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Tamiya Honda CB1100R(B)

Honda CB1100R(B)
Tamiya No. 16033
Model Type: Injection-molded styrene
Molded Colors: Red, white, black, clear, translucent red and orange
Scale: 1/6
MSRP: $186.00
Pros: Kit has held up well
Cons: White color not correct; chain and sprockets do not turn; seams on exhaust system
The Honda CB1100R(B) was one of the first of what I like to think of the modern era of Japanese superbikes. Tamiya has reissued its 1/6 scale kit of this bike, and like the 1:1, it's impressive.

I have built plenty Tamiya kits, but never one of these big bikes. For some reason they kind of scared me, and I don't know why. Maybe it was the sheer size, or the large number of parts, or maybe it was the fear that any little mistake could turn out to be a big one. When I was offered the opportunity to build this kit for review, I jumped at the chance to finally face my fear.

Yes, there are a lot of parts to the kit: 350 of them, to be exact. They are molded in red, white, black, and clear plastic. There are also translucent red and orange, plated, and gold-painted pieces. Metal parts are included for the kickstand and front fork assembly. Two bags of nuts, bolts, and springs round out the kit's parts, along with beautifully printed Cartograf decals.
For a kit that was originally tooled in the 1980s, the molds have held up pretty well. There was actually very little in the way of flash or sink marks. The mold lines on some of the parts were a bit on the larger side, though. The fuel tank, fairing, and seat saddle were molded in two pieces that required some careful filling and sanding to remove seams.

After the bodywork was complete, I followed the instructions and painted it with Tamiya TS-7 Racing White. From the beginning, I thought this color choice was a bit off; it seems to me that the real bike was more of a pure white, but seeing as this is a review model, I followed the instructions.

The red that Tamiya calls out is TS-8 Italian Red, but this paint does not match the red panels on the decal sheet. I did find that Testor's Model Master Italian Red was close.

The heart of the 1:1 bike is the engine, and so it is with the model; the way that it builds up makes the finished product really stand out. All of the major fuel, oil, and electrical lines are included, though some of the routing instructions were a bit vague. The largest-diameter tubing included for some of the oil lines was packaged with so many folds that it was unusable.
The engine does not glue to the frame; it is held in by screws and nuts. The exhaust system is a multipiece unit that required a large amount of time and work to eliminate the seams.

The front and rear suspensions are engineered to be operational. The rear uses two working coilover shock units that build nicely and work flawlessly. I was a little disappointed that the chain and its sprockets do not turn when the rear tire is rotated.

The front forks are built up with a combination of plastic and metal parts that looked like they would be tricky to build, but were not.

The wheels are painted in the correct shade of gold, but the builder is required to add silver highlights for realism; I used a silver Sharpie and am happy with the results.

The rubber tires look as though somebody used a shrink ray on some 1:1 tires - they are that impressive to me.

Assembly was surprisingly hassle-free; I thought there would be at least one serious hangup, and I was happy to be proven wrong.

With the sheer number of parts, this kit is not for the beginning modeler, or even for the moderately experienced one. Lots of time, care and patience will be required to finish this kit - but the results are worth it.


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