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Several 1/20 Revival Open Wheel Racers


DRUMS01
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For those who do not know, they were a company, based out of Italy, who created metal model kits of classic Grand Prix or Formula One cars. Their detail in 1/20 scale was usually second to none, but often required extensive flat and seam removal. Much of the assembly is perfumed with screws. When they were released back in the day, they were quite state of the art multimedia consisting of metal, plastic, and rubber components. 

The bodies came pre-painted but a few of mine had bubbles under the finish requiring a strip seal, prime and re-paint. The metal spoked wire wheels are one of the highlights of the product line.  

They also marketed a budget friendly version that still used a mostly metal chassis and engine but had plastic bodies and plastic wheels. The high end kits provided hours and hours of fun for classic racer gear heads like me. Here are some of mine finished mostly out of the box:

Ferrari D50

This one had to be repainted due to imperfections in the paint. The windshield was made from clear acetate as the kit part was missing.

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And "yes", the engine was engineered by Ferrari to sit canted in the frame. The rounded screens sitting on top of the injectors were hand punched from pipe tobacco screens and the fuel rail was made from copper wire. Other added items include brake lines, a fuel bowl, and other chassis supports.

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Mercedes Benz W163 (another body repaint with after-market decals)

Chassis only

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The kit was notoriously known for an ill fitting hood/bonnet as it would hit the coolant lines on top the engine before properly laying in place.  Mine only laid correctly after significant thinning of the thick metal hood.

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Ferrari 500, 1952 

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Thanks for looking and comments welcome.

DRUMS01

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Really nice work!  Very timely post as I was just looking at the ones in my stash this weekend thinking about putting one onto the workbench.  I love these cars, and unfortunately, there aren't too many kits out there in the marketplace.  The wire wheels in my opinion are really well done and make for an impressive model.

If you don't mind me asking:

1.  I  got a little scared seeing other posts on these kits saying how difficult they were given very poor fit issues.  One guy I think said he spent like 800-1000 hours on each of his 😳  Did you find the fit to be that bad or difficult to work through?  Hopefully these didn't take you 1000 hours!  I was thinking of building them mostly out of the box, but maybe add some detail work to the engines, etc.

2.  I was thinking of stripping the factory paint, priming and re-painting mine.  I have a feeling after taking off flash and re-shaping pieces to improve the fit, I'll have to do touch-ups anyway, so might as well just paint the whole thing.  What did you use to strip the paint?  I wasn't sure if these were die-cast metal or some other kind of metal, but I read somewhere that certain paint stripping solutions can absolutely destroy certain types of metal used in kits.

3.  Did you find that you had to build the model first, and after all fit issues were resolved, then disassemble, paint, and re-assemble?  I read that some builders took this approach. 

Thanks in advance, and thanks again for sharing!  These are beauties!  I also have a few of the old metal Hubley kits in the stash that one day I will work on.

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Hi Mike, These are good and even fair questions to ask and I do not mind sharing my opinion of the kits I've made. 

1. Some of the kite fit with very little modification while others might be more difficult. For example, the Ferrari D50 with the pontoon gas tanks between the wheels was much easier than the Mercedes. The Mercedes had fit problems, terrible paint, and the front suspension is not fun (difficult). Another issue with these kits is getting the rubber tires to expand enough to fit over the metal wheel without tearing apart. Depending on the age and past storage of your kit(s) that rubber may have partially dry rotted, so be very careful when sliding them over the metal inner-liners. 

2. To strip the paint I first tried "Green Stuff" industrial cleaner without success. Next I tried "Easy Off" oven cleaner which worked pretty good. I then finished by using green tube fine auto putty and various grades of sandpaper. I also washed the metal with mild dish soap prior to painting. The primer was real automobile etching primer followed by Tamiya paint and future clear coat.

3. Usually no, but some sub-assemblies did need adjusted (filed) to better fit as intended and that was not caught intel it was there turn to be added. So, in those cases yes rework was needed.

