Kit Details
Build Notes

Tamiya 1/12 Honda CBR1100XX Super Blackbird '96 - Notes

Model Master Paints Used

Enamel: Chrome Silver (CR)
Buffing Metalizer: Aluminum Plate (BAP). Exhaust (BEX). Magnesium (BM), Titanium (BT)
Non-Buffing Metalizer: Aluminum (NBA), Brass (NBB), Magnesium (NBM)


Step #1 - Frame Assembly
Painted the exhaust/footpeg supports with thinned CR. I decided to brush paint these since it looked like it would be difficult to mask the frame. Unfortunately the brushed on CR didn't look as good as I hoped. I should have masked the frame and airbrushed the supports.

Painted the moulded in fasteners with CR.

The rear brake cylinder was painted with BAP:1 + NBB:1 instead of X-11:1 + X-12:1.

Step #1 - Swingarm
Assembled the swing arm and shock body before installing the tire/wheel. This is different than what the instructions say, but the chain ring, wheel and caliper will fit afterwards with no problems. I made this change so I could cleanup up the seams on the swing arm and then paint everything. I painted the shock body before assembly and masked it with a paper tube before painting the swing arm with BAP. I then buffed it with a soft cloth and sealed it.

Added the rear brake lines and they were heat formed. This gives a very clean look to them. In the box art you can see that the rear brake line is held with a small clip. I made a clip using 1mm x 10mm aluminium from a Coca-Cola can and a piece of #28 wire. The clip was bent into a "J" shape and wrapped around the brake line. Then a #74 drill was used to drill a hole through the clip. Now the brake line and clip were positioned on the swing arm and a hole drilled for the #28 wire. A short piece of wire was CAed into the hole and then the clip slipped on the wire and the excess cut off. The result is a very convincing clip that looks bolted to the swing arm.

Drilled out the self cleaning holes in the brake disc and painted the braking surface with BAP. The center was painted with X-18:15 + X-21:1. The bolt heads were painted with NBM.

The chain was painted with BT over a base coat of NBB. Painted the chain ring's bolt heads with CR.

The caliper was painted with BEX and sealer instead of XF-24. Again, the XF-24 didn't look right. Then the calipers were masked with Maskol™ and the caliper bracket was touched up with NBA. After removing the Maskol, the caliper was touched up with BEX. Highlighted the brake line fittings with NBA:1 + NBB:1.

The spring was first painted with XF-2 and once dry, painted it with X-7. The white undercoat ensured the red would be nice and bright.

I lightly sanded the centerline of the tire with 400grit paper.

Step #3 - Attaching Swingarm

After the swing arm was installed in the frame, I covered the steel axle with a turned piece of styrene that is the same as the left side of the swingarm. It fits in the recess that the screw head goes into. I made it from a piece of the kit sprue and then turned to the right diameter to fit into the recess. I punched a 2.5mm disc from 0.010" sheet styrene and then added a smaller disc cut from stretched sprue. I used the moulded in cover on the left side as a reference for making this. The cap was paint with CR and secured with Kristal Klear.
Axle plug

Be sure to add the decals to the swing arm and chain guard before installing the exhaust. Otherwise it will be next to impossible to apply them.

Inner fender was painted with BEX and sealer.

Detail painted the battery post covers with X-7 and X-18:3 + XF-63:1 for the battery's retaining strap.

Step #4 - Engine Assembly
The engine is mostly black and different blacks where mixed and to add some colour variety. If this wasn't done, the engine would turn into a black blob with all detail lost. The engine block was painted with with X-18:10 + X-21:1. This mix gives a muted black, a better semi-gloss than X-18. Doing this makes the X-1 engine covers really stand out against the engine block.

The oil filter was painted FRAM™ orange (X-6:7 + X-7:1) rather than X-1. This adds a little colour to the black engine. I wrote some black 'lettering' on the oil filter to make it look like a FRAM™ filter.

Highlighted all bolt heads with CR.

I didn't cement the headlight lens or reflector into place in order to allow a bit of 'play' if need when adding the nose fairing to the frame.

Step #5 - Attaching Injectors
: I mistakenly cemented C12 were C13 should be and vice versa on the fuel rail. This happened simply because I had labeled the cleaned up carbs incorrectly. The only difference between them is the intake trumpets have different lengths. The longer should be in the middle. Usually Tamiya designs the mating surfaces to avoid this problem, but not here. So be careful. No harm done though. The carburetors are hidden up under the tank and everything has enough clearance.

