Closed Wheelers

43rd SHMR Maserati Tipo 61 Birdcage

by Chris Webb


This kit by SHMR is meant to build the #78 car of Bob Schroeder. The instructions are basic, but adequate. A little study was required before attempting to form the photo-etched “cage”.


A few extra details were added to the kit out of necessity. Brake discs are supplied but no calipers. 1/48th scale rudder pedals from a military aircraft detail set solved this problem. After trimming the length, they were bent 90 degrees, painted with Gunze burnt iron metallic, and epoxied into place. The wheels were painted with Floquil gunmetal with the knockoffs done in a half and half mixture of Tamiya silver and clear orange.

The same aircraft detail set that provided the “brake calipers” also contained safety harnesses. Although they are 1/48th scale, they seem to work fine. The seats were painted with Duplicolor black primer followed by Model Master interior black. Safety harnesses are painted with Floquil graphite metallic.

After polishing the white metal exhaust, Tamiya clear blue was used to represent burnt chrome.

Rather than take the time to clean up the kit-supplied roll bar, a replacement was made with aluminum rod.

Because so much of the framework is visible, I felt it was necessary to add some much needed detail. Gauge bodies were made with varying diameters of aluminum tubing and attached to the back of the instrument panel before any bends were made in the framework. Dual ignition coils were also made from aluminum tubing and attached to a photo-etched plate, which was in turn attached to the framework. Detail Master wiring was then added. The kit-supplied shifter was discarded and a new one fashioned using a short length of square brass tubing and a shifter gate from Tameo. The control rod adjuster nut is a 1/24th scale A/N fitting from Detail Master.



Having seen photos of a black Birdcage on the internet I chose that color for mine. Solid black, I decided, was just too boring so a Camoradi-ish metallic blue stripe was applied off-center. For a detailed description of the paint process, you can refer to the 1955 Corvette article in the archives section. This one was painted in the same way using Duplicolor black primer, Harvard blue metallic, gloss black, and clear lacquer.

Other additions to the kit include taillights from MV Products, headlight covers made from photo-etched discs, and front grille made from 1/24th scale radiator face panel material by Detail Master.