Are you ready to build your first Pocher model?!

Part 3: Getting Started; Building a Pocher model, the greatest car kits ever produced
Being able to build just one of these models should be considered a privilege and the process should be enjoyed to the fullest. These are good kits and are fun to build if one follows a few, simple, rules.
First, start at the beginning of the instructions and work your way to the end, step-by-step, in exactly the order mentioned in the booklets. I have seen dozens of kits in various states of disrepair, and despair, because the modeller decided to have fun and do all the easy bits first. Sure, it seems like a great idea to dig right in and do those wonderful spoke wheels. And then, why not do the engine? That seems like fun. Once the wheels are done, wouldn’t it be fun to fit them to the rest of the chassis? Uh, oh, these brakes are really hard to do, what else can we do? Hmmm, I’ll put this aside for a while. And, there you have it; another Pocher model goes back in the box for ever.
So, start at the beginning and work your way forward. That way, you are forced to work through the hard stuff to get to something easier.
Second, make sure you equip yourself properly. There’s only one tool that is a “must” for these models and that’s a plunger type screwdriver that can hold those pesky screws at any angle. I built my first Pocher without this tool and I can tell you it was a challenge, dropping the same screw ten or twelve times before figuring out some way to hold it in place.
Now, apart from the famous screwdriver, I do have a large number of tools that I’ve accumulated over the years but there’s nothing out of the ordinary. I have many tweezers, of different shapes and sizes. None of them are really great but I find a curved one works best. I suppose if I ever found the “right” one, I’d throw out the ten or twelve I have and keep two good ones.
I have several sets of files and, again, none of them are really good but all are adequate. I’d say you should equip yourself with one good set of six-inch files and another set of tiny files. If you can get a set of riffler files, that would be fun. I don’t have one of those but have always wanted to get one. Riffler files are those cool ones that curl at the end. You might want to find some 2mm, 2.5mm and 3mm taps and dies. These are not essential but are cool, little tools and are a great help every now and then. We’ll get into that later, when we discuss the actual construction.
Third, find yourself the easiest paint system you can think of. In my case, after trying all sorts of cool things, from real automotive paints (great stuff but way, way, too toxic) to Alclad (good but too thin and expensive for these large models) and everything in between, I’ve settled on the Tamiya spray cans. There’s a nice collection of colours and you can spray them out doors fairly easily. I will prepare another post specifically on preparing and painting Pocher bodies but, for everything up to the body, the various metallic colors and shades of greys and blacks should give you a good variation of colors for the chassis.
Fourth, plan some decent space and learn to keep the area organized. I do a so-called 5S every now and then, sorting everything and putting it all back in its place. This periodic clean-up gives me a chance to enjoy sitting down again and starting up. These models take a long time and it’s fun to give yourself a reset every now and then.
Specifically with regard to the Alclad paints, they are wonderful paints. I’ve used them often and had some great results. However, you do need a good airbrush and an even better compressor and you need to spend ten times more time cleaning the airbrush than painting. For small models, and if you really want to do some tiny detailing on the Pocher, you might want to have a look at the Alclad idea and I have plenty of paint to send you. On the other hand, the three of four Tamiya colors, used on different base colors, will give you adequate color variations. Also, the bigger pigments in the Tamiya don’t hurt the detail. Remember, people use the Tamiya cans for models as small as 1:350, or smaller, with good results, so they are more than adequate for the 1:8 scale Pocher kits.
If you are still interested in using Alclad, please discuss with me first, as some of the colors, Stainless Steel and Chrome, in particular, come off with the touch of a finger, so they have to be used only in places where they will been seen and not touched.
I use a Badger airbrush. They are robust and can be taken apart repeatedly for cleaning. I’m certainly no expert on the subject but I like the Badger. I also like the Paasche system but would keep away from the Aztec. I’ve tried many times, but I can’t figure out why people like the Aztec over the Badger.
Overall, I recommend getting the tools along the way. Start the model and then see what you need. The sprue cutter should be a Xuron type but pretty well anything will do. Remember, these are huge models and you’ll have to clear out the edges with files anyway.
Did I mention that nothing fits?

Best Regards,

Rick Shousha
Modeller’s Workshop

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