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Tamiya 1/18 scale Lola T-160 TS Can Am car
Joel_W
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Posted: Friday, May 03, 2019 - 01:38 AM UTC
Next up on my workbench is a kit nearly as old as I am in "Car Years", it' the Tamiya 1/18 scale Lola T-160 TS (Team Surtees) FIA Prototype Group 7 car for the 1968 Can AM season. For those of you not old enough to have actually been trackside in 1968 to see and hear these normally aspirated Chevy big block V8 427 ci monsters, which delivered 625 Brake hp @ 7,000 rpm. One could easily go deft just hearing them rev in the pits. 1968 was the third season for the Can Am, which ran two-hour sprint races, so no pit stops were needed nor required. Back then they had duel fuel cells that each held 25 gallons of high test gas.

Unlike today's super specific rules per series, the rules for the Can AM were pretty minimal, permitting unlimited engine sizes, including turbocharging and supercharging.This was as close to an anything goes series as you could ever have gotten. The rules were just two seats, bodywork that enclosed all 4 wheels, a single engine, and met some very basic safety standards.

The T160 was Lola's answer to the M8A McLarens which was basically a T70 on steriods. Unfortunately for everyone not driving a McLaren Team car including Haas and Penske, your best finish was usually 3rd place or worse.

I never missed a Can Am at Bridgehampton, and back in those days we had full access to the pits, cars, and drivers. Need I say more? For a 18 year old I was in race car heaven.

Tamiya way back in the late 1960s ventured into plastic car models as motorized toys, as their 1st venture from wooden ship models. Their 5 car 1/18 scale series: Lola T-160 TS, McLaren M8A, Nissan R381, Porsche 910, & the Honda 360 street car? (makes no sense to me), which I believe ended up in that scale, so the model could not only have a small electric motor buried within the engine, but the body could also house two AA batteries inside the gas tanks, at least for the race car kits, was 1st released in the mid 1960's.



By 1970 Tamiya re-released these kits once again, but not with the motors.



And this is the model that I'm now going to attempt to build. My goals are straight foward:

1-Reasonally bring the kit up today's standards.
2-Add detailing to the the engine bay, the engine, the cockpit, and the front end.

Since the origins of the kit is a motorized toy, there is no attempt at any kind of realistic suspension. Being a realist at this point in my modeling, I'm going to live with it that way, as I have zero confidence in my abilities to create anything remotely like what was in the real car.

Work has just started, and I'm focusing on closing up the battery boxes, and the name plate recess on the bottom of the chassis pan. Then I'm turning my attention to preparing the two piece rear deck for priming as it has a "ton" of ejection marks. Some thinning of intakes and brake exhaust ports as well.

Anyway, welcome to my next build. If nothing else, it should be a rather interesting trip back in time, and somethimg completely different from the current State of the Art kits I much prefer to build. If all goes as planned, hopefully, I'll end up with this:



Joel
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Posted: Friday, May 03, 2019 - 02:24 AM UTC
Another classic on the bench, excellent choice Joel! I have a daughter named Lola as well, so there is a (tenuous) personal link there for me as well. I have often thought about building the Tamiya 1/12 Lola T-70, maybe one day!

Looking forward to following your adventures here, best of luck with the build.

Cheers, D
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Posted: Friday, May 03, 2019 - 06:31 AM UTC

Quoted Text

Another classic on the bench, excellent choice Joel! I have a daughter named Lola as well, so there is a (tenuous) personal link there for me as well. I have often thought about building the Tamiya 1/12 Lola T-70, maybe one day!

Looking forward to following your adventures here, best of luck with the build.

Cheers, D



D,
Now there's a connection of never thought of. I did want to name our son either Daniel after Dan Gurney, Bruce after Bruce McLaren, or my last idea was James/Jim after Jim Clark. Naturally, my wife Vetoed them all, and decried it was Michael Christopher. Go figure. But I really do like the name Lola for a girl.

As for building the Tamiya 1/12 scale Lola T70 MkIII, sure hope that you already have one as they're super expensive collector kits.

I never did figure out why they wouldn't re-release some cars, but others over and over again. I'd be one of the 1st online for that 1/12 classic for sure.

Joel

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Posted: Friday, May 03, 2019 - 07:26 AM UTC
Okay, I have fastened seatbelts and will again look over your shoulder, Joel!


Quoted Text

... Michael ....


.... Schumacher ....
Joel_W
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Posted: Friday, May 03, 2019 - 08:42 AM UTC

Quoted Text

Okay, I have fastened seatbells and will again look over your shoulder, Joel!


