1/24 Scale Tamiya 2001
by Jonathan Squires
2001 Subaru Impreza WRC
1/24 scale Subaru Impreza WRC is available online from Squadron.com
Here’s something a little different.
As an alternative to making 1/48th scale aircraft, I turn occasionally
to building 1/24 scale rally cars.
This particular car was driven by Petter Solberg, the Subaru World Rally
Team number three driver in the 2001 World Rally Championships. This is
the way the car appeared in the first event of the season, The 69th
Rally of Monte Carlo, where it actually failed to finish following a
spectacular crash on the fifth stage. Despite this poor start to the
season, Solberg placed 10th overall for 2001, a result he improved upon
in 2002 when he finished second, and again in 2003, when he took out the
overall WRC title and became FIA World Rally Champion.
This is the Tamiya 1/24th Subaru Impreza WRC. As would be expected,
it is a superb kit and presented no challenges at any point in
construction – if you think the Tamiya aircraft kits are easy to build
then try this one out – this car does literally fall together. It
contains a good amount of detail, in particular the drive train,
suspension and car interior which includes a complete roll cage, seats
and instrumentation. In a nice touch Tamiya supply the skid pan trays as
clear parts so that it is possible to see all of that detail that would
otherwise be hidden were they made of solid plastic. As part of the deal
Tamiya also include some neat pre-painted wheels, tinted brake lights,
paint masks for the windows and silver stickers for the rear-view
mirrors. It’s a great package.
In this instance the car is made purely out of the box.
The only variance from my normal (ie. conventional) practice was made
due to my decision to mostly build the model while overseas, well away
from an airbrush and all but the most basic paints. To this end, I first
cut every part from the sprue, cleaned them up and then grouped them
into similar colours (ie. black, aluminum etc.) which were then painted
en masse. The resulting avalanche of parts were then detail painted, and
partially assembled into complete sub-components (mostly so I wouldn’t
lose all the bits). Once each sub-assembly was completed it was added to
the chassis until ultimately the sum of parts added up to a whole!
I found this method, at least in terms of making a rally car, to be
quite efficient and speedy. I would not, however, attempt it with an
aircraft kit as it encourages efficiency over quality (at least for me).
Due to its visibility, the most important painting task for a rally
car is the chassis and bodywork. In this case the car is painted Subaru
Mica Blue, and was applied using the Tamiya aerosol can lacquer which
was, apart from the stink, easy to use – just make sure you shake the
can regularly. The resulting finish has a good sheen to it and is very
As important as the paint job are the decals which really make or break
a racing car. In this case the kit decals were ok; slightly thick but
easy to use and apply. Generally speaking they presented no problems in
Final details comprised attaching the head and tail lights, antennas,
mirrors, skid trays and various other small details.
As a contrast to making aircraft, rally cars are a refreshing change.
I particularly enjoy the fact that I see no need to get involved with
anything other than carefully painting and assembling the kit as it is
ok for the finished model to look as if it has just rolled off the
Prodrive factory floor (Prodrive is the organisation that designs and
hand builds the Subaru Impreza WRC).
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03 December, 2004
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