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Old 06-18-22, 06:29 PM   #1
ET2SN
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Icon10 A review of the elusive Platz Porsche 935.

You may have seen a build video on YouTube, you may have seen one of these kits on display at a model show, you've probably never seen the box the kit comes in. So, why is it a big deal?

Mostly, it comes down to rarity. Platz models is located in Shizuoka, Japan. Their 1/24th scale cars are usually sold under the NUNU or Beemax brands ( there are more brands, believe it or not ) in Asia and Europe.

This particular kit is of a late 1970's early 1980's Porsche 935 K3 that was produced, modified, and tuned by Kremer (Porsche) Racing based off the Porsche 911. Kremer wasn't the official Porsche team, but they were located very close to Porsche's HQ. The kit comes in two flavors, the Numero Reserve car that won LeMans, outright, in 1979 driven by Klaus Ludwig and the Whittington brothers (which is a WHOLE 'nother story )


(US links are below if you're interested in building the beast)

and the "Kanji" white and pink 935 that raced at LeMans in 1980.



Both kits are slightly different besides painting and decals. There is also a "detail up" set of photo etch and seat belts available, but I wouldn't get too excited about it. Its over-priced for what it is.
BTW, the "K" in "K3" stands for "Kurtz", or "short" in German.
A Porsche that ends in "L" stands for a "Lange" or "Long" body kit.

Both kits also give you the option of building "short skirt" rear fenders and a "LeMans" low drag rear wing OR the longer rear fenders and a more traditional "road course" rear wing. With the "dog dish" wheel covers, you have a lot of options. Depending on where the cars ran, you can omit the covers, run them on all four wheels, run then just on the front wheels, or run them just on the rears.

So, which of the two kits is better? It depends, if you want the 1979 LeMans winner (only) build the Numero Reserve kit. It has the correct factory wheels and BBS "turbo dishes" for 1979 plus the decals for the winning car.

For any other version of the 935 K3, you want the "Kanji" kit. Besides the decals, you'll also get a REALLY nice set of chromed BBS "modular" wheels, the stock "factory" wheels, and the dog dishes. After that, raid another kit or find a set of conversion decals and a couple of fog lights for the hood.
The chromed BBS wheels in the "Kanji" kit are REALLY nice. Look carefully at the inner wheel "web" and you'll notice not only great detail but the webs are open backed, just clean out any chrome "flash" in the holes and you're done.

The kits themselves are nicely molded and fit somewhere between the Tamiya and Aoshima "silhouette" type models. You get working steering and poly caps for the wheels and good underbody details, but only half an engine molded into the floor pan. There are some minor seam lines on the body which need to get sanded smooth and while it isn't one of the dreaded Fujimi Porsches with over 100 tiny parts for the engine (which you'll never see), you get enough detail for a nice kit. Both kits feature an engine cover and rear wing which could be posed open. You'll just need to scratch build an air box and some bracing above the engine. One building I tip I can share has to do with the tires. They are molded either in rubber or something a lot closer to rubber than vinyl. In all of the videos I've seen and in both of my kits, there is some flash inside each tire. DON'T reach for an Xacto knife, just turn each tire inside out and use a nipper with a curved blade (finger nail and toe nail clippers work really well) to remove the flash.

OK, you still haven't said why this kit is so special.. What's the big deal?

Many kit makers offered flat-nosed Porsches. Tamiya had one in several scales (1/24th, 1/20th, and 1/12th) for many years as did Revell, Monogram, (probably) AMT, Fujimi, probably Matchbox/Airfix, etc., etc. The problem was that NO one ever produced the late 70's 935 K3, and this particular car kicked a LOT of @$$ in endurance and GT racing across Europe, North America, and Asia. One of its most (in) famous wins came at the 1980 Rolex 24 at Daytona when Ted Field entered his black "00" Interscope K3. The team had built a fairly dominating lead by driving the car flat-out for most of the day and night. There was a "minor" problem, however. In driving "flat out" during an endurance race, they had hopelessly trashed at least one of the turbos, the transmission, and the engine was making ominous grinding and thumping sounds by the 23rd hour.

There was a catch in Daytona's rule book. The car which completed the most laps in 24 hours ALSO had to be running under its own power when the checkered flag flew in order to win. This could be thought of as the "Close, but you missed it by that much.." rule. To be fair, by this point the top NASCAR teams could blow up an engine or transmission and change them out in about 15 minutes and "Big Bill" was trying to curb that stuff so the smaller teams didn't suffer as much.

The team of drivers for the "00" was led by none other than Danny Ongais, who was given the honor of driving the last stint. He was also given orders by Field to drive it as far as he could, but it was critically important that if the car was getting ready to die (which it was) that Danny needed to park it just in front of the finish line.

