New build articles for Rene Lehmann
Click here for Grand Valley Model Car Club Website
This has been a busy 2016 fall:
1) Participated in the Dayton OH Concours d'Elegance car show, where a number of car modellers were asked
to show their models. The main car show themes were 100 years of BMW, air-cooled Volkswagens and
French vehicles. I displayed 6 BMW motorcycles (K100 cafe racer, K100, R69S, R100RS, Krauser
MKM1000 and R90S), 2 BMW cars (M1, Z3), the VW Hippie Van and the Meyers Manx. It was a great
outing, and was organized by Randy Derr.
2) Attended the Toronto Model Car Contest, where my Suzuki Katana Drag Bike won Best Overall Detail
3) Attend the IPMS Livonia Can-Am Challenge, where I brought some models out of retirement. In addition to a
number of places in categories, two models won 3 of the major awards:
1974 'Team Canada' Brabham BT42 won Best Canadian Marked Subject
Silver Dart won Best Canadian Modeler and People's Choice awards
In May 2015 I was interviewed by Canada's Motorcycle, an online motorcycle store in Montreal that features online
articles. There is both the online article and a video of the interview (which needs the password "motorcycle" to
view). Click the links below.
password = "motorcycle"
I have also added a new item on the left menu, called Articles. This features the various articles that have
appeared in magazines and online, including other articles that have not been published.
Recently Completed - Sep 2016 to Oct 2016
Star Wars R2-D2 droid
(site last updated Oct 2, 2016, next update mid-Jan 2017)
Recently Completed - May 2016 to Aug 2016
James Bond Lotus Esprit Submarine Car
McLaren M23 (Gilles Villeneuve 1977 British Grand Prix)
Recently Completed - Jan 2016 to May 2016
Penske PC-6 (Rick Mears 1979 Indy 500 winner)
Yamaha FZ250 Phazer
Suzuki Katana Drag Bike
Honda RS1000 'Gulf' livery endurance race motorcycle
Olds Aerotech concept car
Recently Completed - Aug 2015 to Oct 2015
James Bond Citroen 2CV
'Top Gun' Kawasaki Ninja GPz900
Recently Completed - May 2015 to Jul 2015
Reynard 89D Formula 3000 race car
Yamaha YZR500 (updated)
1955 Triumph TR2 Le Mans race car
Honda GL500 Land Speed Record motorcycle
Recently Completed - Feb 2015 to Apr 2015
1955 Mercedes SLR300 "722"
Yamaha Beluga - Pink
Zundapp KS750 with sidecar (1:24 scale)
Recently Completed - May - Oct 2013
I'm still puzzled by something in modelling industry of which the Aston Martin DBS kit is a good example. Model car and
motorcycle manufacturers never seem to write instructions in the sequence you need to assemble the models correctly. For
example, with this kit, there are two parts - the rear portion of the bodywork that makes up the spoiler and the front valance that
need to be dealt with. In the instructions, these parts are attached in steps 18 and 16, respectively, after other body parts have
been attached. However, in order to do the model properly, these parts need to be attached much earlier, any gaps filled in (if
necessary) and then the whole body prepped and painted. With Tamiya kits, you can do the bodywork early in the build
sequence because you will rarely find fit problems at the end. With older domestic kits, I always do a complete dry fit of the
body, interior and chassis as I have experienced fit problems when everything comes together for final assembly.
Similar to the assembly sequence issues, I have yet to see instructions where the proper painting sequence is outlined. That is,
subassemblies are put together, then all the parts of the same colour are identified in a series of painting steps. This would
make building much more logical and avoid the problem we have all encountered of getting to step 20 and realize we have to
get out the airbrush to paint a part a colour we have already used in a previous step. I'm not sure whether this practice stems
from instructions originally being done for aircraft, armour and ships, where you can often do 90%+ of the assembly without
every having to paint a single part. Then at, or near, the end you can airbrush or spray the entire model in one step. I've seen
build sequences online or in magazines in which the authors follow a more logical building sequence, but never have I seen kit
instructions that do so. I'm almost tempted to start an online movement to rewrite model car instructions in a more logical
Why motorcycles and why 1/12 scale?
I've always had a problem getting a really good paint job - probably a matter of not being patient enough. So I decided to
concentrate on building motorcycles and not as many cars. There is usually less bodywork that needs to be painted with a
motorcycle kit as opposed to a car. The downside is that bodywork on bike models can be as complicated as car bodies,
especially when it comes to polishing out a paint job. The other aspect of motorcycle modelling is that it the engine and brake
parts are usually out for everyone to see and detailing is critical. The exception to this are the modern GP bikes that have full
I prefer building older bikes for two reasons:
- Many older racing bikes did not have fairings and it never made sense to me to do a lot of engine detailing and then not be
able to see it under a fairing.
- The bikes I've seen at a lot of model contests and photos appear to have a 'sameness' to them. There are a lot of modern GP
racing bikes and if you've seen one Honda RC211V, you've pretty well seen them all. Not to take away from some of the
workmanship people put into these kits, I like to see a lot more variety in the shape and style of motorcycle models that I build.
I find that I prefer 1:12 scale for building for a few reasons:
- A 1:12 scale motorcycle takes up about the same shelf space as a 1:24 scale car, so you are not giving up space (which we all
know we never have enough of)
- There are a great variety of 1/12 scale kits, more than most people could build in a lifetime. I have a motorcyle kit database
that has over 350 different motorcycle kits that have been produced. With kit bashing and scratch building, the limits are only
- Detailing bolt heads and nuts is more accurate in 1:12 scale compared to 1:24 scale. For example, a 12 mm bolt head would
be 1 mm in 1:12 scale and you could see that as a hex head without a magnifying glass. Miniature hex head screws of 00-90
size can be used for wheel axle nuts, swing arm pivots and steering heads. These scale to about 24 mm bolts (2 inches) in 1:1.
There are very few places where these can be scaled properly in 1:24 scale because they represent a 48 mm (4 inch) bolt head!
- The detailling also extends to braided fittings and throttle and other return springs - much more in scale accuracy can be
achieved in 1:12 scale.
Introduction - Jan 1, 2005
I build scale models of various kinds, mostly 1/12 scale motorcycles, but also 1/24 scale cars and some sci-fi models. You can
see the models in the various galleries section, which includes both pictures and descriptions of the models.
I live in Guelph, Ontario, Canada, about an hour west of Toronto. Like many modellers today, I built model kits as a kid and
enjoyed it thoroughly. Then school, marriage, career and family kind of got in the way of my building and I did not build a model
for close to 20 years. In the early part of 2003, I started building again and had about a dozen unbuilt kits at that time. Thanks
to eBay and Internet vendors, I now have all the kits I need to build the 4 dozen or so projects that I've identified. I have had
some success in entering local model contests, which has encouraged me to keep building.
I have most of the tools I need, which include an airbrush, material to cast resin parts and a Sherline mini-lathe and milling
I have found a great community of model builders thanks, in part, to the Internet. People have been very willing to offer help
and suggestions for any project that I have. I wish to return the favour and if you have any questions about the models you see,
please contact me.
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