|Member: Darrah, Tim
Title: Le Mans Miniatures Audi R8 #77 "Crocodile Dundee"
1/24TH Le Mans Miniatures Kit # 124044K
Audi R8 #77 ‘Crocodile Dundee’
This is one very interesting and colourful racecar, and Le Mans Miniatures has done it justice. This is a multi-media kit mostly of resin and etched-brass, with vacuformed plastic for the light covers. This is a fairly easy build, but decaling it will be a long painful experience.
Upon opening the hard cardboard box, you’ll find the resin one-piece body wrapped in bubble wrap and the various other resin parts in plastic bags keeping everything safe and secure. Make sure that you look at the inside of the box lid, as that’s where the 3 sheets of etched-brass & steel are located. The multi-page instructions (made for 3 different kits) are written in French and English with computer made drawing, therefore easily followed, but you’ll have to pay very close attention to the decaling when the time comes.
During construction, you’ll want to make sure that the full-color painting/decaling guide is right in front of you along with the black and white instructions. You’ll be looking at both of them frequently. Some of the construction, such as the front winglets, mirrors and rear wing assembly, will have to be saved for after the long decal job.
I attached the cockpit cowling, front brake louvers, front under body and rear under tray to the body, then all of it was painted gloss white then set aside to dry and cure for a month or so. The chassis parts were painted flat black then dry-brushed with a dark grey to simulate the carbon fiber of the actual car. Then the cockpit was detailed using photos from the ‘ACO 2000 Le Mans 24 Hours’ yearbook and ‘Automodelisme Le Mans 2000’. Both of these books are required as they have great shots of the Audi’s as they ran at Le Mans, the cockpits are the same. Once these have cured, I glued them together using super glue, make sure that you leave off the rear wing uprights, along with the wheel/brake assemblies and various small etched brass pieces, as it will make decaling easier with these parts not on the kit.
Decaling is the major, and hard, part of this kit and will not be done over a weekend, let alone a week. I think that it took me over 2 months to put on all of the decals! I never did count how many decals there are, but there sure are a lot of them. Just take a look at figure 1 and 2, this is what you have to decal the kit with. Look at the bottom of figure 1, it has a photo of the 15 Humbrol paint tins that match the colors in the decals. This is very helpful, too bad that you can’t read the numbers! Basically, you’ll put on 2 – 6 decals, then if possible let them cure for a few days before adding more. Also, make sure that you have a full bottle of Walthers Solvaset, you’ll need it. The Testors decal set and decal solvent solution didn’t help at all as these decals are that hard. Once decaled other construction can be done and then the finishing touches.
I had a blast doing this kit. Was it rough at times? Yes it was but that’s part of the fun. Would I do another? Actually, I have the Champion Audi on order right now and can’t wait until it gets here. J