Monday, 15 October 2012

THE CAR#8: SHAFTED

"Oh grow up 007!"

Way back on 3 September last year I put together the steering wheel section of the car, which included waiting several weeks for an unbroken steering wheel to arrive, then once it did placing the indicator switch inside the steering column segment and attaching to the steering wheel shaft.

Yeah, really does look so wrong now.

At the time a kind anonymous reader pointed out to me the indicator switch was on the wrong way round.  Stubbornly I assumed they were wrong, I knew I'd followed the instructions to the letter and it looked right to me.

Well, I was wrong.  Oh so wrong.  As you know I've got all the remaining issues and parts just waiting to be worked through and at the end of the collection there's a special issue which is just instructions - all of them.  On returning to the blog I flicked through it to see if I'd been right or not and low-and-behold there's the lever in the steering column, and it's the other way around.

So thanks to you, Anonymous, I should've listened at the time.

I was dreading this.  Remember the hassle of putting the shaft into the dashboard section?  That really, really tiny bloody screw that went up inside the section and took an age for me to put together?  Argh!!  Well, thankfully I was able to loosen the screws in the steering column halves and slide the switch out, flip it round and squeeze it back in.  A quick tighten up and it all feels like it's holding together a lot better as well as looking, well, correct!

No longer looks like a lollipop.

So off we go, back to building and brand new stuff just round the corner.

Friday, 21 September 2012

"I'LL BE RIGHT BACK"



In Tomorrow Never Dies Bond meets an old girlfriend from years previously who slaps him as soon as she sees him.  He asks her if it was something he said, to which she replies, "How about the words 'I'll be right back'?"

Kind of sums things up doesn't it?  Nearly a year ago I said I'd be back in a few days and here I am a few days plus a few hundred more later and nothing much has changed, has it?  Hmm... well ok, yeah a lot has but as far as the blog goes I fully intend to pick up from where I left off.

Sort of.

When I stopped the blog last year I'd already built a little bit more of the car, such as the two front doors and some of the internals.  I'd taken all the photos to show you all what I'd done, and then in my infinite wisdom sometime over the past 11 months I've deleted them from my SD cards.  So when the blog starts again proper I'll be carrying on the way it has been since the beginning but I'll not be able to show me actually building these few bits.

What I'll do instead is show you a lot of good close ups of various angles to let you see what exactly has been done.  So it'll be near enough!  And there's only a few bits before we get back to normal.

Below is a photo of all the bits yet to build!  Under the TV is the car so far, but as you can see there's a huge amount still to do, over half of the collection to work through, so looking forward to finally getting back to it again after so long!  If I now say to come back in a few days you will believe me... won't you??

All set and ready for action.

Thursday, 13 October 2011

PARTS TWENTY EIGHT TO THIRTY ONE

"That time of the month" means something much better for me.

Here we are then, making our way into the 30s (ahh I remember the days I was making my way into my 30s... not that bar doormen will ever believe me)  and we mark this with a couple of gadgets for the car, and actually very little in the way of building this month.

Included this month are the parts for the speaker which sits inside the dashboard to make goodness knows what sound effects when the car is complete, and the monitor gadget which was hidden behind the speaker cover of the DB5.  Those are all that'll need building, but also in those little bags up top are the car's pedals (complete with their own electronic wires) and the first few pieces for the rest of the interior - the handbrake, effect team's stunt control box (I'll explain when showing you the build), the gear lever retainer and the gear lever.  For those wanting to know how authentic the gear lever is to the "special" one used in the film, you won't be disappointed!

In the magazines this time the history of Aston Martin continues and finally moves on to the beginning of their commercial releases after covering their early racing years.  As for Bond, it's on to The Man With The Golden Gun and The Spy Who Loved Me and interview pieces with Britt Ekland, Christopher Lee, Herve Villechaize, Maud Adams and the simply amazing Barbara Bach (no favourtism there, nope, not at all) who played Agent XXX (seriously lol!) in The Spy Who Loved Me.

There's also a look at the amazing Thai location of Phuket (careful how you pronounce that please, this is a family blog) used in Golden Gun, the special effects team's car/plane hybrid and the creation of the Golden Gun itself.  Let's also not forget a making-of feature for THAT stunt from the same film!

