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REVIEW - Climax 1/24 Ferrari 250 LM - An eye-popping resin/white-metal/photo-etched kit from Japan!
If there is one great thing about this hobby today, it's the diviersity of product that is coming available to us modelers. We're no longer constrained by the offerings from the kit manufacturers, and their need to sell tens of thousands of a subject in order to justify the tooling costs. Now we have specialty manufacturers cropping up in every product category, filling niches and making this a much more sophisticated hobby.
Many of us sports car fans have heard about the specialty resin kits from Japan, from companies like Q-model, K & R, and Climax. Most of these kits are vintage sports car offerings, as there is a market for these among serious collectors. But, at prices in the $100 to $300 range, depending on the level of detail, few of us have actually laid eyes on these kits. But with thanks to Harold "Brad" Bradford, one of the founders of the Maryland Automotive Modeler's Association (MAMA's Boyz), we get to take a close look at one the finest specialty kits ever made, the Climax brand Ferrari 250LM, in 1/24 scale.
With a resin cast body, white metal engine and chassis components, and photo-etched details and wire wheels, this kit offers the same level of detail found in the best injection molded kits. What's most impressive about this kit is the level of engraving of the master patterns used to make the white metal castings. One the engine block, heads, and transaxle castings, it seems that every nut and bolt has been replicated, and most of the major components are separate pieces, creating natural parting lines upon assembly. All of this rests in a tube frame chassis cradle that includes authentic looking bosses and brackets. The rear decklid is hingable, with hinges molded into the roof of resin body.
Even the fuel tanks are highly detailed, as are the individual accessories like the brake masters, water pump, starter, distributors, and suspension arms.
Of course, you do get a nicely made set of phot-etched details, and a very presentable set of wire wheels and truned aluminum rims that ride on real rubber tires, with accurate tread pattern.
Of course, this level of detail is not inexpensive, and the Climax Ferrari 250LM kit has a list price in the $500 range. That's pretty steep, and this kit is not for everyone, but considering the hours that you'll spend on it, and the results, it is worth it to the right people. Many professional modelers will find this a great starting point for a good customer.
One source for this kit in the USA is Motoi. If anyone else has sources, please let us know!
Thanks again to brad for giving us this look inside a great kit. he plans to build it, and hopefully we can bring you updates of his progress.
by Dirk Johnson
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