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Build/Review Article
 
ipms logo Founded 1964 amps logo Founded 1993
Last Update: 08 Feb 2009

Jordi Rubio 1/35 Rolls Royce/Fordson Armoured Car
by
John Ratzenberger


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This will be a rather un-conventional build/review of the Jordi Rubio 1/35 Rolls Royce / Fordson Armoured Car.

Those of us who live for RRAC were excited when this came out in 2008. We had the JMGT kit (see my review on this website) and were still waiting for the Resicast kit. I bought one right away, direct from Jordi Rubio, paying a small fortune and was chompin' at the bit to build it.

As it so happened, we were having a Resin Group Build on the Unofficial Airfix Modellers Forum (UAMF) and I decided to build this kit for that GB. I was also the moderator of the GB and felt I had some responsibility to do something different.

Notes about the kit from someone else: whose name I don't remember (sorry) ...

Well... the postman brought me something nice in the mail this week- Jordi Rubio's 1/35 Rolls-Royce armoured car.

Since it arrived I feel like I have un-aged forty something years since I started fondling the resin. Seven is a good age to be when you have a brand new toy, but I promised mummy I would be good and finish the models I am working on before I started building this one.

I thought there might be a few people interested in first impressions, as the build will be the thick end of a month away.

The first impression is there is a lot of beautiful resin; There's no etched brass here but some truly delightful castings of some really tiny details - both pattern maker and resin pourer have produced an excellent set of parts. The packer on the other hand didn't do quite such a good job - there were just too many detail parts packed into one Ziploc bag for them to travel from Barcelona to San Diego County completely unscathed despite a really stout cardboard box - nothing serious but a few bits had torn from the pouring stubs and a few were a bit distorted. A couple more bags for the parts would make all the difference in shipping.

The big bits - hull, tray, chassis and turret - are delightful in their detail - lovely crisp rivets and bolt heads, and super thin castings where it matters. I was a little bit disconcerted to find that while the hull was hollowed out and could be fitted out if I felt so inclined, the turret is unfortunately a reversion to the hockey puck school of casting - it's solid with just a recess below the hatch if you want to put the top half of a man in it. The turret seems just a little tall for a 1920 pattern car, but there also seems to be excess material below the bottom line of rivets - reducing the height won't present too much risk to the surface detail but it will need a lot of elbow grease, patience and a big file.

There are no interior details; opening it up without damage to the exterior could be a real challege so I don't think I'm missing anything by not having them

The instructions are on an A3 colour sheet of photos of the parts and of the assembly sequence with all the parts numbered in the overview and in the individual steps - it should be pretty hard to muck this one up which isn't the universal standard for a limited run resin kit or even some plastic. There are no decals or painting instruction, though a comprehensive set of either would probably have cost more than the kit to produce considering the number of possibilities over a 20 something year service history.

This one is going to be a fun build - the parts breakdown looks to be well thought through and a couple of dry runs suggest that the out of the box build should be straightforward.

It's that "out of the box" business that causes the last concern; Jordi sells it as Rolls Royce/Fordson and that's just what it is -it's not exactly a Rolls and not quite a Fordson.

As an earlier ML post mentioned the rear springs on the kit are semi elliptical units with helper springs typical of the Fordson chassis, where as I believe the military version of the Silver Ghost chassis had long quarter elliptic springs like the car which extended forward of the rear axle to under the crew compartment; however the lovely resin wheels supplied are simple disc wheels as used on the Rolls - Fordsons had a five-spoked deign typical of many commercial trucks of the period. I can't comment on the rest of the running gear, but the rear axle possibly owes more to the Henry from England than to Henry of Detroit-cum- Dagenham

So… it's not quite a Rolls and not quite a Ford and not quite the definitive kit I still hope for, but it's a very very good effort - a Rolls looks like the easier bet with the parts given but if you can solve the wheel problem then a Fordson is perfectly possible...oh, and you may need to build a 1/35th Scarff ring for the turret.

