Honda NSR 500 HB Honda (1989 WGP500)

Published: October 18th, 2015     
Product Image
Box Art
Reviewed by: Doug Cole - IPMS# 46605
Scale: 1/12
Company: Hasegawa
Price: $59.95
Product / Stock #: 21714
Product provided by: Hobbico

Team Honda put together an impressive stream of innovative and successful racing bikes in the late eighties and through the nineties. This kit represents the Honda NSR 500 ridden by Pierfrancesco Chili to a sixth place finish in the 1989 WGP500 race.

The Kit

This review covers the Honda NSR 500 "HB Honda" (1989 WGP500) 1:12 Scale Hasegawa Model Kit #21714. A 2015 release, this model is rated by Hasegawa this a level 3 skill kit for advanced modelers and I would agree with that. The sheer amount of detail and number of decals requires a lot of patience and focused attention. This kit has 179 pieces and is molded in grey, white, clear, black vinyl tires with waterslide decals, and illustrated instructions. Nearly every piece of the original vehicle is represented in this kit which features; a detailed multi-part engine and a highly detailed suspension. There is one decal sheet with markings for the Team "HB Honda", 1989 WGP500 6th place rider: Pierfrancesco Chili version. Finished dimensions are: Length: 63/4", Width: 21/4", Height: 33/4". With the stand it is 73/4' long.

Construction and Detailing

You'll find yourself referring to the paint guide often as there is a lot of detailing to do starting with the motor. Assembly of the motor is straightforward with the clearly laid out instructions but there is a lot of finish painting involved here. The bolts, plug boot, cylinder heads, block, and add-on parts all have specific colors and many are custom mixed. Once you've assembled the motor set it aside to dry.

Detail paint the rear wheel disc brake and when dry assemble the unit with the directional information for the tire in Step 4. The swing arm frame, chain, sprocket and associated parts are painted and assembled. Add in the wheel and slip the axle pin through the wheel and the chain through the guard. Join the chain together with some superglue. Gather up the frame rail parts and finish them prior to assembly. You'll probably have to drill out the hole for the cross member for a good fit. Assemble the coil spring to the shock with the retainer. Next add the engine with the support pins along with the swing arm and wheel assemblies into the frame unit.

Place the coil on the right side of the frame and cut the cables to length. The measurements are pretty precise and you'll have to paint the reserve tank hose transparent green prior to assembly. Add in the left side coil and finish up with all the wiring and cables. Now put the radiator together, finish it with aluminum, and glue it into place aligned with the appropriate radiator hoses. I painted the exhaust pipes with some MM Burnt Iron for effect and the mufflers silver then installed them under the engine and along the right side of the rear tire. Similarly, install the upper exhaust units but they are placed above the engine and back over the rear tire.

At this point I assembled the bike stand to use as an aid in finishing off the rest of the model. I then assembled the front rim and tire assembly using the directional info at step 12. The front forks along with the brake disc and caliper are finished then assembled at this time. Assemble the front fender and go over the joint with some putty and fine sand paper. Prime and paint then add it to the front forks. Add the nut's, bolts and various pieces to make up the frame yoke and slip it into position then you can add the front wheel assembly to the model and stand it up using the bike stand.

Paint and assemble the hand grips, brakes and cables and install those to the forks along with the throttle control housing and master cylinder hardware. Paint and assemble the instrument panel and assemble that unit. Add the gauge face decals and attach it to the frame along with the cowl supports. Assemble and finish off the rear cowl assembly like the front fender and add that to the back end over the exhaust pipes. Everything lines up well if you're careful to maintain the contact points involved. Finish off the gas tank and set it aside until Step 19. Next mask and paint the front cowl white and yellow. Install the cables under that, then glue the windshield in place and install it to the frame. Now finish and install the underside cowl and you're done with the basic construction.

The decals are numerous and colorful and they float easy and stick well but I would suggest some setting solution be used here to facilitate adherence to the models contours. Just follow the guide and box art and you'll have a real show stopper to display.


You'll have a real sense of accomplishment when you finish this kit. All the parts fit together well and there's virtually no flash or sinks to deal with. You will, however, have a lot of work to do just finishing all the details, cutting and routing the cables, etc., and applying the decals to this outstanding model. Fortunately, the instructions, paint callouts, and gluing points are clear and concise. When you're done, it is a thing of real beauty. I have to give IPMS a big thanks for letting me review the kit and to Hobbico for providing the sample kit.

  • Base Engine
    Base Engine
  • Complete Engine
    Complete Engine
  • Engine Wiring
    Engine Wiring
  • Exhaust
  • Rear frame
    Rear frame
  • Frame cables
    Frame cables
  • Front forks
    Front forks
  • Base frame
    Base frame
  • Fairing
  • Instruments - Tank
    Instruments - Tank
  • Fairings
  • Finished model
    Finished model

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