Interestingly there's a feature about the inspirations behind some of the elements which made up Ian Fleming's original Bond novels, as well as one about Cubby Broccoli, the legend behind the films.

Profiles this month cover the creator of so many starting credits sequences Maurice Binder, actor Clifton James (famous as the sheriff in Live & Let Die and The Man with the Golden Gun, as well as "Duck son or you be missin' a head" from the Cannonball Run movies haha!), special effects supremo John Stears and songwriter Marvin Hamlisch, who wrote 'Nobody Does It Better' for The Spy Who Loved Me.

Right, I'm off again and what can be built out of this little lot will go up in a day or two.  See you then.

Saturday, 24 September 2011

THE CAR #7: Dashboard

Ok, so the steering wheel has been built and now it needs somewhere to sit inside the car... and beyond that a wheel section, car body and 4 wheels, but I won't get ahead of myself.  First of all it needs a new home, in the dashboard:

The main dashboard piece and an air vent switch.
Showing the top details.

So these pieces arrived first, with issue 24, and as you can see there's actually nothing to build at this point.  But again I was surprised at the size of this and can't wait for all these separate sections to come together over the whole car.  With the next issue the dashboard was set aside and another part was the first bit to be put together:

Left air vent unit, left air vent cover, left air vent switch and the big dashboard mount.

That big bit above is to mount that little tiny air vet inside the car as it can't be connected directly to the dashboard if it's to be accurate.  Maybe it connected to some other thing inside the car that it'd be impossible to replicate inside a model, but this also gives a solid backing to the dashboard, which you'll see down this post, and involves some electronics.  First though, to build the air vent:

Putting the first air vent together.

First thing is simply to place the air vent switch inside the vent itself.  This doesn't attach in any way so it's free to slide up and down, but the backing (to the right of the picture above) clips on to secure it in place so wherever you slide it to it'll stay in place and not fall back to the bottom.

Completed air vent #1.  Dinky.

Now this just needs screwed and mounted... Hmm, I really should plan what I'm going to write in advance... I'll try that again...

Now this just needs screwed into the dashboard mount to get it ready for the main dash, and as you can see below there's wires coming out of the back of this.  The two circular pieces on the front, I'm guessing, are the lights for dials behind the steering wheel, which will be switched on by a button on the front of the dash which you'll also see further down.  But here's how the vent and mount look so far:

The vent fastened into place, and the first of many, many wires you'll be seeing over the dashboard construction.
Front of the air vent, with moveable "switch" and what could be two very small lights (those two circular pieces on the main mount.

With the next issue we got the bits for the air vent switch that came with the main dashboard up at the top, along with the below:

The bits'n'bobs for the other air vent, those small bits at the front-left are a light switch and lighter, then we've got the control front plate and three small dials.

Not going to bother taking more photos of this air vent as that'd just bore you a little too much and let's face it I'm worried this blog is doing enough of that as it is!  So here's the simple little bits of construction from this issue below, starting off with something that'll please my friends Emma and Clare, making sure the car has a lighter, haha:

In she goes.

As you can see it's made in such a way that it'll only go in one way, which means it doesn't need a screw (or glue!) to hold it in place.

Ready for Bond's expensive cigarettes.

The clock was already part of the dash, and that's the lighter in place, so now on to the main part of any dashboard, the dials and switches for the driver:

The rear of the control front plate (it'll make more sense soon).

The three small dials on the right are simply placed in the front of the plate and clip in nice and tight, and look really cool already.  The light switch, the bigger one on the left in the picture above, slides in the back as it needs to click back and forth when this is fastened into the dashboard and it'll turn on the lights in the readouts!  It's sad I'm excited about that.  But I am, so tough:

Completed front plate.

Right, on to the next issue and we've got more for the dials section.  In fact, we've got the readouts themselves.  Here's the next bundle of goodies:

At the back is the see-thru clear control plate, and from left to right we've also got the ignition switch unit, glove compartment lid, bonnet release handle and two ignition keys.

First up, a closer look at all those little dials, and can you spot something?

Might not look like much more than a bit of plastic with stickers now, but wait until it's placed in the dash!

