produces upgrade sets for many of our AutoModeling subjects at very reasonable prices. I can find an upgrade set from Hobby Design for most, if not all, of the civilian subjects in my stash and are my “go to” company when planning a build to get those extra little details.
The Tamiya Ducati 1199 Panigale is a very nice kit right out of the box, although there is always room for improvement. Hobby Design offers an extensive upgrade set for the 1199 which covers a couple of shortcomings in the Tamiya kit, as well as a few other areas.
Packed in a simple corrugated cardboard box are the following:
• 8 photo etch frets in varying size and thickness
• 4 preformed metal front brake hubs
• 1 resin rear sprocket piece
• 10 miniature springs
• 100 chain rollers
• 46 cap head “screws”
• 2 machined fittings
• 1 length of stainless tubing
• 2 film dash displays
• sheet of instructions
As is typical with Hobby Design's PE, each fret has a plastic film covering both sides. The ones with the blue film shown in the images at the right are connection free, much appreciated due to the delicate nature of these parts and ends the repetition of cleaning literally hundreds of very tiny individual pieces.
The instructions are contained on a single sheet with exploded views. Using the instructions along with the original kit parts as reference, assembly should be fairly easy to understand.
Even though the Tamiya kit is excellent, styrene has its limitations. At this scale, those limitations can be very noticeable, and is where this set from Hobby Design comes into play. Take for example the engine cover plate, “Ducati” comes out fine in styrene although to mold “superquadro” underneath it is probably impossible. In photo etch this comes out perfectly.
My major initial concerns with the Tamiya kit were the brake rotors and drive chain, both are lacking important details. This set addresses both these areas with flying colors, adding even more detail than I originally expected.
The chain is made up of two PE loops with the machined rollers sandwiched in between, and individual links for the outer areas. This looks to be a test of patience to assemble but the end result should be well worth the effort. If it proves to be too difficult, using the individual links on the right hand side of the styrene part would be an option, as this has no detail whatsoever in the base kit.
I semi assembled one half of the front brake assembly to see how that would go together. 27 parts are used for this and detail is absolutely stunning, a big improvement over the Tamiya kit part. The preformed metal spoked hubs have the correct curve to them and saves having to do this by eye, and possibly ruining the part. This built up assembly also eases painting as the hub will be a different color than the rotor itself, whereas the styrene part is molded as a single part.
Some of the other areas that are covered are the license plate holder with a fine web pattern on the back side as on the 1:1 bike. Springs and clamps are included for the exhaust pipes, yes really, miniature exhaust springs. The fork tops are provided as separate pieces making painting the different colors easier. The machined fittings mimic the styrene parts in that they are straight, not at a 90⁰ angle as they should be. These have wires connected to them on the 1:1 bike to adjust the suspension via the ECM. Fairing fasteners, radiators, and a multitude of other details are provided for. And to top it all off, a very nice display placard with info about the bike.
This is easily the most impressive upgrade set from Hobby Design that I have seen, and will have a very positive impact on the finished 1199 Panigale. The connection free frets are the first I have encountered from this company and I hope will be incorporated more into future releases. Machining on the metal parts is excellent, and the cap head screws are simply stunning.
If you are planning to build the Tamiya 1199 Panigale S make sure to invest in this upgrade set, very highly recommended.
A review of the Tamiya kit can be found Here