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Tamiya Honda RC166 ++Finished++

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Posted (edited)

Have we had a big motorcycle in the group build yet?  


Given the domination of the motorcycle market by Japanese brands I thought we should have a bike build in the group build.  I've had this kit sitting in my stash for a year or two waiting for the motivation and bravery to tackle it.  I even bought a simpler Tamiya bike kit with a view to trying something easier first, but in the end I decided that I shouldn't shy away from a challenge.


I'm a big fan of Honda products and have a real interest in the company's early efforts with their small, multi-cylinder engines.  The RC166 has a 250cc six cylinder engine and the company also produced a 125cc, five cylinder bike to tackle the two-stroke bikes that dominated that class of racing.



Here's the box art.



Comprehensive instruction booklet and colour guide for paint and decals.



Spues 1; exhaust, frame and engine.



Sprues 2; chain, brakes, handlebars, wheels, vinyl parts for the seat and sundry items and a bag of screws, pipes and bits.



Sprues 3; bodywork plus photo-etch.


I'd have liked to get at least some of the detail up parts but they are rare and/or expensive.  Anyway, I hope you'll enjoy this new avenue of modelling for me.

Edited by johnlambert
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That look likes a really nice kit.  :thumbsup:


I was originally planning on entering a bike in this build, but changed my mind at the last minute due to time constraints.  I may still try to ramrod it in towards the end if I happen to find myself with extra time on my hands.

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First update.



The instructions start with the engine, which is made up of a number of layers to reproduce the cooling fins.  Unusually for a Tamiya kit it is possible to assemble these in the wrong order with the result that the cylinders won't fit on the crank case.  Yes, I found that out the hard way,  but I was at least able to separate the parts and fix them in the correct order.



Thinking ahead I also assembled the fairing, front mudguard and fuel tank, ready for painting.



I also had a look at the exhausts, these joins are on the back of the pipes so won't be too visible but still need tidying up.



Parts of the fairing are held in place with the smallest magnets I've ever seen.  These were superglued in place before priming.



A selection of parts, some primed and some painted.  The frame was tricky to assemble because there are several parts and the instructions aren't terribly clear about the smaller tubes that go between the two main assemblies.  Engine parts were sprayed with Valejo flat aluminium and the frame was painted in Halfords matt black, which gives a nice, satin finish on scale models.



The fuel tank has nasty mould lines and sprue attachment points.  Fortunately this was only a quick blow over of primer to show up stuff like this.



The front mud guard also had a line, as a result of it being a two-part assembly.


Although this kit is quite complex, it isn't actually that difficult, at least so far.  Will I come to regret those words?  Stay tuned to find out.


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Ooh that is a nice one John. I'm not into bikes but I'd consider building this. 

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Another update on the RC166.



The lines on the tank and fairing were easy to sand down but the join on the mudguard was harder to deal with.



The front mudguard got a coat of Halfords plastic filler primer, which I find very good at dealing with small seam lines.



As far as colour goes, I bought a can of Tamiya TS-49 Bright Red for the fuel tank and seat.  I tested the paint over some red primer and grey primer, I preferred the result over Tamiya grey primer.



The fairing, tank and seat got coats of paint.  They've come up really nicely.



Getting the decals to conform to the curves is going to require plenty of decal solution.  On the tank I had to give the stripes a nick with a scalpel to help them settle down.


I am currently grappling with the decals on the fairing, these are proving very tricky.

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Looking at the engine,



It almost feels like a shame to hide this detail.



The engine and gearbox go together really well.  The reference pictures help with some of the detail painting, they are rather more use than the paint call outs in the instructions.



The frame looks good, the rubber pads were attached with PVA.



Separate spark plugs, again painted with reference to the pictures, not that they'll be that visible.



Engine wired up, tweezers were essential to connect the spark plugs to the coils on the frame.

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More progress.



To test clear coats I sprayed half a spoon red and half silver then applied the Tamiya logo from the bottom of the decal sheet.



I had a bit of a disaster when masking up as I caught one of the decals with the tape, but it was fixable.  The top of the spoon is Tamiya TS13, the middle is no clear and the bottom is Halfords clear lacquer.  I've used Halfords over Tamiya paint before without issue (I did on my Toyota Celsior) but the last time I tried I managed to ruin a kit.  Strangely the Halfords lacquer hasn't damaged the decal where the Tamiya lacquer has; which I think was more down to being too heavy-handed with the initial coats.



As previously noted, it's a difficult shape to apply decals.



The one thing I don't want is to damage the paint or decals.



I've not sprayed any clear on the fairing or tank yet, but I have sprayed some metalic colours on bits of brake and suspension.

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welcome along John, sorry for the delay in catching up work the build.


