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FROM THE October 2009 ISSUE

Fujimi Pontiac Trans Am

Pontiac Trans Am
Fujimi No. SPOT-67
Model Type: Injection-molded styrene
Molded Colors: Black, clear
Scale: 1/24
MSRP: See dealer
Pros: Good body shape, decals, tires, and wheels
Cons: Designed for motorization so squashed interior, see-through underbody, and low-slung chassis
Fujimi's 1/24 scale Trans Am has been around in one box or another for many years. It isn't stated on the box, but the kit models a 1979 Trans Am with a shaker scoop and T-tops.

The kit dates from the days of motorization, with a large battery container built into the chassis, large gaps around the rear wheel wells, and simplified suspension. To make room for the batteries, the interior was made too shallow: the dashboard hits the floor. There's even a slot cut in the floor for the steering wheel!

So what's to like? The shape of the body is good, and the model sure looks like a Trans Am. The custom-plated wheels are nice, and the kit includes Fujimi's beautiful soft-rubber tires.

And what late-'70s Trans Am would be complete without the screaming- chicken-emblazoned hood? Well-printed decals supply that, as well as Trans Am badges, a Pontiac emblem, and lots of gold pinstriping.

Because of the simple chassis and interior, construction moved quickly. That meant I could focus most of my efforts on painting and decaling the one-piece body. The instructions recommend cutting out the T-top panels, but that would only show off the poor interior, so I left the roof intact.

After a coat of Tamiya's light gray primer, I eliminated the minor mold seams from both sides of the hood, roof, and trunk. Another coat of primer smoothed everything before I sprayed Tamiya gloss black, followed by Tamiya clear gloss.

I started decaling with the front bumper stripes. The decals are a little thick, and have large areas of clear film that needed trimming to fit better and conform to the car's compound curves; liberal use of Micro Sol helped.

Three more coats of Tamiya clear gloss, and the decals looked like they were part of the car.

I painted the back of the headlights silver before installation, then painted the taillights, indicators, and body trim.

I tinted the rear window with a mix of Tamiya Clear Blue and Smoke to help hide the interior.

I snapped the body to the chassis, and my Trans Am was ready for a road trip back in time - it looks sharp, and I love the low stance.

Now, where did I put that Foghat 8-track?


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