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1/12 Tamiya Lotus 49B - 1st Edition Motorised!

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Following on from my recently completed Lotus JPS Mk3 build I thought I’d pull out my very beaten up box purchase from last year.  


The box is falling apart, and it has no manual so this will be fun.  I did grab a copy of the manual, but it’s for the later non-motorised version.

Oh we’ll make it up as we go!


Doesn't look good in there!


So many loose parts!  But nothing loose in the box so hopefully the bags have caught it all!


Step 1.  Glue the snapped piece together!

I’m also experimenting with time-lapsing this build.




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Progress has been continuing.

Once the split chassis had cured together I ran a bead of thin cement over it and gave a jiggle in the hope that any small gap sections would draw in the cement and meld together.71AF93D4-74FB-4B43-8606-26D79B5706B3.jpeg.5668aef1645080368fe194e2da8249a7.jpeg

Then after that was sanded off a skim of putty applied.


More sanding and it looks and feels really good.  Priming will be the real test.



The rear bulkhead had a couple of ejector marks filled and had been sanded flat.


Front bulkhead ejector pin marks and some roughness from the mould has been filled and sanded.  


The opposite chassis side had a small sink that matched the filled sink on the other side.  So this got filled.  
I’m less concerned about the underside as there’s a batter door in there too!



The two halves and their insert pieces could be glued.  The bulkheads used to hold the shape but not being glued in yet.

Ducts glued into the nose cone.  A sink/deformation across the tip was also sanded out.5901F74C-DEFD-4BCF-B522-D94D7A875F25.jpeg.11d05441790a6e8e79fe720487ab3f4f.jpeg

A little filler to help integrate the finish of the ducts


Sanded to the bits that count.

Test fit of the cockpit inner.

Edited by AaronM
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I’m persisting with the Time Lapsing.  

It’s intriguing to me how much time I spend handling parts feeling for edges and rough bits.  Admittedly this build is being done to a better standard again than my previous ones.  Much more deliberate progress, I guess the low part count and simplicity mean poor attention to detail will stand out!

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I’m starting to get a better grasp of just how much more effort I’m putting into this build.  I think because the kit is a touch over 50 years old and because it was broken up so badly in its box I want to make it right.

Every time I need a small part I have to tip out the loose parts tub.  Right now I was doing this to find the parts that make up the motorised function.  It’s not covered in the instructions I downloaded so this is pure guesswork!


There’s two parts on this sprue B that aren’t in the diagrams in the instructions.  And they form the switch!

Thankfully that process of elimination and good luck means I have a switch!


Working out the switch construction was another problem to overcome.


The end contacts of the battery box are attached to the front bulkhead. Note to self: glue that thing in good!


Switch pokes through the odd shaped cutout in the floor.  Now that I know how the switch goes I get to do a better job in that seam :)


Also have to work out the motor and gearbox assembly process.  I decided to build from the gearbox as the casing has pins that located on the mechanical system.  Then I’ll build the motor around the motor!


Bulkheads are painted in a grey.  This was pretty common in the era, with steel and alloy substructures painted in a  heavy grey gloss.  I presume they would wipe a dye over periodically and any cracking would show up.  

the same grey is used on the inner cockpit.  Some instructions/guides say black, others Aluminium and others grey.  Photos from the period show it to be any one of the three.  I’ll still do the seat matt black.


Coolant tank assembled.

oil tank assembled.

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Engine/Gearbox painted, it’s Zurc Pewter Silver which gives a good pressure cast-alloy look.  


Steering wheel painted, I took some liberty with the colours but with the Lotus decal set in the center it does look good.


Gloss white applied.  This is the broken side piece, no trace of the repair has shown through so I’m quite elated!


Doing small decals for the Lola build and this Lotus.  While I have IndyCals for the body the sheet didn’t include some of the. Small engine and accessories decals, so I was pleased that the 50 year old decal sheet is still good.  Im now tempted to use a combination of the Tamiya and the IndyCals to finish the bodywork.

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  • 1 month later...
On 1/26/2022 at 8:03 AM, iamsuperdan said:

Great work so far!

The old motorized Tamiya kits were incredibly simple, but look excellent on the shelf. 




As I’ve discovered as building has progressed that I simply have lacked the patience and materials to fix enough of the issues.  The kits massive reliance on the chromed plastics, which are for the most part poorly formed and some issues with the plastic itself on other sprues have made it extremely trying.


Ive moved to more scale appropriate hose and wire for the engine details.

The exhaust is horribly formed.  I’ve got it in final paint now and still it could do will more work!


Gloss clear does make things better.



decal scaling isn’t quite right, but whether it would be IndyCals (these) or Tamiya doesn’t matter.  The fact that it seems no one kit, instruction or model locates the diving stripe the same doesn’t help.



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  • 2 weeks later...
  • 4 weeks later...
On 3/12/2022 at 6:03 AM, absmiami said:

Ok. Have a look at my   “because i dont have enough lotus kits”. Thread -  last page / latest posts - insert joke here …. Would you like whats left of mine ???

Will do.  Haven’t checked it for a while.  This will come together OK, but there are many frustrations with the instructions versus the actual parts etc.

I do want to source and build a Lotus 49 (aka wingless) version as it will also mean having each of the Tamiya Lotus F1’s in Big Scale.


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