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Building some MFH projects
Stickframe
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Posted: Monday, November 11, 2019 - 09:10 AM UTC
Hello model builders,

Model factory Hiro (MFH) are fairly complex multi-media kits. They represent all sort of subjects, but mostly race cars. They feature enough detail and complexity that I was immediately interested, so over the last few years, I've built up a small collection of their 1/24 kits. Second though, I didn't have the nerve to actually build one!! perfect eh? spend a decent amount of money and then...nothing. So, over the last year or so I've been trying to elevate my game - and build up enough confidence to try one.

I have sort of started an MFH kit! - I say sort of because project number one is a conversion of a Tamiya kit.

I thought this would be a good way to get into the complexity of an MHF kit - which it sort of is and isn't. Yes, there are lots of interesting parts in the ltd ed kit, but, rather than representing a stand alone kit, they must be integrated with a Tamiya kit. This means, rather than addressing the challenge of an MFH kit, I've been addressing pulling the two kits together - which has been a challenge in its own right, but not all that different than what I've been doing for the last year. So, while not yet a new "odyssey into model building" (hahaha) a good test of what I can figure out how to build!

So, please take a look. I started this just around the time I was finishing the Mustang for the group build. First up, some screen shots of an FXX from a video. It turns out this car is for racetrack use only, but sold to the public, but use is limited to activities regulated, approved and monitored by Ferrari, almost like a test vehicle for private use. Seems unusual to me, but they have sold several. A couple of pics of the real thing:





As you can see above, it sure looks like a race car!

The kit blends MFH and Tamiya parts - the chassis etc is white metal from MFH:



Which is interesting to use (I've used white metal before, but not this big - it's heavy and can warp easily). Whereas other parts are a mix of metal and plastic:





Yes - wow! nice engine!! seated on regular plastic parts. While a bit fiddly (which I think is required for something like this, and part of what makes it worthwhile!) it goes together relatively smoothly - and sure looks good!

Back to the cabin and the white metal. The parts generally fit, but not exactly, so in this case you can see I added a sheet brass "bridge" between the drivers area and the firewall. This part is bent vertically and horizontally, as the kit part isn't flush either way with the firewall:



And with the roll cage - of course when all was said an done this area is hard to see anyway, lol:



OK, back to the engine and some parts mixing:



Yes, like the 917k I recently built, this is a snug fit!, and of course, much of it can't be seen - if you could see it though:



All of which is pretty nice, and a real challenge to build.

Below, you can see the strange mix and match of parts. First big lessons learned here - yes, wash the resin parts. They look great, but seem to have some agent on them that resists primer....nice...ugh; and, use a metal etch primer - especially for big, flat surfaces. I didn't and should have, and will in the future. OK, some more:



Back to non glamorous. There was a gap between the top of the firewall, and the Tamiya part, so I filled it. I'm assuming this looks like it was pretty easy to do, but it turned into a fairly complicated task, with the material had to wrap the full wall, and of course, its thickness and width varies:



And in the spirit of the above, another apparently simple task which isn't: the rear body member, which attaches to the chassis, but needs to squeeze between PE wind diffusers below, and four! exhaust pipes, and finally, attachment to two plastic locating pins....yeah.....nope. So, I spent a fair amount of time getting all the parts aligned and tested, then taped this unit on, and drilled out the centers of the mounting pins, and the bodywork. I then pressed thin metal mounting pins through to hold the part in place. And, I id dint want it to look sloppy, I countersunk the pin heads into the body work:





Yes, lots of dry fitting, testing, and doing it again, but worth it:



A tricky part is getting all of this to work together, which of course, not as easy as it might look -





Above, you can see the mix of bits -almost all, almost, but not quite fitting. I carved the fender wells a bit, and added and filed styrene strips under the rear canopy. I've already conceded that this might fit close, but my sense is that it wont be perfect. I've looked into getting small magnets to hold it in place...seems unnecessary -

And, onto some more glamour:









And there's where it stands today. I've started painting the body parts - a few disasters there too - but, for the next time!

thanks for checking it out

cheers
Nick












Cosimodo
#335
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Posted: Monday, November 11, 2019 - 11:19 AM UTC
Great work Nick. I know from a build earlier this year of combining white metal, resin and plastic a sometimes challenging task. Your Ferrari looks very impressive.

cheers
Michael
Joel_W
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Posted: Monday, November 11, 2019 - 01:01 PM UTC
Nick,
I'm speechless

For starters I'm barely making progress on the old Revell Trans Am Mustang with limited time. Part after part has been fighting me, but here you are once again with a super difficult conversion via MFH multi media kit combined with a Tamiya kit. And by my standards of work over time, you've once again have made more progress then I thought was possible.