Enjoy your build as they are getting pricey and harder to find. When time is taken, the fun and detail can be really neat. 

PS: Have lots of files and sand paper.

DRUMS01, a.k.a. Ben

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hi Bomber_County, Revival was the successor to the original Casadio kits produced in Italy in the sixties and seventies. Revival produced both builder kits and completed cars up until sometime around 2010. Within the builder side, they produced a low end kit that had plastic bodies and wheels while the high end version had pre-painted metal bodies and scale metal spoked wheels. 

If you look around you can still find some of them. The site, SCALEMATES.COM lists all of the variations and models of 1:20 Revival car models that were available at one time or the other. 

I do not know if anyone else purchased the manufacturing molds and rights or it anyone is still currently manufacturing them (?). 

DRUMS01

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I think Revival has an eBay store - at least I think I remember seeing their store selling these kits a year or so ago.  Not sure if they are still selling though.  I need a replacement glass for my Auto Union Type C. 

These kits pop up from time to time on eBay.  Usually they are listed in the $150+ range, but you can get lucky and win auctions for under $80.  A month ago I snagged one of the metal Bugattis for $70.  

I'd probably stay away from the plastic ones, as I think they don't come with the wire wheels.  The pre-made wire wheels in the metal kits are really really nice, and were a big seller to me.  

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Hey Mike, my Auto Union did not come with the scale glass so I made one easily from clear Xerox imaging plastic (paper). I also see the Revival kits on Evil Bay from time to time, but I am not sure if they are new or just surplus (?). I have and have built several but I've never had the Bugatti. Let me know what you think of it, or better yet, share the build in the forum.

For anyone who wants one, make sure you have plenty of knife blades, files, and sandpaper to remove the flash and mold lines from the cast engine, chassis, and suspension parts. Oh, and a very small screwdriver. If the kits weren't so expensive, I would like to have two so I could build one up and the other as a chassis.

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Ben

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7 hours ago, DRUMS01 said:

Hey Mike, my Auto Union did not come with the scale glass so I made one easily from clear Xerox imaging plastic (paper). I also see the Revival kits on Evil Bay from time to time, but I am not sure if they are new or just surplus (?). I have and have built several but I've never had the Bugatti. Let me know what you think of it, or better yet, share the build in 

Ben, you have me intrigued now. I love working with white metal, I assume that what they are. I have done a fair amount of white metal railway kits, the instructions for these “kits” are appalling but with care they can be tamed…..

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11 hours ago, DRUMS01 said:

Hey Mike, my Auto Union did not come with the scale glass so I made one easily from clear Xerox imaging plastic (paper). I also see the Revival kits on Evil Bay from time to time, but I am not sure if they are new or just surplus (?). I have and have built several but I've never had the Bugatti. Let me know what you think of it, or better yet, share the build in the forum.

 

Hey Ben, thanks for the tip on using Xerox imaging plastic.  Really appreciate it!

This is the Bugatti version I have (there is one with the spare strapped to the side of the vehicle and then I think a yellow version):

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Opening the box the kit looked ok - will see how the parts fit when I start working on it.  Along with this one and the Auto Union, I think I have six other kits that I managed to snag on deals on eBay (couple of Alfa Romeos, couple Ferraris, a Maserati, and a Mercedes-Benz).  I think these racers are some of the coolest looking cars, and where Revival does an especially nice job, at least on the metal kits, is with the wire wheels.  Plus, with the open hoods, you can add some neat little details to the engine compartment.

I still need to get a little better at car modeling.  In some ways they are simpler than ship and plane models, at least when it comes to construction.  The paint job, however, to me seems much harder and critical to get right.  At least with ships and planes you can hide things with weathering, washes, panel-liners, etc.  A little harder to do that with cars.  The other thing that I haven't quite figured out is what to do when it comes to the finish and weathering, adding depth, and different textures like leather.  Folks usually don't add washes or depth to the body of the car.  If they don't do that when it comes to the engine and interior, then to me it looks very plastic.  If they do do that to the engine and interior, then there is a bit of a dichotomy because the body is usually a solid color with a gloss coat.  I haven't done enough car models to figure that one out.

