1/43 Heller British Leyland Mini Spécial (cat.nr. 184)

box art

Intro

This Heller kit was first released in 1979 and depicts an early Mk.IV Mini with British Leyland badges.
On the outside a Mk.IV differs from earlier models by its black front grille, newly styled wheels and larger tail lights which now include a white reverse light on either side.
The kit I built was a first release with bright blue plastic parts and decals with french license plates and BL badges.


frontal 3/4 view

Construction

Despite its diminutive size (length is just over 7cm overall) the kit is well detailed (there is even a rudimentary engine provided) and was easy to assemble.
As tinting the windows reduced transparency somewhat I cut down the lefthand door window to keep the cabin interior visible.

rear 3/4 view Some changes made to the kit:


elevated frontal 3/4 view

Painting

The Heller kit instructions are for a blue car with blue-gray interior, however Mini's can be found painted in almost any color of the spectrum so I picked my own colors.
I decided to do a 'sparkly' variation on the 60ies bright-blue-with-white-roof Mini Cooper color scheme, using Revell Car Metallic Pearl over satin white for the roof and Tamiya Acrylic clear blue over flat aluminium.
I also tinted the windows by spraying a thin even coat of clear blue on the insides.
After the clear blue on the body had cured I carefully scraped away the blue coat from all silver trim parts.
I applied flat clear varnish to the plated wheels and applied gloss clear varnish to the other plated parts, the head light lenses and the whip aerial.
Finally I ran an ultra-fine black marker along the door seams.
I never bothered to apply the kit decals, the model looks fine without license plates and badges.

lefthand view

Date finished: August 23rd, 1986.



Paints used
bodybase coat, body trimTamiya Acrylic XF-16 Aluminium
top coat, window tintTamiya Acrylic X-23 Clear Blue
roofbase coatRevell 301 Satin White
top coatRevell Car Metallic 390 Pearl
cabin interior, seatsHumbrol 96 Matt RAF Blue
floorpan, radiator grille, tiresHumbrol 33 Matt Black
indicator lightsTamiya Acrylic X-26 Clear Orange
tail lightsTamiya Acrylic X-27 Clear Red

righthand view

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