has been producing 1:20 scale F1 plastic models for over a year now, with their first releases concentrating on the Lotus 72 series of the early 1970's. To date, Ebbro has four kits available with soon to be released kits of the Lotus Type 49 and Tyrell 002 & 003. Since their inception I've been curious to see what these kits consist of as there is very little information available on them. With a fairly high price tag it took me this long to take the plunge and order one.
This review will cover Ebbro's third release, kit #003, of the 1973 Lotus type 72E driven by Emerson Fittipaldi in car 1 and Ronnie Peterson in car 2. Unfortunately my kit has only one usable option, but more on that later.
Packed in a slip-top box with artwork on the top and photos of the built model on the sides are the following:
• 4 Sprues in black
• 2 Sprues in gray
• 1 Chrome sprue
• 1 Clear cowling & rear light
• 1 Yellow tinted cowling & rear light
• 4 Tires preprinted
• 1 Large decal sheet
• 1 small decal sheet
• Poly caps and 2 screws
Each sprue is bagged individually and arrived in perfect condition. Immediately you can see that molding quality is second to none, the parts have exquisite detail, no flash, very faint seam lines and no sink marks. The kit is built in modules and can be displayed in an "exploded" state to take full advantage of all the detail. The instructions span 17 construction steps and are in an exploded view line drawing style and follow a logical sequence. Paint callouts are for Tamiya paints.
Construction begins with the front nose and rear wing. The outer side panels of the rear wing have full coverage decals instead of individual sponsor markings, so hopefully the black will match the paint...otherwise each one will need to be cut out separately.
The one piece cowling can be masked and painted or the supplied decal can be used. Either way this is a great idea and gets rid of trying to neatly glue the windscreen separately. Two choices of induction air scoops are included, depending on whose car is being built. The body side pods consist of only three pieces each.
The wheels are chromed (why do these companies even give us chrome parts, we're just going to strip it off anyway!), with the attachment points in hidden locations. The chrome finish may work on these as most of the wheel will be painted gold. The spinners for the front wheels have the attachment point right on the center ring, so these will need to be refinished. The tires are a work of art, preprinted with the Goodyear name and logo and only a slight seam line down the middle.
The cockpit tub is nicely detailed (not that there was much in there) and construction should be very easy. Decals are provided for the gauges along with a choice of seatbelts depending on which driver's car is being modeled. Aftermarket seatbelts will enhance this area perfectly, and a set from Tamiya is recommended for this on the boxtop. The rollover bar is done in chrome although with the fine seam lines and attachment points this will be best stripped and repainted, as with most of the chrome parts.
The front bulkhead/suspension module is a mini kit on its own with fine detailing. The clutch and brake pedals have a finely engraved pattern and it appears that the front wheels will be positionable. Poly caps are used to attach the wheels.
The engine and transmission is beautifully reproduced and assembly is simplified due to intelligent molding of the parts. One downside here is the intake funnels, in chrome, have the attachment points right on the lip. No wiring or plumbing is included which is a disappointment with a kit of this caliber and price tag, so these will need to be sourced separately. The exhaust pipes consist of only two parts each and are well shaped, so construction should be a breeze with this sometimes difficult area.
The decal sheet is larger than I expected and looks very good with bright crisp colors. Hopefully the black on the decals match the body color well. The unforgivable part of the decals is the misspelling of Ronnie Peterson's name (Petarson) which makes car 2 unusable. I haven't found any contact details to check on a correction for this, so the only other option would be to spend another $20 for aftermarket decals. Needless to say, I'll be modeling Fittipaldi's car!
A small "metal" decal sheet is also included to replace decals #15, I believe, and do look much better.
Nice kit, by far. If the parts fit half as good as they look this should be a real winner. Price is high and I would expect a few extra details in a kit such as this in the form of engine wiring and fuel lines. Seatbelts and/or turned metal intake funnels would put this one way over the top, but still an excellent kit and I'm already looking forward to the Lotus type 49.
A build of the kit can be found:
Lotus 72E Build