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During the era of the Revival cars (30'2 - 50's), they were not all fancy and glossy like you see on current racers. Back then they simply wiped them down, often with semi dirty rags. The simple things like refueling or getting in and out of a period racer was common points for wear. For example, the older racers had a lift up or removable gas cap and hand pump or gravity feed fuel was used and often some dribbled out from the top spilling around on the body. Likewise the paint then compared to what is used now did not hold up to the wear and tear of racing like they do currently. That means the cockpit, hood, fuel covers, normally had wear from frequent handling. There were times when a single body part was replaced without the car getting a complete repaint so there were slightly different shades of the same color on a race car of that era. 

You normally have three types of racers: 1) the display or never raced show vehicle that is normally shiny and pristine; 2) the "as raced " version that will have road grime, tire (rubber) peel, oil and crud from following other cars or from itself; 3) and the last is a veteran car with some wear, bumps and lumps that is polished up the bast it can be, awaiting the next race. I agree with you that making that era of race car look super immaculate with paint, but worn and torn un the cockpit and engine are not very realistic. Back then they did not have any real sponsors, not fancy epoxy paint, no vinyl wrap body skin decals with gloss coat, etc. Heck even the vehicle technology was very primitive compare to todays cars. The drivers wore jeans and a collared shirt, or a t-shirt, or at best coveralls along with an WW1 or 2 leather pilots helmet or even at best a half or 3/4 helmet in the late 50's. I agree with you that it is either all new as in never raced, as raced, a race weary veteran, or completely restored (concours).

With that said, this is modeling, and the kit is yours so make it how you want it and don't worry about anybody else thoughts, after all its yours, not theirs. Unless your making the car to a specific date and time in it's history, or unless your building it for somebody on commission, you have nobody to answer to but yourself so make it how you want it. What I'm saying is have fun with it.

PS: Nice Bugatti by the way.

Ben

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  • 2 months later...
On 12/18/2021 at 6:38 AM, DRUMS01 said:

During the era of the Revival cars (30'2 - 50's), they were not all fancy and glossy like you see on current racers. Back then they simply wiped them down, often with semi dirty rags. The simple things like refueling or getting in and out of a period racer was common points for wear. For example, the older racers had a lift up or removable gas cap and hand pump or gravity feed fuel was used and often some dribbled out from the top spilling around on the body. Likewise the paint then compared to what is used now did not hold up to the wear and tear of racing like they do currently. That means the cockpit, hood, fuel covers, normally had wear from frequent handling. There were times when a single body part was replaced without the car getting a complete repaint so there were slightly different shades of the same color on a race car of that era. 

You normally have three types of racers: 1) the display or never raced show vehicle that is normally shiny and pristine; 2) the "as raced " version that will have road grime, tire (rubber) peel, oil and crud from following other cars or from itself; 3) and the last is a veteran car with some wear, bumps and lumps that is polished up the bast it can be, awaiting the next race. I agree with you that making that era of race car look super immaculate with paint, but worn and torn un the cockpit and engine are not very realistic. Back then they did not have any real sponsors, not fancy epoxy paint, no vinyl wrap body skin decals with gloss coat, etc. Heck even the vehicle technology was very primitive compare to todays cars. The drivers wore jeans and a collared shirt, or a t-shirt karl jacobs hoodies, or at best coveralls along with an WW1 or 2 leather pilots helmet or even at best a half or 3/4 helmet in the late 50's. I agree with you that it is either all new as in never raced, as raced, a race weary veteran, or completely restored (concours).

With that said, this is modeling, and the kit is yours so make it how you want it and don't worry about anybody else thoughts, after all its yours, not theirs. Unless your making the car to a specific date and time in it's history, or unless your building it for somebody on commission, you have nobody to answer to but yourself so make it how you want it. What I'm saying is have fun with it.

PS: Nice Bugatti by the way.

