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Hey all!


So after my stalled Mazda 787B build I started back on a motorbike model. This one is a pretty awesome kit (expensive too with all the additional dress up parts) and I think Tamiya really went to town when they produced this kit.


Apparently this motorbike is a bit of a legend as it won every single GP race it entered in 1966 with Mike Hailwood on board. I will be building the number 16 Mike Hailwood version and as usual I will add as much detail as I can possibly muster. I have also splashed out on the Tamiya brand chain set, rivet set, front fork and clutch set, wheel set and finally the Hobby Design detail up set.


I think that covers everything so far, hope you all enjoy this build and I will try this time to get more pics of the various parts.


As usual C&C most welcome :)



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So I started off doing the wheels as I couldnt wait to be able to build them, they are very well engineered and I think you will agree that they look pretty much 1:1.

I did a fair bit of reading up on this one just so I have an idea of what issues other people had and the main issue was that the "long spokes" were a little short (maybe by 0.2mm) but this didnt cause me any problems and to be honest its a very straightforward thing to build, the only thing I found was that double checking the spokes and their positioning was extremely important, otherwise well done to Tamiya for making such a precision piece of kit!

To begin I built a little bit to try to show the various stages of build on this. Its important not to rush building these and mucking things up! From start to finish it took me nearly 4hrs to do, this includes drying time for the pvc glue which is used to temporarily hold the spokes in place until they are joined to the rim (2nd picture left hand side part).





Here is the rim sitting in the jog which Tamiya supplies. It is very important to ensure that the rim is sitting flat in the jig, you are supplied double sided tape to ensure the rim stays in place but this can add as padding that can make the rim not sit flush. If you build it without taking care of the rim sitting flat then you risk the rim looking warped once complete.




So one of the rims (rear) has been "laced up", the other is halfway done.




Both wheels complete, just a little wash and the tyres required to call them finished




Finally they are finished, I did a light wash on the recesses where the spokes go and around the hub areas




One thing thats great about Tamiya is that they always supply spares just in case you lose anything, in this case a huge amount of spares were supplied!!




Thats it for now, next up will be the engine!


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So the engine is complete most of the pics didnt come out right so later on I will put up some close up pics. I think I got the colour correct, possibly a little too goldy but overall I'm happy with the colour match.

I built the Hobby Design PE engine set (the engine cooling fins), it wasnt easy especially to get everything lined up perfectly, I did manage to complete it but after comparing it with the plastic pieces there were a couple of problems, first of all the height of the Hobby Design parts were smaller in height compared to the kit pieces and secondly the plastic pieces looked alot better than the metal Hobby Design, here are the pics:







I pretty much replaced all the connection points with metal piping and securing nuts just to add realism, as an example I fabricated the throttle linkage you can see in the next couple of pics, also on 1:1 version, directly opposite the throttle linkage is a nut with a washer which I added as the kit didnt have these:





And here you can see the throttle part completed with paint and bolts etc, I tried a new technique to try to get some texture into the goldish parts of the engine, it came out well but not sure if theres any point to it as its hard to see with the naked eye:




Close up of the clutch which is a detail up part from Tamiya




Carbs rail, I used BMF for the metal wiring around the rubber hoses that connect between each intake section. Based on lots of reference pics I see that the actual intake trumpets were whitish/yellow in colour and most likely made of resin, so rather than use the aluminum turned trumpets supplied by Tamiya in the detail up set I used the standard kit parts and mixed them a yellowy/white colour (for some reason the pics show up almost greenish, but in the flesh they are yellowish).





And finally completed with a light wash to finish it off:




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So next on the "to do" list was a few small bits such as the rear swingarm, oil pump/resevoir (not sure which!) and the exhausts. Pretty straightforward but also fairly time consuming due to lots of filling and sanding on joins (I hate sanding!). No major issues just added lots of PE bolts on the various parts:

Swingarm, I added the bolts as adjusters. The kit ones are moulded in and had large seams that really would affect the final finish after sanding. I used Alclad Copper for all the copper painting, the PE chain adjuster part comes with the kit and will be used later to adjust the chain sag like on the 1:1 motorbikes.

