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Ebbro Lotus/Ford 72C

RELATED TOPICS: 1/20
Lotus/Ford 72C
Ebbro No. EB-20-001
Model Type: Injection-molded styrene
Molded Colors: Red, gray, black
Scale: 1/20
MSRP: $59.95
Pros: Nice box art; good reference photos; well-done tires
Cons: Mold-release on parts; red plastic difficult to work with; instructions can be tricky
Ebbro is known mainly for its various lines of diecast cars, but the company has jumped into the 1/20 scale F1 market in a big way.

You’d never know this was Ebbro’s first plastic kit. The boxtop artwork is wonderful, along with several shots of the completed model to use for reference. Included is a full instruction sheet with parts breakdown drawings, and notes covering the build options. Also provided is a full-color pamphlet with more shots of the completed model and a few drawings of the 1:1 car racing.

One of the first things that caught my eye was the beautiful preprinted Firestone tires. The soft rubber tires are tampo-printed, with the full Firestone logos on each side.

It’s important to pick a race version right at the start and stick with it. I went with the German markings and wings.

My initial enthusiasm quickly faded as I started dealing with the red plastic that makes up the main body sections and wings. It’s hard, and I had a difficult time getting any sort of primer or sealer to cover it without bleedthrough.

Eventually I just went on to the red paint and hoped for the best after I sprayed the white. The decals provide either the lower white areas, or just the gold stripe that separates the colors. After spraying the red, masking and spraying the white, and a clear coat, the bleeding finally stopped.

The decals also include all the gold areas on the front nose. I used the decals, but next time I would choose to mask and paint this gold area.

Again, it’s important to follow the instructions to the letter, and make sure you follow the orientation shown for each part and how it relates to the others. A few times I thought I could figure it out on my own; I was wrong!

With the bodywork painted and decaled, assembly moves on to the front bulkhead and suspension. Everything goes together fairly smooth here. Keep an eye out for the two part numbers on the inner front suspension pieces that are mislabeled, as well as the shock orientation.  

The cockpit is pretty sparse. A simple seat insert, dash, steering wheel and shifter is pretty much it. Seatbelts are done by decal, but an aftermarket set would really add some visual interest.

The Ford engine is well done. Assembly goes smooth and without trouble here as well.

The rear suspension builds up easily, then the engine half can be connected to the monocoque through a tab on the tub, and a screw to hold them together.

The wheels are provided on the chrome tree, but I decided to spray them with Testor’s Dullcote to tone down the chrome. The final touches are to add the rear wing, install the tires, and mount the windscreen.

One other small issue I had with the plastic was it seemed to have some sort of mold-release on it. If parts were primed or painted without washing, the paint would pool and puddle up on me.

After I got past the initial problems, the kit was a joy to build. I wouldn’t say it was easy, but if you pay attention and use patience, it’s a really nice kit. I’m eager to see what they offer next.

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