Denso Toyota 88C "1989 Le Mans" Limited Edition

Published on
January 2, 2017
Review Author(s)
Product / Stock #
Company: Hasegawa - Website: Visit Site
Box Top

This kit is a re-release from Hasegawa of the #38 Denso sponsored Toyota 88C that ran in the 1989 Le Mans race. The car finished in 53rd place and did not finish the race due to a crash. This is a curbside kit and has no engine or suspension details.


The kit comes packaged in the usual Hasegawa cardboard box and contains 1 bag of clear parts with the tire marking decal sheet inside and 1 bag of white parts with 4 rubber tires and polycaps separately bagged inside of it. There is a total of 7 sprues of white parts plus the chassis and body and 1 sprue of clear parts. All together there are 97 parts in this kit, although 14 of those parts are for other versions of the car. My kit had quite a bit of flash on the parts, but none that was difficult to remove. Just be careful to clean up the parts before assembly. There were also some ejector pin marks that will need to be taken care of or they will be seen.

Because all the white parts were packaged together in 1 bag, the body in my kit had a piece of the front fender broken off in shipping. I was able to easily glue it back in place, but I feel that if the parts weren’t all packed together, the damage could have been avoided.

The decal sheet is printed by Cartograf and is their usual perfect registration and quality. There are only markings for the #38 Denso sponsored car. The instruction manual has 6 steps of assembly and a complete markings guide. The color callouts are for GSI Creos Aqueous Hobby Color and Mr. Color paints. The generic color names are also listed.


Construction starts off by having you modify the chassis tray. You have to cut off the rear end of the tray. The instructions are clear as to what needs to be removed and the tray has lines molded on it where the cuts need to be made. It only took a couple of minutes to make the cuts and clean up the surface.

In this same step, you attach the interior bucket with a separate seat and shift lever. The seat has molded in seat belts with decals for the manufacture markings. Due to the limited visibility through the windows, the provided detail is more than sufficient. There are also radiators, partial transmission and a couple of suspension components to be added to the tray.

The next step deals with the wheels/tires. There are polycaps used to mount the tires to the posts on the tray. There are brake rotors but they don’t have calipers. Little of the rotors can be seen through the tires, so I did not worry about adding any extra details.

Next up is the body shell. There are various side panels and rear panels to be added to the body. This is where the extra pieces come into play. The extra parts are for other versions of the car and are not used for this version. Everything fit very well and the only filler I needed was around part B16, a cover that fills in what would be a scoop on a different version of the car. The piece fit the opening well, it just left a line where it was glued in, so I used a little filler to make the line disappear. I also needed a little filler on the rear spoiler where the bottom and top halves met up.

The door windows are separate clear parts that have the upper doors molded with them. There are decals for the white area, which covers part of the window, but I made a mask using the decal as a pattern and painted the white so it would match the white on the body. The door windows do not match the shape of the openings very well and leave large gaps around the top of the doors. This is the only area on the kit where I had fit issues. I did not fix the doors, I just left the gaps. You would have to add material to the tops of the doors to fix the issues. The right door was the worst on mine, but the gap is not all that noticeable. The rest of the clear pieces fit fine.

Paint and Markings

I used a combination of Vallejo Model Color, Tamiya, Testors Metalizers and Alclad II paints depending on the color I needed. I primed everything with either Tamiya Fine White or Grey Primer depending on the final color before painting. The white on the body is Tamiya Fine White primer and the red is Tamiya X-7. I messed up the first coat of red and had to add a second, that is why it is darker than the decals. The first coat matched the decals nicely. I gave the model a coat of Future before adding the decals. The decals being Cartograf went down with no issues. I used Micro-Set and Micro-Sol as needed. I added another coat of Future to seal in the decals when finished.

I did have issues with the tire markings. They go on differently than regular decals. They are printed in reverse and are kind of like dry transfers. You have to press them onto the tire dry, then wet the paper backing and after letting it sit for a while, peel the paper off and the markings stay in place. It is hard to align the markings because you can’t see through the paper to see where you are placing them. I had trouble with the first one I did and pulled the backing off too soon. Only part of the marking stayed and it was impossible to line up the rest of the marking with the part that stuck to the tire. Because of this, I have one tire with only half of the markings. The rest of the tire markings went down fine after I figured out what to do. I wish the markings would have been just a regular decal or Hasegawa would have provided a couple of spares.


Overall, this was a very pleasant kit to build. It is a curbside kit, but really looks nice when built up. I would highly recommend this kit to anyone, especially those interested in sports car racing.

I would like to thank Hasegawa, Hobbico and IPMS for giving me the opportunity to build and review this kit.


Submitted by Mike (not verified) on Sun, 2019-06-09 20:35


Thanks for the review so now I know the kit is worth building. You did a nice job. I was wondering about painting the wheels. I see you weren't able to paint those microscopic nuts along the rim of the wheel. They molded in but I just don't see how I can paint them either. I think the way I'll paint the wheels is to Alscal chrome then and then mask the rim so I can then paint the center white.

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