Did a little bit of filling, I am pretty sure that on the real bike there is the step in the swingarm, its so heavily raised that I cant think that Tamiya wouldnt have made this less of a step if it wasnt supposed to be there:




Chain adjuster with bolt test fitted (without PE bracket for chain adjustment):




Chain adjuster with PE bracket test fitted:




Its complete:




Exhaust Pipes, a couple of hex bolts were added where the exhaust is bolted together, a little bit of filling and sanding was done, extra care should be taken near the exhaust tips to ensure fitment is good so you dont have overwork those exhaust tips. The PE part in the middle is the exhaust gasket that fits at the engine end, there are 6 of these that were made of 2 parts from the Hobby Design detail up set, and they look far better than the kit plastic ones.




Oil Tank/Pump, I added lots of plumbing to this to simulate the real part as the kits plastics didnt really have much detail I also dulled down the cannister to create a little bit of contrast with the very shiny gloss black on the rear mud guard (which the oil tank is attached to).





I am now working on the front and rear brake drums so should have another update pretty soon!

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The chain set was straightforward, possibly a little fiddly at times but what isnt when your working on models right? The instructions say to use thread lock to keep the links from falling apart, I would suggest not to do this and instead use some white PVA glue heavily watered down. This will allow the glue to seep through the links and create a very light bond behind the links where it matters most. The only other advice I have is to pay special attention to the instructions and ensure that everything is done properly before moving on to the next step. Overall it took around 2 to 2.5 hours to complete the chain, you must wait a little while for the PVA glue to become gummy before moving forward.

Here is the chain set




To begin you put the plastic jig together as per the instructions, make sure that all parts are firmly placed into position. Once the jig is done you start placing the rollers, make sure they have a little bit of room to "wiggle" as this will help later on.




Heres the jig with all the rollers placed, next is to put the PE chain link strips in place.




First PE strip installed (ensure it is located firmly in the locating holes)




Second PE strip sandwiched on




Next you put the pins in, this is where having a little bit of wiggle in the rollers helps to easily slot the pins through




Pins complete! Just make sure they are fully "pressed" and not sticking out randomly




Now you put the other 2 piece of the jig on top of the parts you just built, make sure this is firmly in place, and then you flip the jig over and this is what you should see





This is the crucial part! Next you get the links to connect it all up, you need to make sure that when installing these links you use enough firm force to ensure that all links are correctly positioned, if you get it wrong dont worry as Tamiya supplies extra. Try not to fiddle around too much once the links are on as moving them could cause the links to open up and then the chain will collapse.





And all links in position!




Next part is pretty delicate as it involves bending off the PE fret, as previously you do not want to disrupt the links to much while doing this as it will open or warp the links and will cause the chain to collapse. I found using tweezers rather than fingers to get the PE fret off was the best way and go. Once you have installed all the links in then you need to use the PVC glue on these links before removing it from the jig (sorry I didnt get a pic of it while I was putting the glue on)




And finally if all goes well up to this point then when you (carefully) take the chain out of the jig it should look something like this




So now you should have one long piece of chain which will need to be joined




Once again back to the jig! Be careful with orientation and positioning before putting the joining links on as once you have put the links on it will be very difficult to get them out without causing lots of damage and possible rubbish bin time for the chain. Double/triple check everything!!




And its finally complete!!! Yay!!




Apologies for the poor iPhone pics, I just didnt want to keep going back and forth to my photo area for pics

Here are some better quality pics






Rear Sprocket complete and installed




Finally done just need to put some colour on the chain some advice on this would be great!




Since completing the chain I did the instrument panel and managed to get some paint on the frame (which I am allowing lots of drying time due to the gloss black)

The instrument panel is made up of a few pieces which I joined to make 3 main parts.




And you put them all together and this is what you should get!




Thats it for the time being, more updates soon


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Big update!

Finally the motorbike is starting to take shape. I managed to mate the engine to the frame and got to try my new jig to hold the model and assist with the tricky jobs which need 2 pair of hands to complete (like installing the chain!). If you build motorcycle models then this jig is absolutely awesome to use and helps a huge amount!! If you want one made or are interested in this then I can forward the contact details of the guy who builds them, he is also a brilliant motorcycle builder who I have learned a lot from when it comes to building these little works of art.

