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Lola T89 F3000

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  • Member since
    May 2018
  • From: Ohio (USA)
Lola T89 F3000
Posted by DRUMS01 on Tuesday, December 24, 2019 12:17 AM

Before I get started I want to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas!

It has been a long time since I built an open wheel racer as I got tied up in building non-automotive kits on other web sites. I am building a kit by "modelers" that I have had for many years or the T89 Lola team Marlboro F3000 car. Here is some background behind F300 and the Lola T89.

F3000: The Formula 3000 International Championship was a motor racing series created by the Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile (FIA) in 1985 to become the final preparatory step for drivers hoping to enter Formula One. Formula Two had become too expensive, and was dominated by works-run cars with factory engines; the hope was that Formula 3000 would offer quicker, cheaper, more open racing. The series began as an open specification, then tires were standardized from 1986 onwards, followed by engines and chassis in 1996. The series ran annually until 2004, and was replaced in 2005 by the GP2 Series. 

LOLA in F3000: In 1985, Lola made a "false start" with a car based on their significantly larger Indycar chassis; from 1986 they returned with a bespoke F3000 design. Lola enjoyed significant success for the next few years, competing with Ralt and Reynard, although Reynard effectively wiped the others out of the market. In 1996 the International Formula 3000 Championship became a one-make series, and Lola was awarded the contract by the FIA to build the Lola T96/50 chassis for all teams competing in the championship. The contract which was renewed in 1999 (Lola B99/50) and 2002 (Lola B02/50) before International F3000 was replaced by GP2 and Lola lost the bid to build the new chassis. 

ENGINES: Formula 3000 was so named because the engines used were limited to 3000cc maximum capacity. Initially, the Cosworth DFV was a popular choice, having been made obsolete in Formula One by the adoption of 1.5 litre turbocharged engines. The rules permitted any 90-degree V8 engine, fitted with a rev-limiter to keep power output under control. As well as the Cosworth, a Honda engine based on an Indy V8 by John Judd also appeared; a rumoured Lamborghini V8 never raced. In later years, a Mugen-Honda V8 became the unit of choice, eclipsing the DFV; Cosworth responded with the brand new AC engine.


Engine displacement: 3.0 L (183 cu in) DOHC V8
Gearbox: 6-speed paddle shift gearbox (must have reverse)
Weight: 545 kg (1,202 lb) (including driver)
Power output: 463 hp (345 kW)
Fuel: 102 RON unleaded
Fuel delivery: Fuel injection
Aspiration: Naturally aspirated
Width: 1,476 mm (58 in)
Wheelbase: 3,000 mm (118 in)
Steering: Non-assisted rack and pinion

F3000 CHAMPIONS: Some may be surprised by the list of names that were F3000 champions, these names included the likes of Roberto Moreno, Jean Alesi, Christian Fitapaldi, Ricardo Zonta, Juan Pablo Montoya, Nick Heidfeld, Mark Blundell, Kenny Brack, David Coulthard, and Sebastian Bourdias, etc. 

MODELERS KIT: This is a 1/24 scale kit that has good detail molded into it, however there are also the typical mold flash and ejector pin marks throughout. Many of the fitment pins are very small, no larger that a very small pin tip and no taller than a fraction of 1mm. The suspension components are very thin and fragile so great care is needed to remove them from the sprue and clean the flash or pin marks. The body is mainly one piece but requires the front wing assembly and roll bar assembly to make it complete. This T89 depicts one of their mid-year cars with the open or visible Honda/Mugen engine. Later years had the engine enclosed much like Indy cars. As for assembly, here we go....

Here is what is should look like when finished:

While there are not a great deal of parts, they do well with what they provide, here they are along with the kit decals:

STEP 1: As with most kits it starts with the base engine assembly. The details molded into the main engine are to be commended. The block, intake, and injector assembly is comprised of only 9 parts. The instructions are shown below:

After initial assembly, I drilled out the distributor to allow me to add plug wires later. This photo shows the build-up of the basic engine and transaxle (less the DOHC cam covers). As you can see, the detail is quite nice for the scale and age of the kit:

With a simple base coat and dry brushing, along with a little research, here is what I came up with for the completed engine in STEP 1:

During this time I also jumped around a couple steps to build the body, rear wing and injector scoop in preparation to paint. The fit of these parts was so good that it did not require filler for seams. The details on the rear wing and the very lightly scribed panel lines are also something to welcome in this scale and age of kit:

This is where I am currently, but I will add more as the build continues.... As always, your feedback and comments are welcome.

Once again, Happy Holidays!



  • Member since
    December 2003
  • From: Nova Scotia
Posted by Bainford on Tuesday, December 24, 2019 12:35 AM

Cool project and interesting kit. It's good to see open wheel kits in 1/24 rather than the genre standard 1/20. 

"It would be unusual, if the unusual didn't occur."

- Steamboat Gariepy


  • Member since
    May 2018
  • From: Ohio (USA)
Posted by DRUMS01 on Wednesday, December 25, 2019 11:30 PM

Thanks Bainford. I can't believe I managed to get an hour in on Christmas. I hope your holiday has been as good as mine. Here is the progress I accomplished with the body, transaxle and chassis.

