Build Diary – 1993 Newman Haas Lola T93/00 Ford Indycar (Tamiya 1:20)

The next kit to build was selected from the stash simply because it was sitting on top of all the others! Tamiya’s 1:20 scale Lola Indycar in road course configuration.

This was (mostly) built straight from the box to be Nigel Mansell’s Championship winner. I was almost going to do Mario Andretti’s car (simply because he’s a Legend) but Nige got the nod because the Pom had a pretty remarkable rookie year in the CART series.

This is a ‘Snap-Loc’ kit that required no cement. At first I thought this could be a good thing (no waiting for glue to dry!), but it was actually a pain to deal with – when trying to test-fit parts, they want to stay attached…

All the parts that come in Tamiya kit #20040

Unboxed – all the parts that come in Tamiya kit #20040. My tyre decals were  somewhat discoloured… 🙁

Finally back to working on this kit! Major components clean up.

Major components clean up.

Major components of the bodywork test fit - being careful not to allow parts that clip in to actually clip in!

Major components of the bodywork test fit – being careful not to allow parts that clip in to actually clip in!

Smoothening out some mould lines on the tub, plus initial engine block and floortray work in the background. I'm not that impressed with some of the engine detail, so considering doing this as a curbside.

Smoothening out some mold lines on the tub, plus initial engine block and floortray work in the background. I’m not that impressed with some of the engine detail, so considered doing this as a curbside.

Not sure if this is a good idea or not... decided to cut the sidepods off the engine cover so the cover can be removed whilst leaving the sidepods intact (there will be very little detail under them)

Not sure if this is a good idea or not… decided to cut the sidepods off the engine cover so the cover can be removed whilst leaving the sidepods intact (as there will be almost no detail under the pods)

Engine/gearbox/rear suspension assembly is done. Seat, steering wheel/dash and various other pieces are painted and ready for assembly once the body and floor are complete.

Engine/gearbox/rear suspension assembly is done. Seat, steering wheel/dash and various other pieces are painted and ready for assembly once the body and floor are complete.

Parts drying in my new spray booth

Parts drying in my new spray booth 🙂

Floor tray masking for the engine bay

Monocoque after mask-spraying the top and side sections in semi-gloss black. Inside of the cockpit was brush painted.

Monocoque after mask-spraying the top and side sections in semi-gloss black. Inside of the cockpit was brush painted.

Engine/gearbox/rear suspension assembly, plus the radiators, clipped into the floor tray

Engine/gearbox/rear suspension assembly, plus the radiators, clipped into the floor tray.

Assembly was fairly straight forward. Front suspension is installed as the monocoque is attached to the floor tray. Front wing and nose cone then press into position. Unfortunately, the way Tamiya has produced the kit, there is a separation line running the length of the lower tub.

Assembly was fairly straight forward (though the engine has been removed here because I thought the tub had not fixed into position properly). Front suspension is installed when the monocoque is attached to the floor tray. Front wing and nose cone then press into position. Unfortunately, because of the way Tamiya has produced this kit, there is a separation line running the length of the lower tub.

Rear view of the tub (which has bare metal foil as the heat shield) after attachment to the floor.

Rear view of the tub (I used bare metal foil for the heat shield) after attachment to the floor.

All the main parts are now together. Just needs brakes, wheels, rear wing and the rest of the decals.

All the main parts are now together. Just needs brakes, wheels, rear wing, windscreen, mirrors and the rest of the decals.

The re-fueling side. The kit allows the fuel coupling nozzle to be fitted either side (with a blank plug for the opposing side) so the modeler can build the car for a specific race if they wish.

The re-fueling side. The kit allows the re-filling nozzle to be fitted either side (with a blank plug for the opposing side) so the modeler can build the car for a specific race if they wish.

After applying the decals, there were a number of these weird watermark type blotches and adhesive mess which took a while to clean up

After applying the decals, there were a number of these weird watermark type blotches and adhesive mess which took a while to clean up.


Stock decals are reasonably glossy (no clear coat on this model). I was impressed with the fit of the shock/monocoque cover compared with other areas of the model.

Once cleaned up, the stock decals are reasonably glossy (no clear coat on this model). I was impressed with the fit of the shock/monocoque cover and nose cone compared with other areas of the model.

Left-side exhaust and wastegate exits between the suspension arms

Left-side exhaust and wastegate exits between the suspension arms

Curved underside shows the ground-effect venturis. Also shows the holes where things have clipped in to the floor tray, such as the radiators and transmission

Curved underside shows the ground-effect venturis. Also shows the holes where parts are clipped into the floor tray, such as the radiators and engine.

Engine bay with the cover off. Accuracy of the turbos, bellhousing etc is not that flash compared with photos. If this was not a Snap-Loc kit, I'm sure it wuld have been a better model.

Engine bay with the cover off. Accuracy of the turbos, bell-housing etc is not that flash when compared to photos of the real car. If this was not a Snap-Loc kit, I’m sure it would have been a better model. I refrained from doing this kit as a curbside, but glad I cut the sidepods off the engine cover so they can stay in place.

Debris mesh for the turbo intake is cast in clear, which requires masking and painting. It also involves careful application of the big engine cover deal (Yep, Energizer, Gillette, BASF and Dirt Devil is all one decal - part of it goes under the cover, while some is on the outside.

Debris mesh for the turbo intake is cast in clear, which requires masking and painting. It also involves careful application of the big engine cover decal (yep, Energizer, Gillette, BASF and Dirt Devil is all one decal – most of it goes under the cover, but some is on the outside).

Bare-metal foil is used for the rearview mirror surfaces. Digital dash and chassis IDs are decals

Bare-metal foil is used for the rear view mirror surfaces. Digital dash and chassis IDs are kit decals

Hand painting of Ford and Cosworth on the rocker covers was poorly done...

Hand painting of Ford and Cosworth on the rocker covers was poorly done. Must have been a bit shakey that day!


Some cockpit detail. I remember watching Mansell on TV buzzing up the engine doing waaay early downshifts on the road courses.

Some cockpit detail. I remember watching Mansell on TV buzzing up the engine doing waaay early downshifts on the road courses.

In hindsight, it probably would have been better to remove the bodywork positioning tabs at the rear of the tub

In hindsight, it probably would have been better to remove the bodywork positioning tabs at the rear of the tub

Oops, didn't fit the engine cover down properly for this photo...

Oops, didn’t fit the engine cover down properly for this photo. There is a bit of a gap due to the cut I made, but it’s not *that* big!

My completed model Vs Tamiya box art

My completed model Vs the Tamiya box art.



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