Scale Model Imports
LeGrand 1:8 VW Beetle Build Diary
exclusive US and Mexico importer for model car kits by LEGRAND 1/8 Collection

yellow & green 1/8 1976 VW Beetle Cabriolet kits are here!
LeGrand 1/8 VW Beetle kit LE100 LE101
LeGrand 1/8 VW Beetle kit LE101

 
1/8 Mercedes 300 SLR Coupe kit LE102 (late Spring 2021)
LeGrand 1/8 Mercedes 300 SLR Coupe kit LE102
 
dealer info: call Brady in NH (603) 244-1123 | Marvin in FL (954) 452-7629 | Jorge in Mexico (52155) 9199-5676
  
LeGrand 1/8 Collection Mercedes 300SLR Ulhenhaut Coupe and VW Beetle Cabriolet kits LE100, LE101, LE102

LeGrand Mercedes Benz 300 SLR Uhlenhaut Coupe kit LE10
photos of prototype model - some kit details may change
 
new 1:8 scale Mercedes-Benz 300 SLR “Uhlenhaut Coupe”
pre-painted metal kit LE102 by LEGRAND 1/8 Collection (future release Spring 2021)
click any photo to enlarge
 
LeGrand 1/8 Mercedes 300 SLR Uhlenhaut Coupe LE100

Daimler-Benz developed this hardtop version of the 300 SLR endurance race car for the 1956 season. It was never raced because the company ceased motorsport activities at the end of the 1955 season. Instead the 300 SLR coupe served the head of the Test Department, Rudolf Uhlenhaut, as a company car.
8 cylinders inline | 2982 cc | 302 hp | top speed 180 mph | only 2 produced

The upcoming metal kit by LEGRAND 1/8 Collection will feature:
  •  over 600 parts
  • a pre-painted metal body
  • accurate tube frame chassis
  • fully detailed engine, interior, and exterior
  • functional steering, suspension
  • opening gull wing doors, hood, and trunk
  • assembly primarily with screws
  • model weight: more than 15 lbs
  • dimensions: 21"long x 8" wide x 6" high
dealer info: call Brady in NH (603) 244-1123
Marvin in FL (954) 452-7629
Jorge in Mexico (52155) 9199-5676

expected retail price is approx. $1300.

click any photo to enlarge

LeGrand Mercedes Benz 300 SLR Uhlenhaut Coupe kit LE102LeGrand Mercedes Benz 300 SLR Uhlenhaut Coupe kit LE102
Legrand 1/8 Mercedes 300 SLR kit LE102
photos of prototype model - some kit details may change

new 1:8 scale 1976 VW Beetle Cabriolet
pre-painted metal kit by LEGRAND 1/8 Collection
LE100 sunny yellow in stock | LE101 viper green
metallic in stock
each color limited to 500 kits worldwide

LeGrand LE100 1976 VW Beetle Cabriolet
 The metal VW Beetle kits by LEGRAND 1/8 Collection feature:
  •  over 500 parts
  • a pre-painted metal body
  • fully detailed engine, interior, and exterior
  • functional steering
  • opening doors, hood, and trunk
  • assembly primarily with screws
  • model weight: 11 lbs
  • dimensions: 20" long x 8" wide x 7" high
dealer info:
call
Brady in NH (603) 244-1123
Marvin in FL (954) 452-7629
Jorge in Mexico (52155) 9199-5676
 
suggested retail price is $800.
click any photo to enlarge


LeGrand LE101 1976 VW Beetle CabrioletLeGrand LE100 1:8 VW Beetle metal kit

all materials copyright 2020 by LeGrand 1/8 Collection and Scale Model Imports


Build Diary for our yellow VW Beetle kit
by LeGrand 1/8 Collection
 our "preview" kit  arrived July 8 (click photos to enlarge)
LeGrand 1/8 Collection yellow VW Beetle kit LE100 unboxed
a decorative metal sign is also included