Ben

Thanks for sharing such a nice talk. 

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  • 5 weeks later...

I actually had a few of these kits handed to me. I knew a guy when I lived in NJ who was considering being the US distributor. He had seen the kits at the German Toy Fair, a grand European event with EVERYTHING!!  As far as I know, he did not follow through, but I moved from New Jersey to Colorado shortly after this time. He wanted me to evaluate them for 'quality' rather than authenticity. After giving him my thoughts on quality, I tried to give the models back, but he said I should just keep them! Sold! He had given me the W154 Benz, actually 2 Benzes, the Bugatti 35, a Ferrari D50, and the Alfa P2.

I quickly built one of the Benzes, and was not particularly impressed with the accuracy of the fit or the missing detail. That said, I could have done a better job. It has hung around my shop/studio for almost forty years. I was looking at it the other day and began to think about what the model would need in order to represent the full size car and my modelling 'level', whatever that is. It has distinct possibilities. There's really only one or two things that I look at when considering a model that interests me for purchase and building. Most importantly: How close to the original subject does the body seem to be proportioned and shaped? And, not that it's a real deal breaker, how well are the wheels and tires done? I usually plan on chucking most of the plastic parts.

They are usually too big in diameter or they are 'curvy', with so-so plating. Even if they are not, I consider using stainless steel tubing, It's easier to work with than any plastic stuff I've tried. You can get stainless steel tubing in what they call 'hypodermic' sizes and materials. Try Component Supply Company. Don't let the term 'hypodermic' scare you off, as they make many sizes and will sell to you even if you aren't a doctor!! You need silver solder to join pieces, but the actual soldering is easier than electronics soldering. As usual, set-up, cleanliness, and preparation are critical. The reward is that when you join the parts with silver solder the color of the 'weld' is a perfect match for the stainless. If you go further and file, sand, and polish the joint, it will look absolutely as one piece, and a beautiful one at that. Consider it next time you do radius rods or any suspension pieces that stand out. The difference between what polished stainless tube and chrome plated plastic look like is massaive, no kidding. If you try this out I know which one you'll use. My personal saying is, "Nothing looks like metal like metal looks'.  Also, stainless steel parts can be polished to a far more realistic finish than the plastic ones they replace. It will definitely make your model much finer to look at. The stainless, once polished, will not tarnish either. Oh yeah, the kit. I decided to put the 154 Benz on a back burner, but first in that line...

I'm now in the process of doing the Revival Ferrari D50. Hoo Boy! This thing needs EVERYTHING. The first is the hardest.

When you join the top and bottom body parts with the screws provided, there is a seam, of course, where the two pieces of metal abutt. It's a long, highly visible thing, right down the side of the 'sidepod', and it wasn't part of the full size Ferrari original from 1956, which had its side pods made of one piece of sheet metal, (some had some rivets, but not the particular car I'm doing). Getting rid of this seam is the big challenge in building this model. I screwed the upper and lower body sections together to keep shape and sanded across the seam, working along its length. I sanded enough that fill would be minimal. Pretty much flush. But It's now going to be stuck together! What about separating the parts for paint and assembly? Gotcha!

After studying the situation for a couple of days, (always a good idea when you get stuck because something brilliant will pop into your brain in the meantime.) Then I began the surgery. Move one was to reinforce the outer body (the sidepod) where the seam is, but NOT all the way inward, or even inward of the body screws. Don't remove the body halves from each other at this point, but observe that the piece you've epoxyed now looks like a rocker panel, also called a 'sill panel', from a conventional car. I used fiberglass finishing grade cloth with 'Finish coat' epoxy to join them. These are RC plane necessities for builders. Your hobby shop should have them. It's very easy to use, really. Once that has stabilized for a couple of days, saw under the sidepod front to back, where it won't show, with a Dremel cutoff wheel. Stay JUST outside the body screws. You'll see there is some other cutting needed at the ends, but that's self explanatory. Now you can unscrew the upper half. The body will come away with the sidepods attatched and no seam! Lotta work? Oh yeah, but it was just such a glaring detail that I could not ignore it, considering the other details I had planned. The first 'other' detail I need to get to is rivets.

