Italeri 1/12 Alfa Romeo 179/179C Kit First Look
|Date of Review||October 2019||Manufacturer||Italeri|
|Subject||Alfa Romeo 179/179C||Scale||1/12|
|Kit Number||4704||Primary Media||Styrene|
|Pros||Beautiful kit||Cons||See text|
|Skill Level||Intermediate||MSRP (USD)||$207.50|
The Alfa Romeo 179 is a Formula One open-wheel race car powered by a V-12 naturally aspirated engine and replacing their model 177 cars. The 179 was raced in six different configurations during the 1979 through 1982 seasons. These cars had some notable drivers including Mario Andretti and performed well, once the bugs were worked out. The 179 was replaced by the model 182 in the 1983 season.
I don't know about you, but as an avid aircraft modeler who dabbles into armor, sci-fi, and other areas on occasion, the only cars that really interest me are either the ones that I drive (or have owned in the past), or cars that I wish I had owned. The only exception is with cars that are as aerodynamic as the fighter aircraft I build, and none are more flight-worthy than Formula One. For years, Tamiya has owned the 1/12 scale Formula One market with a nice variety of Formula One racers. My first build was their original kit, the 1/12 Honda F1, which I later gave to a good friend. I have several more in my stash including the 1/12 Caterham 7 (not Formula One, but designed like one). When I saw Italeri was releasing an Alfa Romeo 179 in 1/12 scale, at first I thought it was a reboxed Tamiya kit, and on opening the kit, I found it wasn't a Tamiya kit after all, rather a reissue of a tooling from 1983 for the model 179 and from 1984 for the model 179C, both under the brand name Protar. Protar ceased operations around 2002 and Italeri acquired the tooling. From what I can gather, this release is the first time the kit has been available in many years and Italeri has created a nice kit offering both 179 kit variants in the box with updated instructions and fresh new decals.
The kit is molded in styrene and presented on eleven parts trees plus five separately molded body sections, four rubber (vinyl) tires, and a bag of small parts including tubing for wiring/plumbing and a red ribbon to replicate the driver's safety harness. You can see that the parts are molded in different color plastic and three of them have been plated. While this kit has lots of nice details, it isn't as complex as a comparable Tamiya kit. Even so, the kit offers some nice details and features:
- Choice of the Model 179 or 179C details (like front spoiler)
- Detailed cockpit
- Steerable front wheels
- Articulating suspension
- Beautifully detailed engine with ignition harness and coolant hoses
- Plumbing and wiring throughout the chassis to connect the fuel cell, radiators, etc., to the engine
- Removable upper body panels to reveal all of the interior details
Decals are provided with four options:
- Race 22, Alfa 179C, as driven by Mario Andretti, 1981, options with and without Team Marlboro markings
- Race 23, Alfa 179C, as driven by Bruno Giacomelli, 1981, options with and without Team Marlboro markings
- Race 22, Alfa 179, as driven by Patrick Depailler, 1979/80, options with and without Team Marlboro markings
- Race 23, Alfa 179, as driven by Bruno Giacomelli, 1979/80, options with and without Team Marlboro markings
Whether you're looking for a nice change of pace or you're an avid Formula One modeler, this kit will provide some nice modeling opportunities. There are many good reference photos online of these cars as well as the 179D which sports a fluorescent orange/white scheme in place of the red/white schemes for the cars represented in this release.
While the suggested retail price might create some recoil from your wallet, street prices are mostly lower if you shop around, and the retail price is in line with the Tamiya 1/12 racers produced in that same era. Note that did experience some 'shock and awe' when there was one of these kits in the Italeri box listed as used with a price over $360 (plus shipping). Good luck with that one!
Whatever your interests, Italeri has produced another nice kit that will provide you with some serious fun.
Here is a list of paints Italeri identifies for use with this kit (minus the Italeri colors):
Thanks to MRC for the review sample.