Review by Joe Fotschky
I want to start out by saying that this is my first Tamiya kit build. So if I happen to point out the obvious features of a Tamiya kit please understand that this is my first experience building one of their models. I typically build 60’s and 70’s muscle cars and those are usually Revell and AMT kits.
This kit can be built in one of three versions and I chose the US version, but you can choose the Japanese or European version for your build.
Opening the box up and inspecting the contents made me realize that this was a different type of kit than I am used to building. The parts trees were molded in different colors which upon further inspection is a nice touch since the parts that were molded in black would either be painted black or grey. The kit contained a sheet of decals and two new firsts for me to have in a kit were metal transfers and window masking stickers.
The instruction manual is very well planned out and there were no issues following the assembly steps. It did help by going through the manual and cutting the parts of the versions you are not building off the trees and tossing them in your spare parts box. I am familiar with the Tamiya paint line and was happy to see a paint guide that corresponded to their paint colors in their instruction manual.
One thing that surprised me was that this kit did not come with an engine or transmission. I was not disappointed by this as the chassis and suspension is nicely detailed as it is made up of more than 30 parts.
The interior was nice to paint and assemble as the door panels, console, dashboard, and seats were made up of multiple pieces. I painted the interior black with German grey accents on the doors, console, and seats to help add a little color to break up the all black interior. There were many decals applied to the interior, many will probably never be seen once the model is completely assembled.
The body of the car that receives paint is made up of six pieces. This is where I needed to decide what body parts I wanted to or could glue together that would not cause assembly issues down the line. I chose to cement the front and rear facia as well as the two door sections to the body to eliminate any issues with glue accidentally meeting fresh paint. The hatch was left off so I would have access to place a Toyota badge from the back in later steps. The body had only one set of faint mold lines on the side of the body that were easy to remove. The car was painted with Tamiya lacquer metallic orange LP-44 that Bob Downie gifted me for this project.
Window painting and install went really well. The kit comes with pre-cut window masks so you can easily paint the black trim on the inside and outside of the window glass. The windows come with big tabs that fit in to recessed areas molded into the backside of the body and gives a good surface to glue the windows in.
I was amazed by the headlight assembly. One headlight is made up of five plastic parts and six decals, it’s a model all by itself. Just like the windows the lights had big tabs with recessed areas for them to be glued in with a positive fit.
Grills, vents, and other trim pieces were all separate pieces and not molded into the body. This allows you to paint them as single units and attach them to the model which make for a clean look.
I liked the body to chassis connection as no glue was used to mate them together. You simply slide the front section of the chassis into slots in the body and push the rear down where it is captured by a plastic spring tab that is molded into the body.
This model and its engineering left me feeling really positive throughout the entire build. This is the eighteenth model I have built since 2010 and it is one of the best if not the best I have built.