As for the work done, it's simply incredibly well done,corrected and adjusted as necessary to your high set of standards. I'm looking forward to your next update for sure.

As for priming resin, I've found out the same as you that a good wash in Iso Alcohol is mandatory, or the primer will flake for sure especially if masking is necessary. But why do you feel that a metal primer is needed unless it's just because so many of the parts are White Metal.

Joel
md72
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Posted: Monday, November 11, 2019 - 06:54 PM UTC
WOW, just wow. What a tremendous amount of detail and model engineering!
Hwa-Rang
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Posted: Monday, November 11, 2019 - 07:09 PM UTC
Seriously impressive Nick. I have seen these kits, on Hiroboys website, but never seen one build before.
AussieReg
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Posted: Monday, November 11, 2019 - 11:09 PM UTC
Superb work Nick, this will be a great build to follow with the mixed-media and kitbash requirements together with the excellent level of detail involved.

Cheers, D
wildbill426
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Posted: Tuesday, November 12, 2019 - 08:09 AM UTC
Dude, you got game.
Stickframe
#362
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Posted: Wednesday, November 13, 2019 - 10:17 AM UTC
Hi model builders,

Glad to see this is interesting to you too. In retrospect, I probably should have just jumped right in to a full MFH kit.

This is really interesting, but rather than building one really complete kit, this is bringing together two almost matched (1/24) kits. The challenges have been numerous and what is a bit disappointing, is that despite my efforts to keep this buttoned up tight in terms of precision, alignment, and adaptation of parts, the final fit will likely not be great. I've carved, bent, added styrene, filed and sanded, but I'm guessing the rear canopy and likely doors won't have a perfect fit. I'm comfortable holding this point of view because I recently finished two complex Tamiya kits (Nissan 390R and Toyota 1 TS020) and neither had this problem. On the other hand, the MFH kit certainly comes through with crisp and complex parts. So, live and learn - next up will be a full MFH kit!

Michael, yes, I enjoy multi media kits. I've been mixing and matching part for a while now, but this is certainly the biggest and most complex I've tried. I'm looking forward to the next "real" MFH kit.

Hi Joel, as you are indeed one of the key guys to go to about finish, I appreciate your comments. I've worked with resin before, but never had the problem with priming with Tamiya fine primer from a can. SO - yes, I will clean the parts next time!

As to the metal etch primer, I've never needed it before when painting white metal. In the past, the parts I used were considerably smaller than those provided in this kit. In brief, after sanding, priming, painting and clear coating, the paint seems to be brittle and chips with the slightest provocation. It chips all the way to the raw metal, which suggests to me, I need a different type of primer on a few parts!

Hi Mark, this combo does bring together all sorts of nice details that work together pretty well (exception being my observation about body parts). It's a good project, but for the cost, unless you really like the FXX, I might just stick with Ferrari FXX kit (though for this build, I started with the Enzo kit). That said, this is said to be a limited edition kit, so might not be around too long.

HI Jesper, like you I saw these kits on Hiroboy, Spotmodel, and BNA. At first, I thought they were too expensive, but over time i decided that rather than buying lot of kits, I'd buy a few. Following this build, I'll start a full MFH kit - not sure about trying a race car or sports car.

Hi Damian, your description is accurate, in that while this is fundamentally a kit, the build has a fair amount of scratch work. On some level I think that's OK with me, as I think I enjoy building models, more than painting and finishing models. My results with the latter are improving, and while nowhere near what you and some others typically show (uhh...among a few, Joel Gabriel, Jesper...), I'm feeling better about paint.

Ha! Bill, thanks! need to make sure that I keep patience along with "game"!

OK gents, thanks for dropping by.

cheers
Nick

Stickframe
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Posted: Thursday, November 21, 2019 - 08:07 AM UTC
Hi model builders, I'm calling the MFH FXX done.

You'll see below, this conversion worked out reasonably well. The caveat of course being this is a Tamiya conversion by MFH, and not a complete MFH kit. I only mention that because some of the problems that I ran up against had less to do with the quality/precision of the individual kits, and more to do with the synchronizing of them. The biggest challenge here came with assembling the rear-most body panel and canopy over the engine.

A surprising attribute of this is that it's really heavy! more so than other 1/24 die cast cars I have - ok, enough words, take a look:























And there you have it! Regarding the color, according to the instructions, it was supposed to be either red or black - I preferred something else! As usual for me, Vallejo Model Air Acrylics and Alclad Aqua Gloss II clear coat.

