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Aston Martin DBR9


Mike
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Aston Martin DBR9



1:32 Airfix

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The DBR9 was successful in winning the 2008 Le Mans 24 hour race in conjunction with Gulf Oils, and it is this racewinner that Airfix have chosen to kit. The box is Airfix's new top opening red box, and it is full to the top with sprues. The bodyshell is separately bagged, and so is the clear sprue within the main bag containing three grey styrene sprues. Also included is a color painting guide, decal sheet and instruction booklet, which also has a correction sheet to steps 1 to 3, correcting the placement of the brake callipers, which were back-to-front on the original.

The bodyshell is moulded in one piece, and is in white styrene, with a large number of cut-outs for glazing, headlights, tail lights, and bonnet vents. The cut-out on the front wing is also hollow, so care will be needed here to ensure no naked plastic shows through. There is a mould seam running up the rear arch, just in front of the NACA ducts, which will need sanding away, but with a complex shape such as a car bodyshell, a seam somewhere is to be expected. From checking various photos on the net, the bodyshell seems to have captured the look of the car well, which is probably the most important aspect of any car model. The mesh at the bottom of the rear bumper/fender is particularly well represented here, and will dry brush nicely to let the detail show through.

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The wheels are made up from three parts each, with the tyre moulded integral to the multi-spoked alloy wheel rims, so care painting here will pay off. The rear of the tyre and a central part that replicates the brake disc and calliper slots inside the back of the wheel, and can be seen through the spokes. Each wheel attaches to a mounting block rather than any realistic depiction of the suspension, and at this scale that's probably a blessing, as the parts would be hopelessly weak if they were anywhere near scale. The floorpan to which they attach has the rear diffusers moulded into it, as well as the base of the front air-dam.

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Wheel arch inserts that attach to the floor pan prevent the see-thru effect, and into the pan drops the car interior (or what passes for an interior in race cars). A couple of sink marks on the rear "parcel shelf" will definitely need some attention, as will some of in the footwell. A few boxes & wiring runs are moulded into the floor here, but overall the inside is quite spartan.

The pedal box and driver's racing seat drop in on the left (heresy!). The seat itself is a little simplistic, and the moulded in racing harness has a nice big ejector pin mark in the middle of it, as well as one further up the seat in the head area. Either obtaining some aftermarket belts or scratch building your own after removing the moulded in detail would be the best remedy if this bothers you. The dash has a separate drop-in console with raised buttons and gear lever complete the front end - not forgetting the steering wheel and stripped down column. I have seen some pictures which shows the steering wheel with a flattened bottom portion, but most show the round wheel that is provided in the kit. If you decide to model the flat version, shortening the bottom spoke and bending the wheel in to reattach it should do the trick.

Once you've painted up all the interior parts, and added any missing boxes, wires & so forth that you see fit, a 4-piece roll cage drops into four holes in the side-skirt boxes, and the front bumper/fender attaches to two L-shaped supports on the front of the floor pan. It would probably be more prudent to attach this part to the bodyshell and fair it in before painting however, as part of it is painted Gulf Blue.

The glazing is commendably clear, relatively free of distortion, and comprises three parts, which should help with aligning them properly. The side windows with the circular air vents are separate from the main windscreen/rear window part, and as with so many car models, the roof lining is ignored here. Anyone straining to see the interior will see the big mating surfaces for the glazing parts if they care to look. The large headlamp units clip in from inside, and you are incited to paint them matt black, with no mention of the lights themselves, which most people would paint silver. The glazing is installed from the outside later in the build.

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The rear light cluster pushes in from inside the rear, and you are told to paint it Gulf Oil blue so that the central section shows through after the build. You are then told to paint the outside of the rear lights red, but it might be an idea to deviate from the instructions here. Perhaps painting the inner surface red, then installing it before painting the bodyshell, and masking off the red parts, so that the paint finish is uniform throughout might work better?

The prominent rear wing is made from three parts, and has generous mating surfaces top and bottom, which should make it quite sturdy. The upward sweep of the aerofoil is well depicted, and I should imagine generates quite an amount of down force on the real vehicle.

A blanking box fits inside the bonnet/hood area to cover the vents, and again this is painted blue. The final fiddly bits are then installed to the shell before mating the two assemblies, which should probably have been reversed to prevent the breaking off of aerials, wing mirrors and the single windscreen wiper. Much cursing could be avoided that way.

The decals provide all of the orange stripes, adverts and stencils that you will need to finish the model in the full race winning Gulf Oil livery, so all you have to do is paint the bodyshell blue, and the various aerodynamic appendages gloss black, which you can overspray with matt varnish after the decals have gone on. The decals are thin and in good register, and even include four Michelin logos for the tyres.

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The color painting & decaling guide gives you the correct Humbrol shades for the body colors, but if you're looking for the ultimate in color fidelity, Zero Paints do a color matched Gulf Blue, which is pre-thinned for airbrushing, and simply needs a clearcote to give it a high gloss.

Conclusion

At this scale, all of the main components are there to build into a creditable replica of this beautiful (in this reviewer's opinion) and stylish car. 1:32 is a very display friendly scale, and although they are of similar size to the Scalextric cars also marketed by Hornby, we have it on good authority that these are new tools specifically for injection moulded model kits.

Of course, the super-detailer could go mad - especially with the interior, but to the casual observer, the detail should be sufficient from the box.

The novice builder could have fun with this kit, and perhaps learn the art of filling the ejector pin marks that are found here & there as they go. An airbrush finish is the most desirable for the bodyshell, but a trip to Halfords I'm sure would yield a rattle can of a color that will match close enough for all but the absolute purists.

Review sample courtesy of logo.gif

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Nice review, Boss.

Incidentally, for those who don't like styrene tyres, or wheels moulded integrally with the tyres, you can probably buy spare wheels & tyres from the Scalextric version of this car, with rubber (or rubber-like) tyres and separate wheels. Having seen the similar Jag built up, though, I don't think it's worth the expense.

Obi-Jiff :fish:

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There are a few obvious decal missing from the sheet, the drivers names that go over each door and the official le mans race stickers showing which class the car was entered into, one on the hood, one on each door and two on the roof.

These could be scanned and re-scales from the renaissance kit decals.

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There are a few obvious decal missing from the sheet, the drivers names that go over each door and the official le mans race stickers showing which class the car was entered into, one on the hood, one on each door and two on the roof.

These could be scanned and re-scales from the renaissance kit decals.

Additionally, for the Le Mans cars, the race numbers should be red over pink:

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Also interesting from a weathering point of view :rolleyes: Taken from on the big wheel at the Ford Chicane on the Sunday morning. Notice the green light just ahead of the filler cap indicating class (GT1) leader.

As a contrast, ther were other schemes:

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The Esses, a couple of hours into the race

Cheers

Rich

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I'm meeting a certain decal manufacturer at the Lincoln show Sunday for a 'chat' about some.

THC

Oh, I do hope something comes of this. The two new Airfix kits seem to be quite well received on the whole, and it'd be nice to be able to do more than one of each. [hint]I'd particularly like to do any of the older factory DBR9s from Le Mans, in the green scheme, like the one in Skii's XBox screen shot, or the one behind my pint-sized favourite, Johnny Herbert.[/hint]

Obi-Jiff :fish:

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