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Ferrari Boxer triple build - The 'Brigette Bardot' cars


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Picture the scene. It's the mid-1970s. I'm about 3 or 4 years old and I'm playing with toy cars with my older brother. "What car is that?" I ask pointing at a red bullet shaped toy. My Brother goes on to explain its a Ferrari, and from that moment on the Boxer shape was embedded in my mind as what a Ferrari looks like. I absolutely loved that shape when I was a kid and grew up learning all about the car. I also learned that the initials 'BB' stood for Berlinetta Boxer, so imagine my surprise when I learnt that wasn't quite right! There are numerous articles online, including one from the official Ferrari magazine stating otherwise. This quote comes from Road & Track;

But there's always been something puzzling about that name. In Ferrari parlance, "Berlinetta" usually means a front-engine car, which this is not. And a "boxer" engine, while still horizontally opposed, uses an individual crank journal for each piston; the 365 GT4 BB's motor has pairs of pistons sharing a common crank journal, making it, technically, a "flat 12" rather than a "boxer 12."

As it turns out, the Berlinetta Boxer—"BB" for short—isn't a berlinetta or a boxer at all. The name was a clandestine reference to French model, actress, singer, dancer, animal-rights activist, and all around pop culture icon Brigitte Bardot.

When Fujimi released the 512BB I was excited. When they also released the 512BBi and the 365GT4BB, my mind was blown. Of course, I bought all three.


A quick guide for those not familiar with the Boxer trilogy...

  • First generation. Ferrari 365 GT4BB (manufactured 1973 - 1976)
  • Second generation. Ferrari 512BB (manufactured 1976 - 1981)
  • Third generation. Ferrari 512BBi (manufactured 1981 - 1984)


But which one to build first? First impressions of the kits were very positive, but the wheels looked wrong - very wrong! I purchased a PE set for the 512BBi version and hoped PE sets would be released for the other two. I wished some better wheels would become available, and I waited. These three kits must have been in my stash for over 10 years now, and I'm not waiting any longer. Because I can't decide which one to build, I'm going to build all three simultaneously! My first ever triple build.

The first hurdle to cross is the wheels. The wheel and tyre package included in all three kits is the same. Fujimi have included the correct size 15" tyres, but wheels that would look more at home on a 360 Modena. They seem to be 19" and look wrong to my eyes. First I found what I needed on Shapeways https://www.shapeways.com/product/6VWN4AT66/1-24-ferrari-512bb-wheels

But then I found a 3D .stl file available online for free download here; https://cults3d.com/en/3d-model/architecture/ferrari-512-bb-rim-x-fujimi-1-24th-model

I sent the .stl files to a printer and here is his first attempt of printing. The layer thickness was too big.



Finally we settled on 0.05mm and here's the results. At the top we have the kit supplied wheels. They're massive! Under that are a set of 5 spokes form Fujimi's Ferrari Daytona Enthusiast kit. They aren't bad, and I did strongly consider using them at one point. Below that are the three sets of printed wheels, which I'm super happy with. At the bottom is a set of tyres from the Fujimi Boxer kit. All three kits use the same tyres.



Note that the resin printed wheels have a deeper dish for the rear. The Daytona wheels at the top are the same for the front and the rear.



Here they are pressed into the tyres.



I'm happy with this. More than happy! Now there's nothing stopping me from cracking on. Building three at once should be like a production line for the chassis and suspension. all the colours for these parts will be the same (well, mostly). Much of the interior is the same on all three. Of course the bodies have their subtle differences and they will all be a different colour.

Thanks for watching.



Edited by beeRS
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  • 1 month later...
On 8/4/2023 at 6:46 PM, Justin Porter said:

The Fujimi Boxers are always fun to see built. You've definitely nailed a fix for the wonky kit wheels. It's nice to see your prints in comparison to the Daytona wheels which admittedly were my thought for the fix as well.

Thanks. The printed wheels aren't 100% right for all three cars, but its a good start. I may still use the Daytona wheels on the early car.


On 8/5/2023 at 12:41 AM, jaymcminn said:

Looking forward to this. My wheel fix many years ago was the Fujimi Campagnolo wheel set (same wheels as the 330p4 kit) with the kit tires. Close, but these are better!

Good idea. I think the wheels used on the Boxer cars are Campagnolo too.


