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Tamiya Honda RC166

Tamiya Honda RC166
Honda RC166
Tamiya No. 14113
Model Type: Injection-molded styrene
Molded Colors: White, black, gray
Scale: 1/12
MSRP: $86.00
Pros: Excellent molding and fit of parts
Cons: Little margin for error because of parts fit; upgrades add considerably to cost
Tamiya recently released another all-new kit in its line of excellent 1/12 scale Grand Prix bikes. Unlike the modern machines they usually focus on, this time it’s a vintage bike of the record-breaking Honda RC166 bike from 1966.

The kit consists of the normal parts breakdown that you’d expect from Tamiya: plastic parts are on white, black, chrome, and dark gray sprues.

Also included is a small fret of photoetched metal for some smaller details; black and clear rubber hose; and the usual hardware.

You also get a few new items, similar to Tamiya’s new 1/32 Spitfire kit: a set of magnets to hold body panels together; and a sprue of a semisoft black vinyl for the seat pad, grips, and other small bits.

An excellent decal sheet is included for the #16 bike, and of course, instructions, along with a color pamphlet with reference photos.
There are also four separately available upgrade kits for this kit: a wheel set with aluminum outer rings and individual spokes; a fork and clutch set; a rivet set for simulating the body fasteners; and a complex chain set that will build into a functional chain. For my review build I used just the wheel set and the fork/clutch set.

Construction begins with the fabulous rendition of the six-cylinder DOHC 24- valve engine. The cooling fins are reproduced in amazing detail by slowly building them up, layer by layer.

The entire engine and gearbox is an amazing piece of engineering. The details are crisp and well-molded, but still build up with ease. The six exhaust pipes are each built from two parts, and will require some cleanup – but they still look nice when they are installed.

The kit comes with separately molded wheel rings and spoke halves on a chrome-plated sprue, to be built up to make the bike’s spoked wheels. Although the kit parts are perfectly acceptable, the upgraded wheel set is really a great improvement.

Set aside plenty of free time, with no distractions, to build these up. The design is fantastic, but care must be taken to follow the supplied instructions to the letter. An Opti-visor might also be handy when it comes time to add the spokes and nipples as they get laced together. I spent nearly two hours per wheel assembly. After you get a routine going, things get a lot easier.
Tamiya Honda RC166
The rest of the kit goes together very well. The tolerances are very tight, and did cause me a bit of frustration a few times, but that is to be expected when things are engineered with such a small window for error.

All in all, this is probably one of the finest kits I’ve ever built as far as fit of parts and crispness of molding. And with the real spoked wheels, it looks  just stunning in person. The option to add separately available upgrades at the builder’s desecration just makes it that much better.

Highly recommended.


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