Formula one

Lotus 99T Honda - Ayrton Senna - Monaco GP 1987

1/20 scale

by William Chan 2004 Modeler Site

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Lotus 99T Honda was the last winning Lotus in F1 history. It was piloted by 3 times world champion Ayrton Senna. This car won Monaco GP and Detroit GP in 1987. This lotus was on its first year of dressing with Camel sponsorship, no more black JPS sponsorship.

I built this Tamiya Lotus 99T back in 1996. It was my second serious try of building detailed F1 model car. My first was Benetton B192.


 I took this car to Tamiya/Con 97 and won the 1st place in 1/24 and 1/20 race car category. At that time, Tamiya put the 1/24 race cars and 1/20 formula cars into same category. I was stunned that year.

Looking back for this 6 years old model, a lot of details I put in seem very rough (please bear with me). It was because I didn't know how to polish paint, using PE part and scratching building. Not much proper CF decal was applied. Most of the engine painting was done by dry brushing and washing. (like what I did in military model.)


Close-up on right side pod. I scratch built some pumping stuff next to the first radiator. I just followed what I saw in picture and don't know exactly what its function is.

Closeup on right side engine details. I put some wiring on Honda turbo engine. Exhaust tube was dry-brushed and it looked greasy. I put some some misc brand CF decal on the turbo intake. The effect wasn't too good, so I dry brushed Humbrol black to make it look darker. Monocoque was dry-brushed with some XF-64 brown and sprayed with semi-gloss coat. I would redo it, I guess I would cover the monocoque with dark CF decal.

Monocoque and front wing. Front wing was enlarged for Monaco GP. I remembered I used a abandoned MP4/4 front wing and modified it to fit on this Lotus. I should have used a thinner plastic sheet to do it. Side panel bolt was shaded so that it looks more 3D.

Another view on Monocoque. Note that I sealed up some part of under tray into side yellow panel. To accomplish that, front lower suspension needed to be cut out and re-glue it after side yellow panel was fit on main monocoque. A lot of work, but it worth it. Otherwise it will just look like regular die-cast toy. Gee see the front wheel screw hub!!! With today's standard, it should have been replaced with more realistic hexagon screw.... Hmm maybe next time.

Front view on monocoque. I scratch built master cylinders and fit it into the front portion. I didn't use any aftermarket seat belt as I didn't there was such a thing back then :). So I just paint the molded one and put some highlighting and shading.

Left side side pods. The camel decal seem very shiny.. that was properly because the surface was rough with matt paint.

Front side pods. I scratch built a mesh frame. The mesh was from some 1/24 Tamiya rally car I guess. Side pod top surface was dried brushed to make it more 3D. You can see more detail painting on seat belt.


After all, I still very much enjoyed this Lotus 99T and it brought a lot of good memories in my model building experience. If I would redo the Lotus 99T, I think I would put in a lot of different kind of details that I learned from other modelers on the net and at Tamiya/Con over past 6 years.


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