In-Box Review
Honda S600
Honda S600
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by: Rowan Baylis [ MERLIN ]

A chance find in my local hobby shop before Christmas, Tamiya's Honda S600 looked just the ticket to follow my current battle with the 50 year-old Airfix kit of the MGB Roadster. It's got a similar 1960s charm and the promise of modern kit design and moulding promises a welcome stress-free build.

Packed in a sturdy and attractive top-opening box, all the sprues and accessories are bagged separately and my kit is in perfect condition.

The S600 comprises:
49 x white styrene parts
17 x aluminium-coloured styrene parts
12 x clear styrene parts (plus 1 spare)
26 x chromed styrene parts
4 x soft tyres
3 x metal stickers

Although the instructions are dated as 2105, some sprues bear the date 1997, while others read 1997/2015, so I presume the kit is based on Tamiya's S800. If some of the sprues really are over 20 years old, they are in remarkably good condition, showing no signs of wear at all. There's no flash evident, no signs of any sink marks, and knock-out pins have been kept out of harm's way.

A Few Details
Construction begins with a 13-part engine and gearbox, which connect to a 1-piece transmission and rear axle that attaches to a pair of suspension/chain-drive units. The main chassis comprises 5 parts, and at the front wheels are steerable.

Each wheel is built up from 4 parts, with a chromed hub cap, while a poly cap sits so the wheels can be fitted without cement. The tyres are moulded in a soft rubber-like material, with a well defined tread pattern. There are no mould lines or sprue attachments to worry about, but the material does seem to be a bit of a proverbial "dust magnet".

The interior is straightforward, but nicely fitted out. The side panels are separate, allowing Tamiya to mould well defined door handles and window winders, and the seats' upholstery is cleanly moulded with the correct pattern compared with photos. To my eyes, the seats do look a bit rigid (fine, I guess, for a showroom-fresh car) and the padding at the edges is perhaps a tad prominent. They are moulded open backed, but they rest hard against the rear of the interior tub, so any gap may well be hidden. In keeping with the era, there are no seatbelts.

The right-hand drive dashboard is provided with individual decals for the instruments, and a Honda loco decal is included for the steering wheel.

The chrome plating is excellent quality, and Tamiya have moulded the sprue attachments as unobtrusively as possible to minimise touch-up repairs. In many cases, the attachments are on the back of parts, which shows the designers have thought things through properly.

The kit comes with a hard top and an open soft top. Also on the sprue is a raised soft top, but this isn't shown mentioned in the instructions, so it could well be for the Honda S800. The clear parts are beautifully moulded and free of distortion.

Instructions & Decals
As you'd expect with a Tamiya kit, the instructions are excellent, with really clear diagrams and overall design. Construction is broken down into 17 logical stages, with colour call-outs for Tamiya paints for the details.

Just two colour schemes are suggested - Ivory White and Scarlet - but the S600 was manufactured in a range of attractive colours and trim combinations as shown HERE. The kit doesn't include a registration decal - just a showroom nameplate - so you can feel free to choose any of the period schemes.

A very neat touch is that the tiny chromed name badges are supplied as stickers. This allows for some very fine text - probably impossible to mould. The one point you'll have to ultra careful over is positioning, because it looks as though you'll have just one chance to get it right.

Tamiya's Honda S600 is a delightful little kit that really evokes the spirit of mid-sixties motoring. The design and quality of the parts makes it look suitable for any modeller with even a modicum of experience. I bought my kit for 24.99 at my local hobby shop and it represents excellent value for money and promises to be a very enjoyable build. Recommended.

Please remember, when contacting retailers or manufacturers, to mention that you saw their products highlighted here - on AUTOMODELER.
Highs: Excellent design and moulding. Construction appears straightforward while still nicely detailed.
Lows: None noted.
Verdict: Tamiya's Honda S600 looks a great kit that should be a really enjoyable build.
Percentage Rating
  Scale: 1:24
  Mfg. ID: 24340
  Suggested Retail: Around 30.00
  PUBLISHED: Jan 06, 2019
  NATIONALITY: Japan / 日本

About Rowan Baylis (Merlin)

I've been modelling for about 40 years, on and off. While I'm happy to build anything, my interests lie primarily in 1/48 scale aircraft. I mostly concentrate on WW2 subjects, although I'm also interested in WW1, Golden Age aviation and the early Jet Age - and have even been known to build the occas...

Copyright 2021 text by Rowan Baylis [ MERLIN ]. Images also by copyright holder unless otherwise noted. Opinions expressed are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of ModelGeek. All rights reserved.


Nice review Rohan, and this will definitely look good displayed beside the MGB. It will possibly go together a bit more easily than the Airfix kit as well Cheers, D
JAN 06, 2019 - 03:07 PM
Good review, Rowan! And, yes, a fine choice. Thank you for taking the time to show the box contents! S600 was quite a brilliant engineering feat. On the American market was received with reserve because its chain powered running train and high rev engine, but now it's a precious collector's item. I was considering buying one of these kits as well, but my projected schedule was seriously altered by the course of events. I'll love to see the build blog of this charming "sleeper" for sure. Cheers! Gabriel
JAN 07, 2019 - 12:48 AM
Hi Damian and Gabriel Cheers guys! It was a blast reviewing the S600! Quite a change from endless aircraft! I'm not going to start this little gem until I've finished the MGB (which I will do, by hook or by crook! ), but I'm really looking forward to it. @ Gabriel - I think it's safe to say you won't regret buying the S600 if your build schedule gets back on course. All the best Rowan
JAN 07, 2019 - 08:03 AM
Rowan, Just a great review. Well organized, well written, and excellent photographs. Being a Tamiya kit, I'm sure that the build will be a pleasure unlike the Airfix B. I'd go for the Scarlet/Black combination as it really looks quite nice. Ok, so it's the color combination of my 1967 MGB Joel
JAN 07, 2019 - 09:46 AM
Cheers Joel I hate to say it, but I'm leaning towards Pacific Blue - partly because I rather fancy buying a Telecaster finished in a similar colour. All the best Rowan
JAN 07, 2019 - 10:09 AM
Funny, I would have picked you as a Gretsch Semi-acoustic rather than a Tele man Rowan. If you get a Tele, you need to set up the Steve Morse pickup configuration Me, I have a Strat and an SG, and a number of acoustics. Cheers, D
JAN 07, 2019 - 11:11 AM
Hi Damian Actually, you're not far wrong - I do want to add a Gretsch to my collection too! Probably one of the recent Streamliners fitted with a Bigsby, because I've never had a guitar with a one. Steve Morse is missing a trick with that Tele; if the centre pick-up wasn't at an angle, he could squeeze another one in - and that guitar is clearly crying out for more pickups! All the best Rowan
JAN 08, 2019 - 07:47 AM
Rowan, I'm ready for a bench session, all I need is that glass of bourbon! Cheers, D
JAN 11, 2019 - 12:51 PM
Hi Damian Sorry - I missed your post. Wow - Roy Buchanan! Nice soundtrack for a build session! All the best Rowan
JAN 17, 2019 - 09:48 AM

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