With the interior bucket done, I have turned my attention towards the bottom end of things, namely the Chassis and Engine of the SVO.
The chassis of the Monogram SVO isn’t bad. It isn’t great, and the underpinning detail is a bit weak. There’s no spring detail (like you’d see on an MPC) and that’s lame, but the exhaust system is nicely detailed and the subframes are moulded in. The pumpkin for the differential is moulded to the rear axle unit, and there is a pair of shocks that go with it, but again, no springs. The lower A-arms and all steering gear, is moulded in one piece, although it is passably detailed. The gas tank is moulded in place, and that makes life a bit tough, though.
I painted the chassis using Testors Model Master Acrylic Grey Primer. I couldn’t find good shots of SVO chassis when new, but I assumed they’d be left primer and there’d be black subframes and some overspray from the body. Thus, the MMA Grey Primer was perfect, since I didn’t have to paint over it on a large scale, and it allowed me to paint the other components easily. I did an overspray of my 4E Dark Sage on the edges of the chassis and the effect was rather realistic, I think. I did the subframes in MMA Aircraft Interior Black, as I did the steering gear.
The fuel tank, filler neck (nice touch!) and exhaust were all done using various MMA metallic colours. Steel was used for a lot of the exhaust and the tank/neck, but I threw in some aluminum on the muffler, some Jet Exhaust near the “hot end”, before the catalytic converter, and some silver on the pipe tips. I also drilled out the exhaust tips, to make them look more realistic. I gave all the components (save the tips) a very light wash with both Baddab Black and Devlan Mud from Citadel. This really brings out the tones of the metallic colours, but keeping the wash super-thin doesn’t create the same aging as I’d normally do on a Gundam.
The Pumpkin was painted Gunship Grey, with Steel axles and an Aluminum drive shaft. The whole assembly got a light wash of the Citadel colours too. Gluing on the exhaust was a bit troublesome, since there wasn’t much to attach it to. The rear suspension went in fine, though. Now, I don’t know if it’s by design or happy coincidence, but the joint between the transmission and the drive shaft is hidden under what I think is the catalytic converter. This hides the fact that the two don’t quite connect, which is much appreciated!
When I was done, I used Delta Ceramcoat Matte Varnish adjusted to “high satin” (as I call it) with Future to give the underside some protection and level out the colours.
I love engines, but most non-MPC engines are, quite honestly, crappy. The SVO engine, though, is quite nice. The Starter and Oil Filter are moulded into the block, but most other things are separate. I painted the block steel, oil pan aluminum, and transmission Gunship Grey. I don’t know if these are right (especially the tranny), but they looked cool, so I was fine. The valve cover was done in Virsago Black, and the writing was picked out with a Prismacolour silver pencil crayon. Like all other metal parts, the engine and its accessories got a light washing with the two citadel colours.
Because of the turbo in the SVO, the engine is a bit more complicated. There’s a lot of extra plumbing, with the intercooler on top (under the scoop) and the long hose to the air cleaner. I painted the turbo Jet Exhaust, but put a metallic blue wash on it, to give it a more heat-stained look. The intercooler was MMA Aluminum, and the vanes in the top of it were picked out with a Baddab Black wash, albeit a thicker one that I used elsewhere.
One thing I like about this SVO being a reissue is that there are decals for the engine compartment. The fan shroud has a decal for its characteristic red/white warning label, as well as there being decals for the oil cap on the valve cover, and a few labels for various boxes and bottles on the car’s left fender well. While small, the decals go on well, and really make the engine compartment seem more realistic. There’s not a lot in the compartment other than the motor and the junk on theft side, except for the master cylinder that goes on the firewall.
The engine fit together well, and once it’s all put together, it makes a pretty convincing replica of the SVO’s unusual power plant. There’s no fan on the motor, even though it is mounted longitudinally; this is because there was an electric fan mounted on this car. This is moulded as one piece, although with some careful painting, you can pick out the blades from the shroud.
The engine installs in the chassis very well, and it ALMOST meets the driveshaft. Attaching the piece of exhaust pipe going from the turbo setup to the main pipe is a bit more difficult, though. Careful work and some good, thin, hook-nosed tweezers will really help out on this bit. Typical of most car models, there is only an upper radiator hose, and this is a bit of a paint to fit into the rad and motor. Eventually, it can be made to fit, though, and it does add some expected clutter to the engine bay!