Heller 1/43 Porsche 962,  Red and Black Kenwood #10

KIT: Heller 1/43 Porsche 962,  Red and Black Kenwood #10
KIT #: 80109
PRICE: AUD $10.95 in the mid-1990s
DECALS: One option
REVIEWER: Graham Mison
NOTES: CPrevious kit modified with metal axles and vinyl tires

HISTORY

 The Porsche Motor sport division developed the 962 from the very successful 956 mainly to meet the crashworthiness standards of IMSA (International Motor Sports Association) with the new models first outing in 1984. The new 962 incorporated a revised front end with the wheelbase extended 12 cms to move the front axle line to in front of the drivers foot well to meet the IMSA safety rules, overall length remained the same. Main external difference centre around the area forward of the doors. The 956/962 combination had an extremely long and successful competition life with the first 956 hitting the track in 1982 and the 962 in late 1984. 956's won the Le Mans 24 hour event 4 years in a row from their debut in '82 to '85. 27 956s were produced by the factory

 962s won the French classic in '86, '87 and 1994 and many of the Motor sport worlds other endurance races and series of that time. Over its racing life the type was refined and developed by the factory and private racing teams with different engines, panels, wings and turbos etc. Of the over 148 cars produced, over 50 were built in workshops other than Porsche's. A number of private companies also produced road versions in the early 1990s.

THE KIT

 Heller's kit of the 962 was originally released in early 1988. Two boxing were marketed, kit 80187 included decals for the blue Kenwood sponsored #11 and kit 80188 with decals for the Danone sponsored #33 car. In the 1990s Heller modified the molds to replace the injection molded tyres and stub axles with vinyl tyres and metal axles, this brought it into line with the other Le Mans cars it had released in the same scale after the original 962 kit.

 Parts are loose in the tray style box, with the instruction sheet sandwiched between the main sprue and the body. This boxing has the clear parts in a plastic bag with the new tyres and axles.

 The total parts count is now 23, 14 in red with 3 clear, 4 vinyl and 2 metal. Parts breakdown sees a cockpit tub complete with front faces of the side mounted radiators and the 2 racing seats (the drivers seat is a separate part) attached to a single piece chassis. The axles are inserted through this and new style wheels and tyres added. The underside of the chassis has some molded detail but there is no front suspension and the rear units are integral with the chassis and look very crude.

 The one-piece body has mostly engraved detail for the doors and other panels, ducts and side exhaust etc. A separate rear wing is to be mounted onto a couple of rather thick and inaccurate stubs. Other remaining parts cover the radiator exits, steering wheel, mirrors, clear headlight covers and the windshield/side windows. The windshield has a single wiper arm/blade integrally molded and will be very difficult to paint.

 Once again I found only a hint of flash and that was on the chassis and only a couple of sink marks, which were on the back of the drivers seat and underneath the cockpit tub. The chassis also has some mold seams which will need taking care of. Some parts have wide and thick attachment points to the sprues and the body will need the remnant of its sprue removed with care

 With such a low parts count construction will be quite simple with only 2 stages on the A4 sized instruction sheet. This also includes painting details for individual parts, Heller paint numbers are used with a conversion chart to Humbrol paints on a second sheet. In this later release the reverse side of the instructions sheet shows a 5 view painting and decaling guide with the drawings in 1/43 scale.

 The decals look well printed with close examination showing up some colour misalignment on the driverís nationality flags.

 The chosen subject is the red and black #10 car out of the Porsche Kremer Racing workshop driven by Kunimitsu Takahashi, Giovanni Lavaggi and Bruno Giacomelli from the 1989 Le Mans 24 hours. This car started 14th but did not finish due to a fire on its 304th lap. A video of this can be seen on U tube. Perhaps an idea there for an after the fire diorama?

 An image of this car was found on the web and some differences are noticeable between it and the supplied parts and decals. The biggest is the wheels, it seems that #10 ran in 1989 with the wheel types supplied in the original Heller kits. The majority of Heller decal placement guide is correct, however it seems the drivers names should be located under the rear edge of the windshield. 

CONCLUSIONS

 This is one kit I would like to see Heller reissue again.

REFERENCES

www.racingsportscars.com/photo.html - Images from many Sports Car races including the 1989 Le Mans.

 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Porsche_962 - Information on the 962.

Graham Mison

June 2008

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