K’s Workshop 1999 Aprilia

K’s Workshop 1999 Aprilia RSV250 By Paul Adams

With some feeling of inevitability, I’ve started yet another Valentino Rossi bike and my second Ks Workshop kit on the trot! There is in fact a plan…at Scale Model World in 2011, Shane Price and I plan to do a major Rossi display, and seeing as we are someway short of exhibiting every bike he’s run, we’re building as many as we can before then.

While the memories are still fresh from the 1998 model, I decided to make Rossi’s 1999 championship winning Aprilia and although I would be essentially making the same kit again, the paint scheme was very different indeed. The main sponsor remained for ’99, Nastro Azzurro, but along with the other factory Aprilia riders, Rossi bike would sport a new white, metallic grey, fluorescent red and yellow scheme, making a pretty bike, but hard work for the modeller.  The kit decals took care of some of the problems, but in time honoured fashion, I decided to tackle the scheme head on and paint most of it. I would dispense with the white separation decals and the red background for the Aprilia logo and paint these areas along with applying the correct fluorescent red. The seat poses a challenge too – a fluorescent red Diesel (Jeans) sticker sits over the carbon area on the seat. More of how I tackle this in a forthcoming report.

I began by cleaning up the main parts, removing seams and flash from the frame, tank, seat and fairing which itself was glued together carefully using cyano and fixed with Zip Kicker. After sanding this down with 600 and 1500 grit papers, it was finished with Tamiya epoxy filler. Despite my best efforts I had to repeat this process a number of times before I was happy.  With the fairing ready I test fitted the main parts together. Repeating my process for the 1998 bike, I used 2mm aluminium tubing to fasten the swingarm and engine in place, and pinned the seat with dress makers pins. The fairing locates onto two lugs, one on the engine and one on the frame. The fit was snug and straight.  It’s at this stage that fit problems must be ironed out – too late once painting starts!!  Other than some minor warping on the legs of the seat part, which were straightened out with heat from a hairdryer, there were no problems.

Test fitting the main components Fairing on – the fit was excellent

It was straight onto the smaller parts and with further trimming, sanding, filling and adjustments I got the wheels and forks on the bike to form a rolling chassis. I then checked that it looked and sat right, that the ride height looks ok (particularly the back/swingarm) and that everything lines up. With the lower exhaust on I could check the clearance by the fairing side – a problem last time out. Sure enough, I had to thin the fairing a touch to stop the pipe from sitting too high and not lining up with the footpeg holder, where it mounts.

This left side shot shows the correct location for the lower exhaust. The fairing and is held in place temporarily with Tamiya masking tape, whilst this is awkward to achieve as the thing wants to fall to pieces, it’s necessary as resin kits are notorious for ill-fitting parts. The forks too have help from tape at this stage. The wheels and tyres are donated from the Tamiya TZ250M kit and are held on with Tuner Model Factory axles. The swingarm and fork bottoms are drilled out to 2mm to accommodate them. The vac formed windscreen was trimmed up and retaining holes were drilled into the fairing. The bike sits on another donated stand courtesy of a Tamiya M1 kit. Similar stand types were used – this is the closest I have without resorting to scratch building one.

The right side photo shows the clean lines of the bike – the right side of a racing 250 bikes houses the chain, unlike a four stroke machine. The operating pedals are the usual way around though, brake on the right, gears on the left. With the basic assembly and test fitting out of the way I could move onto to final clean up and get on with painting.

Detailed below is an overview of what’s been used so far.











The 1999 bike had several changes to the paint scheme from the relatively ‘easy’ 1998 bike including the introduction of metallic grey and fluorescent yellow to the white and florescent red. Painting this was going to be no simple task as I wanted to dispense with the ‘assist’ decals and paint most of it.  Doing it this way ensures continuity with colour between the two bikes, and hopefully provide a better overall finish.

The fussy ’99 paint scheme and the ’98 machine.. …much simpler!!

I began with the tank, which is mainly grey, but has an odd shaped fluorescent yellow section around the helmet indentation. The kit provides a decal for this, but as it was not fluorescent enough for me I painted it. To begin with I sprayed the tank with Halfords white primer and allowed this to dry. Two coats of Zero Brilliant white went on next, this serving as a base colour for the yellow. I shot four coats of yellow over about 10 minutes.

3 hours of masking later!!

The masking was done threefold…first  I created the shape around the fuel filler cap hole then added the thin 1mm masking line down to the front lip, then using of all things, a Nascar wheel,  I cut a curved piece which would fit between the two masking lines, all done with Tamiya masking tape.

