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Tamiya Renault RE-20 Turbo

August 2007
Renault RE-20 Turbo
Tamiya No. 12033
Model Type: Injection-molded
Molded Colors: Black, yellow, gray, clear
Scale: 1/12
MSRP: $131.00
Pros: Photoetched parts; impressive model when complete
Cons: Header assembly tricky; ejector-pin marks on wing

This is a modified reissue of Tamiya's original kit, which now includes a photoetch sheet for the radiator and oil cooler faces and brake discs.

The parts are molded in black, yellow, metallic gray and a tree of bright chrome and satin chrome. There is a separate parts bag, with real springs for the front and rear shocks and several sizes of screws to be used throughout the assembly. Vinyl tubing is also supplied in various sizes for the different oil, fuel, brake, and cooling lines, and plug wires.

Assembly starts with the working front suspension and steering, although the parts simply aren't strong enough to turn the wheels with the steering wheel.

The photoetched parts for the brake discs and radiator faces fit perfectly, and look great! The only problem I had was when attaching the outer ends of the tie rods to the front uprights, the place they're supposed to snap into seems to be angled in the wrong direction - but they did go in.

I encountered no other fit problems throughout the rest of the assembly.

Next is the detailed V-6 turbo engine. The main block alone is made up of eight separate pieces. It's a little tricky to put together, and make sure all of the pieces are square, but it's not terribly difficult. Various shades of metalizers and blacks were used for the multitude of pumps, injectors, brackets, shafts, belts, and pulleys that go into completing the Renault's engine.

The engine assembly is mounted to the bulkhead, and a couple of hoses and pipes are added to connect the radiators to the engine. The headers are assembled from individual pipes, which are a bit tricky to get aligned properly.

The gearbox and rear suspension is an impressive assembly, with working shocks and universal joints. I knew I needed to completely assemble the half-shafts and sand the seam smooth, as there would be no seam in the 1:1 parts.

My biggest concern was how to paint the half-shafts without the universal joints sticking; a light airbrushing of buffing aluminum did the trick, and gave the parts the bright silver finish that I was looking for.

The assembly is then mated to the engine, and the rolling chassis is almost complete. You will have to shorten the fuel hoses slightly so they will clear the intake manifolds.

I wish that the main body panels were molded in white, instead of yellow; there is more white than yellow on the car, and it's a lot easier to paint yellow over white plastic than vice versa.

The decals are thin, but they cover well. A new sheet with brighter white lettering is provided to replace some of the decals on the original sheet.

The support for the rear wing took a bit of filling and sanding to get rid of the seams, only to have it crack when I used the screw to mount it! The biggest problem with the rear wing is that there are some huge ejector pin marks on the back of the second element. It would be almost impossible to fill and sand them without damaging the molded rivet detail; I just sanded it smooth and re-chromed it with Alclad.

The completed model is quite impressive. The body panels can be removed to show all of the detail that is included right out of the box. A little extra indulgence could make one incredible model. There are some parts that show the age of the tooling, but overall it was a very enjoyable build.


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