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1/12 Honda RC166 GP racer by Tamiya

July 11, 2013 in Cars & Motorcycles

Here’s the latest kit I’ve completed. I’m not normally a two wheel fan, but this Honda is an exception.

About the bike: The RC166 was Honda’s triumphant development of its 250 cc racers which started in 1954 when Soichiro Honda declared his ambition to win the Isle of Man Tourist Trophy (TT). The TT course is a 60 km long, and the race is 200 km distance, all on public roads. Honda eventually achieved its ambition in 1966, not only winning the TT, but also the world championship. The RC166 had a six cylinder 250 cc engine, revving to 17,500 rpm (incredible for 1966), and is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful motor cycles ever produced.

About the rider: Definitely one of life’s great heroes. Stanley Michael Bailey Hailwood, MBE, GM, popularly known as “Mike The Bike” for his incredible riding skills, was born in 1940. He raced for many teams, most notably MV Augusta and Honda. In 1961 he became the first man to win three races in one week at the Isle of Man TT, in the 125 cc, 250 cc and 500 cc categories. He signed for MV Augusta in 1962 and was the first man to win four consecutive world championships in the 500 cc class. He returned to Honda in 1966 and 1967 in the 250 cc and 350 cc classes. Mike Hailwood is most remembered for his accomplishments at the famed TT where had won 12 times by 1967. Honda pulled of racing in 1968, but paid him a £50,000 retainer (US$ 1.1 million equivalent in 2006 prices)

He then went on to four wheel racing (being of the few to have made the successful change from two to four wheels, the most notable being John Surtees, still the only man to have won world championships in both disciplines) Mike had some success, winning the 1972 Formula 2 European Championship He achieved a podium finish at the Le Mans 24 hour sports car race, and completed in 50 Formula One races, scoring a total of 29 championship points. His bravery was recognised at the 1973 South African Grand Prix, when he rescued fellow driver Clay Regazzoni from the burning wreckage of his car. Mike Hailwood was awarded the George Medal for his courage. Mike retired from four wheel racing in 1974 after injuries received at the German Grand Prix.

Incredibly, after an 11 hear absence from two wheel racing, Mike returned to the Isle of Man race in 1978, at the age of 38. Against all expectations he won the Senior Class on a 900SS Ducati, and finally retired the following year.

Mike Hailwood was tragically killed in a road accident in 1981, when a lorry made illegal turn against him, he died two days later in hospital from his injuries.

About the kit: The RC166 is on the 1/12 scale series of motor cycles made by Tamiya. Being Tamiya, it is beautifully designed, and difficulties encountered were purely down to my own lack of skill and patience. Tamiya offer four “detail up” packs for this kit, wheels, forks, chain and rivets, otherwise you have to use the standard plastic parts in the kit. I was unable to obtain any of these packs in China, maybe they are not available any more. The most useful would have been the wheels, which in the kit are made from plated plastic, and are very fragile the spokes seem to pop out of place every time you look at them! So, I made it out of the box, I’ve shaded some of the metallic parts, most notably the chain, which doesn’t show very well in the pictures. I also replaced some of the more noticeable rivets with domestic pin heads. The bike stand is included in the kit, I made the “rack” to hand the cowling on from the plated sprue the wheels came on, and the rather heavy, but obligatory drip stand from card
Thanks for looking.

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6 responses to 1/12 Honda RC166 GP racer by Tamiya

  1. Sharp-lookin’ bike, George…..beautiful work.

  2. Interesting how guys like that end up with crazy deaths like that, totally out of the blue and nothing they could do. It reminds me of the German experte Kurt Welter, who shot down 15 Mosquitos at night as a Wilde Sau and then founded Kommando Welter, the Wilde Sau Me-262 night fighter unit, where he shot down 10 more Mosquitos in March and April 1945. After taking care of his men by surrendering all the Me-262s got after the war (Galland’s people blew all theirs up), he ended up driving in Germany in a high-powered car in 1947, going down a country lane to see his parents, and a lorry pulled out just the other side of a blind curve and he was killed by a broken neck in the collision, after all he had survived during the war. Hailwood sounds like the same kind of guy.

    Those Honda bikes in the 1960s were nice. A lot of fun and they went a very long way in getting rid of the old Western joke about Japanese quality.

    Oh, nice model BTW.

  3. Fantastic model George! Building bikes and cars involves a different skills set to airplanes i think. Theres a lot more need for precision especially with the paint job. Your bike looks the business.

  4. George,
    You didn’t need the detail updates, you did just fine without them. Great job.
    Another person tragically killed after the war was David Schilling, 56th FG. He drove his car into a tree. Zempke told me that Schillings death was a real tragedy as he was such a capable person that he could have risen to the top of the USAF.

  5. gorgeous finish

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