After flapping about for 3 hours I was pleased with the result.

I then sprayed 4 coats (this figure will be significant            later) of Zero Nastro Azzurro grey over the complete tank. The Zero grey was originally intended for the Rossi 2000 Honda NSR500, but it just happens to be a good match for the 1999 Aprilia too! This paint dries with a slight sheen, but will require clear-coating later. The tank is seen here 5 minutes after spraying was completed.

30 minutes later, enough time for the paint to harden, the masking was carefully removed. With the masking off, the effect is revealed. Not a bad result (or so I thought at the time!) Shortly after this picture was taken I carefully knocked down the paint build up on the edges of the grey using 4000 grit Micromesh cloth.  It’s then ready for clear-coat.

Next up was the fairing, by far the most complicated part of the paint scheme and a test of my ability to mask up cleanly and accurately. The kit provides decals to separate the fluorescent red area and the white/ grey sections. I chose to paint this part, mainly because I feared some bleed through and the after studying a completed model on a French website; the curvature of the white decal didn’t match my references. Furthermore, it was easy to misread the references as the paint scheme changed slightly from race to race, so getting two pictures from the same race was vital. The bike I’m doing is based on the picture at the beginning of this article, which I believe were taken at the Spanish Grand Prix at Jerez, 9th May 1999.

So with this in mind I began painting the fairing, by once again spraying Halfords white primer followed by a light wet sanding down and 3 coats of Zero brilliant white.  I tried to use cut out decals from the sheet to help guide my first and important tape line. This was to no avail however, as the white decals on white backing paper was impossible to photocopy, so I resorted to actually cutting out the decal and using this instead. I measured two distances from the panel line so I could get both sides consistent. The 1mm tape is difficult to use and doesn’t tolerate handling much so each line was attempted with a fresh piece after every time it went wrong. Using tweezers, the decal, measuring and my finger to guide it around the curve I succeeded. The curve up the fairing was altered according to my references.

First tape line established Masking up complete, the upper part is left open around the bubble for painting red too

After tack ragging to area down, I readied the Zero fluorescent red in my Iwata CR Revolution airbrush. I shot four coats at around 30 psi. The fluorescent colours dry flat and quite thick, so it’s best to avoid building up too many layers. The area around the bubble was painted too – this area would the subject of another masking adventure shortly!

A few minutes after painting and the masking was removed to reveal the lower hard line masking was successful

The next stage was to prove the most challenging. Adjacent to either side of the bubble are fluorescent red stickers that contain a nickname and a Diesel jeans sponsor logo. The stickers are provided as decals in the kit, (the logos are separate) however the colour is incorrect and would now not match the other fluorescent red areas. Having just airbrushed the colour on, I then had to mask off before spraying the grey. I had no real idea how to do as this so it was trial (and I mean trial!!) and error before I was happy to paint. My first attempts involved applying masking tape directly onto the decal and copying the shape.  The proved to be a very difficult as some of the trimming out had to be done freehand and getting two the same that matched was nigh on impossible. To add further to the problem – the decal has a small gap between with shows the grey colour. After many aborted goes, I ended up using a scalpel with two blades fitted which gave the necessary 1mm gap – so I just trimmed out the pre-drawn line and managed to do both sides nearly identically…nearly.

….anyhow here’s what it looked like after 4 or 5 hours work…not too bad at all, but frankly bloody difficult to execute well.  The next day I went about masking off the white and red parts so I could paint the metallic grey. I used photocopied decals which helped to obtain the correct location for the line breaks and using 1mm masking tape again, this process was quickly over and with two parallel lines in place the next awkward bit was upon me. The red and grey are separated by a varying width white line – so using the cut out kit sample I formed another demarcation line, most of which was done using just my eye, and a little measuring. Getting both sides the same was done again using two measures from the panel line. I carried the line up and around the air intake and back down to meet up with the other side. The gap was measured a 2mm, which gave and approximately correct looking white line.

At this stage I began to believe I could pull this paint job off – it had been tough going and time – consuming, but worthwhile. I just had to finish masking off and get the paint on.

The same grey that I used on the tank was employed to spray over the white areas you see in the pictures above.  Several coats were applied (more on that in a moment) to cover the white and over-sprayed red areas. The results were good, but even more so with the masking removed…

All painted up!! With masking off, I was pleased with this to say the least!

