Tamiya 1/20 Braun Tyrrell-Honda 020
|REVIEWER:||Scott Van Aken|
|NOTES:||Kit released in 1991|
The Tyrrell 020 was a Formula One racing car designed by Harvey Postlethwaite and George Ryton for Tyrrell Racing and raced during the 1991 Formula One season. The car was powered by the Honda V10 engine previously raced by McLaren in 1990. The 020 was driven by Satoru Nakajima who brought the Honda engine contract with him (in 80 F.1 races his best results were two 4th place finishes) and also by Stefano Modena (in 81 F.1 races, he finished on the podium two times). The car's best result was a second place by Modena in the Canadian Grand Prix. Tyrrell scored 12 points to finish 6th in the Constructors Championship.
Despite not being a very successful car, its design included the distinctive anhedral shaped front wing, which immediately became popular with other Formula One car builders. This wing design along with the raised nose section, allowed greater airflow under the chassis. This in turn provided greater down-force and allowed higher cornering speeds with a properly set up chassis.
Despite being one of Tamiya's earlier kits, this one is just as superbly molded as you'd expect from the premier F.1 car kit company. Undoubtedly to reduce painting requirements, this one is molded in black plastic with the body parts in a metallic dark grey, relying, for the most part, on decals for parts of the paint work that are white. I did find some sink areas on a few parts, including the body parts so that kind of abrogates the efforts to provide a ready to go body color.
As you'd expect, there is a full engine and fully developed suspension provided with the kit. Much painting in silver and semi-gloss black will be required and so this one of those 'paint as you go' sort of kits. Actually, that probably fits just about any car kit as I can't recall one where I painted things after building most of it, unlike an airplane. The kit does not include engine wiring , aftermarket being what you'd need for both of those. It does include nicely molded Pirelli tires and this also has dry transfer lettering to go on the tires.
The driver's seat includes a molded on harness which is quite nice. A decal is provided for the instrument panel as this is the era before the instruments were incorporated into the steering wheel. This was also before paddle shifters so a shift lever is part of the interior.
Decals are for the two cars, which differ in number only from the look of things. Though it doesn't state so in the instructions, car #3, which is shown in just about all the images on the box and instructions, was the car of Satoru Nakajima, which makes sense as this is, after all, a Japanese kit maker doing the car. Decals look to be well printed and I'm sure the white bits will darken when put on the gunmetal finish of the body. One would be tempted to paint the front wing white instead of using the decals for that, but it would just make that section brighter compared to the rest of the white markings. Not sure how setting solution will react with these. I've had some major decal disasters trying solutions on Tamiya decals, though the Mr. Mark Softener is supposedly specifically formulated for standard Japanese kit decals.
I am almost embarrassed to say that I've never built a Tamiya 1/20 F.1 car kit, even though they look to be very well designed. Perhaps this one will be my first as I just happen to already have a rattle can of the exterior color in my spray collection, having used it on a slot car with good results. Those who do have a fondness for F.1 cars, even those that were not terribly successful, will be pleased with this particular one.
Thanks to me for picking up this one.
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