Build Diary: Toyota 88C-V (Tamiya, 1:24 scale)

Most of my modelling time is spent building F1 open-wheelers or doing code-3 conversions on Aussie V8 Supercars. This was the first time I’d tackled a closed-cockpit sports racer.

Most of the build itself was fairly straightforward. However, as I decided to paint the livery rather than use the kit decals, the job turned rather more complex than I’d planned.

The Car

The Toyota 88C-V is a Group C sports prototype racer that was entered by Toyota in the 1988 All Japan Sports Prototype Championship, plus the final round of the World Endurance Championship. A rather obscure vehicle that did very little racing and scored no major results, it was designed and built by Dome and powered by Toyota’s R32V, a 3.2 litre turbocharged V8.

This is the Taka-Q sponsored version that was driven by Stefan Johannson, Paolo Barilla and Hitoshi Ogawa in the 1000km of Fuji.

Stefan Johansson behind the wheel at Fuji (pic – Hiro)

The Model

This is a 1:24 scale plastic kit from Tamiya (kit #24083) that was released in 1989. Moulded in yellow and black, the kit is typical of the time from Tamiya – pretty good fit, no flash and clear instructions.

Due to its age, the box, instruction booklet and decals had yellowed a little and I feared there would be issues with decals cracking when it came time to use them. Also, the Tamiya decals of the day were quite translucent and not particularly glossy. So, considering all that, I decided to paint as much of the livery as possible.

While the painting would require extra work, the plan for the rest of the kit was a standard out-of-box build.

