Author | Krzysztof Szpakowski
It's time to present another project in 1:24 scale - Fiat 131 Abarth from Revell.
I've had this model for almost 15 years, so it's finally time to build it. The Revell kit comes from 2007 and is a repackaged Esci product from the late 70s, which makes it have many errors such as only two instead of four halogens in the front and wrong rear lamps. The advantage of the set is undoubtedly the Cartograf decals, which, despite the passage of years, still look like new!
The model will be detailed-up with a set of photo-etched plates and details produced by Renaissance TK24/202. Additional details such as seat belts, switches on the dashboard, bolts in the rims, valves or fasteners on the tailgate will be products produced by scalecars.online
The rear lamps will be replaced with Decalcas lamps, while the treaded tires will be replaced with slicks from Toyota Celica.
Despite the high quality of Cartograf's decals, in my opinion, the light blue color of the stripes on the body of the model is wrong. That's why I'm going to cut this part of the decals and paint light blue stripes. For this purpose, I will use HYCOTE - Ford Bermuda Light Blue paint. Primer, white TS-26 and gloss TS-13 will be Tamiya set.
Below a few photos of the Fiat body, which requires a lot of work.
The work has started. The key thing for me in this model is the fine-tuning of the front lights. I removed those ugly flat headlights and replaced them with Opel Manta headlights. The Fiat immediately looks different!
The next stage of work is the modification of the Mirafiori front.
I changed the shape of the front bumper so I can mount the grill lower. This resulted in the hood of the car no longer looking as if it was open or incorrectly closed. I also cut out the missing front bumper panel lines. I drilled the bumper for the towing eye mount, halogen mounts and parking lights.
I cut holes for larger Fiat lights after the facelift. I also drilled a hole under the towing eye. Additionally, I made a bumper panel line because the model was completely shapeless.
Front and rear lights fitting test.
The body of the Fiat was redone. There are still a few corrections left, but the panel lines have been deepened and profiled, as well as sheet metal stampings and window seals. I am currently testing the suspension and tires which I changed to slicks.
Wheel arches modification.
One of the main things to change when building the 1980 Monte Carlo Rally Fiat is the wheel arches. It is just as important to the model as changing the taillights, because it changes the whole silhouette of the car. It is worth mentioning, because many modelers do not realize it, or even worse, do not see the difference.
Work on rims and tires.
I drilled 17 holes in each wheel (12 for the ring mounting bolts, 4 for the rim mounting bolts and 1 for the air valve).
Products used for rims detail up are scalecars.online.
The rims are painted with gray Tamiya primer and Tamiya TS-30 base. The effect of depth and light dirt was obtained using Tamiya Panel Line Accent Color (Black). The red marks represent the rear wheels and the black marks the front ones. The slick tires come from Tamiya's Toyota Celica ST-185. Tire markers are Decalcas decals.
Fiat painted with white primer. A few tweaks between layers, but the worst is behind me. Mirafiori finally has the right shape!
Update 3 | 14.10.2023
The model was painted Tamiya TS-26.
I also added masking.
The first effect of painting blue stripes on Fiat.
The step between the layers of paint has been eliminated. Additionally, I painted the Fiat with several thin layers of TS-13. It's time for the first series of decals.
The model was re-painted with TS-13. Then many hours of polishing using sandpapers from 2000 to 7000 grit and Tamiya polishing pastes. The next step is to make the dividing lines and paint the window seals in order to start the second series of wrapping the Abarth.
Even though I managed to avoid the mistakes in the manual regarding the placement of decals, the model is still not 100% consistent with the original car. Some of the decals are the wrong size, e.g. the Italian flags on the doors are too small. Crew names and rally plates too.
Author | Krzysztof Szpakowski