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Tamiya Lotus Type 49B 1968

Lotus Type 49B 1968
Tamiya No. 12053
Model Type: Injection-molded
Molded Colors: White, black, metallic gray, translucent yellow
Scale: 1/12
MSRP: $142.00
Pros: New parts are good upgrade
Cons: Suspension parts have mold seams, flash, and ejector-pin marks
The lotus Type 49B introduced sponsor-inspired paint schemes and aerodynamic wings to Formula One. It was also my first 1/12 scale model.

Gone in this reissue are the all of the bits to make it motorized. It now includes a fret of photoetch details, turned aluminum intake funnels, diecut seat belts, and masking material with printed templates for painting. 

I attached the upper cowl pieces and painted the complete tub, instead of waiting to attach them. It made attaching the steering shaft more difficult, but allowed me to finish the seams properly before painting. The cockpit tub slips in with no problem.

The front suspension has 26 parts, and a good deal of them are chrome-plated. The plating is well done, but many of the parts have fairly heavy mold seams, flash, or ejector-pin marks.  Unfortunately, the top side of the upper arm has two prominent ejector-pin marks. The mounting pocket for the front wing struts should be removed if you build the rear-wing-only version. 

Take note of the brake and clutch reservoirs; there are two sets, and if the wrong one is used, it will interfere with the fit of the nose. The instructions show the upper radiator hose going outside the front suspension support, but should go to the inside, or it too will interfere with the nose.

The interior is rather utilitarian, with only four basic parts. The seat is molded into the tub, with a nice leatherlike texture. The new seat belts really dress the space up nicely.

All that’s left to complete the main body is the unique dual windscreen.  The parts are molded translucent yellow and could benefit from some light polishing and a dip in Pledge FloorCare Multisurface Finish (PFM, nee Future).

The new turned intake trumpets are nice, and really top off the engine.

The rear suspension is fully functional, and a good majority of the parts are plated and have the same maladies as the front. 

The instructions show masking and spraying the nose cone before adding the wings, but my reference shows that they were molded into the nose. 

A little work will be needed to mold in the wings and radiator air exits on top, as the fit on either isn’t perfect. The masking template worked nicely.

This model is not quite like a current Tamiya kit, but given its age and complexity, it’s still pretty amazing kit, and the additions give it a nice little boost. 


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