Yeah, it looks like the creators of this model, as superb as it is and as talented as they are, forgot in the 60's the metric system hadn't taken over the UK yet.  If you look real, real close you'll see the speedometer is actual is kilometres per hour instead of miles.  Oopsie.  Haha, oh well, never mind eh?

I'll admit I was a mite disappointed the glove compartment only comprises of a fake lid, like those top drawers under your kitchen sink, but once in place it looks cool and would probably be too awkward to open and close anyway... and what would be the point?

Told ya it still looked great!  We'll just pretend it's permanently locked.

Very simple matter of slotting the lid into place and screwing it together in the back.  Even though it doesn't open, and it's a very basic part of the real DB5, it's just like all the other small bits of detail in that it adds a great deal to the finished product.  They could easily have just made it already moulded to the dash after all, but it looks much better this way.

Okay, so on to the ignition, and yes this is actually electronic too:

The ignition switch.

I'm assuming here, as I still refuse to go back to #1 and read of all the gadgets and electronics still to come, that when the ignition key is inserted the engine with start in the model - well the noise of it anyway.  The ignition switch doesn't rotate - so neither does the key - but we'll find out eventually.  So for now the switch simply slots tightly into the dashboard from the rear like this, with the slot for the key being the only part visible from the inside of the car:

Ignition switch in place, hidden in the depths of the car.
How it looks from the front.  That's it wires too.

For safe keeping one of the keys is inserted now, which you'll see in the completed dash below. Next up the control plate and its cover get snapped together as so:

They simply slot together.
Lovin' it!

No longer just a piece of plastic with stickers on it, this looks absolutely lovely!  Such a simple concept and yet it works so brilliantly well!  Can't wait to see it lit up inside the car... as long as I don't muck it up between now and then of course.  Remember, out of those 4 dials that I added, the one on the bottom right of the picture above is the light switch for this.  From the back you can see the clear plastic control plate actually has a square hole in it for the hidden, flat part of the button to sit in:

Hidden hole for the button to move freely in.

This corresponds to the actual electronic switch on the dashboard itself, which you can see below:

The actual light switch.

By placing the control plate in its correct position, the dial I've built now acts as the actual switch to turn the lights of the dials on and off.  Below is the control plate in place, and below that the rear of the dashboard where you can see the wires for the above switch:

Note the key is in place now too hehe.
Hidden electronics for the lights.

We're almost there in what must seem like a lifetime since you started reading this post!  I've got a feeling future posts could be even longer so you may get used to it now!

Back to the air vent mount and the bonnet release handle is slotted into place thus:

Completed air vent mount ready to attach.

Leaving that aside for just one second, it's time to attach the steering wheel to the dashboard and, even more excitedly (not really) the first photos from the new house:

Steering wheel section now firmly in place.

If you look at the post about the construction of the steering wheel shaft you'll recognise the piece with the two screws in it above.  The bottom of the steering column slides into the tight square gap at the bottom of the dash and is fastened into place at the back with two screws.  Those screws were like a bad dream.  There'd been nothing in the magazine so far about fastening the wheel yet I knew this was when it should happen as subsequent issues have now moved on.  I went searching through their (rather brilliantly done) online instructions and realised I needed two "B" screws.  This resulted in me looking in my screw box and having none!  What had happened was I'd placed them mistakenly in with another very similar bunch of screws, but according to the online screw identification sheet there was only a 1mm difference between them!  So that was fun - trying to find those two amongst a bunch of others where the human eye could hardly tell them apart!

But they were found and the steering wheel placed into the dash. Then it was time to slot in the air vent mount behind this like so:

Getting rather busy with wires back there!

Now if the above paragraph did indeed sound like a bad dream, this part was a nightmare!  The mount clips into place but also needs one teeny, tiny little screw to keep it there... and guess where the screw hole is?...

A worse nightmare than sitting through Die Another Day.

You'll probably have to enlarge the picture (and make sure your brightness is up) to see the wee hole roughly from where that brown lead is coming from.  Yes the screws magnetise to the screwdrivers but for about a dozen attempts it fell off as I tried to negotiate it down through that tight gap and to the hole, which of course I couldn't see once I was trying to actually do this.  It may only have been a few centimetres but it was doing my head in by the time I finally made contact and could get it screwed in securely!

