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Tamiya McLaren MP4 5B Honda

December 2007
McLaren MP4 5B Honda
Tamiya No. 89720
Model Type: Injection-molded
Molded Colors: White, gray,
black, clear
Scale: 1/20
MSRP: $36
Pros: Easy assembly; no cleanup of parts required; good detail
Cons: No stencil or decals for Goodyear Eagle tire logos

THE TAMIYA McLaren MP4 5B Honda is a replica of the Formula 1 car driven by Ayrton Senna. In 16 starts, Ayrton won six times and sat on 12 poles.

This kit is a reissue that originally came out during the 1990s. The tooling is superb; there wasn't a piece in the kit that needed any excess scale removed. There also weren't any imperfections on any pieces of the Honda kit.

Every piece of this kit went together with the greatest of ease; I had no problems whatsoever. As long as the instructions are followed, the modeler will have a great time piecing together the McLaren MP4 5B Honda kit.

The hardest part of building the kit is the detailing. There are so many different colors to paint on each part that most of the modeler's time will be spent waiting for the paint to dry.

I chose to follow the directions every step, to ensure maximum detail. This way the McLaren MP4 5B Honda kit can be displayed with either the body on or with the body removed so the highly detail chassis can be viewed. However, because the Honda's chassis is so detailed, I recommend building the model so that the body can be removed.

The engine is a V-12, and has plenty of detail too, along with a nice snorkel scoop that attaches to the top of the engine; neither of these items would be visible if the body is on.

The same goes for all of the suspension pieces - especially the rear suspension. With the body removed, the suspension can be viewed nicely.

The one and only item I was disappointed in was that the kit didn't come with a stencil or decals to add the Goodyear Eagle logo to the tire sidewall; I borrowed a tire stencil from a friend who assembles many Tamiya kits.

Just a tip: Formula 1 tires have the Goodyear Eagle logo on both sides of the tires. I applied the logos with an airbrush, using Tamiya's Flat White acrylic paint. I taped up the tread on each tire before painting, just to make sure that area of the tires wouldn't get covered in overspray.

This is one of the nicest kits that I have had a chance to assemble. I would certainly recommend this kit to anyone who wants to build a highly detailed kit that goes together without any assembly problems.


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