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Tamiya Honda RA272 (1/20th Scale)

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First post, and the first kit that I have done in donkeys, so here goes.

Having just watched the movie Grand Prix (great action awful plot), and the recent Goodwood FOS feed on line, I got all enthused about building something, so a coin toss and some lost ebay bids ended up with the RA272. It looks a lot of fun, but in all of the ones that I have seen built, I am going to attempt to reduce the models "chunkiness" that comes with it being polystyrene.

The photo-etch kit looks nice, so will be tracking one of those down, but I will be scratch building a lot of the components to make it hunker down better and look more lithe.

The rivet detail and panel lines are tasks, as is the suspension, running gear, and some of the space frame, obviously engine and cockpit detail too. Also want to avoid using screws on the panels, so scratching my head on how I am going to do this.

Will probably use current images as the reference, rather than recreate the car of the 60's, but given that their are 2 driven vehicles and a few display replicas it will be tricky to choose to go for shiny or super-shiny.

Wish me luck!






Edited by Mumbly
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OK, I mentioned that I am wanting to make it more lithe, so I have been working on the nose cone. No assembly yet, just some prep work.

I have removed the moulded scoop for the radiator vent and made a new one from some 20 thou, as well as replacing a bump that is meant to be vent, what it is venting I don't know. But I have only done the right side, with the left still to do. I also have thinned the inner plastic as much as I dare, but it removes the chunkiness. The plan is also to not use the clear vent in the centre but to fabricate a new one as well.

I also have re-shaped the vent as it was a bit too rounded from what I can see from the images online.

Excuse the picture quality, but it was late.


I will be adding some rivet detail to the front wheel arch, and making the Dzus fasteners less lumpy.


You can see the difference between the two sides, and this is what I am aiming for throughout. This is a good picture of how thin, and the shape as well


Left hand side now :winkgrin:

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Thanks, I kind of stumbled onto this kit by its lack of chrome, not played with Alclad before.

Anyways done the nose cone :thumbsup:, but have decided to add photo-etch Dzus fasteners assuming they are going to be flatter than the moulded pimples and will add some stone mesh inside the nose cone once I find a willing donor - kitchen sieve might get a bigger hole in it soon.

This is the LHS and central air vent. I have also added some PVA riveting in front of the wheel arch, the marks are pencil showing through the PVA.


And from the drivers perspective


I will return to the finish once some primer goes on as white is great for hiding flaws. I also will have to ditch the red disc decal and go freehand - wohoo, and there was me trying to avoid the complexities of Alclad, and now going full on circle masking.

Now time to glue something.

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  • 2 weeks later...


Sorry about the delay, but have been waiting on the vagaries of ebay delivery schedules, so spending time on working out what to do on the Honda.

I am waiting on an Acu.Stion detail kit to land, I was not planning on getting this, but as it came with the photo-etch, inlet trumpets and a replacement windshield I thought it saves me the hassle of finding alternatives, and never even thought about the windshield.

In this downtime, I have been pouring over the images and articles on the Interweb, and have been amazed by some of the work that is put in on the Japanese sites - OMG!

So with this as an incentive, I plan the following tasks - in no particular order...

  1. Modify the radiator to no longer be solid.
  2. Plumb the cooling to the rad, trickier on the engine and a lack of images to help on this will probably stop this.
  3. Plumb the fuel lines to fuel pump.
  4. Throttle connection on injection mechanism, and the full size heat shield over the exhausts as well.
  5. Tacho connected to the block.
  6. Brake lines to bios control.
  7. Seat liner - might even be squidgy.
  8. Scratch built wishbones and struts, front top wishbone will be retained, but separated from the moulding.
  9. Usual engine plumbing.
  10. Driveshafts and UJ's (maybe not - depends how the originals look after a bit of weight loss)
  11. A load more that I cannot think of right now.

Decided to go for the car show appearance, as I like the contrasts between the polished satin surfaces on the engine frame/rear suspension against the matt exhausts.

I also have had to concede defeat on kitchen item theft, so have not used a sieve for the stone guard. A trip to the £1 shop got me a frying pan splash guard - even better! This is now in on the nose cone, the mesh is a little bit too big, but I don't think they had this in mind when it was made, and it was only a quid!

