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George Williams
90 articles

Too much monkey business?

April 19, 2021 · in Automotive · · 19 · 1.9K

AndrewH recently posted his 1/12th and here's my attempt. I had cataracts on both my eyes last year and had an operation to correct this in September. Having new eyes was amazing and I wanted to build something to test them out. This kit is one of Tamiya's more recent offerings in this series and seemed ideal. I also added a "detail up" kit, but, to be honest, this was pretty much a waste of money. I hoped to have a flexible metal chain, but the links were almost impossible to assemble and only resulted in a rigid chain anyway, so I kept Tamiya's moulded plastic one. The other reason for the extra kit was to have metal brake discs, again these were very difficult to assemble and I ended up sanding down the kit's plastic ones and grafting on the metal disc. I experimented a little with painting the fuel tank and forks by giving the red an undercoat of gold, and finishing with a coat of pearl clear. However the areas to be painted are so small that it hardly notices. The only other slight deviation from standard was the white trim stripe around the saddle. The saddle is made of a black vinyl type material which looks great. Tamiya suggest painting the stripe white, but I didn't think this would be a good idea as the paint is unlikely to adhere to the vinyl very well. Instead I cut a strip of white masking tape as thinly as I could and used that. It's possibly a little overscale but I think it "pops" quite well. As you can see my newly recruited QA team seem to approve. The last picture tries to show the small size of the Monkey posed in front of a "proper" motor bike. All in all it's a great little kit, highly recommended. Thanks for looking, George.

Reader reactions:
15  Awesome

26 additional images. Click to enlarge.

19 responses

  1. This is a wonderful job, George!
    Looking at the first pic, I thought I was looking at the real thing!
    Interesting to hear that the "extras" bought did not perform (well, I rarely use AM, to be honest...).
    Always good to have a supporting QA team: I have my two very young sons (6 and 3). Well, I have to bribe them with chocolate and ice cream often, in order to grant a "pass" result to my models...

  2. I have to agree with Spiros, looks like the real thing. Well done, George, a real eye catcher.
    And a great big, beautiful smile from the QA team...who could ask for anything more...that's what this hobby is all about. FUN!

  3. Wonderful build, it looks excellent! The comparo shot gives a good sense of scale, since these kits assembly so well and look so good, it's hard to tell just how small it is in pics. I like the seat tubing too. The tubing they expect you to paint is indeed very thin, but if hadnt known that, I'd never guess yours to be over scale, just because it looks so clean. I played around with masking, got fed up, considered using cut strips of Tamiya vinyl tape, then just left it as is. Seeing yours now makes it feel like mine is missing a critical element.. back to work, perhaps...

    Thanks for sharing George! 😀

  4. Looks like the cataracts surgery was a success George. When I brought my wife home after her surgery her first words were "did you clean the windows?" Good looking monkey and it appears the QA team agrees as well. Nice job.

  5. That’s really nice, George. Looks real.

  6. Beautifully done!

  7. Nice one,very cute little motorbike.

  8. George, @chinesegeorge
    This has to be your best build yet ! In some of these pictures you posted, it is very hard to determine if it is a picture of the model or a real bike. I like your choice of colors. It looks fantastic. I have a good friend who recently purchased one of these Monkey bikes. His is yellow and black, but I like the color combo on yours better. It even has the Honda name across the back of the seat just like the real deal... amazing.

    These Monkey bikes remind me of the little trail bikes that Honda built back in the late 1960's and early to mid 70's. My best friend when I was growing up had a Honda 50, then his dad picked up several of the Honda Trail 70's. My sister had the largest version, and hers was a Honda Trail 90cc. Most of the concessioners on the local beach would rent out the little Honda Trail 70cc bikes to the tourists. They in turn would ride them everywhere on the beach and could put a lot of miles on these little bikes in no time at all. These "rentals" were naturally governed down so they couldn't reach anything over 15 M.P.H., but they were fun for the renter anyway. The only drawback to operating these little bikes on the beach was rust... for the salt air and water from the Atlantic Ocean would rust these bikes out to where they were no longer safe to operate in a few years.

    Thanks for posting this one... it reminded me of my youth. Speaking of youth, it seems that your QC team is also very impressed with your work.

    Stay safe my friend. I definitely pressed the "liked" button.

  9. I really can't say more, only how great this is and I enjoyed seeing all the pics, especially the ones with your obviously pleased QC rep.


  10. Wonderful build George and I'm so glad your eyes are better, it means we get to see this beauty.

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