As a whole, this build was a lot of work. I'm not sure if I would recommend this conversion kit, unless of course you really like the FXX. Tamiya does make the complete FXX kit and you can get FXX etch parts. Up to you! Adding to the upside of this kit, the engine and transaxle are really nice, and there are a variety of nice details and materials that were fun to fool around with -

Now - on to a full, 1/24 scale MFH kit, a Porsche 908/3:



Finally! this is the kind of stress and anxiety from building a model kit I was looking for! and I found it:





and, next steps:



piece of cake...lol - this is what I was expecting - very interesting process - the white metal is soft, and not straight, so a fair amount of careful bending/aligning, pilot holes being drilled out, and "pilots" being cleaned up (filed) to fit into said holes. So far, ok, yes, a bit nerve wracking! Getting the assembly true is a bit of a task, followed by the use of really small, self tapping screws in awkward places (no, the instructions don't mention that they are self tapping...).

Hopefully, this works out ok, it's been very interesting so far.

I'll keep you posted -

Cheers
Nick








AussieReg
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Posted: Thursday, November 21, 2019 - 11:06 AM UTC
Nick, the FXX looks amazing mate, great job.

The 908 however, I've got the shakes just contemplating what you've got yourself into there! Self-tappers into soft white metal??? This is going to be a very interesting build, and this thread will provide a wealth of advice and information for anybody contemplating the MFH route.

Keep up the great work, and keep the updates coming!

Cheers, D
Joel_W
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Posted: Thursday, November 21, 2019 - 11:12 AM UTC
Nick,
I'm just super impressed at the finished conversion of the Ferrari FXX. It's just stunning. Of course the fact that it was built in record breaking time gets you a ton of bonus points.

The paint finish is dead on perfect, so much so that I'm having a hard time coming to terms with the fact that it's Real Acrylic water based paint as is the gloss coat.

I remember your concerns about how the doors would fit, and honestly, they both look perfect.

As for your next MFH build, their 1/24 scale Porsche 908/3, you've already got me glued to my Sim Racing/Computer/Modeling chair. The 908/3 is my all time favorite Porsche race car since I saw Joe Siffert drive it at the 12 hours of Sebring. He was as fast in a 3.0L Porsche as many of the Group 7 cars. Sadly Seppi died way to young driving another Porsche.

I'm amazed how you managed to glue together the front end tube frame from all those separate pieces. At your rate of building, I'm sure you'll have it completed way before my Roush Mustang crosses the finish line.

Joel
Cosimodo
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Posted: Thursday, November 21, 2019 - 11:24 AM UTC
Great finish on the Ferrari Mike! I think combining substantial aftermarket with mass production is always going to have some challenges but it seems you managed it very well.

Definitely follow the 908 build. I think MFH have recently released it in 1/12 as it was one of the many Porsches I pondered to buy. It looks cool in early Gulf schemes with the orange arrows as well as the Martini branding you have.

cheers
Michael
Stickframe
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Posted: Monday, November 25, 2019 - 10:29 AM UTC
HI guys,

Thanks for dropping by and the votes for the FXX!

Damian, yes, those 1.2mm self tapping screws.....piece of cake - not nerve wracking at all, not one bit!

Joel, yes, the following picture is just for you! I kid you not, yes, I use Vallejo Model Air acrylics....all sorts of colors, for anything on the build:



I use these for airbrush and paint brush, tho it does take some practice...

Hi Michael, wow 1/12 scale MFH!that ought to be fun to build. So far, this build at 1/24 has been a bit of a handful.

On one hand, I actively sought out MFH kits, because they look like they're challenging and interesting to build, and good looking once built - fine. The reality is a bit different as they require you, the builder, to take them seriously in terms of cleanup, prepping, looking ahead to understand order of assembly, keeping your eyes open for steps/parts etc that might be easy to overlook and so on - it's really quite a process.

So, here we go:

















And that's where is stands so far. The conclusion at this point is that this is fun and challenging build, but, while some of it might generally go together like normal plastic/resin/photo etch/scratch work - it really isn't the same - so, the basic skills we all have really help, but I certainly wouldn't suggest this for a first build, or if you get disappointed when things don't work right the first (few) time(s) haha -


And, I completed this last night while watching my beloved SF 49ers clean house on Green Bay:



Its only 13 parts!! how hard could it be to but them together??? try it and find out - lol - onward we go gents -

Happy model building,

Cheers
Nick








Dixon66
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Posted: Monday, November 25, 2019 - 02:25 PM UTC
In the words of Jeremy Clarkson, "How hard could it be?" LOL

Looking great as usual Nick.
Cosimodo
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Posted: Monday, November 25, 2019 - 08:44 PM UTC
These posts are filling me with some foreboding
But Nick you are making a good job of this. It certainly looks like the real 908 and it's pretty detailed for 1/20. The way they do the lightweight body parts looks quite convincing.

cheers
Michael
Joel_W
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Posted: Tuesday, November 26, 2019 - 02:42 AM UTC
Nick,
Your ability to build these super complex tube frames, suspensions, and engine/transmissions just continues to amaze me. Not only that but you seem to be building this super complex 908/3 at a rate that I just can't comprehend. It's like you're building 24/7. Although all of your builds are detailed and you seem to fly through them. Honestly, you must be one of those rare Aliens that decided to stay and live among us mortals

I'm struggling even trying to find time last week and this week to get to the bench with the Holidays almost here.

