LS 1/24 Chaparral 2C

KIT #: 2267
PRICE: $37.00 delivered
DECALS: One option
REVIEWER: Scott Van Aken
NOTES: Curbside

HISTORY

The Chaparral 2C is a sports prototype race car designed and developed by both Jim Hall and Hap Sharp, and built by American manufacturer Chaparral in October 1965, to compete in a few non-championship sports car races that same year.The 2C introduced the innovative in-car adjustable rear wing. The integrated spoiler-wing was designed to lie flat for low drag on the straights and tip-up under braking through the corners. The car's clutchless, semi-automatic transmission kept the driver's left foot free to operate the wing mechanism. The 2C was based on a Chevrolet-designed aluminum chassis and was a smaller car in every dimension than the 2B. Without the natural non-resonant damping of the fiberglass chassis, Hap Sharp nicknamed it the EBJ  "eyeball jiggler".

THE KIT
Initially released in 1967, the kit has been reissued a number of times, some of these including new parts to make the kit more accurate. This is the last LS release from the 1980s, though ARII, who bought the LS catalogue, reissued it in 2001. I bought this from a seller in Japan after a Facebook seller offered it at what I though was a ridiculous price. When I see things like that, I always research it to see if I can get it for less.

Though it is a kit from the late 60s, it is fairly accurate, or at least as accurate as a race car can be. In those days, the cars changed in detail from race to race. This one is how the car looked during the Nassau Trophy race of 1965. The car only entered four races and won one of them, the 200 mile event at Kent, Washington. It finished 21st at the Nassau race after having mechanical issues.

The kit provides a one piece body and one piece pan chassis. Some of the parts, most notably the body have a bit of flash and some fairly large mold seams, but nothing major. Each of the front wheels is held in place with a metal stub and the front wheels are designed to steer, while the rears have a metal axle. Four rubber/vinyl tires are included. The interior is quite minimal and not up to today's standards. A plate holds the vertical carbs with velocity stacks and that fits from the underside of the body. Rear spoiler has to be bent slightly to snap into the rear and there is no actuating rod. The body basically just snaps into place atop the chassis once all is done.

Instructions are nicely drawn and provide Gunze paint  references. All of the writing in the instructions is in Japanese, but this won't be an issue. The car is overall white with a black interior. Since there are no chrome bits, one will need to paint the wheels and intake bits with aluminum. Though it is old, the decal sheet looks to be still viable. Those who want to improve the look of the model might want to consider cutting away all the molded in screening and replacing it with actual screen material, but that is up to the builder. 
CONSTRUCTION

The first thing I did was to sand down and fill sections of the body that needed kit. I then attached the body mounting posts in the rear. It is obvious from the chassis that this was originally motorized or at least provided that option as there is a mount for the electric motor and holes on the underside for the switch and spur gear clearance. Could a slot car be made with this body? Yes indeed as there is plenty of room for all the appropriate components, though finding proper wheels with the 'spider' pattern might prove to be difficult. The kit also provides another chassis with built in interior and engine, though it is not shown as being used for this kit.

Though the kit seems to be pretty simple (and it is in terms of parts used), it has its issues. I found that the wheels were particularly fragile as the spider wheel insides can be easily deformed. I also discovered that the front axle stubs were far too long and so had to cut them with my Dremel. The exhausts will point down if installed as molded as the angle was not taken into consideration during tooling.

I also found that the injector piece, once built, was too large for the opening provided and so that had to be sanded larger to get it to fit. The clear pieces are not very clear and needed a fair amount of trimming in order to fit the openings. The steering wheel attachment point is too small to fit over the steering shaft so is a butt join.

Chaparrals are overall white so painting is fairly straight forward. I used Tamiya gloss white for this. The 2C has a lot of screen areas. I wasn't sure just how to treat those as leaving them white would make things too bland. Painting them black would be overkill so I painted these areas a light grey. I then drybrushed the screen detail white, however the molding in these areas is patchy at best with large areas just flat plastic with no detail. It may not be prototypical, but it does break up all that white.

Once painted, I applied the decals. Despite their age, they worked perfectly. At least most of them did. I was unable to salvage the tire markings. A gloss clear was then applied using Testors lacquer in a spray can. With that done, all the little bits and clear parts were permanently attached with some pieces being glued using either Cementine clear cement or E6000 in addition to standard glue. I then simply snapped the body onto the chassis and that was it.

CONCLUSIONS

I have always liked the Chaparral and while the 2C had a fairly short racing career compared to the earlier 2A, it was an important car in the evolution of the line. This kit is really a three footer as its lack of decent detail is readily apparent once one gets closer to the model. I'm sure it would make a great starting place for those who like to do scratchbuilding, but I simply wanted a fairly nice out of the box build and this does fill the bill.

REFERENCES

http://en.wikipedia.org

5 April 2024

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