Quoted Text

... Michael ....


.... Schumacher ....




Torsten,

Michael is 32, but I just checked and Schumacher is 50!!, so we could have named him after the great one as well.

Joel
RussellE
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Posted: Friday, May 03, 2019 - 01:47 PM UTC
Along for the ride Joel
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Posted: Friday, May 03, 2019 - 07:57 PM UTC
Another great choice Joel.

I was born, in '68, so a bit to young to be trackside then, but I can easily imagine how spectacular it must have been.

Looking forward to another great build.
Joel_W
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Posted: Saturday, May 04, 2019 - 12:43 AM UTC

Quoted Text

Along for the ride Joel




Russell,
Looking forward to having you a long for the ride. All I can promise you is that it won't be boring by any means. I've already ran into a 1st time build issue.

Joel
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Posted: Saturday, May 04, 2019 - 12:49 AM UTC

Quoted Text

Another great choice Joel.

I was born, in '68, so a bit to young to be trackside then, but I can easily imagine how spectacular it must have been.

Looking forward to another great build.



Jesper,
I completely agree, as you'd be a newborn at the track, younger then even some of the newest cars in the pits. As I told Russell, love to have you guys along for the ride, as this build is a 1st for me in totally unchartered waters. (See Russell, I actually worked in a nautical theme just for you).

Joel
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Posted: Saturday, May 04, 2019 - 06:55 AM UTC
Hi Joel

This should be great fun! I don't remember ever seeing the kit on the shelves over here back in the day.

All the best

Rowan
Joel_W
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Posted: Saturday, May 04, 2019 - 08:17 AM UTC

Quoted Text

Hi Joel

This should be great fun! I don't remember ever seeing the kit on the shelves over here back in the day.

All the best

Rowan




Rowan,
Fun for you guys as I'm already over my head. My Sprue Brothers order arrived today with the Apoxie Sculpt. never having used two part putty to make the major corrections needed on the bottom of the chassis pan, I created some mess. Once dry after 24 hrs. the fun of sanding and shaping will commence.

I'm also thinking about converting the T160-TS version to a T-160/4 version without the wing, new body mounted wrap around wing, and changes to the radiator housing on the top of the front body shell. This now lets me model Dan Gurney's Olsonite sponsored car. Sounds easy, but I'm quite confident it's just the exact opposite. Just checkout the front clip for the radiator exhaust opening compared to the original of Surtees car.

Maybe Monday I should go have my head examined for even thinking about attempting this.



Joel
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Posted: Saturday, May 04, 2019 - 09:03 AM UTC

Quoted Text

Rowan,
Fun for you guys as I'm already over my head.



Hi Joel

Definitely fun for you too - I hope! There's nothing like a fresh challenge to get us thinking and building outside of our respective comfort zones - and the reward of success with that is far more satisfying than endlessly repeating the type of stuff we have safely under our belts. Well, that's how I see it, anyway - if we didn't keep pushing beyond what we've mastered, we'd stagnate as modellers.

Purely a personal opinion, but I've got to say the T-160/4 in the last photo does look pretty awesome - much more serious and almost menacing without the high wing at the back (I'll build the Lotus 49B in its low-wing guise, because the early wings on stilts just look awkward to me - a really interesting snapshot in racing development but, as soon as the low wings appeared, everything started to seem much more "joined up").

Actually - you know what... from that shot, the T-160/4 would have made a bl**dy good basis for a Batmobile!

All the best

Rowan
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Posted: Saturday, May 04, 2019 - 11:20 AM UTC

Quoted Text


Quoted Text

Rowan,
Fun for you guys as I'm already over my head.



Hi Joel

Definitely fun for you too - I hope! There's nothing like a fresh challenge to get us thinking and building outside of our respective comfort zones - and the reward of success with that is far more satisfying than endlessly repeating the type of stuff we have safely under our belts. Well, that's how I see it, anyway - if we didn't keep pushing beyond what we've mastered, we'd stagnate as modellers.

Purely a personal opinion, but I've got to say the T-160/4 in the last photo does look pretty awesome - much more serious and almost menacing without the high wing at the back (I'll build the Lotus 49B in its low-wing guise, because the early wings on stilts just look awkward to me - a really interesting snapshot in racing development but, as soon as the low wings appeared, everything started to seem much more "joined up").

Actually - you know what... from that shot, the T-160/4 would have made a bl**dy good basis for a Batmobile!

