Lotus 25 Coventry Climax
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.
Tires are rubber, and the wheel rims are machined aluminum with some chromed photo-etched accent parts. Other aluminum parts include engine exhaust stacks (trumpets), and gear shift.
The other photo-etched frets contain suspension elements, steering wheel details, mesh engine cover, radiator cover, racing pedal assembly, and brake parts.
Rounding out the list of parts are the vacuform windscreen, black hose for brake lines, steel rods (pre-cut) for more suspension parts, and the decal sheet with markings for Clark's #8 car.
The car's body is cast as a separate piece, so that it can be lifted off to reveal the complete driver's cockpit and engine bay. With some careful work (check fit, sand, re-fit, sand, re-fit, and so on), a perfect fit can be achieved, which looks very sleek and realistic.
In my opinion, Tameo has set the bar for several years now, and this kit is no exception. The machined parts are crisp. The photo-etched frets are delicately done and extremely detailed, and the decals look to be perfectly rendered by cartograph. The cast metal parts (for the most part) are crisply cast and nicely detailed.
Now, a caveat here… my kit had a badly twisted upper body with a lot of flash, and the lower chassis had heavy flash too. This is something I have not seen on other Tameo offerings I have purchased. I tend to think that my kit is "atypical" of Tameo's usual offerings (even QC inspectors can have an off day).
In my example, the entire rear firewall was completely filled with material that was no less than 3mm thick (and solid). This may not sound like much, but in a model that is just three inches long, this is a lot of material (akin to taking a quarter, and having to cut a hole in the center large enough to place a nickel). Likewise, the nose section was filled with an equal thickness of material. The flash was successfully removed, but it took several hours of very careful work so as not to destroy delicate surrounding details.
The twisted body also took some time and patience to remedy, but with careful work and attention to detail, the work was accomplished to my satisfaction.
I would highly recommend this kit. It has the classic 1960's "race car good looks," and it pays homage to a legendary driver and car. As with all Tameo kits, the level of detail is impressive right out of the box, but with a few reference photos, even more little details can be added.
[Editor's Note: Robert is interested in starting a 1/43 scale SIG; if interested please contact my DFL/SIG persona at email@example.com and I'll forward the info on to him.]