Formula one

lig46.jpg (131227 bytes)

Building a Ligier JS41 using the Academy #1564 kit and Perfect Parts detail sets.

1/20 scale

by Daniel Maetakaya


During the 1995 Season, the Benetton B195 Renault and the Ligier JS41 models had a very similar design. Therefore, it is possible to build a Ligier from a Benetton.

lig30.jpg (115085 bytes)

Academy.jpg (17194 bytes)


It is obvious that all graphic material, like decals, are one of the first things that all modelers take into account before starting any job what if I don't have the decals later?. That is completely true, it is useless to get the shapes if we don't have the logos and all those details which make modern F1 cars attractive. Some modelers are able to produce their own decal sheets (they are really fortunate) but this is not the most common case.

Fortunately, F1 Specialties developed conversion decals to make this job easier; the # J20.

These decals include all that is necessary for the conversion, as regards the external aspect of the car.

The conversion

The items used for the construction of this model are:


Academy Kit #1564 Benetton B195 Renault
Conversion decals #J20 from F1 specialties
Perfect Parts BBs golden wheels #GS02

#J20 Decal

lig43.jpg (84948 bytes)

J20.jpg (85331 bytes)

#GS02 Wheel set

BBSwheelGold_side1.jpg (43521 bytes) lig42.jpg (58750 bytes) BBSwheelGold_side2.jpg (40571 bytes)
BBSwheelGold_decal.jpg.jpg (34369 bytes)


In order to make this conversion, there are some modifications to be made:

The Benetton model has a small bulge on its nose, that needs to be removed.
The front aileron side deflectors must be modified to make them smaller since those from Benetton are bigger.

lig23.jpg (82949 bytes)

The Ligier was powered by the Honda Mugen engine, while Benetton was powered by a Renault engine. Since I did not have the Honda engine available, I decided to build a model with the engine cover closed and glued.
I used the parts of the rear suspension that have been discarded (since they were not visible with the engine cover closed) to build in scratch the front suspension, which is not supplied by the kit.

lig21.jpg (68960 bytes)

Those who wish to build the Australia '95 version, can do this by modifying the front and rear ailerons.


This is really an excellent kit, the fits are perfect and the plastic material will give you no hard times when the time comes for gluing and painting. Therefore, once all modifications were done I completed the construction process without any problems or surprises.


The painting job (I used 31 Bright Blue from Molak), as well as the application of decals, is really a simple task thanks to the one-color scheme and the high quality of the F1 Specialties decals, which are very thin, have minimal carrier film and settle down very well on any surface.

In order to obtain a more realistic effect I used carbon fiber decals on the inner part of the ailerons and on the suspension arms. Here I had to use decal set in order to make them settle down on the surface properly.


Finally, I added wheels from Perfect Parts #GS02 in order to improve the model. They are a mix of photoetched parts and turned rings in an excellent golden color. It is somewhat difficult to join the hub to the ring, for which purpose you will have to use some fresh CA after removing all grease form the parts with alcohol and slightly scratch the joints.

I had to drill a hole, which was not an easy task due to the hardness of the brass, in order to insert the air valve.

lig35.jpg (70861 bytes)

Editor Note: The new sets now have that hole


The axle of the wheel supplied by PP has a slightly bigger diameter than the one of the model. Therefore, I had to widen the brake holes in order to be able to insert the wheels properly.


The "task" of building this model was really exciting and fun. Once finished, the model looks great and according to the reference pictures I have. I will be pleased to answer your questions about this interesting conversion.

Editor's note

For those of you who are not acquainted with this Academy kit, I can say that the quality and philosophy of construction is similar to that of a Tamiya kit. In fact, the tires look better than the ones supplied by Tamiya for some of its 1/20 kits. If you take into account that there are few plastic models in this scale, specially "rare" subjects, you will find that this kit (Academy 1995 Benetton B195 M. Schumacher / J. Herbert) and the conversion decals from F1 Specialties are really a pleasure for modelers.

F1 Specialties offers another option:

Conversion of the Academy #1564 into the "Bridgestone Test Car" (Ligier JS41). You will have to paint the engine cover completely red. The decal sheets include the red, black and silver strips to detail the model. The decals include the versions for Damon Hill and Aguri Suzuki. Like in the case of the model discussed in this article, the front aileron can be built in scratch for a more realistic effect. #B41


lig25.jpg (124534 bytes)

lig37.jpg (69214 bytes)

lig02.jpg (133400 bytes)

lig04.jpg (124864 bytes)

lig22.jpg (95225 bytes)

lig33.jpg (74575 bytes)

lig36.jpg (77885 bytes)

lig47.jpg (68780 bytes)

lig09.jpg (54654 bytes)

lig03.jpg (90124 bytes)