Enter keywords or a search phrase below:

Tamiya Tyrrell 003 1971 Monaco GP

Tyrrell 003 1971 Monaco GP
Tamiya No. 12054
Model Type: Sidebar
Molded Colors: Injection-molded
Scale: 1/12
MSRP: $143.00
Pros: Good parts fit overall; engine detail; new nose fits well; no decal bleedthrough
Cons: Many parts need cleanup; mirror mounts are tricky
Tamiya reissued the original Tyrrell a few years ago, but this version has been unavailable until now. 

The original kit’s blunt nose has been replaced by one that is specific to the 003 model.

A new Cartograf decal sheet, with all the decals necessary to replicate the 1971 Monaco GP winner, and some photoetched details are the only other changes from the original 1973 release.

Assembly starts with the basic monocoque and front suspension.  Nearly all of the suspension components are chrome-plated; the plating is done well, but most of the parts have noticeable mold lines that will need some cleanup. 

Make special note to clean up the pins where the suspension arms connect, to be sure you won’t overstress the parts during assembly. 

Care must also be taken when gluing the ends to the upper and lower arms, to allow the uprights to snap into place.  Photoetched faces are provided to dress up the brake rotors and radiator. 

The interior features photoetched pedal faces and seatbelt hardware, and diecut printed seat belts. You will need to cut holes into the soft vinyl seat for the belts to pass through.

Another nice touch is self-adhesive trim rings for the instrument panel. Be sure the tubing for the gauges is tight to the instrument-panel mount, or they will interfere with the fit of the upper cowling. 

The locating lug on the bottom of the large reserve tank behind the seat is too long, and will need to be filed flush with the bottom of the cockpit.

The Ford DFV engine is a highlight. The multipiece block is a little tricky to put together and keep everything straight and square, but it makes for the base of a highly detailed replica of the era’s dominant engine. 

All of the auxiliary components, such as water and oil pumps, fuel injection, and ignition, are separate pieces. There are two sets of cam covers, so be sure to pick the correct ones. 

The exhaust headers are made up of individual pipes, and it’s a little tricky to get everything lined up. 

Tamiya had stopped motorizing the kits by the time this one was released, so the transaxle is not oversized, as it was in some of the early kits. 

As with the front, all of the rear suspension components are chrome- plated, and they suffer from the same maladies noted earlier. The same precautions also apply; some of the parts snap together snugly. 

Give credit to Tamiya’s engineering: even with the complexity and all of the separate components, the model still sits squarely on all for wheels when the engine is mated to the chassis.

The new nose fits together as you would expect for an all-new part from Tamiya. I had a little trouble with the fit of the upper cowling to the chassis, because of the gauge tubing. 

The mirror mounts are another tricky bit. Some sort of fixture would have helped, but at least with the new wire posts, you can tweak them a bit. 

The Cartograf decals worked flawlessly, and there was no bleed- through of the white.

I’m glad that Tamiya has seen fit to keep reissuing these kits for those of us who missed them the first time around. These big-scale kits pretty much set the standard for detail when new; and even now, some 40 years later, they still offer the builder pretty amazing replicas, straight from the box.


Read and share your comments on this article

Want to leave a comment?

Only registered members of are allowed to leave comments. Registration is FREE and only takes a couple minutes.

Login or Register now.


Build models better and faster with these tips.
By signing up you may also receive reader surveys and occasional special offers. We do not sell, rent or trade our email lists. View our privacy policy