Hasegawa 1/24 Ferrari 250 Testa Rossa '1958 LM'

KIT #: 20242
DECALS: Five options
REVIEWER: Scott Van Aken
NOTES: Includes a large etched fret


The Ferrari TR, or 250 Testa Rossa, is a race car model built by Ferrari in the 1950's and 1960's. These cars dominated their arenas, with variations winning the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1958, 1960, and 1961. They were closely related to the rest of the Ferrari 250 line, especially the legendary 250 GTO.

In all, 34 250 Testa Rossas were built, from 1956 through 1961. The phrase "Testa Rossa" means "redhead." The most well known, the 250TR, was produced from 1957 to 1958; only 2 factory cars and 19 customer cars were built. After the 250 GTO, the 250 Testa Rossa is the second most valuable Ferrari model, often valued at more than US$8,000,000.

Named for the red valve covers, the original 250 TR had unorthodox bodywork by Scaglietti. The front fenders are visually separated from the central "nacelle" body, a design inspired Formula One racers, with air ducting across the front brakes and out through the open area behind the wheels, this model is often called the "Pontoon" TR. Olivier Gendebien and Phil Hill won the 24 Hours of Le Mans with this car in 1958.

Ferrari used to provide a number designation for all its cars based on the capacity of a single piston. So the 250 Testa Rossa was 250 cc times 12 cylinders for a displacement of 3 liters. Often the only way to distinguish between different cars using the same engine was by the letters or name following the numerical designation.


 Hasegawa is not one of a names most car builders dredge up when considering kits. However, Hasegawa has produced a number of very nice kits (and a few that are best forgotten) over the years. Their newer items are as nice as anything made by the others in the field and better than most.

This particular kit consists of 140 parts molded on sprues of black, white and clear plastic. One sprue is chrome plated, though modelers wishing to remove the molding seams on some parts will need to repaint them. Alclad II Chrome is an excellent choice in this regard as it not only has great shine, but is also not so brilliant as to appear toy-like. The wire wheel representations are especially noteworthy in how well they are molded. The kit also includes four very nicely molded rubber tires. The body parts are all molded in white to assist as a background for paint. There is also a large etched fret that is used to replace some of the stock bits. A separate set of instructions just for the etched pieces is included.

The kit is not a curbside and comes with a complete engine, transmission and drive line. The molding on the parts is superb. Hasegawa seems to have gone to lengths to keep those pesky ejector pin marks from being a problem. From what I can see, any that are extant will be covered by other parts or invisible after construction. The kit also provides the ability to display the hood open and has steerable front wheels.

These cars were generally of a tube frame construction. Hasegawa has duplicated that framework in the engine and passenger compartment. There are not many options, but some are available. As this is a racer, as compared to the initial release which was mostly a passenger car, there's some hole filling and others that need opened. This kit includes racing belts and an extra set of driving lights for the nose section.

Instructions are well done, as we have come to expect from Hasegawa. They are mostly in Japanese with some English explanations scattered about. Gunze paints are provided for reference, but should not be a hindrance for those who cannot find them. There is a rather large decal sheet that provides markings for five racing cars, four of them from the 1958 Le Mans Race. This includes the white and blue box art car as well as two in mostly yellow, and one in mostly blue. A fifth option is an off-white car with German flag stripes as raced in Buenos Aires during early 1958. If you want the 1958 LeMans race winner, you need the initial release. These decals are provided for the instruments and for the seat belts as well. Decals are the new type from Hasegawa so should work just fine with standard setting solutions.


Another great racing car kit from Hasegawa. I do hope this is the start of some sort of trend as I'm a big fan of racers and there are other equally famous marquees that would make superb kit subjects.



April 2009

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