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Detailing a Paris Dakar's 


1/12 scale

by Ricardo S. Dacoba


From January 1st and for more than 20 days, going through 14000 Km. of routes and deserts, the Paris Dakar Rally is perhaps one of the most difficult and exciting competitions that exist today.
In 1984 and 1985 Gaston Rahier won this tortuous race in the two wheels category, driving a BMW R80 G/S at high speed ( 90 to 180 km/h).

The kit

Tamiya manufactured this excellent model kit some years ago, as always with Tamiya the parts are free of flaws and mold marks. The details and instruction manual are outstanding with a very good decal sheet.
I have found little bibliography to build this kit, just a few photos of the street model, which looks like the sport model one.


The first I did was to replace the wheels rays, for this I had to make a device to be able to align to the center mass with the ring of each wheel, then it was necessary to eliminate the plastic rays thoroughly, taking care not to damage the rest of the wheel. Once this job was achieved I worked with a triangle file making some slots where the new rays would be placed.

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I used 0,20 mm steel wire for making the new rays, to cut the wire I worked with a disk cutting tool, then I glued with CA, alternating them for a correct alignment.
Other modifications I added were, the command cables made of cooper wire and painted in black, the pedal plates were made of aluminum sheet; I covered the axes support bolts with photo etched nuts, I added springs to the exhaust pipes (made of wire), I replaced the protector grill of the lights by new ones made of wire and I added supports for the luggage grid belts.


I used Tamiya acrylic colors for the body. The motor was painted in aluminum using enamel paint, after this I used a cloth to spread silver powder on it.

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I think that the 1/12 scale allows us to build wonderful motorcycles models, although you make them straight of the box. With little detail job, and simple materials we can achieve outstanding models. I hope this BMW encourages you to add details to your next motorcycle kit.


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