AMD Models 1/20th Brabham BT-46 Conversion Decal

By John Jameson


If you haven't heard of AMD Models before, you are probably not alone. AMD Models is a relatively new, small company out of San Paulo, Brazil. The product range is exclusively Formula One with a Brazilian flavor. Their current product line consists of five high quality resin kits ­ two different Brabhams, a Stewart Ford, a Fittipaldi Copersucar, and a Lotus, all of which were piloted by Brazilian Drivers. This conversion decal is AMD's first venture into the arena of aftermarket accessories.

The Decals

Both decals have been modified to better show the white portions. They are much finer detailed than seen here

This conversion decal set is for the Tamiya 1/20th Brabham BT-46 kit #20007. This kit has been hard to find in the past, but Tamiya just reissued the kit so the release of this decal is timely. The AMD decal conversion provides decals to build four different versions of the Brabham-Alfa Romeo BT-46, '78 South Africa, '78 Long Beach/Dutch Grand Prix, '78 Italy/Watkins Glen/Canada and '79 Argentina.

This conversion decal set contains two full 6 x 8.5" decal sheets and a four page decal placement guide and instructions. Included on the instruction sheet is a separate numbered decal placement guide and black and white reference picture for each particular version that there is an option for. The instructions are in English and the placement guides are easy to understand. The black and white photos included are also a very nice reference to include.

The Tamiya kit contains decals for the car as ran in 1978 from Long Beach to Holland. Now this same set is also contained in the conversion set from AMD but there are some differences. First and most notably, the Tamiya kit decals have the sponsor (Parmalat and Goodyear) preprinted on the blue areas of the decal, while on the AMD set the sponsor markings are separate. I prefer the separate markings. I usually lay down the decals that are part of the color scheme, then clear coat, and then apply the sponsor markings and again clear coat. I find this gives the model a bit of depth, so the decals for the color scheme appear as part of the paint job, while the sponsor markings appear as just that, sponsor markings. Also should the modeler want to paint the blue areas represented by the blue decals the AMD set is the only way to go because it provides the sponsor markings separately.

One other important note is if you plan on using the Studio 27 photo-etch detail set which provides the rear engine radiator grills as photo-etch pieces you'll need to cut the 'decal' vents out of the Tamiya kit decal to apply the PE or simply use the AMD set. The white of the Tamiya kit sponsor decals are also a bit 'off white' and no, my decals are not old and yellowed, I just got the reissue. The AMD sponsor markings are a nice pure white. The Tamiya kit decals also omit the seat belt brand markings included on the AMD sheet. Besides these obvious differences the AMD decals seem to be of higher quality. The Tamiya sheet decals seem a bit thicker with more carrier film than those from AMD.

The AMD set will do two complete cars, in four options.

  • To model the BT-46 in the livery from Long Beach to Holland '78 you'll need the blue bases with white sponsor markings.

  • To model the BT-46 from Watkins Glen to Canada '79 you'll need the same blue bases with a different set of light blue stripes.

  • If you want to model the BT-46 from South Africa '78 you won't need the blue bases but instead the white bases.

  • Finally if you want to do Piquet's car from Canada and Argentina you'll need the blue bases with the numbers for Piquet.

So again you can build two completely different kits with this decal set alone. If you're a Nelson Piquet fan (he's Brazilian) then these decals are a must because the Tamiya sheet completely omits Piquet and his car number.


I love these decals. They are high quality. The instructions and references are excellent. It will allow the builder to build several versions of this nice kit and teamed up with a Photo-Etch detail set from Studio 27 for the BT-46 kit and you will have a striking model to display.

The price of the decals may seem a bit steep at first, $30 US, but almost all of the decals being produced by Studio 27 or others run about $15 a sheet and this set contains two full sheets, and the instructions and placement guides are better. So really the price is right in line with todayís standards.

The other thing I find a bit peculiar is the lack of driver helmet decals. The Tamiya sheet contains helmet decals for John Watson and Niki Lauda. AMD models being a true Brazilian themed operation and this conversion set definitely is skewed toward Nelson Piquet I wonder why there are no Piquet helmet decals included. Granted Tamiya produces a set of Piquet helmet decals with their Brabham BT-50 kit, but I would have thought a set of helmet and driver suit decals would have been an excellent addition on this decal conversion set. The Tamiya BT-46 kit, after all does include a driver figure.

f you haven't checked out AMD's stuff or website you should. . It is a nice website with pictures of their kits and a little history of some of the cars they have kitted and some reference photos. A rather interesting site.

They are producing high quality resin kits that aren't available in plastic. Their product range has a nice mix of new cars like the Stewart, and older cars like the Lotus 72D and the Copersucar. I think there is a bright future for AMD models and I can't wait for future projects. Keep checking this space for reviews of their kits.

I'd like to give AMD models a big thanks for the opportunity to review this decal conversion set and for the review sample.

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