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FROM THE April 2010 ISSUE

Aoshima Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution X

RELATED TOPICS: AOSHIMA | 1/24
Aoshima Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution X
Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution X
Aoshima No. 044902
Model Type: Injection-molded styrene
Molded Colors: White, black, clear, amber, translucent red
Scale: 1/24
MSRP: See dealer
Pros: Crisp body; almost no flash; nice options
Cons: Compromised tires, chassis oversimplification
When pitted directly against homeland heavyweights like Tamiya and Fujimi, scrappy little Aoshima can find its nose bloodied on occasion – witness the great GT-R wars of 2008.  

But every so often, Aoshima goes its own way and produces something the competition might have had a hard time facing off against. Such is the case with their series of Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution X curbside kits.

Although it still isn’t fully the equal of the bigger Japanese players, this Evo kit indicates that Aoshima’s material processing is coming along pretty nicely.  The body shell is crisp, with an absolute minimum of parting lines; only the front fascia and the separate rocker panels betray any sink marks. 
Aoshima Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution X
There’s practically no flash, and the engraving is sharp and clean. There’s also a set of diecut tape masks for the windshield and backlight frit areas.

You can choose lower grilles with foglamps or without, and there are different shifters, pedal sets, and steering column inserts for the five-speed manual or the six-speed Twin-Clutch Sportronic option. The latter all go into a nicely detail interior with separate door panels, two-piece Recaro seats, and a pretty nice complement of graphics – including gauges, decals for the console knobs, a warning label for the sun visor, and logos for the seats. Steering is right-hand only for now, though some divots below the windshield indicate there may be a left-hand wiper arrangement (and thus left-hand steering) in the future.

Parts are supplied to lower the model (the photo model is at stock height). On the front end, it’s simply a matter of whether you locate a washer at the top or the bottom of each spindle.  At the rear, Aoshima supplies a second set of brake rotor/axle assemblies with raised mounting bosses.

Aoshima Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution X
The wheels are nicely rendered miniatures of the 18-inch 12-spoke Enkeis featured on the MR, but the satin plating was worn around the rims, necessitating a bleach stripping and a repaint with Tamiya Silver Leaf. The tires are 1980s-vintage Pirelli P-Zeroes instead of the proper Yokohama Advans. The size and profile are close; they seem small in the box, but correct when you look at pictures of 1:1 Evo Xs.

Aoshima Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution X
The chassis is a bit closer than in some previous Aoshima offerings, but it simplifies things to the extent of eliminating some very prominent lower arms for the rear suspension, and placing the tie rod behind the front axle centerline, instead of in front as with the 1:1 car. The front exhaust and driveshaft are molded to the chassis plate. The rotors and calipers are a little soft on detail, but at least there are Brembo graphics for them.

Fortunately, the body is accurate in proportioning and detail. There are decal scripts for the trunk that barely show up against paint, and a few subtle creases seem to be missing on the rear face of the decklid. But the grille mesh conspires with an intercooler piece behind it for a nice effect; and the intricate taillight arrangement is well-handled, with four lenses each side in clear, red, and amber.

There are lots of little clear marker light lenses, and those present the only assembly issue in the kit. The fit of the hood and headlight lenses is exemplary, and the taillight covers actually snap in.

This kit moves Aoshima’s game along pretty nicely – and if Aoshima continues doing their own thing and doing it well, the big dogs may really have to sit up and take notice. 

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