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Tamiya Mazda Miata NA


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Last year I built a Revell Miata, and made the resolution that I’d build another a year on to see how I’ve improved as a modeller...and it’s nearing the end of the year so I thought I’d better get going on this year’s box-stock skills-test and see if I’m any better than I was a year ago ?

This is last year’s build - it was ok...some fit and assembly issues on the Revell kit that I’d know how to handle better when I try this kit again, but I decided to take on the Tamiya kit of the same car this year and see how that goes:


The Revell kit is full detail, which the Tamiya isn’t so it’s not a COMPLETELY fair comparison...but also they’re both Miatas and I’d like a nicer Miata build to put in my display case so I’m going with it ?.  Will keep (mostly) box stock and concentrate on how my prep, paint and assembly chops have improved since I did the last one.

Picked up a can of GM red for the body...a lot of 1:1 Miata owners use this as an easier-to-find alternative to the Mazda Classic Red these cars came in from the factory for touch ups and whatnot...they’re INCREDIBLY close to being the same color, and close enough for the girls I go with...


The body needed some massaging and smoothing out before I could get to the primer stage...some bigger mould lines and imperfections that we’re used to with modern Tamiya kits, but this one was issued 30 years ago so it’s not too bad considering...


All smoothed out, and some panel-line excavation later...


The mirrors for this kit are on one of the black parts trees, so you’ll need to hit those with a coupla three coats of a lighter primer so they match the body...


All set and in white primer to help that bright red pop nicely:


I let this shrink up overnight and touched up any little imperfections that I’d missed before laying down the color itself...crept up on it with mist coats so as not to risk any wrinkling of the plastic:


The original Miatas were a single stage paintjob, but they later switched to having a two-stage with a clearcoat, so seeing as this particular brand of paint needs clear anyway I guess I’m replicating that kind...so next up was some nice glossy clear:



Already looks better than last year’s ?

More soon, soon as I’ve done more!

Edited by CabDriver
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Thanks fellas!  

13 hours ago, slusher said:

Very nice red paint. There was a burgundy one here in town that I recall seeing often. 

I like the metallic burgundy they did later on, on these - that’s on my to-build list!


Meanwhile, I prepped a BUNCH of parts today, and got base colors on everything ready for primer.  I’ve been referencing @Italianhorses’s recent build of this same kit, and he’s smart enough to paint a bunch of the same colored parts all at once, as I’m sure a bunch of you are.  So, I figured I’d do some smart building for once here and not prep and prime and paint every individual part one by one like I normally do.  Not sure why I’ve always done that, but hey ho ?‍♂️?


Did a little detail painting on the engine...I don’t really enjoy curbside kits because of the inherent soft detail that you get stuck with out of the box...but I’m intentionally building this one out of the box so I’m running with it:


I already know that I rarely if ever turn my builds over, so I’m not sure why I care what’s under there, but I’d feel like I’m cheating if I didn’t make SOME effort anyway,  so I used some Silly Putty for the more tricky masking around the engine and shot some metalizer colors on the block and trans just to add a little visual interest here, then added a black wash and some light drybrushing.

Oh, and while I was at it, added some detail paint and a wash to the brake discs and calipers:


See - I learned to batch paint parts, for efficiency ?

More soon, soon as I’ve done more!

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On 11/16/2020 at 9:05 PM, Bainford said:

Nice work so far. The Miata looks great in red.

Thank you!  It’s funny, blue is my go-to color for any 1:1 I’ve ever bought...but I don’t like the blue Miatas as much as the red ones.  They look cool in red!

On 11/16/2020 at 10:12 PM, Italianhorses said:

Great start!

Thank you sir! 

On 11/17/2020 at 12:38 AM, slusher said:

I. Like that burgundy, glad your building one...

Eventually anyway... ?

On 11/17/2020 at 1:23 PM, kelson said:

Looks good so far,is this version the Eunos roadster that comes with the hardtop?

