Ferrari 158 - Surtees
F1 1964 World Champion
ABC Brianza ref # 1206b
by Mario Covalski
I made my first review of a kit a few years ago, and I remember that I said that reviewing a kit was something more than a simple description of all the parts that you look at when you open a box; you have to "transmit" a sensation and "project" and opinion, as a logical conclusion.
When a manufacturer begins a project to produce a new kit, he must follow various stages, tasks, and requisites that take several months, as well as a great deal of money, in order to pay the artisans and technicians involved in the project. The task of making a whole new kit is something that cannot be done in a day, it takes a lot of hard working hours of not only one, but several people involved.
I always wanted to build a model of this car because 1964 was the beginning of my "career" as an F1 fan. I remember that my father used to buy an Argentinian car magazine titled AUTOMUNDO. My memory is not very precise, but I remember that I was surprised when Ferrari switched to a 12 cylinder engine for the 1965 season.
There are other very good quality details like the PE instrument panel, although the instrument faces are decals, and some other parts for the engine and the monocoque. Water radiator is resin with PE parts, the windshield is vacuumed clear plastic, there is only one in the kit, I think that it would be a good idea to put a spare one "just in case".
All of the above details are the kit's strong point, but there is a weak point too, its not with the model but with the instructions manual, it lacks a lot of information. The first page shows a list a description of parts, as well as the colors to paint them. There are two more pages with a picture of the engine, good but not enough, and a very good slide...with half of it missing!
The price is the average for these kind of models although, as a modeler, I would like it to be a little lower; but I understand that due to the somehow reduced production of these kits, and the fact that the molds must be changed quite often, the price is reasonable.
In the accompanying pictures, you can appreciate some parts of this incredible kit.
Brianza offers three versions. The here shown belongs to 1964 Nurburgring GP, which John Surtees won it with.
I've spent almost an hour thinking about the conclusion and personal opinion about this kit, what would had happened if this kit were in plastic, no doubt that we would be in the presence of one of the most interesting "old model" available in 1/12 scale. However, I must go to the beginning of this note, this is not possible for ABC and, apparently, not even for Tamiya. So, we must admit that this is a great kit, with all the restrictions inherent to a resin cast multimedia model.
Unfortunately, ABC failed in the easiest part, the instruction manual. We must keep in mind that there are kits with not too good quality, like Protar, but with a good instruction manual full of details, although the plastic parts do not allow you to achieve the detail level shown in the illustrations, because of their low quality.
Here we have a different situation; if you are an experienced F1 model builder, you could assemble this model without the manual, and it would be a great model to add to your collection; in fact, all the collectors I know have already bought this kit
If you are a newcomer to resin models, it would be very convenient for you to start with a less complicated model where you could get more experience on how to handle multimedia kits, and then try to get the most information about this car (pictures, etc.), before starting with the building of the kit.
My final opinion, no doubt that this is a great kit with very well detailed parts, good proportions, and an excellent final appearance. The resin parts are equal to any good resin kit; with all the "standard" preparation procedures normal with this kind of materials.
I don't want to finish this note without expressing a personal idea for you to think about. If you like 1/12 scale models, I'm sure that you want to see more of them in the future, and it is more than probable that you will not get them from the big plastic manufacturers; so we must encourage small and medium manufacturers to keep offering models like this, each time with better details, but with the normal inconsistencies of these materials.