Published on
December 23, 2010
Review Author(s)
Product / Stock #
Company: Tamiya - Website: Visit Site
Provided by: Tamiya America - Website: Visit Site


In the late 1970s, Porsche was dominant in GT and sports racing. For the 1978 race season, Porsche designed the 935/79 Turbo with the goal of claiming the Le Mans 24 hours title. The new longer, ground-hugging body of the car pushed the limits on the silhouette regulation. Due to the 935/78's unique body design, the vehicle earned the nickname "Moby Dick". The vehicle featured a 3.2 liter, air-cooled twin-turbo engine with four valves per cylinder and Porsche's first liquid-cooled cylinder heads, which produced 850hp. The race team entered the 935/78 Turbo in the World Championships for Makes Round 4, as a test for the Le Mans race, and in an impressive debut won. At the 1978 Le Mans 24 Hours, the 935/78 qualified 3rd, but fell to an overall 8th place finish as a result of mechanical problems.


Molded in white and having black detail pieces, the model comes with not only the decals for making the 1978 Le Mans entrant #43 but the 1978 Silverstone winner entrant #1S.


The body is a one piece with a separate wing to be attached on the rear.


There is no separate engine provided but engine details are molded on the bottom of the chassis plate.


Poseable front wheels are provided with hubs having very good detail.


The interior consists of a roll bar cage with a separate seat, dash, and steering wheel. A driver is provided as an option. The driver’s helmet has optional decals for either Jacky Ickx or Jochen Mass. Decals are also provided for seat belts if the driver figure is not used.


Being a Tamiya kit, the build went very smoothly. Wheels are attached to the metal axles using poly caps. I used fine point aluminum colored Sharpies to paint the engine details. I found the Sharpies work very well for this. I also used Sharpies having yellow oil base color to paint the raised Dunlop lettering on the tires. Body trim around the windows was called out to be semi-gloss black and I used black Bare Metal foil in those areas. Any touch up in those areas was done using Tamiya semi-gloss black applied with a fine point brush. The interior side panels, seat and roll bar cage was then attached.

As an experiment, I decided to not paint the exterior of the car body the recommended white color. After masking the areas that were to be white, I airbrushed the exterior areas that were to be black: the area around the radiator opening and the headlights. Then the decals were applied. I chose not to paint the model exterior white because it was already molded in white and the surface had the shine which I thought looked right. The colorful decals were applied in sections and was the most time consuming part of the build. I used the Microscale system of application of Micro Set applied first and then Micro Sol. The decals went on without any problems and adhered very well. An area on the fenders of the model had open vents and the decals in that area conformed perfectly. The decals were flexible enough to be removed from the backing paper but thin enough to conform to the details. After several decaling sessions, the body was placed on the chassis, some paint touch-up was done, a metal antenna was placed on the model’s top and the model was complete.

In Summary

I did not have any problems with the model. I was very pleased with the kit and its level of detail. Using the Bare Metal foil for the black window trim was a lot easier that trying to paint it with a small pointed brush. Also the ultra fine point Sharpies came in very handy to paint the raised letters on the tires. I have a few other Tamiya car kits in my model inventory and look forward to building them using new things I have learned building this Porsche.

Thanks to TamiyaUSA and to IPMS/USA for this review kit.


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