|KIT:||Renaissance 1/43 Riley and Scott Mk III|
|PRICE:||around $50.00 on sale|
|REVIEWER:||Scott Van Aken|
|NOTES:||Resin multimedia kit with tons of bits.|
While the Internet provides a lot of links when this subject is put into the various search engines, not one of them provided what I was seeking in terms of a background history. I'll just say that when the American Le Mans Series was started back in the mid 1990s, it was an attempt to bring IMSA racing back to the popularity it had back in the old days of the IMSA GT championship. This series was eventually dominated by Dan Gurney's Toyota team and as so often happens in situations like this, a dominant team saw a general reduction in both entrants and crowds.
The American Le Mans Series (ALMS) was developed to replace this with cars that would be eligible to race in various prototype and production classes at Europe's most popular event, the Le Mans 24 hour endurance race. Two of the events on the European endurance calendar are held in the US at Daytona and Sebring early in the year, and the ALMS was to be part of this. Later, when the European series returned to the Continent, the American portion would continue in the US, replacing the old Camel GT championship.
Both closed and open racers are eligible and run in several classes, depending on engine size and how close they are to production standards. The top of the line are the Sports Prototypes and the Riley and Scott Mk. III is one of the more successful open cars in the series. Sort of like a Can Am car of the late 1960s, these are barely 2 seat racers with the alleged ability to run on the street, but only in terms of having lights and enclosed wheels. Powered by a variety of engines from turbocharged 4 cylinders to 5 liter pushrod V-8s, these cars are still racing with some success as the chassis and bodies are constantly being improved and altered as the requirements and rules allow.
This particular model is one of the cars raced by Dyson Racing in 1995 and 1996, when the marque was just becoming successful in the series that has recently been somewhat dominated by the Audi team.
I ordered this kit because it was on sale. Yes, not the best reason, but one that seemed right at the time. I've not been into 1/43 for that long and this was a company I'd not heard of before. I had assumed it to be line Provence Moulage, a company I was familiar with and thought did fine models. Opening the box I was surprised by a myriad of small bags, a rather thick set of instructions, and a lot of flashy resin bits along with the usual folded decal sheet.
Upon closer inspection, I found the molding to be first rate, despite all the flash and rather large sprue attachment points that I found on the larger bits. Four soft rubber tires, machined wheels and bronze axles (which will undoubtedly need trimmed) comprise the road bits. Five quality etched frets, three of them for the wheels, are part and parcel of the detail. A brass chassis plate is also included. There was a small bag of teeny bits for exhaust, wheel nuts and a body mounting screws. A section of wire is also included. Two vacuformed pieces for the windscreen and air intakes and headlight covers is well formed, but without any demarcation lines to help in trimming. Three other large resin pieces for the cockpit and rear underside are just as superbly molded as is the body. Finally, what looks like a piece of screen for the radiator intake, and a cast metal shift run round out all the hardware.
Instructions are quite comprehensive and are in both English and French. A comprehensive list of parts is provided, including the color of each of them. Several sets of exploded views are provided to help with assembly. There is also a written construction sequence for each of the exploded views and a generic one for the kit in general. The decal sheet is well done and provides markings for two cars, including the 1996 Daytona 24 Hours car.
While it doesn't look like the easiest kit of this type around, it does have all the right parts to make an outstanding representation of this important racer.
My fading memory and watching a lot of races on TV!
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