Provence Moulage Renault R202 

by Dan Hartz


Hot on the heals of Tameo's release of the Toyota TF102, Provence has released a mixed media model of the Renault R202. Provence's release of the car is as it appeared at Monaco and is a limited edition of 500 kits. The body, baseplate, and the front wing are beautifully cast in a tan resin. The rear wing elements, sidepod winglets, and upper front suspension arms are cast in a clean white metal. The rest of the suspension arms, barge boards, and rear wing endplates are in brass photoetch. Rounding out the kit are nicely turned brass wheel rims and rubber tires.


Naturally, any modern Formula 1 car model will be compared to the benchmark Tameo kits, and upon closer inspection, the Provence model fairs very well. The body is a spectacular casting. It is very smooth with exceptionally crisp panel lines. Two advantages of the Provence kit are that the nose area is cast as one piece eliminating the need to clean up the seam under the nose and the front wing supports are integrally molded into the body. Both features will considerably speed up the preparation process for the body. The attachment points for the suspension pieces are all cleanly molded open, but will require opening up wider to compensate for the paint coats. The shape of the body compares well against photographs, but the airbox and opening appear to be slightly narrow. One area of the body that would benefit from some extra work is the front sidepod openings. They are crisply cast, but blanked off too shallowly. The resin is reasonably thin in this area and would be easy to grind out. The addition of some photoetch radiator material would finish the area off nicely.

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The front wing is an amazing casting. The complex shape of the wing, and especially the endplates, is beautifully captured. The endplate diffusers are wafer thin and molded integrally. This is truly a great innovation and very much a time saving feature. Tameo should study this part carefully, because it is every bit as thin as Tameo's photoetch diffusers but not nearly as complex to get ready for paint. The rear wing elements, in white metal, are cleanly cast, but they suffer slightly from large sprue attachment points. The same is true of the sidepod winglets. The upper front suspension parts look chunky at first being cast in white metal. However, looking at photos reveals that Provence got it right as the real cars upper A-arms are fairly substantial pieces.

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The photoetch sheet is very plainly etched, and very basic when compared to Tameo's offerings. The barge boards are flat and Provence provides a template for bending them to the right shape on the fret. The suspension and rear wing endplates are again simply etched, but will look fine under a coat of paint. The wheels are beautifully turned in brass. The rubber tires look very good with a very accurate sidewall profile. The wheel inserts are relief etched as are the separate belt buckles.

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The instructions come on two very large sheets of paper. Typical of Provence, they provide pictures of the model under construction and of the completed model. They are fairly extensive and include step-by-step instructions, but photos of the real car would have been a nice inclusion.


Finally, the decal sheets are well printed and in register. The car is to be painted blue and the yellow and dark blue stripes are supplied as decals. The colors look good and are well matched to the real car. The sponsor decals are all readable. The main sheet also includes carbon fiber decals, but they appear to be somewhat over scale. The only disappointment on the decal sheet was the omission of a white decal for the front wing. It would make painting the front wing easier and eliminate some extensive masking.

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Overall, Provence has done an outstanding job of capturing the look of the Renault R202. The resin one piece body and wafer thin front wing will make building considerably quicker than a white metal kit. Being only the second new modern, non-Ferrari, Formula 1 car model in many years, it is very welcome indeed. With a minimum amount of work, it will be very impressive when built. I hope Provence and Tameo receive a lot of support for their new kits. They may just pave the way for more new F1 kits.

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