Saturday, April 5, 2014

Aoshima F1-GTR Long Tail started

Couldn't wait any longer and started my first build of new Aoshima kit. Plan is to build it pretty much OOB with addition of PE set and after market livery decals. FIA 1997 Gulf livery car is the target.

Just started my usual dry fit assembly. Overall impressions are very positive. I'm quite impressed by the level of engineering and detail level. Especially engine detail. It looks very good and pretty accurate. Cockpit has great level of detail as well. Casting quality is very good and very little clean up, beside removal of usual mold seam lines is needed. Injection pin marks are generally placed in hidden areas and only small number of them will need a fill ins. Brakes are a weak point and suspension is a bit compromised, but they won't be very prominent on completed model.

Fit is very good and in some instances I couldn't immediately understand why parts just click into their places and align properly. Design is very clever. Most of the parts hold together well on dry fit just by virtue of tabs and pins on parts. Haven't gotten to body parts yet, but I expect fit will great there as well. That will be next step.

I think in terms of engineering level, fit level and detail level this kit is very close to best Tamiya 1/24 scale kits. Don't know about over all accuracy yet, but it has been good fun assembling it so far.

Besides mentioned weak brakes, one of the things bothering me a bit is the quality of plastic. It feels different from those types used by Tamiya and Fujimi. Seems to be lower quality. Hopefully it won't affect end result.

PE set is a bit unusual and is more like extra detail set. Beside actual PE items, it contains small number of CF decals, wires to simulate electrical cables and seat belt fabric. Not too many PE parts are included, but they are still a good addition to what is already a well detailed kit, imho.

Here are some photos to show progress so far.

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