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FROM THE June 2010 ISSUE

Fujimi Fiat 500

RELATED TOPICS: FUJIMI | 1/24
Fujimi Fiat 500
Fiat 500
Fujimi No. 123622
Model Type: Injection-molded styrene
Molded Colors: White, black
Scale: 1/24
MSRP: $33.09
Pros: Crisp, clean body mold; nice detailing; good decals
Cons: Ride height and track; bumper fit; painting instructions
This is a typical curbside Fujimi kit. The body is molded in white, and the review sample is one of the cleanest castings I have seen, with a level of shine nearly impossible to achieve with paint. There are no visible mold lines on the body or the separate bumpers.

The exterior mirrors are molded on the black parts tree, so they must be painted for accuracy. I painted my model in a retro theme of a pastel grayblue (Tamiya AS-91 Intermediate Blue military) with red interior – a classic European color scheme.

The interior builds up in platform style, with separate door panels. The stylish retro dash is well represented; it is molded in white, and challenges the builder with a bit of masking, as the top and bottom of the dash is satin black with a body color center panel, and white control panels, instrument binnacle, steering column and wheel.

Front seat headrests are separate and must be glued in place when the seatbacks are glued to the seats. There is a separate shifter and parking brake, and decals are provided for the gauges, steering wheel, and shift knob. The steering column has integral turn signal and wiper stalks.
Fujimi Fiat 500
Chassis construction is fairly straightforward, though it’s easy to get the right/left sides of each hub mixed up between assembling the hub/axle/rotor/caliper and installing the subassemblies to their respective corners. The exhaust system is plated, along with the separate muffler and tip. I painted all but the chrome exhaust tip to better replicate the 1:1 exhaust.

Templates are provided for the builder to cut window masks for paint detailing the black inner glass surfaces. The one-piece glass unit is a tight fit; the rear window must carefully be snapped into place in the open area of the hatch.

The pins that locate the separate wiper/cowl area to the body allowed the front of the glass assembly to snap into place without glue. This could be a problem if you are test-fitting. The glass is engraved for the painted sections, and the side glass areas show some waviness.
Fujimi Fiat 500
Final assembly was tricky. Make sure the bumpers are securely glued to the body; the chassis/interior tolerance stack is tight and the interior/chassis pins locator pins go into receivers in the bumpers. After the chassis is in place, it’s a tight and solid fit. The bumpers have slightly oversized gaps to the fenders and the leading edge of the hood.

The ride height was comical; the model sat far too nose- high (the rear height seems correct). The track was too wide front and rear as the vintage Pirelli P7 tires (certainly not what Fiat fits to the 1:1 car) were not inside the fenders when completely seated. Not sure if I mixed up the front hubs during assembly, or if this might have had an effect on the ride height, I resorted to a bit of ham-fisted motor-tool surgery to get the model to sit more properly.

The tiny brake discs, which are designed to rotate inside the caliper, can be deleted so the wheels will seat further inboard. The box-art model seems to sit properly, but every other photo by Fujimi of its Fiat 500 kits shows the ride height and track to be an issue. You can also help to tuck the tires into the wheelwells by grinding down the center axle retainer about 1⁄16 inch.

This was a fun and quick build. A bit of determination to fix the ride height and track issues at the end results in an attractive model. I’ll be on the lookout for the Abarth version.

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