Jump to content

Lotus 101 1/20 Hobby Base Custom - Finished!

Recommended Posts



I bought this a short while ago from Icaro – Thanks Roberto! I have always liked the Camel yellow colour scheme and late 80s early 90s F1 are my favourite cars. I thought I knew of most F1 resin manufacturers but I had never heard of Hobby Base and an internet search did not yield a Hobby Base Lotus 101.


OK, so I can hear the voices in my head shouting ‘finish the others first!’ but the new and shiny syndrome is biting hard, so I hope I can push this across the line quite quickly……….


The kit represents Nakajimas fantastic drive in the torrential rain of the 1989 Australian GP. After a miserable season filled with DNF’s and DNQ’s, he qualified 23rd on the grid for the last race of the season. Spinning on the first lap of the restart, (which put him last by a long way), he kept out of trouble, set the fastest lap while most of the rest either spun off or collided with each other, and secured his best finish of the year, just missing out on the podium with 4th place.


So the kit, the resin parts are superb, smooth finish, fine panel lines, no distortion and resin that is easy to carve, more like injection moulded plastic. I think that the overall shape of the casting captures the original well.

This is what you get, you can’t see in this picture but there are rain tyres as well as a set of 1998 style grooved dry tyres, I wonder if they have been added by the previous owner by mistake?


Instructions are basic! Only one sheet, I wonder if its worth translating the Japanese?


Reverse side is the decal guide.


three sets of decals!


Although on closer inspection, one sheet is not enough to complete the model (large Epson and large Camel for example), so you need one and a half sheets to complete the model. I wonder why they did not print a full set on a larger sheet? Sadly the bottom sheet had stuck to the one above, when I unpeeled them some of the colour remained behind, luckily there are enough good ones remaining assuming I don’t mess up!


First up cockpit, the seat is too narrow and the back too short, so a junkyard Tyrrell 020 gladly gave up its seat which fitted nicely with almost no modification, I also made a more representative bulkhead that replaced the simple legs attached to the kit dash. The only pic of the kit bulkhead is in the first shot and in the instructions.


Kit dash just placed (badly) on the new bulkhead. The seat fits with just a light sanding of the back and removal of the moulded on seat belts was done with a curved wood chisel, finished by wet sanding, I managed to save the padding at the bottom. With the only positive location of the new parts being the bulkhead, I glued the seat to it, to get a repeatable fit for small adjustments and to build up the side consoles from Milliput.

Edited by Malc2
add full size pics
  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

OK, so that worked, let get up to date. - is it better to list photos like this or as above?

IMG-6005.jpg IMG-6001.jpg IMG-6000.jpgIMG-5995.jpg IMG-5997.jpg

Milliput side consoles

IMG-5998.jpg IMG-6008.jpg IMG-6009.jpg

Another round of filler on the side consoles finished them off, but no pictures.

The gear change bulge was ground out on the inside of the cockpit.


The intake was made deeper and then the whole upper fairing super glued to the body, only a small amount of superglue/baking soda was required on the join. The detail on the head rest was replaced with plastic card


Luckily I noticed the left triangular plate was skewed before the epoxy had dried.


That's it for now,




Edited by Malc2
add full size pics
  • Like 4
Link to post
Share on other sites

Going with Nakajima's car is one of the more unusual choices, but it looks as though you're doing a good job of it.


In terms of the photos, rather than worry about how they;re laid out I'd suggest making them a bit larger so we can see them better,

Link to post
Share on other sites
32 minutes ago, Spiny said:

Going with Nakajima's car is one of the more unusual choices, but it looks as though you're doing a good job of it.


In terms of the photos, rather than worry about how they;re laid out I'd suggest making them a bit larger so we can see them better,

I like the choice...always a fan of the 'underdog'.

You can just click on pics for larger images mate :)


Edited by silver911
Link to post
Share on other sites

Very nice and looking good-these are the sort of kits I make. It looks exactly like a a Wave resin  kit, they do one in 1/24. The Camel decals are black? They should be blue but they easy to replace separately. 

