MJK Valiant S Series

MJK Valiant S Series

Postby wixwacing » Sun 02 May, 2010 8:41 pm

MJK 'S' Series Valiant

Image


It must be said that the guys at MJK toil away during all their spare time for the shear pleasure of bringing us what some of us are looking for in our hobby, and what a diverse hobby it is becoming. To date it encompasses wing car racing all the way through to retro ‘rail racing’, which dates back to the early fifties if not earlier. We have those who are in it for the speed aspect. Buy a car, gut it, spend upwards of a hundred dollars to make it lap four tenths of a second faster. There’s 1/24th, 1/32nd, HO and now, 1/43rd! There’s fibreglass bodies, injection moulded, vacuum formed, resin and more. There’s sidewinders, anglewinder, in line, front motor, rear motor. There’s rubber tyres, foam tyres and urethane tyres. Plastic wheels, alloy wheels, vestigial wheels. Plastic chassis, metal chassis, fully adjustable, laser cut etc. etc. etc……….

MJK have been and still are involved in many aspects of the hobby. As 1/32 RTR racers we tend only to see their excellent selection of tyres and as a scratch builder I have come into contact with more of their products. Chassis, wheels, wheel inserts, drivers trays, decals and more. I must say that I have developed a soft spot for their product as it is honestly aimed at local slot racing. The new series of soft plastic kits they are producing is the same, and the ideal of producing models from the great days of ‘60’s Bathurst endurance races gathers momentum with a steady trickle of ‘60’s iconic Aussie cars. The EH, the FJ, The Bob Jane J Mk 2 and now the S series Valiant.



Image



Made from the same technique as the other aforementioned models, the S Series is firmly planted in the same row as them and comes with the familiar MJK adjustable chassis. There is also a pair of bright steel axles and a set of excellent turned, grub screw mounted alloy wheels. Moulded wheel inserts specific for the model. A moulded contrate and pinion sourced from internationally recognised slotcar makers. Brass axle bushes. The guide too is a commercial guide and there are soft copper braids which to date I have not had a problem with. The motor is a Mabuchi ‘S’ can and there are adequate lead wires and eyelets included. If you were to build a resin body and then buy all the parts as extras, you would be financially up for as much, if not more than the average retail price of these models!



Image



Chassis assembly for this model is straight forward and the kit comes with comprehensive instructions on the best way to tackle this part. The chassis needs to be assembled before all else. The assembled chassis then has the side tongues trimmed to fit the body and the body fixing brackets. Before finalising this part of the assembly I decided to pump the body sides out a little. To me they tucked under just a little to much and made the model appear narrow waisted.

Not a big deal. The body is a soft plastic in the sense it is not injection moulded but almost ‘cast’ in a process similar to some resin body productions. The Bob Jane car was a little squat and I safely and successfully managed to get the body into a good width buy running it under a hot tap. This model is the same. Before you measure and cut the chassis it is essential to get the sides looking a bit more effective. This was achieved by once again running the body under the hot tap (about 60ºC.) Then gently but firmly working the body sides into the ideal position. Once there and cooled, the body will maintain this shape indefinitely.



Image



Now the chassis is placed in the body and after measuring the side tongues they can be trimmed. Also once again, I have used some six millimetre mdf to space the body on the chassis. The chassis length front and rear is adjusted to get the wheels centred in the arches and now is the time to epoxy the side mounts in place. As always, left overnight to cure, I can now handle the body in preparation for painting.



Image



A note of caution here, the plastic body possibly still has some mould release agent on it or something like it. The body needs to be washed vigorously with a mild washing up liquid or similar using a dish scourer of some sort. Having done this, all parts to be painted, including the drivers tray and drivers head, get a coat of flat grey, this acts as a key and etching primer. It also shows up any blemishes and defects in the moulding. Once done, the body can be fettled and all minor defects can be remedied before another dust over with the grey, to ensure all the repairs have been effective.



