Automotive

Reviews of products for scale automotive models, including motorcycles and motorized vehicles.

Ferrari 312T2 1976 Japan GP

Published: July 18th, 2010     
Ferrari 312T2 1976 Japan GP
Reviewed by: Chris Smith IPMS# 39182, IPMS# 39182
Scale: 1/20
Company: Hasegawa

I really am an airplane modeler normally but I have not been able to resist these F-1 race car models. This time around IPMS was kind enough to allow me to build the 1976 Ferrari 312T2 of Niki Lauda. After a steady decline, Ferrari built the 312B3 in 1974 and had some success but was hampered by reliability issues. The 312T and T2 were built to address the B3s problems. Based on a flat 12 engine producing 485 HP coupled with a transverse mounted (hence T in name,) transmission the 312T was driven by Lauda to four first place finishes and the overall championship in 1975. For the 1976 season the 312T2 was introduced with Niki Lauda and Clay Regazzoni driving. The major design change for the 1976 season was the relocation of the engine air intakes to the area in front of the cockpit to comply with F-1 racing rule changes. The 1976 season was marred by a terrible crash that almost claimed Lauda's life. At the German Grand Prix in Nurburgring, Lauda's suspension failed after he contacted a curb and his car careened out of control, hit the rail and erupted into flames.

Ferrari 312T2 "1976 Monaco GP Winner"

Published: May 31st, 2009     
Ferrari 312T2 "1976 Monaco GP Winner"
Reviewed by: Perry Downen, IPMS# 44000
Scale: 1/20
Company: Hasegawa

I would like to thank Dragon Models USA for submitting this item to IPMS for review and IPMS for allowing me to review it.

BACKGROUND

The Ferrari 312T was designed by Mauro Forghieri for the 1975 Gran Prix season. Over the next six years the 312T series won 27 races, four constructors' and three drivers' championships The car was powered by a flat-12 cylinder engine which produced approximately 510bhp. The "T" in "312T" stood for transverse. This was the mounting configuration of the gearbox which improved the car's handling characteristics over its predecessors.

Tyrrell P-34

Published: May 23rd, 2009     
Tyrrell P-34
Reviewed by: Jack Kennedy, IPMS# 12511
Scale: 1/20
Company: Tamiya

Back in 1976 Ken Tyrrell ran a Formula One Race team. He employed an innovative car designer named Derek Gardner. Up to this point in Formula One or Grand Prix as it is called, many designers tried some pretty radical designs in the hopes of gaining an advantage over the other competitors. Mr. Gardner came up with one of the wildest designs and it worked. This was the Tyrrell Project 34 six wheeled car. He felt that by reducing the drag on the front end the car would have an advantage in front line speed. By doing this he put four small (10") wheels on the front thereby reducing the drag and still keeping the grip. This car ran for 30 races between 1976 and 1979 and achieved a win in the process at the Swedish Gran Prix.

Because the governing bodies in this form of racing felt that the six wheels gave the Tyrrell P-34 and advantage it was banned at the end of 1977. Tamiya have produced a very fine model of this exotic car in 1/20 scale. As per their standard, there are many parts and loads of detail.

Fixed Open Hood Hinges

Published: April 14th, 2009     
Fixed Open Hood Hinges
Reviewed by: Joseph Staudt, IPMS# 39453
Scale: 1/24
Company: J3 Models

Those of us that like to display our automotive models with the hood open generally face two problems. The first is, of course, having an accurate-looking hinge mechanism, and the second is keeping the hood open. It's just about impossible to build accurate-looking hood hinges that are also strong enough to do the job they are supposed to do: they're fairly complicated mechanisms with springs and multiple pivot points that just can't be accurately reproduced in plastic. Well, J3 Models has a solution to this problem in their fixed open hood hinges.

Each hinge consists of a piece of photo-etched (I assume) metal representing the hinge itself, and a spring which attaches to the hinge to produce a fairly good replica of a hood hinge in the open position. There is a large horizontal surface available to attach the hood to, and another large surface that can be glued into the engine compartment to hold the hood in the open position.

Sparco Blue Racing Harness

Published: April 14th, 2009     
Sparco Blue Racing Harness
Reviewed by: Mike Howard, IPMS# 30741
Scale: 1/24
Company: Eduard

Having recently gotten back into car modeling, more specifically Group "C" type cars, I jumped at the chance to review this pre-painted (blue) 5-point Sparco harness set. As with most high speed racing endeavors, the rules require some very stout driver to seat retention systems (seat belts), but these are poorly represented by either molded-in details or by decals. Eduard has come to the rescue with these excellent looking seat belt/harness sets. 

I had to do a little research and stash cross-referencing to see what Group "C" car model that I had that would use the blue harnesses. After a short search, I found that the 1988 Le Mans winning Jaguar XJR-9LM (the Tamiya kit) used this color harness. The belts have a very nice texture to them and the colors are quite brilliant. As can also be seen in the photos, the lettering is very sharp and clearly printed.