Panoz LMP-1 Le Mans 1999

Manufacturer: Provence Moulage K1460

Scale: 1/43

Material(s): Resin, photo-etched metal, rubber tires

Price: About $45.00

Source: Grand Prix Models, England

This a simple kit with excellent resin castings-- much better than those of the 1998 Panoz Coupe from the same company. The body is a single casting with crisp, very deeply undercut air scoops. The body shell in my kit had only a couple of very small mold lines along the lower edges, some thin flash in the cockpit opening, and remnants of flash, more like "ragged edges" in the wheel arch openings. There were no "pin holes" or any other blemishes, even in the lower surfaces, a big improvement for P.M. The front and rear bulkheads, seat with integral harness, console, electronics boxes with wiring bundles, and even the gearshift are all cast on the upper surface of the baseplate. The rear wing, side splitter plates, "aero tunnel side plates, and other small parts are photo-etched brass while the wheel spiders are photo-etched stainless steel. Decals are provided for both team cars; you should be aware that there are some small sponsor decal variations between the two cars. P.M. does give you all the necessary decals but they are difficult to pick out in the small "color copy" instruction photos! The wheel rims are machined, with resin centrs and those photo-etched spiders that must be formed to the correct shape by squeezing them (hard) between the two pieces of the "forming tool" provided. "Jeweled" headlights, clear vacuform lens covers, and four rubber tires complete the kit; unfortunately the rear tires have a tread pattern while the fronts are slicks.

Cleanup and preparation were very simple; I did assemble the rear wing and glue the aero tunnel sides to the baseplate before priming the parts. Paint all the interior a semi-gloss black, as itís all carbon fiber which has a slight sheen. I used some aftermarket "carbon fiber" pattern the more accessible and visible parts of decals on the side panels and enhance the effect. The exterior is painted consoles to gloss black; provided on the decal sheet. The decals, everything else is though, were than Iíd anticipated from lots of more of a problem experience with P.M. panels just would not lay down kits. The big silver around the front of the headlights (be sure that the lights and fenders and lens covers are glued before applying decals!), even with the to the body help of solvent and a would up making several splits in the hair dryer. I decals and them to conform to the body shape. overlapping them to get Since the white base, the overlap is thick enough silver ink is on top of a to be The red stripes turned out to be very visible in a couple of spots. brittle rather than conform to the body shape-- I and tended to break up suppose thatís a function of the neon ink as it only happened with the red decals. Fortunately, there are some "fluorescent red" paints available (intended for a blue NASCAR car with number "4*", any more info will violate copyrights!) that can be used to touch up the decals.

Once all the decals were in place, assembly was easy. There arenít many parts and they all fit well-- even the big rear wing was easy to get "square" in all three dimensions. If you compare the model to photos of a Panoz LMP-1 in the September 1999 issue of "Racer", lines and detail (except for some of the graphics) are excellent except for the shape of the rear wing struts. but that car is at the Panoz ran in the American ALMS races-- "Auto Modelisme" has photos of the car at Le Mans and P.M. has the struts correct for that race. The decals are correct for Le mans, too, and the A.M. photos allow you to see which decals should be used on which car. Wheelbase scales out about 0.1" short, but everything else is right on 1/43 scale. The model "looks right" and it isnít possible to move the rear axle, so donít worry about that minor discrepancy

In summary, excellent castings and good parts fit make this one very easy to build up. Anticipate some problems with the decals, though, something you rarely encounter with a P.M. kit. The finished model is very striking, and both the model and its markings match photos shot at the 1999 Le Mans very well. If you have any interest in sports cars, especially those with big American V-8 engines, the Provence Moulage 1999 Panoz LMP-1 is a "must have" model.