Yes sir!  It comes with a clear plastic hardtop so you can mask the window and paint the rest.  The fit looked a little hokey on the one in my kit though, so I’m going to go with the top-down option this time around I think...

Tiny bit of progress - got all the underside stuff done - used some washes and watercolor pencils to add a little interest to the exhaust but nothing too major...



And this weekend’s project is the interior.  Just shot all the plastic bits (as in, what would be plastic in the 1:1 - I realize the whole kit’s plastic ?) in Tamiya NATO Black this evening:


This grey is actually a little light compared to the 1:1 (although some semigloss clear darkened it up some after this photo was taken)...but I’d like to be able to pick out some of that nice detail on the dash with a black wash and make it stand out a little better.

Did the opposite on the door panels - the detail is a little flat so I shot those with a darker shade to kinda hide them...trying to use some tricks to draw the eye to the interesting and well-detailed parts more, and away from the less well done stuff in the kit.  We’ll see how it works when it goes together...more soon!

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More good progress there, your level of detailing looks just right to me.

I don't know what the word for it is, but that link member between gearbox and rear axle isn't something I realised they had, similar to some Corvettes?

I think you're right about the blue colour. I had this 1:1 on my driveway a few years ago, when I was storing it for a friend:


1991 Mazda MX5 by Spottedlaurel, on Flickr

Not so dissimilar to that Ford tractor blue you recently used on the Model T?!

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  • 3 weeks later...
On 11/21/2020 at 12:40 AM, Spottedlaurel said:

don't know what the word for it is, but that link member between gearbox and rear axle isn't something I realised they had, similar to some Corvettes?

Yeah, the aluminum brace!  They still have a version of that on the current model too, I believe.  Guess it stops too much flex and twist in the frame and body.

On 11/21/2020 at 12:40 AM, Spottedlaurel said:

Not so dissimilar to that Ford tractor blue you recently used on the Model T?!

Haha!  It is pretty close! ?

On 12/6/2020 at 4:17 PM, Dann Tier said:

Love all that weathering, Bud!!!!

Thanks Dann!


A little more progress today, after letting the enamel gloss harden up - polishing day!


Got the clear fairly smooth and glossy from the get-go, but not to the standard I was happy with:


After polishing cloths but before polishing compounds - time for some Novus!


And some elbow-grease later...


As usual when I’m polishing, I’ll let it sit overnight and give it some more attention tomorrow with fresh eyes (and daylight) - but it’s looking ok I think!  More soon!


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15 hours ago, CabDriver said:

Yeah, the aluminum brace!  They still have a version of that on the current model too, I believe.  Guess it stops too much flex and twist in the frame and body.

It’s a power plant frame. It connects the drivetrain engine/transmission to the differential. There is no transmission mount on a Miata, so the PPF connects the engine/transmission/differential. You can lift the body off the engine,PPF, diff - maybe weld on a seat for a cool body-less car!

Your paint looks great! I love Miatas. 


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9 hours ago, Italianhorses said:

Its like A-B-C, really :)

Mazda is known for this. They did a similar thing with their RX-7.

Only enthusiasts would know the factory nomenclature.  It's like engines, been finding aftermarket resin engines, just because articles or videos have the owners say they put a JZWTH123 in it, so I look for it and find out they came in a common car.

I built this kit, but think it would be a WTH version.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I loved your version Kurt!  That was a cool build!

A little more on this one...

Got the interior together - it’s not super inspiring in factory stock trim but I added a metal shift knob for my own amusement...


Painted the marker lights with SpazStix and then Createx candy orange and red (for front and rear, respectively)


Got the glass in place and the body, interior and frame mated:


And got the remaining few little bits in place and it’s about a wrap!


A couple of little touch-ups to do before this one’s under glass, but it was a fun little box stock build...and I got better since last year’s effort (the car at the back here:)


Hope I can make similar progress in the next 12 months!

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