Roughly 15 minutes before the flag waved, Ongais heard the engine making a death rattle and parked the car in the infield, about ten yards short of the line. The safety crew offered their condolences and a tow, Ongais turned them down and told them not to touch the car. When the flag man brought out the checkers, Ongais put what was left of the transmission in what he hoped was first gear and hit the starter button. The "00" barely limped across the line.

Rolex thought it was an incredible finish. The France family of Daytona.......did not. Field quickly made a dash for the scoring tower with his rule book. He argued that, yes, the car crossed the line using the starter motor but it was under its own power. He then asked where he could pick up his trophy and wrist watch.

Many other privateer teams won races and championships in North America with the 935 K3. I'm almost certain Bobby Rahal won his first sports car championship in one of them. If you grew up in the 1970's and were interested in sports cars and road racing, you knew about this car. You just couldn't build one, until now.

I could recommend this kit for beginners, however the price is high for an entry level builder. For intermediate to advanced builders, you're getting the same type of details as most of the Japanese "silhouette" types of car kits (Aoshima, Tamiya, Hasegawa) plus some nice Easter Eggs.
If you know what the 935 K3 is, this is your only shot at it in 1/24th scale.


Note that I'm using links to HobbyLinc in the US. You can find these kits on Amazon and EBay but PAY ATTENTION to stuff like the kit price and shipping.
HobbyLinc has the most fair price and you won't be waiting for two months until it arrives.

With the "detail up" set, you can skip it with no big problems. Just find a seat belt kit and some P/E brake rotors (if you really need them) and you're mostly covered. The kit builds just fine without P/E.


US link for the Numero Reserve LeMans winner:
http://www.hobbylinc.com/htm/pmk/pmk24006.htm

US link for the more-recommended "Kanji" car:
http://www.hobbylinc.com/htm/pmk/pmk24029.htm

US link for the (not recommended) "detail up" P/E parts:
http://www.hobbylinc.com/htm/pmk/pmk240061.htm

Last edited by ET2SN; 06-18-22 at 08:15 PM.
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Old 07-15-22, 02:58 PM   #2
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Default Porsche 935.

Thanks for the history of the K3 and its racing career! I always loved the flat nose 911's although they are really expensive. BTW, I'm pretty sure Dan Gurney used the starter in a similar way but I'll have to look at some video's before I'll know whih race it was. i'm pretty sure it was also at Daytona where he was also helped by the angle of the banking.
BTW, I am a huge fan of endurancee racing and Porsche 911's - it's amazing the design is almost 60 years old!
Thanks again for the info!
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Old 03-13-23, 07:28 AM   #3
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Icon10

Meanwhile, a kind of an update.

I've done some work on the two Platz kits. Just appreciating the kits and cleaning up some parts so far. I'm going to build the 1979 version box-stock in the Numero Reserve livery due to the real car's shady nature. The 1980 version will feature some extra detail bits and will be more of a "what if I had a real one in the garage" kind of build.

Then, I got an e-mail from my favorite 1/18th scale die-cast source for this:






Its the 935 K3 again in the 1980 config and with my favorite Porsche livery, an orange Buzz Bomb.

The die-cast is by Solido in 1/18th scale. It only features opening doors and turning front wheels (and a price lower than standard die-casts in this scale) but I had a good experience with their purple Legacy Austin Mini and quickly placed my order.

This was the same livery I was considering for the second Platz kit so I'm still not sure how I'll build the smaller model.

https://www.diecastmodelswholesale.c...car-by-solido/
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Old 03-21-23, 06:21 PM   #4
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Icon14

I figured I may as well do a review of the 1/18th scale 935 K3 by Solido in the Jagermeister livery. Grab some coffee and sit back.

What you get is surprisingly good at a very fair price although that price does come with some limitations. So, for under $70 (US) you get a die cast car with opening doors, turning plus steering wheels, a nicely detailed racing interior, and (mostly) outstanding paint. If you only plan to sit it on a shelf, it's pretty much ready once you unscrew it from the base.

MOST of the Jagermeister logos you see in pic from the previous post are silk screened in paint over the orange finish. This is a really good feature although you may want to invest a few hours with some fine polishing compound to really make them pop. More about that later.
The exceptions are the black contingency stickers/decals just in front of the rear wheels and the large "Jager" letters across the nose/hood area. Due to the complexity of the 935's nose and front fenders, it would have been impossible to silk screen. You can almost see the clear backing film of these letters in the pic. So, you may want to use a sharp Xacto knife and a pointed Q Tip/cotton bud around the top fender vents and the break line of the hood.
If you're more adventurous, you could also try to find some larger Jagermeister decals before carefully removing the sticker but you may also want to go with a smaller script that only fits on the hood. The smaller script would be inaccurate for the car that raced in the DRM in 1980, but it would look fine for a retro-restoration. ALL of the "stag head" logos are silk screened and they look great. This is an intricate logo of yellow and dark brown over white and at this point I have wonder if they were really painted onto the full size car or if they were vinyl stickers?

