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.
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.
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