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Revell-Honda Civic Si Coupe

August 2003
Revell Honda Civic Si Coupe
Kit No. 2388
Model Type: 1/25 scale injection-molded plastic kit
Molded Colors: White, gray, black, clear, chrome-plated
MSRP: $14.95
Pros: Multiple parts options, good overall parts quality, great engine, timely subject
Cons: "Stock" wheels too big, finicky front suspension, tricky interior decals, mediocre glass fit
The Honda Civic Si (Sport injection) debuted in 1985 in the Civic's third generation. The Si hatchback had a 1.5-liter, 12-valve, single-overhead-cam engine that produced 91 horsepower. The suspension had torsion bars up front and a solid beam axle in the back.

Fast-forward to 1996, when the sixth-generation Civic debuted. For the first time since '85 there wasn't an Si hatchback in the lineup, and there were no plans to introduce one. Honda was certain there was no market for a "hot hatch" in the U.S. Although Honda did market the economical CX/DX hatchbacks in sixth-generation skin, they produced only 106 hp and had limited options. But in 1999, Honda decided they'd give the Si another shot, this time as a coupe.

The 1999 Si featured 1.6-liter, 16-valve dual-overhead-cam engine with Honda's VTEC (Variable valve Timing and lift Electronic Control) system. The B16A engine was previously found in the U.S. in the slow-selling Del Sol VTEC, last produced in '97. The engine made 160 horsepower and 111 pound-feet of torque, and with a redline of 8,200 RPM, it was a screamer.

The Si coupe was only made until 2000. An all-new Civic appeared in '01, and the Si name reappeared in '02 as a hatchback, but with a much-different two-liter engine and without the double-wishbone suspension.
Honda Civic Si
Revell's Honda Civic Si Coupe 2 'n 1 follows in the footsteps of the popular Acura Integra Type R kit. Like the Integra, it features optional wheels, engine parts, front and rear fascias, and spoilers among its 104 parts. Being a fan of the less-is-more crowd, I decided to build my Si nearly stock, using the stock front and rear bumpers and not using a spoiler or graphics.

The body is molded in white plastic with minimal sinkholes and seams. There are a couple of slight indentations on the trunk's lid that are meant to be opened if you plan to install a spoiler; otherwise, you may want to fill them. Most of the other parts were crisply molded; however, some suspension components were a bit soft.
I started by assembling the engine. The 10-piece mill went together well and looks similar to the engine in the Integra kit (they share many of the same components in 1:1 scale). I painted the chrome-plated valve cover black and attempted to simulate its powder-coated texture. Staying with the stock engine theme, I used the stock exhaust manifold rather than the chrome-plated header.

The front suspension was next. This is one area that was tricky on the Integra kit, and it's similar on the Civic. The shock absorbers went in easily, but the half-shafts were challenging. I attached the steering linkage, then attempted to install the subframe to the chassis. The half-shafts kept getting in the way, as did the shock absorbers; some flexing of the subframe was necessary, but eventually everything fit together.

The exhaust system went together easily, but the muffler looks unrealistic. I painted the downpipe silver and the catalytic converter with Testors Magnesium Metalizer.

The rear suspension assembled flawlessly; everything lined up as it should. Both front and rear subframes got a coat of semigloss black. Brake detail is basic but could be improved by drilling the rotors.

Civics have Spartan interiors but Revell managed to capture the essentials. I painted the accurate and nicely engraved dash and interior panels flat gray, with black accents.

One interior aspect I didn't care for was the red door and seat decals; they look unrealistic, and if you paint the interior a flat color, the decals won't adhere well. So instead of using them, I painted the seats Testors Model Master Guards Red to look like the Japanese Civic Type R versions or aftermarket racing buckets. I left the door decals off, too.

The climate-control decal would look great on the dash, but it's supposed to be placed over four raised knobs, and even with setting solution, it might not have made it sit flat. I didn't put the stereo system decal on the package tray, either; it was too one-dimensional. For a stock Si, these decals aren't too important anyway.

I installed the head- and taillights next. The taillights simply dropped into place, but the headlights were challenging. However, I didn't follow the directions for this sequence. I attached the bumper to the body for painting, instead of attaching the headlights to the bumper and then gluing the whole assembly to the body. Regardless, the headlight lenses were difficult to align.

When it was time was time to put the one-piece kit glass in the body, I couldn't get it to line up with the rear window openings. I even tried the glass out of another Si kit. I installed the glass as it was. It looks okay, but with some cutting and sectioning, it would fit.

The Civic comes with a choice of wheels - a split six-spoke wheel or a set of "stock" wheels. However, both wheels are the same diameter, so the stock wheels scale out to 18.75"; Si wheels are 15" from the factory and were machined aluminum. I decided to strip the chrome plating revealing a gunmetal color that looked clearcoated. I liked the look, so I mounted the rubber-band-style tires on the wheels and picked out the lug nuts. Mating the wheels to the hubs is simple, and although they're not stock, they look good.
The chassis mates to the body with four metal screws - easy to assemble, but unrealistic. The screw holes could be filled and painted semi-gloss black. FineScale Modeler's Matt Usher painted the body Testors Colors by Boyd True Blue Pearl Metallic.

The completed model looks accurate, except for the huge "stock" wheels. Keep in mind that this is the only plastic kit of a sixth-generation plastic Civic coupe. With some patience and some minor tweaks, this can be a fun and good-looking piece.


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