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Hasegawa 1972 Suzuki GT380 B

Hasegawa No. 1505
Molded Colors: Black, light gray, clear, chrome
Scale: 1/12
MSRP: $59.99
Pros: Well molded, well placed sprue points on chrome parts, excellent fit
Cons: Weak mounting pins for tubing, errors in decal call-outs, Some decals not backed in white and can’t be seen once applied

This is a nice kit of a unique bike circa 1972, an air-cooled two-stroke triple that made 37 horsepower with a six-speed transmission.

Overall fit of the crisp parts is excellent, but there are many tiny pieces that need a little more cleanup than just where they attach to the runners. It’s easier to hand-paint the smaller parts and subassemblies as I went along rather than try to airbrush parts of like colors together.

A high percentage of chrome-plated parts in this kit hide a good portion of the sprue attachment points so touch-up is minimal. I kept a Tamiya Chrome Silver Paint Marker (X-11) handy.

The only options are the rearview mirrors. I opted for just one as that is what I preferred back when I rode. While not really an option, a great feature is having both the working center stand and kickstand.

The vibrant blue color on the tank and side panels is a nice finish. To make an approximate intense metallic blue I layered three Tamiya colors instead of mixing the recommended three Gunze Sangyo Mr. Color finishes. A base of Tamiya Brilliant Blue (TS-44) went first, followed immediately with a full coat of Mica Blue (TS-50). Both colors were decanted and airbrushed. The final layer was done with Clear Blue (TS-72).

The smaller parts were airbrushed, but the tank and side panels were shot straight from the can.

Having built other Hasegawa bikes, I removed most of the pins intended for attaching the vinyl tubing (cables and brake lines). I drilled out the locations with a pin-vise and No. 74 bit, then added longer sections of stretched sprue from the kit’s black runner.

The small pins often break off during assembly when it would be difficult to do much more than add a blob of cement to reattach them. This worked and was well worth the little extra effort. I wish I had done this procedure to all of them as most of the ones I thought would be OK ended up breaking before the model was even finished.

The lines for the carburetors look complex, but carefully following the instructions makes getting them all in the correct order and placement relatively easy.  I’m glad I put extra effort into replacing the pins that the vinyl tubing plugs onto on that assembly.

Tank badging and side panel decals are called out to be used on the corresponding molded chrome badges but it was easier to hand-paint those parts. Also, the decal number called out for the tank emblems is incorrect; at least the correct decals are provided and easy to figure out if someone wanted to use them. 

Extra decals are included for other badging, and a set for the tank and side panels that could be used in lieu of the molded chrome ones. Japanese numerals and characters are provided to customize your own license plate. Fine decals for the handlebar controls are red, but not backed in white and not visible when applied to black parts.

I was pleasantly surprised at how well this kit went together, excepting the predictably weak attachment points for the cables. But with the described work-around that was a non-issue for the most part.       


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