I have also been playing around with the AK True Metal finishes as well, and I am quite impressed. I think I can get a pretty good gold anodised finish with the Aluminium mixed into the gold, but this is still being worked on. The steel and brass finishes are also very good.

Any way, one nose with its stone guard in - hardly worth the wait really.




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I like your list, this should be a great build!

As for the radiator lines I've seen that they seem to run underneath the car.

Driveshafts, I'd try to modify them as they dont look so realistic oob

Goodluck man, now that I am almost finished my Mazda 787B build I might just restart this one

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Acu.Stion kit arrived, and onwards we go....

The Dzus fasteners are now on the nose, and this is now ready for priming and preparation.

I have gone a bit off piste with the build, and have started with the front end, rather than the engine and rear running gear.

The radiator has now got some of the banding applied to it, as well as the radiator grills from the etch. What is not obvious is that the radiator has been opened up, and then filled with some of the mesh from the £1 splash guard. It does let light through and I think will show a bit of depth when painted, so might end up an only known by me feature. Also the radiator pipes have been added out of some 2.5mm copper.

The plan is to modify the mounting brackets, I completed the top 4 tubes, and will finish the bottom 4 off next. The intention is to then cut the original moulded tube away from the brackets, fix the ends to the radiator and then attach the tubes. The tube is 0.9mm brass tube and I have attached it to the chassis in the picture with White Tac. Again, this is part of the slimming down of the plastic original, and also to give me more clearance to run pipes and get the nose to sit better.


This is what the intention is, I plan to get the same weathered appearance on the radiator, as well as get the plumbing in for the cooling, fuel as well as the break and clutch lines.


Cheers peeps


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  • 3 weeks later...

Sorry about the delay, but much scratching of the head and working out how things are going to be done has been happening.

Anyway, I have at last determined the plumbing routes and brackets for the radiator and coolant expansion tanks. I also have added some height to the fuel tank as well as the fuel filler.

The original moulding was just a triangular wedge, whereas the 1:1 was 2 components, the fuel tank behind and above the coolant expansion tank, which forms the pointy bit behind the radiator. I am not going to do much with this as it is quite substantial, but by increasing its height with a bit of offcut old debit card plastic and making the fuel cap also taller will help fill this area nicely. It also gives more room for the fuel, clutch and brake pipes to run behind and through the bulkhead, and also obscure the steering arm as well.

The bracket work has been a giggle though, eventually I have decided on using 0.9mm brass tube for the brackets and tubes. They pinch down nice and flat and are following the slim it down ethic that I am trying to maintain. As a bonus, it is also giving more room within the nose area as well for the plumbing. Once the first one is set, the opposite bracket will be modified next with the top M brackets last.

Here are a couple of reasonably poor photos from my smart phone which shows the start of the radiator mounting. I am waiting on some 0.5mm bolts to finish them off, so they are held in place with some wire and tacked with superglue.


The brackets are now tight to the radiator, rather than connecting in large lumps of plastic. The top bracket gives some idea of how thick the originals are, which is to be expected given how small they are so require a bit of extra padding to make them robust enough.


Apart from some flash bounce distracting from the subject, the difference between the sides can be seen.

Found an example with a quick Google, this is the original tank and bracket for comparison, that has been modified very well, but only with additional pipes etc.


Right hand side and top brackets next, so this will be on the next update, as will the fit of the unit, the additional bulkhead stiffeners and suspension removal.



Edited by Mumbly
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  • 1 month later...
  • 2 months later...
  • 4 weeks later...

It's been a while, but have had no time to spend on the Honda, but have restarted over the Christmas period.

I have now completed the radiator bracket work, and this is now waiting for the more structural modifications to complete before anything further is done. I have also purchased some 1.0mm hex bolts by Adlers Nest from Hiroboy to fix the brackets and radiator in place later on, and this is looking good as a dry fit.

