Minardi M198

by Dave Carr


Manufacturer: Tameo

Reference: TMK256

Parts: 97

Decals: 105 approx.

Race: San Marino 1998

Drivers: Shinji Nakano (Esteban Tuero)
Engine: Ford V10

Following a reorganization of the Minardi team for 1998 by the Fondmetal chairman Gabriele Rumi, hopes were high at the start of the season. The changes included employing the highly rated Gustav Brunner as designer, allowing former owner Giancarlo Minardi to concentrate on the racing side, plus Ford Cosworth engines with only a slightly older spec than the works engines used by Stewart. However is as the case with Minardi, although the car was turned out beautifully, money is everything and the lack of budget generally kept them around two seconds off the pace. The M198 finished the season without a single point with a best finish of 7th by Shinji Nakano.


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The Kit

This kit comes with a double sided A3 sheet of computerized graphic instructions along with the ever useful superb colour photo's of the full size car in this case on a double sided A4 sheet. The white metal parts included body, chassis, front wing, seat and bargeboards. Photoetching comes on 3 sheets one in black for all suspension parts to aid with painting. There is also a useful colour chip supplied to help choose the right shade of silver. There are also 2 copies of the never ending decal sheets which Tameo always have in case of errors.

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The Build

In building this kit I've taken photo's after each 3 hours build time along with a summary of progress since the previous photograph.

3 Hours

After 3 hours it appears that not much progress has been made. The body has been cleaned up, had an extra piece under the nose added along with the curved aerodynamic pieces in front of the rear wheels. The joins around these extra pieces have been filled and sanded to give a seamless finish. All holes have been drilled and the body and front wing have been sprayed metallic Silver (I used Tamiya chrome silver X11). The hub and brake assemblies have also been assembled ready for painting.

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6 Hours

In this next 3 hours I have started the decaling task, which on this car is almost never ending. The main blue body colour is decaled in 3 pieces and was finally encouraged to adhere to the many curves and bumps on the body with a reasonably seamless joint, but only one side so far. The photo-etched rear wing was also built at this time and went together perfectly.

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9 Hours

As you can see from the photograph the next 3 hours was spent decaling the other half of the blue and adding all the sponsor names at the back end.

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12 Hours

This was a very productive 3 hours. The chassis, gearbox, seat and rear wing have all been sprayed black and the decaling has been added to the front of the body and the wings.

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15 Hours

In this 3 hours the suspension has been built up and painted and the bargeboards have been curved and added to the body and chassis. The wheels and Steering wheel assembly have also been prepared. The body now has its two cameras fitted and has been clear coated to seal the decals in place.

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18 Hours

The model is now really coming together. The seat along with belts has now been added to the chassis, which has been screwed to the body. The suspension has been fitted to the body and the tyres onto the wheels.

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21 Hours

During this 3 hours the wheels have been fitted and the suspension adjusted to ensure the car sits square to the ground. The front wing has been fitted and more decaling to the bargeboards, front suspension and steering wheel assembly.

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24 hours

The last 3 hours has been taken up with fitting the rear wing, decaling the wheels and tyres and fitting the steering wheel and mirrors.

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The Minardi M198 whilst a disaster in real life is an extremely satisfying car to build. As usual Tameo have produced a near perfect replica which builds up nicely. The white metal body was well cast and needed only slight sanding to remove flash. As with most Tameo kits, all parts without exception fitted together perfectly. The blue body colour decals, which cover most of the back half of the car, were difficult to position at their joins without the silver underneath showing through the gaps, but with perseverance were eventually persuaded into position. Minardi cars always have numerous sponsors and this car is no exception, but to their credit Tameo have reproduced every decal no matter how small.
The final completed model is very accurate to the real car and with its striking looks a welcome addition to the display case.


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