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Hasegawa Nissan Fairlady 240ZG 1971

April 2006
Nissan Fairlady 240ZG 1971
Hasegawa No. 21217
Model Type: Injection-molded styrene
Molded Colors: Gray, black, clear
Scale: 1/24
MSRP: $29.95
Pros: Crisp body molding, accuracy and exterior detail
Cons: Fender flare fit, soft tires

The Datsun/Nissan Fairlady/Z-car has enjoyed a huge presence in scale. So how does a manufacturer wade into such a crowded field with a new kit? By offering a few novel tricks, perhaps the most-accurate kit, and by advancing the curbside state of the art, according to Hasegawa's game plan.

One of the first things you'll notice is the clean processing. Little parting-line cleanup was needed, and my sample had absolutely no sink marks in the body. The quality of this molding is manifest in its crispness and polish, and the fit of the separate front fascia is very good.

Hasegawa chooses to skip a full engine, but there are still more than 100 parts in the kit - many of which are lavished on external details unprecedented in previous Z-car models of this scale.

In addition to the separate plastic parts - taillight housings, door handles, wipers, antenna stub, and every clear lens present on the 1:1 car - there are sharply-executed metal transfers for every mirror, emblem, and nameplate.

Those last parts present interesting alternatives. There are actually two sets of three "Fairlady 240Z" scripts - one finely etched, and the other in a slightly blobby, less-resolved format. The instructions indicate that the thicker scripts should be overlaid with matching scripts from the decal sheet, but it actually seems those scripts were intended to serve as the black base of the nameplate, with the finer metal transfers applied on top. Intriguing, but time didn't permit a solution to the quandary of the best way to paint those scripts. The fine scripts look pretty good by themselves.

The lack of a separate engine doesn't mean a complete lack of powertrain detail. There's a crisp oil pan, starter, belt, and accessory molded to the chassis plate, and the transmission lower is a sharp, separate piece.

A separate driveshaft/rear axle molding, crossmember, and front roll bar are rounded out by 7- and 8-piece rear and front suspensions, with all four struts accounted for, and poly cap wheel retainers trapped in crisply molded rotors up front and drums in the rear.

A separate spare tire well/fuel tank, two horns, and a radiator/core support finish up the chassis details, and the chrome wheels are molded so precisely that picking your gunmetal paint off the raised trim with a thinner-soaked toothpick is child's play.

The interior largely lives up to the pace set by the rest of the kit, though it might disappoint some to see the quilted pattern missing on the transmission tunnel. The 16-piece interior includes separate console, glovebox lid, and radio faceplate parts; the decal sheet features a shift knob graphic, steering wheel emblem, glovebox nameplate, air conditioning vents, and a full complement of gauges.

The decals are compatible with setting solution, but you're probably best advised to let them dry a bit before you use it in small amounts.

Because this floor pan is shared with a rally version of the 240, the roll-cage bosses need to be removed. The fender flare fit could be better, and the crisp, two-piece front side marker lights stick out a bit too far.
The track looks narrower than it actually measures for scale.

Perhaps the kit's most serious letdown is the set of soft vinyl tires, which simply can't match the rubber from the competition, or from Hasegawa's own past, for crispness and detail.

But overall, this model is a triumph. Aside from the fender flares, there's no ambiguity or temperament to the fit, and the exterior detail is among the best available at this scale and price point.


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