Welcome to the build of Tamiya’s 1:6 Yamaha Midnight Special. This build will be a little different from the norm and hopefully the end result will be proportional to the effort expended. I started the project in October last year so its been in progress fro a while. I finally painted the first few parts last night.The kit is a rather aging one that dates back to 1982. I bought this kit from a charity shop and hope to turn it into something “Special”
The plan for this model is to install working lights and indicators, a full wiring harness and replace every moulded bolt with a real scale bolt, nut and washer. The build will also add in missing detail including connectors, wiring, cables, bolts, screws, springs etc. Therefore we are going to need quite a bit of additional materials and references.
In terms of references the main sources are shown below and include parts catalogue a service manual and over one hundred photos downloaded from the Internet
Now a bike like the Midnight Special sure has a huge spectrum of screws, bolts nuts and washers. Sourcing scale hex bolts and screws in this scale is really hard. I have a selection of over 200 items sourced from UK, Germany, Japan, USA, and China. Parts that cannot be sourced will be made on the lathe in the workshop.
Very little glue will be used in this build and every part will be bolted together just like a real bike (hence the service manual), you will see why this is the case later in the build. The plastic parts must all be modified, often moulded detail like bolt heads or moulded nuts are emoved and replacement holes drilled and tapped to receive the replacement bolts and screws. For example the carburettors alone will consume around 61 M0.8 screws ands M0.6 screws.
Below is the bank of carbs (unpainted) but fitted together with screws (not glue) to give you an idea of the number of screws involved
So here is a look at the rear swing arm, notice the filler etc and the still to be worked on rear rim. Gives you an idea of what the added detail will look like, of course it will look much better when painted and assembled
and if you are wondering what the power plant will look like here is a sneak preview - all unpainted and only put together for fitting and test assembly purposes, it will all have to be disassembled, cleaned, painted and then reassembled
Hello Tom Yes I have bought some items from Scale Motorsport, mostly washers. There is a variety of "dummy" screw/bolt combinations but I wanted to use actual screws and bolts so that I could bolt the bike together rather than using glue. On some parts I am planning to even make the gaskets because on 1:6 scale this would be visible
Looking great Andrew! An amazing dedication to what you like to do! I suppose at some point you ask yourself if you make all the plastic parts form metal through milling and casting. A really interesting project...Can't wait to see more!!
Started painting and assembling parts now that most of the dry run and modifications are finished. Below are the ignition coils. The connectors and shrink wrap are still loose as final position will be determined once the coils are mounted to the frame. The end will feed into the wiring harness. The wiring is matched as close as possible to the wiring diagram of the real bike, but with some compromise. I can't for example find red/white striped wire this small so it's just plain single colours
its been a while since I posted anything. Mostly because I have been grappling with how best to doing the wiring on this bike. Anyway I think I have it figured out now so work should progress a bit faster.
below is a quick snap of the painted frame with the coils, voltage regulator, lighting unit and emergency stop switch fitted to the frame. have tried to match the colours of the wires as close to the waiting diagram as possible but some compromise is required as I simply can't find 0.4mm red/white or blue/ yellow wire but I think the end result is a reasonable simulation of the real bike. All the electrical connectors are scratch built and everything is bolted or screwed together.
some more progress on the bike's wiring. The main harness is complete but still needs the headlight harness and the tail light harness to be added. The could and Voltage Regulator are connected. Once the working is complete the the build can proceed around the wiring
If you look below the alternator cover you will notice two sets of wiring one 3 and the other 5 wires which route to the electrical player behind the left hand side cover. The 5 core bundle connects to the rectifier on the top o the frame below the fuel tank.
This is a view of the engine from the other side. The pipe sticking up between intakes 1 and 2 is for the vacuum advance and links to a complex set of pipes that go from the vacuum advance unit linking the carbs and the fuel tank. The wire running below the engine is the five core ignition cable thank goes directly to the CDI unit mounted on the rear mud guard. I made tiny plastic clips that are used to hold the wires in place. At the rear of the engine you can just see the wires for the starter motor, oil pressure unit plus the reduction box and engine breather pipes. The two breather pipes mount onto the air box. I have put short bits of plastic tubing on to the wiring bits just to keep wires together and out of the way while the engine is being built.
In this view you can also see the hose clamps mounted on the carb intakes
This is the front of the engine. The cam chain tensioner unit is in the middle and was a bit fiddly to get assembled but looks like a reasonably replica of the real thing. Brea in mind too that none of this is actually glued together the bolts actually hold it all together just like the real engine. Every single bolt has been replicated and there are two different size bolts that keep the crankcase halves together, this detail is also replicated
Hahaha "nuts" being the key word here Wes and you not kidding it is really finicky but the results are worth the effort, the wiring is a much bigger challenge to get right as I can't get all the colours and they are a tad over scale but it really looks nice once it's in place
Gonna tackle the carbs next and there are over 60 screws in the bank of carbs - now that's gonna be a bit tricky
I have moved away from trying to build an exact copy of the original bike but am rather building it as a "rebuild" so in my build the black bolts (which used to rust like anything) with chrome bolts and the gold plated parts will be replaced with chrome - so it is going to be quite different to a factory fresh Midnight Special