|Bottom view (from left) shows muffler connected to exhaust manifold heat exchangers located on either side of the oil strainer while what seems to be the rear suspension/brakes link the undercarriage to the engine|
|Top view (from left) shows the fan housing and belt on the engine with the heat exchangers, rear suspension/brakes and transmission located between the engine and the upper part of the undercarriage onto which interior parts will attach|
What you see above is the actually the results of Steps 3 and 4 of the Tamiya 1/24 scale Volkswagen Beetle 1300 (1966) kit. As with the earlier steps, I had decided to paint up the individual parts first before assembling them all together. Up to this point, the color scheme is pretty much a black and metallic combo with a smattering of engine grime and oil to up the realism factor.
|Instructions for the Volkswagen 1300 Beetle fan housing and engine installation|
|Undercarriage, fan housing, fan belt, muffler, exhaust manifold heat exchangers, etc. were painted before assembly|
|Only new material used from previous step was the Tamiya X-11 Chrome Silver acrylic paint in lacquer thinner|
Other than the paints and weathering materials in the previous steps, only one new paint was used namely the Tamiya X-11 Chrome Silver thinned using lacquer thinner instead of the Tamiya X-20A acrylic paint thinner. This is possible because Tamiya acrylic paints are formulated such that they work equally well with lacquer thinner. One advantage of using lacquer thinner to thin Tamiya acrylic paints is that the resulting coat is supposedly stronger. Personally I did it just to test out whether there was any truth to the claim that Tamiya acrylics could mix with lacquer thinner.
|Front view: engine as it stands now prominently shows the muffler, fan belt/housing, intake manifold, ignition coil, etc.|
|In an angled view, the exhaust manifold heat exchangers (running from the muffler to undercarriage) becomes visible|
|Nestled in the middle, between the engine and undercarriage, is the transmission|
Only at extreme closeups does one begin to truly appreciate the details inherent in this Tamiya kit. To achieve this I dusted off my dedicated macro lens and snapped most of the photos on this blog post.
|Viewing angle above affords a better of the VW Beetle transmission|
|Back of fan housing lacks detail, presumably becomes it will be glued/attached to another part|
|Wheel-like contraptions attached to the rear axle are the rear brakes|
|A huge part of what can be seen now may not be visible after additional assembly steps|
|Can you spot the difference between the flat aluminum and chrome silver? The latter is shinier|
With the undercarriage attached to the engine, the platform upon which the Volkswagen Beetle will be built is now set. It's unlikely that the undercarriage will remain in its current state i.e. semigloss black finish with minimal wash effects. Final weathering plans isn't set in stone. But based on the Bumblebee movie, chances are it will involve addition of brown or ocherish dry mud and dirt.
|Undercarriage was primed in black, coated in semigloss clear coat and given a black wash; weathering comes later|
|Oil strainer is surrounded by the muffler, exhaust manifold heat exchangers and transmission|
|Look closely at the oil strainer and you can see some spilled oil effects|
|Undercarriage protrusions fit snugly enough atop the transmission and to the side of the oil strainer|
|For an assembly consisting of many tiny parts, the assembled whole is surprisingly sturdy|
Painting up the parts first before assembling them together certainly has its pros and cons. Pros - it makes color separation easier while livening up the assembly process. Cons - it can make the assembly process harder by coating joints in paint or result in damage to the paint while the parts are being forced together. In the case of the Beetle, both pros and cons have occurred. That being said, I wouldn't have it any other way as the pros largely outweigh the cons, for this kit anyway.
|Color scheme so far comprises all manner of blacks and metallics covered with engine grime and oil|
|Flat aluminum surfaces look more realistic after being weathered with engine grime|
|Black surfaces take on either a gloss, semigloss or flat look to offer variation to the monotone scheme|
|Only uncertainty thus far is whether I've attached the muffler correctly to the exhaust manifold; time will tell|
|Undercarriage factory-new look will likely undergo further dry mud and dirt weathering|
Next two steps will involve the Beetle's front uprights and suspensions, on the other end of the undercarriage. So there's still much work to be done before the more visible car interior and body is even touched upon. Slow and steady, I always say. For I know no other approach to this hobby.