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Tamiya Kawasaki Ninja H2R

Kawasaki Ninja H2R
Tamiya No. 14131
Model Type: Injection-molded
Molded Colors: white, gray, black, clear
Scale: 1/12
MSRP: $55.00
Pros: Typical Tamiya fit and finish
Cons: Green wheel decal stripes tricky to apply
The Kawasaki Ninja H2R is a 300+ horsepower track-only monster! It’s fitting that Tamiya just released a 1/12 scale model of this soon-to-be-legendary rocket.

The kit has typical Tamiya precision fit and finish, with a real spring for the rear shock and various screws to hold most major parts together. The parts are molded in white, gray, and black plastic with suggested colors called out during assembly. A well-printed decal sheet is included as well as a metal transfer sheet for Kawasaki and rivermark logos.

The engine went together flawlessly, with hidden seams that did not require elimination. The mold detail on the engine is second to none, and looks perfect. I painted the engine with Alclad Dark Aluminum, based on reference photos.

The tubular frame also showed no visible seams, based on the way it was designed. The frame is painted a special metallic Kawasaki green, which is distinctive to the H2R. Tamiya suggests a mix of Park Green X-28 and Chrome silver X-11 in a 5:1 ratio. I used Gravity Colors Skoda Rally Green; it matched the kit’s green decal stripes for the cowlings and wheels.

The rear swing arm, chain, and rear tire were next. These were painted Semi- flat black TS-29. The green wheel decal stripes are a little tricky to apply; there are two per side that need to be lined up correctly to look like one stripe. The silver spokes on the wheels were also a bit tricky to paint.

The exhaust has high-quality plating, and the seams are nonexistent, which allowed the chrome to remain on the parts. To simulate heat-staining, I strongly suggest the Alclad sepia, violet, and blue Hot Metal paints.

I hope Tamiya will make a front fork kit in its detail-up series for this bike. The kit assembly builds up just fine, though.

The brake rotors are one-piece units, so detail-painting will be a bit tricky for those builders who like to airbrush or spray the rotor and hub units.

The front fender snaps into place, and the front wheel and tire are held on by a long machine screw. Vinyl tubing is supplied in the kit for all the clutch, brake, and fuel lines and the instructions make it very clear when to apply them.

The front body cowl on the 1:1 bike is made of carbon fiber that is finished in a smooth gloss clear. Tamiya does not supply any carbon-fiber decal to replicate this part of the bike.

In fact, there are no carbon decals in the kit, and the 1:1 bike has a lot of it.

I simulated the carbon look using the “women’s pantyhose” trick, where you stretch a piece of hose over the part painted in black and shoot a gunmetal paint through the weaves to create a carbon pattern.

The rest of the panels and tank on the 1:1 bike are painted in a multistep black chrome paint process. I simulated this by painting all parts in a high gloss black. Then

I dusted on Spaz Stix chrome paint through my airbrush – not letting it build up to full chrome. It worked out quite nicely.
Tamiya suggested painting all the body parts in TS-40 Metallic Black, which would look acceptable as well, but not accurate to the 1:1 version.  

Adding carbon detailing with paint, as I did, or additional decals and the proper black chrome finish makes this kit a beautiful masterpiece. I expect to see a lot of mind-blowing builds using this kit in the near future. Highly recommended!


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