Link to post
Share on other sites

The gearbox was tackled next, the front top wishbone was about 3mm too low and did not fit in the body cut out so was raised as photo below of 1:1 car (photo credit Stu.G)


The upper and lower gearbox halves were super glued together sandwiching the lower wishbone.


The real car had large wings each side of the gearbox for the upper front wishbone pickups, this is quite a prominent feature and visible with the body on, added from plastic card, and raising the top front pickup points at the same time.


Photo credit unknown


The raised wishbone now fits nicely in the body cut out. The few bubbles in the body were drilled and filled with superglue and baking powder, super quick! The kit push rod/spring assembly is also somewhat sketchy.


So new rockers, pivots, dampers and supports were made, easy to say but this took ages…….


The kit supplies a square plate to mount the rear wing on, which in turn mounts in a hole on top of the gearbox (see first gbox photo), this is not prototypical so the hole was filled and four posts added as the real car, hope I can make the joint to the wing strong enough!




  • Like 5
Link to post
Share on other sites


Love the thread, you've made a great start.

Like you the Camel livery has always been a favorite of mine.

I started a Lotus 102 (butchered from a 102b kit) a few years back that I really must finish and you might push me over the line.






Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

Thanks Hugh,

Funny you should mention the 102, at the same time I bought the 101 I got a Garage Unlimited 102 trans kit, while the 101 kit is on a par with Studio27, the 102 is one of the worst resin castings I have ever seen, (many bubbles, warps, rough surface, poor fit, asymmetry, blurred detail, the resin body is about 3% smaller than the Tamiya body due to resin shrinkage - you get the picture.....) it could work out to be the most expensive decal set I ever bought!

To try and make something of it I lucked on a cheap started Tamiya 102b, so the current thinking is to chop out the sections of the resin body that are required (nose, engine cover, diffuser) and graft them on to the Tamiya kit parts.

Do you have a WIP or any pictures of your 102 conversion? - Edit - Just found your WIP!



Edited by Malc2
WIP found
Link to post
Share on other sites

HI Malc,


I can imagine fabricating the new parts took quite some time and patience - the results are well worth the effort!  Looking forward to your next update - 



Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks mate, well here it is!

For a bit of motivation the seat was painted and finished and can now be put aside as an assembly. No detail on the dash as it is so deep in the cockpit it can’t be seen in the gloom. Tamiya aftermarket seat belts were used, they are thin self adhesive plastic, they look OK but I prefer belts made of material.


The body in primer and good news, no sign of the joint with the intake fairing, but it has shown there are a couple of small areas that still need attention.


The finished seat assembly in place to check the fit. The mirror mounts had got blurred from the sanding (see above) so I replaced them with plastic card.


More parts in final paint - aiming to assemble the gearbox and rear suspension next.



More soon,



  • Like 3
Link to post
Share on other sites

While the paint was drying on the gearbox, rather than watching it I got on with the front and rear wings. The white metal main rear wing supports were removed from the bottom element and replaced with plastic card, have a very out of focus photo of the replacement supports lurking with intent amongst the desk top debris.
The ends of the wings were drilled for all 16(!) mounting pins. The pins are made from 0.5mm copper wire. I use copper wire a lot as it can be easily found in an infinite variety of diameters, is easily worked, holds its shape and is especially good for coil springs.

The surface of the wing pieces looks rougher that it actually is, but was further refined before and during the priming stages.

The wing elements are just flat plates, I did not want to change the profile as they wouldn’t fit the shape in the end plates, in retrospect I wish I had re-profiled the elements as they should be more of a fat aerofoil shape in real life – oh well, on the next model.


I found a Jordan 191 element in the junkyard that replaced the smallest element exactly. The clunky white metal gurney strips on the back edge of the end plates were replaced with strips of 10thou plastic card.


After priming the body and comparing it to photos, I noticed that in side view the nose should form a straight line from the tip to just in front of the cockpit opening, the kit body has a very slight concave line resulting in the tip of the nose being about 1mm too tall, so it was straightened and the non scale inner upper wing mounts removed – will I regret this later…..?

