McLaren Honda MP4/5 – Suzuka 1989 – Part 3

Some more progress being made on this diorama now… at the price of my sleep! Also my first post since upgrading to, exciting times!! You can also follow progress on these models (should you so wish), by following me on Twitter at @badwolfminif1

The Senna figure was painted with a Tamiya spray can, before being left to dry. When dry, the overalls were decaled using the splendid Senna decal set from MSM Creations. Shading and highlights were added using Humbrol oils, before a coat of Tamiya flat clear was added to give a nice matt finish. 

Driver and helmet painted, rear wing starting to take shape
Driver figure (minus helmet) in test position, car also in test position

The biggest challenge in this part of the build was the Senna crash helmet. Like the Prost figure, I wanted to install a “real” transparent visor, which I did yang the same technique as on the Prost figure; a piece of clear plastic from a fruit punnet was cut to size and then curved to shape by taping to a paint brush and then submerging into boiling water (to soften the plastic), and then plunging into cold water (to set it in shape). 

The painted and decaled helmet, held on a cocktail stick!
Another view of the same, with the radio cable clearly visible.

The hardest part was the installation of the rivets (from Tameo), which served as the hinges of the visor. Lord knows how many my wife will find scattered across the living room floor, but it was worth it in the end as I was left with a realistic-looking, working visor. 

Having looked at reference photos, I could see that Senna’s helmet had a cable coming from the front left side which connected to the pit-to-car radio. I recreated this using some 0.35mm copper wire which I bought from Hobbycraft. 

The famous yellow-helmeted figure now in place, that radio wire in need of a trim
Another test shot… getting there now.

Another test for and all was looking good. By now it was ridiculously late, so it was time for bed. Steering wheel, windscreen and wing mirrors next….

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