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Tamiya 1/12 Ferrari 312T


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TAMIYA 1/12 FERRARI 312T

 

1975 NIKKI LAUDA

 

World Champion and Construction Champion

 

KIT MOLDED IN 1976

 

(BACK TO THE PRESENT)

 

Our contractors have resumed work and that means any chance of painting my GT40 body with a gloss finish is on hold until the renovation is completed – way too much dust from cutting wood, painting and construction. I’m guessing but it easily looks as if three weeks mores or maybe four will be needed before they are finished and I can resume work on the GT40. In the meantime, I thought I would get a jump start on my next build project: Tamiya 1/12 F1 312T Ferrari.

I purchased an original production kit from 1976, now a good 46 years old on ebay and I was hooked. The kit was the state of the art back in 1976 and if memory serves me correctly, light years ahead of most model companies. The kit with shipping was costly and no PE or resin at all. There are a number of incredible AM upgrade sets still available but the cost for all, would bring the total close to a MFH kit! Tamiya has been upgrading and releasing it’s 1/12th scale F1 kits but when I purchased my Ferrari, I didn’t realize the 312T was available as part of the upgrade series of kits. I have since purchase the 1/12 Brabham BT44B, which comes with PE and Cartograf  decals and I do have my eye on a few more the upgrade kits.

The way I see it, there are a few ways I can go about building the kit:

1.    Go all out, buy the AM detail sets …not a chance.

2.    Build it OOB and see what I can do

3.    Purchase a new set of decals from Indycals.

I’m going down the path of number 2 and 3 as my favorite part of any build being painting and decaling. So that’s the plan, an OOB build with the best presentation as my goal. Since I’m still a newbie to automotive modeling, I’ll be following Tamiya’s instructions closely and seeing how I do.

Where else would Tamiya start: the main body tub and front office. Molding is crisp, nearly 100% flash free, most parts have faint molding lines that need to be removed and there are a number of injector pin marks that need to be dealt with. Part fit is good, not perfect and a few parts even have their alignment pins keyed; Tamiya was on the right path. While the instructions are thorough and well laid out, nowhere as comprehensive as we have today and to my eye a bit confusing, especially for a newbie struggling a bit to understand the orientation of some of the components.  

I made a note to go easy on following the color callouts as Alclad, Gravity Paints (Spain), Tamiya Lacquers and Model Air didn’t exist in 1976, as it was the world of enamel paints. Geez, there wasn’t even Extra Thin, just good old tube glue and liquid cement. Sanding sticks and sponges – not a chance.

Since I’m restricted on what I can and cannot paint during this period of our home renovation, I’m hoping I can still prime and maybe attempt a NMF on the chassis and if not, then just keep going forward, completing sub-assemblies.

OFF TO THE RACES

Starting with the aluminum interior chassis, all the parts had the mold lines carefully removed, concentrating on part fit and squareness. The firewall had six large injector pin marks that needed to be filled in with CCA and removed. The rear fuel tank and oil cooler thanks assemblies had seams that needed to be dealt with that’s about all the issues encountered at this stage. At the front bulkhead, the rack and pinion steering was a bit fussy, since this is a working assembly and ultra-care needs to be taken on part orientation and what is glued and what isn’t. Once I figured out how the parts should fit, all went well. The two oil coolers and two radiators were tackled next, no issues at all and I got carried away with myself and as they were primed black, base coated and finished with Alclad Dark Aluminum. Pin washes and some detail painting is still needed to bring out the details. If I would have purchased some of the optional PE detail sets, the radiator screens would have been replaced, but that’s not the plan.  

Right at the start, the builder should decide how the Ferrari will be displayed as it effects how the numerous exterior body panels will be utilized with the following three options:

1.    Is the Ferrari going to be finished leaving all the body panels off the chassis and displayed next to the finished model?

2.    Are all or a portion of the exterior body panels going to be glued in place, helping to insure the best possible fit?

3.    Will the body panels be removable, offering unlimited display options?

 My choice is to build the Ferrari with the body panels off and displayed next to the model in the display case.  Fit is good but dealing with 46 year old plastic, I worry about the plastic cracking with all the handling and being snapped into place each time a panel is added or removed.

I’ve reached step 8 in the instructions and the interior body, front suspension and cockpit are now ready for priming.

Thanks for checking in

Peter

 

Bxqu3B.jpg

QtjhW7.jpg

The white dot on the upper cowl is close to the only filler I needed!

kS6e1a.jpg

Just the beginning of the army of parts and assemblies.

6MDfYi.jpg

ScilY7.jpg

 

 

 

 

 

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Nice subject choice there Peter. I think my very first F1 car was Tamiya's 312T3 kit in 1/20 scale. Even that was quite impressive but I was too young and hamfisted to do much with it. 

I do have a MFH kit in the stash of a later version of the Ferrari. 

PXL_20220324_201428696.thumb.jpg.ef46dfc911644344e9a98fa2e9823a33.jpg

This one is plastic and metal instead of their usual resin. 

