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Ebbro Lotus Type 72E 1973

Lotus Type 72E 1973
Lotus type 72E 1973
Ebbro No. EMSF-1 003-5800
Model Type: Injection-molded styrene
Molded Colors: Black, gray, clear
Scale: 1/20
MSRP: $59.95
Pros: Body panel fit; Cosworth engine; overall quality
Cons: Plastic brittle and hard to sand; decal issues
This is the third version of the Lotus type 72 that Ebbro has done. The model depicts the Lotus team in 1973, with Emerson Fittipaldi driving the number-one car and Ronnie Pederson in the number-two car.

Many of the parts are based from the 72C version kit, with updated cowlings and suspension to replicate the E model. The parts are molded in black and gray, with one tree in chrome plating. There is a beautiful set of rubber tires, with virtually no mold seams down their centers. There are wear indicators on the contact area of the tires, and well-done stamped Good Year lettering.

The first step is building all of the outer body panels and cowling that need to be painted black. Keep in mind which version of the car you want to do, because Fittipaldi’s engine intake was different than what Pederson ran on his car. The parts that make up the body panels fit well, with minimal cleanup.
The upper cowling for the driver is molded in clear plastic. Although Ebbro supplies a full black decal with the gold striping to be installed on the cowling, I painted mine regardless, and it was a tricky masking job.

The second step in the somewhat vague instruction sheet is building the center body of the chassis and front suspension. I found the plastic to be quite brittle and hard to sand smooth in areas where it was removed from the plastic trees.

Ebbro does a fine job of crisply molding the parts, but they are brittle and delicate, so care must be taken removing the parts from the trees. Nevertheless, if you’re careful, the suspension will build up beautifully and quite accurate out of the box.

I had a bit of a problem seating the front inboard brake rotors close to the suspension box as illustrated, because they did not fit into the mounting locations. This showed later when the front cowling was installed; the rotors did not line up with the vent holes.

Ebbro did its homework on the timeless Cosworth Ford engine. It is detailed and molded crisply. I was surprised there were no plug wires; the box-art photos show them.

The transmission is a separate unit that is again a tricky and delicate assembly, but accurate in its final form. Be careful to pay attention to the left and right side of the CV shafts, or the unit will not fit during final assembly.

The entire rear engine/transmission/suspension unit glues into the back side of the Cosworth engine block. Then the unit snaps into the rear firewall on the monocoque chassis and is secured with a self-tapping screw. This assembly procedure makes the car sit level and have a strong backbone.

The side pods, front wing unit, and upper driver cowling snap in place with no glue, so they can be removed to show off the intricate detail out of the box.

Final details include adding the decals. Unfortunately, that’s where this kit falls flat. Despite the decals’ good quality, Ebbro tried to make it easier to apply the decals by adding black color in the center areas on the rear wing, and front wings with the gold attached to these decals. You either have to cut away the excess black areas or add the decals and clear over them. The problem is, if the black paint used does not match the decal color, you will see them.  

All in all, Ebbro has developed some quality kits of an important era of Formula One racing. This one is no exception! I highly recommend this kit to any moderate-to-advanced builder.


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