When adding the carburetors& fuel rail, I positioned the engine so the carburetors sat vertically. This ensured they stayed properly aligned as the cement dried.

Step #6 - Attaching Engine

I was going to use 3/64" brass rod to replace the screws. But I simply filed the screw heads into a hex shape and flatted the head with a file. Once the engine was secured, I filled the Phillips screw head with CA glue. Once dry,  the head and painted it with CR and now it looks like bolts hold in the engine.

Step #7 - Attaching Exhaust
Stripped off all the bright chrome plating using Easy-Off™. Since I stripped these in order to eliminate the seams, I primed the assembled exhaust these so I could see any irregularities in the seams. A couple small spots needed attention and were taken care of with automotive spot putty.

Assembling the headers was a little tricky as the header ends wrapped around the square end of the left rear pipe. I mounted the engine into the frame so it could act as a jig while putting everything in place. It was difficult to hold everything, but once in place some liquid cement promptly glued everything in place. I left the pipes on the engine/frame until the the cement had fully cured.

The XF-24 was substituted for BEX and sealer. The headers were then masked off and the rear pipes and mufflers were painted with BAP and buffed. The mufflers were also buffed with SnJ Aluminium Polishing Powder (Health Warning!! wear a respirator!) for a amazingly brilliant shine.

Step #8 - Attaching Radiator
The core was painted with BEX and sealer. The radiator ends and cooling fan were painted with X-18:15 + X-21:1.

With the engine in the frame, the hoses were heat formed to give the proper shape for routing from the radiator to the engine. Then sanded them with 1500grit paper to remove the sheen.

I made hose clamps from 1mm wide Bare-Metal Foil and added a 1.5mm length of #28 wire for the tightening 'screw'.

Step #9 - Taillights
Taillight and turn signal housings were painted with BEX and sealer.

I masked the portion of the taillight lens to remain clear. Then painted the inside of the lens with X-27. The inside of the turn signal lenses were painted with X-26. Lenses were installed with Kristal Klear.

Step #10 - Front Fork

Stripped off all the bright chrome plating using Easy-Off™ and painted the telescopic portion with CR. The holes in C18 had to be reamed out a bit in order to compensate for the CR. I masked the lower part of the fork by cutting a 5mm circle in a piece of paper, slid it over the fork and used Maskol to seal around the whole. This prevented any CR over spray from getting on the finished lower half.

Painted the control housings and fluid tanks with BEX and sealer. Then detail painted the fluid level inspection windows in the fluid reservoirs. This was done with a circle of CR, then three blacks semi-circles and finally painted over with X-19.

Painted the grips with X-18:3 + XF-63:1 and the ends with X-1. On the right control, painted the switch with XF-2 and then X-7 in order to get a bright red. Painted some white marks to suggest switch information.

Painted the control levers with CR.

I filled the injector pin marks on the forks with CA and sanded them smooth with the Flex-I-File™ and 1500grid paper.

The calipers painted with BEX and sealer instead of XF-24. Again, the XF-24 didn't look right. Then the calipers were masked with Maskol™ and fork bodies were touched up with NBA. After removing the Maskol, the caliper was touched up with BEX. Highlighted the brake line fittings with NBA:1 + NBB:1.

I drilled holes in the right control for two lengths #28 gauge wire for the throttle cables. The ends of the wire were CAed into a small length of vinyl tubing and routed under the front of the tank. The throttle cables were CAed into place and then painted with X-18:3 + XF-63:1.

Step #11 - Attaching Front Fork
All the brake lines were heat formed , like the radiator hoses, since some have to be routed with sharp bends. This gives a very clean look to them.

Step #12 - Cowling
The box art show parcel tie-down points on either side of the seat, the passenger grab handle and on the muffler support brackets. I drilled holes with a #74 drill to accept #24 wire. I then countersunk the holes with a large drill so I could paint perfectly round base with CR. Once the CA was dry I slipped a 2mm length of vinyl tubing over the wire to act as a jig so I could cut each wire to the exact length. Then I stretched some sprue and cut disks that were about 1.5mm in diameter. I drilled a whole in the center with a #74 drill and then CAed the disks on the end of the tie-down studs. The tie-downs were painted with CR.

Primed all the parts with Canadian Tire Grey Primer. All imperfections were touched up with some automotive spot putty and the cowling was re-primed.

Added the wrinkles to the seat covering and painted with XF-63. Then buffed to give it a sheen and bring out the wrinkled texture.

The underside of the cowling was painted with XF-63:1 + X-18:1.

Step #13 - Attaching Cowling
nothing worth noting here.

