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“In this assembly session you will assemble the dashboard of your model car.”




Materials: All of these parts are plastic.


Assembling the Dashboard (I)

The ‘engraved’ lettering on the Instrument Panel is quite hard to see, so I carefully filled each letter with a some Tamiya Panel Line Accent Color (Black). This is a very thin acrylic paint that quickly fills thin crevices. It only takes a little bit to darken the lettering:

Once this dries, the excess can be wiped away with cotton swabs damp with Tamiya X-20 Thinner, water, or isopropyl alcohol. Much better!

Stage 55.1

Fit the gauges of the Instrument Cluster into the matching holes at the back of the Instrument Panel, as shown:

From the front, this is how it all looks so far:

Stage 55.2

Fit the posts of the two Switches down into these square recesses on the rear right side of the Instrument Panel, as shown.

To easily tell the difference, these Switches are shorter than the Ignition Switch:

Fit the post of the Ignition Switch down into this hole on the rear left side of the Instrument Panel, as shown.

This Ignition Switch will not be held in place until we mount this Instrument Panel to the Dashboard in Step 55.7, so take care not to lose it:

Stage 55.3

Retrieve your Chassis assembly and disconnect the Wiring and Switch for the Lights (white/white) and the Wiring and Switch for the Sound Effects (green/green) from the wiring harness:

Stages 55.4-55.5

Fit the switch on the Wiring and Switch for the Sound Effects (green/green) into the square housing closest to the end of the Instrument Panel. Then, fit the switch on the Wiring and Switch for the Lights (white/white) into the next housing over. Finally, bend the two wires to be parallel with the panel, as shown.

As before, I had to bend the unused bare pins of these switches around the back so they would fit as expected:

Stage 55.6

Fit the chrome Panel for Instrument Lights to the back of the Instrument Panel, capturing these Switches in place, and secure it into place with two (2) AP screws.

This did not fit flush as it should have. It was sitting on ‘top’ of the two Switches:

It turns out that I needed to completely cut off the bare unused pins on both Switches:

This allowed the Panel for Instrument Lights to fit better and be secured as planned:

At this point, I tried to operate both Switches, but they were pushing the Panel for Instrument Lights away from the Instrument Panel and failing to activate. It feels like there should be another screw at this end. Since there is not, I used a couple drops of super glue at these joints to keep it from flexing. This solved the problem and both of my Switches now work as expected.

Stage 55.7

Fit this Instrument Panel assembly to the Dashboard, aligning the two screw holes as shown.

This is the step where the Ignition Switch is captured in place, so make sure it is still there:

Secure the Instrument Panel assembly to the Dashboard with two (2) AP screws:


While simplistic, this Dashboard assembly is looking pretty darn good! The two Switches are not easy to operate and require the edge of my fingernail to activate, but they do work. I do find it weird that the Ignition Switch doesn’t do anything. Why not just mold it into the panel?

Next Up

 Stage 56 – Upper/Lower Dashboard Panels, Tachometer/Housing

5 thoughts on “STAGE 55”

  1. I did the same as you did on the end switch but come to find out I had to remove the glue when I installed the upper panel of the dashboard that comes in the next pack that flexes the instrument panel and pushes that switch out correctly maybe yours will be fine but a lot of others had this issue before

    1. I’m getting to this stage soon. Tanks for the tip on the instrument panel. I’ll hold off with the glue until I install it.

  2. Question on removing the Panel Liner on the dash. I’ve tried this before on other models using Tamiya Thinner or isopropyl alcohol and it removed both the excess Panel Liner and the surrounding paint.
    I shouldn’t have a problem with damaging the dashboard paint? Thoughts on spraying it with a matt varnish first? (i.e Vallejo Varnish)

    1. You should not have too much trouble, just use light pressure. I have found that these partworks are mostly painted with enamels which will not come off easily with acrylic thinner/IPA.

  3. I wanted to thank you for this great mod tip, and to let you know that I just completed this today and it worked perfect! Though I used a Tamiya #87172 brush rather than the brush that comes with the Panel Liner, the lettering came out great. I had to use Tamiya Enamel X-20 Thiner to remove the excess as both water and isopropyl alcohol didn’t seem to work. Thanks a lot. It really makes the instrument panel pop!

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