Image



Before painting I chose to ensure the upper body was going to receive the clear insert tidily. Trimming the windows from production is good but it won’t hurt to make a few final fittings before painting. The back of the roof pillars were trimmed up so the clear part fitted more easily and more flush. Not being able to trace a suitable livery on the net, despite a close friend insisting there was a black Valiant in circulation back in the sixties, I opted for a fantasy livery. I gave the body a coat of ‘gun metal’ finish and left it to dry for a couple of days. A very light sand to fix any remaining blemishes and the last coat of gun metal was applied.

I had decided to paint some typical sixties GT stripes along the drivers side of the body, much as a lot of sixties racers had. The body was given a generous coat of Tamiya clear enamel and once again left for a day or so. The stripes were masked and the edges to be painted were given a thin coat of brush applied clear to seal them. This will stop any under tape bleed from the stripe colour. Then, the stripes were brush applied, a couple of coats applied a few hours apart.



Image



Yet again the stripes were allowed to dry. Other models on the bench ensured I didn’t touch the Valiant too soon. Next were the decals, the decals which ran over the 3D moulding were given a coat of Mr Hobby decal softener and they flowed into shape.

Paintwise, the silver bits on the body needed attention. The wheel inserts had been glued in the rims along the way and had a spray coat of silver for effect. The chrome mouldings around the glass work was picked out in silver with a brush and I used a couple of different silvers for the grille, surrounds and bumpers just to give a varied effect.

Once again, when all was cured, the final coat of clear was applied and once again it was from a can of Tamiya clear enamel. I have previously used acrylic clear applied from the spray gun but I have not been happy with the softness the clear has for a long time and the marks it picks up if the model is stored carelessly.



Image



By this time the driver’s tray had been worked on while various body painting applications had been drying. The driver’s tray is a vacuum moulding and the head is soft plastic. I spent some time getting the head into shape (so to speak) and filling pinholes and rounding the helmet off. This is just me though as the driver and his head are going to be one of the least noticeable features of the finished item.
The windows clear part was trimmed as close to its bottom lip as possible. This was done to prevent it holding the driver’s tray down too low in the body.



Image



With this model I decided there was no need to glue the windows in. They are a very good fit once trimmed and virtually hold themselves in. The drivers tray was trimmed to maximise the fit and on this model I drilled several 1/16th holes along the front and rear edges. The front edge was secured with a spot of superglue and once dry the rear was fixed in the same way. And once again, as with the Bob Jane car, I painted a bead of extra strength epoxy along the edges and worked it through the small holes to increase its key strength. A word of advice here, if you use this method of fixing the drivers tray, any paint overspray on the inside of the body will need to be removed to maximise the bond. With everything in place it was a case of taking it along to the next ‘Red Team’ evening for fine adjustment.

This model has different sized tyres than the Bob Jane car and the model sits a little closer to the track. It also has a lighter body mass and slightly wider rear axle width. Once on the track it was obvious that it had a slight advantage and even though it still had a slight tendency to tip in the corners, after a few minutes judicious tyre grooving and testing, it was soon lapping at a very respectable speed.



Image



The Valiant is an unusual car and although it was originally a locally built CKD Plymouth (Chrysler) Valiant it has its own niche in the Australian Touring car hall of fame. The youngsters amongst us may not appreciate it, tending to go more for Ferraris and Porsches. Those who won’t see forty again may well appreciate its lines more. As such , it fits in nicely with MJK’s 60’s touring car theme. I am sworn to secrecy but I will say that this is far from the last of this range of models. Not in the shops at the time of writing, but not too far down the road hopefully. If you are into Sixties Aussie touring cars, this will be a great addition to your collection. For others, maybe the starting point of theirs!
Image

When I'm not racing slotcars,
I'm out in the back yard, burning food!!

When I win, it's because of my talent, not my car or my controller!
User avatar
wixwacing
Marshal!!!
 
Posts: 1889
Joined: Thu 10 Jul, 2008 8:22 pm

Return to The Scratchbuilders Lair

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests

Untitled Document
Image hosted by Photobucket.com
Image hosted by Photobucket.com

Image hosted by Photobucket.com

Image hosted by Photobucket.com

Image hosted by Photobucket.com
Image hosted by Photobucket.com

Image hosted by Photobucket.com
Image hosted by Photobucket.com































































































































Image hosted by Photobucket.com