With the masking off, the hours of preparation and careful masking showed it’s true worth. There was some build up of grey paint over the red, in particular by the top of the fairing, but this was easily removed with 4000 grit Micromesh cloth. Amazingly I had just a small area of bleed, but this was again eliminated with Micromesh.

The next day I masked up each lower side panel so I could airbrush the fluorescent red background for the Aprilia logo, again provided in decal form, but the wrong red. The masking up took a surprisingly long time, lots of measuring and several rechecks. To cover the grey I first applied four coats of white, then the flo red.

I was pleased with the result, but the successive number of paint coats has left a slight step. I resorted to gentle sanding with Micromesh to lessen the problem. I will use an Aprilia logo from a spare 1998 sheet. I followed up with some clear-coat using 2K clear which help hide the problem further, but it was at this stage I notice that I’d applied more grey on the faring than the tank!  When both were together it was glaringly obvious a mistake had been made…..so there was nothing for it…I decided to repaint the tank, using the 6 coats I’d shot on the fairing. I didn’t spend too much time rueing my error, let’s just get on with it I thought. Into the IPA bath it went and within 20 minutes I had a bare resin tank. Repeating the exercise once more and correcting another mistake with the fluorescent yellow area (reshaping the ‘D’), I had restored the tank to its former glory, and I managed to match the paint too.

The tank goes for a swim then stripped using a toothbrush cleaned up ready and then a newly painted tank

Below are the three painted and cleared parts, just the seat to carbon decal and paint up and the glossy bits will be done.

Carbon Fibre Decalling

Since the mid eighties carbon fibre (CF) has been seen used in motorsport, primarily on F1 cars – firstly with Mclaren, and once the benefits had been seen (mainly weight and strength) everyone was at it.

CF takes many forms and patterns, early finishes were rough and of a flat finish. Today’s machines have beautifully finished pieces, normally topped off with a smooth clearcoat, though even that isn’t a sure thing.

For motorcycles, we’ve seen small parts and fairings made from carbon, but from the mid nineties actual frames and swingarms were being formed – but difficulties in understanding how to build flex into the stressed areas of bikes lead to aluminium being favoured. Most recently though Ducati have once again been experimenting with a full carbon rear swingarm (see below).  The 250cc class machines have used a CF swingarm for many years and still did until the series demise on 2009.

The problem of replicating these CF parts has been cured in the main by decal sheets. It is still possible to represent the CF by means of paint and this is a sound idea until the parts are complicated in shape. Most effects are achieved by using a stretched stocking type material over the part that has been painted black and then apply a metallic gunmetal grey lightly over that to obtain the weave effect. For me this just isn’t good enough, and most modellers these days choose the decal. I tried once with complete failure and have never attempted it since.  Some argue that in small scale (even 1/24th) the weaves could hardly be seen and argue that you might as well just paint it semi gloss black.

If done with decal however, it really adds a sophisticated touch to any automotive model and it’s worth attempting even if the visible amount is small. As with most modelling products quality varies and some of the carbon sheets available are just not accurate. The biggest offender is Tamiya, who have included decals for exhaust silencers for many years now and they are frankly rubbish. Research material is easy to find, so in my opinion it should possible for those willing to have a go at making the sheets, to at least get the look right. The photo of the Ducati shows how dark carbon fibre can look – most decal manufacturers still have yet to master the effect and are still producing sheets that are too grey. Modellers of Japan got it spot on though and I’ve used their sheet on my last three bike kits. It’s almost black on the sheets and conforms well and accepts clearcoat superbly. Unfortunately it’s no longer made – so the search will continue for something similar! However, with my last sheet I’m using it here on this bike for continuity. Anyhow enough waffle….

1. So to begin with we ascertain the shape of the decal we need. When the part is larger or has many curves, I simply break the shape down in smaller pieces, say 4-6. A template is made from masking tape, laid over each section and drawn out. I use several strips of tape as it’s easier the get the tape to conform rather than one large piece with which you’ll end up with creases in.  With this part we’ll do the top part in 2 halves and the sides the same way. This photo shows the rightside template underway with the outline marked out and direction of weave drawn on. This is important if you want the completed look right, as it’ll look daft if you have the weave going in several directions.
2. The template is then carefully removed from the part and laid onto the CF decal sheet, noting the correct direction of the weave, which on this part will be 90 degrees to the rear lip of the mudguard travelling upward.
3.  The surplus is then trimmed away, leaving just a millimetre or so for error.  The tape is then removed, taking care not to break the template up, as it might be needed again if the decal application is a failure. This does happen occasionally, so it’s worth keeping.
4. Now the scary bit! Armed with scissors, new scalpel, Microset and Microsol, a hairdryer, two brushes and some soft tissue I set about applying the decal. The first decal went into a water/washing up liquid solution for about 4 minutes. After applying the Microset, the decal is positioned on the part.

