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Tamiya Honda S600

Honda S600
Tamiya No. 24340
Model Type: Injection-molded styrene
Molded Colors: White, black,
gray, clear
Scale: 1/24
MSRP: $51.00
Pros: New photoetched parts and decal sheet
Cons: Holes in swing arms; fit issues with hard top
One of Honda’s first forays into the two-seat sports-car market was the S600 – an upgraded version of the S500 introduced in 1962.

The kit is what I would call a modified reissue of the S800 and S800 racing versions. In fact, it appears that a majority of the parts are identical, with just a new front grille and rear taillights being the only noticeable difference. 

Most of the virtually flash-free parts are molded in white, with the engine bits in metallic gray and a tree of chrome for the shiny bits. New are the self-adhesive photoetched scripts and decal sheet.

The 11-piece engine assembly is unchanged from the S800 kit. The date stamp on the sprue is 1997, and it does show its age just a little. Some of the details aren’t quite as crisp as we’ve come to expect from Tamiya – most notably, the carburetors.

Fit is “typical Tamiya” precise, with everything going together without issue.  Detailed painting instructions are given, though I did take a few liberties, just to spice things up a bit. 

The four-piece frame’s precise fit had everything lining up perfectly, with no fiddling about. The unique rear suspension has a normal-style differential but has a cast swing arm on each end that contained the chain drive to the wheels. The kit duplicates it pretty well, but there are a couple of holes in the back sides of the swing arms that need filling. 

The drum brakes are two pieces, and house the typical poly caps for mounting the wheels. The front suspension consists of the lower crossmember with A-arms, shock absorbers, uprights, and tie rod. Getting the shocks in place is a little tricky. 

The exhaust needed just a little cleanup of mold lines, but fit well, lining up with the header nearly perfectly.

The interior detail is a bit on the austere side, but conveys the 1:1 car’s cockpit nicely. Side panels are simple, but have nice detail, and with a little paint and foil, look good. Seats have no covers for the backs but are pretty well hidden when installed. The two-piece dash has decent molded detail as well. Decals are provided for the instruments and horn button.

The main body shell is unchanged from the S800 kit. Just a little cleanup of mold lines at the front and rear is necessary. I had to sand the edges of the hood; the fit seemed tight. The bumpers had mold seams that needed removal, and should be stripped and rechromed for the best finish. The windshield frame is molded to the windshield, so foiling it seemed like the easiest option to me. 

The kit also includes the option of displaying it with top down, top up, or hardtop, although for some reason the top-up part is listed as not being used.  The hard top doesn’t seem to fit quite right either.

This was a really fun little kit to build; not too complex or too simple. Highly recommended.


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