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FROM THE August 2009 ISSUE

Tamiya Xanavi NISMO GT-R

Xanavi NISMO GT-R (R35)
Tamiya No. 24308
Model Type: Injection-molded styrene
Molded Colors: White, black
Scale: 1/24
MSRP: $70.00
Pros: Good Cartograf decals; optional photoetch kit a plus
Cons: A bit pricey for a curbside kit; roof scratches easily
The newest release in Tamiya's line of Japan's Super GT championship contenders is the Xanavi NISMO GT-R. A photoetched detail set is available, and was used in the buildup of this curbside kit.

Thankfully, Tamiya has done away with the diecast chassis of earlier releases, and has gone back to an all- plastic piece.
Suspension detail is minimal; most of it is hidden beneath the ground-effects undertray anyway. The poseable front suspension has separate uprights and tie rod, with the upper A-arms molded to the inner fender wells. The rear suspension is more complete, but still simple. The transaxle is split into upper and lower halves, with the A-arms molded in. Both half-shafts are molded as one piece, as are the pushrods.

Disc brakes with calipers are also separate parts, with nice molded detail and AP racing decals for the calipers. The photoetched disc faces look fantastic, but I'm not sure they are technically correct; I'm pretty sure the 1:1 car uses a carbon-ceramic disc, which would be more of a gunmetal color. Pay attention to the direction of the slots in the disc face, as there are left- and right-hand parts.
Assembly is straightforward, with no fit problems and little cleanup needed.

A basic tub is the base for the 17-piece interior assembly. Door panels are separate parts, and have good molded detail; there are also parts for the foot pedals, shift lever, switch console, and a large coolerlike box. The dash is pretty much flat, relying on decals to depict the various switches and knobs. I would have preferred that they were molded in, but the decal does a decent job. There is molded relief for the instrument cluster that mounts behind the steering wheel.
The seat belt decals were replaced with parts from the detail set. It was a little difficult getting the buckles onto the belts without them sticking before getting into position, but they look convincing when finished.

The most difficult and time- consuming part of the build is the body - mainly because of the painting and masking. Parting lines are almost non-existent, so little sanding was necessary.
The major part of the body is painted TS-8 Italian Red; then mask and paint the rear portion TS-40 Metallic Black. Tamiya did a nice job engineering the body so masking is done at panel lines.

The chrome-plated roof section was well done, but scratches easily; I recommend clearcoating it before you begin working with it.

The Cartograf decals fit perfectly. You'll need to use some setting solutions in a couple of areas, and a little heat can help too. The photoetch set provides some nice body latches and fine-mesh screens to add some finishing touches. There is also a turned-aluminum antenna base and fine wire for the antenna. Diecut masks are provided for painting the windshield border, and Tamiya has added some nice, big mounting tabs for the glass parts.
Side mirrors are molded in soft plastic, presumably so they aren't so easy to break off. Bright chrome metal transfers are included for the mirror faces and GT-R and Nissan badges.

It was a pleasure to build this model, and it looks stunning. Anyone with patience and a reasonable skill level should be able to finish it without too much trouble. The price is a bit steep for a curbside kit, but I've paid a lot more for curbside resin kits that take quite a bit more work.


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