The Traction Avant Webring
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1/8 CITROEN  Traction  Avant

This kit from Heller was very challenging to me when I first saw it in the dealer. However, it would prove to be much more demanding as I kept on working. The kit has 1052 parts and almost every item works. (Theoretically at least), because due to physical weakness of the plastic, it cannot withstand the overloads that are brought by naturally by the size of the model. 
Anyhow, the overall work was very entertaining since besides building up the model, I had to solve a couple of puzzles that arose due to the mechanical problems. For example, I chose the working suspension option and was disappointed to have the car with a fully flat dead suspension since the poor plastic torsion bars could not give the required torque. My solution was to open up the shock absorbers and put helical springs on their pistons to take the load. 
This is the bottom-rear view showing the rear suspension details. The transverse reaction bar is also another weak item that buckles and tends to break if you be a bit careless. However, the hoses and electrical harness are from soft rubber and give very good detail if you can stick them properly. I used cyanoacrylate adhesive for fixing rubber for its definite fixing properties. 
The door handles both in and out, are connected to the door lid that keeps the door in place. The door-glass raiser arm is dummy. The original model suggested 3 fixed level choices for the glass; I made it variable by putting a soft padding within the door so that it exerts some force on the glass and keeps it at where you left it.
Very fine dashboard panel details. The glovebox lid opens as well and has a turning lock to keep it in place. 

It was a pity that the model had to be painted black all over for the sake of authenticity. The black color simply disguises all the fine details put into the model.

The engine compartment is also full of details. Another physical weakness here was that the center hinge of the two-piece engine hood came out of its glued position whenever one of the sides was opened. My solution was to drill the ends of the hinge through the body panel, insert a steel pin (cut to the appropriate length ) and fix it at the back with epoxy adhesive. The headlamps were also standing on a very weak connection, so I inserted a brass rod through its base to take up the load. 
The speedometer is a replica of the original  in the sense that you mount it layer by layer as if you are mounting the real one.  The steering box and the whole system would work if the long plastic steering shaft could withstand the torque. I now regret that I did not substitute a brass rod for that item. So now you can only steer by using the front wheels themselves. 
Not every fault came from the model itself!  It was perfectly me who cut the roof  lining  somewhat short. To make up for that mistake, I tailored the lining from artificial leather, put brass rods for tensioning tranversely and fixed the whole lining to the pillar construction by the aid of that tension... 
Well, that was how it was originally made . At least, it may be considered authentic by the way of manufacturing! 
Unfortunately, looking closer to the ceiling lamp shows that excessive tension has released the texture from the backside of the lamp. 
This is the frontal view of the front suspension cradle. You notice that on the left, the pivoting bar of the lower wishbone is greyish in color. The reason is that, while trying to apply greater torque to the torsion bars, it broke and I made an identical part from aluminium. It was then I inserted steel springs in the shock absorbers and made the suspension work.
This is the front wheel drive system detail. The double cardan universal joint not only works radially, but slides along its shaft keys with suspension motion. 
And, finally, this is me and my 1 / 1 scale Citroen(1949)  in 1980. Unfortunately, I don't own this car now and I regret that I sold it. It has a distinct place in my memory and what I now have are its pictures plus 1/8 - 1/24 - 1/43 scale models.