It took me some time to get this one finished, and there were a few fit problems, but once it was finished, it did look like the real thing, some models just don't have a realistic look after there finished, but Tamiya have got this one just right.
The engine & gearbox build up very nicely with very good parts fit, and is a brilliant replica of the real thing, likewise the interior is very simple to build and goes together without any problems, the inner door panels need painting body colour around the edges and then the door cards themselves need painting to match the interior colour, for this I used Tamiya's own masking tape, which goes on very well, and doesn't let the paint creep under the tape like some other masking tapes do that I have used in the past,
The rear lamps also need a bit of thinking out before painting, the lamp housing and lenses are moulded as one, it would have been a lot easier if Tamiya had moulded these parts seperatley, the housing part will need to be painted body colour, then masked off to do the lens, these can be painted in clear red if modelling a U.S spec' Beetle, or red and amber if your building a Euro' spec car, due to the small size are a bit tricky to do, but look the part once painted.
The hardest part of the build for me was the chrome around the windows, Tamiya moulded these as parts of the clear window parts, very hard to do, there are two ways around this problem, mask off and paint, or do as I did, use Bare Metal Foil, not the easiest job I've ever done, but it did turn out more realistic than using silver paint.
As I've mentioned, there are a few parts fit problems, but nothing most modellers can fix, here's a list of parts that I had problems with, and how I got them to fit.
The '66 Beetle came with 2 lenses on each lamp, the inner one, and a glass fitted over the whole lamp, pretty much in the same was as the original Jaguar E Type had, the inner lenses fitted very well, a touch of clear 5 minute epoxy and they were in place, the outer lenses didn't want to fit, and needed a little sanding to get them to fit, you will also need to sand the openings in the wings to get the lamps themsleves to fit, for best results it is best to do this before the bodyshell is painted.
The mounting points for both bumpers are moulded as part of the bumper, but the mounting brackets need picking out in gloss black before fitting, but before you do this, you will need to take a little bit of plastic off them first, I got round the problem but dragging a sharp modelling knife blade over the part to take a fine amount off the parts, once painted they will fit really well, if you don't trim the plastic, they just won't fit.
I'm sorry to say, but these were the worst clear parts I have ever had to fit to a model, I really don't know what Tamiya were thinking of when they designed these parts, the rear window just didn't have a positive location to glue into, and there wasn't much of a lip to apply any glue, it also took sometime to get it to fit without leaving a gap either at the top or the bottom of the window, the front window, although like the rear didn't have much of a lip to apply the glue needed to fix it in, but it was a much better fit, and went in without much trouble, it's a shame I can't say that for the side windows, again, not much of a lip to apply any glue, and because the body has a slight curve in it, and the windows didn't it was time to get out the clamps.again like the rest of the build, once there in, they look the part, but it shouldn't be this hard to fix in the clear parts of the windows.
In comparison, small parts like the mirrors, door handles, boot and bonnet handles fitted really well, the wheels, although needed painting white then masking off to do the black centres, these were pretty easy to do, first by spraying the white, leaving to dry then brush painting the black, the side strips either need painting silver or done by using Bare metal foil, which is what I did, but the edges of these tend to get lost under a coat of paint, so it's probably best to re-scribe these if using auto lacquer paint as I did, so you have something to trim upto if going down the BMF route.
Overall this is a real nice model that once built, turns out to look like the real deal, but I wouldn't recommend it to a beginner, best to leave this one until you have a little bit more experience.
Tamiya Citroen 2cv
Since building this, Tamiya have re-released this model and should be easy to find on the shelf of your local model shop, scale is 1/24th and the model number is 89654.
The molding of Tamiya kits are first class, with no flash and the parts fit together without any problems, the body is a very good molding, but before being painted there's a few parts to fix on first, Tamiya mold the body, inner wings and wing tops as seperate parts, getting a good fit here before painting is most important, the wing tops fit without any problem, but there are small gaps between the joint between the inner wings and body, if your really picky, these should be filled before painting, but as the joint will be hidden when the bonnet is fitted, so I left the joint alone.
The engine & gearbox goes together very well, but unfortunately once fitted into the chassis and trying to line up the heat exchangers for the heater and the cooling fan, things just will not line up, which is real shame as the detail in the parts are first class, things get worse when you try to fit the headlamps as these have to be fitted to the top of the cooling fan, once this is fitted the bar that the headlamps are fitted to will not line up with the indent molded into the side of the bonnet.
Now we have come to the bonnet, things don't go too well here, the bonnet seems to be molded badly as it just won't fit tight against the front wings, it's not warped, just a bad molding and looking on the internet I haven't seen one of these kits that the bonnet fits noce and tight, and why Tamiya decided that the bonnet should be produced without a proper hinge fitted I don't know, as it has two small pins on the rear that fit into corresponding holes in the bulkhead.
One real nice part of this model kit is the chassis and the fact that the suspension actually works, I've never seen this on a model kit before, the later Revell offering hasn't got this option.
Like the Beetle kit, the windows are fitted from the outside of the body, the two front side windows had the metal trim done using aluminium Bare Metal foil, the front, rear and rear side windows were masked up using Tamiya masking tape and airbrushed using Tamiya semi gloss black (X-18), once the tape was removed, the trim looked very realistic, all windows were fixed into the body using clear 5 minute epoxy glue.