When Ferrari took over these machines from Lancia they had 'pannier' tanks. They were separate, but actched to the sides of the car with various rods and braces. The thinking was that the fuel load would be generally centeralized fore and aft and not change the handling of the car as the fuel was used. Ferrari didn't like this and placed a tank in the tail, eliminating the side tanks. BUT, they kept the side pods. Kinda. The exhaust and oil/water tanks were placed in them, close to the center body. Then they were faired into the body to give the look we have here in model form. They also contained the exhaust, which exited through their sides, four a side in a square pattern. I believe it was Juan Manuel Fangio who desired the tank change. It suited his driving style this way. He wanted to 'drift' the car through turns, and the tail fuel load allowed him to initiate this kind of action by swinging the tail out just a little and countersteering while applying throttle, etc.etc. That 'tail tank' needed more support than it had, so the central body panel just aft of the driver was reinforced. Oh sweet Jesus, was it reinforced!

The part was hammered out of sheet, and all those compound curves were worked in. Then the edges, 1-2 inches, were tucked under, or 'hemmed' for strength around the periphery of the panel. Here's where it gets a tad crazy. A good friend has told me as much. He may be right. It's the part on which I am presently stuck, but fairly resigned to my fate. 

By the way, this is way too long, but I'm just trying to give any prospective builders some idea what they'll be taking on. The model is pretty decent as is, if  what you want is a close resemblance to an actual D50. I've been a professional at this, and sometimes I get involved in explaining. Let's just cover this rivet thing, and I'll go.

The tail of the racer, when the tank was placed there, needed those rivets I referred to above, around its edge. These are poorly represented on the model as ridges. UCK! I filed and sanded the ridges smooth until you couldn't see where they'd been. Now the rivets, a part I have not yet accomplished, but I have a plan!

Now I need rivets. I have purchased a bunch of them from Scale Hardware, now a part of Model Motorcars. They sell all kinds of really tiny hardware, like nuts and bolts down to 4 tenths of a milimeter!  They also make incredibly small rivets. Well, I'm still looking for the perfect rivet. I have underestimated the size twice. Of course I don't have measurements for that particular rivet. Here's the hard part. Looking at a period photo, I can see that these are about a half inch diameter heads. Spacing? There's about one rivet head diameter's distance between rivets. You read that right, unfortunately! It looks like I have to drill about 200-250 holes and install them. What's more, the body is cast metal, and the rivet shanks are so small (.024") That no drill I know of will stand up to it. Having worked with brass for a long time, I have them all. But I have another hairbrained idea for that too. I should really have added photos of all this. I'm keeping my camera on the bench, and it does a better job of explaining than I have scribbled here. It really kind of depends on whether or not anyone wants to see them, or hear from me at all anymore!

Perhaps I should explain the enjoyment you can derive from cutting and soldering stainless steel. It's far easier than you may think, and will have you standing back and saying, "Holy s--- that's NICE." Really. You'll see. Perhaps I can show a photo of the 1959 Indianopolis 500 winning car's chassis. I've done it entirely in Hypodermic quality stainless steel in 1/25 scale, and it's pretty. That's another lady in waiting...

There's plenty more if you really want to do one of these in true scale. But, these are the two biggies. If these two things aren't important to you, that's fine. Just put it together according to the directions and display it. The wire wheels really make it fine looking. But the tires. All of my Revival kits' tires are cracking with age. I cannot find any replacements. Does anyone know anything about this problem? Now I'm planning the Mercedes out. Having two complete kits makes it quite tempting to build one complete car and one chassis on stands......

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  • 2 months later...

I was fortunate to have dealt with Revival directly several decades ago. I have a special edition of the 1961 Ferrari  156 from the Spa GP; but I need number 8 markings. (4 of them) Does anyone know where I can procure these? 
Thank you! 
 

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