Tamiya 1/24 Opel Calibra 'Team Rosberg'
By Tony Paton
I've always liked the look of the Opel Calibra models issued by Tamiya, but never found any of the schemes appealing. They were also more expensive than the usual car kits since they had more detail (the hood can be removed to show the engine). When my local hobby store had these kits on special for less than half price, I jumped at the chance and bought one. I then sniffed around the usual aftermarket websites to see what was available in decals. There were some made but all were sold out. I contacted my friend Dan Hartz as he always has something tucked away. He said he had some old DMC decals for the Calibra that I could have. When I received them I was excited, as the scheme was better than what Tamiya had produced. I got to work straight away.
The decals represent the Opel Calibra of Team Rosberg that competed in the 1996 DTM championship of Germany. Hans Stuck drove the car. He is a two-time winner of the 24 Hours of Le Mans (1986 and '87), has won the Spa 24-Hour (1972) and is a three-time winner of the Sebring 12-hour event (1975, '86 and '88). Additiionally he has a wealth of experience in most major road racing series, including European Formula Two, IMSA GT, Formula One, European Touring Car, SCCA Trans-Am and FIA GT. In the 1996 series he finished in 9th place alongside such names as Dario Franchitti, J.J. Lehto, Giancarlo Fisichella and Klaus Ludwig. Hans won the two races that were held in Finland.
As this is an earlier kit of Tamiya, even with more detail it doesn't rate with their more recent productions. The body was primered in Tamiya Matt White then given three coats of Tamiya Pure White. This was left to dry for a few days.
Work on the chassis than began. The floor pan, roll cage and wheels were sprayed in gloss aluminium. While this dried other features like seat and dash were painted and decaled.
After the body had dried it was time to decal. Although the real car differs from the Tamiya kit slightly, mainly the side fairings, the decals have been made to fit the Tamiya kit. They went down beautifully without the use of any solvents. Given a few days to dry, a coat of Testor's glosscoat was applied.
While this was drying, the rest of the body, including the great engine bay detail was completed. On further investigation, it was found that the rear wing was different. All that had to be done was the removal of the lower spoiler.
It was quite strange doing the windows without the use of Tamiya's masks that they supply in latter kits. It wasn't impossible! The body was then mated to the chassis. No fit problems were encountered. Final details were attached including an aftermarket antenna from M&A.
The final result is stunning and is a big improvement on what Tamiya offer in the range of paint schemes. The decals were great with no problems or the need to use solvents. I'm glad I waited! I'd like to thank Dan Hartz for the supply of the decals.