Formula one

Restoring and detailing an old Tamiya Lotus 49B 1/12 scale

by Keiichi Aoki © 2014 Modeler Site

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In 1970 when I was a little child, my parents bought me the 1/12 Tamiya Gold Leaf Lotus 49B. After 44 years and accidentally I discovered the model kept in an attic at my parents’ house. Fortunately, no part was lost, but obviously quality of construction was very poor, with no major modification and barely painted as well; remember I was a child who didn’t have neither a micro drill or other tools which are considered basic nowadays. Besides, many of the suspension parts even existent, were broken.


I thought it would be more exciting to restore than build a new one and so childhood beautiful memories could be restored as well. However, at that moment, I didn’t know that, it was the beginning of a hard work and I would have to get around many problems.
The following picture shows the model before restoration.


Construction… for second time

The first problem I found was the decals or the non existent ones. I thought about the possibility of restoring the original decals retouching by hand painting each one on the area it was damaged and covering with masking tape before removing the paint of the model. The result was not at all satisfying and this can be appreciated in the following image.


Fortunately, at the time of the restoration, there was available a decal sheet for replacement produced by a friend of mine who was a manufacturer. Then, I decided to remove the entire painting and the old decals as well.



The cracked and uneven portions of the body were repaired and filled with putty, especially the surface of the nose cowling on the area that joins the body as shown in the following picture.


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