly, laughably vibrant. It looked like a clown car. So I trudged through the paint sections of the few remaining brick and mortar hobby shops in my region searching for a solution. Nothing suitable by Gunze, nothing by Testors, nothing even by Vallejo. Nothing in the weird sci fi miniature figure paints, either. Everything was just too damned LOUD. I really didn't anticipate this to be a problem, but it was. On the shelf the roadster went....

Weeks/months later, it occurred to me to try mixing something- before I gave up and conceded defeat to the inevitable monotone black cockpit that BMW would have gone with. In a moment of madness, I tried mixing Tamiya purple 1:1 with Tamiya NATO brown. Perfect. It toned down the purple in exactly the right direction. It's difficult to photograph, but spot on in person.



Almost done.
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Old 12-12-2019, 03:29 PM   #10
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Re: BMW M Roadster

Looks great! Glad you stuck with it instead of going all black.
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Old 12-12-2019, 04:23 PM   #11
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Re: BMW M Roadster

Done!



I had expected to have some more in progress pics to show- but it turned out to be a fairly straightforward curbside build. Not much more to it.



In the late 90's, BMW was offering cars with clear "Euro style" turn signals (instead of orange), and most Roadsters were built this way. It actually did change the appearance of the car significantly- and would have been easier to model. But I really like the contrast that the orange turn signals give to the overall look. Once again, I am convinced that is is how the car should have been.



The boot lid had a cool/odd little lift/latch fixture. It was designed so you would hit the release button with your thumb and lift it with your index and middle fingers. It was a small but very specific detail to this car, and BMW never used it on anything else. I thought it was worth replicating, so I cut one out of 1/16" aluminum tubing and carefully shaped it with a rat-tail needle file.

The tail pipes are polished aluminum tubing, and the ///M badges are from MSM Creations. They really look spot on and add very nicely to the overall look of the build.



Thanks for looking!
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Old 12-12-2019, 05:00 PM   #12
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Re: BMW M Roadster

Awesome job!
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Old 12-12-2019, 05:20 PM   #13
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Re: BMW M Roadster

Thanks!

I'm really rather happy with how it came out.

It was kind of a strange little kit- the kind that easily gets shuffled to the back of my workbench to sit for years on end. So I'm pretty happy that I managed to finish it at all, let alone fairly quickly. But the next thing I start will be something Tamiya- I'm feeling like building something well engineered.

It's been a productive month for me- this is actually my third finished build in rapid succession!



I built the Zaku for the 40th anniversary of the original Mobile Suit Gundam. I'm just old enough that I actually watched Gundam when it originally aired in Japan in 1979. He was a lot of fun to build, and now glowers menacingly at me from a shelf above my workbench.
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Old 12-12-2019, 06:36 PM   #14
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Re: BMW M Roadster

That is beautiful!!
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Old 12-13-2019, 12:14 AM   #15
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Re: BMW M Roadster

Great build. Really enjoyed the thread, and glad to see it finished.
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