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Saturday, December 7, 2013

Roden 1/72 Opel Ludewig Aero

 (The completed model is here:)

The engineering and molding of the Ludewig Aero kit are better than those of the Strassenzepp, the flash almost absent, and the level of detail is equally remarkable.
If you have built like me the Strassenzepp first, beware that the grayed-out parts are partially different, and while there is a lot of kit commonality you should be careful and read the instructions (and listen to your modeling instincts).
Some things will need -as with the other kit- your attention, and are commented in the photos that illustrate the building article. Since, as said, there is partial commonality, the process is not as exhaustively documented this time around and therefore the number of photos will be not as high. In any case you may like to review the Strassenzepp building article here:
The thin parts are really fragile, as said in the previous building, and there are slight mold mismatches, especially in the exhaust plumbing and transmission (the latter excellently detailed, with universal joins and all), that makes cleaning them a real pain, and you end up with a sort of oval cross section.
I went for another solution (again, mentioned already in the Strassenzepp building post) regarding the ill-fitting chassis. This time around I supplemented the chassis support members as seen in the accompanying images.

Nice, classy lines. The tailfin not quite visible from this angle:
 Here the instructions and the clear printed sheet with the windows:
 A view of the sprues with some parts already loose:
 Cleaner, better engineered parts:
 Very nice sides, those doors beg to be opened, and the steps are molded already on the floor, but I'll pass on that:
 Parts not needed are taken out of the sprues:
The arrow point to some excrescences of the mold, cut them leaving some on the body, otherwise if you just remove them (as I did) you end up with a small triangular hole to fill (see two photos down):
Notice those two thin thread "antennas" at the very front? the original bus had some moldings there, but Roden's molds somehow failed and the threads detached. Unless they are mold seams. You have to glue them back following the original on a photo of the real bus, they run between the mudguards and the hood (on the hood):
 Gap left for trimming those "wings" -to which I pointed out before- too much:
 The sides are engineered differently -better- than in the Strassenzepp, the fit is good, the photo shows just a dry trial:
One of the mustaches broke, so here some stretched sprue is added:
 The underside in this kit shows ugly ejector pin marks:
 The dashboard/front comes as one piece instead of as the two of the other kit:
 Two sides glued to the roof/front main part:
Tail part glued (a spreader was needed to align the parts):
 The floor received some white putty to hide those marks, the other parts are laid down and some sub-assemblies prepared:
 Floor fixed -the other marks on the steps will be just sanded off later on, since the parts are thick enough to allow for that-:
 The body/floor dry fit is very good:
The chassis receives -as explained above- supplements of white styrene strip to fill the kit's mistaken gap:
 The chassis is glued to the floor and the other related pats are added:
The delicate task of gluing the components of the wheels, transmission and suspension while allowing steering and rotation is accomplished:

The head lights' housings are reamed in order to accept MV lenses -a separate front part has to be drilled too-, much more realistic than the kit's painted-on ones:
 Some small lights that fall on a mold partition line -and therefore are unavoidably split in halves- are removed and replaced with contoured scraps of styrene rod:
The cross members are added on the roof top, the dashboard and ancillaries together with the front bumper are glued in place:
 The kit's lights' fronts are drilled in order to accept the MV lenses. More lenses are selected for the back red lights:
 The radiator and fin are glued in place:
Grey is airbrushed:
 Then black:
 Then ivory:
The seat cushions and radiator are painted:
 The dashboard is given some home-decaling:
Seats now in place:
 The front end:
 The other side of the moon:
 Comparison between the Strassenzepp (forefront) and the Aero:
A double-layer decal is devised for the radiator front:

 Hans, Gunter and Johan Schubert, who belong to the Zoenke Böse schrägeMusikband and were visiting the West Coast for a wedding, performed and impromptu Holidays concert:
Masking and airbrushing of the leather color on the roof luggage compartment:
 Bodies will be ready after some drying for the delicate operation of glazing, tackled by Roden as printed acetate that you have to cut and glue in place:
NOTE: Whilst in the Strassenzepp the fan and radiator are there in the sprues but not part of the assembly, they are present in the Aero's instructions. Nevertheless, if you glue them to the engine, then the engine will not fit (being that front addenda too large in length) inside the chassis. If you extend the front cross member of the chassis far out, then the fender and hood will have a bad fit. So you may sand the fan closer to the engine block and split the radiator in  upper and lower parts -which is what I planned to do-.

Small parts are painted:
The MV lenses that replace the kit's headlights are glued in place inside the reamed-out plastic parts:
The glazing of both models is accomplished, again, not without some degree of struggle and re-doing. It consumed several long hours:
 Even if it does not seem like, still lots of things to do and add (license plates, decals, windshield framing, "nav" lights, mirrors, etc):

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