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Pocher 1/8th 1933 Bugatti T50

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Afternoon Everyone :) 

I shall apologise upfront, this might be a long thread with quite a few photos.

Right then, Pocher...

Ever since I was able to actually appreciate what models and cars are, I have loved Bugatti's. 
I recall seeing two Pocher kits in a model shop, (may have been in Nuneaton, may have been in Brum), probably around 77, 78, and was fascinated from the word go. The problem was, the older I got, the more expensive they got, to a point where they really are now just silly money. I've got Pocher catalogue's that I used to fondle on a regular basis, but there really was only one that I wanted, and that was the Bugatti T50, which, (obviously), turn's out, is one of the hardest of them to find. 

Little did I know, 40 odd years later, that one was actually sitting in a cupboard just down the road from me, and when the topic came up one day, the chap said he had one, and I bought it on the spot... the most I have ever paid for a kit.

If you are unfamiliar with Pocher kits, they are from the late 60's onwards, (even back then they were hellish expensive) and they are kits like no other. You actually build up the model, like the real car, and most of them have working suspension, steering, brakes, lights etc, and have all the internal workings in the engine and gears in the gearbox (simplified obviously). They are absolutely massive kits, with thousands of parts, in a variety of materials, plastic,white metal, brass, aluminium, steel rubber, faux leather and wood, oh and photo etched parts, yes, late 70's and photo etch :)  And just to make it even more interesting, they are an absolute bitch to build, because of the original instructions. (The greatest tip you can ever be given for any Pocher kit... do not assume that whatever screw they tell you to put in that hole will actually fit... redrill all screw holes before you screw anything in :) 

Today, you can buy natty CD's that show you how to build each car the best way, but I wanted to build mine as they were intended, using the original instructions, and that has been, well, interesting :) ( second best tip you can ever get for building a Pocher kit, buy the CD :)

So what do you get in the gigantic box... (its 700 x 450mm)


They really knew how to pack boxes back then


All those screws were taken off the backing and put in three of those plastic storage things, marked with the relevant numbers on the lid.


To give you and idea of the size before we kick off... This is the passenger cabin


Okey dokey then. I am quite a way into the build, but I thought I'd show you how I got to where I am... (I started in 2016) 

Engine first 

Here's a shot of the head, with pistons and crank in place. As you can see, each piston sits in its own metal sleeve. The valve assembly (which also works) will go on top of that.


And here is the finished engine & gearbox, mounted into the chassis.


You'll notice that the bracket holding on the steering column is broken, yeah, get used to that, the plastic is very brittle. I took it off again and repaired it.

Okay then, next up the suspension and rear diff


The brakes actually have shoes and springs in them, and the entire brake pulley system front and back is tucked inside the chassis. It actually works if you press down on the brake lever :) (but that took me 4 days to actually get to work) 


Rear. The leaf springs come pre shaped, you have to bolt them all together 


And the rear diff 


One of the fun little quirks (sarcasm) with Pocher kits is the instructions. This entire kit has a 14 page instruction manual and I think each page was designed but 14 different people, then stapled together. For example, You build up the engine and gearbox, then the chassis and mate the two together. You then have to remove the gearbox again, so that you can fit the drive shaft and diff / suspension. once that is done, you now have to remove the engine again to get the front suspension in :) 

Next up is the firewall / dashboard 20160402_170258.thumb.jpg.1ddfa5cce32687c55661036dc07b2bee.jpgBoth very large pieces of plastic. I originally used very thin balsa wood as a venier on the dash board, but it just wasn't working so eventually after a lot of thumb sucking, I tried that vinyl covering you use to cover shelves, and I think it worked a treat :) IMG_20170308_141655.thumb.jpg.8dc54995d41230addf38cbb7989c34b5.jpgEventually, after a year, I had a rolling chassis :) 

One of the jobs I was not looking forward too was the interior. There's real fake fluffy stuff for the floor, and real fake leather for the seats, that are made up of plastic backings, then a bit of sponge and the real fake leather goes onto that... (the white pinstriping is plastic rod) 


And the floor and seats mounted to the chassis


I see I missed a bit out, the wheels. The knock offs work so they can be removed. Those tyre's have been sitting in a box since the 70's, they were rock hard. I had them in hot water for about 20 minutes, but it still took me at least half an hour per wheel to get on, plus the two spares :) 


Its at this point that I made a pretty dumb mistake. I painted the body, not realising the mission that lay ahead. I have all the door cards assembled ready to go in, and what follows after that is fitting the doors and and then the windows. the windows come in 2 pieces, the actual see throughy bit and the shiny frame. None of the frames fit into the window holes properly, and none of the glass pieces fit into the frames...  

So I rubbed down the body again, and started on the window frames, not an easy job as you have to try to get them to fit without bending them, but then I got a cool tip from a friend in the states, that you fit the windows to the frames first, glue them in, and then fit the frames to the body. 

At the moment I have the rear window and front windscreen done, and work needs to start again on the doors and side windows. 

So this is where it sits today....

Bit of a stupid photo but the black has been rubbed down off its high gloss 


What has to happen now, is I need to get all the windows fixed in place, then I can fit the gigantic one piece wheel arches, then the luggage box at the back, then the bonnet and heavens bejesus.... it'll be finished :) (oh and fix the auspuff pipe too) 

Yes, I am actually planning to finish it sometime soon, no, you don't need to ask me every week :) 

If you are looking for a super project, then get yourself one of these, not one of the new modern ones, but one of the old jobbies, they certainly are well worth it, but I'll be honest and say, get the CD to help you with the building, will make things a LOT less stressfull. 

Sooooo, lets hope this kicks off again soon :) 

:ninja: Mad Steve :ninja: 



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