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Tamiya 1/24 scale Porsche 956

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RELATED TOPICS: AUTO
Kit: No 24309
Scale: 1/24
Manufacturer: Tamiya, from Tamiya America, 800-826-4922, www.tamiyausa.com
Price: $40
Comments: Injection-molded, 88 parts (4 rubber, 4 vinyl), decals
Pros: Cartograf decals; removable rear bodywork reveals fully detailed engine and drivetrain
Cons: A few minor sink marks and mold-separation lines
Issue Published: May 2009
Tamiya has added its full-detail Porsche 956 endurance racer to its line of recent reissues. Originally released in the mid-1980s, this version of the veteran Tamiya kit has markings for Richard Lloyd Racing's Canon-sponsored car, which finished second in the 1985 24 Hours of Le Mans.

It was an easy decision to build this 956 kit when it crossed my desk - I love endurance racing, and years ago when I worked as a photojournalist all of my gear was Canon.

Tamiya's kit arrives in off-white, silver, and clear styrene. In addition to the beautifully printed Cartograf decals, the kit also includes a set of self-adhesive masks for the side windows and windshield. The 17-step instruction book includes a detailed marking guide. Painting instructions are given in Tamiya paint codes.

Construction starts with the chassis and the mid-mounted six-cylinder engine. The model's rear bodywork can be removed to reveal everything behind the cockpit, including the engine, transaxle, turbochargers, and rear suspension. Adding some plumbing and wiring would really make this compartment come alive. Like its full-size counterpart, the model's cockpit is spartan. Seat belts are included on the decal sheet, but with the car's panoramic windshield, it's easy to tell they lack dimension. Replacing them with scratchbuilt or aftermarket belts would really improve things. Most of the car's livery is supplied on the decal sheet. I spray-painted the body with Tamiya's pure white (TS-26); the rest of the scheme and markings came from the decal sheet. The Cartograf decals were fantastic to work with and fit perfectly. I used a little setting solution here and there, but for the most part all of the markings pulled down over the car's compound curves. I painted a few impossible-to-decal areas, such as the rear undertray, using Tamiya bright red (TS-49). It matches the red on the decal sheet nicely.

I dipped the kit's clear parts in Pledge Future floor polish before installing them. The headlight covers and windshield fit particularly well; I attached them with white glue.

The finished model looks great, and it's nice to see some of Tamiya's older kits return to hobby-shop shelves. While it may not be up to state-of-the-art molding standards, the kit still builds into an impressive model straight from the box and makes a great starting point for modelers who want to add extra detail. Best of all, the fantastic Cartograf markings make decaling the model much easier. My next project is Tamiya's recently reissued Martini Porsche 935 Turbo, and I can't wait to see if other long out-of-production kits reappear.

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