So there we have it folks, one completed dashboard for the Aston Martin DB5:


What a month!  I really enjoyed all of that and I think it really looks the part, don't you agree?  Now I just have to make sure it's kept nice and safe where the wires won't tangle and the small electronic connectors at their ends don't get trod on or squashed.  Wouldn't be like me.

Next update should appear by week's end, the next lot of building was great fun too, a nifty Bond gadget and then the next month's finished with a huge piece of the car built and a bit of complex "special effects" work.  I'll keep you guessing for now, and hope you'll join me back here soon.  I should be caught right up with the actual deliveries by the end of next week or so.

Thursday, 15 September 2011

PARTS TWENTY FOUR TO TWENTY SEVEN

Told you I'd get this thing picked up again soon.  I'm well ahead in building and just have to play catch up here, but the model itself is looking absolutely awesome!  But I won't ruin the surprise, just come back in a few days to see this stuff below built up first:

Still on the red sofa - this photo is OLD now!

So what's in the plastic bags... the brilliant dashboard with all of its knobs and sticks.  Something for the ladies there, but to get back on track they basically contain the model's version of those parts of the real car you can see on the covers above.

Inside the magazines, if I'm completely honest, the only parts I'm looking at in any depth these days are the instructions (and the features on the Bond girls, naturally) as I'm saving the magazines until the very end, when they'll combine to make a huge 1000+ page book.  Who says this whole set isn't worth all that money?

But, for the sake of those interested in such things and who'd like to know what they're covering (aside from the Bond girls), there's loads on Live & Let Die and there's also profiles of Paul McCartney (yes, him), actor David (Felix Leiter) Hedison, special effects make-up bod Rick Baker of An American Werewolf in London and The Grinch fame, and Roger Moore himself.  They're also still going through the history of Aston Martin in so much depth (currently on their racing days) it kinda makes you wonder why one of the free gifts was a book on the history of Aston Martin...!

So on to the dashboard and lots of building to show you.  Back soon.

Saturday, 3 September 2011

THE CAR #6: Steering Towards Completion

Ok, so You Only Live Twice is on TV and I'm sat here finally back to the blog.  Normally it really bugs me when people sit on their laptop or whatever instead of paying full attention to the movie or show they're meant to be watching, as they'll inevitably say it wasn't good or they didn't understand it.  Their own fault.  But I've seen all the Bond films enough times each now that this can be the exception lol.

Ok, so three steering wheels later the Royal Mail finally got the hint that you don't shove something through a letterbox if it's going to meet with resistance!  GE Fabbri were very understanding - going by their Facebook page I wasn't the only one ragin' with our "wonderful" postal service - and eventually I got my wheel delivered in a cardboard box that not even my postman could squeeze through my door.

What it should've looked like in the first delivery.

Firstly, there's still a good few pics from the old house's red sofa, just in case you're wondering (probably not) and above is the fantastic DB5 steering wheel piece, complete in its "I'm not really a pretzel, honest" finish.  So now, finally, to show you how this pieces together with the steering column bits from parts twenty to twenty three.

First thing is to fit the indicator lever into the steering column:

Tricky bugger.

What a pain in the arse this was, trying to hold that in place in the top half of the steering column - it doesn't clip in - while also placing the steering wheel shaft in it, then clipping in the other half of the column before screwing it all together... while trying to make sure that bloody indicator lever doesn't fall out!  Nightmare!

But first it was best to get the leads sorted out for the horn, which were fed through the bottom half of the column like this:

Front view.
Rear view.

That was another tricky part of this section of the build, keeping those wires inside when screwing it all together.  But the finished product speaks for itself, and was well worth all the effort:

Finally ready to roll... kinda.  Just need a car to steer.

So now it's time to move on to the next parcel of goods, parts Twenty Four to Twenty Seven which includes the, frankly awesome, dashboard.  The next few blog entries are all ready to go, but as usual when I'm playing catch up, I'll leave it a few days before posting up so everyone's up to date.

If anyone's still reading.

Thursday, 25 August 2011

JAMES BOND WILL RETURN

My word has it really been 2 months?!  Anyway, just a quick word to say I haven't given up, I'm still working away on the model and collecting the magazines.  I've had a lot of upheaval recently and this ended with me recently moving house (so no more red sofa).

Finally settled in and ready to return to the world of Blogger and 007.  See you all this weekend!