Toyota Corolla WRC #22 Montcarlo 2001

by Edward Roberts


Manufacturer: Portal43

Subject: Toyota Corolla WRC #22 Montcarlo 2001
Drivers Piero Longhi / Lucio Baggio
Ref #: PK029

Like many North Americans I have become fascinated by the World Rally Championship due to coverage on Speed. During a conversation with Royal Brousssard of Auto Sportif he offered me a deal on a Toyota Corolla WRC by a new firm, Portal 43.


When the kit arrived it quickly became apparent that Portal was using Racing 43 kits while adding new decals and instructions. The instructions are an improvement on Racing's with a couple of sharp colour photos of the interior and the finished product. There are also a pair of odd drawings of the interior and the front grill arrangement. The roll cage was first to be built and my first headache. The supplied bits were badly bent and broken. It took time and the instructions from a Hasegawa plastic kit to produce something useful. The broken parts, and the forward crossbar, were replaced with bits from a Provence Moulage roll cage sprue. I would recommend not gluing on the rear part of the roll cage until you have attached the seatbelts.


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Body cleanup was a quick process but there were some porous areas that needed thick applications of primer followed by sanding. A couple of coats of Tamiya Pure White and I had an excellent looking body (the car's, mine still has flaws). I find Racing's decal sheets to be hard to use due their small size but Portal's has no such problems. The decals will not respond to Microscale's products but Solvaset works a treat. The sheet is well printed and sharp but falls down in several respects. Name decals are provided for the seats but; they both say "L. Baggio" (the navigator).
The decals for the wheels differ from those in the photos of the built-up and the "Michelin" tyre decals are a different radius than the tyres themselves.
Finally, the crew names on the driver's side rear window need to be reversed.
Assembly provided no difficulties until I hit the windows. The front and side windows fit quite well but the rear window... Let's just say that I looked around for a 1/43 helmet to do my impression of Luis Moya! It fits from the outside and requires VERY careful trimming to get a proper fit. I never did, so I was left with gaps and a problem fitting the rear spoiler - which I ended up gluing to the window itself, not a satisfactory solution. If anyone can come up with a proper way of doing this bit - let me know. Please!
I had fears that the very fine mesh provided for the front grills would be a problem (especially the lower one that has to be bent into a long, five-sided box) but they were brilliant. The rest of the assembly proceeded without a care.

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My final opinion

Portal has a good idea (modelling some of the back markers in WRC) but needs to polish up some bits of the execution.