1/8 VW Beetle kit Build Diary by Brady
  • Part quality and fit is good, all metal and most plastic parts have a nice pre-painted finish. There are no decals to worry about, all necessary markings are pre-printed.
  • A small Phillips screwdriver is supplied with the kit, but as always more specialized tools can make the job easier. I have been using Wiha Precision Phillips screwdrivers sizes #00 x 40 mm, #0 x 50 mm, and #1 x 60 for a range of screw sizes and torque required.
  • Pay attention to the numbering of parts in the assembly steps, which usually is the order in which they should be assembled.
  • Many parts have D-shaped mounting holes or assymetrical mounting points that help ensure they are oriented correctly. Parts with Left and Right pairs are often stamped L and R to help with placement.
  • It may also be helpful to consult the step by step assembly instructions for the subscription version. They are designed more for a novice modeler but include many more diagrams and photos, although the assembly order is different compared to our kit. For my build here I am ignoring those instructions and using only the included paper manual.
Group 1
  • Steps 1-4:
  • The first assembly steps took longer than expected, as identifying some parts was harder without numbered sprues. Examine the master illustration of all parts in a "group" and their numbers at the start of each section, as the diagrams for the chassis and rear suspension assembly steps are a vertical view that is not always clear. Further ahead in the assembly manual the illustrations have a 3-D perspective that makes things easier.
  • The wheels are metal! I was able to mount the tires after just warming them in my hands, but warming them with hot water or a hair dryer as the manual suggests will make it easier.

  • Step 6:
  • Parts 1.49L & 1.51R: be sure to orient them correctly according to the diagram; round hole faces front, towards steering rack, and oval hole faces rear.
  • Parts 1.52 are small metal pins with a burred end; insert the smooth end first, then press with pliers or a small vise until the burred end which secures them sits flush in the hole.
  • Step 7:
  • Screw lower spring cups parts 1.56 & 1.61 to front suspension, then screw part 1.66 loosely to the chassis leaving as much wiggle room as possible. Then assemble the shock absorbers & springs which must be held together at the ends, compressed and fitted into place, before tightening part 1.66 to the chassis.
Group 2
  • Steps 10-12: Assembly of the seats and interior floor is clear and straightforward.
  • Step 13
  • Press the rear mounts for the seats in the correct holes and hold firmly before flipping the floorpan over to snap the forward tabs in their slots; it make take a few tries, and you may have to squeeze the forward seat mounts to get the tabs to line up with the slots while viewing from below.
  • Step 14:
  • Part 2.52 has a larger and smaller hole that will orient it correctly on the mounting pegs.
  • The diagram does not show that grey flocked part 2.54 must be pressed into the rear seat back 2.53.
Group 3 (engine!)
  • Most parts are nicely pre-painted, although some black plastic parts will look better if painted.
  • Remember all part numbers ending in "M" are metal and are located in the foam block that contains the body panels.
  • Step 16: Be sure part 3.7M is oriented correctly and matches the contour of the engine block.
  • Step 17
  • After starting the screws I had to press the engine block halves 3.8M and 3.11M together slightly with a vice to eliminate a small gap. However, the gap between the transmision and engine block is intentional, as a plastic part will slide between them in step 19.
  • The mounting tabs and slots for parts 3.9, 3.10, 3.12, 3.13 are assymetrical and will orient them correctly so the flats on the cylinders will face each other.
  • Step 20:  parts 3.20L and 3.21R and stamped R and L, but are shown on the wrong sides in the instructions and will not fit if assembled as shown.
  • Step 21
  • I had to add part 3.22 after mounting parts 3.20 & 3.21 to the engine because of limited clearance. Be sure the flanges on parts 3.21 & 3.22 are pressed completely into the matching recess in the black part between them and the engine.
  • Fit the pushrod guides parts 3.24 into parts 3.23R & 3.25L before inserting the group into the engine block. Squish the ends slightly so they will stay aligned and in place if necessary.
  • Part 3.29 is begging us to replace it with real wire.

  • Step 24:  Spark plug wires; refer back to page 16 to match correct lengths to parts #'s.

