Formula one

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Tamiya Honda RA 273

1/12 scale

by Tony Allen 2002 Modeler Site

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The Honda in 1/12 scale is another kit in the familiar style produced in the early days of formula1. This kit like the Lotus kits that preceded it was designed to be motorized but this kit being a reissue the motor was omitted. Because of this, extra work is needed to correct spaces left by the battery box. I looked at the instructions and realised that like the Lotus 49 I built some time ago, the main monocoque could be assembled with the interior cockpit being added after all had been sprayed, decaled and polished, this would make things very much easier.


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The building

I began by assembling the sides and top of the body, test fitting the interior at each stage to ensure that it would fit, it did.
The rear engine bulkhead was assembled but not fitted. I primed the shell with white primer and during flatting I noticed that the rivet detail was disappearing so before they were lost forever I drilled them out intending to replace them later.
The colour I chose was Renault 488 white, which is just the right shade, creamy white. I then masked up the red line and circle and applied two coats of Nissan red, once dry I used the black part of the decal that comes in the kit to apply the black trim. I also applied the decal for HONDA, and Ginther, and then I applied two coats of clear lacquer.

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At the same time I painted all parts that make up the completed car. The underside of the body is made up of two parts, these are painted in body colour, and then I used the front part to use as the base for the pedal box. This I made from plasticard with pedals in the same.


I then turned my attention to the interior, which consists of two sides and a rear bulkhead. I decided to foil these parts as per the actual car. I applied aluminium foil onto the plastic polishing over the rivet detail. The rear bulkhead I sprayed with Alclad II highly polished aluminium to blend with the foil. I turned a new gear knob and fitted it with an ali shaft then installed it into the right side casing. It was now time to fit the interior and the body was complete.


The suspension is pretty straightforward, only requiring the chrome being removed and then treated with Alclad II Highly Polished Aluminium, this gives a more realistic look, infact all the chrome parts were given the same treatment.


One thing I did find was with the front rims, which have to be reduced in width, as they are oversize. This is a simple process but has to be done to allow the tyres to fit correctly. The wheels were sprayed with Alclad II Pale burnt Metal directly onto the bare plastic. The engine detail is minimal but with a few additions it came out well. The exhausts don't fit well so a few mods have to be done, extending the pipes to form a manifold. The engine was installed into the chassis and the radius arms connected. The wheels and tyres were fitted together and then fitted to the car, I added some balance weights to the rims made of flattened solder to add a little detail.


That completed the car, it was a very simple kit to build but produced a fine replica of an important car in the history of Formula 1.

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