The Build

The unboxing – parts in Tamiya kit #24083: 2 x black sprues, 1 x yellow parts sprue, 1 x yellow body (2 x pieces), 1 x sprue of clear parts, a bag of tyres (with 4 x wheel nut ‘rivets’), tyre marking sheet and one big decal sheet.
Most of the parts off the sprue and cleaned up for test fitting. Several pieces that can be painted as one have been glued (eg, some of the engine, suspension uprights etc).
At this point, other than the clear pieces (not in photo), all the parts that need to come off the sprue have been cut off and cleaned up. Wheels and rear wing will be painted on the sprue.
First paint! Grey and a bit of white primer on the floor tray, semi-gloss black on the other parts (using Tamiya’s relatively new Lacquer paint, LP-5).
According to the instructions, the underside of the nose and inside the front wheel wells is the body-colour yellow. Here the yellow has been masked, ready for a big hit of semi-gloss black on the rest of the floor.
Cockpit module and dashboard. All the detail is hand painted. I added a red and black wire to the electronics box in the passenger side.
The engine block/bell housing/transaxle/gearbox is basically two halves cemented together. Everything here is hand painted.
Rear suspension, uprights etc attached. Everything fits ok and went together as planned, however the engineering of the kit is a little weird – for example, the bell-cranks that connect the pushrods to the springs are not connected to anything solid…
To ensure glue can bond into the plastic, paint has to be removed from the mating surfaces. On this model, the engine/gearbox assembly sits up off the floor and is located by these two small pylons.
Front suspension, cockpit and engine/rear end installed and glued in place. The intercoolers and intake plenum are dry fit test before painting.
The flip-side shows the curvature of the floor under the nose, air jacks and fixation points, plus the long ground-effect extraction tunnels. The paint is Tamiya Lacquer LP-5 semigloss black. The yellow is Tamiya TS-16 with just a touch of TS-12 (orange) mixed in, shot through the air brush.
Chassis done! Exhaust and turbocharges have various metal-finish colours applied. It was only while fitting the turbos I realised this kit does not include plumbing to transfer the compressed intake charge from the turbocharger to the bottom of the intercooler, so I made my own out of solder.
Body prep began with removing mold lines, filling recesses and ensuring everything was ready for primer. I’m used Tamiya’s brush-on grey filler to correct small gaps and sink holes.
Cooler intake is a separate piece on the engine cover. I glued it in place then filled and sanded to make it look like an integrated part of the bodywork.
All the body parts primed in Tamiya fine white primer. After a little cleanup this was hit with gloss white.
I masked the outer edge of the rims to be able to paint the wheel centres gloss white.
Wheel masks were cut from templates drawn with a circular thingy (they have a name, I just can’t recall it!). The number represents the diameter in millimetres that I was testing to get an appropriate fit.
After a few experiments with cutting on the line, inside the line and outside the line, 15mm masks were the go and applied over the wheel centres, plus on the reverse side to avoid overspray getting in from behind.
To make the Alclad Gloss Aluminum work on the rims, they need to be sprayed gloss black. As they’re on the same sprue, rear wing components got their black applied in the same session.
After spraying black, the rim edges are polished with Tamiya compound.
Then hit with the Alclad metalizer.
Masks removed. All the bits that I wanted white are still white 🙂
Removing the mold line from the tyres with a medium grit emery board gives a nice roaded look.
Wheels and tyres done. Unfortunately, the now 30+ year old Bridgestone/POTENZA decals for the tyre sidewalls broke up while being applied, so no tyre branding on this one 🙁
Wheels fitted to the chassis. This model uses metal wheel nuts that have a small shaft protruding from the back which simply presses into the brake and hub.
No photoshop effect here, simply the sun at the right angle on the Alclad.
Back to the bodywork and marathon masking job! After laying down gloss white, the first mask job was to cover all parts that were to remain white before hitting it with yellow. It’s not just the colour scheme that I masked off; the larger white-background sponsor logos and race number panels are also masked to give a strong white base for the white decals.
Tamiya TS16 yellow mixed with a dab of TS12 orange put through the airbrush, three to four coats over 20 minutes.
Masking tape off – and no bleed throughs!
Paint build-up around the mask edges was significant. This required sanding smooth before any decals could be laid down.
Round 2 of masking applied, then hit with gloss black – three coats in one sitting, Tamiya TS14.
With all the masking tape removed, the key lines of the overall livery can be seen. There were a few minor bleed-throughs with the black that needed cleaning up.
Body parts lightly sanded and washed, ready for decals.
Decal night!
The Taka-Q and race numbers on each side span multiple body panels. I know some modelers pre-cut their decals and apply them one by one, but my preferred method is apply the entire decal, then slice where required. Step 1 is to secure the body panels in place (thus the tape) and cut the decal out.
Step 2 – Apply the decal and get it positioned. I use a decal setting solution on the body first (in this case, Microscale’s Miro Set), then roll the moisture out with a cotton tip.
Step 3 – Wait a good 5 minutes or so for the decal to get a bit of a hold, then out with the razor blade, carefully running it through the gap between the body panels to slice the decal. (As a side note, I’m now glad I sprayed the livery on this model rather than use the kit decals. Check out how the yellow and black have bled through the TRD decal.)
Step 4 – Once sliced, the panels can be separated. I then use some decal softener (Micro Sol on this one) on the edges of the cut to make any excess decal film fold around the panel edge.
Bodywork decals done! I like to give them at least 48 hours rest to allow the moisture to fully come out. Then it’s a case of finding a spare day of suitable temperature to throw some clear over it all.
Clear coat time for all the exterior body panels. Two initial coats were followed several days later by very light sanding and another two coats = 4 coats all up.
After the clear had cured for a number of days, time to polish. I used Micro Mesh 4000 then 6000 then 8000 followed by Tamiya Compound fine then finish.
With the external paintwork done, the interior was next. Most of it is not really visible, so was hand painted with a brush. However, the dashboard top will be visible through the windscreen, so it gets masked off for spraying.
The bubble-shaped windscreen will eventually fit into this aperture. The small hole in the white bodywork is to mount the single central windscreen wiper at the end of the build.
Rather than painting the metal surround of the exhaust outlet hole, I decided to use bare metal foil. First, a piece is placed over the part and burnished into place.
Then carefully trimmed to replicate the metal surround. This had to be done on both sides.
Same technique was used to create a bit of a heat shield on the inner bodywork
Once the headlight inners, fuel fillers, tow hook and dashboard were in place, plus the inside and underside painting finished, the body was finally ready to go on the chassis.
This was a step I was dreading as the bodywork has to be carefully spread apart to clear the intercoolers and exhaust pipes. But once over, everything snapped into position quite easily.
Inside view of the cockpit before the doors and windows are fitted.
Plus from the front before the windscreen is installed.
Panel lines blackened plus various small details addressed, such as the orange side lights.
Tinted lenses will cover the headlight apertures. I used chrome-silver then a black wash to detail the nose cone mounting posts either side of the Toyota signage.
These are the headlight lenses which, like most of the other clear pieces, had scratches and scuffs on them. As such, they required polishing before any paint application.
Tamiya X-19 ‘Smoke’ is used to tint the headlight covers, which are then glued into place with Kristal Klear.
This really shits me… handling parts and accidentally chip the paint. A dab of gloss black will hide the problem, but still…
Rear wing and mirrors are done, but don’t get fitted until the very end of the build as there’s too much risk of damage until all the glassware is installed.
Window masking time. The kit does not come with window mask templates, and a Google search didn’t bring rewards either, so choices were hand paint (the clear pieces had a faint line indicating where to paint), or make my own mask templates. I used a pencil along the faint edge (in this case, on the inside of the windscreen) which makes it visible once the masking once tape is applied over the top.
Then use a pen to mark what will become the edge of the mask.
Peel the tape off the part and lay flat on the cutting board. Also, rub the pencil markings off the part.
Then carefully hand cut along the line.
Using tweezers, carefully lift the mask off the board and re-apply to the part.
Same process for the two side windows.
The reverse side to the custom mask template has masking tape applied to prevent any overspray from getting to it. The parts are then mounted to sticks, and the edge of the masks re-burnished ready for spraying.
I painted these with LP-5, semi-gloss black.
Once all the tape is removed, this is what’s left. The black is applied on the inside of the windscreen, but on the outside of the two side windows.
Each window was installed using Kristal Klear as the adhesive. See the series of mounting brackets along the bottom of the windscreen? In retrospect, I should have filed those off then used a thinner alternative material to replicate them afterward as (a) they are way too big, and (b) the central one caused a clearance problem when mounting the windscreen wiper.
Sun visor strips on the windscreen and doors are the original kit decals. The door shades cover up two ventilation holes which required careful use of softener and hobby knife to get the result above. The comms aerial is just a piece of wire CA glued into the mount.
Orange side lights were hand painted plus a little panel line wash around the edge.
Done 🙂 Luckily my new spray booth has LED lighting for these pics as my photo box is at my brother’s place and due to COVID travel lockdowns, I can’t go there to get it back!
From the top view, the livery presents as various stripes across the car. However, down the left side, the stripes lean forwards and on the the right they lean backwards.
Engine cover is removable to show the motor, gearbox and rear suspension detail.

Now, on to the next project…

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