Starter 1/43 Ferrari 250 GT SWB(Short Wheel Base)
$21.00 (second hand)
Scott Van Aken
Resin body multimedia kit.
One of the most notable GT racers of its time, the 1959 250 GT Berlinetta
SWB used a short (2,400 mm (94.5 in)) wheelbase for better handling. Of the
176 examples built, both steel and aluminum bodies were used in various road ("lusso")
and racing trims. Engine output ranged from 240 PS (177 kW; 237 hp) to 280 PS
(206 kW; 276 hp). The "lusso" road car version was originally fitted with
Pirelli Cinturato (CA67).
Development of the 250 GT SWB Berlinetta was handled by
Chiti, and young
Mauro Forghieri, the same team that later produced the
brakes were a first on a Ferrari GT, and the combination of low weight, high
power, and well-sorted suspension made it competitive. It was unveiled at the
Paris Motor Show in October and quickly began selling and racing. The SWB
Berlinetta won Ferrari the GT class of the 1961 Constructor's Championship.
Sports Car International placed the 250 GT SWB seventh on a list of
Top Sports Cars of the 1960s, and
Trend Classic placed it fifth on a list of the ten "Greatest Ferraris of
mentioned earlier that one of the three major 1/43 multimedia car kit makers was
Starter. This is very much typical of their work in that they have a resin body
interior/pan. There are pips on the resin pieces where the mold bits have been
cut away. Air bubbles are present, but mostly on the lower part of the body.
These are easily filled and are normal for these kits. There was one air bubble
on the top of the driver's seat. This one is a
bit different as it has some very nicely done wire wheels in metal/p.e. already
assembled. It has metal for the gas cap on the back and head light bezels. The
head lights are in resin. Tires are a rubber or vinyl and still fairly soft.
There are a pair of body screws and a plastic steering wheel. No gear shift
lever, but easy enough to make from a straight pin or section of wire. There is also a single vacuform windows piece.
Not shown is a piece of brass tubing for the axles.
It will need to be cut.
In line with other cars I bought from this same vendor, there are no
instructions. Now I know that with racing cars from other lines I've had
instructions so I'm not sure if they are supposed to come with them or not. It
actually doesn't matter all that much as the parts count is relatively low and
assembly should be pretty easy, but it would be nice to have anyway. What is
included is a decal sheet with two racing options and a set of placement
instructions. Not sure how viable the decals are, but at least there are some I
can use for tests. One of the markings options is a car that does not have vent
wings. The kit includes them so the body will need some modification to properly
duplicate this vehicle if that option is chosen. I should also mention that the
vacuform windows have started to yellow a bit, but that should not be all that
much of an issue.
A majority of the work involved in building these kits is cleaning up the
resin parts. The first thing one wants to do is to take care of the
pinholes. These were filled with superglue, followed by sanding and
additional applications as needed. One has to be quite careful during the
sanding process not to open up other pinholes. Once that was done the rest
of the mold seams were dealt with. It is often difficult to see them all in
tan resin, so a primer coat of grey was sprayed on them, and sure enough, it
was obvious what had been missed so another round was completed before yet
another coat of primer was added. I used Tamiya's fine grey for this. You
can see from the image where I needed to focus my attention after the first
primer coat was applied. Often these areas can be best found by simply
running a finger over the surface to feel the depressions and such.
I removed the vent wings as I was planning on doing the racer. One of the
possible issues here is that the interior is not a stripped out race car
interior, but I felt that in 1960 when this one raced, a relatively stock
interior was required by the rules. Perhaps not, but I'm sticking with that!
Once that was done, the interior was given a spray of matte black and the
body a coat of Tamiya TS-17 gloss aluminum. Naturally, the aluminum shows
every tiny fault so I had a little more work to do.
Meanwhile, I put together the wheel and tire combinations. Note that there
are two different widths for both of these, so they appear the same. They
are not. The rubber tires were properly pliable, but I did have one short
shot tire (as in a big divot in it). I also took this opportunity to check
the viability of the decals by trying one of the markings I'd not be using.
It worked well, but was just a teaser as when I got ready to apply the blue
racing stripes, the first I tried broke up. Well, that pretty well meant I
had to paint this one and did so using Model Master French Blue. Naturally,
the stripe is crooked, which is why I dislike painting stripes.
While that was drying, I sprayed a semi-matte clear into the interior and
cut the tubing to length for the axles. I also had to drill out the rear
axle holes a bit to get these to fit. The rear axle was then glued in place
with super glue. Back at the body, I started applying decals. Something I've
noticed using Microscale decal film is that it tends to make the decals
curl. I'm not sure why that is the case, but every one I used exhibited this
trait. It was overcome by a light application of Mr. Mark Softer. I started
with the roundels and when dry put the numbers and other logos onto the
body. This was all sealed in with a coat of Testors clear lacquer from a
After the steering wheel was painted and installed (mounting hole needed
drilled out), I cut sections of tubing for the axles. The rear piece of
tubing was glued into the lower pan after enlarging the holes in the pan for
it so it would actually fit. The two rear wheels were then glued in place.
These are actually quite loose so those not wanting wobbly wheels will have
to glue the hubs. Of course, if that is done, the wheels won't roll. Front
wheels were glued to the tubing and set aside. This assembly will fit into
the body piece.
The acetate had the side windows removed and the rest glued to the inside of
the body with super glue. I then glued in the front wheel assembly and
screwed the body pan to the body. Unfortunately, it seems the pan was warped
as one wheel was considerably in the air. I removed the pan, pried out the
front wheel assembly and used a round file to make the axle more level. This
seemed to do the trick so the pan was reattached.
done yet. Headlight bezels were glued in, followed by the resin head lights.
I also installed the driving lights. They just did not look right so I
painted them with chrome paint. The kit comes with no exhaust and the dual
pipes on each side of the rear are quite prominent. I used some .058 inch
stainless steel tubing for these. These were simply cut out and glued to the
pan. Not the same length and nothing is attached to them, but few will be
turning the car over and it looks better. I then painted the brake lights,
turn signals and the grille. That was it.
Total build time on this was under a week, much of the time spent cleaning
up the parts and doing the few fiddly bits. The result is a very nice model
car that fits into my collection of small scale racers. It is a pretty
trouble-free build and one that I'd have no trouble recommending to anyone
who wants to have a go at a multi-media kit.
16 June 2017
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