First of all I finished off with the frame by adding the various details and parts, I also modified the rear brake connection as the plastic part didnt really look very realistic.

The suspension was completed, pretty straightforward but it would have been nice of there was some movement to simulate real suspension movement like it does on the front suspension (work on that will probably begin next).

A big pet peeve of mine is the use of phillips head screws for the attachments like at the suspension and wheel hubs. On this kit especially it looks like Tamiya have really gone to town to make this model as realistic as possible but the whole look of it is ruined when they supply big screws instead of the correct hex fittings. I have tried my best to "cover" the screw heads with as realistic as possible alternatives but this area is the only part where I couldnt emulate the 1:1 version perfectly, anyways hope you all like it and any C&C most welcome :)

First of all the frame with most of the fittings attached





Rear brake actuator made with two different guages of metal rod and some PE fasteners (sorry about the blurry pic, camera was being a pita!)




Rear suspension




And voila! Frame and engine meet and get bolted together!








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Next up I installed the rear wheel and chain. This job was pretty delicate and also very tricky! I used the jig and my wife held the jig with the model on it while I used my two free hands to gently feed the chain into the little gap near the swingarm and onto the front sprocket. Once that was completed I then put the rear swingarm in place and bolted that up. After that the rear wheel went on with me carefully laying the chain onto the sprocket, I am glad Tamiya made it so you can tension the chain as this came in handy to ensure enough room was there for the chain to go onto the rear sprocket. I am very happy with the way it came out and the chain actually works perfectly so you can spin the rear wheel!

The paint finish on the chain has come out all matte so I am considering putting the chain grease on it to give it more of an oily look, what do you guys think? or should I just the the chain as is? Also not sure how the oil will react to the paint on the chain (I used lacquer paints).

I am sorry but I wasnt able to take pics while installing the chain and even before installing to show the paintjob as I was very worried about paintchips so I wanted to handle the chain as little as possible.

You can also see how I had to improvise with the various "bolt heads" to cover up the phillips head screws, not 100% happy but better than if I left them as kit standard.

Anyways on to the pics:










I will be installing the exhausts next and then move onto the front forks

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Since my last update I've managed to complete the exhaust, oil lines and the top part of the front forks including the controls. Apologies for the dusty pics, forgot to do a little dusting before photos :(

The exhaust was a little bit of a tight fit and you have to use a little bit of force to get it to locate properly before screwing it in. That said, it all lined up very nicely and they look great on the bike.






Here are the exhaust headers and also where the oil line runs into the sump




The rest of the oil lines and their routing through the chassis, I used the kit supplied oil lines as they seemed a good scale size and also have a little bit of yellowing to replicate oil in the lines






Next up was the front handlebars and top triple trees. I put a lot of work into these parts especially the front brake line links. All the cable attachment points were replaced with metal fixings to accomodate the thinner more to scale lines for throttle, clutch and speed sensor cables. Once I finish the front end, the front brake lines will be a slightly larger gauge wire like on the rear brakes.

So on with the pics!







And so you put it all together and this is what you get








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So I have made some little modifications to work already carried out based on suggestions from a few people.

First of all the lower triple tree was drilled out and the slit was cut though too.










Then I did the cables on the front brake drums, rather than have it as a straight metal rod I replaced it with .2mm braided cable to replicate the actual cable on the 1:1 verson. Not sure if I will do the same for the rear brakes as it could mean taking out the rear wheel and I dont want to risk messing around with the chain.











Finally I decided to add the adjusters to the grip controls.









I think with adding these small details it will make all the difference on the finished product!

I am now doing the cowling and I have come across a problem with the nose section decals. I have seen from other peoples build that the decals do not go on very well and always tend to crease up, lots of people have also compained about the quality of the decals and that they arent up to the usual Tamiya quality. To tackle this problem I have decided to mask and paint the front nose area (the white part that is used as backing to the numbering)



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Wow - very cool build! I never new Tamiya did a kit with real spokes, or a working chain. I may have to get this with the extras and give it a go.

