Studio 27's 1/24 scale 1988+ Porsche 962 Le Mans Longtail conversion

Images copyright Michael J Fuller
Text copyright Michael J Fuller

Studio 27

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Porsche 962 C LH, Le Mans 1988

For people wanting to model the Porsche 962 in 1/24 you essentially only have two choices, the Hasegawa/Revell  or Tamiya kits.  Both have their issues, though neither build out of the box correct for perhaps the 962's most important race, Le Mans.  And up until 1990 Le Mans required a low-drag aero kit in order to shuttle down the Mulsanne Straight at over 230 mph.  The iconic Porsche 962, as everyone else at the time, had special bodywork to achieve essential Le Mans speeds. The 962 "Longtail" (Langheck) specification consisted of lengthened rear bodywork (and underbody tunnels) a lowered and shorter chord rear wing, smaller rear wing endplates, and a modified nose profile at the front.   

So how to achieve a Porsche 962 in Le Mans spec?  You could go the scratch build route.  But you'd still end up with a curbside 962 scratch building from a donor Tamiya or Hasegawa/Revell 962.  But this is where Studio 27 fills the gap with their Porsche 962C trans-kit.  Note that Studio 27's conversion kit uses Tamiya's Porsche 956 kit as the basis for the conversion.  Given the commonality between the two cars, at the end of the day the 962 was simply a lengthened wheel base Porsche 956 after all (with all that stretching occurring from the front footbox forward),  it makes more sense than it seems to at first glance.  And with the 956's engine and gearbox bearing more than a passing resemblance to the 962's, you end up with a full-detail Porsche 962C LH in the end.

Note this conversion is only appropriate for a 1988-1990 962 longtail; the 1985-1987 car's tail shape differed pretty substantially.

The kit comes with 5 major bodywork parts cast in either tan resin (nose, tail, and two rear wheels) or white metal (underfloor extension).  24 detail parts are also cast in white metal; some of these pieces are used to convert the 956 front suspension to 962 standard (relocation of the driver's feet 120 mm full scale rearwards--that was the primary difference between the 956 and 962).  One vacuum formed set of front windshield, headlight covers, and side window glass are provided.  All the resin casted parts are void/air bubble free though the white meal underfloor extension is a little rougher with some pin-holing.  Never a big fan of white metal, care needs to be taken to insure proper fit as the parts are easily tweaked.  It will be especially important to make sure the front suspension isn't out of alignment as it wouldn't take much.

The conversion calls for the removal of the front and rear sections from the central floor pan, as well as the complete removal of the front suspension, from the donor Tamiya 956 kit.  You then graft on the Studio 27 rear diffuser extension, corrected 962 front suspension, in addition modifying the rear uprights and rear suspension to make everything more 962-centric.  Bodywork modifications of the donor kit consist of lopping off the 956 nose with the rear tail being a straight replacement.  Everything appears to be pretty straight forward.     

No, this conversion kit isn't necessarily easy to find these days as it is Out Of Production.  And it usually goes for around $100 when you do find it on eBay.  And yes, there are potentially cheaper alternatives considering the scratch build option; you could certainly take either the Tamiya or Hasegawa/Revell 962 plastic injection molded kit and scratch build yourself a Le Mans Porsche 962 by borrowing a Tamiya 956 tail (it's in LM configuration) and reprofiling the nose.  But you'd still end up with a curbside 962 LH.


However, Studio 27's transkit allows for a full-detailed 962 Longtail at
much less cost than the Model Factory Hiro Porsche 962 kit (yes, the MFH kit is the Holy Grail, but what does one of those go for these days, $300+ on eBay?).  And ultimately this trankskits fits the need for someone like me who has to balance the time vs. cost vs. aggravation ratio as I immediately have everything in the box to pull off a 1988 Porsche 962C LH.  And the whole point is to complete kits, right?  So this one goes in the stash...to be built at an undetermined date...


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ęCopyright 2013, Michael J. Fuller