British Leyland Mini Spécial
1/43 Heller kit ( 184)

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box art


This Heller kit was first released in 1979 and depicts an early Mk.IV Mini with British Leyland badges.
On the outside a Mk.IV differs from earlier models by its black front grille, newly styled wheels and larger tail lights which now include a white reverse light on either side.
The kit I built was a first release with bright blue plastic parts and decals with french license plates and BL badges.

frontal 3/4 view


Despite its diminutive size (length is just over 7cm overall) the kit is well detailed (there is even a rudimentary engine provided) and was easy to assemble.
As tinting the windows reduced transparency somewhat I cut down the lefthand door window to keep the cabin interior visible.

rear 3/4 view Some changes made to the kit:

elevated frontal 3/4 view


The Heller kit instructions are for a blue car with blue-gray interior, however Mini's can be found painted in almost any color of the spectrum so I picked my own colors.
I decided to do a 'sparkly' variation on the 60ies bright-blue-with-white-roof Mini Cooper color scheme, using Revell Car Metallic Pearl over satin white for the roof and Tamiya Acrylic clear blue over flat aluminium.
I also tinted the windows by spraying a thin even coat of clear blue on the insides.
After the clear blue on the body had cured I carefully scraped away the blue coat from all silver trim parts.
I applied flat clear varnish to the plated wheels and applied gloss clear varnish to the other plated parts, the head light lenses and the whip aerial.
Finally I ran an ultra-fine black marker along the door seams. I won't be using markers again for darkening seams as the tint is not black enough, but I usually use acrylic paint in seams so I risked marring the acrylic blue.
I never bothered to apply the kit decals, the model looks fine without license plates and badges.

lefthand view

Date finished: August 23rd, 1986.

Paints used
bodybase coat, body trimTamiya Acrylic XF-16 Aluminium
top coat, window tintTamiya Acrylic X-23 Clear Blue
roofbase coatRevell 301 Satin White
top coatRevell Car Metallic 390 Pearl
cabin interior, seatsHumbrol 96 Matt RAF Blue
floorpan, radiator grille, tiresHumbrol 33 Matt Black
indicator lightsTamiya Acrylic X-26 Clear Orange
tail lightsTamiya Acrylic X-27 Clear Red

righthand view


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