FDS 1/43 Cooper F.1 (1959)

Kit Number: 27

Price: $15.00  when new in the late 1980s.

Media: White Metal and rubber

Decals: None

Reviewer: Scott Van Aken

Date of Review: 28 August 1997

The Cooper F.1 of 1959 was one of the world's first successful rear-engined post-war Formula One cars.  It won races at several venues including the Monaco Grand Prix.  It was powered by a Cooper-Climax four cylinder engine of 2.5 liters unsupercharged.

The FDS kit is made of about 15 parts in white metal and 4 rubber tires.  Assembly is quite straight forward on this kit and it can be completed in just a few days.  The first step is to clean the white metal parts in hot soapy water and then to remove any mold lines.  After that, the parts are rubbed down with 00000 steel wool. Any pits and imperfections are filled with putty and then sanded. Floquil's metal primer was then used to ensure all imperfections were filled.  

There is some detail in the interior, but not much.  As it typical with FDS kits, one can see from the interior to the outside. The interior parts consist of a gear shift, seat and steering wheel.  The instrument panel is part of the body molding. The interior was painted black, the gearshift silver and the seat a leather color. The suspension members are for the front and rear on which the wheels and tires fit.  These were painted aluminum and glued to the floorpan.  I used superglue throughout construction. The wheels were painted gloss black and glued to the suspension. The tires were simply 'snapped' onto the wheels.

The body was painted British Racing Green with white stripes and glued onto the floor pan.  The only other items to add were the racing mirrors (left in their natural metal), exhaust pipe, and windscreen.  The wind screen was cut from a piece of clear plastic from the spares bin and epoxied in place. Fuel filler caps and engine cover fasteners were highlighted with bare metal foil. Decals were scrounged from an old slot-car decals sheet.

In all a very satisfying and heavy little kit.  The photo is about twice the size of the actual model.  I know most 1/43 kits today are in resin, but I like the metal kits and have several more awaiting construction. The Cooper is simple enough for the beginner and a nice break for the more experienced.

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