The primed and painted body (I have been working on this during the prior post). Primed gray then painted Testers bright white and then Testors Italian Red for the stripes. That is what it said on the can but it looks different than my other Italian Red (far more brighter and with more orange in it). I painted inside the body with Vallejo Black/Brown and the top of the fuel cell flat black:

Engine and transaxle completed and attached to the painted chassis. I'm going to have to rework the radiators as they do not want to fit under the body correctly. Once I correct them I will reattach and plumb them to the engine (hopefully). The instructions indicated to paint or foil a heat shield beneath the exhaust, but looking at on-line photos of many F3000 cars you cannot see any heat shielding on the chassis (?). I did find some with heat deflectors bent around the exhaust and attached to the floor, but nothing under the exhaust so that is how I am making my kit. During assembly I also drilled the brake calipers to add lines later. The DOHC cam covers do not go on the engine until after the body is attached. They have been drilled to accept ignition wires when they are on the engine. If you are building one of these, be very careful when aligning the rear suspension components as they can be easily placed out of square. 

I took this photo to show some of the detail work on the engine / transaxle.(if you look close you can see some fittings on the upper transaxle and the right cylinder head). The exhaust was painted to show mild heat fluctuations. I started with silver, then added some transparent blue, red and yellow, followed by a light dry brush of copper. My goal when complete is to add ignition wires, coolant and oil lines, some electrical lines, brakes lines, shifting linkage, and a basic throttle linkage. There are very few pictures I can find on this exact car around the engine so I am taking a little liberty on the details based on other photos of F3000 cars (mostly Lolas); wish me luck:



  • Member since
    February 2008
Posted by justmike on Thursday, December 26, 2019 12:12 PM

I will be keeping an eye on this build. I built the Marlboro sponored Champ car and used flourescent red which also has an orange cast to it when the light is right. It was a perfect match with the aftermarket decal kit I got

Feelings are like scents: The more they are analyzed, the worse they smell.
  • Member since
    May 2018
  • From: Ohio (USA)
Posted by DRUMS01 on Thursday, December 26, 2019 10:12 PM

Sounds really nice, did you post it here on another thread? 

  • Member since
    May 2018
  • From: Ohio (USA)
Posted by DRUMS01 on Monday, December 30, 2019 3:22 PM

Continuing with my build:

- finished adding the fittings and hoses to the transaxle
- added some P.E. brackets to the transmission cooler and mounted it to the top rear of the transaxle
- afterwards I added fittings and lines to the trans cooler
- fabricated and added the shifting linkage
- added front and rear water pipes to the engine
- changed the color of the overflow chamber from transparent blue to black to match the photo provided by Art Laski
- added rear brake line and fittings
- painted the various fittings and hoses 
- shaved painted and added the radiators 

I still need to add the throttle linkage, ignition wires, etc. I have found this a little challenging to locate the appropriate hose, wires , or fittings without looking too much out of scale. I know there are some after market suppliers, but I am working on my spares resources for this kit. 

Next will be working on the cockpit which will include a P.E. seat harness.

Please let me know your thoughts / comments / suggestions.

Till next time


  • Member since
    January 2005
  • From: sunny Sydney, Australia
Posted by nottheband on Monday, December 30, 2019 7:04 PM

Very nice work, Ben, she's looking good.  I'm enjoying following along and picking up some info about this open wheel Formula.  Thanx for posting.  Cheers, and happy new year.


  • Member since
    May 2018
  • From: Ohio (USA)
Posted by DRUMS01 on Friday, January 3, 2020 7:35 PM

Thanks Steve, here is the latest update. Sorry for not going page by page and step by step with the instructions on this one:

- wheels/tires finished (less decals). I took the liberty to color the center locking lug to correlate with the side of the car (also referring to the direction of the lug). Being rubber, I am going to acrylic gloss coat the tires sidewalls before adding the decals. Afterward I will dull coat them to seal the decals.

- painted air scoop and rear wing assembly. I also painted inside the scoop in the same color as the underneath of the body. I was going to add a screen but everything looks far too out of scale. It also hides the injector trumpet detail too. Masking of the red / white / black of the rear wing did not turn out well and will most likely have to be removed and done again.

- added wires to electrical box. This will sit just behind the engine and over the transaxle over the distributor. Some are shown on-line in black while other are silver or even yellow. I am making mine silver to follow the instructions. The wires will be black with a rubber painted gromet on the larger one.

- painted and added seat harness (1/24 Eduard) to cockpit. This is a full metal seatbelt harness. Any way you attempt it, you will still have to touch-up the metal connecting points and bend locations on the belts. Of the few photos I found on this car, I saw black, red, and blue belts being used. To stand out on the car I used the red ones.

- added gage cluster, steering wheel, shifter, seat tub to body. Most of this detail cannot be seen unless you take great effort with a light to view it.

- added the front lower suspension arm. 

