Hasegawa 1/24 Honda F.1 RA272E ('65 US GP)

KIT #: 21265
PRICE: $39.95 MSRP
DECALS: One option
REVIEWER: Scott Van Aken
NOTES: 1996 issue


The Honda RA272 was a Formula One racing car used by the Honda team in the 1965 Formula One season.

A successor to the Honda RA271, the RA272 was noticeable mainly for its technically-advanced (though rather wide and heavy) 48-valve 1,495.28 cc V12 engine (58.1 x 47.0 mm), a water-cooled, transversely mounted unit which reportedly gave 230 bhp (170 kW) at 13,000 rpm. The engine was safe to 14,000 rpm, which was unusually high for a 1960s engine design. The Honda V12 had staggering acceleration and often led the race into the opening lap after leaving the stationary starting grid. It led the 1965 Mexican Grand Prix from start to finish, driven by Richie Ginther, making it the first Japanese car to win a Formula One Grand Prix.

In 2004, the RA272 was simulated in driveable form in the Grand Prix Legends racing simulation game, appearing in the freely-available '1965 Mod' expansion. The RA272 could also be seen in the Honda marketing film "The Impossible Dream".

The version that is represented in this kit is different from cars run at other races in 1965. It was not unusual for a car to appear different in shape or detail from one race to another as the sport was not as heavily regulated back then as it is today. One only had to meet general layout (single seat, open wheels),weight, and engine displacement requirements to be eligible. This kit is how the car appeared at the 1965 United States Grand Prix.


Though Hasegawa is not where one normally turns when it comes to car kits, they have a superlative reputation for producing highly detailed replicas and this Honda F-1 car is no exception. Where Hasegawa differs from Tamiya and some others is that this is in 1/24 scale; 1/20 being more of the 'norm' for these types of cars.

The kit itself is molded in black and white with the white bits being used for the body (for the most part). The detailing on the parts is all we have come to expect from Hasegawa with finely done parts that look to be a bit on the flimsy side as they are quite scale. The kit comes with vinyl/rubber tires. These cars were quite basic in terms of the driver's area and the suspension. These were not ground effects cars and even at this time, there was little in the way of aerodynamics. The 1.5 liter V-12 is superbly molded and even the suspension in the rear has metal springs. Most of the work on this kit will be in the engine/suspension area and Hasegawa's instruction sheet includes photos of these areas on the real car.

The kit provides decals for more than one car as this sheet is used for all the RA 272 boxings. Hasegawa has provided those bits and pieces that are germane to the Watkins Glen vehicle as these cars changed, often from race to race.  The markings are 'old school' so may react to settingsolutions. The markings themselves are superbly printed and offer both the correct numbers and names. The car itself is painted 'ivory white' and not a pure white which is why Gunze 156 is recommended for the body instead of Gunze 2. In order to differentiate this shade from the close German Silver used by the Porsche team at the time, the Hinomaru was adopted. Of course, this was back when cars were painted in national colors instead of festooned with corporate logos as is so common today.


If you are an F-1 fan and enjoy the older cars, then this is one you simply must have in your collection.



October 2009

Thanks to me for this one.

If you would like your product reviewed fairly and quickly, please contact me or see other details in the Note to Contributors.

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