While I'm just a casual football fan, but a super devoted Yankee fan, and of course I never miss a F1 or Indy car race plus IMSA when I can find them, I gave up on the loser NY Giants who guarantee any opponent a victory. They truly are horrendous once again.

Joel
Stickframe
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Posted: Tuesday, December 03, 2019 - 08:21 AM UTC
HI gents - thanks for having a look -

David - hahahaha! indeed, "how hard could it be???" - not hard at all, piece of cake, and moves along REALLY fast with no troubles at all.....as I said above, I wouldn't try this as a first build, nor would I if I were easily dissuaded by a fair amount of clean up work, the need to really pay attention to process, or if you get too upset when parts come unglued/disassembled/unaligned after even a few attempts to keep them together. All of that said, the build has been good so far, fun to work on, and I like the results -

Hi Michael - Thanks for the note. I'm looking forward to your build - I'm really curious to see how the dramatic difference in scale will change how easily or hard it goes together. I think you'll enjoy it though. My two thoughts on tackling one of these include - patience during construction, and make it a point to look unusually carefully at the instructions and any reference photos you may have. This build has been a bit like rebuilding a car in your garage - you have all the parts, the manual, some experience, and yet, there's always that "oh no!" moment - - "I forgot to drill out the little part that's already installed"....or,"shoot, this one was supposed to be on the left side!"...or "crap,I didn't file/sand off the flash seam...and it's clearly visible (and installed!)" So, yes, I'm optimistic about these builds and look forward to seeing yours!

HI Joel, ha nope, I'm no alien, but I do enjoy building things! almost anything really - and I'm grudgingly learning to not hate paint and body work - all part of the non-work, nobody to account to but myself, fun of the hobby! thanks for the note!

Ok, made lots of headway on the motor:







As you can see above, these parts are pretty nice with or without paint! I won't say easy to put together, but not tedious, walk away annoyed fussy either. And with some early paint:





Hard to believe - these parts look awfully real - generally crisp lines, and not too much clean-up. And with some wiring and tubing:







Below, with other modules of the build:





Above, you can see, it's a tight fit! the geometry is almost all working - I'm getting a better understanding of how these go together - I have some alignment issues, but nothing that bad. I haven't painted the chasssis yet still thinking about whether to try and add more to it before? not sure yet.

In the meantime, I added a throttle linkage and some more tubing and wiring:





As I said above, patience helps -

Thanks for checking this out

Cheers
NIck








Cosimodo
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Posted: Tuesday, December 03, 2019 - 07:28 PM UTC
That engine looks seriously impressive. Is that out of the box or are there some of your tweaks included?

Cheers
Michael
Hwa-Rang
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Posted: Tuesday, December 03, 2019 - 11:15 PM UTC
Stunning work. The engine would make a great display on it's own.
Joel_W
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Posted: Wednesday, December 04, 2019 - 02:32 AM UTC
Nick,
Just a fantastic job on the Porsche 3L 908/3 opposed flat-8 (Boxer type) engine that only cranked out 350 or so hp, but that was cutting edge back in those days. I love the white metal fuel injection metering unit as it's really well detailed. One thing I never understood is why did MFH bother to mold a detailed flywheel that can't possibly ever be seen once you attach the gearbox? Still a really nice touch. And just how did you ever manage to drill out that distributor cap? Every hole is dead on perfect.

You did your usual outstanding job of running ignition wires and fuel lines. I really like the effect of the Red & Black ignition wires for each cylinder set of spark plugs. made it easy for the mechanics to keep track of which is which.

Please don't take this as any kind of criticism, as it's more of a question, a statement, and my personal view (which means very little. Just ask my wife). Nearly everyone uses a clear Yellowish fuel line. But that would only be correct if it's had fuel running through it for a while. The lines are clear when 1st installed. So I use clear lines as all my builds represent a new car with a new engine. Just a small point that only a gearhead like me would spot and wonder about.

As for the exhausts, OMG !! you just nailed them as they certainly look quite difficult to get dead on right. Another reason why I shy away from the Gurney AAR Eagle with the V12 Gurney Westlake engine.

Joel