Microsol is then added by brush and left to work, softening the decal.  This part of the process can take 5 minutes.

5. Not a lot has happen in those 5 minutes, but more Microsol has been applied and the decal now has more creases. At this stage the decal is soft, but no so much that you can’t move it. That can be done using a wetted finger and brush.  Repositioning is vital at this stage as we’ll soon be getting those creases out and shrinking it down.
6. Things have really kicked off now! After about 10 minutes of work the Microsol has begun to help the decal to conform, so we give it a 20 second blast with the hairdryer which starts to shape the decal and snug it down. At this stage I’m looking at which creases may cause a problem and finding solutions to remove them. Some may need cutting with a scalpel or a simple tug with wetted tweezers maybe all that’s needed. Others are encouraged with a wet brush or tissue. At this point more Microsol is applied in order to keep the decal wet and help softened it further.
7. A few minutes later and the decal has now had a longer heat session from the hairdryer which has shrunk 99% of the decal down. A few creases remain which are teased out with a wet tissue, using a gentle but firm smoothing action. The area for the shock will be cut away and more Microsol used to bed it down. The excess is either trimmed off or tucked away, as long the exposed area looks ok. So far, this has taken about 20 minutes.
8. The result of about 25 minutes work! Just another 8 or so decals to apply and it’ll be finished. At this point the first decal is on good and proper, with the heat ensuring it’ll not move.  It is possible to move onto the next adjoining part without fear of disturbing the first decal, so progress is quick!

This process is the same one I’ve used for many years with success. Irrespective of the decal manufacturer you can use Microscale products, though other, more modern and aggressive solvents are available which will speed up the softening time, but could cause you to rush the application. I think slow is better!

After completing the decaling and adding the sponsor logos, I allowed a few days for everything to dry fully before spraying 3 coats of 2K clear. This helps to blend the various sections of decal together, hiding the seams and providing a protective finish and that dark, almost black look we’re after. Once the clear was dry I wet sanded it flat with 3000 grit Micromesh and polished it back up with Mr Hobby 600 compound and Mer car polish.

By now I had completed the basic painting of the fairing and front hugger, repainted the tank, but still had the seat to do. I had previously painted this white and black, the black half forming an undercoat for the carbon decaling job. The rear half would receive red and grey paint. Here’s an early photo with the airbox and swingarm, carbon decaled last month.  I applied the decals in the same way that I covered the swingarm, this time using three templates and some small pieces to fill in a few gaps.   The kit comes with decals to replicate the red sections on the seat, but as I had used paint to obtain the red areas on the fairing, I needed to paint the seat too, so all the reds matched. Part of the red decal would have been applied over the CF’d part, so to make painting this easier I used two small pieces of decal to act as an undercoat for the paint.  I used the kit decals to form a template for the white decal. A day or so later and this was given 3 coats of 2 part clearcoat and once dry flattened off with 3000 grit micromesh. I did this so that the clear would accept paint, the flattening process providing some bite. Next was to mask off the black area ready for the fluorescent red. I did this with the trusty Tamiya masking tape, being cautious to make the paint line as clean as possible.

CF and decal cleared and flattened off Masked up ready for paint!

Before applying any paint, I sanded down, using 3000 grit Micromesh again, any overspray from the clear coating that had gone onto the white primered part. To further even things out I airbrushed a few coats of Zero Brilliant white before adding the fluorescent red. I then masked off the areas to remain red using photocopied decals as a guide. I didn’t realise at the time but the tolerance was very fine when masking off – fortunately I’d got it just right. Phew!!

The red is on and dry ready for masking Masking done, ready for the Metallic grey paint

I don’t often spray main body colours separately as this leads to inconsistent finishes (see last months instalment…) and so when applying the grey over the red  it was vital to get the amount of coats and application as close to the fairing and tank as possible. I really didn’t want to have to strip the seat and start again. I applied 6 coats of grey and once it look about right I unmasked and cleared the whole thing using the 2K clear once more. I was pleased with the result to say the least. The red transition onto the carbon black was very good.

Voila!! All of the planning, masking and careful paint application finally pays off!!

