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Tamiya Honda NSX Type R

RELATED TOPICS: TAMIYA | 1/24
Tamiya Honda NSX Type R
Honda NSX Type R
Honda NSX Type R underbody
Honda NSX
Honda NSX Type R
Tamiya No. 24321
Model Type: Injection-molded  styrene
Molded Colors: White, black, clear
Scale: 1/24
MSRP: $46.00
Pros: Typical Tamiya quality, photoetch parts; nice level of detail
Cons: Fragile A-pillars; door panels molded to interior tub

Two years after production of the Honda NSX began, Honda released a home-market NSX Type R: a lightened version of the original NSX. Fewer than 500 were made from 1992-1993.

Tamiya modified its Honda NSX kit (they also did the US-market Acura NSX variant) to NSX Type R specs. To my knowledge, the kit wasn’t offered previously in the US, and like the 1:1 car, is a rare sight to see. Tamiya has seen fit to not only reissue the Type R, but offer it in the US as well.

Quality of the kit is good – typical of the era from Tamiya. Flash is minor. Included in this reissue are new window/taillight masks and a nice fret of photoetch for various pieces of mesh and screen, and a couple of license tags. Tamiya makes a metal primer that is necessary for the black paint to stick properly to the photoetched parts.

Type R-specific parts added to the kit are Recaro racing seats, center stack cover, beautiful satin-plated five-spoke wheels (which I painted gloss black), mesh intakes replacing fog lamps, and a plastic-and-photoetch-mesh engine cover that lets you see the top end of the engine through the rear glass. A list of unused standard NSX parts is shown in the last step of the instruction sheet.

The engine detail is good, though it was hard for me to find much reference for the first-generation Type R. There was a second generation made in 2002, and there are lots of photo references for that version. I chose to paint the valve covers red instead of the black listed in the instructions. I would have liked a separate oil pan that could be more easily painted, and without a seam down the middle of the ribbed pan.

The interior features a pair of one-piece Recaro racing seats, and a filler panel to cover the radio and air-conditioning controls; those items were not included on the lightened Type R. Door panel detail is only average, considering it is molded as part of the interior tub.

There are gauge decals, small Recaro decals for the seats, a carbon-fiber decal for the center-stack filler panel, and a Honda logo for the racing steering wheel. The Type R was RHD only, even though there are LHD parts in the kit.

Chassis detail is nice; there is a lot of exposed aluminum underneath, as the NSX is constructed of aluminum. Everything details out nicely in contrasting factory stock colors. Assembly was straightforward and precise, and went without a hitch.

The body requires a bit of cleanup before paint, and be aware that the A- pillars are especially delicate. It is best to install the glass prior to polishing or buffing the paint.

I created a problem by leaving the body on my Tamiya paint stand in the dehydrator overnight. This resulted in the body being permanently bowed outwards by about 1⁄16  inch on each side. This made gluing the glass in a bit tricky, but I was able to do it with some tape and canopy glue. The gaps between the rocker panel and chassis don’t look great from underneath, but would require epoxy to attach permanently, and the body looks okay to me without it. Lesson learned the hard way.

The final model looks nice. Except for glass installation, it was the typical “shake and bake” Tamiya experience. Owners of Fujimi’s curbside 2002 Type R may want to consider kitbashing with this kit, which would be a nice upgrade.

Any Honda or Acura Type R fan, as well as JDM fans in general, will welcome this kit.

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