LeGrand 1:8 VW Beetle Build Diary
US and Mexico importer for model car kits
by LEGRAND 1/8 Collection
yellow & green 1/8 1976 VW Beetle Cabriolet kits are here!
1/8 Mercedes 300 SLR Coupe kit LE102 (late Spring 2021)
dealer info: call Brady in NH (603) 244-1123 | Marvin in FL (954) 452-7629 | Jorge in Mexico (52155) 9199-5676
Build Diary for our yellow
by LeGrand 1/8 Collection
kit arrived July 8 (click photos to enlarge)
a decorative metal sign is also included
1/8 VW Beetle kit Build Diary by Brady
Group 5 (dash and moving body panels)
Group 6 (final assembly/convertible top)
body parts are prepainted with all necessary scripts and trim | wheels are metal | tires are softer than Pocher
plastic parts are prepainted, bagged and boxed in groups (no sprues!)
the screws are nicely pre-packaged in a compartmentalized box!
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|
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
hand grips: parts 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):
|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.|
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.
|all materials copyright 2020 by LeGrand 1/8 Collection and Scale Model Imports|