Upon opening the box you will find 9 baggies containing 182 parts, one tree of P.E. parts, a couple of small sheets of decals, a 10 page instruction booklet, and a decal placement flyer. Parts are molded in three colors; black, red, and chrome. The chrome parts have an aluminum tint to them, making them much more realistic and appealing to the eye than the typical “chrome” parts found in most car models.
Before beginning this project it is important to study the instructions and illustrations, and become familiar with the part number and paint color codes. Having given that admonition, once these codes and the associated symbols become familiar to the builder the instructions become very clear and easy to follow. The illustrations are well drawn and precise, with a sense of perspective that aids the builder in part location and placement.
Decals are provided for the #3 car and the #4 car. The decals are slow to slide off the backing material so be prepared for a wait of a minute or two before they are ready to be transferred to the model. I found that a dip in the water, followed by about 60 to 90 seconds of saturation time, was just about right. The markings are strong enough to allow for some nudging to assure correct placement and the carrier film simply disappears once the decal is in place. In short, the decals are excellent, and present no difficulty to an average builder. There are, however, a large number of very small decals, and patience plus a steady hand will be required. No setting solution was used.
Pay attention to the instructions. The instructions contain illustrations that guide the modeler through some complex construction steps and it is wise to study the illustrations carefully, test fit the parts, and then move forward. The manner in which the kit is molded, and the evident high quality of engineering is one of the reasons Tamiya is considered a leader in the area of automotive modeling. This high standard of quality can be seen in the superb fit of the parts that make up this kit. In some cases the pieces literally snap into place with no glue required. Mold release marks are either very small, or engineered to be placed in a location that will not be visible on the completed model.
The parts separate from the sprue easily, but a little filing will be necessary to remove the remaining “nub” that connected the part to the sprue.
It is advisable to build the model in the sequence suggested in the instructions, and to that end it is also advisable to paint the parts after the parts have been removed from the sprue and cleaned up.
You will find that the wheels are meant to rotate on their axles and also the front wheels can be set with a steering angle, not just “straight ahead”. The issue this creates is that these “features” come with a price. The suspension is a bit tricky to assemble and it isn’t all that strong, which will be noticed when its time to press-fit the wheels onto the various arms and locating pins that make up the suspension.
When assembling the front wheels, note that the “axle” pins (parts C39) have small wedges molded on the end of the pin. Each wedge fits into a slot on part C22 and C23. It is important to note the position in which the pins must be inserted so that the wedge is horizontal and will fit in the slot in parts C22 and C23.
Fuel fill caps have doors that can be assembled either opened or closed. The fuel cap, which is a chromed part, can be seen if the door is attached in the open position.
The kit provides a choice of materials for the restraint straps. The decal sheet offers a single decal which can be applied (# 19), or one can “build” the harness assembly using photo-etched buckles and paper straps.
Not too far into this project it will become clear that the four beautiful chrome rims provided in the kit will be covered and not visible on the finished model. This speaks volumes about the care and quality with which Tamiya designed this model. Even though the parts would not be visible, Tamiya provided these four gorgeous rims anyway. The good news is that Tamiya also provided a set of decals (just like the prototype F60 being modeled) that are applied to the plates that cover the rims, thus giving the viewer the illusion of looking at the rims.
Lastly, the model can be finished without permanently attaching the two side-pieces, A2 and A7. This allows for the pieces to be placed next to the model to allow the engine and transmission to be visible.
Assembly can be challenging for the beginner. Decals for the rubber tires are delicate and great caution must be used when moving them into their final location. Some parts are very small and caution must be exercised when preparing them for assembly. The finished model is fragile.
The quality of the molding and the “fit” are exceptional. The illustrations within the instructions are clear and precisely drawn, and with careful examination, will aid the modeler in the successful completion of this project. The decals are of a high quality and when applied, are relatively opaque and block out the color of the car body.
- Faller Expert Glue # 170492
- Gator’s Grip Acrylic Hobby Glue
- ColorPlace Spray Paint, Fire Red # 20005
- Tamiya, Black, TS-14
This model proved to be a very challenging project. While the engineering and design of the model results in an excellent fit and, ultimately, a beautiful model, this model can rapidly become a frustrating and difficult project for the less experienced builder. Therefore, it is recommending for the more experienced modeler, or the novice modeler who wishes to “push the envelope”. I would likt to thanks Tamiya USA for providing the review sample and IPMS/USA for allowing me to review it.