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Tamiya 1/48 Citroen Traction Avant 11CV


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With it's front wheel drive (which gave it its name) and monocoque chassis, this little Citroen was quite innovative on it's introduction in 1934. It stayed in production until 1957 by which time over 750,000 had been built. Aside from civilian use, it was popular with the French army, and was captured or confiscated in huge numbers by the Germans who used it in all theatres of the war.

I'm going to build a pre-war civvie version using one of the options on the decal sheet but I'm going slightly off piste in that instead of the standard all black bodywork I'm going to do a two tone scheme I found on a Google image search. This is what I'm aiming for:

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The box. They were very popular with Luftwaffe pilots as they offered a little more luxury than standard issue vehicles.

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The plastic. It's not big, but knowing Uncle Tamiya, it is clever.

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There are also instructions and decals. I'm already tempted to get another one to do as a military example. Speaking of examples, there's one showing clever Tamiya engineering; the windows (apart from the windscreen) come as a single big clear piecce to be inserted into the body at the last stage before body and chassis are joined, making both construction and painting as easy as possible.

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Lots of chrome silver and gloss paint on this one. What could possibly go wrong?

Andy

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End of day 1. Everything is still on the sprues, but there has been paint. Penny for scale - this is a tiny model, even in 1/48.

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Interesting to see the colour change in the photo. The red I've used is Vallejo Dark Red and it is neither as pink nor as brown as it looks there.

Andy

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More progress, not all of it forward. I was probably the only person in the world who didn't see this coming: Painted and gloss varnished the wheels. Painted the hubcaps chrome silver. Last job was to introduce the latter to the former. Uncle Tamiya has a key on the back of the hub cap and the recess in the wheel is consequently not a circle. Given the size of the bits, there's an element of 'get it about right and wiggle' to get the caps seated.

Glue, gloss varnish, metallic paint and wiggling - what could possibly go wrong? Imagine my laughter when this happened:

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Imagine how manic the laughter got when the only reason that didn't happen to all four wheels is that I lost the fourth cap to the carpet monster. Luckily I have two kits, so I stole one from kit two. Which because it wasn't already painted silver went on first time without a hitch 🙄 (well, pretty much)

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Left it a bit, came back, repainted and it's not too bad. Not perfect mind, but passable. Blurry photo is in no way indicative of anything.

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Interior is deck tan according to the instructions. Vallejo deck tan is kind of duck egg blue. Tamiya's DT is, well, tan. Who knew? Another repaint later and I was in the right ball park. I've done my normal routine on the seats but with a lighter palette. I'm really not convinced, even after some satin varnish to give a leathery sheen. Nothing about this build is working like the picture in my head. Hope it all comes together at the end. Anyway, seats painted and mounted. Interesting that in lieu of seatbelts the rear passengers get a handrail each on top of the front seats :o 

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To finish tonight, a shot with the bodyshell in place. It's changed colour again. That big white spot is dust (I checked after I saw the photo).

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Still got to fix that front tyre. And the demarcation round the rear fenders. And... 😪

Andy

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9 hours ago, Tolvcat said:

a handrail each on top of the front seats 

Just the right place to smash your face in in the event of an accident.

Looking good so far - I think the seats look very effective.

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Posted (edited)

Enough faffing. After the wheel incident, I've been wary about getting glue anywhere near the model but it won't build itself, so loins girded, I set about it. Front fenders/firewall/dashboard was added. I wondered where all the controls were as Tamiya don't notmally miss that kind of detail. There are no pedals because you can't see them. There is a column mounted gear shift, which you probably also can't see now as everything is semi-gloss black and the windows are tiny.

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I also added the bumpers and headlights and touched up the chrome paint. Then knocked off a headlight adding the glass 🥴 Retrieved and reinserted here. Body has been tidied up and the windows added too

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Now it was big boy pants time - the two halves above were clagged together. Success!!!

I went round with a tiny brush and painted in all the handles. Grill is painted and varnished too. Just got to add it, plus the spare wheel mount and rear number plate, paint in the tail lights and add the decals. Then comes the very last job, the one I've been avoiding like the plague: paint and fit the windscreen. I HATE painting onto clear plastic (as my pile of aircraft without canopies will attest) and I'm not massively fond of painting with metallics. Put the two together and I've got a right fit of the vapours.

Anyway, just in case I don't make it, this is where I'm at now:

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There's all sorts of detail there crying out for pin washes and the like, but I honestly don't know where to start. You can't really hide the mistakes with mud on something like this, and weathering doesn't seem appropriate either (and how do you even weather gloss surfaces?). I'll have a ponder and maybe do something.

Andy

Edited by Tolvcat
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Calling this one finished. There are still some rough edges I could work on but I'm getting into the area of diminishing returns and I'd hate to screw up something big while I was trying to fix something little. The next one will be better, as there were several new techniques and paints involved with this one (and how come I get brush marks in matt paint that I'm going to gloss varnish but never in matt paint I just slap on e.g. a Horch? Another modelling mystery for the ages).

More pics in the Gallery.

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Andy

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