Just by way of explanation, as the Rolls Royce chassis wore out, the Rolls bodies were removed and mounted on a Fordson chassis.

My UAMF/CBK Resin GB Build Notes:

OK, here is project #1 -- the kit is newly released, I jumped on it as soon as I heard about it.

The resin seems to be good quality -- except the rear cargo bed which is badly warped and incompletely formed -- I'll be doing something over in the Resin 103 thread when I get to this.

I am a bit disappointed, actually more than a bit. The turret is a 'hockey puck' -- I had hoped for hollow so I could do some detailing -- a full Vickers at the minimum. The body interior may as well be solid for the way it is constructed -- not much hope of opening it up for detail. And, unlike the JMGT RRAC, I'm not spending 6 months to fix all these issues.

I understand from other people that the "Rolls Royce / Fordson" title really means it is a bit of each. I think one has to get into springs and axles and other things to talk about which is which and I'm going to let all that slide -- this will be pretty much OOB.

Here's some shots from the kit -- I'll break the parts out from the baggie later. Certainly the instructions are different from the hand-sketched, out-of-perspective drawings that come with many resin kits.

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And here is my target vehicle -- HMAS Conquerer of 1 ACC in Iraq in the late 30's ...

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Oh, well, like the JMGT kit, it's the best I have right now -- I'm still waiting for Resicast to get theirs in production !!!!

Hauled the kit out and washed down all the parts then checked them out. Only damage is the cargo body I mentioned earlier. Parts are nice, but I still wish the turret and body were hollow so I could open it up.

Guess I ought to start scrounging up kit and things to outfit it with .... starting with that big spotlight and the Lewis gun ...

Well, I'm started ... taking off pour blocks and cleaning up parts ...

Ran into some problems:
-- tire tread around pour blocks is really damaged; although I can hide some of it by ensuring that part faces down, I'm going to have to do some rescribing or pose the model in some deep sand ...
-- front axle is bent; this will take some work to correct.
-- rear axle a little bent, should be easy ...
-- frame has problems -- the front pieces are not aligned and must be fixed, the area around the springs is imperfectly cast and I'll have to do some fill.

Anyway, all in a day's work ....

I'll probably be the rest of the week doing the rest of the pour blocks and clean-up ... there's a lot more sanding than I first thought and I'll have to take it outside ... but we're in a week long nor'easter so it's a bit tough ...

Didn't get much time on this until today, when I went to work shoring up the rear of the frame -- badly miscast, very weak. Once I get that done, I'll worry about straightening the front out.

Well, frame is now passable, except for a slight straightening I'll do later ...

Unfortunately while testfitting the frame, body, and cargo bed, the already warped and miscast cargo bed broke in several parts. Now I know this probably would have happened if I had tried to straighten it.

I'll be scratchbuilding a replacement, won't be difficult.

Nah, the cargo bed is some flat parts with a little framing, already drawn up and cut the flat parts from sheet, will work on framing next ... I do have to cut some bolt heads off the old pieces and a bin door for the floor ...

No pix, got a bit of time today to work on fitting the new cargo bed pieces around the body and will try to have it together by the end of the weekend ... then I can press on. Having a bit of trouble getting time at the work bench it seems ...

OK, finally at a place where I can provide an update with pix -- only about a week late so I'm actually running ahead of myself ...

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Major task was to rebuild the cargo bed from Evergreen styrene stock, as the resin piece was too poorly formed to salvage. That I have done.

While test fitting the frame & body I figured out that gluing these together would solve most of the frame warp issues and so that's what I did. Then I built the cargo bed onto that. I used a razor blade to extract some detail from the kit cargo bed before consigning it to the waste bin.

My other task was to start the turret. I believe to be too tall and so carefully sawed off the lower 1/16" -- look much better now. The other problem is the Vickers -- if you know RRAC you know there is nothing but a large hole in the front of the turret and the Vickers has a small shield on the front. Well the kit just has a big lump which just doesn't look right, so I sanded it down by half hoping it looks a bit better. The MG & shield were misaligned so I cut the MG barrel off & will mount it better later.

