Italeri 1:9 Norton Manx 500cc 1951

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It is almost a year since I bought this kit from Scale Model Shop so it is time to build it.

It is an old kit, I believe it dates back to the 1970s, but although these old kits do not have the finesse or fit of modern kits, they do depict the real thing quite nicely. This kit also has a few special connections to me. Geoff Duke rode this very bike, well.... the real one, to victory becoming a World Champion for the second time in 1951, the year I was born. As the races were possibly held around June time, it could have happened within days of my birth.

Many years later, my cousin and I were building bikes and we obtained a blown engine road version of this bike with that all important Featherbed frame. We installed a modified Triumph Bonneville engine updated to a 750cc and completed our one and only ‘Triton’. I never rode it as it was sold within hours of firing it up. After that we did a few ‘Tribsa’ using the same modified engine in BSA Golstar frames but I never forgot that old Norton.

Anyway, enough rambling. Here is the box art on the latest reboxing which I believe, in my opinion anyway, is the sexiest bike box art ever. If Carling made kits, this is how the boxes would look......

Not a vast amount of parts and a fair bit of chrome to strip but there will be lots of cleaning up to do and possibly a little heated language at some fit issues:thinking: I have read mixed reviews but I don’t take them seriously. One guy, probably a decent modeller using Tamiya kits, described it as unfit to build and the worst kit he had ever seen. Step aside son and watch it done the old way....:smirk:

1101AECE-12E7-4832-B86B-F9CF13C2CFDA.jpeg
 

beowulf

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well, i look forward to seeing this take shape! classic bike!
 

john i am

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Looking forward your build Graham as I've recently acquired this kit myself so I'll be following intently. Good luck cheers John
 

coachman

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Hi Graham, I will watch this with interest. I made this some time ago, it was hard work, the biggest problem I encountered
was with the two swinging arms to the rear wheel. No matter how I fitted them together they were not parallel, I had to cut
the castellation off one side and glue them together. Other smaller fit issues but I've got to say, when it was finished it looked
gorgeous. I now lives in my daughters display cabinet. I made another for myself with virtually no problems, but I used the same
Italeri kit, but different box art. It stated on the box - With major component upgrade- and it was true, another fine model.
I was 11 years old when Geoff Duke was my hero, reading the Motor Cycle News whenever I could. Have fun Graham it will be
worth it. John
 

papa 695

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First of all Welcome back Graham, and looking forward to the build.
 
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Hi Graham, I will watch this with interest. I made this some time ago, it was hard work, the biggest problem I encountered
was with the two swinging arms to the rear wheel. No matter how I fitted them together they were not parallel, I had to cut
the castellation off one side and glue them together. Other smaller fit issues but I've got to say, when it was finished it looked
gorgeous. I now lives in my daughters display cabinet. I made another for myself with virtually no problems, but I used the same
Italeri kit, but different box art. It stated on the box - With major component upgrade- and it was true, another fine model.
I was 11 years old when Geoff Duke was my hero, reading the Motor Cycle News whenever I could. Have fun Graham it will be
worth it. John
Cheers John. Only issue at the moment is the chrome plated parts. Couple of hours in bleach didn’t even dull the shine. They have now been in oven cleaner for an hour or so and it is not touching it:anguished:

I have read about the swinging arm issue a few times, I will cross that bridge when I get to it.
 
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Got most of the big engine parts put together and just about sorted, a coat of primer has raised a few issues but that is what it is there for certainly nothing serious so far.

61C7C36C-E5D5-4525-AD61-CF214E38D430.jpegDB431764-10CC-496B-9981-A933BA811376.jpegACEB48A5-E585-48B7-BDD1-103100C98F83.jpeg

The colour of the plastic is a tad weird. The gold coloured parts are supposed to be painted with Flat Black + Gloss Metalic Brass at 50/50. If I rember correctly from the WWII Triumph build, this gives a warm gunmetal colour but I prefer to use Tamiya Dark Iron for this. The cylinder barrel, the finned part, will be aluminium. Most reference pictures appear to be black or dark grey for the gold parts, or at least the crankcase. Not 100% but I would have thought that the crankcase would have been cast alloy by that time so I am assuming it was painted. If anyone knows, I would be interested to know, just seems an odd colour if it was painted, why not just black?
 

kpnuts

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Looking good so far graham
 

Ian M

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I have selen photographs where the crank case are painted black and in a natural dark aluminium.
 
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I have selen photographs where the crank case are painted black and in a natural dark aluminium.
Same here Ian but it is the old restoration issue, it is impossible to tell from the original pictures. I don’t want it black as it will be too harsh, the Tamiya Dark iron may be too ‘metalic’ so it may end up being the brass and black mix. Plenty of time to experiment but, sadly, not today. I am cooking Sunday lunch for 10 people with tea to follow.........
 
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Just a few pics of the engine in its final colours. Only thing I have changed are the little coil springs on the cylinder head. There are two each side and the kit parts don’t even resemble what they should look like so I made my own.

CD7E175E-FF65-4394-818A-55916A7785D8.jpeg347F20AC-883A-4FB2-AE1F-ED675FDAB072.jpeg0BE4B4CE-FE19-4C06-9F37-E3273A1BB48F.jpeg
 
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Ian M

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well here one that is not a restored job.
manx1952.jpg
Not a great help but it shows that its not black...manx1952.jpg
 
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This picture is on the instruction book. In this, the cylinder looks black and the crankcase and cylinder head look the same mid grey. Heller state brass for cylinder head (even on though the boxart it looks like black). Looks like mine will represent a really badly thought out restoration by someone who is colour blind....... good enough for me :hugging-face:
 
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Graham

What a lovely job you are doing on this build. I did not realise it was an older kit when i have seen it advertised but that said i guess it gives you the fun of some extra build time.

Its certainly a lovely looking bike and hope it continues well for you.
 
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Graham

What a lovely job you are doing on this build. I did not realise it was an older kit when i have seen it advertised but that said i guess it gives you the fun of some extra build time.

Its certainly a lovely looking bike and hope it continues well for you.
Cheers Tony. Yes, these 1/9 scale old bikes are getting on a bit now but they are worth the effort to get them together. I have already built the WWII Triumph and I have a WWII Harley Davidson still to build. The Triumph was a very nice kit to build.
 
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Bit more done today, doesn’t appear much as it has been fiddly bits and painting but it is slowly getting there.

Engine plates finished so engine and gearbox put into frame. The rear of the frame is not glued up so I can spread it to get bits in.

F18DC389-BB6E-465E-81B8-89226BE6CFF3.jpeg

Wheels painted gloss black on hubs and rims glued up with tyres in place can just be seen in background.

Exhaust and silencer stripped of chrome then errrr chromed.....

A0F5CDCD-9FB5-43B6-8F9D-A38AEE1A9523.jpeg

Oil and petrol tank primed, sprayed gloss black then finished in Alclad White Aluminium then sprayed with Alclad Aqua Clear before adding decals. Another coat of clear to go on tomorrow.

50109B54-A5A4-4052-81BD-D656B60B38B3.jpeg

Doesn’t look much progress but I have put quite a few hours in today, sometimes it goes like that.
 

kpnuts

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I don't know I can see a lot of work has gone on. It's looking very good
 
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