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Imai 1/12 scale Vespa P200E "The Mods" - B2612 1200Yen

Move your mouse over the bikes to see what are the modification I did!

< See the joint! Of all place they had to make the joint here. Once puttied and sand, the fine detail of the rubber floor mat is gone!




< Below is the next joint problem! The steering column do not flush with the front panel! Lots of super glue here and then putty it when set. The super glue is to make sure the parts do not come apart in the future.

Sad news for Imai's Fan

Japan's Imai Hobby has gone bankrupt. This is, remarkably, the fourth time the company has gone under in the past 25 years, but this time, there will be no recovery. Japan's bankruptcy laws impose a liquidation upon a firm that has failed repeatedly to get their business back on its feet.

Imai had an extensive and diverse product line, most notably in Harley-Davidson motorcycle kits, wooden sailing vessels, traditional Japanese architecture and character-related merchandise from shows like Thunderbirds, Gotchaman, Mospeada, Orguss and most recently, Speed Racer. We understand that Bandai has already indicated an interest in purchasing some of these toolings, but we are a long way away from learning what will happen to all of the companies assets.

Imai was partner to a licensing agreement with Harley-Davidson that made them the sole manufacturer of Harley bike kits to the North American market. Let's hope that this will open the window for Tamiya or some other major to license this attractive brand and turn out some great kits for global distribution.

Sigh.......

Back to this kit, bought it from Japan through Hobbylink Japan. This is my first scooter kit. It started my craze for scooters and I started to buy scooters from Aoshima (Suzuki Gemma, Honda Sprint, Yamaha Majesty, etc) and Tamiya, the uniqueness of this kit is its customized mirrors and lights! It got lots of them!

To make it funkier I added more customized parts myself:
1. Airhorns!
2. Stereos
3. Super detailed engine compartment
4. Operable front storage compartment
5. Customized foot pegs

< I decided to make the front compartment open-able

These additional parts are decided after I went through some magazine about these scooters. Its very popular in Britain and they even have a club for it. It had even become a cult classic with many die-hard fans and extreme scooters

Body:
Fitting on my Vespa is poor and is not easy to build straight out of the box, needs lots of putty to fill the many gaps! The fitting problem centers around the floor board and the steering column as seen on the pictures above left. The alignment on my model are out and need lots of putty and sanding to get them to flush. Its not an isolated case as both my scooter experienced the same problem.

< Above is the box art of the completed model

Engine:
Simple molding that is all you get. So armed with various reference pictures from magazine I started to add wires and hoses to it to make it look busy, but they are not necessary accurate.

Front end:
Added an airhorn here. Nothing much to detail here other than brake and speedometer cables. In future I would like to add a Pegasus or an eagle on the fender, much like a Rolls Royce with the lady or Jaguar with that cat!

< The center of attraction for my Vespa will be the open-able fromt compartment that will house a stereo set. The stereo is taken from a Aoshima gangster bike!

< What you see in the indication arrows are the stereo, the speakers, airhorn motor compressor and the signal light assembly

Rear end:
Added a battery on the spare tire side along with a host of circuitry, the real bikes runs on magnetos, no battery, so I provided one to power the stereos in front!

As I intend to make the side cowlings removable to show off the detailed engine and the battery I make sure that I added more details to the cowling itself for more realism. Cables were added to simulate the electrical connectors for the rear signals


< A battery from my part box was added n with a host of wiring and fuse box - all make believe.

< Cowlings received a signal light holder and wiring for added realism.

Other stuff:
Beside adding wires for the front and rear turn signals! I also added a Union jack flag, thus making this bike a British one. Luggage racks were added to the front and rear and a helmet from a die-cast kit was borrowed to complet the display. Interestingly this kit did not receive any Photo etched parts.

Reflections:
Other than the fitting problem this is one interesting subject to model! But if I am to build one again, I'll

make the seat removable to reveal the fuel tank! The next improvement I will like to make is to the speedometer. I'll like to print my own decal for this part as the stock kit featured molded details.

Somehow the chrome paint from Tamiya's paint marker don't seems to dry. The chrome actually comes off while photographing the model!
I am looking forward to the day I can find the one with the sidecar. It’s no longer in production and the occasional ebay lists are just too expensive for me. Anyone got one to sell?
But if I am to build again, I'll make the seat removable to reveal the fuel tank! Somehow the chrome paint from Tamiya's paint marker don't seems to dry. The chrome actually comes off while photographing the model!

If you got any questions feel free to email me at: modelmotobikes@yahoo.com.sg












































































































































see the instruction manual