I was happy to see Hasegawa reissue these kits as I have several of the "Eggplanes" but not some of the re-releases. The kit comes in a sturdy top opening box - great for holding the parts as you work on the model. There are thirteen White, Eleven Black plastic parts and one crystal clear windshield and with a colorful decal sheet with the names of three different shuttles. The canopy is loose in the box allowing it to be scratched up a bit, but a little polishing and a dip in Future took care of that problem. Some of the parts were also scratched but nothing a little polishing and painting would take care of. One thing about these re-releases is that Hasegawa have eliminated the bases that were in the original issue. This kit no longer has the clear Blue half earth base and the wire to support the shuttle above it, see picture. Missing from the kit I received was the wire that goes from the shuttle bay load to the Astronaut that is shown in the instructions.
Tameo Models is an Italian firm, and their kits are arguably the best 1/43 scale models in the world. From their earliest days these kits have featured fine, white metal castings, delicate photo-etched details, machined aluminum parts, rubber tires, vacuform windscreens, and superb decals. They have led the 1/43rd world, and have never looked back.
Tameo is best known for its extensive line of Formula One cars. Taken all together, by my count there are over 475 kits offered by this prolific firm in 1/43 scale… and this does not include their extensive line of detail parts! Best of all, ALL of their kits are kept in production at all times!
This kit is from their World Championship line (their most detailed offerings, with some kits containing over 300 parts). The kit contains finely cast white metal components for the body, chassis, engine, some strut elements, engine, instrument panel and wheel hubs.
The first thing that you will notice, even before opening the box, is that this is a big model! The box measured at about 17 inches on each side and is five inches deep, weighing in about just less than five pounds. Opening the box one of the things that draws the eye is the saucer. The saucer, which is about 16.5 inches in diameter, weighs in at just less than 2 pounds. For the math challenged among us, that equates to a saucer circumference of just less than 52 inches. As a reference, a standard NBA basketball hoop has a diameter of 18 inches. Each engine pod is about 17 inches long. The model will take up an estimated vertical displacement of about 10 inches. Okay, it's big. It's heavy.
When I wrote the first part of this review, I briefly outlined the story behind this unusual race car. In this part I'll actually build the kit.
Upon opening the box I found 144 parts. All molded very crisply with fine detail. I didn't follow the instructions step by step as I was anxious to build the engine. This consisted of 44 parts. Assembly went very quickly with a terrific fit on all parts. Basically no cleanup was needed. When completed I primed it with Duplicolor Automotive light grey primer and then airbrushed with Duplicolor Silver. When this was dry, I gave the engine dark washes and a light drybrushing with bright silver. This really popped out the detail.
This kit is Fujimi's second 1:20 scale Formula One Grand Prix racer. Their first was also a Ferrari 126C2 but from a different race in 1982. This particular car ran at the U.S. Grand Prix held at Long Beach, CA. The thing that makes this car different is the rear wing.
The G.P. at Long Beach required a high down force wing for the street circuit. The rules at the time stated that any piece of bodywork (wings included) behind the rear axle could be a maximum of 110cm wide but did not specify that this be measured from the center of the car, so Ferrari fitted two individual wings, one slightly ahead of the other, each 110cm. In the race Gilles Villenueve finished 3rd on the road but the race stewards later declared that this wing was illegal and the results didn't stand.