Front Suspension, Chassis and Cooling

It’s getting hard to think of page titles for the different areas of the car! This one will show some more work on the footbox, suspension and cooling / aerodynamics under the nose cover.

Here are the three main parts of the front radiator and it’s mounting to the chassis. The black framework was originally satin black, but it didn’t look right so I’ve given it a coat of Testor’s Dullcote Lacquer to knock it back a little. The ‘wing’ that I assume energises air coming off the cooler has been left in satin black to provide some visual interest.

The cooler itself is assembled from one large white metal piece and two photo-etched metal parts. It’s ‘see through’ as it is so I hope it didn’t need a blanking piece in there. Hopefully with the black of the floor under it it will look fine. I drilled out whatever the five things are on the front a little, added some dirt around them, and two bits of weld seam that can just be seen at each end of the front face. Here’s everything assembled.

My reference book from MFH shows the restored car with several protective plates or covers over the cooler matrices, so I decided to make one to add some interest. It’s simply plastc card with a handle made from off cuts from a photo etched brass set. I made masks so that I could spray the Mazdaspeed logos. It’s OK that they are a little scruffy as the real thing was obviously knocked up in the workshop.

Following that I’ve spent a lot of time enhancing the brake rotors. The restored car I’m using as reference has disks with ventilating grooves cut in, but MFH supply them as simple flat disks. That might be correct for the ’91 car, but I’m building it as it was restored, so this needed to be corrected. I used my plotter cutter to make disks in 0.2mm plastic card, which were then stuck to the face of the metal parts. Painted in Alclad stainless steel and given a quick going over with Flory Washes Dark Dirt I think they look really smart.

These have now been mounted on the hubs, and the brake calipers fitted. There was just enough room between the pads for the rotors to fit in. The axles were then glued in to the hubs from behind and the hub bearers fitted.

I’ve also been busy on the front suspension. There are many holes that need to be drilled out, so part preparation is a big part of the process. The wishbones etc will come soon, but her are the two front shock absorbers. They are painted mostly with Alclad colours. The springs on the prototype have an odd metallic sheen to them, that I’ve represented with layers and layers of Tamiya X-19 Smoke over the original silver.

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