PXL_20220324_201452758.thumb.jpg.593ebe9242ce57a6724736907d80cc26.jpg

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Carl

Enjoying my trip back into my younger days and the kit has been all fun so far. Holy smokes a MFH 1/20 scale Ferrari 312T3, now that's livin' for sure. Love to see you do a build thread on the kit.

Keep 'em comin

Peter

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Thanks Martin, much appreciated.

Great photos and memories. Lauda surely dominated and I loved watching him if the race was broadcasted here in the states, as cable was just getting starting; their big push: No Commercials - now it's more commercials then anything and at times unwatchable.

Keep 'em comin

Peter

 

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Great start Peter, I absolutely love the F1 cars of that era. Basically strong engines and some fat wheels, not the high tech stuff of recent years. It was about drivers then and now it's about building this Italian icon, which has the same fascination as a kit, like the original, given the time it was produced. 
I will follow your path soon building either the Porsche 935 or the Brabham BT44. Do I like Martinis, you bet :wine:

Cheers Rob

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Ahhhhh caught this one early. 1975 I was 15 and watching the legendary Murray Walker commentary on terrestrial TV., halcyon days. This is another genre I’d love to look into, I didn’t realise Tamiya are reissuing their classic kits. Yet another bucket lister……….

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Thanks Rob and that's exactly how I feel about F1 racing of that era.

I've been driving myself crazy trying to figure out how to display the Ferrari as my earlier idea of leaving the outer shell off and displaying the Ferrari with the full chassis bare to the wind didn't sit well. Sounded good at the beginning but the more I looked at the model and thought about it, I just wasn't crazy about the idea and no matter what, she surely wouldn't have the look and power of the 312T at all.

I needed to make these the display decision now as I would have to fill and remove a lot of panel mount pins and holes and that wouldn't be possible after painting. After a lot of test fitting, I decided to add all the side panels, giving the Ferrari her look and feel and leave the upper panels and shells off the fuel tanks and the  cockpit off. I was shocked how poor the molding of the outer sides panels are as compared to present day Tamiya - lots of interior injection pin marks that can be seen had to removed and there are sloppy fit issues that need to be dealt with. I'm only guessing but I feel Tamiya went with the three piece side panels trying to replicate what Ferrari did and also the limits of molding back in the mid 1970's. I've been working strictly now on the six outer shell parts and will shoot to make each three part panel, just one piece prior to adding it to the chassis at the end.  See how it goes ..

By the way, I've have the Brabham kit and am looking at both the 935 and 934 down the road. Love to see how you work your magic on the 935 and Martin's included.

Keep 'em comin

Peter   

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Thanks Gaz

Much appreciated and you can never have enough clamps. I bought quite a few a number of years ago at a Replicon here on the Island and keep kicking myself for not buying a ton more at those prices.

Keep 'em comin

Peter

 

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Thanks Phil and glad you are on board. I'm so glad Tamiya had decided to reissue a lot of their older 1/12 and 1/20 F1 kits and their large scale Porsche as well.  Seems the big difference is better newer and plasti, Cartogrf Decals and PE. I'm not sure if they did any work on the molds themselves.  You just need to be careful when buying these kits, especially the earlier re-release ones that they actually are the newer kits. I've been buying them on ebay as most online stores have been sold out and the prices are quite higher then what Tamiya's MSRP - but that just seems to be what ebay has become - high priced everything.

Keep 'em comin

Peter

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Peter, if you're looking for any of the Porsches (934 and 935), they were all re-issued within the last 18 months so shouldn't be too hard to find. I picked up the 935 but not the 934. Tamiya changed the mould slightly on the 934. The original release you could build as a road car but with a bare interior. Those parts are no longer in the kit and the instructions have been changed. 

The most recent car they did in 1/12 is the Porsche Carrera GT. That one has a partial metal chassis in it and pre-formed mesh screens for the engines. 

If you really want one near and dear to Mr Tamiya, find a Caterham Super 7. They supposedly used Mr Tamiya's personal 7 as the reference for the model. That was re-issued about 2-3 years ago but may be harder to find. It's a gorgeous kit with aluminum body panels that you bolt onto a chassis. Here's mine from the original release. 

DSC_0453-600x339.jpg

Carl

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Thanks Carl

Both the re-issued 934 and 935 are on my shopping list and sometime this year, I hope to build at least one of them. Right now, I'm working on what I can do in-between our contractors and hopefully by the end of April we might be finished ... fingers crossed. Appreciate the info on the Porsche Carrera as it food for thought down the road as well. The Super 7 just doesn't excite me and as back in the day (late 1960's) I owned both a MGB and a A Triumph TR250 (the Triumph was my favorite).

Keep 'em comin

Peter

 

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A Change of Heart

The Side Panels

Building and still doing research to learn as I go, it became quickly apparent that my initial thoughts of displaying the chassis and all the body panels separately, was no longer the way for me to go. Think more and more about the end display, the model wouldn’t look or have the feel of this iconic F1 Championship race car, with all the body panels displayed separately and some need to be on the car so anyone looking at the model would know it is a Ferrari.  I now dug into studying a good deal of display model photos and realized there was going to be a numerous fit issues it (yup, I saw the panel fit issues) and decided I needed do some serious testing before moving on and a new display plan as well.  

