The 1969 917LH from Profil 24 turned up in the mail today. As a result I now have three kits of the 917, none started, the other two being a pair of 917Ks: the 1970 Wyer car in Gulf Oil colours that didn't win Le Mans (kit by Model Factory Hiro) and the 1971 Martini & Rossi car that did (Fujimi).
Why my obsession with the 917? It represents Porsche's deliberate move from dominating the 2-litre classes and leaving the overall wins to big blocks. With its 4.5 litre flat 12, the car was initially quite frightening, apparently, and a number of good drivers stayed away. The long tail (Lang Heck, or LH) was particularly unstable at speed, a problem solved by John Wyer when he hacked the back off to make the short (Kurz, or K) version. They were brutally fast and looked good, especially the K. And they dominated long-distance road racing until the advent of aero undertrays, with the later turbocharged Can-Am versions making 1000 hp. A real piece of racing history with a record and a mystique surpassed only by that of their true successor, the 956/962 series.
The Fujimi kit (in front, molded in gray) is a classic styrene kit that should be relatively straightforward to build. I have the detailed photo-etched sheet of accessories and the Historic Racing Miniatures engine to make things more interesting, but the challenges will still be relatively moderate.
The Profil 24 kit (in the back) is mostly resin, of much better quality than a typical Jimmy Flintstone effort but not quite up to Model Factory Hiro standards. (To be fair it is also a lot cheaper). The engine includes a fair bit of detail but the engine canopy doesn't open, or at least won't open without a lot of effort on my part, so there might not be much to see. And since the canopy opens leaving the long tail behind, this could be a real challenge.
The Model Factory Hiro kit is a monster. There are a million little spun-cast white metal bits, but the quality of the resin body is superb. Judging by the struggles I have had with their 908, this will be require a major investment in time and patience.
So recently I seem to be moving to completing (or at least tackling) multiple kits in a parallel theme: Mercedes 300 SL and 190 SL, BRE Datsuns, Nissan Skylines. The next step might be to clear some of these unfinished items out of the way and move on to a Porsche 917 blitz. Well, crawl, maybe, there is a lot of work here, and the 908 is still stalled. Finally I see Revell is reissuing their 914 this spring ...