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Tamiya Porsche Carrera GT

February 2005
RELATED TOPICS: SPORTS CAR | TAMIYA
Porsche Carrera GT
Tamiya No. 24275
Model Type: Injection-molded styrene kit
Molded Colors: Black, silver, clear, clear red
Scale: 1/24
MSRP: $44.99
Pros: Excellent moldings and parts fit, multipiece door panels, snap fit of clear parts
Cons: No sidewall detail on tires
Most of us try to make our current project better than the one before it. This is usually easy, using lessons learned during previous builds. For a manufacturer of the caliber of Tamiya, it must be a daunting task to make a kit that is better than the last.

Tamiya's last benchmark kit was its incredible Enzo Ferrari that had many standout features. The Porsche Carrera GT supercar is Tamiya's next high-profile kit; let's see how the German stands up to the Italian.

Not surprisingly, all of the parts are molded almost flawlessly. Only minor mold lines are found on the parts, and the lines on the body are easily removed. The body and its related parts are molded in metallic silver/gray and showed no swirl marks; you could almost clearcoat the body instead of painting it. However, I would recommend painting it for greater realism.

Unlike the Enzo, the GT's body is almost a one-piece molding. The body shell captures the lines of the GT quite well. Judging from photos in Road & Track, I could not find any faults with it.

The deeply sculpted sections of the doors are molded separately, but attach with no obtrusive seams. The engine cover has some compound curves, but it fits perfectly.

The 1:1 GT has molded screens to help ventilate the engine compartment; these would have been very difficult for Tamiya to engineer for the kit, but they did come up with a solution: they molded the screen parts in smooth, clear plastic, and the screen pattern is on the decal sheet. When assembled, the effect is quite convincing.

The roll bar/headrest assembly needed a little finessing to get to fit properly, but a couple of small clamps and some extra drying time did the trick. The rear spoiler can be built in the raised or lowered position; I chose to have it lowered so as not to spoil the body lines.

Tamiya provides body color choices that correspond with its TS- paint line. To be different, I did not use any of them; instead, I painted my car with TS-38 Gunmetal.

The headlight assembly is very well done. The 1:1 car uses projector-beam lights, and they are replicated them perfectly - down to the strobe decals. The taillights consist of chrome bezels and red-tinted lenses.

As for attaching the front and rear lenses to the car, they are a snap fit! This eliminates the chances of an untimely glue-smearing incident. The windshield is also a snap-in part; however, the pins at the top have a dip that detracts from the finished look.

A separate hardtop is included, but I chose to leave my model's top removable because I think the car looks better without it. Rounding out the body are metal transfers for the mirror faces and the Carrera GT script for the rear of the car.

The star of this kit is the interior. Tamiya has molded the interior parts in a way that virtually eliminates the need for masking to paint different colors. On the 1:1 GT, the door panels have three colors; in the kit, Tamiya has molded the panels in three pieces, greatly simplifying the process.

The dashboard consists of eight parts that achieve the same result as the door panels. Decals are provided for the gauges, but be careful - some of them are small and can easily be lost.

One of the interior colors is terracotta. Tamiya includes a formula for mixing this color using its acrylic paints, but I found that Dupli-Color's red-oxide primer was close to the required color.

The chassis is built from a large main molding. My kit was free from warpage, which greatly enhanced the ease of the build. The suspension is rather simplified, which is okay because most of it is hidden on the finished model. The coil-over/pushrod assemblies are molded well, but will take some patience to detail-paint properly.

Two rods that run parallel to the rear springs that are missing from the kit, which is rare for Tamiya. The brake calipers are molded separate from the rotors, which made painting the brakes much easier. The wheels are well done, as are the rubber tires, but there is no sidewall detail on them.

The engine is nicely molded, and is rather simplified, but that's not that big of a deal because most of it is hidden, too. What you can see is well done - especially the Porsche lettering atop the air intake. The exhaust system is chrome-plated and could use a little weathering to tone it down a bit.
I spent about 25 hours on my build of this car. I found it to be easier to build than the Enzo (see the June 2003 issue), yet it's just as well done.

I would recommend this kit to any modeler of moderate experience. It will challenge you, but it will not defeat you.

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