Suzuki GT380 B

Published: November 27th, 2018     
Product Image
Box Art
Reviewed by: 
Gregory Hansel, IPMS# 46474
Scale: 1/12
Company: Hasegawa
Price: $51.99
Product / Stock #: BK-5

Introduction

The Suzuki GT380 B went on sale in 1972. It had a 3-cylinder motor and exceptional handling. The kit was initially released in 2017 and is a new mold. It looks like it's the first of a series of 1970s bike kits and that is great news because these kits are very well detailed and a lot of fun to build.

Construction

The kit comes on five sprues and has rubber tires and vinyl hoses. The chrome is super bright and even though the exhaust is made up of two pieces, the seam will not be an issue because of a raised lip on one half. The overall level of detail is amazing and the model looks great out of the box.

The first two stages are for the engine and it has a lot of great detail. The three carburetors are made up of three parts each and have three to four lines coming off of them. The engine builds up very quickly and looks great once painted. There is a lot of cables to really dress the motor up. After the motor is the wheels and they went together with no issue.

The frame is assembled sandwiching the engine and read fender, so it has to be painted before it's cemented together. This leaves a seam on the head stock, but it's easy to sand and blend in. It's also covered mostly by the headlight so it's not a problem. My frame went together great and at this point you have the base to which the rest of the parts are added.

The exhaust mounted positively and needed no modification or fitting, on some kits this area can be an issue. Installing the rear swing arm and wheel required a bit of care to get lined up and installed. The challenge was not putting to much pressure anywhere while fitting the assembled swing arm. The model is a bit delicate at this stage. The rest of the build was simply adding parts, no real issues.

Paint and Decals

There was no masking required for the paint. I used automotive urethane on mine and 2-part catalyzed automotive clear. The resulting finish was like glass and was a good base for the decals. The white stripes were the only decals that caused me any concern because I wanted them to be lined up perfect. There is a little bit of a compound curve on the tank so a good setting solution is needed. Also, the Suzuki script on the tank and the GT380 script on the side panels are decals on top of a chrome piece. Setting solution will snuggle the decals down and give a good 3-D effect.

Summary

This kit went together like a dream and I bought a second one to do another color. I also intend to purchase the other bike(s) released in the series.

I want to give a big thanks to Hasegawa for providing the kit and I.P.M.S for letting be build it!

  • Finished Left
    Finished Left
  • Finished Front
    Finished Front
  • Finished Left Front
    Finished Left Front
  • Engine Detail
    Engine Detail
  • Finished Right Rear
    Finished Right Rear
  • Finished Rear
    Finished Rear
  • Finished Left Rear
    Finished Left Rear
  • Left Side Detail
    Left Side Detail
  • Left Side
    Left Side
  • Left Side Upper
    Left Side Upper

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GT 380 fun , but ...

Model was never done before and it is a great motorbike, along with the 400 kawasaki issued recently (may 2019) by Hasegawa.
Molding is crisp and very well detailed, proposrtion are good and model represent nicely the real thing.
BUT : Hasegawa has put many additional plastic tiny blobs on the parts to be sure parts will be molded complete ie : Kick starter has 5 of these that need to be cut&sanded,at riskk of breaking the delicate part, in plus of regular sprue attachements !
I've counted more than 150 just to clean the parts ... yes they are indicated on the notice, but on some parts (ie : starter lever) volume of these tiny blobs is higher than the part itself !

Some sprue attachement are also weird placed : for the instrument panel, they are just in front of the bike, at the most visible placeon the model ! Having put these just at the opposite (facing the upper yoke) they would have been barely noticeable...

Being used to build Tamiya motorbikes since the 80s, I must admit it was not a good surprise and it add a lot of time for cleaning instead of the fun part of our hobby : building and painting.
Also Hasegawa's race for accuracy has sometime driven to a unusefull level of complexity : the fuel petcock is made of 3 parts with too much fragile fuel line tips so prompt to break before installation onto the gas tank.
I do also regret the front disk and lateral motor cases to be rough grey plastic, instead of being plated with the proper sheen of metal = not chromed as the real disk is made of inox steel, and cases of polished aluminium (bronze varnished for 72 version).

Once those drawbacks overcome, the model is enjoyable and the result is really standing apart from the crowd of ususal bikes.
I would not recommend it to beginner as the risk of breaking parts during this unuausal amount of cleaning is far too much, and may lead to put the model inachived back on the shelf.
For experienced builders, you are warned ; but the rarity of the subject and the accuracy of the model is worth the time invested : I say Go !

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