Group 4
  • Body assembly was quick and clear in general.
  • Step 35: Slide the thin metal ring onto the ridge at the bottom of part 4.3 before fastening to the interior door panel, and be sure the seatbelt buckle faces away from the door.
  • Step 43: I had to unscrew and bend the arm of the fuel filler door several times to get a correct fit in the opening when closed.
Group 5 (dash and moving body panels)
  • Step 57: Part 5.43 was a loose fit so I squished the mounting pins slightly to get it to stay securely.
  • I rotated the mounting arms of the rear bumper slightly to get a correct fit in the body.
  • Step 58: Inserting metal pins into the door hinges right against the painted body made me nervous. I also had to bend both lower hinges slighly to get clearance for the hinge pins. Nylon jawed pliers were a life saver here to squeeze the hinge pins into the hinges.
  • After mounting the doors they may not fit right, but the door opening will spread when the body is mounted to the chassis.
  • Step 59: The dash was a tight fit because of interference at the sides from body assembly screws. Next time I may drill holes to allow more clearance.
  • Step 64: The placement and ID of parts 5.68 & 5.69 is difficult, better to wait until after the body is mounted to the chassis.
  • Step 67:
  • When assembling the body to the chassis you may need to do some flexing and wiggling to get everything to line up at the correct mounting points. Start at the front with the car upside down and be sure the tops of the front suspension towers fit into the recesses in the wheel well. Then spread the body at the sills if needed as you work your way to the back.
  • After mounting the body to the chassis I gently but firmly spread the upper body opening front to back by bracing against the windshield header and the rear of the car to create more space for the doors to close properly. You will see there is some natural flex in the bottom of the chassis when the doors are open.
  • Step 69: I wrapped a thin strip of tape around the neck of the winshield washer reservoir 5.72 to achieve a secure fit in the mounting collar.
  • Step 70:
  • Windshield trim 5.78; notice the mounting pins angle downwards, and all four must be pressed in and down at the same time.
  • The ends of the rear shelf 6.3 must be snapped firmly under tabs inside the body to get a correct fit.
  • Windshield washer nozzle 6.33 is a very small part but shown deceptively large in the illustration.

Group 6 (final assembly/convertible top)
  • Steps 72-74: Be sure to refer to the photos on page 60 in addition to the parts diagram on page 57 to help clarify the assembly of the folding top mechanism.
  • Step 76: It is a little fussy to get the reinforced holes in both layers of the cloth top to align with the "sandwich" of  rear window plus interior and exterior trim pieces. Make sure each layer (outer cloth, rear window, inner cloth, inner trim piece) is fully seated onto the pins of exterior trim piece 6.26 before tightening each screw. Be careful your screwdriver does not slip and scratch the window! After the rear window is attached undo the velcro and reattach so the metal top mechanism is between the layers of the cloth top.
  • Step 78: Be sure each piece 6.31 clicks fully into each hole in piece 6.29. Refer to the photo on the previous page 62 of the manual for clarification.
  • Step 79:  When attaching the rear of the top to the body, insert the black pegs on parts 6.17 from step 74 first. You will have to angle the top of these parts inward to insert the pegs.
  • Step 80: Face the front of the model and brace it against your body while pulling the front edge of the convertible top to the windshield header, then press the pegs firmly into the holes to secure the top.
  • The cloth top is bulkier than the real version, something that is more difficult to scale down than hard parts, so it is hard to fold without looking awkwardly high. My solution is to unmate the velcro holding the inner and outer layers together, fold and stack the top layer carefully, then fold or roll the inner layer into the middle before covering with the fabric boot. There was some interference when I first retracted the top so I had to pinpoint the problem joints and flex the metal bows gently to get them to stack symetrically. The elasticized fabric boot looked awkward until I researched photos of the car and saw that the real one often looked worse.
Summary:
  • I enjoyed this build and the quality of the parts. Total build time was quicker than expected because the car itself is simple (like comparing the Pocher Classic Fiat to the Alfa).
  • Minor criticisms:
  • Getting the doors to fit well was a little fussy, partly because the nicely scaled metal hinges are a little too flexible. I'll accept the trade off because the accurate hinges look so good. I wish there was a better latching system than just a friction fit against the body opening.
  • The tires look a little wide to me but also look great on the car.
  • I wish the bumpers were metal.
  • I will suggest improvements to the manual for the next LEGRAND 1/8 kit, additional steps and clearer illustrations. Color photos as shown with the subscription instructions linked above would be best.
  • Final Thoughts:
  • The finished model looks great, and will look even better when I get a chance to polish and wax it as I do for every build.
  • The convertible top looks good up or down, an improvement over the prototype photos. The metal mechanism works well and makes so much more sense than the plastic pieces Pocher provided in the Classic car kits.

body parts are prepainted with all necessary scripts and trim | wheels are metal | tires are softer than Pocher
LeGrand 1/8 Collection yellow VW Beetle kit LE100 unboxed
plastic parts are prepainted, bagged and boxed in groups (no sprues!)
LeGrand 1/8 Collection yellow VW Beetle kit LE100 unboxed
the screws are nicely pre-packaged in a compartmentalized box!
LeGrand 1/8 Collection yellow VW Beetle kit LE100 unboxed



 
general notes

1. These tips are based on my experience building one kit. Some will be universal to all kits, some may be due to manufacturing variations, some will be based on my personal solutions to what you may or may not consider a problem. Build your kit to your own liking, but use these tips as a preview to possible problems and solutions.

