Once again, I am privileged to bring you another build courtesy of Fascinations, who kindly sent me this gorgeous colored version of the 1908 Ford Model T. I’ve built this one before, quite a while back, in silver, and it’s just as fun and frightful as I remember. And by that, I mean it’s one of those models that you want to curse at, but are also having fun with and are really pleased with the results.
Now, I have to admit, when I first saw this model, I was thinking there was some kind of mistake… Why is the section below the windshield red? It looks weird, and seems so like a mistake. But as it turned out, all of the 1908 models had that section red, regardless of the color of the car. Learn something new everyday, right? I will say that the green here is, if you can’t tell, a very dark green, which in some lighting almost looks black.
But I can definitely say that it looks good in person. And the gold highlights look pretty good, even though they are a little closer to yellow, being painted gold, rather than the standard brass-gold sheets that are used. What really surprised me about this model is that the sheets actually have color on both sides for many parts. I don’t know that I’ve seen any other models made that way, but it’s a really nice touch for this model. For example, both the interior and exterior sides of the part below the windshield are painted, rather than having to choose whether to have the exposed front area silver or the exposed cabin-side silver. And this goes for a lot of parts, not just this one case.
As far as building this model, it’s a mixed bag of difficulties. A lot of it is fairly simple and straight-forward. And at other times you find yourself trying to balance several parts at once, hoping that you’ve got the curves just right, and working with some delicate stuff you hope you don’t break during handling (I’m looking at you, gear shift lever thingies!). But don’t be scared away by me saying that. It’s definitely something that is doable, and rewarding when you finish it. As opposed to something you are angry at, even after you are done with it.
Which, quick aside, is something that people who are considering this hobby should know about. What am I talking about? Well, the frustration inherent in building many of these models. Because I don’t know about you, but I get frustrated a lot while building. But it’s not a bad kinda frustrated. It’s a weird kind of “gyaaaarggghhh!!! I hate you!!! But not really, cause it feels good when I conquer you…” kind of frustration. It’s a challenging kind of frustration, not a “why the heck would someone make me do it this way, it could be done so much easier another way, you idjits!” kind of frustration. Anyways, what I’m saying is that you need to have the attitude and patience to deal with challenging-type frustrations if you want to build a lot of these models. And this model is a good example of that.
Right off the bat, I want to give you some advice that you can completely throw away if it’s not applicable. I wish I had thought ahead on this part, but I didn’t even though I struggled with it the time I built the silver version of this. Don’t attach the gear shifts / levers (Part 4) when it tells you to! The instructions suggest doing it fairly early on in the build, but I would suggest waiting. That thing is quite delicate, and you will be handling the model a lot after this point. It’s very easy to bump it and mangle it while continuing with the build, and I’m pretty sure I ended up breaking one of the levers off on the silver version. Thankfully, I did not with this colored version, but I did bump and tweak it a lot. You can hold off on attaching it until nearly the end, though you have to navigate around the steering wheel/column if you do. Still, I think it would be worth it.
My next unasked for advice is to change up the order when it comes to parts 5 and 6 a little. As you can probably guess, the instructions suggest attaching Part 5 before Parts 6. But if you do, then you have to spread-and-wedge to get the forward instance of Part 6 in. Instead, if you attach the forward instance of Part 6, then Part 5, and finally the other Part 6, you will always have an open-end from which to bring the next part into the game. Of course, if you are feeling extra ambitious, you can try to align all 3 parts worth of slots through tabs and then secure them all, for the least amount of wedging in parts, but the greatest amount of balancing unsecured parts. Choose your madness, I guess!
I am sad to report that, once again, the instructions get the Engraved vs. Not-Engraved thing seemingly wrong a couple of times in the instructions. I’d like to emphasize the “seemingly” in that sentence. I think it’s started getting more complicated to determine that sort of thing, though, as they’ve added paint and quite a bit of parts with engraving on both sides. So it may not be “incorrectly” labeled, so much as ambiguous as to which side of the part should be called the engraved side. And this model has paint on both sides, to boot! The first instance is with Part 5, which should have the engraving facing backwards, as the side labeled engraved will be almost completely hidden later on by other parts.