With all of the parts cleared and polished I could get on with the decaling job. The waterslide decals provided in the Ks Workshop kits are very good, and are released quickly from the backing paper after just 20 seconds in water. I had purchased two sheets so I could double up on the whites, necessary for the front white race number surround and the white ‘V’s on the seat.  On the whole it all went without problem, though I’m disappointed that the 46’s aren’t fluorescent yellow, just a bright imitation. Just call me a rivet counter!!

The right-side decals complete Doubling up on the white prevents bleed-through
16 decals complete the look of the tail All done, just awaiting clear-coat

I allowed a week for the decals to dry fully and gave each part a thorough wash and wipe down with a tack rag to remove decal adhesive and latterly, fluff and hair. After doing that I attached the parts to 12 inch long handles using blutak and place them in a dust free container. I mixed up about 70ml of 2 part clear and airbrushed 4 coats, the first being a light mist coat the ‘seal’ the decals in. The clear dries very fast and two days later each piece was gently sanded back to remove any minor blemishes using 3000 grit micromesh and then re-polished with Mer and Mr Hobby 600 and 3000 rubbing  compounds.

Clear-coating the body parts was a milestone on this project as it saw the end to a difficult masking and painting job, one which I was glad to see I’d overcome and the hard work was now safely under the clear so it couldn’t get damaged. Attempting not wallow in too much glory, I got on with the nitty-gritty tasks!!

The one piece frame in this kit is good and just needs a little cleanup and pin hole filling to be ready for painting. I began with my trusted Halfords grey primer, and whilst is says it’s for plastic on the tin, nevertheless it covers and adheres to resin without issue.  I followed this with 3 coats of Zero Jet black (nothing special it’s just black!) and then 2 heavy coats of 2K clear. While this was drying (about 30 minutes had passed) I airbrushed on two coats of Mr Hobby plate silver. This imparts a very realistic chrome look finish to the frame. The tacky clear-coat helps the silver to adhere.  Notice the two cocktails sticks inserted and used as handles.

The exhausts were tackled in the same manner as the 1998 bike except this time over the Alclad Polished Aluminium finish, I added more weathering in the form of heavier coats of darkened clear orange. I mixed satin black and orange Tamiya acrylics and thinned with Zero basecoats thinners which gave a much improved finish over thinning with Tamiya’s own product. I shaded the masked off weld seams with the mix and followed up with blue and purple clears. Over an unmasked exhaust, I tried a thinned coat of Humbrol steel which leaves a nice natural look and tones down the clear colours.

The wheels were painted with the Zero jet black and cleared over grey primer as usual.  The rear brake disc face was airbrushed with Humbrol Steel and buffed with a soft cloth while it was spun on a mini drill. The front discs received a carbon finish using darkened Tamiya gunmetal. In both cases the centres were painted with Humbrol Gunmetal and gently polished and highlighted with a soft paint brush. I assembled the rear wheel, discs, chain and brake calliper and added brake line connectors using Tuner Model Factory parts and wire wrap. I also added Tuner Model factory parts to the swingarm to add detail to the chain-tensioners.  Despite the basic nature of the resin parts the set up looks pretty good. The kit provides some tiny wheel manufacturer stickers and I added machined valves courtesy of Hobby Design. Dunlop shod 250cc racing bikes never ran with the manufacturers logos on the walls – I know not why – a bit odd considering the marketing potential

Etch parts finish off the swingarm which then has the rear wheel, brake and chain fitted

With things progressing nicely I managed get all of the fiddly parts painted, always time consuming with lots of clean up and masking, but I was pleased with the end result of one bank holiday weekends work!!

A multitude of small parts await fitting

I decided to complete the bodywork parts as well and this started with painting the inside of the fairing, a job I never look forward to, no matter what model it is, as it’s a lot of masking up and little to show after the part is fitted to the bike. However, it’s important to get it right as a bad result can spoil an otherwise good model.

I masked off the same way each time using thin strips of Tamiya tape to establish the demarcation line and then cover the areas not to be black with a mix of tape and masking fluid. I sprayed two good coats of……you guess it, Zero Jet black. Chuffed with the result I then knocked over said bottle of Jet black and wasted about 30ml on the floor….bugger!!

I fitted the vac-formed windscreen with Top Studio 0.7mm rivets, from the inside, which offers a very real look. Some rivets heads will be fitted over the outside holes once the fairing has been mounted.

