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Subaru Impreza WRC 1998 'Monte-Carlo'
Tamiya's 1/24

by  Ralph Lugten


1998 was another excellent year for rally fans all over the world. As before the intense battle was on between Colin McRae and Tomi Makkinen.

Tomi Makkinen driving the White Ralli//Art Mitsubishi Galant Evo III and Colin McRae the Sonic Blue Prodrive Impreza WRC.
In the end with the help of Pierro Latti & they only secured the constructors -title for the third consecutive year. Although some stage wins were prey to Colin McRae, he never seemed to have a grip on the overall title due to bad luck, driving mistakes and wrong tire choices or technical failure.
The year before the title went all down to the wire with a 63 - 62 points ending in favor of Tommi Makkinen.


The Model

The car which is depicted here is the one prepared for roadstages as can be seen by those beautiful gold O.Z. multi-spokewheels & low-profile semi-slick Pirelli P-Zero's which gives the Impreza WRC an aggressive roadhugging look. This is also the car which made Subaru a force to be reckoned with on the rally-tracks as on the road. Not only because it has full-time all-wheel drive but also because of the powerful flat-4 'boxer' engine which in rally trim could punch out a healthy 300 bhp along with that throaty sound which only a flat four can produce.

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This kit will be build into the McRae / Grist version and straight out of the box with no additional detailing, only some dusting for that 'race-look' instead off an all shiny showroom look. And without the 'night-stage' extra driving light!


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As a avid modelbuilder I can not start without getting a feel for the subject which is about to be build. So the first thing I do is acquire photo's via the Internet / Dealership's / Autoshow's / Magazine's etc.
As always with race-machine they are very well protected for the photographers lenses, but on the Subaru World Rally Team site (   )they have an excellent gallery of the car during the
race season! Which will provide me with the necessary insight on the subject.

The Building process

As always with Tamiya they do know how to make modelkits!. With that off course I mean; precise fitment, little moldmarks, crisp details. Although I very much miss a loose engine since it's molded in-situ with the underside of the car & an opening bonnet.

The build-up consists of painting the various parts in the right color & tidy masking for some parts which are molded-in situ like the fueltank.
In a rally car some parts are painted the same color for ease of use like driving-axles yellow, subframe parts white when everything has to be put together in a hectic way when servicing the car within a time limit.

Although most of the undercarriage details will be hidden by the protector plates (these are clear molded by the way), I still like to give them the full treatment just in case friends or other modelers see 'it'!


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Decaling is pretty straightforward, although the 'quarter moons' representing the '555's'; since tobacco markings are in some countries forbidden, will have to set around the door opening handles.
Use a bit of a setting solution like Microsoll to make things easier. I like to cut the decals shorter as to minimize the excess clear carrier showing.

Some stretched sprue is also needed for the communication antennas. (not added in the photo's!)

And i used some self-adhesive chrome-foil for the rearview mirrors.

After snapping the chassis to the body I sit back and enjoy this marvelous machine in Sonic Blue…

NOT that long though; since the Silver Clarion Peugeot 206 WRC is waiting for a build-up!!!

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Editor Note:  Ralph live Breda - Netherlands, he is a good friend and modeler and J.Alesi's fanatic!. Also he loves Ferraris F1, I hope to see more works from Ralph soon.