Building and Customizing the Tamiya Ford Escort: A Guide for Hobbyists

Building and Customizing the Tamiya Ford Escort: A Guide for Hobbyists

Tamiya is a well-known manufacturer of plastic model kits, radio-controlled cars, and related products. Since its inception in 1946, the Japanese company has become a household name among hobbyists, with a wide range of model car kits that cater to enthusiasts of all ages and levels of experience. One of their popular model kits is the Tamiya Ford Escort, a 1/10 scale replica of the classic car that was a dominant force in the world of motorsports in the 1960s and 1970s. This kit is highly sought after by model car collectors and hobbyists for its attention to detail and accuracy in capturing the spirit of the iconic car. The Tamiya Ford Escort kit is a testament to the company’s commitment to producing high-quality model kits that are not just fun to build, but also aesthetically pleasing to the eye. In this article, we will delve into the history of Tamiya, the Ford Escort as a car model, the Tamiya Ford Escort model kit, and finally, the process of building and customizing the model kit.

History of the Ford Escort

The Ford Escort is a small family car that was produced by the Ford Motor Company between 1968 and 2004. It was a hugely popular car model, selling over 20 million units throughout its production run. Here are some key facts about the history of the Ford Escort:

  • It was introduced in Europe in 1968, and in North America in 1981.
  • The first generation was produced from 1968 to 1975, and was known for its distinctive round headlights and sporty styling.
  • The second generation (1975-1980) featured a more modern design and was available as a two-door and four-door saloon, and a five-door estate.
  • The third generation (1980-1986) introduced front-wheel drive and a more aerodynamic design.
  • The fourth and fifth generations (1986-2000) saw numerous redesigns and improved technological features.
  • The sixth generation (2000-2007) marked the end of the Ford Escort‘s production run, after which it was replaced by the Ford Focus.

Overall, the Ford Escort was known for its reliability, performance, and affordability, and it had a significant impact on the automotive industry due to its popularity. The Tamiya model kit is a tribute to this iconic car, and allows model car enthusiasts to recreate a piece of history in their own homes.

When did Ford start making the Escort?

Ford started making the Escort in 1968. The first generation of the Ford Escort was manufactured until 1975. After that, the company continued producing different generations of the model until 2003. For more information about the history of Ford Escort, you can visit the official Ford website or check out automotive websites like Car and Driver or Edmunds.

Tamiya is a Japanese manufacturer that produces highly-detailed model kits for hobbyists and collectors. One of their most popular model kits is the 1/10 scale Tamiya Ford Escort. Here are some key details about the kit:

  • The Tamiya Ford Escort kit is based on a rally version of the car, which was driven by notable drivers such as Björn Waldegård and Ari Vatanen in the 1970s.
  • The kit comes with 227 parts, which include a detailed engine, suspension, and interior.
  • It also features a highly-accurate body design, with separate metal-plated and clear parts for added realism.
  • The finished model measures approximately 395mm in length, 168mm in width, and 142mm in height.
  • Assembly instructions are included, and the kit is suitable for advanced model builders.

For a better perspective on the size of the finished model, here is a comparison table of the dimensions of the Tamiya Ford Escort and a real Ford Escort RS1800:

Model Length Width Height
Tamiya Ford Escort
(1/10 scale)
395mm 168mm 142mm
Ford Escort RS1800
(real car)
3935mm 1630mm 1330mm

Overall, the Tamiya Ford Escort kit provides a challenging and rewarding experience for model car enthusiasts, and allows them to own a highly-detailed replica of a classic rally car.

Is A Ford Escort A Good car?

Ford Escort is a compact car model that was produced between 1968 and 2003. As a used car, its worthiness depends on several factors such as mileage, condition, and maintenance history. However, considering its popularity and history, here are some pros and cons of owning a Ford Escort:


  • It is a reliable car with a strong reputation.
  • It has a good fuel economy.
  • It has a spacious interior with comfortable seats.


  • It may not have the most modern features as it’s no longer in production.
  • Some models may have issues with rust due to their age.
  • The handling and performance may not be as impressive as newer car models.

If you’re considering purchasing a Ford Escort, it’s essential to have a pre-purchase inspection done and purchase from a reputable dealer or private seller. You can find useful information and reviews about the Ford Escort on websites such as CarGurus, Edmunds, and Autotrader.

Building the Tamiya Ford Escort

While the Tamiya Ford Escort kit is a challenging build even for experienced model builders, the end result is a highly-detailed replica of the classic rally car. Here are some tips and tricks to keep in mind during the assembly process:

  • Read the instructions carefully before starting assembly, as some parts may need to be painted or prepared before installation.
  • Take your time and work carefully, as some parts may be fragile and prone to breakage.
  • Use the recommended tools and materials, including plastic cement and paint for added durability and realism.
  • Consider using a primer before painting the model, to ensure that the paint adheres properly.
  • Pay close attention to the details, such as the engine and cockpit, as these are some of the most intricate and detailed parts of the model.
  • Test-fit the parts before applying glue, to ensure that they fit properly and to avoid mistakes.
  • Work in a well-lit and well-ventilated area, and take regular breaks to avoid eye strain or fatigue.