All the best

Rowan



Rowan,
I'm really leaning towards the T-160/4 of Gurneys. That picture is a restoration for Vintage racing guys with a ton of cash. Will have to do more research as all of Gurney's cars were Dark Ford Blue. I can't recall ever seeing one in Black before.

I also have the Ebbro 49B and will be doing it with the low wing. But I'm going to be doing Rob Walker's privateer entry with Jo Siffert behind the wheel. And Walker's money to fund his own F1 team was indeed from the Johnny Walker Scotch fortune. I was very fortunate to have watched Him race a Porsche 908/3 at the 12 hours of Sebring. So that's another build that has a very special meaning to me.

As far as those high wings goes, they certainly weren't exactly the most secure and sturdiest things ever bolted to F1 cars. More then a few times those wings were blown off the cars at high speeds.


Joel
RussellE
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Posted: Saturday, May 04, 2019 - 08:05 PM UTC

Quoted Text


Quoted Text

Another great choice Joel.

I was born, in '68, so a bit to young to be trackside then, but I can easily imagine how spectacular it must have been.

Looking forward to another great build.



Jesper,
I completely agree, as you'd be a newborn at the track, younger then even some of the newest cars in the pits. As I told Russell, love to have you guys along for the ride, as this build is a 1st for me in totally unchartered waters. (See Russell, I actually worked in a nautical theme just for you).

Joel



I see what you did there-thanks Joel!
Joel_W
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Posted: Sunday, May 05, 2019 - 06:41 AM UTC
Unlike my usual slow poke style of building, the weather has been nearly daily rain, rain, and then more rain. At least the storms have been light enough not to have caused any flooding issues. Can't work around the house in that weather, and I've been avoiding working indoors as well, claiming more back issues, which is basically true

So I started the Lola T-160-TS, not sure if I'll attempt the conversion to a 160/4 or not, as I can't find the old Fred Cady decals, and I'm not to sure if the IndyCal decals for the 1968 Gurney Olsonite Eagle in 1/18 scale would be to small for the numbers and number circles.

Up 1st was cutting out the molded in screens from this:



to this:



Then I puttied all the ejection pin marks on the inside of the engine cover.



And finally glued on the end clip.



I must have been to heavy handed because as I was doing the final sanding, I heard that dreaded "POP" as some plastic snapped. Turns out that the crack was right by one of the cut outs I was working on. So I applied CCA glue to the top, then some excelorator. That aligned the inside surface but I was leery about the joint, so I used a method I've seen a few Japanese modelers on You Tube use to reinforce the joint. I cut a piece of paper towel so it covered the glue joint, then soaked it in CCA glue, and applied it to the joint area, followed up by more CCA glue. I let this dry for several hours till it was rock hard, then sanded to shape. I'm not to concerned about the blending in of the patch other then some putty before priming. After all, it's not uncommon to have patches on the inside surfaces of the fiberglass to repair stress cracks. Well, that's my excuse.



Next up was the bottom chassis pan. As I said this was a motorized plastic model, and as such Tamiya molded two battery door openings in the chassis, as well as supplying those two doors.





You'll also notice that they decided to create a huge recess area and place the Tamiya Logo there!



the pan is supposed to be basically flat and smooth. So the 1st step was to glue the doors in place, snap off the battery holders and clips to keep the doors closed. That would allow me to get a better and tighter fit, as well as better glue joints. I also shimmed and filled that recess with scrap pcs of sheet plastic, so I had less space to fill. When the doors had dried, I added sheet shims for a tighter fit.

Now for the fun part. How to cover up both doors, as well as the recess? My solution was to try Apoxie Sculpt 2 part putty.



Now I've never used it, nor any other epoxy putty before, so I watched a few vids on You tube. looked easy enough, that is till I had to actually do it myself. I mixed more then I thought I needed, but I needed more. Then I started to push the mix into the recess, then cover the doors. It's not so easy for the a 1s timer. I smoothed out the epoxy, but used way more then I needed. I subconsciously fell back into the old Green Stuff/Bondo routine of more is better as there is shrinkage to be concerned with. Well, there is no shrinkage as there is no evaporation of any Lacquer as I found out the next day. I sanded and blended for more then two hours, but the end results are way better then I thought I'd get. All the filled areas are level and blended in perfectly. I did have a few areas to refill from poor handling on my part. for that I used Tamiya Gray Putty.



up next is a primer coat, but I still need to figure out exactly which version I'm going to be building.

Thanks for checking out my Lola T 160, it's always greatly appreciated.

