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TOPIC: Kit Number Mystery

Kit Number Mystery 1 week 5 days ago #55488

I've recently finished building the 57105 Tamtech Gear Lamborghini Countach on the GT-01 chassis. This is a 1/12th scale kit so it is more similar to the original 58005 than some of the 1/10th versions on the TT-01 chassis except that it uses a polycarbonate body instead of the original styrene. When I was finished building, I noticed that there were a lot of scale parts left over on the C parts tree. This included things like air intakes, a front bumper, and a windshield wiper. I confirmed that they don't really fit.

I wondered if they were left over from another kit, and the number on the back of the parts tree confirms it. This is from the original 58005 Countach in 1978. The PS is even there confirming polystyrene (which isn't used much anymore).

Here's the odd bit though; that kit was never called 58005. Back in 1978 they were still using the original numbering so this kit was called RA-1205. How is it possible that 58005 is printed into the parts tree? I went back to the original instructions and confirmed that this is indeed the C tree from that original kit.

It gets even stranger. If you look at the cover of the original Countach manual here on TB, it is labeled RA-1207! Why? 1207 is the Cheetah.

Strange things are afoot at the Circle K.

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Kit Number Mystery 1 week 5 days ago #55490

The Tamiya kit numbers have evolved over time.
They started like you describe as RA-1205 for instance, where RA means RAdio controlled, 12 is the scale 1/12 and the 05 is the sequence number.
Soon tamiya realized this was a confusing way to label kits so they changed to four digit numbers. The RA-1205 was given number 5805. 58 is the number for Radio Controlled models and again the 05 is the sequence number.
Again, a few years later, Tamiya realized that only two digits in the sequence number would not be enough, so they increased to 5 digits in total, now it was 58005, which is the current numbering system.

Kits from the periods where numbering system changed are known to have both old and new systems used on the box and elsewhere, (not simultanously, of course) so in these cases you can identify early from leader kits of the same model.

The parts you show are made in recent years, obviously, using old moulds updated as required. I can't remember when, but probably in the mid 90's there came a requirement to mark all plastic with type for recycling purposes. That's the <PS> marking you see. While adding the PS marking to the mould Tamiya also added the kit number info, in the current format.

So, in the 90s it did make sense to use the number format 58005, even if the kit never had this number.

The RA-1207 number on the Countach manual is, on the other hand, just a typo. :)

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Last edit: by larbut.
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