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WIP 1/64 Cunnungham Maserati TIPO 151

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  • WIP 1/64 Cunnungham Maserati TIPO 151

    I have admired racing "privateers" most of my life. Briggs Cunningham has been one of those long on the short list. His cars make up one of the three stables I've been working on since the early '90's. I thought I was through with this stable about a year ago. But three Maserati's have come to my attention in the last several months. They seem to be the last cars campaigned under the Cunningham marque. Most of the cars in the Cunningham stable are die-casts. The majority of these came from one type casting of the C4R Roadster. The transporter and Le Monstre were made from pie-tin. Until now, none were made from wood. I'm going out on a limb here. (I just caught that...) I've normally waited until I've got a likeness in wood, before I release photos. So... for good, bad or ugly here goes.....

    I don't usually need more than two sets of blue prints to cut one of these out. So the other two variants were printed on the same sheet.

    This is my second use of basswood in the carving of these cars. Stacked 3, 1/4 blocks cut to size and glued them together to get the right thickness and roofline. The body will be around 3" long when complete. I'm really looking forward to NOT having to deal with pine knots, waves & grain. Also breaking a pattern for me; is not working from the easiest to the hardest to carve. This being a GT body, of sorts, the finished roof line will be Vac.U.Formed. Hey ! It's worked three times before. I really like this cars lines so I'm going for it first.

    So... Here's what it's supposed to resemble when done. And the starting point to get it there.
    Last edited by Clearhooter; 06-18-2020, 09:21 PM.

  • #2
    If you want to pursue your carving craft with conifer woods, there are some tricks.

    1. Most importantly, do not use conifer woods with prominent resin ducts.
    That eliminates the pines, the firs and the spruces.

    2. Next, consider a careful ring count per inch. In other available conifer woods in North America, western red cedar carves very well between 15-30 rings per inch. More is boney but OK.
    Less is just a fence board. WRC fence posts can be a wonderful stock source.
    I'm guessing but I suspect that redwood supplied as planks and posts would be very nice.

    Yellow Cedar, aka Alaskan Yellow Cedar, carves a lot like basswood but it may not be available in your region.

    My first car was a sports car. I'm glad it didn't kill me.
    An hour in any Maserati is still on my bucket list.
    Brian T


    • #3
      Of course I had to look up "Conifer wood." By that definition Basswood doesn't fall in that category ? Yeah.... Pine is not for this particular application. I'm a Basswood fan... At least for now. Had I used the Basswood at the start of my carving experiences I'd of had a better result in less time and a lot less hassle with those pesky knots and waves.

      Tonight I started cutting away everything from the right and left profiles that wasn't car body. Next will be the wheel wells. I've found cutting them early helps give perspective to the fenders when I start to shape them.

      They say you can't prove a negative. But I can say with conviction I avoided several potentially BAD accidents because the "FIDGET" was small and nimble.
      Last edited by Clearhooter; 06-19-2020, 12:15 AM.


      • #4
        You can also try aspen which I think is a bit more "forgiving". Poplar is a good wood to carve also. Pine is great but like Pallin said watch the ring count. I've carved right through pine knots. The trick is to have a sharp tool and carve small slices away at a time. I'm enjoying your work. When you mentioned 3 blocks of 1/4 basswood, it reminded me of the day when I would make toy trucks for my nephews and nieces from plywood--laminating 3/4" thick pieces together. I still have those trucks today. My nieces and nephews are in the 30's and 40's now.

        Bob L


        • #5
          Like the lines of that car. Is like a more snappy version of the old Jag E type. Good luck withthe project!!!


          • #6
            Yeah, Just Carving... I'm pretty much a "last owner" myself. Who else you know still has their old 1963 Vac.U.Form ???

            I'm still looking at the stuff here about a half hour every evening. Kind of gathering inspiration and information for when I'm done building these stables. Yes there is a single mindedness now; to this project. Because with this new medium, I can actually see an end to the trifecta tunnel.

            Got the wheel wells ground out this afternoon.

