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Tamiya 1/35 scale Toyota AB Phaeton

RELATED TOPICS: AUTO
Kit:35338 // Scale:1/35 // Price:$43
Manufacturer:
Tamiya
Pros:
Ease of assembly; raised or lowered roof
Cons:
Few construction options; incomplete engine and transmission
Comments:
Injection-molded, 97 parts (4 vinyl), decals
FSM-NP1214_09
FSM-WB0215_Tamiya_AB_Phaeton_04
FSM-WB0215_Tamiya_AB_Phaeton_05
FSM-WB0215_Tamiya_AB_Phaeton_06
Lifting the lid on the convertible reveals the detailed interior with jup seats and a driver.
FSM-WB0215_Tamiya_AB_Phaeton_07
Toyota is well known today for its luxury and value cars. But few people know that during World War II the company produced vehicles for the Imperial Japanese Army. Toyota’s initial production design, Model AA, was also available as the convertible AB Phaeton. Most of the latter served as military staff cars.

Tamiya is known for surprise releases, and this is what we have with the all-new 1/35 scale Model AB Phaeton.
The kit is cleanly and precisely molded in mustard-colored plastic. Options include a driver figure, clear parts for the headlights and windshield, and closed and open canvas tops.

A check of the instructions showed the kit would be a straightforward build. I started construction by assembling the frame with the addition of the drive shaft and partial transmission. There is adequate detail to see from below, but no complete engine or transmission. Also, the suspension is fixed with no option for articulation.

The tires are molded in two parts, and the wheel hub is integral in these parts. Vinyl keepers are incorporated to make the wheel fit snugly on the axle.

Interior detail covers the seats, foot pedals, steering wheel, and instrument panel. There is an option for the rear jump seat to be open or closed.

Take care if you plan to install the driver figure. It’s posed to hold the steering wheel, but I found it was easy (for me, that is) to knock the wheel off the post while positioning the figure.

The upper body is molded in one piece, so the doors do not open.

I finished the kit with Tamiya acrylic paints, following the instructions on mixing the paints for the brown primary color.

I completed my Phaeton in a quick 12 hours and was very happy with the result. It definitely met my expectations from a Tamiya kit, and it can be built by modelers of all skill levels. I highly recommend the Phaeton for any 1/35 scale collection.

Note: A version of this review appeared in the March 2015 FineScale Modeler.

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