For those who are new to model building or need extra guidance during the process, there are many online resources available that can provide additional tips and advice. Some websites that feature tutorials, forums, and other resources for model builders include:

  • Scalemates – a website that features a comprehensive database of model kits, as well as user reviews and feedback on various kits.
  • Tamiya USA – the official Tamiya website for the United States, which features product information, assembly instructions, and other resources for building Tamiya model kits.
  • Model Cars Magazine – a forum-based website where model builders can share their work, ask for advice, and connect with other enthusiasts.

By following these tips and utilizing online resources for guidance, building the Tamiya Ford Escort can be a rewarding and enjoyable experience for any model building enthusiast.

What is the top speed of the Ford Escort mk2?

The top speed of the Ford Escort mk2 varies depending on the engine and specifications, but it typically ranges from 90 mph (145 km/hr) to 115 mph (185 km/hr). Some factors that can affect the top speed include the transmission type and gear ratio, as well as the condition of the vehicle. For more detailed information, you may want to refer to the manufacturer’s specifications or consult with a mechanic or car enthusiast.

Painting and customizing the Tamiya Ford Escort

Once the Tamiya Ford Escort has been assembled, many model builders choose to customize the appearance of the model by painting and detailing it to their specifications. Here are some tips and techniques to consider when painting and customizing the Tamiya Ford Escort:

  • Research the original paint schemes and designs of the Ford Escort rally cars for inspiration and accuracy.
  • Choose high-quality acrylic or enamel paints that are compatible with plastic models, and use small brushes for precision and control.
  • Consider using masking tape to create clean lines and geometric patterns, or to protect certain areas of the model from stray paint.
  • Use decals and stickers to add details and logos, and consider using a decal setting solution to ensure that they adhere properly.
  • Think about weathering the model to create a more realistic and lived-in appearance, using techniques such as dry-brushing or washes.
  • Experiment with different techniques and materials to create unique and personalized customizations, such as adding custom wheels or modifying the suspension.

For those who are looking for additional inspiration or guidance, there are many online resources available that feature painted and customized versions of the Tamiya Ford Escort model, as well as tutorials and advice from experienced model builders. Some websites that offer these resources include:

  • Tamiya Ford Escort Fan Group – a Facebook group dedicated to the Tamiya Ford Escort model kit, featuring photos, tutorials, and discussions about the kit.
  • Scale Model Addict – a website that features galleries of painted and customized models, as well as tutorials and forums for model building enthusiasts.
  • Hobbylinc – an online retailer that sells Tamiya model kits and supplies, as well as offering customer reviews and feedback on various products.

By utilizing these resources and experimenting with different techniques and materials, model builders can create truly unique and personalized versions of the Tamiya Ford Escort model kit.

Do they still make Ford Escort?

Yes and no. The production of the Ford Escort in North America ended in 2003. However, the Ford Escort is still being produced and sold in other parts of the world, including Europe and China. In these markets, the car goes by different names, such as the Ford Focus and the Ford Escort Classic. If you’re interested in purchasing a Ford Escort, you might want to search for dealerships or online sellers that specialize in exporting vehicles from these regions.

After spending time building and customizing the Tamiya Ford Escort model kit, it’s important to properly display and maintain the finished model to keep it in top condition. Here are some tips and suggestions for displaying and maintaining the Ford Escort model:

  • Create a display case or diorama to showcase the model, and consider adding additional details and accessories to enhance the presentation.
  • Keep the model away from direct sunlight, as UV rays can fade and damage the paint and plastic over time.
  • Dust the model regularly using a soft brush or cloth, being careful not to damage any fragile details or decals.
  • Store the model in a dry, cool location to prevent any warping or cracking of the plastic parts.
  • Consider using a plastic or acrylic protectant spray to add an extra layer of protection to the model’s paint and plastic.
  • For those who are interested in displaying their Tamiya Ford Escort model as part of a larger collection or exhibition, there are many resources and organizations available that cater to model builders and collectors. Some of these include:
    • International Plastic Modelers Society (IPMS) – a global organization for scale model enthusiasts, offering resources, competitions, and networking opportunities.
    • Scale Model Guide – a website that offers tutorials, reviews, and advice for model builders, as well as information on upcoming events and competitions.
    • Scalemates – an online database of scale model kits and accessories, featuring user reviews and feedback on various products.

By utilizing these resources and tips, model builders can ensure that their Tamiya Ford Escort model kit will remain in top condition and be displayed in a way that does justice to the time and effort put into building it.


The Tamiya Ford Escort model kit is a fantastic option for both beginners and experienced hobbyists. With its detailed design and customizable options, it’s sure to provide hours of creative and engaging building fun. This model kit also offers a unique opportunity to learn about the history of the Ford Escort and its impact on the automotive industry. By taking the time to carefully assemble and customize the kit, model builders can create a personalized and unique piece of art that showcases their skills and creativity.

Furthermore, with the many resources available for displaying, maintaining and learning about scale models, such as online communities, YouTube channels, and hobbyist events, it’s easier than ever for model builders to connect with others who share their passion. The Tamiya Ford Escort model kit is just one example of the many exciting and challenging model kits available today, and represents the limitless potential for creativity and imagination that the hobby of model building offers.

So whether you’re already a seasoned model builder or just getting started, the Tamiya Ford Escort model kit is a great choice that is sure to inspire creativity and provide a fulfilling and enjoyable experience.