Saturday, July 12, 2008
My new Citroen Xantia ;)
This is my Citroen Xantia...
...and this is my new Citroen Xantia!
But as you can probably see, unlike the first one, this new Xantia of mine isn't a real car, no, not by far, but it's a 1/18 replica of the real one!
After staying up till an ungodly 2am to fight for and win this item on eBay, milking my wallet a bit, and waiting for almost another full exasperating month for the payment to get to the seller, the Xantia finally reached my doorstep after 9 days in transit from France to Malaysia!!!
According to my research (well, actually random bits of info I found on Google lar), this 1/18 Xantia is one of only 1000 units produced by Minichamps (previously known as Paul's Model Art, which in turn was previously known as Segem), commissioned by Peugeot Citroen PSA, and issued to the first 1000 customers who booked a Xantia during it's first release back in 1993. Models come in gold, red or blue colours, but all depict the earlier 16V petrol models, hence the 16V insert in the front doors, and double chevron logo on the hood instead of on the front grille as on all later models.
I've tried searching for this model since early last year but to no avail, and after 15 years, it's understandably hard to find examples of this model for sale, let alone mint ones, but fortunately, as luck would have it, one such unit appeared on eBay the day I decided to renew my search efforts, and as luck would have it, not many buyers noticed it appearing, so after a few days spent waiting for the auction to come to an end, and with some more luck, I managed to win the rights to buy it, and at a steal too! I was expecting prices north of RM700 for it, but now it's mine for only RM500+!! I've since seen some lesser examples (scratched model, damaged or crumpled box) on Yahoo! Auctions Japan and eBay, and even those fetched prices of 600 and above! Talk about luck, woohooo!!!!
Unfortunately, that's where my luck ends, for the mint Xantia model I bought came out of the box not so mint anymore :(
The model is 1/18 and is a metal diecast, so it weights a hefty bit. The plastic base the model came with must have crumbled under the stress of weight and shocks during transit, and caved in quite a bit. While the base isn't all that important, the car itself wasn't spared too, so it came out of the box with a snapped right front wheel, broken front steering axles, loose suspension parts, and cracked mounting points, so that's where my skillzzz as a scale modeller come into play!!
Right, so see those white spots under the wheel assemblies? That's where the studs that are supposed to hold them in place with the lower arm have snapped.
These are the studs on the upper part; they haven't snapped yet, but they will soon anyway, so I figured best do a good job the first time off and be done with it. I then cut em off to accomodate my repairs. I'm kinda fixing what ain't broken here :P
After cutting off all the studs and flattening the surface, I put the wheel assemblies in the vise grip and started drilling thru em one by one. Dad had put aluminium liners on the vise grips to better protect soft items, but since the wheels are plastic and painted, I put cloth there to protect the wheels from scuffing.
Super small drill bit for super small holes! All thanks to Dad who bought 2 of these small drill bits new for me this morning since the only one left at home has snapped, I'm sure they'll come in handy for my future projects :) Where there used to be broken studs, is now a tunnel of the same diameter all through the plastic part to accomodate a stronger pin shaft!
When drilling plastic parts, it is very very very very important to go slow and steady. Too fast and you'll melt the surrounding plastic, making a mess. You have shaky hands and the drill goes through plastic like knife through butter, and where you intended to have a small pinhole, will be a hole fit for a .22 bullet (which is as big as an average nostril :D ), so there, go slow and steady with plastic.
Apart from the wheels, this part of the lower assembly which was originally bonded to the chassis have came loose, so I had to separate the chassis from body to get it repaired.
The main body, front and rear bumpers are separate parts! Neat huh? Most diecasts just have a one-piece outer body construction, and so the underchassis details suck, but this one's pretty accurate.
After screwing the body and chassis parts back on, I reassembled the front wheels and realigned the steering con rod as well as the lower arms, then I just slid two iron nails I've spray-painted black earlier into the slots I drilled, with some glue at the ends to keep em still, so the steering axles are again functional and waayyyyyy stronger than original!
See? Looks good as new, I don't think anyone will notice the black nails if I don't mention it :D
Now that the steering parts are back on, I just gave the loose wheel some modelling glue, some time to set, and it's good as new too!
More pics of the 1/18 Xantia to come, I'm gonna do a comparison with the real thing!