Wow that is a really nice looking model, I haven't seen of of these big Tamiya models before, looks super nice......might even be tempted if the right one came along.


gee you've made nice quick progress, the detail is super lovely so is the work, well done.


Not that I seem to be an expert with clear finishes (yet to have a good one) I do know that lacquer clears can be a bit "hot" with certain paints, especially if using rattle cans. I use Tamiya acrylics a lot but find I do need to be a bit careful with the clears over top of it. They have occasional cause the paint to run or thin out if I go too heavy in one spot. Not a problem though with full lacquer ones like MRP or Gunze C series. These "hot" clears will try to eat decals as well!


Good luck with the remainder of the build, am looking froward to following the progress.

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Quite a picture heavy update this time.



I've been working on the wheels, brakes and suspension.  This is the rear brake backplate and actuating mechanism.



Rear spring and damper units.



The chain and sprockets have come up fairly well, I painted the chain with Tamiya "Smoke" paint.



I gave the tyres a rub down with coarse abrasive paper, not that it seems to show.



It doesn't look too bad, a few bits of glue to fix broken spokes.



Rear wheel installed.  I put a bit of white glue on the ends of the springs to hold the damper units together.



Front wheels, a couple of spokes went missing.



One of the spokes was found and re-attached.  I drilled out the mounting hole to use a bit of wire as a replacement.



It's not perfect but it's passable.



The finished wheel, I don't want to assemble another of these any time soon.



The handlebars are quite delicate and have a tiny captive nut to hold them to the frame.



Once the front forks go on it really starts looking like a proper bike.



Half the exhaust is in place.



Even more appealing wit the fairing test fitted.



One problem is that the decals cover the vents in the fairing, so these will be opened up with a sharp blade.



Please excuse the blurry photo, but the steering damper is very tricky to fit.


It shouldn't be too long before this is done and I hope nothing happens to spoil the build.

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That's excellent progress right there. Those wheels do look like you shouldn't do too many of them, if you want to keep your sanity 🙂 

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Well, it's amazing how these things can come together.



It started with the seat, which is moulded in black vinyl; I think I'd have preferred it in styrene, so it could be more easily painted and weathered, but it is what it is.



There are plenty of these tiny metal transfers to represent the rivets around the seat and fairing.



Talking of the fairing, I thought it was prudent to check the fit of the windscreen.



The fuel tank received the rest of its parts.  The filler cap and rubber pad were attached with PVA to avoid damaging the paint.



In the end I decided against spraying a clear coat and proceeded to detail the fairing.  The PE parts that went over decals were attached with PVA, the others with contact adhesive.



The rev counter was a bit of a pain to assemble and the decal didn't want to settle in the centre of the bezel.



I wondered what the black cylinder on the rear mudguard was supposed to represent.  Once it was connected by clear tubes to the engine and transmission, it seemed obvious that it was part of the oil breather system.  I double checked (measure twice, cut once) the length of the tube by the chain, it is the correct length according to the instructions, but too long when compared to reference photos and needs to be cut down.



Rivets going on to the seat.



More rivets applied to the fairing.  The plastic backing of one rivet damaged the number six (touched in with a little paint).  The rivet above the "1" was done with a Molotow chrome pen.



More vinyl parts to represent the pipes to the oil coolers, which actually seemed to take paint fairly well.



A minor hitch befell the build.  Somehow I managed to glue one of the fork legs in place, which makes fitting the fairing very difficult.



With a bit of gentle persuasion I was able to get the fairing in place.



With the front wheel in the way it was difficult to fit the vinyl pipes, in this instance I think styrene parts would have been impossible to fit.



One final photo with the lower part of the fairing secured by its magnets.  There are a few little bits of detail painting and touching up to do before I take the glamour photos.


On the whole I'm really pleased with how this has turned out, especially for my first bike.  I'd now like to tackle the kit again but with some of the detail parts and displayed without the fairing.

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  • johnlambert changed the title to Tamiya Honda RC166 ++Finished++

I'm calling this one done, I've added some pretty pictures to the gallery and here are a couple that didn't make it to the gallery.






And one photo that is in the gallery.



As I was building this kit, particularly the wheels, I said "never again" but now it's done I'd love to have another go at one of these.  It would be nice to add some of the detail parts and also to replace a few other parts with finer scratched details.  With that sort of build I'd probably display the bile with the fairing off as the engine builds up into a little jewel that deserves to not be hidden.  It also makes me want to build the Honda CB750F kit in my stash and get another kit of a modern Honda.


Thanks for all the likes and comments.

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  • 2 weeks later...

WOW!!! She turned out really well john, certainly a model to be proud of that's forsure!


I will admit after a couple of your updates I did find myself wondering off to evilBay for a look see! :D I did resist for now...


Thank you for joining here, it was a real pleasure to have you along for the fun.

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