As I mentioned, I chose to lightly polish all of the silk screening using Tamiya FINE polishing compound and a Kleenex. It should be noted that if the logos were stickers, they should look a little more dull (or at least different) than the orange paint so do your research before you commit, depending on what you want.

The orange paint is a little odd. Just for S&G's, I posed this car next to my AutoArt GT3 in factory pastel orange and this shade of paint ain't the same. That's not to say that its inaccurate, it just isn't a factory color. Its a little odd, like the factory pastel orange with some extra yellow and light gray. The paint looks brighter than the factory color while also looking more industrial.

The body is very accurate for a 1980 rendition of the Kremer-built 935's. This year was mostly the last hurrah for the 935 K body style and Solido got it all right. Look carefully and you'll notice the air intakes just behind the doors are not symmetrical. Like-wise, the large NACA duct covers on top of the rear fenders are a stand-out. When I first got my sample out of its box, it looked like the coveres were silk screened black and they missed it just a bit. But, on closer examination, the covers are made out of clear plastic with the wire mesh silk screened over them. Its a very convincing effect once you figure out what you're looking at.

While its a shame the boot/hood is molded in place, keep in mind how these cars raced. The only time the hood was opened was if something really went wrong.

Likewise, the engine cover does not open. On the real 935 K3, opening the engine cover reveals a large black box for the air intake and turbo inter coolers, so there really isn't much to see, anyway. The mirrors on the doors just look wonky, but this was how Kremer built them- probably for an aerodynamic advantage.

Finishing up on the body, the one area that has me scratching my head is the front grille/air inlet. This would be an odd time for Solido to drop the ball so I need to do more research. This car ran in the German DRM, not at LeMans or in the German DTM. I'm starting to think these races weren't of the long-endurance type but closer to 100 Km or 300 Km sprints. Ducts the car needed for a 24 hour slog may have been sealed off.

Wheels and tires- what's the German word for Fantastic? Wheels are BBS with the "dog dish" turbo inserts (actually cooling scoops for the brakes) that feature the gold painted mesh design and BBS logos. From what I can see these details aren't decals but silk screened. Look very closely and you'll see the chrome wheel rims. These are very nice details for an economy priced die-cast. The tires are cleanly molded slicks made from real rubber with painted DUNLOP lettering in yellow.

The interior is spartan by Porsche standards, which fits with the idea of running sprint races. Some detail painting and detailing could pay some big dividends, but don't go too crazy. There isn't much in terms of detail painting. I'm planning to keep the steering wheel fairly stock, maybe add some padding to the rim with NATO black and scratch building a "push to talk" button with some coiled 30 Ga. wire to wrap around the steering shaft. The gauges look good and all I could add is some gloss clear for the lenses and flat black for the gauge bezels. The sequential gear shift (AKA, the broom handle) looks correct although the brake balance/turbo boost knob could use some clean up. The fire extinguisher could use some silver paint and maybe some label decals and I do want to scratch build a very basic radio and wire it from the steering wheel to the roof antenna. The roll cage tubing is painted silver, it might look better painted white.
Otherwise, this is a good time to play around with different shades and textures of black paint. Small changes tend to really pop and this is an area where some "easter eggs" can really pay off. The racing seat really needs some help. The harness is either a decal or silk screened and its a shame that it has to go. Some ribbon and a P/E harness kit are really needed here. BTW, don't forget to attach the shoulder belts to the roll cage behind the seat.

So-to wrap it up. This a great first-time die-cast if you want to get into 1/18th scale cars. It looks mean and nasty which makes it accurate. For the price, you get a LOT without the hassle of "everything opens" which makes it a fine candidate for some shelf space. Just be careful with those bits and bobs on the body. Solido made those parts out of fine-molded styrene and they will break if you aren't careful.

For the Porsche fans, this body style has been fairly unrepresented in this scale for as dominant as it was in the late 1970's and early 1980's. It does feature the twin turbos which are accurate for Europe but it should be noted that the same car was limited a single, larger, turbocharger for racing in North America (and Asia?).

If you want to try my sub-hobby of detailing the snot out of these cars, this is a good candidate as a first project. Its fairly cheap but still has really good detail.
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Old 03-27-23, 07:14 PM   #5
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Default re: A review of the elusive Platz Porsche 935.

Excellent history of Porsche's! I'd like to offer one minor clarification. You wrote "the K stands for Kurz or short", which is correct. The 917K was a Short tail version. But like many car maker's Porsche lacks consistency at times. When they named the 935K3 it referred to the Kurz brothers who developed a type of Turbo charger the 935 used at LeMans. It is a very high-performance Turbocharger only used in racing applications. The 935 was the ultimate development of the 911 even though the 98 911GT1 technically was considered a 911, the only part of that LeMans winning (1998) Porsche that can be considered a 911 is the roof, but it met the letter of the rulebook which was all that was needed.
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