- added body to chassis. Though not a super accurate / tight allignment to the chassis, it was close enough. I believe the decals will hide that seam on the side pods nicely. When test fitting the body and chassis I also found that the chassis points that fit under the front suspension and spoiler were too long / thick and made the front of the chassis stick out from the body. Be careful when filing them down though as holes can be left in the body beneath the suspension piece; a little goes a long way.

- added front suspension braces. The location points are not the best when trying to ensure the suspension is level to one another and to the rear suspension. 

- added other wires / hoses / fittings to engine area (based on various photos).

- added heat shields behind exhaust (on chassis). I make these from thin brass sheet which was cut to shape and bent over a Sharpie marker then painted silver.

- finished front suspension and brakes. It is important to make sure you verify the fit of the wheel pegs into the brakes before assembling the fragle front suspension. I found mine to be very tight to get into the hole so I bore the hole in the brake disc out slightly before adding them to the front suspension.

- added wheels to suspension. This is where the rubber meets the road literally. You will know at this point if your front and rear suspension are level with one another as all four tires will touch the ground.

- touched up body/chassis paint. If your like me, most every build-up has something to rework (some more than others, like the body to chassis seams).

- added distributor wires to intake manifold. I will have to wait until the decals are added to the DOHC cam covers before the ignition wires are completed. Once again, this will require a thin gloss coat, then decal, then dull coat.

- waiting for my touch-ups to dry/cure before polishing and adding decals.

This kit has been a little more challenging that I initially suspected it would be. Specifically, ensuring the suspension is assembled square and level. Because of the peg in a hole wheel assembly, this one is not a roller (not like Tamiya or some other brands). I was careful and lucky on this kit was it sits square and all four tires planted to the ground.

I still need to create the throttle linkage and add the decals, air scoop, rear wing, mirrors, windshield, front brake lines, etc.

I hope the next photos will show the completed kit (before or after clear coat). Till then, please let me know what you think of her. 


  • Member since
    May 2018
  • From: Ohio (USA)
Posted by DRUMS01 on Thursday, January 9, 2020 11:07 PM

Well, as I said in the beginning, I am not use to modeling in 1/24 very much but I really enjoyed this one. The Modelers Lola provided some challenges, opportunities, scratch and after-market detailing, well just about anything anyone would want. Here it is with everything done (except)....

This first photo shows the scratch throttle assembly between the first and second injector trumpets. It is made up by using very fine piano wire, craft beads, two P.E. brackets sourced from spares that mount on the DOHC head and the base of the throttle bodies. The last piece is a P.E. spare from a 1/700 ship, modified for this purpose. The cable is more piano wire and a very small P.E. washer on the end. You can also see the ignition wires, electrical box with wiring, and  a windshield (deflector) in front of the cockpit. Looking close you can also see the scratch made intercom / radio coil above the seat that would attach to the helmet. What can't be seen are several parts added to the firewall (in front of the engine), beneath the injectors sitting on top of the engine, and between the roll bar. 

I think I mentioned that all of the decals (except two) went on with only a little coaxing and some setting solution. The emergency decals on the roll bar were from my spares and one Bridgestone rear tire decal did not make it. I've already ordered a replacement, but I am still calling this done. After I get it on the car I will dull coat the sidewalls of the tires.

Here you can see more of the same to include the missing Bridgestone decal on the rear tire. The blue behind both Kawaisteel decals was painted over as it would not lay well over the body and chassis seam. Here you can also see a scratch built headrest that I created. It was made from a block of resin and two brass ship building pins. In these two photos you can see where I added more color to the exhaust as well as the heat shields on the chassis floor. 

The mirrors you see in this photo had deep ejector pin marks in the mirror area. I fixed it with leveling super glue and then foil. The decal sheet even had a Lola decal for the nose which I thought was nice for 1/24 scale. Not sure why, but this photo makes it appear like the front wheels are not straight, but they are. 

This gives a closer look at the throttle assembly, engine plumbing, headrest, heat deflector, and comm coil. I am still debating on adding the chassis support cables to the rear. If I do, I will use some micro metallic thread I got from Germany. I use it for 1/350 ship rigging. They go from the back of the DOHC cam covers to a location directly in front of the tire and a second one to the rear of the chassis defuser. I also believe there is one tied to the upper front corners of the rear wing which goes to another location. It is almost like rigging an airplane (smile)...

I will leave you with this parting shot. Thanks for following and I hope you enjoyed the thread. Here is another photo that appears as if the wing is not square, but it is. Perhaps I was favoring one side too much, funky phone camera, or it is to much photo shop and cropping. At least the previous photos show the wing appearing square.  

Please drop a note to tell me what you think of the finished product?

Till next time.....


  • Member since
    March 2019
  • From: Quitman, Texas
Posted by LostInStyreneAnd... on Friday, January 10, 2020 8:44 AM

SIMPLY INCREDIBLE!!!   Amazing work Ben!  You need some outdoor pics. What a nifty kit, too!   

Eric Automobile

  • Member since
    January 2005
  • From: sunny Sydney, Australia
Posted by nottheband on Monday, January 13, 2020 12:13 AM

Top result and a tribute to all the extra work and details you added.  Cheers



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