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Seat 850 Coupe "Alitalia"

In 1965, a year after launching the sedan version, FIAT started the production of the 850 coupe, a two-door model with rear engine, "fastback" body and rear cutted, so-called "coda trunca", to the taste of the time and developed by FIAT design department.
The spanish manufacturer SEAT released under license the same model two years later, fitted with a four-cylinder engine of 843 cc developing about 52 hp at 6,400 r.p.m. and thanks to its sportsmanship the model was quickly used in rallying and hillclimb races of the time.

In slot racing, the car has been reproduced by EXIN and in more recent times by Altaya in the series "Rallies de España". Reproduction itself is very successful but its wheel archs are a bit wide and the whole car is a bit high compared to the original model.

Seat 850 Coupé "Alitalia"

On this basis, the intention is to polish the little things that drive it away from the original and make a decoration, that although it is not at the time the car was built, it fits great and is the "Alitalia" one:

Seat 850 Coupé "Alitalia"

The first step, well known, is to disassemble and remove the paint from the bodywork. To dismantle, a soldering iron will be very useful to us. Ten minutes in isopropyl alcohol leave the bodywork ready.

Seat 850 Coupé "Alitalia"

First we modify the wheel arches, for this purpose, plasticard strips glued with bicomponent glue will serve for the basis of the putty. It also serve to cover the additional lights, that the model car to reproduce does not mount.
In addition, with a file we cut the wheel arches and mark the molding that runs the car longitudinally that in the scale model was somewhat obscured by a larger wheel arches than it should be.

Seat 850 Coupé "Alitalia"

And to reduce slightly the size of a wheel, we stuck around a little bit of putty

Seat 850 Coupé "Alitalia"

With the minidrill we practice a few 1 mm. wide holes, following the shape of a wheel

Seat 850 Coupé "Alitalia"

and we get the correct shape sanding down with sandpaper wrapped around an iron pipe. The wheels that I use are a Reprotec SEAT 600 ones which have the exact dimension (in scale size) of the 13-inch wheels that originally fitted the car, but the tires I would have to cut a bit because they have a very high profile.

Seat 850 Coupé "Alitalia"

This is how is a wheel arch rebuilt compared with the original:

Seat 850 Coupé "Alitalia"

The chassis is the original of the car that I've adapted a long box mabuchi type engine Ninco pod, sticked with bicomponent glue. As I removed the supplemental car headlights, which made the pin function with the bodywork on the front, I had to stick a plastic evergreen lug in the front, make the corresponding anchorage to the chassis and practice a hole in the drivers tray to not obstruct the lug.

Seat 850 Coupé "Alitalia"

For a break from the bodywork I will focus on the details of the car, which basically are the headlights and their bezels. The bezels of the headlights only need to be touch up a little with fine sandpaper to remove burrs from the mold and to fit better into place.
Regarding the headlights, watching them gave me a weird feeling but I didn´t really know why. Looking more closely I realized that the Altaya scale model had the headlights slightly bulging, and the glass of the lighthouse protrudes from the bezel while the original car the headlights glass were lower than their bezel.. Besides, the bezels of the headlights, front and rear are a bit more thick which emphasize the "frog eyes" feeling of the car .. To avoid this, I sand the bezel on the bottom with a fine sandpaper (400 grain) to reduce its height by about half. In addition I emptied it to obtain a less prominent optics.

Seat 850 Coupé "Alitalia"

And that is how are the headlights once worked as compared with the Altaya model:

Seat 850 Coupé "Alitalia"

For my taste, the improvement is substantial.
And continuing with the improvements, it remained to retouch the wheel arches. In the original car have a slight ridge on top. To reproduce it, first hit plasticard strips of 0.3 mm. thick inside of the wheel arch:

Seat 850 Coupé "Alitalia"

..., I sand to give them the proper shape to hit later a little bit of restorative wood putty (Nural 41 ),...

