Formula one


Chevron’s transkit for Tamiya McLaren M23 1/12th


by  Mario Covalski

The seventieth were glorious for 1/12 scale models, every year new releases were offered to model builders, as today happens with 1/20 scale. Tamiya was the leader, manufacturing more than a new model once a year!!!.

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At the beginning of 1974 came out the Bs 1214 Texaco Malrboro M23, and a year after, Bs 1217 Yardley McLaren M23.

Basically was the same model with a few changes in the body and in sponsor’s decals.

The M23 McLaren was a F1 car with a simple design, maybe for this reason so successful.

Evolved from 1973 to 1977 and helped Emerson Fittipaldi and James Hunt to obtain the World Championship.

Some months before writing this note I received the first kit of the Chevron’s trilogy, which allows us to transform the Tamiya’s Texaco Marlboro M23 into the 1976 McLaren M23. Really both the Tamiya’s M23 would be useful for this project.

I was astonished by the small box size, and the good content quality. I want to remark it; it’s incredible the Chevrons’ artisans good job.  

The first I do when I received a transkit is looking at the instruction manual, so as to see which things must be changed and which not.

Well, really I only could look at it because it’s in Japanese, It seems to me that the kit could provide a diskette with the Japanese text in TXT format, so in this way it could be translated with the available translators. Anyway the instruction manual diagrams are very good.

The body parts are made of  vacuform plastic. They are only a few; many of the model are Tamiya’s parts, but modified.


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I think the more complex step in the building is the mount of the engine air duct ( four vacuform parts glued ), which replaces the periscope air duct. Here we must be careful, I advise to practice with any other plastic and scissors before making the definitive cut.

Resin parts are excellent, the rear aileron is made of resin too and  has a finish ready for being painted.

There are a lot of metal parts, which allow us to modify among other things almost fully the front suspension. Don’t forget  to paint metal parts with Humbrol matt or with the base you choose, before the definitive colour.

The sample I received has two identical vacuform acetate windshields, I don’t know the reason, maybe as backup.

As always Chevron provides a complete seat-belts set, with the logos' cloth adhesives, and very good quality decals, something great!.

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A negative point is the absence of water radiators, made of resin, the same happens with the front body and the rear stabilizer bar; the instruction manual explains how to build them with Tamiya’s parts, but It would have been better the kit had these parts.

If I had to chose which of the three Chevrons’ transkits I would build first, without any doubts  It  would be this one, for both Chevron and Tamiya’s simplicity.

With good photographic references and the manual explanations, a quality model can be done, with not a great deal more effort than the building of Tamiya’s kit.

I hope this note be useful to encourage those who build 1/12 scale to add this one to his wanted list, it worthwhile, and for Chevron’s people to go on delighting us with their talent.