by: Andy Brazier [ ]
Originally published on:
History "The Longest Day in France", also known as the 24 Hours of Le Mans endurance race, takes place two hundred kilometers southwest of Paris, in the city of Le Mans. This high-speed circuit is made up of public roads closed off for the race, which stretch to 13.6 kilometers in length-the world's longest circuit track.
Throughout the long history of the Le Mans, two or three major manufacturers have always fought for the top honors, but the 1999 race boasted six major contenders.
The Toyota GT-One TS020 led the gruelling 24 hour event right up until one hour before the finish, when it was struck with an untimely tire blowout, but still managed to finish second. Subtle refinements to the sleek carbon fiber composite body of the GT-One TS020 were conducted in the pursuit of optimal aerodynamics. The 3600cc V8 twin turbo R36V engine also underwent various modifications, improving power, torque, and fuel efficiency.
Info from Tamiya
In the box Packed in a top opening box the kit contains -
One white sprue - holding 36 parts
One white body shell (split into two parts)
One black sprue - holding 44 parts
One chrome sprue - holding 19 parts
One clear sprue - holding 9 parts
Four rubber tyres
Two sheets of decals
One set of masks
Set of instructions
All the sprues are sealed in their own bags apart from the white and chrome sprues which are bagged together.
Quality is typical Tamiya, with no flash present, and ejector pin marks very few and what there is look to be in places that wont require any sanding or filling.
The plastic, especially for the white parts is very smooth and shiny.
The clear parts are very nice, thin and very clear without any blemishes found on them.
Construction starts with the engine rear suspension unit and exhaust system, and is fairly well detailed. Adding some wires, pipes and lines will help detail this up even more, but as the rear shell can be either left off or kept off, how far you go is totally up too you.
The underside forward monocoque is up next which also incorporates the front suspension and steering rod, along with the two brake disc's, as well as the lower nose.
The interior has a fair bit of detail inside including two side panels for the cockpit, a bucket seat with decals for the harness, the dashboard with an instrument panel with raised dials and switches moulded onto it, as well as the all important steering wheel. A fire extinguisher and a barrel shaped part (reminds me of a fuel tank, so if someone could please enlighten me that would be great) also fit into the cockpit area. Part of a roll cage also fits onto the back wall.
Once the engine and forward monocoque are all built and painted, they fit onto the floor pan, along with a tow hook for the rear of the floor pan.
Next up the build concentrates on the main body shell underside, with two front wheel inner wings, the rear engine firewall and the underside of the roof air scope. The lights and the side scoops are also fitted.
Stage 11 sees the clear parts added to the build, and attaching the rear splitter plate, which has the rear lights glued to the underside.
The next two stages has a few bits added to the engine, with cooling pipes added as well.
The last three stages are adding the wheels, which are made up of plastic wheels and rubber tyres. The tyres are slick but they do have a thin mould line down the center of each which will need taking off.
The rear wing is built up and added to the lower chassis, with the final touches adding the rear body shell and the side mirrors and a small aerial for the front body shell.
Instructions and decals The instructions are printed on a A4 size sheet which folds out too four pages long for the build and paint sequence. I'm not a fan of this type of instructions as you end up with a great big long sheet, which always in my case ends up taking up half my desk and being folded all over the place to size it down.
The build takes place over 18 stages, and is very easy to follow.
Internal paint numbers for Tamiya's own brand are given throughout as well as any decals that need to be added.
A nice touch by Tamiya is the added masks for painting the nose section. This mask set is in three parts, with the main nose mask and the two side parts which need to go over the wings. Having never used Tamiya precut masks before I don't know how they will fare, but as they are made of Kabuki tape, which is the same as the rolls of Tamiya tape you get for masking, then there, in theory, shouldn't be any problems.
The decals are printed in house by Tamiya, and have very little carrier film around them, and are glossy in appearance. Colours are quite vibrant and the white markings are not discoloured at all.
Having used Tamiya decals before I don't see any problems with there application and snuggling down onto the car.
Two marking options are supplied,
GT-One TS020 - Car No 3 with Esso Ultron sponsorship.
GT-One TS020 - Car No 1 with Zent sponsorship.
Both cars are in red with a white nose.
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