Building the Compass Nissan R390 GT1

Discussion in 'Commercial & Civilian Vehicles' started by Corporal_Trim, Feb 25, 2004.

  1. Corporal_Trim

    Corporal_Trim Member

    This is not a tutorial, as I neglected to take any in-progress pictures, but I did want to provide some info, in case you'd like to build this car. It's a very attractive model, not so well represented by my photography, unfortunately. :wink:

    It's a free download, which can be found here:

    You'll see three parts sheets, and two with instructions. Don't worry about the first being in Japanese, everything you need is on the diagrams on the second sheet. Sub-assemblies are clearly marked with the part numbers which are also printed on the tabs of each part, so it's hard to go wrong there. The lines indicate where the curves are located and I think the diagrams are clearly and logically laid out.

    Where I ran into trouble was with resizing. This is supposed to be a 1/24 model, but when I printed out the sheets at the default setting, those suckers were huge and did not come close to fitting on 8.5x11" cardstock. I resized them to make them print everything on one sheet, which resulted in a model of some indeterminate scale, but it appears to be about 1/28 or so.

    That wasn't bad, but where I got killed, even though I resized the sheets to what I thought were identical settings, as I did the assembly, I found out they were slightly out of scale with each other. :shock: For example, the cabin/deck portion which was all on Sheet 2 fit beautifully. But when I glued on the side portion from Sheet 1, I started by matching the door and hood lines adjacent to the C-pillar, working backwards and forwards from there. Lo and behold, when I got to the back of the car, I was about 1.5mm too short relative to the end of the engine compartment, and darn near double that error at the front of the car. And so it went from side to side as well, having to make many adjustments for this sheet-to-sheet variation as I went along. I'm perfectly willing to attribute all of this to my ineptitude with the sizing, but I'd be curious to know how this went for anyone else, if you have built this model.
  2. Corporal_Trim

    Corporal_Trim Member

    Aside from my sizing travails. things went pretty well. There is no internal bracing in the model. And though the curves give it more strength than you might think, I decided it would be a good idea to add two internal bulkheads in the midsection of the model. I did that, and later as I was test-fitting the wheels, noticed that I could see right through from one side of the car to the other when viewed directly side-on. :( Not good, so I fabricated a wheel box backing at one side of the model at the front and rear, which was sufficient not to allow any daylight to show through.

    The car was fairly true as completed, but there was a noticeable sag at the right rear base. I cut off a section of 3/8 wood dowel which I glued between the rear wheel frame box and the rear deck, solving that unsightly bit.

    I painted the edges, and also painted the nice BBS wheels with silver paint to simulate chrome, as well as repainting the center hub. The grille is not well-defined in front, and I painted that in a matte finish to give some illusion of depth.

    I finished with 4 coats of Miniwax Wood Hardener and sprayed on two coats of gloss after letting that dry overnight. I'm still not too satisfied with the wood hardener technique. No matter how clean I keep the brush, it still goes on a little too uneven and has a "brushed-on" look I don't like too much. If anybody has any pointers regarding this, I'd like to hear from you.

    The build took me a week, but I must admit there were a few days where I put in a number of hours on it. :)
  3. jyduchene

    jyduchene Member

    With regard to woodhardner, I have been successful applying it with the smallest of foam burshes. about 3/4 inch wide and with a light touch. I have not seen brush strokes and the foam holds the woodhardner and allows for an even coat.

  4. Corporal_Trim

    Corporal_Trim Member

    Excellent suggestion ! I'll try it next time. Thanks, John.
  5. 57townsman

    57townsman Member

    Hi Steve,

    Regarding the resizing problem, I've had similar experiences before. What I did was to set a fixed percent reduction for all the pages rather than using the print to fit option. This takes a little more time since I would preview each page and adjust the reduction as needed. Make sure you print ALL the pages with the same reduction factor and they should all align properly.

    (The OTHER) Steve 8)
  6. Corporal_Trim

    Corporal_Trim Member

    Thanks, Steve. Yeah, I'm sure the problem was entirely of my own creation - something to be very careful with next time out. Looking at the (3rd ?) Steve's build of the same model, he didn't paint the edges, so I can see that his seams between what came off different parts sheets are crisp and well-fitted. :wink:

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