Promoting Excellence in HO Scale Vehicle Modeling

Ford Cosworth RS (street and rally) by Le Mans Miniatures Review

Please note: The opinions expressed in our reviews are the views of the reviewer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of the 1/87 Vehicle Club.

model critique by Wayne Calder

Photo Courtesy Le Mans Miniatures

Why do "bad" things not come to good people? The Ford Cosworth RS is one very bad motor car, which you will never have the misfortune to sample in the U.S. Yes, I realize that unless you associate Cosworth with CART and Formula 1, your only probable recall of this name will have the word Vega in front of it! This is no Vega Cosworth, believe you me.

Although bearing a resemblance to the 1990 Ford Escort (more so the European version), the Cosworth uses the Sierra’s (Merkur XT4 here) floor pan, four wheel drive system, and 227 hp Cosworth engine. This is all stuffed into a compact body adding up to 2800lb and six second 0-60mph times. With flares, 225/45-16 tires and a mega-rear wing, that makes the wing on the current Toyota Supra Turbo look like someone as proper as Martha Stewart designed it; this is one aggressive looking car.

How good it is that Le Mans Miniatures (LMM) makes it available in 1/87th scale, in both street (painted and unpainted) and rally versions. This review will focus on the street version as well as the 1993 Portuguese Rally Version (the ’93 and ’94 Monte Carlo Rally cars are also available, with four massive rally lights mounted in front of the grille).

These excellent, hollow resin kits, with photo-etched parts are fairly easy to assemble. Be warned that the instructions are minimal though. They are basically just cartoon drawings. Taking some time to find reference pictures will pay off huge dividends, especially when putting decals on the rally car (although a scale size photo of the completed model is provided).

I have never had to remove flash from the body or interior of a LMM model. Be sure to have tweezers and a magnifying lamp though! The painted street version is a better starting point than the rally one (because of the decals, but more about that later on) if you’re new to LMM. The detail is superb, though not quite in the Herpa or Rietze league. This is mainly because, for some strange reason LMM insists on making realistic, opaque headlight lenses, that have to be glued in (better not drop one of these, even if you have a plastic sheet under your working area, unless you’ve trained a dog to sniff out minute resin parts), but use decals for the rear lights! I have found this to be true on all of their kits I’ve built to date. Even more ironic is that they always provide an extra one piece, glass unit (that needs slight trimming) which is easy to find and hard to botch, but no extra itty-bitty pieces such as headlights or mirrors are given! Allow me to qualify the botch reference. If you use super/crazy glue on the glass unit it will get a haze like appearance. This is great, if you’re trying to create the idea that the car’s defogging/defrosting system doesn’t work, otherwise use some other plastic glue.

The photo-etched parts are easy to apply, except for the wipers. The problem comes in trying to make a 2-D part sit in a 3-D way! Bending the wiper to be perpendicular to the arm results in it breaking off, and then it’s murder to glue back on. The rims on the street Cosworth scale out to 19 inches. Personally, I think the Touring Car, ultra big rim with the tire streeeeeetched over it looks great, so the scale inaccuracy works well here. The rally version has turned metal wheels, with photo-etched inserts. Awesome looking! The tough part on the rally version is the many decals that are required to play "Twister" to conform to all the curves. Divine doses of patience pay off here.

LMM kits are hard to locate, expensive, and produced in limited quantities. They have such unique models though, that a Cosworth RS will be a novel addition to your collection. Their other models will be conversation pieces, especially if you are a rally, Viper GTS, or IMS/Le Mans/Group C/GT1 fan.

Wayne Calder