On 8/6/2023 at 1:43 PM, dino246gt said:

I'm interested in these builds! Love Ferraris of that era, my friend had a 512 BB when I had my 246 GT. I do have one of those kits, not sure which one as I wasn't aware of all three! Build on and please show pics! Ciao!


Wow - you are lucky to have owned a real 246!


On 8/6/2023 at 2:14 PM, Pierre Rivard said:

What troubles me the most about this is that you were just 4 years old in the mid seventies. Lucky Sonny! 🤣🤪😃

Never too young to start loving cars though 😃


On 8/6/2023 at 2:34 PM, Ulf said:

Wonderful, the wheels are half the car.
The last super sports cars with an adult profile on the tires, a favorite.

This is true, however I think in those days the tyres may have been the limiting factor in the performance of supercars.

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Here's some reference pics of the 1:1 cars I'm building...

First generation. Ferrari 365 GT4BB (manufactured 1973 - 1976). The purest body shape, same size wheels/tyres front and rear, triple rear lights and triple exhaust tips per side.


Second generation. Ferrari 512BB (manufactured 1976 - 1981). Front chin spoiler, NACA duct on side, more cooling vents over engine and dual exhaust tips per side.


Third generation. Ferrari 512BBi (manufactured 1981 - 1984). Different lights in front grill, door mirrors and fuel injection.



There are also differences with the interior - some of which the Fujimi kits do address correctly and others they don't. I'll come back to these later.

Work begins, as usual, with the body shell. This is where I tell you that I will NOT be showing the engine on these models!!

I know. I know!

Yes - it's great to see an opening clamshell and see a beautifully detailed engine, but I feel the engine in these kits is not the best. There are a few simplifications, that I just can't un-see and I know that if I start correcting and properly detailing them, I will be here forever going further and further into the rabbit hole, which is a place I don't want to go again. Instead, these three Ferraris are all about getting the body right and showing the beauty of the car’s shape. I hope you'll stick with me.

First off was to glue the rear engine cover clamshells to the bodies. I found small fit issues on two out of the three cars. The 512BB is shown below. You can see where I had to add a little plastic to fill the gap.




Neither will I be popping up the headlamps, so they get glued in place too. Looking at reference pics I see that the panel gaps around the headlamp covers are bigger than the ones around the doors, so I've tried to replicate this. Fujimi have moulded the early and mid car in red plastic, and the later car in white. In all three cases Fujimi have somewhat curiously moulded the  headlamp covers in black!





For the early car (the 365 GT4) I have modified the rear bumper where the triple exhaust tips come through. It did not look right to me. For the other two cars the dual tailpipes look fine.




I came up with a good way of scribing the circular fuel filler flaps. I've done this before with the back of a Xacto blade and its not great for circles. This time I cut the head off a pin and put it in a drill vice. It worked great. I don't know why I hadn't thought of this before.




With a few corrections made, and the bodies keyed, I sprayed on a thin coat of grey Tamiya primer straight out of the tin on each. This is just so that I can see the shapes better and gauge what further corrections will be needed to get the bodies perfect.





There’s more filler/correction work to be done. Thanks for watching.


Edited by beeRS
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10 hours ago, Bainford said:

Cool project. Nice work on the wheels. I don't what this fascination is with Japanese kit makers using way oversized wheels on otherwise immaculately scaled kits.

I think it is more of a necessity than fascination.  Back when that kit was designed, I believe that all Japanese automotive kit manufacturers used outside source for their tires.  Unlike American kits, (PVC tires molded in-house), Japanese manufacturer used solid real rubber tires. I suspect all the tires were made by some outside company, and only limited number of tire sizes were available.  That is why you'll see the same tires used by Tamiya, Aoshima, Hasegawa, and even Amercan SATCO got on the bandwagon and also resold those tires, That is why I think that the tires were all made by some 3rd party manufacturer.

They are great looking tires, but the size might be off.  At least that's my take on this.

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On 9/13/2023 at 2:23 PM, dino246gt said:

This is a great triple project!

Have you selected three colours?

Can't wait to see more!

Undecided at the moment, but will probably have at least one in the ubiquitous Rosso Corsa.


On 9/14/2023 at 1:53 PM, Justin Porter said:

I do really like seeing you continuing this Boxer fleet. I'm going to be particularly following along to see how you tackle the interiors in order to liberally swipe ideas. 

Yes - the interior will be a challange. Fujimi have given the exact same door panels for all three cars, but the later car - the 512BBi - has a completely different panel.

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