            I about screwed up and made the wrong car ! Noticed that the blueprint was for #2. I wanted the #3 car. They were different. Several vents were different. But #3 was Briggs Cunningham's ride. Would have been bad if that had made it to the decal phase.


            • #7
              The 151 is starting to take shape. That's to say it doesn't look like a wood block anymore. Found a great site about this particular automobile. Some of the best reference photos I've used.


              The blue prints have, what I presume, some mid body reference points on them. But no corresponding reference for the side or top view. So they're kind'a hard to use. Am I not seeing something ?


              • #8
                After getting the basic shape I seal the wood with MILLIPUT. This will dry about 24 hours. Then I'll lightly sand the whole body. This operation may have to be repeated. But when finished the surface should be smooth as glass and ready to paint. If you aren't familiar with MILIPUT ? You need to be. It has as many uses as Duck Tape & Marvel Mystery Oil combined.


                • #9
                  After the MILLIPUT is sanded. I cut the roof off using the jewelers saw. That saw is pretty agile. But any mis-cuts will be filled and resanded. The bottom of the positive form of the roof line, is sealed with modeling clay. This helps seal the mold to the Vac.U.Form suction plate.

                  The interior is ground out to the basic shape. What has happened so far with the Coupe /Sedan / GT roof removals is, once removed It allows me to shape from front to back without the hindrance of the roof. Actually makes it easier to match the right side with the left. The 151 was a pure sports racing car. The interior was very austere. It will be finished in bare aluminum.


                  • #10
                    Some of you kids younger than 60 may have never seen one of these. But way back. There was a time when kids learned by experience not to put a finger between the plug and the light socket. That if you could feel heat from 12" away. Something was probably hot ! Negative learning is the best teacher... If you survive it.

                    Speaking of "survival" I got this Vac.U.Form for Christmas of '62. It was probably the coolest toy I ever got. I was driving by the time Hot Wheels came out so I never had any of those until around 1994. I've since made up for that vacuum. ( I swear I don't think in puns.) But... The Vac.U.Form has graduated from a "toy" to a "tool." On a somber note. The sheet plastic has become unavailable. At least for now. I'm down to my last 50 sheets. This one only took one "throw." I've had the roofs to take five to get something usable. So I'm looking for clear pie-covers that I can cut a 3x4 inch plastic sheet from.

                    Now I have to decide on decals or paint for the roof frame. Decals can be removed so That's going to be the first attempt.

                    They worked pretty good. I still have the luxury of being able to trim them when dry.

                    Two things I'm all about when I made a "custom diecast" were Lake Pipes and velocity tubes. This "replication" comes with BOTH ! Very cool. It's been a long time. I need to do one. NOT IN WHITE...
                    Last edited by Clearhooter; 06-23-2020, 02:03 PM.


                    • #11
                      Not sure if this is finished or still a WIP. Since the roof worked so well decaling the roof frame. I thought "Why not decal wrap the whole body..... Won't be doing that again unless I have to. I think I could have got a better finish with paint. "If it works? Don't fix it." I also think the upper belt line of the body is just a bit too high. Either way if I decide to redo it. It'll have to go back down to the bare wood. On the up side. I've already got all of the ancillaries made. So I'm going to look at this a couple of days and see how bad it bothers me.


                      • #12
                        Good effort but if it bugs you then re-do it or if you are anything like me it will bug you forever and you will never be happy with it. hehehe If you give her the make over I would go down through the sandpaper grades then treat her like a real car and prime it and rub back and repeat it until you get that glass like finish you are looking for. I used to do quite a bit of old car rebuilding and painting. Preffer pottering around with wood now. hehehehe.


                        • #13
                          A buddy on a die-cast board pondered a pertinent question, I thought. "How does it fit in with the rest of the Cunningham Stable?" Pretty well actually. The Maserati is the only one made from wood in this stable. The transporter and Le Monstre (1st row, center) were made from pie-tin.... Key Lime, I think..... The rest were made from die-casts. All were modified except one of the C4R's in front of the transporter.


                          • #14
                            He Made a good point it fits right in with the others.