Formula one

Building the 1976 Ferrari 312 T2 from a Tamiya kit

1/12 scale

by Mario Covalski © 2007

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In 1976 Niki Lauda, the Formula one's world champion was in the way to his second serial crown with Ferrari, when only half of the scheduled races had been run. However a tragic accident with happy end changed the story. On August 1st during the Germany Grand Prix (Nürburgring ) second lap, Niki lost his machine control and it catches fire. A few seconds later Arturo Merzario stops and rescues Niki saving his life.

Lauda suffers serious burns, which will mark his face and spirit forever.

He recovers for disputing the last year race in Japan, but he was not prepared yet and gives up after the first lap. Then James Hunt with McLaren, was crowned World champion for only a point over Niki.

Niki’s racecar during this agitated year was a Ferrari 312 T2, which we will enjoy in the following article.


Which kit do we use...?

I wanted to add to my F1 1/12 scale collection the 1976 T2. Several years ago I built a Protar T2, but as the result didn't satisfy me, I sold it.

Sometime ago I bought another Protar T2 with the intention of modifying and/or detailing more the parts if necessary. After studying the kit very carefully, I understood that this was not possible, at least for me.

Then.... what can I do?. Some months ago I had the opportunity of buying several Tamiyas 312T, for different projects I had planned and as I had still one left, I decided to use the T as base and some parts of T2 that I could not make, adding other necessary details.

I anticipate you the end, to arrive to what I wanted, the Protar and Tamiya's parts used needed several changes.

In the following note I explain you, which were the involved modifications and how I made them.

Building... a puzzle

At first everything seemed to be a puzzle, then I divided the building into two parts:


I prepared all Protar and Tamiya's parts to adapt them to this project.

I completed the T2 construction.


Everybody who reads this note can think... well, if both are Ferraris, the parts are interchangeable and is only a matter of using the Protar's parts which correspond to T2 in Tamiya's kit.

But it is not like this; both manufacturers' vision is completely different, the parts don't fit if they are mixed.

I tried to get a lot of T2 photographic references, and then I decided which parts basically had to be changed from the 312 T, so the following building organize emerged.


Of course the T2 cockpit cowling is different from the T's, with its big air intakes, which basically distinguishes one from each other.

 The body left upper panel changes its form and the fuel inlets their position.

 The red and white paint design is different.

 The cockpit cowling is certainly the most elaborated part in this conversion, I built it following Protar's instruction manual.

 Then I modified the B10 part, to be able to locate the cockpit on the chassis, and verify its position. Figure 1  


Figure 1

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