Monday, November 10, 2014

The Japanese are coming! New kits on the shelf

Tomorrow being Remembrance Day (a paid holiday for us), I took today off to make up a 4-day weekend. I dropped in on the local model kit wholesaler and wandered around looking at what he had on the shelf. Of course I wound up picking up a few things ...

The most interesting purchase is a Fujimi kit of a Nissan Fairlady Z 432R (a hot version of the Datsun 240Z, to us Westerners). Now Fujimi kits frequently have no engine detail, and (unless the Japanese text on the box provides this information), you will not know this until you take it home and open the box. This can be frustrating, and as a result I tend to stay away from Fujimi kits unless they are of really obscure cars that I really want. However the box art showed a nice picture of a straight 6 equipped with what appears to be a full set of double-barrel side-draft 45 mm Webers (probably Japanese copies), so I bought the kit.

On opening it, the first thing I noticed was plenty of bits to build up a lovely twin-cam 6. Then I noticed the body has the hood molded in place! So you spend a lot of time detailing the motor, then you can't show it off? This is a first for me. So it seems the panel scribe and saw will see some use here, unfortunately...

I also picked up a pair of Nissan Skylines, both from Tamiya. The first is the original 2000 GT-R from 1970, complete with fender flares, wing and another lovely little 2-litre twin-cam 6. This will replace an earlier Fujimi kit of the same car, which had no motor detail. The second is the 1990 version with a 2.6 litre twin-turbo inline 6, decked out in club racing trim. Both are typical Tamiya kits with plenty of detail. And you can open the hoods on both of them ...

So it was Nissan Day at the model car shop. Combined with a couple of earlier purchases, such as Pete Brock's Datsun 510 Trans-Am car (actually another Nissan), a Honda Civic racer with no engine, and a resin Toyota Celica Group B rally car from Profil 24, the Japanese road car contingent is growing, and joins my NSX dragster with (horrors) a blown Ford big block motor in place of the poorly detailed V6. Note all the neat scoops and vents I built in the flanks, roof and front trunk; on the other hand the cockpit had to get shoved forward something like a foot at scale for all those cubic inches to fit, so a normal-sized driver probably couldn't get into it if it were built at 1:1, unless he were moved to the middle of the cockpit.

I've even got a couple of those silly Mitsubishi Delica Star Wagon 4WD Super Exceed 7-seater microvans that you see on the street in Vancouver (no engine detail; kit from Aoshima). We were crammed into something similar in China when we visited the Great Wall at Badaling, and what a gutless little thing it was as it ground up the long slopes out of Beijing, especially with 6 porky Westerners on board (the Chinese driver was probably 115 lb soaking wet). Anyway with a name like Delica Star Wagon 4WD Super Exceed, there rightfully should be some serious kit-bashing in the works for these, no decisions yet but stay tuned.

Yes, yes, I've got way more kits than I can possibly build in a reasonable time while still allowing time, say over the course of this winter, for other things (such as this blog, or maybe the family). I passed that point years ago; the 908 alone will keep me busy all winter if I am not careful. However retirement beckons (eventually) at which point there will be lots of time, and all these obscure kits will be unavailable. And as for the expense, well, hey, it's way cheaper than drinking, smoking, gambling and hanging around in bars. Not that I've ever considered any of these as an alternative activity, I'm just making a rhetorical point here.

Originally posted 10 November 2014

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