Joel
RussellE
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Posted: Monday, May 06, 2019 - 10:39 PM UTC
Wow Joel!

that's a new one on me, TBH, 2 part epoxy as a filler...

I'd normally resort to the old styrene sheet and car filler...

Still, results speak for themselves, looking very good, will be great to see some primer on
Joel_W
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Posted: Tuesday, May 07, 2019 - 06:55 AM UTC

Quoted Text


Quoted Text


Quoted Text

Another great choice Joel.

I was born, in '68, so a bit to young to be trackside then, but I can easily imagine how spectacular it must have been.

Looking forward to another great build.



Jesper,
I completely agree, as you'd be a newborn at the track, younger then even some of the newest cars in the pits. As I told Russell, love to have you guys along for the ride, as this build is a 1st for me in totally unchartered waters. (See Russell, I actually worked in a nautical theme just for you).

Joel



I see what you did there-thanks Joel!



Russell
Aye Aye Capt.

Joel
Joel_W
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Posted: Saturday, May 11, 2019 - 01:32 AM UTC
Just a short non-update, update. I'm still trying to get enough of the basic needed corrections to the chassis/tub so I can prime and paint it, then onto the suspension if one can call it that.

I've got dozens and dozens of pictures of various T160s including the TS in various stages of restoration, being ripped down for restoration, or original cars of various versions, of which there were way more then I thought that there was.

I originally thought that the entire chassis and tub were Aluminum sheet and some cast members. But I've got as many pictures of the inside of the tub in Semi Gloss/Gloss Neutral Gray. The amount of gray areas do vary.

So lately I'm spending way too much time trying to figure this issue out.

Joel
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Posted: Sunday, May 12, 2019 - 03:06 PM UTC
Hi Joel,

Nice work cutting those vents out - I’m guessing tedious grinding away at hard plastic....not an easy task at all - and, you kept the shape nicely in tact!

Yes - regarding your paint color dilemma, a bit of a pun - figuring out model colors usually includes lots of grey areas (“the amount of grey areas do vary...”) - haha - couldn’t resist.

Interesting results with the model putty to fill the voids in the body. I usually try various layers of evergreen, but this sure looks good -

Cheers
Nick

Joel_W
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Posted: Monday, May 13, 2019 - 01:33 AM UTC

Quoted Text

Hi Joel,

Nice work cutting those vents out - I’m guessing tedious grinding away at hard plastic....not an easy task at all - and, you kept the shape nicely in tact!

Yes - regarding your paint color dilemma, a bit of a pun - figuring out model colors usually includes lots of grey areas (“the amount of grey areas do vary...”) - haha - couldn’t resist.

Interesting results with the model putty to fill the voids in the body. I usually try various layers of evergreen, but this sure looks good -

Cheers
Nick





Nick,
Thanks for stopping by and checking out my Lola, it's greatly appreciated.

Cutting out those vents was done all with hand tools as my Dremel of more then 40 years had finally died and is no more. Being basically lazy, I've yet to buy a replacement at Home Depot even though I'm in the store a few times every week.

My procedure is the old hand way. I drill a series of large holes equal to my largest hand drill bit, but making sure I don't drill past the outline. Once I've gone around the entire vent, I use a #11 blade and cut from hole to hole. Next using tape as a guide to the sides, very carefully and slowly file with a combination of flat and round files till I have the shape I'm looking for. when I file with a flat file, I start a stroke with the file angled, and finish the stroke at the other end. This keeps the line straight. But 1st I start with a round file to get close to the curve end dimensions. I go back and forth till I've got it right.

I also use scrap sheet to fill voids. the deep crater that Tamiya molded in for their trademark was filled with scrap before the epoxy putty. The battery box covers were to shallow for scrap, but needed a ton of filling and shaping. All those holes on the bottom of the pan need to be filled after the parts are glued into place, but I can't just add them, till that section is ready. And ready means a ton of filling, sanding, and polishing. this kit certainly isn't by any means up to the quality of a current or almost current Tamiya kit.

Joel
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Posted: Wednesday, May 15, 2019 - 09:06 AM UTC
I've been working almost daily on the Lola, trying to focus on getting the chassis, and top shells ready for primer. But I'm still no where near ready.



In the above picture I've added "L" pieces of sheet plastic to create a base over 4 somewhat large holes, so that I can apply Apoxy Sulpt Putty. I also lined the inside of the sidepod intakes to cover up some nasty depressions. Then I glued on both gas tank top sections. The fit was at best ok, with the inside seams needed quite a lot of work so i could blend in the top and sides for a smooth fit. I also added the front clip intakes for the brake cooling hoses. I drilled two holes in each so I could run the hoses during final assembly.