2. The screws in the kit are soft enough to be cut/shortened when necessary (see specific notes below) with sturdy wire cutting pliers or large Xuron flush cutters.

3. Most of the plastic parts are nicely finished, but the gray parts (radiators, starter, fuel cap, fittings, etc) will look much better painted. Spray the complete sprues with an aluminum color  (I use automotive paint staright out of the spray can) before starting and be done with it except for minor touch-ups.

4. I started building this one without tapping any holes. The larger screws needed some extra muscle and care not to strip heads, but it is doable. Half way through I started using the taps listed here and it's going together much easier.

5.  Metallic Decals: The metallic "Ducati" decals require advance planning and precise placement. The adhesive backing sticks instantly and aggressively wherever it first contacts the part, so place it carefully the first time as it will not slide around to adjust the position as a traditional water decal will. Pocher has provided video on metallic decal application (for the Aventador but applicable to the Ducati) that suggests using a decal solution while applying the metallic ones. View the video here.

5. The routing of wires and hoses in the assembly manual is not always clear. A very helpful resource is the full set of expanded parts diagrams here at Ducati.com (select 2015 Superbike 1299 Panigale S).

6. There is a builder in Germany adding amazing extra details to his Pocher Ducati kit, click the link in post #16  here for photos.
7. I also highly recommend the Pocher Ducati building tips DVD produced by builder Paul Koo that goes even deeper into the Pocher Ducati building process, including adding extra details (search for ebay seller "pjekoo", or "Pocher DVD"). Paul documents the process with hundreds of clear, annotated photos and detailed instructions. Like us, he has built every one of the older and newer Pocher kits, and we cannot over-emphasize how helpful and informative his DVDs are to most builders.

8. Pocher also produced some helpful YouTube videos of certain assembly steps:
front brake disc | fork assembly | throttle assembly | chain installation | front fairing and mirror