Seat 850 Coupé "Alitalia"

... and with much patience and sandpaper I will give the shape. This is the result:

Seat 850 Coupé "Alitalia"

As always, a coat of primer (spray applied) will help us to show the failures.

Seat 850 Coupé "Alitalia"

While the primer dried, I took to adjust the tires. As discussed above, the wheels are those of the Reprotec SEAT 600, but are too wide for the car. Are 7 mm. wide, which would correspond to a wheel measuring 224, when this car with about 165 was fine, the intention is to cut just over one millimeter in width at the wheels to make them better aesthetically, at least at the front. In addition, the rubber of these wheels dance a little on the wheel rim because it has too much room as you can see in the following picture:

Seat 850 Coupé "Alitalia"

So after lowering the tires a bit to avoid them to touch the wheel arch I stick a 0.3 thick plasticard strip with superglue in the inside of the rim:

Seat 850 Coupé "Alitalia"

then cut with the cutter,

Seat 850 Coupé "Alitalia"

to later glue the tire to the rim with cyanoacrylate and cut the spare millimeter. Compared with the original wheel looks like this:

Seat 850 Coupé "Alitalia"

This is the car with the "original" tires

Seat 850 Coupé "Alitalia"

and so are the narrowed tires until finish off with sandpaper:

Seat 850 Coupé "Alitalia"

The holes where the front bumper fits were a little high what they should and one a little higher than the other, surely did so for chassis design that reaches far up the front, so that the bumper anchors should be between the chassis and bodywork. I cover and did them again where belonged.

Seat 850 Coupé "Alitalia"

The door handles are made with thin plasticard strips, first the fixed part:

Seat 850 Coupé "Alitalia"

and then the handle itself, with a somewhat thicker strip to make it a little higher:

Seat 850 Coupé "Alitalia"

Once done all the modeling of the bodywork, we move to the paint. A white gloss Dupli-color spray will help me the car finally resemble his 1:1 scale brother

Seat 850 Coupé "Alitalia"

After a few coats of white spray paint the bodywork is reasonably good. At some points the paint not covered at all and it shows a little bit of the gray primer but I didn´t want to give more coats because they would lose a lot of details like the door stripes or the handles, who they already were a little blurred.
Dario of Unotreintaidos provided me a very good quality the decals, slim and very well defined. The pity is I wasn´t particularly inspired and I didn´t placed them the good they should be and I would liked, especially the roof one, who looks a little twisted as shown in the following photos...

Seat 850 Coupé "Alitalia" Seat 850 Coupé "Alitalia" Seat 850 Coupé "Alitalia"

I had to soften some decals applying "Microsol" and then leave them well-fixed with "Microset". After three days let them dry, I proceeded with the varnish, two slim hands of "Bosque Verde" paintbrush applyed will be enought for the limited use the slot car will have.

The bumpers are painted with red enamel with a paintbrush, as the seam of the headlights, door handles and bottom of the headlights, but with silver enamel. To do the final appearance to the taillights first painted them with Humbrol silver enamel and once dry with Tamiya clear red and orange with a permanent marker. The front indicators are painted the same way and were made form some plastic tubes that are holding the pieces of the scale model kits.
The chassis is painted with black enamel with a paintbrush and the exhaust pipe is made from a electronic terminal.

And once the car completely assembled looks like follows:

Seat 850 Coupé "Alitalia" Seat 850 Coupé "Alitalia" Seat 850 Coupé "Alitalia" Seat 850 Coupé "Alitalia" Seat 850 Coupé "Alitalia" Seat 850 Coupé "Alitalia"

Regarding the mechanics, I fitted a long box Mabuchi type engine rom a model plane that found in the garbage.
I´ll have to tweak a little the chassis because the wheels do not sit evenly on the track. Without this detail, I finished the job.

DATASHEET
ChassisSeat 850, adpated
Wheelbase63 mm.
Dimensions (L x W x H)111 x 46 x 38 mm.
Weight75 gr.
EngineLong box mabuchi type
Front tiresReprotec Seat 600, narrowed
Rear tiresReprotec Seat 600
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