I finished the radiator compartment and the radiator, which hasn't been installed as yet.

In the 1st picture you'll notice three nose clips dead center on the front lip. Their purpose is to attach the front upper shell to the chassis, and have it removable. The only trouble is that it's totally unrealistic, ugly, and just a major eye sore. So I cut them off as they won't be needed since I've already decided to glue the front upper shell to the chassis since there is no attempt at any kind of realistic suspension. Just wheels that clip together via a tie rod that I haven't installed as yet, so that the front wheels turn in together as this was originally a motorized toy car to start with.



Dry fitting revealed that the chassis once correctly aligned with the front shell was a good 1/4 inch short. Not only that but the nose section was tappered inward as well. I glued on two pieces of sheet as additional secure mounting pads, then after measuring an extention was cut from sheet. Naturally, the fit was flush, but different thicknesses. So I sanded, then once more applied more Apoxy Putty including the 4 holes that I prepped with a base of sheet earlier. As you can tell, I'm really getting quite fond of the stuff. Sanded and polished to as perfect feathered edge.

I also tapered all three of the mounting pads so that a mesh screen can be glued in place after painting.

there are several more holes as yet to go in the back of the pan. Once the parts are glued into place, it's back to more Apoxy Sculpt.





I glued up the basic engine/transmition and test fitted it along with the what is supposed to be both where the exhausts are attached to, as well as the rear suspension which also doesn't exist. There are two spring type sub assemblies that the rear wing supports attach to. I'm still working on those, and haven't even touched the wing assembly as yet.



My original concept was to have both upper body sections removable for display, but even trying to fool the viewers eye with a so so suspension makes little sense. And honestly my scratch building skills aren't nearly good enough to pull both of those suspensions off. So I'm going to glue on the rear upper shell as well. Enough of the engine shows through the upper rear deck, so I can wire up the plugs and run lines to the fuel injection. Turning over the Lola you can see additional areas that I'll add some detailing to.



In the above top view, the rear deck has a series of holes. The 1st is for the Transmission oil cooler, the next pair is where the air hoses for the rear brakes suck in cool air, the next two smaller ovals are where the wing supports go through the shell, and then the two large ovals that I cut open in my 1st update, and thought that they were where the rear brake cooling hoses attached to. But now all I can come up with is that they're directly over the exhaust manifolds, so it's an easy and efficient way to exist the hot air that the headers create as well as the engine block.

Someone had asked if I was going to apply screening. I've looked at the few pictures I have of those openings, which aren't very clear, and I can't see any screening added. What's more, this is the only T 160 version that had those openings as far as my research has revealed. So I'm not going to add any screening there unless some one has a picture showing it.

Thanks to all for checking out my build to date. It's always much appreciated.

Joel
Stickframe
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Posted: Wednesday, May 15, 2019 - 02:52 PM UTC
Hi Joel,

Wow - you’re not wasting any time on this build! Looking good -

Cheers
Nick
AussieReg
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Posted: Wednesday, May 15, 2019 - 07:37 PM UTC
Moving along very nicely Joel, your clean-up work on the parts needing modification looks great.

Cheers, D
Joel_W
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Posted: Thursday, May 16, 2019 - 02:26 AM UTC

Quoted Text

Hi Joel,

Wow - you’re not wasting any time on this build! Looking good -

Cheers
Nick



Nick,
Just working on it about 4 or 5 days per week, with each session varying from a few hours to more then 4 hours.

I've never been able to work on more then one build at a time, and won't put it on hold out of loss of interest, frustration, or just being stumped. I just keep on working on some part of the build, and move forward. My goal is no SOD builds, and so far I've completed every car build I've started.

I will say that this ancient kit by any standards while being simple in design, has at times proved to be more then my equal. Clearly just converting it to an updated curb side display model has been a real challenge.

Joel
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Posted: Thursday, May 16, 2019 - 02:30 AM UTC

Quoted Text

Moving along very nicely Joel, your clean-up work on the parts needing modification looks great.

Cheers, D



D,
Thanks for stopping by, and appreciating my work to date. Like I told Nick, it's been a handful for sure, and just coming to the realization that my original goals were totally unrealistic wasn't an easy thing to admit to. But now I'm more then ever focused on the small details I can add to it as I very slowly move forward. And to think that I still want to build the McLaren M8A just might qualify me for a free Kit Maker Network mental exam.

Joel