Formula one

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Ferrari F310 B

'97 GP of Japan

Tamiya 1/20

by Crescenzo Consolato 2002 Modeler Site



I'm a fan of Ferrari, since before I was born, so I was shocked when I got the notice that Ferrari had sold their rights to Mattel. I knew about the 1/20 Tamiya's Ferrari 310B since few years ago , but I had not bought it yet. Due to the notice I was getting from Ferrari, I hurried to buy one to add to my collection. I can't found it in the local stores so, I decided to buy it in HLJ. Two weeks after I ordered the kit, I was receiving it in my house.


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The season of 1997 wasn't one of the best for Ferrari, although Schumacher headed the championship until the grand prix of Jerez, the incident with Villeneuve threw down the good work that the team had done during the whole season.


This really discouraged me and I had thought that I would build this model out of the box. Several months ago I discovered very good detail photos in a specialized paper magazine which gave me the motivation to build a very detailed Ferrari 310B.


Firstly I looked for a detail set for this Tamiya kit, and I found a very good one from Studio 27 made of photo etched parts. This conversion allows to build a very detailed Ferrari 310B from the 1997 Japanese GP. I guess that GP was the best for Ferrari during 97 season so I decided to build the model like that from Japan.


After looking at reference photos I realized that besides the S27 set, I would need to scratch build several parts and details, in order to make a very accurate model.  So had to modify the on board cameras location and rear wing which should have more aerodynamic charge.

I don't recommend this kit for newcomers in spite of being a very good one from Tamiya, it had few difficult points in its building. To build the tub is a challenge because it will need a lot of putty and sanding. Besides, the tub must be painted inside (imitating carbon fiber) before being assembled, like airplanes cockpits.


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A problem I had was the body paint. Tamiya recommends the TS 49 bright red, but I couldn't get it here, so I decided to mix my own Ferrari color, using a mix 50-50 of Model Master Guards Red and Italian Red, I was happy with the final result but obviously it isn't accurate.
I clear coated with Tamiya acrylic varnish which is excellent and let you achieve a shiny surface.

I list below several additions and modifications I made in my model:

- I modified the steering wheel to make it detachable like the actual cars.

- I improved the following parts; radiator pipes, electric wiring, antenna of the telemetry system, etc.


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I needed about 250 hours to build this model, but really it was worthwhile. It looks great in my showcase!


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