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1/12 Tamiya Tyrrell P34 6 Wheelers - Double down build!

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This build needs to start with a bit of a throw back to 2021 story to explain why I’m doing what I’m doing.

My return to the hobby was fuelled by the memory of the 1/12 Renault RE20 Turbo on the LHS shelves as a kid.  A friend sent a link to an estate auction bundle that included the Renault, a Lotus JPS Mk3 and a P34.  The P34 notes were that it was started but the pictures looked complete enough.  So I bid and bought the bundle, then had it delivered.

The “started” P34 was covered in dirt/dust and up to about page 3 of the instructions with the chassis and front suspension completed.  It was also missing a bunch of parts.

I put it aside and built the Lotus.  

Meanwhile I hunted for the D Sprue to continue the build.  

Eventually my wife bought me another P34 kit, (and subsequently Tamiya has rereleased it! which I have also ordered).

Anyway about a month ago I pulled the two boxes from the stash.  At first my goal was to build my complete kit up and use the bodywork and engine of the auction kit to make a bit of a pit diorama.  That’s now escalated into building up both cars to display side by side as cars 3 and 4.

I had already ordered new decals from IndyCals for each car number.

So mid July I started.  This is my 5th & 6th 1/12 F1 build so I have come to understand the value of building bodywork and the chassis/engine in parallel so that there’s always “something” to do.

Building two of the same kit in parallel is also a learning experience.  Probably won’t bite of this much in one go again!

Anyway, pics of progress in the next post!

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I’d seen a ModellerSite break down of colours and the mixing ratios for a lot of classic F1 cars.  Noting that Tamiya colours are generally “close enough” I thought I’d use the mix and see how it came out.

Tyrrell Blue is described as a 50:50 of X3 and X4 blues, and I mixed that then thinned with Mr Levelling Thinner for airbrushing.


Time to start body prep. 

It’s moments like this where doing two at once is great.  I may be making mistakes, but I’m doing the same mistake twice not making new ones :)


Having a pet built chassis from the auction kit has allowed for testing fit and so on.


One thing came up when I posted about the build elsewhere was the cowl vent.  Depending on the research material the vent never existed or came and went from race to race and Tamiya simply amalgamated all the variations into a single model.  
I figured why not do one with and one without!

While the various body parts were drying and curing their primer I started work on the chassis.  I used the part built one as a key to working out what could be combined before paint and what would be done after.

It then got sprayed gloss black in prep for my Zurc Hyper Silver top coat.


Small parts for my chassis got prepped and painted up.  Meanwhile removing the chrome plating from the next stage of build parts for both chassis revealed that the auction kit had clear plastic under the chrome and my kit was blue!

Small things.


I sprayed all the body parts of my kit first, aiming to get them well into the curing process before painting the next set.  The juggle of trays and parts through this was consuming space, patience and painting clips.


While the first body parts cured I started to add the suspension and small parts to the front of my chassis.  I’m getting close to both being built to the same stage - just have to paint the brake rotors and assemble the front uprights and we will be then doing the builds fully in parallel.

Im ignoring some of the missing parts.


I applied the IndyCals decals to my bodywork, and while they dried out over the weekend I finished curing the auction kit bodywork.


This morning I started the clear coating of all the bodywork.  I’m doing two batches of painting per set, this will make it easier to manage the parts, and importantly reduces the risk of my bumping any before they’re dry enough to handle.

I’m back to using Zurc Mirror Gloss Clear with an airbrush over the Mr Super Gloss rattle cans I have used for the last couple of builds.  I feel the Zurc is tougher and Glossier - I can pretty much put these directly in the shelf without buffing and they’re “stunning” to most observers.


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Good start - Matra builds are a welcome addition to this page - you can keep the Matra 12 build company -  - one of the few cars that i have’’nt had a chance to study - think the restored cars are all in Europe or Japan … 

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Apology to Matra ! At 3 Am - Tyrrells turn in to Matras - anyway - we get to see - i think - that the chassis design for - tyrrell -  was influenced somewhat by Matra -  I’ll teach my brain to think when the sun comes up …

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The clear cured on the first (#3) body set very nicely.


That’s freed up the space to do the decals for the #4 car which is the auction will part built kit.


They look ok but definitely for some reason or another having come together as well as the set on the #3.  

The no vent cockpit cowl is much nicer though.  

For an array of reasons it’s taken a week to finish the decals, but the parts I started on have dried up nicely so I was able to clear coat them.  
I used Zurc Mirror Gloss which is an amazingly forgiving clear and builds a really smooth hard finish with almost no effort.

Recently I started stripping the chrome off chromed parts and spraying them with a more realistic silver-chrome finish.  
With the two chassis now up to much the same stage I’m struggling with the sheer volume of parts at play for each page of build.81045D54-37D7-4EA3-B5CC-508785330524.jpeg.73b97edea2e4a60c35ea0c172ff62842.jpeg


Even something simple like painting wheels becomes a wrangle!  

Today I built up the engines and gearboxes.


Yet another variation of the DFV.  I had presumed wrongly that Tamiya pretty much reused the engine sprues, they do look much the same, but every single build I have had with them there’s enough subtle changes to say they’re unique.

I’m not 100% sold on the paint scheme but have followed it - the flat aluminium Tamiya LP38 (lacquer) seems just that touch too bright. 

Pics to come when the paint dries :)

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On 8/11/2022 at 11:01 PM, Bainford said:

The Tyrrells are looking great. The colour looks perfect. Such an interesting car, from the days when radical innovation in F1 was still possible. I loved those days.

From all the pictures I’ve looked at the colour is very “on this day it looked like this” and the mix I have does exactly the same.  So at that level I’m pretty happy, I do feel the OOB X3 Blue is too light by default, and the Royal Blue darkens it slightly and introduces that broad tone change as the light changes.  

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I then jumped back to building the “from scratch” kit a bit further along the process.


I am mostly happy with the instruments.  Not perfect but OK.


Adding on the steering column and supporting structure, noting the barely sufficient clearance of the couple against the brake pedal.



opening up the holes through the clear and decals.  A nerve twitching process!


Hope that everything is level and in place.  Dry fit was good but it’s all “just fits” needing careful clipping down.


it’s down and nothing mucked up!

suddenly I feel the car/chassis is actually becoming a race car!  

Test fitted the cockpit cowl.  Lovely!  It’s going to look nice on the shelf!

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