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Italeri Honda RCV 211

December 2005
Honda RCV 211
Italeri No. 4628
Model Type: Injection-molded styrene
Molded Colors: Dark blue, black, gray, clear
Scale: 1/9
MSRP: $60
Pros: Ease of assembly; good instructions; good details
Cons: Cowl parts can be tricky; decals are troublesome

I've always had a passion for racing bikes, but never built a model of one, so I jumped at the chance to build the Team Telefonica/Movistar Honda RCV211. The kit is molded in dark blue, black, and gray, and contains one clear sprue for the windshield.

Italeri was thinking ahead when they engineered this kit, because the ejection-pin marks and sprue-attachment points are located in areas that are covered over later in the construction. This is especially true on plated parts, such as the frame and rear suspension arm.

I began construction with the engine, which is nicely detailed. Color callouts throughout the instructions are keyed to Testor's Model Master paints, and they provide enamel and acrylic equivalents. I used Testor
Metalizers throughout on the bare metal surfaces, and buffed out each of the parts prior to assembly.

I removed and sanded each of the cowling parts, removing some mold-separation lines on the gas tank and front fairing. When I was satisfied with each part, I wiped it down with isopropyl alcohol and sprayed it Testor's Acryl Deep Blue. After 24 hours, I sprayed a second coat of Testor's Acryl Clear Blue to provide some depth to the paint.

Assembly of the frame and engine went without difficulty, and I had no major problems with the overall construction of the model.

The rear suspension shock is fragile, especially when the steel spring is inserted over the strut. Although Italeri lists a working suspension as one of the kit's features, it's far too fragile to be tested.

The mufflers posed a small problem, since they're plated parts, the resulting blue seam must be sanded. This removes the plating on the parts, so I had to respray each of the mufflers with Testor's Metalizer aluminum plate, followed with a treatment of silver buffing powder.

Trouble started when I started applying the decals. The kit provides markings for two bikes: Colin Edwards' No. 45 and Sete Gibernau's No. 15. I chose to model Edwards' machine, because it carried a wilder paint scheme.

Unfortunately, the decals were thick, didn't respond to Micro Set or Micro Sol, and came off the backing paper almost instantly; this indicates that perhaps there wasn't enough adhesive on the decal paper.

After ruining some of Edwards' unique markings, I had to use the markings provided for Giberneau's No. 15.

I set each decal into place and wicked away as much water as I could. I applied Micro Sol to each decal in an attempt to make it conform to the compound curves of the fairings. The yellow checker pattern on the front fairing required two full days of Micro Sol treatments before they settled down.

I ran the brake lines and throttle cables using the rubber tubing provided in the kit, and then installed the completed fairing over the frame.

With the fairing bolted into place, I installed the tires and windshield.

The finished model is impressive. Although I'm not satisfied with the quality of the decals, they're still usable if you have the patience to work them slowly with a setting solution.

Novice modelers will have no trouble building the bike, but may run into problems with the decals.


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