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Sheer perfection! Wish I could build that fast, with that level of detail

Congrats on an epic build! This is museum quality


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4 hours ago, MarcoMoto said:

Sheer perfection! Wish I could build that fast, with that level of detail

Congrats on an epic build! This is museum quality


Couldn't agree more! 

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So I managed to get the front end done, a few little details and final touches are needed (like covering up the + screw in the front axle).

I didnt do a write up on the front suspension but if you are intending to build this kit then I would highly recomend getting the front fork detail up set. This set allows you to build the suspension with an actual spring and actual working front suspension forks! Great job Tamiya!

I added some metal wire to the rear section of the front fenders to hold the brake lines in place as in the actual 1:1 version, I was surprised that Tamiya didnt include this in the kit.

Overall the front end went together without any dramas, now for the pics! Enjoy :)







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Ok almost done with this one!

I laid the paint on and masked the front number backing, it came out pretty well and I am pleased with the result.

The front number backing was done almost in "reverse". I first laid my primer down (Alclad grey microfiller) then gave it a light rubbing with 8000 grit sanding cloth. I then painted white (Zero Paints Pue Brilliant White) around the nose cone area as this will be the white number backing. Once that was done I cut out my template for the oval number backing, carefully positioned it in place and painted the Aluminum cowling colour (Zero Paints Aluminum from the RC166 paint set), Finally 2 coats of 2k clear was used. All pics are the parts without any polishing, decals and rivets (basically freshly painted)

The paints used:




Front cowling (excuse the dust in the pics!!):





The rest of the parts:



Next up will be polishing up the parts, decals and final gloss coats

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I had to take the front end apart, got a bit ahead of myself and forgot to install the oil cooler pipes! The pipes are made of rubber instead of plastic and due to this, the finish on them isnt great especially where I snipped them off the sprue marks are left over which cannot be sanded down or cleaned up to a reasonable level :(




I had to take the front end apart, got a bit ahead of myself and forgot to install the oil cooler pipes! The pipes are made of rubber instead of plastic and due to this, the finish on them isnt great especially where I snipped them off the sprue marks are left over which cannot be sanded down or cleaned up to a reasonable level :(




Next up was the decals and to my disappointment Tamiya have really dropped the ball on this, they are a far cry from the usual high quality decals you get from Tamiya. These are extremely thin and can be torn very easily, and if you use any type of decal solvent these decals tend to melt very easily so be extremely careful!

In addition to this you must pay close attention and plan your decal placement especially where the green number backing decals are on the sides. You can possibly see on my pics that the green decals have darker edges and so as a result because it comes in two parts you will end up having a dark vertical green line that runs along the same line as the side airscoops. I tried my best to trim the dark edges off and try to make it all blend in.

The final gripe is the front nose section number backing decal, I gave it a shot to try to get it to sit but because of the compound curves it was nigh on impossible to get it right without damaging the decal (due to the decal being too soft and fragile), or having lots of folds. If Tamiya had made the decals thicker then I am pretty sure that you could have used more solvent and a hairdryer to lightly stretch the decal to get it to conform (like we do with CF decals). I am glad that I decided to mask the front nose and paint it instead of relying on the decal, only if you look very closely (which you can see from my macro lens on my photos) you can see the rough edges of the mask.

Once the decals were on I gave all surfaces a wipe with a damp cloth and wiped dry, after this the clear coat went on, Here are the pics:









After the clear coat was allowed to dry I started adding all the bits to the petrol tank. I added the clamps for the petrol tank cap and painted the cap itself an off white colour as this is what the reference photos showed.

I also did a bit of work on the rubber section that sits on the top of the tank, the original part looked too smooth with odd marks in it so I decided to give it a little bit of texture by dabbing a tissue with Tamiya airbrush cleaner on the rubber to melt it a little and give it a more realistic texture.

And finally the rear clasp for the tank went on, this part is supplied in the kit by tamiya and looks great, not sure if I got pics of it but further on you will see it on the back of the tank.

Excuse the dust in the pics, when taking photos with the extreme close up and clear definition all imperfections and dust shows up no matter how tiny they are!