Zero Jet black was used on the insides Vac-form screen is fitted using tiny rivets

I had nearly completed all of the painting. I always leave a few bits until the last minute, normally because I can’t be bothered with them until they become essential for the model to be built!! The core of the bike, the engine was simply painted in Alclad Aluminium over grey primer. I then painted the very basic cylinder heads with Alclad pale gold. A small amount of hand painting to the clutch using Humbrol enamels was followed by some basic washes. None of this is seen when the fairing is in place, so there’s no point is spending too much time here.

The swingarm and engine were fitted to the frame, taking continual care not to touch the painted surfaces. They are held in place with 5mm lengths of 2mm diameter tubing, in some cases without glue as the fit was tight enough.  The rear wheel is bolted in place with T2m’s superb axles, in this instance the ones used on the Yamaha M1 kits.  The radiator slots in place, but not after a little shading to its Alclad surface with Humbrol steel. A couple of strips of Bare Metal Foil represent some temperature control strips. The teams add these to raise or lower the water temperature by blocking off parts of the radiator surface. I fashioned a water hose from solder covered with some heat shrink tubing and bent to fit. Its barley visible once the fairing is on though! Attaching the rear shock was another story as the paint build up meant that the assembled unit didn’t want to fit between the locating holes, so I had to compress the spring while holding the model and inserting the retaining pin. It’s a good job I’ve got three hands!! The lower link on the left side was left off to provide clearance for the exhaust. This was a repeat of the problem I found on the 1998 version I’d built earlier. I attached the partially carbon fibred air intake on the right side of the machine – only the top and a little of the sides are visible once the faring is in place, and this saves ‘wasting’ some carbon decal. I managed to get the fit better than the ’98 bike too. I was nice a snug to the frame.

The photo above shows the right side before fitting the intake, admittedly rather bare but once the carburettor and air intake are on it looks fairly accurate.  At this stage I carried out more test fitting with the fairing and exhaust temporarily in place. I discovered another problem with paint build up, so some clearing out of the mounting holes was needed (using a drill bit) and it then was more testing until I understood how to get the fairing just in the right place for gluing.  With this out of the way I finally glued in the exhaust and mounted it on the footrest. The exhaust hangs off of the left side, a small dress pin did the job of holding it in place. Top Studio footpegs were used to add more realism. The fairing was glue in using epoxy glue (Araldite) which allows for any necessary adjustments and set aside to harden overnight. The fairing acts as a handle as such and makes final assembly much easier. The next stage was to add the handlebars, forks and front wheel assembly. With the fairing on it makes the task much harder – there’s just no room to manoeuvre, so it’s all very fiddly!! I mounted the front wheel onto the forks using another T2M machined axle and slid the bottom yoke on. The front mud guard acted as a brace which assisted alignment.  More test fitting followed, just really to see how difficult it would be once glue was employed. Co-ordinating forks, model, top yoke, hangers and a small piece of aluminium tube to hold the lot together and warranted the use of my three hands again and sheds loads of patience!! Remind me never to build resin bikes again….

Anyhow, the resultant stressful hour finally yielded a frame on wheels…,she’s looking like a bike now!!

I still had those pesky small parts to finish…you know the ones that I couldn’t be bothered with….its now I need them!!  So, the handlebars were finish including wire retainers, the clock-pod was finished, as was the steering damper (originally chrome finished and stripped using oven cleaner. I’d also forgot to assemble the stand, so this was quickly glued, sanded and painted and employed in keeping the bike upright between sessions of working on it.  In general I completed the detail parts around the handlebars first then worked outward.

Above – Brillo oven cleaner was used to strip the chrome from part of the steering damper…it takes just a few minutes.

The last parts to be fitted were the tank, seat and upper exhaust. I made an overflow tube connector from a discarded piece of bike stand and added two lengths of wire at right angles. This received the tube from the fuel overflow bottle which is tucked away inside the front of the fairing.  The tank and seat were glued together then placed on the bike with pins using epoxy glue. I popped the exhaust on carefully to avoid rubbing any paint off. Lastly a multitude of etch boltheads from Top Studio were placed on the fairing and seat and the model was finished.

The problem and therefore most time consuming aspect of building resin kits is their bespoke nature. Despite building two of the same kits back to back, each one has their own unique problems and therefore difficulties, and even some that are the same, making them a challenge to complete to a high standard. I believe I’ve improved upon the first Aprilia I built… the paint scheme alone saw to that, though I can’t say the build was any easier!! This is my 7th Rossi bike…

Enjoy the photos of the completed model!

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