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Chevron's transkit for Tamiya McLaren M23

by Mario Covalski



The seventies were glorious for 1/12 scale models, every year new releases were offered to model builders, as happens today with 1/20 scale. Tamiya was the leader, manufacturing more than a new model once a year!!!. At the beginning of 1974 came out the Bs 1214 Texaco Marlboro M23, and a year after, Bs 1217 Yardley McLaren M23. Basically, this was the same model with a few changes in the body and in sponsor's decals.

The M23 McLaren was a F1 car with a simple design, maybe for this reason it was so successful. The basic design evolved from 1973 to 1977 and helped Emerson Fittipaldi and James Hunt to obtain the World Championship.

Some days before writing this note I received the first kit of the Chevron trilogy, which allows us to transform the Tamiya Texaco Marlboro M23 into the 1976 McLaren M23. Really both the Tamiya M23 would be useful for this project.

The Kit

I was astonished by the small box size, and the good content quality. I want to remark on it; it is incredible the Chevron artisans did a good job.

The first I do when I receive a transkit is look at the instruction manual, so as to see which things must be changed and which not. Well, really I only could look at it because it is in Japanese. It seems to me that the kit could provide a diskette with the Japanese text in TXT format, so in this way it could be translated with the available translators. Anyway the instruction manual diagrams are very good.

The body parts are made of vacuform plastic.There are only a few; many of the model are Tamiya's parts, but modified.

I think the more complex step in the building , is the mount of the engine air duct, which replaces the periscope air duct. Here we must be careful, I advise to practice with any other plastic and scissors before making the definitive cut.

Resin parts are excellent, the rear aileron is made of resin too and has a finish ready for being painted.

There are a lot of metal parts, which allow us to modify among other things almost fully the front suspension. Don't forget to paint metal parts with Humbrol matt or with the base you choose, before the definitive colour.

The sample I received has two identical vacuform acetate windshields, I don't know the reason, perhaps as a spare in case of damage to the first.

As always Chevron provides a complete seat-belts set, with the logos' cloth adhesives, and very good quality decals , something great!. .


A negative point is the absence of water radiators, made of resin, the same with the front body and the rear stabilizer bar; the instruction manual explains how to build them with the Tamiya parts, but it would have been better if the kit had these parts.

If I had to chose which of the three Chevron transkits I would build first, without any doubts it would be this one, for both Chevron's and Tamiya's simplicity.

With good photographic references and the manual drawings, a quality model can be done, with not a great deal more effort than the usual building of Tamiya's kit.

I hope this note will be useful to encourage those who build in 1/12 scale to add this one to his wanted list – it's worthwhile – and for Chevron's people to go on delighting us with their talent.

I'm especially grateful to Grand Prix Model for providing us the kit, all the material and the advising to begin this building .

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