Caterham Seven Scale Model Review

Caterham 7 Tamiya

SCALE: 1:12


This is an alert as sadly the A&R has not been able yet to acquire one of these fabulous models. We are therefore unable to provide the comprehensive analysis as usual. However there is information on the net and we have incorporated details here.

We believe this Tamiya kit to be extremely attractive and saw merit it in bringing it to subscribers attention.

Our interest has been stimulated by the quality and leaning opportunities provided by other Tamiya Lotus subjects in the A&R including the Seven, 72 and 79 in large 1/ 12 scale.

The editors place considerable importance on education and have a high regard for models such as these that permit skills to be acquired across the board. No one can really handle such a detailed model without marvelling at Chapman’s concept, its packaging and form and function.

We know that Tamiya share these values and they have invested these pieces with extraordinary detail and realism. We really recommend that every prospective designer explore this design and model first hand as there can be few better examples of problem resolution form and function , ergonomics and direct self-expressed articulation.The Seven mustbe one of the finest minimalist vechicles ever ceated

Details of Tamiya Caterham

The following pictures and information are from the net.

Caterham 7 Tamiya 2

This photograph helps explain the parts and the whole and why it is such an educational piece to assemble

Nose cone, cycle fender and rear cowling finished with carbon pattern. Comes with mini-light type die-cast wheels, aluminium air funnel and pre-painted front and rear springs.


It’s believed that both fully assembled and kit are available.

This Masterworks series fully assembled Caterham Super Seven BDR is one of the most superb 1/12 scale models available!


  • Separate bare aluminum bonnet with louvers
  • Royal blue cloth seat belts with foam pads, metal clips and buckles
  • Ultra-detailed engine compartment with vinyl tubing
  • Bare aluminum muffler and chrome exhaust pipes
  • Chrome roll bar
  • Metal see-through grille
  • Steerable front wheels
  • Accurately treaded Goodyear tires with alloy-looking Super 7 wheels
  • Realistic black bucket seats with headrests
  • Accurate headlights, tailights and emblems
  • Black velour-like carpet
  • Black rubber-like tonneau cover
  • Realistic dashboard and wipers
  • Authentic spare tire mounted to the rear
  • Windshield with bare aluminum frame
  • Includes high quality display case with photo etched nameplate
  • Includes toolkit: dust cloth, wrench, and screwdriver

The lightweight, sporty Caterham Super Seven has drawn fans from all over the world. Among a rich variety of Super Sevens, the BDR model made its debut in 1993 and became the flagship of the Seven series. This assembly model kit authentically recreates that winning car right down to the finest details. 1/12 scale; overall length 265mm; overall width 132mm; overall height 84mm.

Wide Variety of Materials Captures Realism
The hood, side-panelling, etc. are made of aluminium, just like the real vehicle. Featuring a carbon fiber patterned nose cowl and fenders, metal front grille, roll-bar and muffler and a six-point seat belt made of cloth, the materials have been kept as close as possible to that of the actual BDR.

Screws Abundant in Assembly

Aluminium body panels are screwed on to the space frame one by one. The construction features the attaching of the suspension arm, the mounting of the engine and the screwing on of the wheels with four hexagonal nuts. Since almost all of the parts use screws for assembly, you can experience the production process of an authentic BDR.

Moveable Front and Rear Suspension
Suspension arms and deDion tubing are die-cast metal. Coil springs are attached to dampers by metal brackets and screws, permitting mobility. Also, just like the real vehicle, the rack and pinion mechanism interlocks with the steering wheel, enabling the front wheels to turn.

Authentically Recreated Cosworth BDR Engine
Rubber timing belt, sponge air-cleaner and metal exhaust pipe all heighten feeling of authenticity. Piping and wiring such as the oil line and ignition cable have been recreated with precision.

Caterham 7 Tamiya 3

This photograph from the net gives some idea of quality, attention to detail, realism and varying textures, finish of materials and components


The editors believe that any of our subscribers wishing to assemble the Tamiya Caterham might like to study some background information that may assist and inform them. Although its highly likely that both history and specification will be known additional reading can increase appreciation .The editors suggest a range of items held within the A&R which includes:

Caterham 7 Tamiya 4

This contains a 10 page article along with detailed elevation pictures and attractive cutaway drawing. See also below references.


At the other end of the scale the A&R holds a couple of Tamiya plastic models of the Lotus Seven in 1:24 scale. Please see previous review of this piece.

Lotus 7 model

This nice quality but small scale 1:24th is worthy of building. Note other good photographs available on the net.

Purpose and Function of Scale Models.

They permit the following with relative ease.

  • Affordable and collectable in relative volume
  • Easily and attractively stored or displayed
  • Provide near infinite groupings by theme or function etc. including benchmarking and peer comparison
  • Relative scale permits realism and reliable body shape contour
  • The evolution of the marque to be studied and traced
  • Value to artist and draftsmen / designers – opportunity for tactile analysis of form and function.
  • Value to students of coachwork design
  • General value to the automobile enthusiast
  • They provide inspiration to child and adult increasing their appreciation of design.
  • They offer meaningful learning opportunities integrating design, construction, and attention to detail, patience and timetabling.
  • They are examples of a branch of design and model engineering worthy of study in their own right.

Exhibitions, Economics and Education

In the museum context the editors believe that commercial considerations are both necessary and complementary with its educational objectives.

For these reasons our suggested Business Plan includes provision for promoting products and services which share Chapman’s ideals of mechanical efficiency and sustainability. In addition we propose merchandising that explain and interprets the social and cultural context of Chapman’s designs in period. It’s suggested there will be catalogue for on line purchasing.

In particular it’s intended to have a range of scale models and books/publications supporting model making / detailing for various age groups ranging in complexity and price.  These will be consistent/ complementary with exhibitions and permanent displays. Furthermore they might serve to encourage students and visitors to examine exhibits for minute detail that they can incorporate in the construction/ customisation of their models. There are many models and manufactures to choose from and the proposed museum can retail collector’s items alongside contemporary subjects.

The education opportunities present within this Tamiya piece invite competitions to build and detail and it’s to be hoped that examples might be on display.Futhermore the model might be used positively to analyse form and function and be the basis of educational study and exercises.

If any of our subscribers have completed the assembly of this kit we invite them to share their experience and photographs where possible.


Lotus Caterham Seven R300.R500.Unique Motorbooks.

ISBN: 1841553778

The Encyclopaedia of Super Cars.No.87.Orbis .1992.

See A&R articles on the Seven with their extensive bibliographies.

Please note the editors of the A&R attempt to give the broadest spectrum of references but not all are available for consultation in an article. However by noting their existence it may assist students in their research.

*Items in italics non A&R library books.