I removed all the exterior body panels from their frets, cleaned up the gate nibs and started attaching them to the chassis by the locating pins and nearly fell off my chair at the fit issues. There were gigantic injector pin marks on the back side of panels that would/could be seen and of course, some caused fit issues as well. I decided to remove them all which turned into a mega headache as they were in hard to reach places. The small exhaust radiator body panel has compound curves, some of the deepest and most numerous injector pin marks on a small part I had ever seen. I’m guessing that they were needed as Tamiya couldn’t get them to release from the mold any other way. 

Of course, there were lots of tricky mold lines to remove and I was lucky that a good number of injection pin marks, I was able to sand out and no filler was needed.

Each of the side body panels are comprised of three parts, replicating the actual side panel makeup. There are fit issues, especially the small exhaust radiator panel – it doesn’t fit well at all. At this stage, job number one is to create a single side panel, no gaps and insure it will attach to the side of the chassis with no issues. There were large exterior sink marks that needed some TLC.

Back to the display thoughts as it stands now:  the chassis sides would have the body shell panels permanently installed, the top portion of the chassis would be displayed in bare aluminum and all the remaining body panels including the large intake assembly that is so distinctive on the 312T.       

Nothing ever goes according to plan and of course, my brother has been invaluable with his knowledge of race cars and modeling them, as I’ve always been a large scale aircraft modeler, with little automotive modeling to fall back on.

Peter

This is where I'm heading at the rear side panel shows the body panel fit needs work.

ZEWFw2.jpg

Some mighty nice sink marks - filled in with CCA, Mr Surfacer and Tamiya Filler.

RqXIUk.jpg

I highlighted  grooved area just seem to be wrong. I didn't see any mention of it in the instructions or a part that should be glued in. Hoping someoen knows if it should be there or not. 

gtopNG.jpg

nuQ66V.jpg

DEC8OG.jpg

The record

RMdgCg.jpg

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More Injector Pin Marks

P3767W.jpg

l4wmgk.jpg

 

 

 

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Peter, I've gone through similar debates on my McLaren. It's nice to show off some of that lovely detail but it also spoils the look of the car. 

I've got the added problem that the tires in my kit have rotted from age and only one pair is usable. MFH at one point made replacement tires for the Tamiya kits but they're now around $350 a set which is almost double the kit itself!

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Hi Carl

Completely agree; I've often tossed and turned over how much of the interior detail to show and that includes many 1/32 Tamiya aircraft kits as well. Since I normally build two or three versions of the same aircraft, I have the cowling off and the engine exposed of only one of each type. But in the case of  F1 cars, I'm fast leaning towards having all the exterior panels on and the finished model looking as a true scale replica. I'm not big on removing and re-attaching parts as being plastic, it's only a matter of time before they break/snap/crack and that's the end of the ballgame.  Once I finish a model and it's in the display case, it's never touched again ... it's for display only.

Old kits and rubber tires .. not a good combination.. Every time I consider purchasing another vintage 1/12 scale Tamiya kit, this issue runs through my head and MFH replacement tires, not a chance I would ever buy them for that price. My thought is now to only buy the re-released kits and pay extra as all the parts and components are relatively new.

Keep 'em comin

Peter

 

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You are doing a great job on this old kit.

I have a few big scale tamiyas in the stash like the the porsche 934 and 935.

The old boxes

But my holy grail will be the mclaren mp4/6 that i found cheap and not like ebay prices. 

It are older kits from big T but with some tlc  wonderfull kits.

Just take your time.

Mark

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Thanks mark

Thoroughly enjoying the Ferrari and being a kit molded in 1976, it's not the Tamiya we know today.  I've been spending days working on the outer body panels getting them to fit as they should. Far from a MFH kit but a gem just the same. Looking forward to you resuming your Ferrari build and then maybe the Mclaren.

BTW, I'm still waiting for my Jetmads Viggen and on seriously considering selling it or trading it for a 1/12 Tamiya F1 kit.

Keep 'em comin

Peter

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Great work on the body parts Peter. I do like your iterative thinking process, about what to show of the model. I like to do it the same way, having a relatively fixed plan of a build, including needed techniques, skills and building steps and reevaluate, when questions arise. I believe, that this is a good way to prevent epic fails.
With your Ferrari, I have no doubts the outcome will be terrific.

Cheers Rob

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Thanks Gaz

So different then military modeling,  having a blast and it's also much like military modeling as number one priority: the finish . I've been plugging away at the exterior shell and close to another update and priming. The contractors are making excellent progress now and not too many more weeks before they are done and we are back to normal and of course, being able to paint and build with no fears of all the construction dust.

Keep 'em comin

Peter

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Thanks Rob

Nothing like a plan that if need be can be modified to keep the build on course and achieve the results we're after.

 As construction restraints has allowed, I've made some excellent progress on the exterior shells a,d will be ready for the next update this weekend and then primer - all the gluing and fussing is done and I'm in the finial sanding and polishing stages. Also back to the Ferrari 12 cylinder and making progress with an eye focused on how to paint all the parts as color requires.

Keep 'em comin

Peter

 

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