I have now separated the front upper suspension arms from the firewall section, again this is to try to get some adjustment on how the finished model will "squat" down when finished. I also have been working on the front firewall section as well. I have the before and after pictures included, but essentially, this has resulted in opening up the peddle box and bringing the upper bulkhead forward. This has been filled so to provide some substance behind the styrene sheet for drilling holes for the pipes etc. The upper finish is not important as it will be under the bodywork.

The first picture shows before, the blu-tack is to protect the wishbones from bending (1 near miss so far). The putty is waiting to be sanded down also. I have also added 2 vertical braces at this stage.


This is with the plastic removed. I have also added a central spur, which is where the brake would pivot from.


I now have to add some details in the void that I have just created, so this will be the rear of the fuel tank, nothing fancy as it will be hard to see too much. I am going to use the kits rear coil overs shocks now for the front, as these will be partially visible, and they will be fine for this. I am waiting on some of these babies from the U.S. for the rear shocks: http://www.rbmotion.com/index.php?route=product/product&path=60_59&product_id=52 which look exquisite.

Some tidying up next and on to the pipework next.

BTW in case you were wondering, I wrote L and R with a Sharpie on the floor so that I can keep everything correctly sided. Everything has an L or R on it.

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Do you ever do something, to then think maybe I should have left that as it was? Starting to get that feeling.

Still it is all good fun.

Just a few updates, but getting a better idea of how things are going together now, and understanding / guessing what I cannot find information on as well.

After opening up the space behind the drivers "firewall" I have blanked off the inside of the fuel tank, and added the brake and clutch pedal support brackets / braces. I Will add the tops of these pedals along with the rod assemblies to the reservoir pistons. I also have added the steering column and will at some stage work out how to fashion the anti roll bar linkages as part of the top wish bones, as this is all visible.

I also have made a start on the fuel pipes. This is all dry fit, just to see if it works as I had imagined. Also the brake and clutch pipe connectors have been added ready for the pipework.

Here are a couple of pics.




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Yeah, I prefer the look of the older F1 cars of today. I have just spotted the MFH Eagle T1G on Hiroboy in 1/12th, perhaps my absolute favourite looking car ever, but will probably be out of my price bracket (lottery winning aside).

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Progress a plenty.

Rear brake pipe and clutch pipe to the bulkhead has been formed, and dry fits nicely with the fuel pipes, and added some initial brake lever details. As I need to clean the rough surfaces up, I will leave the fragile stuff off for the moment, but some bolt heads and return springs might appear on the brackets. I still need to add the front brake lines from the LHS cylinder to the front suspension brackets, but this falls into the fragile stuff category for now.


Now, I had been putting this next bit off, mostly as I had no idea on how I was going to do it. The coolant pipes on the underside are well done, apart from the front. This is from a nicely painted OOB image that I half inched after a quick Google search:


Tamiya decided to make the fuel tank wedge shaped with flat tops and bottom, but looking at the images it should be more of an upside down pyramid shape. The pipes are obvious, but the large triangle blobs should look like this:




So after removing the plastic, I have been stumped on how to model it. The pipes are straightforward, but the two larger bits are a bit awkward. Keeping the shape like the green triangle from Quality Street, it still took a while of looking at the images that I could find to realize that I basically needed to make a rough triangle with a bend in it.

So, I used a small oblong section of 1mm styrene, put a bend in with some heat and trimmed to shape with the Dremel, a bit of filing and I have one of them done. Second one is tomorrows task. Also, I am going to extend the front of the skid pan forwards, so this will cover the joint.

More use of tape to roughly hold it in place for the picture. The length will be trimmed back to fit the radiator, finally connected with some heat shrink.



So nearly completed the raw build on the front, still waiting on the rear shocks to arrive from the USA, along with some rose joints for the front wish bones. Once these arrive, the top wish bones can then be started. Then tidy up time for primer.

Laters peeps.


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Lots of small stuff with not a lot of apparent difference. In a nutshell, the anti-roll bar that runs through the header/fuel tank at the front has been updated, some bulkhead bolt detail and I have re-profiled the section that obscures the front suspension, that is actually body work, come the assembly this will need some filling and final profiling. I am also doing many mock builds on the replacement front lower wishbones, and once these have been removed then the order of what to do next is going to take some planning as it involves many priming/detailing/filling/priming/more detailing/masking/painting etc. etc. etc.