Test fit of front wing top elements, the vernier is useful to check its all square while holding everything in place. The shims are used to make sure the wing gaps are parallel and equal. The LH element was a bit short so I added a shim of plastic card to the inboard end.


It really will be gearbox assembly next.





  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

So finally as promised, the gear box is painted and the springs and damper actuators have been glued on.


Strangely the kit did not provide front damper rods or rear control arms, both are an aerofoil shape, so the 020 gave up more parts and more 0.5mm copper wire was used for locating pins.

Wire ends super glued in to push rods before cutting to length.

In place to check fit and ready for paint.

More gear box assembly, now with added control arms, driveshafts, gear linkage, an almost invisible oil pipe, which TBH was just an excuse to use a spare TopStudio connector.

The front of the gearlinkage is supported with a scrap piece of plastic card, this will be painted black and will hopefully disappear in to the darkness under the body.

The push rods are left long until the ride height is established.



  • Like 3
Link to post
Share on other sites

As usual I start going backwards by cutting up kit parts in to even smaller parts or removing stuff, case in point is the rear floor.

It's detail did not really match the ref photos so was removed along with the exhaust exits,  I hope to make a better exhaust joint by substituting a one piece exhaust pipe with the collar made from paper wrapped round the pipe. The edge detail was scraped freehand with the reverse end of a Swan Morton knife blade which conveniently has a 90deg profile.

Replacement one piece exhausts added to the floor and detailed with Tamiya weathering powder over a silver base, this is the first time I had used the weathering set and was quite pleased with the result. The heat shield is BMF and the unpainted strip is to glue the gearbox to.


The gearbox assembly glued to the rear floor, brake lines from 0.5mm electric cable, the inboard ends over the exhaust are wrapped with a thin strip of BMF as heat shielding. Rather than glue, I made a staple to hold the inboard ends so reducing the chance of making a mess of it!


Radiators were provided in the kit, but I replaced them with Tamiya parts from the spares box which have better front face detail.



  • Like 7
Link to post
Share on other sites

Cheers Keefr.

Body in colour - always a highly motivating time when it goes well!

Tamiya rattle cans were used throughout, apart from the body interior, which is brushed on Humbrol satin black, this means the edges where it meets the yellow can be cleaned up with a cotton bud soaked in enamel thinners, making for super sharp colour demarcation of areas that can be difficult to mask, such as the inner cockpit edges - the enamel thinners doesn’t affect hardened Tamiya acrylic.


All the other bits and bobs were painted at the same time


Wheels, after painting SG Black. It is now apparent why more than 4 yellow wheel decals are provided. All 4 decals are the same, so as the fronts fit, the rears are too short due to the angle of the chamfer they sit on being steeper than on the fronts, so the radius of the decal for the rear wheels is wrong, which lead to some interesting ‘blue air’ moments and a ton of microsol. To add insult to injury they are also a bit translucent. Not sure how I could overcome this? I suppose the wheels could be painted yellow then masked and the black painted then the decal applied on top? The gap was filled with small pieces of a fifth decal (sixth because I messed another up trying to adjust the fit).

Yellow circles, - or not on the rears.


Sakastu tyre valves added. (0.5mm dia and 2mm long) I remain victorious over the carpet monster......

Here it is the little critter, he must be the UK relative of Moas, caught in the act of making off with a driveshaft.






  • Like 3
  • Haha 3
Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Malc, 


This is all really nice to watch come together - the gear box linkage is particularly nice, and clever!  really looks the part.  Almost too bad you're already into the paint on the body - not much more scratch work to see until your next build!




Link to post
Share on other sites
18 hours ago, Malc2 said:

Body in colour - always a highly motivating time when it goes well!


And that looks to have gone really well - you should definitely be highly motivated by that paintjob - lovely stuff!!


Despite the troubles with the decals those wheels look great too!



Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Malc2 changed the title to Lotus 101 1/20 Hobby Base Custom - Finished!

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Create New...