First and foremost it must be said that Pocher "instructions" are not helpful. They are really just a series of exploded diagrams. There is no assembly sequence and some parts are not shown, or shown already in place.
Fortunately, there is a CD ROM assembled by Paul Koo. This CD is invaluable. In includes not only a clear step-by-sep, but also goes over all the problems one will encounter, and provides advice on dealing with them. It also includes a staggering number of photos of both the models and of the actual cars - and in a few instances, it is hard to tell the difference. Now that I have gotten into this thing, I can not image attempting it without this amazing CD. I bought mine on eBay. Don't Pocher without one.
To provide a sense of the scale of this kit, here are the major components of the engine block.
As I had read, these components require a huge amount of prep work. Out of the box, the parts, although detailed, are extremely rough. There is going to be many hours in this of sanding, grinding, cutting, carving and drilling. Each piece needs a lot of work to fit its neighbors.
The material is interesting. It is much denser, heavier and firmer than polystyrene.
Also many parts are metal of various kinds. These are the eight cylinders for the engine.
Here are the first parts fit and lightly assembled. These parts are held together with screws and will be taken apart again to be painted.
It's true what is said about these kits. Every part, every one, is nowhere near usable out of the box. I would describe the pieces as roughly formed lumps in need of extensive sculpting and modification to fit. The work goes well beyond trimming mold flashing and such.
I am reminded of how early European pocketwatches were made. Their production revolved around ebauche movements, which were very rough incomplete movements made by a handful companies. These were purchased and completed into finished watches by little shops all over the continent, and even in the early United States. An ebauche would generally consist of unfinished plated, scored where pivot or jewel holes go, gears, and springs. A lot of work was required to turn it into a watch.
These parts are like that.
It didn't long to encounter the first serious problem. This part is badly warped. The tube extending to the left is supposed to go straight back. It it a screw post, so that probably is not critical (maybe I can just cut it off and secure the parts another way). But the vertical plate the post extends from need to be 90 degrees from the base part. It is bend back a bit and won't work.
I'll try a solution to this shortly, stay tuned...