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Tamiya 1/12 scale Yamaha XV1000 Virago Item no. 14052 1400yen
Move your mouse over the bikes to see what are the modification I did!

I buy this kit because it's no longer available here in Singapore. The normal Virago is still plentiful. There will be little detailing of this bike as I am not familiar with the real bike even thou my friend owns one and will be great to have its 1:1 for references but then he sold it before I could start!

So its gonna be an out-of-the-box, box-stock, build? Well almost. I could not help to detail a few parts, mainly the brake caliper areas and the use of Photo Etched bolts, nuts and screws.

Extras that I added for this kit is the "Radar Detector" A must when you are cruising the highway and avoiding any speeding tickets! I also added some

<Notice the photo-etched "Slot screw head" to the ignition area to simulate the keyhole.

"leather" fringe on the handlebars' end. This is very popular among cruiser so I thought it might be interesting. I use Tamiya masking tape for these.

The Body:
The kit is fairly simple to build and instead of following the instruction to the dot, I choose to paint the body first! As Singapore is humid, it seems that my models' paint work takes ages to dry thus I choose to paint the body first as it will be subjected to a lot of handling like puttying, sanding, priming, painting, clear coating, polishing and finally waxing it. It’s a time consuming affair. I allows 3 to 4 days for the putty to set and upto three weeks for the paint. I give three days in between coats. The last stage of clear coating demands the most patient . It need to set and

< The other half of the caliper was taken from Tamiya SR600. Notice the speedometer cable? Its glue to the axle and not to the fork.

<I blotch up on the lettering! I need to polish my skill on this one. The gold was from Tamiya paint maker. I eject some paint off it and painted the lettering using a fine brush. Guesses my hand isn't steady enough. The gold leaf did not turn out gold enough. Next time I'll use chrome silver and later a clear yellow over it instead of gold leaf.

harden properly if not when you start to polish (with Tamiya Rubbing Compound), the paint might get damaged.

All the chrome parts are treated to a coat of Tamiya clear, in the future I will be using Johnson's Future Floor wax, as the result is more consistent. The problem with Tamiya clear spray can (in my case) is that if I am to spray it thick, it will blur the chrome, the end result is a foggy finish. It can crack months later too! If I spray layers of light coat it leaves a textured finish, sort of like "orange peel" or egg shell texture. But sometime it works without hitches? I am at a total lost. Wash the parts before I spray? Yes, I always wash them before I undertake any spray job. So it's "Future Floor Wax" for me in the future.

Well so much for the Tamiya clear spray, the rest of the painting are a breeze as this kit doesn't needs lots of colours to paint unlike the modern Tamiya GP bikes.

Front end:
The front end is very simple, for the brake calipers, I cut them off my spare Tamiya Yamaha SR600's and glue them to the stock caliper half. Other area includes a fully wired handlebar playing around with different gauge of fine wires. These are to simulate the various cables you will fine on a motorcycle handlebars: Electrical cables for the starter, lights and the various switches, clutch cable, brake cables, throttle cables and so on…

Where is the rider:
As most of my bikes are built without riders, I did not build the touring rider and I sold it off at ebay. However I did retain the luggage but did not include it in these pictures, as I will use these luggages for my 1/12 scale "round the world tour" rally car project (still dreaming on…)


If you got any questions feel free to email me at:

<More photo-etch here. Using the smallest PE washer to bring out the details of the rear drum brakes acutators

see the instruction manual