Step #14 - Front Cowling

Painted the instrument panel with BEX and sealer. The instrument panel was then masked off and the bodywork filler surrounding the instrument panel was painted.

The inside of the front cowling was painted with XF-63:1 + X-18:1.

The body colour of the mirror housings was masked off and the mirror arms painted with BEX and sealer. It was supposed to be XF-24, but it didn't look dark enough when compared with 1:1 photos.

There are two sets of  indicators lights (see diagram below) on either side of the speedometer. A turn signal , high beam, and stand indicator on the let. And a turn signal, oil and neutral on the right. These are just depressions on the panel and there are no decals or painting instructions. The depressions were first painted with CR and then with the appropriate clear paints X-27 (stand & oil), X-26 (left & right turn signals), X-23 (high beam) and X-25 ( neutral ). Since I didn't have clear green, I mixed some with X-23:1 + X-24:1. The CR base makes all the indicators show up nicely. The more clear paint you use the darker they'll be. So, just use a thin clear colour coat if you want a light 'on'. There is also a cone shaped (see diagram for profile) push on/off switch to the lower right of the speedometer. I made a cone from sprue, inserted it into the hole and painted it with XF-1.
CBR1100XX Instrument Panel

I would suggest you test fit all the bodywork before starting to add the windscreen, instrument panel, etc. Doing this revealed that the front fairing did not fit quite right. The screw hole on the left side was off by about 0.5-1.0mm. This was corrected by filing down the locator hole on the back of the headlight reflector (D8). Also, the side panels can be a little to install. Be patient.

Made 'glass' covers for the instruments from clear sheet. The panel will look 100% better than just covering the instrument faces with X-22 or Kristal Klear. Installed instrument faces with Kristal Klear. I applied the Kristal Klear to the decal face and then laid the 'glass' into the Kristal Klear being careful not to leave air bubbles underneath. In hindsight, it would have been better to make 'glass' faces a bit oversized and scribe a groove in the sides of the instrument bezel so the faces would snap into place.

Installed the mesh into to the nose scoops using Kristal Klear. The mesh must be curved, so I laid a pair of heavy tweezers on the screen so it would conform to the scoop's shape while the Kristal Klear dried. When installing the mesh in the nose, be aware that the top of the mesh is very close to the headlight reflector and you'll probably need to trim it so it won't interfere with the headlight reflector.

I painted inside the front turn signal housing with CR. Painted the inside of all the lenses with X-26.

I polished the windscreen with Tamiya's Polishing/Rubbing Compound to get very shiny 'glass'. Then masked the windscreen and painted the lower portion with X-18:3 + XF-63:1 on the inside.

Lenses and windscreen were installed with Kristal Klear.

The mirror faces were masked with Tamiya masking tape and the perimeter painted with X-18:3 + XF-63:1. The mirror faces were cemented into the housing with Kristal Klear and the mirror assemblies cemented to the front cowling with Kristal Klear. Some masking tape was used to support the assemblies in the proper position while Kristal Klear dried.

Step #15 - Attaching Front Cowling

I didn't cement the headlight lens or reflector into place in order to allow a bit of 'play' if need when adding the nose fairing to the frame.

Step #16 - Attaching Under Cowling
Drilled out the self cleaning holes in the brake discs and painted the braking surfaces with BAP. The centers were painted with X-18:15 + X-21:1.The floaters painted with NBM and bolt heads were painted with CR.

The inside of the lower cowling was painted with XF-63:1 + X-18:1.

I lightly sanded the centerline of the tire with 400grit paper and added tire and brake discs. Also made a new valve stem to replace the one I broke off while washing the parts. I made it using a piece of #28 wire for the stem and a blob of Kristal Klear for the cap and CA glued it to the wheel. Important: be sure to refer to tire/wheel profile here as the Markings and box sides are incorrect.

Replaced the axle screw with a piece of 3/32" brass tubing.

Important: I couldn't add the left side fairing since it appears the end of the radiator is interfering with the fairing. Everything fit pretty good when off the bike. Rather that try to trim down the radiator and risk doing more harm than good, I left well enough alone. A little disappointed, but  I had intended to leave this side off anyway so the engine, radiator, etc. could be viewed instead of hiding it under the fairings.

No surprises here. Just be sure to select the right 'XX' logo for your preferred body colour.

I used Microscale's Micro-Set to apply the decals.
Contact Coaster
Last revised on: March 2, 2004
Copyright 1998-2003, Kenneth W. Hartlen. All rights reserved.

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