Tamiya 1/12 Honda CB 750F

Kit# 14006

Cost: $9-$11

Having gone thru a spurt of Naval aircraft models recently, I was ready for a change of pace (gull gray isn't the most colorful color to work with, ya know?). This little crotch-rocket did just the thing for me. This was the first Tamiya 1/12th scale m/c I'd ever tried and I have to say, it was a blast.

I decided to build her straight from the box, w/ a custom color scheme. I was going to convert it to a drag bike, but couldn't come up with a decent looking rear slick (you'd think that Tamiya would put out a drag bike. They have every other kind of racing m/c...cafe, motorcross, etc., but no dragsters, at least none that I've been able to find). Real rubber tires are provided, along w/ fuel, brake and spark plug lines. The only flash-problem areas on this kit was on the wheels, adjacent to the spokes and valve-stems. A nice tree of chrome parts is included, and you'll at first be really impressed w/ how good the chrome exhaust pipes look. That will change the moment you put the pipes (which come in 9 pieces) together. All kinds of seams show up and trying to sand them down obviously wastes that great chrome-finish. I put the mufflers together first, w/ sanded smooth seams, then spot-attached the whole assembly on the frame and engine. Carefully remove the whole thing, and then you can use whatever you want to fill the seams and give them the proper welded look (I used a combination of Squadron White Putty and dabs of zap-gap wherever needed). Once finished, I sprayed them w/ several coats of automotive spray-on chrome paint, and was more than happy with the results. If you wanted to, you could do it w/ metal buffing paints and it would look much better (i.e. chrome blue-tinted from heat like real chrome exhaust pipes).

The wheels (which are not chromed) got the same paint as the exhaust system, only I put on a wash of dark metallic gray on the outer edge of the rim to take down the glare, as I only wanted the crank case to have a true chromed-finish. The handle bars and instrument cluster go together well, and are "alignment-problem" free, thankfully. Take care w/ the rearview mirrors...I snapped one off and it was torture getting it back on at the proper angle! The only problem I had w/ the body is that the seat wouldn't sit flush.

There are decals for three different factory Honda CB 750's. Each the same style, just a different color pattern. I went with Boyds Kustom Kar colors, gloss white and plum crazy. I couldn't get the bottle variety thinned out properly with the airbrush though, so I used Boyds spray-can paints in the same colors. Eventually, I may add something else to the tank, but for now I like it plain gloss white. In my opinion, this model screams for an individual paint job, but the factory one-tone w/ decals looks fine also. The only thing I didn't do that I wish I had was to fix the headlight where the clear lens attaches to the bowl. The attaching pins on the lens don't nearly fill the holes in the bowl, leaving obvious gaps that are clearly seen thru the lens.

Everything else about it was easy as pie and went together very quickly...you shouldn't have any problems finishing one of these in a weeks time (painting time and reattaching broken-mirror time included).

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