Harley Davidson FLSTFB Fat Boy Lo - Part 1
Review Part 1 – Background and Kit Contents
The Harley Davidson Fat Boy is the latest in Tamiya’s series of 1/6 scale motorcycle kits. This is a large, multimedia kit with plastic, metal, rubber, diecast, and photoetch parts.
From Tamiya’s website:
The Harley Davidson FLFSTB Fat Boy Lo belongs to the Softail series. It uses a 1548cc Twin Cam 96B V-Twin engine, and power is transferred via a drive belt. The Fat Boy Lo's classic form features numerous parts, which lend the bike a heavy feel, and it runs extremely low to the ground. Its fusion of classic looks and state-of-the art design has won the heart of the public around the globe. Tamiya's model replica comes in 1/6 scale! Every detail has been faithfully captured due to extensive research from Tamiya's designers and the cooperation of Harley Davidson.
- Length: 400mm (15-3/4”)
- Features a range of moving parts.
- Mirror stalks are recreated using metal parts, and surfaces are depicted using metal transfers.
- Features metal handlebar and headlight just like those found on the real vehicle.
- Clear, red and orange parts are used to render the motorcycle’s various lights.
- Front suspension provides realistic movement. It uses metal coil springs, front fork inner tubes and outer case tops together with a one-piece outer tube.
- Synthetic rubber tires offer an authentic finish, and the model also features a moving drive belt.
- Includes a die-cast wrench for use during assembly.
When I saw the box that arrived from the IPMS review staff I told my wife I need a bigger workbench! The box measures a full 22” x 14” and is 5” deep.
The first thing I noticed when opening the box was the beautiful, matte chrome-finish pieces. The chrome has fine detail with a finish that does not appear to be too thick. I also noticed that the kit comes with its own set of tools, including several wrenches and a screwdriver. There are also many metal parts. Looking further into the box, there are also bright, shiny chrome-plated plastic parts that also appear to have a nice, thin finish and wonderful detail. Many of the kit’s parts are molded in a semi-gloss black plastic.
The bike’s wheels are about three inches in diameter with a matte aluminum finish. The box cover illustrations show the wheels with a matte black finish rather than the matte chrome. The Fat Boy Classic model has more chrome, including the wheels, while the Fat Boy Lo has matte black wheels. The instructions show the inner portion of the wheels painted matte black for the Fat Boy Lo model.
The black plastic parts are crisply molded and have nice sharp detail for this large scale. All of the plastic sprues are individually bagged. The bike’s seats are molded in a soft rubber that has a nicely textured matte black finish. The bike’s tires are molded in a soft rubber, and the rear tire is over four inches in diameter. The tires have a center mold seam that will need to be sanded out. The tires have very nice sidewall detail with lettering. Also included are several pieces of foam plastic to be used for stuffing the tires so they keep their shape. The kit includes several lengths of black tubing for cables, hoses, etc. A diecast metal stand is included to hold the bike for display.
The various light lenses are furnished in clear, transparent red, and transparent orange plastic.
The kit’s decals are printed by Tamiya and have very sharp detail. The decal film appears to be very tight to the edges of the printed decals. The mirror faces are provided as chrome metal stick-on transfers. Several pieces of double-sided tape are provided for adhering parts together.
The kit also includes six bags of metal parts featuring springs, bolts, nuts, threaded rods, and many other pieces. Many of the metal fasteners are extremely small. Also provided with the Fat Boy kit tools is a small Phillips head screwdriver for installing the screws.
Detail Up Parts Set
This review also includes the Harley-Davidson Fat Boy Lo Detail Up Parts Set by Tamiya, item 12655 (MSRP $96.00). This set includes solid aluminum mufflers, mirror-finish stainless steel brake disks, photoetch parts for fasteners on the muffler insulators, brake caliper logos, and Harley-Davidson symbols for the diecast stand. The brake disks have really nice detail for the contact area with the brake calipers. The mufflers are solid, heavy, and have a nice matte aluminum finish. The photoetch supplied with the Detail Up Set is a bright mirror-finish steel with very fine detail for the Harley-Davidson logos and serial numbers. The photoetch is adhered to a plastic backing, so there are no sprue connection points to clean up. The Detail Up Set is small, but adds quite a bit of finishing details to the bike. It seems to me that the Detail Up Set should de included with the kit rather than a separate add-on.
The instructions for the Detail Up Set provide information on which assembly steps to incorporate the various Detail Up parts. A ‘DP’ in the affected instruction steps indicates Detail Up parts.
Instructions are included in a 32-page 8” x 12” booklet that includes 55 assembly steps plus marking and painting diagrams. Background on the Harley-Davidson Fat Boy Lo motorcycle is provided in Japanese, English, German, and French. Instructions include warnings to be read before assembly, a list of recommended tools, a list of paints required in Tamiya colors, and tech tips for working with parts, different types of paint, and instant cement.
There are instructions for using small screws, and there are practice holes on sprue A to be used with each of the tools. The kit uses a small Phillips head screwdriver, T-wrench, hex wrench, and various sized box wrenches. The instructions include illustrations of the many different sizes of small screws to be used in identifying the correct fastener. Lengths of the various cables and tubes are called out in millimeters, and the lengths are shown on the instructions for cutting them to the correct length. The metal fasteners are also shown full sized for identifying the correct part.
The marking and painting options are specified by country and include USA, Japan, United Kingdom, Germany, Spain, France, and Italy. Prior to starting assembly, modelers should identify which of the marking and painting options will be used. The instructions include a description of the colors and markings for the 2013 model of the Fat Boy. Tamiya also provides detailed painting information in each of the assembly steps.
The instructions also include diagrams of all of the sprues, fasteners, tools, and other parts in the kit to help with identification of each of the pieces. An aftermarket service card also provides the parts code for each of the parts in the kit if reordering replacement parts is necessary.
This looks like a nicely detailed kit of an iconic motorcycle. At first glance, the instructions are clear and thorough, the parts are crisp and well molded, and the many mixed-media parts should add up to a high-quality model.
My thanks to Tamiya for providing this kit and to IPMS/USA for the chance to review it.
The next step, Part 2 of the review, will be the assembly of the kit.