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In this article, I want to share how I detailed the 1/20 McLaren MP4/2 as ran (and won) the 1984 F1 championship. The car I wanted to reproduce is the Lauda’s, only driver to have won the championship after a retirement and a subsequent coming back to the races (notably, Lauda is also the only driver that won a world championship after receiving the last rites, after its terrible accident in 1976).
The cars in 1984 were characterized by huge rear wings (forbidden the year after), and were starting the extensive use of carbon fiber composites on the car. In this regard, the McLaren was a pioneer, being the first constructor in 1981, to adopt a chassis entirely made of carbon composites.
In general speaking the Beemax kit is reproduces very well the car, however two main improving were needed, one regarding the shape of the chassis in the fuel tank area, the other devoted to remove the molded carbon pattern in several surfaces (chassis and flat bottom), because they are out of scale and would be a problem when the decals should be placed.
In addition, several modifications were made on the model adding as much details as possible to increase the realism. To the basic kit, I added the nice detail set by Beemax, that includes most of the necessary carbon decals, a large PE fret, seatbelts material, aluminum adhesive foil, and nice hose joints. To this, I also added the tobacco decals, turned rivets of different sizes, and PE bolts.
The article is divided in several areas which I worked on (that can be run simultaneously), followed by a section describing the last assembly steps.
Chassis and flat bottom
At first sight the fit of the main parts (flat bottom, chassis, exhausts exits) seems satisfactory, however some major issues immediately appears:
The sides of the chassis differ from the real car.
The printed carbon fiber pattern should be completely removed by sanding if one wants to put some (more accurate) CF decals on.
The radiator pods were molded in one piece with the chassis (the front section), so if one wants to detail them or correctly remove the join line, these must be separated.
It is clear that all these modifications are not needed if you want to show the model with the cowling on. Otherwise it’s necessary to start a long work with chisels, saws, plastic glue and putty.
I started cutting the radiator pods, using a PE saw, gluing the cut parts to the rest of the radiator sidepods.
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Includes more than 230 pics, here we show only the text pages.
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