And to give an idea of the size of parts I am working on




And to finish this update I installed the tank (the first pic you can see the tank clamp just near the front of the seat):










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So this is the final installment of what has been a really enjoyable build for me. I will list a few pointers for this kit, at the end of this update, so future modellers who build this can be more aware of possible pitfall areas.

I have decided to display the model without the cowling attached, the reason being is I would like to display the engine and components in all their glory. So in order to do this I had to make a hanger for the cowling.

I used some strip styrene to make the hanger, painted it a dark aluminum to give it more of a steel effect as the hanger itself looks relatively chunky. I added MFH adhesive cloth on the bars where the cowling would touch.






And its finished!




Final pics are here: Honda RC166 Completed Pictures

And finally although this kit was a joy to build, there were many issues that came up along the way, I would suggest this kit for the more advanced builder as there is a fair bit of financial investment into all the detail up parts and some of the steps like building the chain and wheels are pretty advanced and leave very little room for error.

Here are some pointers for anyone looking to build this kit:
- Chain set: use watered down white glue to keep the chain links together when building the chain, after it is complete you should be fine to lightly wash the chain in some water to get rid of the glue
- Wheel set: Make sure you follow the instructions to the letter and also look at the diagrams, double check all your work on these as its very easy to make mistakes especially in regards to spoke orientation.
- Front fender: This part was the most annoying in my build, I repainted it 3 times because seam lines kept popping up also its very easy to misalign the two sides so be careful about this otherwise your gonna have to do a lot of work on a fairly fragile piece of the kit
- Decals: The decals are very fragile, dont use any Sol unless absolutely necessary and if you do use it then use it extremely sparingly, the decals will literally melt within seconds of application. Also be aware of the dark edges on some of the decals especially the green ones, if you leave the dark edges they will show up like a sore thumb on the finished item. Finally on the subject of the green decals, be very careful and double check that you are using the correct decal for the correct side, the instructions can be confusing as to which side each decal goes on.
- Exhaust pipes: I found on my kit that the exhausts were a very tight fit to the extent where some real pressure was needed to pull it and get the bolts screwed in, be weary of this and plan where you will hold your model when doing this as its very easy to use lots of force and risk breaking some parts.
- Rivets: When preparing the holes for rivets on the rubber seat make sure you use a needle to create a pilot hole (I use an old airbrush needle), otherwise its very difficult to get an accurate hole drilled. Also on the subject of rivets you might want to invest in some grab sticks or create something similar of your own as these rivets are tiny!
- Rear Wheel: If you are using the chain set then make sure you have another set of hands available when installing the rear swingarm. You basically have to ensure the rear wheel, drum for the brakes, both chain adjusters and rear sprocket with chain are all in position before bolting it all up. It wasnt fun when I did it and I had the luxury of a jig as well to hold it all in place.


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Thanks for posting this fantastic build here too Imraan, it will be helpful when I get to do mine.

One question, besides the tammy upgrades, I also have the hobby design set like you used. You mentioned the issues with the cilinders, would you still recommend to use them or should I rather stick to the kit plastic parts? Any other glaring issues with that PE set?

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4 hours ago, Maximum warp said:

Thanks for posting this fantastic build here too Imraan, it will be helpful when I get to do mine.

One question, besides the tammy upgrades, I also have the hobby design set like you used. You mentioned the issues with the cilinders, would you still recommend to use them or should I rather stick to the kit plastic parts? Any other glaring issues with that PE set?


Its been a while since I did this build so I am trying to remember :) The cylinders from Hobby Design are not great, the fitment is very fiddly and very difficult to get perfectly straight as well and once complete they are not as tall as the plastic kit pieces. The other main thing about the cylinders is that the plastic kit parts have smoothed edges rather than sharp PE edge on the Hobby Design set, this adds to the realism as the original bike didnt have such sharp edges on the cylinder fins.


As for the rest of the PE set, its hard to remember what else wasn't good with the set. My suggestion is this, if you want to build a high level model then you probably wont need to use the Hobby Design set, but if you plan to hyper detail and get as much as you can out of it then the Hobby Design set is a must.


I look forward to seeing you build this one Erik, its such a joy to build this kit and I'm sure you will love it.

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