specific tips (click the links to see images from the assembly manual)
step 1 (bottom of page 4 in the paper manual): part # W-05 (clear oil level sight window) has no means of staying in place on part DCE-03. Use a thin strip of double-stick tape, or a careful application of clear (non-CA) glue on the locating pegs to hold it in place
step 1 (again): when attaching part #DCE-03 with "S" screws, the two rear-most screws (below the oil filler cap) are too long for the holes provided and will break if you force them tight. Shorten them by 1.-1.5 mm before installing.
step 5 (bottom of page 6 in the manual): the "g" screws that attach part # T-09 to the engine are too long and need to be cut down 1 mm before installing.
step 5 part 2 (bottom of page 6 in the manual): wires RF-03 and RF-04 seem to disappear vaguely behind parts T-09 and battery box P-13. After consulting the real Ducati parts manual I found that wire RF-03 should be glued into a groove behind part T-09. Wire RF-04 on the real bike connects to the battery through an opening in the top right back of the battery box part P-13, so I drilled a hole and glued it in place.
step 9 (page 10): placement of frame decal WD-12 is not shown well; see the photo here for placement and orientation.
step 10 (page 11): shorten "B" screws 1 mm before attaching radiators # N-05 and # L-04/L-012 to metal part # DCB-03
step 12 (very bottom of page 14): screws "H" through the plastic upper radiator do not line up with the steering assembly above. I had to widen the holes in the plastic radiator to attach these parts correctly
tires: I used very fine sandpaper (2400 grit) to take the shine off the tread, submerged them in 130-140 degree F. water for 3-4 minutes, dried them well, and they were pliable enough to fit onto the wheels fairly easily.
hand gripsparts O-09 & O-10 on page 26 should get the same treatment, as they should have a rubbery look, not a shiny finish.
step 14 (page 18): I had to debur the inside of the lower triple clamp (part # DCF-27) and use some grease to get the fork tubes DCS-03/04 to slide into proper position.
step 15 (top of page 19): the two rear-most "B" screws on parts F-01/F-02 must be shortened a few millimeters, as the metal holes that accept them are very shallow.
step 16 part 1 (top of page 21): screw "C" that attaches part V-08 to metal part DCF-26 should be shortened by 1-1.5 mm, or it may bottom in the hole and break.
step 16 part 2 (bottom of page 21): the bearing DCF-43/44 that must turn in the swingarm to adjust chain tension had a rough cast outer surface that would not allow it to turn. I cleaned it up with sandpaper, as well as the mating surface of the swingarm which was thick with textured paint. Don't smooth these out too much, as it should not turn easily when the swingarm cap DCF-41 is tightened.
step 16 part 3 (top of page 22): the rear brake rotor BD-03 is "keyed" to the rear axle; if it doesn't sit flat, rotate it 90 degrees so the pins in the axle face line up with the extra holes in the rotor tabs.
step 16 part 4 (bottom of page 22): I assembled the swing arm and rear wheel, and the rear axle had some slop in the "bearing" (I may have cleaned up a rough spot on the axle a little too much!). I cut some very thin (almost foil) brass sheet carefully to size and wrapped it around the complete bearing surface of the axle; now it spins freely without wobbling.
step 18 (bottom of page 24): the folding footpegs DCF-33 are right and left specific, even though the part #'s are the same. When folded down, the curved outer surface should slant towards the front of the motorcycle.
step 23 (top of page 28): the connection of  breather hoses RF-17/18 and RG-01/02 is not clear in the manual. Use the 2015 Panigale 1299 S online parts catalog (referenced in general note #5 above) to help you sort these out, specifically the illustration here. I also used only piece each of hoses RF and RG in this step, and threaded the combined lengths through pieces T-10 and T-14/T-03 respectively.
step 25 (top of page 29):  to attach part V-09 you must remove the rear "D" screw from part # U-04 in step 2 (top of page 5) and replace it with athe "F" screw noted in step 25.
step 27 (page 30): Some extra effort and finger contortions are required to attach the front cowl fairing via the mirror mounts. It appears this is the only real use for that silly miniature Phillips screwdriver included with the kit. First I attached the "D" screw shown in step 28 under the front center of the cowl to hold it in place. Then I removed the brake and clutch reservoirs with their brackets and rigid hoses from the handle bars to gain a bit more working room, and wished for little girl sized fingers for the next hour. Watch the video here for a preview. Definitely pre-thread the holes in the mirror mounts with a screw, and pay attention to the angle the screws need to take from under the cowl into the mirror mounts. I magnetized and then modified my tiny screwdriver as shown below with two glued sections of rubber hose, so I could spin it between my thumb and index fingertip close to the screw it was holding in the cramped space under the cowl. To more easily align the mirror mount/cowl/cowl mount combination  I first used a longer "F" screw. Then I inserted a correct "D" screw in the adjacent hole, tightened it as best I could, and replaced the temporary "F" screw with another "D" screw. The other side becomes a bit more difficult because the cowl must be squeezed to align the holes, but it is eventually doable, after which you may need a stiff drink. My modified screwdriver (the tiny one supplied with the kit):
Image
step 28 (page 31): To mount the bottom fairings you must access the underside of the model. An easy way to do this is to pivot the whole bike upward on its rear wheel (while on the rear wheel stand), where it can be balanced with one hand while the other does the necessary work. I did have to enlist a helper to finish mounting the fairings, as I needed a third hand to squeeze them into alignment underneath the bike to insert the screws.
Summary: As I finish up my build, I'm not as concerned with most of the Phillips head screws as I was initially. Unless you are displaying the model with the fairings removed most of the engine fasteners are hidden. The black screw heads are not too bad a substitute viewed a few feet away for the black socket head fasteners they mimic in many places (attaching fairings, plastic parts, hand controls, etc. on the real bike). If you won't plan/need to disassemble it, drilling a shallow hole in the center of the screw head to vaguely mimic the socket head is even more convincing.
There are a few glaring exceptions: I have replaced the black screws on the engine case covers that are visible with the fairings mounted, with miniature hex bolts I already had on hand, as well as in some other prominent spots like the rear brake master cylinder mount. I also sanded the screw heads that secure the rear sprocket down to bare metal as they are prominently silver colored on the real bike, then I drilled a hole in the center of each head slightly smaller than the Phillips pattern to mimic a socket head. On the real bike these are a unique fastener that would be hard or impossible to source in miniature. Short of grinding away cast-in bolt heads and machining your own Ducati-specific replacements (which that guy in Germany has done), there is not an easy solution for many fasteners.
A photo below of some of the extra work I did for fun. I was most excited about re-doing the brake line banjo connectors on part U-01 from step 4, then turned to page 29 and realized they would be completely covered by part H-08 even with the fairings removed.
Pocher HK107 Ducati modifications

all materials copyright 2020 by LeGrand 1/8 Collection and Scale Model Imports