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Fujimi 1/24 scale McLaren MP4

RELATED TOPICS: AUTO
Kit:12555 // Scale:1/24 // Price:$62.95
Manufacturer:
Fujimi, from Dragon Models USA, 626-968-0322
Pros:
Parts fit; tires molded well
Cons:
Roll-cage assembly a bit fiddly; upper portion of the engine is molded into the tub
Comments:
Injection-molded, 78 parts (4 vinyl), decals
Fujimi_MP4_box
Fujimi_MP4_01
Fujimi_MP4_02
Fujimi_MP4_03

Fujimi has blessed sports car racing aficionados with several of the current contestants in GT3 competition.  This one is a curbside kit, although there is some engine detail visible through the car’s rear window.  

Body parts are molded in white, chassis and interior are molded in black, and there is a small tree of chrome-plated parts, for a total of 98 pieces.  All trees are bagged separately.  Also included is a templated mask for the window trim, but it is not die-cut.

The chassis is pretty much a flat plate with the front and rear lower suspension arms molded in place. The rear diffuser is well done, with the vanes molded nice and thin. Inner wheel wells and upper suspension arms are separate pieces and practically snap into place. 

The front wheels are posable and the fit of the pins is precise, so be cautious of paint buildup in the holes. The brake calipers and discs are individual parts. 

The wheels have decent hub detail and even include the valve stems. The front and rear rubber slicks look good, with minimal seams to clean up. Dry transfers for the Michelin logos are provided, thankfully with a couple of spares in case you mess one up (as I did).

The interior starts with a basic tub for the cockpit and engine bay. Electronic boxes and foot pedals are molded into the interior floor, along with some center console switch detail. 

The roll cage is a five-part assembly and is a little bit fiddly; some of the mounting pins are small. It’s probably easiest to use the interior tub as a fixture during assembly to ensure that everything stays straight and properly aligned. 

The seat and fire suppression bottle are the only other parts to the basic interior.  Both are done well, but the seat could use some belts to dress it up.  

The dashboard is six pieces and features good detail, but it will need some detail painting to really finish it off.
  

The upper portion of the engine is molded into the tub and makes masking and painting a bit of a chore; there are some small nooks and crannies. A separate part would have made things much easier.  

The body is by far the most complex part of the model. Made up of three pieces, the body’s door panels and lower rear quarters ahead of the wheels are separate from the upper body. My guess is this simplifies the mold and makes it easier to produce the deep coves on the sides of the car. 

The intricate intake ducting on the sides of the car is four pieces. Fit here is nearly perfect.  

I wish Fujimi would have made a separate taillight section and front grilles, just to make painting a little easier. The grilles in the front do have a scribed line on the inside of the body, making me believe there will be a photoetched-metal detail set in the future.  

The only tweaks I made to the body were to open up the holes for the tow hooks and to drill and pin the mirrors for support.  

The windshield and side windows are molded together and snap into place, although it was a tight fit. 

The decals are clear and in-register; although thin, they cover well. Their finish is a little on the dull side, so a clear coat is probably in order. I had no ill effects using Testors clear lacquer over them.

The build went extremely well throughout, and the kit makes a great-looking replica of one of today’s hottest race cars.  

Note: A version of this review appeared in the November 2013 FineScale Modeler.

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