Now I can start on the front end and the underside. I'm sure you can see the broken frame rail up front.

I have two new pictures (which I forgot to upload) that provide me more info. One piece of news I DID NOT need was that the spare tires should be dual -- the kit only provides single tires. I guess I'll have to think about breaking out the resin casting kit ...

Anyway, I have to say (if I didn't already), now that Resicast appears to have an almost production ready exquisite RRAC, this one gets minimal extra work and attention. HURRY UP RESICAST !!!

Today I started on the undercarriage and found the front springs poorly cast - they are being repaired now. I also found two injector pin marks on each -- meaning they must have thrown in some kit's styrene parts as the mold master ...

Vickers is now on straight ... assuming I don't bump it ...

Right now I'm looking for something to make a spotlight with -- rummaging around in my Airfix 1/32 car kits for a spare headlight ought to do it.

Here's my new reference pix, mentioned in a previous post ...

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Right now I'm filling flaws underneath and reinforcing the spring hangers front and rear ...

Here we are again ... starting to look like a Rolls ...

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I put on the rear axle, front springs and axle, the fenders and running boards. None went easily.

The frame rails out front were too curved and the springs were at an impossible angle downward. Efforts to straighten the rails led to breakage so pieces got glued into a better shape. Then I whacked at the front springs and got them on, still tilted a bit forward, but best I can do.

One front fender was different than the other and I had to do some surgery to get them both similar. The running boards hang more or less correctly now.

I have used liberal amounts of CA to hold things together, as filler, and to make fillets.

Well, now it's on to lots of little pieces. I'll need to put a primer coat on to see how much of the CA needs to be cleaned up. And I need to figure the best way to paint the window area to reflect there aren't any windows on the model, just ugly resin where openings should be.

About 3 weeks to go, getting tight on time now ...

Ready for the paint shop .... Well, except for one headlight which I'm still working on. Since the fenders weren't the same (or I messed up) (or both), one headlight mount had to be rebuilt -- the glue is still drying & I'll try to get it to stick on right place tomorrow.

I primered it before adding the tiny parts so I wouldn't knock them off fixing surface flaws ...

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Carpet monster has been a challenge - for example, two of the hood latches are now hand-made. But, less the headlight, it's together. Oh yes, if the exhaust looks hand-made, it is -- either wasn't in the kit or it scrambled to safety after arrival ...

A coat of Portland Stone, find some decals, do some weathering, add on some gear .... going to be a push to hit the deadline ...

Did I say, in prior post, Portland Stone ? Should have had my references to hand -- Bronze Green was the proper color pre-war, even in the desert.

I used WEM Middle Bronze Green, cut by some WEM Slate and hosed it down ... for some reason the photo doesn't capture the model color at all ...

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Well, I'm a day or so behind -- have detail painting, decals, slight weathering, and gear to add on the outside ... gonna be tight ...

And my motivation just went to near zero ...

Because, look what the mail lady brought me today !!!!!!

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This is done .... I'm trying to tie down a few loose ends, cover some glaring faults, etc ... Pix by Friday ...

Well, here she is ... I stopped short of adding the various kit and bits I had intended to -- no time and you've seen that I lost a bit of enthusiasm for it as problems mounted. I just don't consider this a good value kit. The JNGT kit was expensive and had a lot of problems also, but it also had a better base to turn it into something interesting -- Jordi Rubio took that off the table with the solid turret and blocked up interior.

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Anyway, White Ensign paints. Lettering is from a MicroScale Railroad Gothic sheet - very handy stuff for if you must do some letter-by-letter decaling. Roundels are from ModelDecal -- the side ones match the picture -- I'm not sure about the one on the turret top, I have seen many variation so I picked one. Not much weathering, just some Tamiya sand and dirt powders ...

And here's the Rolls Royce family picture .... it's not that I like them or anything. I have two reviews to complete and the Resicast kit goes on the bench -- right now I'm collecting a few more early/WW1 RR references.

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