Still waiting on suspension from the US, and now some resin flathead round rivets from Masterclub of Russia.

Brake pipework has been completed up to the suspension points too, and I lowered the fuel cap a bit as it looked too proud. Also applied some weld seams around this at the base too. This is going to be a useful way to hide the join of the header/fuel tank. The above picture highlights this joint quite nicely, and just happens to be where a seam would be, well it is in my interpretation :winkgrin:.

While I am waiting on the global postal service, the radiator has now been fitted with all the pipe connections, and is waiting on a 2nd pass of primer, then some paint. Hope this will be the next update, but might be the suspension - who knows?



Let her rip tater chip!


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Amazing work, especially with that pipework. I remember seeing this car at the Detroit Auto Show last year, couldn't believe how low it was!

Thanks Jake. That is what I am looking to achieve, I think it will only be a matter of a millimetre or two to make the difference.

To that aim I have started the top wishbones. The original has had the sides top and rear extended and re-profiled so I can get the coil over and anti-roll bar in. Only the tops will be visible, so it be a case of doing what is necessary, but I have used the kits rear shocks as the new front units, cut and thinned down considerably. The picture shows a before and after of them. Also, got the RB Motion rear coil overs and they are insane! might have to step my game up a bit or show It rear first :)


This is quite a good shot of what I am aiming at for the look of the top


I now have a question for the forum, I want to get that rusty stained radiator look, so was going to go down the root of using dry brushed enamels, but have stumbled on a world of weathering paints and products that did not exist back in the day. Anyone with an opinion on this or tips on painting a rad?

This is my reference image that I am looking to replicate.




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  • 2 weeks later...

Hello again. Small progress thanks to ham fisted snapping of drill bits and a global shortage of rivets from Masterclub, so not been that busy.

However, I have made a start on the lower front wishbones, and much progress on the upper wishbones too.

Radiator is painted too, and it looks better than my rather inept photo skills will allow.

Anyway, this is the lower wishbone:


What I have decided to do is splice a brass tube onto the original, so keeping the mount point for the wheel hub. I tried various ways including scratch build using plastic or complete brass, but maintaining the angles in 3 planes was awkward even with a jig, not to mention too many burnt fingers! A flash of inspiration after a large glass of Merlot and a great cheat was achieved! It is not a big reduction in diameter, but it looks less clumsy than the original. The rear section will be replaced with a longer length rod, and will pass through the tub, with the bracket work applied afterwards. Bolt and Rose Joint is from RB Motion (man his stuff is insane!).

Radiator looks better than the pictures I have taken, too much white light from LED's but here they are:


And behind


I used BMF Matt Aluminium on the top and edge, but this has polished up too much for my liking, as I am trying to get the rough and hasty tank tape look that is wrapped around the rad in real life. Pleased with the rusting on the front, went a bit heavy handed on the rear, but I can live with that. Ended up using Humbrol Weathering Powders for the rust, a mix od red oxide, rust, smoke and white. Pipework is to see how they are going to hang and bend.



Edited by Mumbly
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Not quite going mad, but I am certain that a modelling universal constant exists. Namely, object size multiplied by time taken to create as a ratio to completion divided by tweezer size to the power of handling. The answer is mostly going to be ping! Followed by an increasing scale of Anglo-Saxon depending on frequency of ping. This is reset if object is re-discovered.

To create 2 brake pipe brackets that hang behind the top wishbone is not too hard, cutting from thin brass sheet, drilling, shaping and bending is all part of the fun, but after 7 attempts to get a matching pair stuck to plastic, my sentence "enhancers" were getting increasingly nautical in origin.

Done it now, and the top pipes are placed but not fixed to the bracket yet as they need to move to allow for wishbone fixing.

Some parts are primed so seeing some progress, front damper units and roll bars are ready for assembly, but I have decided to try Archers Weld decals, as my attempts with melted plastic or putty were crap, so start again on that front. Just steeling myself to modify the lower wishbones, then ready to tackle the tub.




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