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FROM THE October 2009 ISSUE

Tamiya Nissan 370Z

Nissan 370Z
Tamiya No. 24315
Model Type: Injection-molded styrene
Molded Colors: Clear, red
Scale: 1/24
MSRP: $55.00
Pros: Crisp engraving, attractive details
Cons: Separate body panels, headlight lenses oversize, no engine, steep price
Following in the footsteps of last year's new R35 GT-R kit, Tamiya has continued the Z-car legacy by making a kit of the hot new 370Z. Much as the 370Z features significant improvements over its 350Z predecessor, the 370Z kit is notably improved over the 350Z kits.

The aggressive and slightly Porsche-like shape is well captured by this new kit. Not surprisingly, Nissan used the Porsche Cayman as the benchmark for the 370Z, though the profile is more evocative of the 911 series. In these days of dwindling new-model choices, I'm grateful that Tamiya offers a kit of one of my favorite new cars.

Opening the box is a typical Tamiya affair; the separately bagged parts are all of high quality. Detail parts include a small sheet of chrome transfers, a sheet of diecut window masks, and a small sheet of decals.

The headlight and taillight bezels are plated in bright chrome; the wheels, luggage area frame stiffener, and door handles are plated in satin chrome. Taillights are molded in clear red, with a separate clear insert for detailing the integral backup and turn-signal lamps.
The chassis is where this new 370Z kit really shines. Instead of solid metal axles front and rear, with no steering (as seen on the 350Z), the 370 has a fully steerable front end and a solid axle in the rear. Chassis detail is much more complete, and engraving is crisp. There is a separate exhaust system, a separate muffler, and bright chrome muffler tips.

The two-piece seats are well engraved, and the dash, door panels, and console have good detail. The builder has the option of building either a LHD or RHD configuration. There are decals for the gauge faces and navigation system (both the display and the control panel). There is a chrome transfer emblem for the center of the steering wheel and for the reflective panel of the inside rear view mirror.

The window masks make the task of painting the black inner areas relatively easy. There's also a patterned black decal that goes around the rear view mirror on the windscreen.

The 50:50 mix of Tamiya orange and flat yellow acrylics in the instructions gave an accurate-looking shade to the "persimmon" leather seats and door panel inserts, though they needed a coat of flat clear to tone down the sheen.
The body molding is crisp, though removing the mold lines is a little tricky on the hatch near the rear windshield.

The front bumper and side skirts are molded separately; I taped them to the body while painting so everything would match, and they need to be carefully glued to the body during final assembly to keep from causing any visible glue damage on the outside.

I installed the optional rear spoiler; Tamiya instructs the builder to open up a pair of holes to accommodate a couple of small locator pins. Instead of drilling the holes, I trimmed off the tiny pins, the spoiler was easy to center and place on the decklid without them.

My only assembly issue was with the headlight lenses; they were just large enough that they would not "snap" into place as the instructions showed (the rear lenses fit perfectly). I beveled the inner edges of both lenses where they parallel the hood so they could fit into place. Once in place they didn't require any glue, but it was a bit tense as I tried fitting them, and I didn't want to damage the lenses or the paint.

This is another fine sports car model from Tamiya, and I enjoyed building it.


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