The second instance is Part 23, the collapsed / folded roof. Despite what the instructions say, I believe the side facing the front of the car should be the engraved side (with the engraved rectangles). Mostly because of how the fold lines are engraved on this part, with the center-most fold line having and engraved line across one side, whereas the other two fold-lines have the engraving on the other side. These folds are sharp folds, and it’s much easier to have the engraved line for the fold on the “outside” of this kind of fold. Which leads to my conclusion (and the 360-view agrees, too). Also, nitpicking a little, but they left off any indication that you should attach anything to the slots on the bottom arms here. If it’s not obvious, the other end of the roof has tabs that go there.
And now I get to tell you about something cool. For those that worry about losing or breaking tiny parts, there is a surprise bonus extra part. In the instructions, and the parts diagram, it appears as if there is only one instance of Part 9 available for the build. However, as I was knolling out the build, I found at the end that there was, in fact, a duplicate/extra of Part 9! Which means that there is a complete set of duplicates/extras for the entire steering column assembly – which is a great inclusion, in my opinion. You can see roughly where the extra is located on Sheet A in the graphic below.
Strangely, I found another inconsistency between the parts in the instructions, and the actual parts. In this case, in one place on the instructions, some tabs are shown that are not actually there. In fact, they’re not indicated anywhere else in the instructions, so it seems like the part went through some design revisions, and they just forgot to update it in this one place, on Part 14. Strange, huh? Well, it tripped me up a good second or thirty, but I found my groove again, and kept building.
One of the most frustrating parts of this model, at least the first classic-silver time around, was (were?) the support bars for the windshield. And while they were(are?) still frustrating to get the tabs through the slots this time, it appears that they might actually have been made slightly longer, as I didn’t have nearly as much trouble with the bars trying to pull the windshield forward / out of alignment (it should be straight up and down). Of course, the difference might actually be that I pulled the front bumper/whatever section on the bottom back a little. I don’t know. But it was much easier and happier this time, so I’m greatly pleased. Do note, though, that the support bar does go in-between the fender and engine compartment, not outside the fender, as it appears to do in the instructions (minor layering mistake there, whoops!).
I want to drop one final bit of specific nitpicking, and this is for the final part in the model, Part 28. The part is rather symmetrical, so it seems like it doesn’t matter which way is which. But I would suggest that the instructions could use an indicator for the side facing up to be the not engraved side, and that’s just so that the folds for the axles are easier (following the same engraving fold-line logic that I used for the folded-up roof thingy).
You didn’t think I was actually done, though, did you? Haha. Almost. But I also want to say that there are numerous opportunities throughout the build to attempt to fold tabs, rather than twist them (where twisting is the indicated preference in the instructions). Some are much more challenging to fold than others (such as the tabs on the retractable / folded roof – those tabs are hard to fold). I like to fold visible tabs as much as possibly, but that’s a matter of preference. I’ve highlighted below the ones that I found I preferred to fold, in a collage picture! Approach these tabs as you desire, of course.
Phew, that was a lot of typing. And graphics. But it’s worth it, at least to me. Because maybe, just maybe, someone might benefit from it. And then I’ve given some back to this awesome community. Another thing that’s worth it is building this model. It’s gorgeous. And it’s a bit of history, too. All-in-all, this took me roughly two and a quarter hours across two build sessions. YouTube playlist with both videos right down there, as usual.
I guess I did the silver a very long time ago. I did get the special edition MMS 051C 1908 (with the ’65 Mustang) and the rest of the early Ford set. All have slightly different characteristics and are great builds. But the 051C in red with whitewalls is beautiful! Love your green 1908.
I do want to get my hands on the red versions (both) at some point. Not just because of the whitewalls on the 1908. I also dig the updated hubcaps on the Mustang. I’ve got the 1910 Model T in my backlog, waiting to be built, but I like to skip around the genres some. Though I do tend to have a few Star Wars models together… because I have a lot of Star Wars in my backlog, lol. What can I say, I’m a fanboi. As a matter of fact, next up for publishing is the First Order Treadspeeder. Just have to finish writing the review and making the graphics…
Looks like I will be building the silver version first. It hides the mistakes better. There is also a red to build. I really like your attempt at describing the frustration factor as it morphs into that sense of accomplishment. It is hard to describe why we put ourselves thru it at times. As a sometime equipment designer/adapter, overcoming those challenges is a large tangible part of the job satisfaction. I like to be able to show off something I built or designed.
I completely agree with your summation / explanation. I’m a software developer by trade, and enjoy the challenging parts much more than the easy parts. Unfortunately, I don’t usually end up with a physical thing to appreciate, and many times I don’t even end up with a visible result. One of the reasons I enjoy these models so much. There’s something so much more rewarding to making something you can actually hold and touch.