Formula one

Detailing the M23 Yardley McLaren

Tamiya 1/12 scale

by Mario Covalski © 2001 - 2013

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Without any doubt the 70's was the golden decade for the Formula One, the cars were very competitive and there were teams with more than two cars and two sponsors!, something unthinkable in these days; there were even independent pilots who used to buy or rent the cars to the constructors, and race them with their own sponsorship. By that time the McLaren team was one of those two sponsor teams, Texaco-Marlboro, and Yardley. The M23 model was a racing car with quite a simple design and construction, but very successful nonetheless. The chassis was an aluminum monocoque with a rectangular section (quite an achievement in those days), the Cosworth engine was "hanged" in the rear part, and the water radiators were side mounted in "tunnels" alongside the chassis. This model remained in the tracks for almost four years, with modifications to adapt it to the new tendencies. It was piloted by two world champions, Emerson Fittipaldi in 1974, and James Hunt in 1976.


The kit

I've heard several opinions about this model, but all of them were the same, more or less, an ugly car, in fact, there are not many Yardley McLaren models built. But I decided to build the Yardley version, although I have the Studio 27 Marlboro decal sheet to convert it to the Texaco-Marlboro, driven by Emmo.

Picture of Accessory

When I began building this model, my aim was to build it "out of the box" with minor and easy to do modifications, and make it look colorful. The building is quite simple, the only real problem is in the chassis. The car's body is in fact the monocoque, it is painted in white and orange colors; the challenge was, building the whole chassis with the two previously painted parts. After giving it a good thinking, I decided to paint the two body/chassis parts and build the rest in a later stage.


As I said, building this model was a straightforward task, no special techniques or processes; so I focused myself in the explanation of the small modifications I've made, in order to enhance the final appearance.


The engine

I painted the engine block with Tamiya's XF56 (metallic grey). I painted parts D27 and D28 with semigloss black, and a mixture of Humbrol's #56 (gun metal), and Tamiya's X10.
I cut the spark plugs in the valve covers and drilled 1mm holes for the spark plug cables; after putting the cables in the right places, I put a drop of white glue to imitate the plug cover. I painted the valve covers with semigloss black, and used Testor's chrome silver and a 000 brush to highlight the Ford logos and the nuts. Here, I made a little "deviation" from the real car, and used blue spark plug cables, just to "brighten" the final appearance.
Very carefully, I drilled nine 1mm. holes in the distributor cap and glued a 1mm wide plastic strip to the coil, then I painted the plastic strip silver.

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