|KIT:||Marsh Models 1/43 McLaren Mk. 8B (Laguna Seca 1969)|
|KIT #:||MM 42|
|REVIEWER:||Scott Van Aken|
|NOTES:||Multimedia kit with resin body|
Set your semi-wayback machine to 1969. This was the year when 'the wing' was fully in force. First seen on the Chaparral 2E of 1966, once 'movable aerodynamic appendages' were banned by the sports directors at FIA (French, you know), then fixed ones started appearing with great regularity. These wings produced a prodigious amount of downforce and allowed much higher cornering speeds. They appeared just about everywhere and are still with us to some degree in today's racing, though not as high in the air as they once were.
McLaren Cars were not slow to catch on to this and after doing very well with their M6 series and the first year with the M8A, the M8B was introduced with this tall wing. These wing supports were attached directly to the rear suspension members, often causing suspension collapse on those cars that were not designed to handle the additional stresses. As you can expect, just like in the previous years, these cars pretty well dominated the Can-Am series. In fact, by 1969 Team McLaren and Can Am had become known as the ‘Bruce and Denny show’ after their main drivers, Bruce McLaren and Denny Hulme. The series had expanded to 11 races, and Team McLaren won every race. Denny scored five victories and Bruce scored six and collected the championship silverware. This was the middle of their five year dominance of the series and many contend that it was this dominance that doomed the series when it basically fizzled out in 1972.
This kit has a resin body and all the rest of the parts are metal of some sort aside from the vacformed windscreen and plastic tires. The resin body is well cast with no air pocket and only some gunk on the bottom to remove so that the metal chassis plate will fit properly. This plate and several of the various bits are made from cast metal. This includes the seat, instrument panel, engine/transmission block and the downdraft carburetors.
Most of the interior itself is photo-etch as are the various spoilers and some other bits and pieces. The wheels and velocity stacks for the carbs are machined aluminum. Exhaust are cast as are the wheel inserts and the steering wheel. Thankfully, this kit has a solid steering wheel so no sweat on putting an etched insert into a cast wheel rim. Tires are a somewhat hard plastic. You'll find some parts not used on the photo-etch sheet as there is great commonality between this and the McLaren M8A kit.
The instructions are a single sheet with one side showing photos of the completed kit (though not the back view). The other side has a parts listing with a paint chip, and an exploded view showing where everything goes. There are markings for three cars, that of Bruce McLaren, Denny Hulme and Chris Amon. Apparently the original numbers were undersized and larger ones are on an additional sheet. I've had good luck with Marsh Models decals, but you must keep them away from setting solutions as in my experience, they tend to permanently wrinkle. The decal also includes the tire markings. A very nice touch is the inclusion of two windscreens, one in clear and one in tinted vac plastic.
I've enjoyed every Marsh kit I've built and I know you will as well. The most difficult part is really cleaning the cast metal bits and getting a good paint job. Mine always end up seeming a bit scruffy. This will add one more great 60's sports racer to your collection.
Thanks to me and my budget for this one. Image courtesy of www.bruce-mclaren.com
March 2007 If you would like your product reviewed fairly and quickly by a
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If you would like your product reviewed fairly and quickly by a site that has over 350,000 visitors a month, please contact me or see other details in the Note to Contributors.
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