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FROM THE August 2011 ISSUE

Fujimi Fiat 500 Abarth

RELATED TOPICS: FUJIMI | 1/24
Fujimi Fiat 500 Abarth
Fiat 500 Abarth
Fujimi No. 12371
Model Type: Injection-molded styrene
Molded Colors: White, black, clear
Scale: 1/24
MSRP: $44.95
Pros: Clear and chrome parts done well; nice interior
Cons: Some problems with decals wrinkling or shattering; incorrect tire profile
Fujimi Fiat 500
Two of the more recognizable small European classic cars were the Abarth 500 and the Abarth 695. To commemorate these cars, it was only natural for Fiat to renew the Abarth name and style, and apply it to the new Fiat 500. This welcomed look into the past is called the Fiat 500 Abarth.

The kit has a relatively low parts count, at 93. The kit is molded in white and black styrene, and the clear parts are done well. The wheels are satin-plated, and represent those found on base-model 500 Abarths. There is also a nice chrome-plated tree, where you will find headlight and taillight bezels, and the exhaust system.  

The wheels and tires are a bit questionable. The tires are older Pirellis, which have tall sidewalls; this does not help the look of the finished model.  

The wheels seem to be the right size; however, the instructions have no notes about detail-painting. The wheels should mostly be a dark gunmetal color, with some of the satin-plated color showing though around the spoke designs.  Finishing the wheels are small Abarth logos for the wheel centers.
Fujimi Fiat 500 Abarth
Front and rear suspensions are simple, and assemble well. The small disc brakes are supposed to rotate with the wheels, but may not if you go a bit overboard in gluing the tiny brake calipers to the spindles.  

The front suspension could have been better in terms of final appearance.  When the model is completed box-stock, like my example, the front end will sit too high. The rest of the chassis builds easily, and the only real nit is the chrome exhaust, which I recommend painting a more-natural color.

The interior is quite nice for the model’s size, but it does require a bit of work. The dashboard is to be painted three different colors, and it really tests your masking skills. The two-piece seats are done well, and the stock two-tone scheme really brings them out. The separate door panels are detailed well, which makes detail-painting a breeze.  The rear seats, which are molded to the floor pan, seem to lack detail.

The well-done one-piece window bucket has no masks provided to aid trim painting. Instead, Fujimi includes a small sheet of paper with shapes to cut out and act as stencils.

The body is an eight-piece affair, and I could not find any mold seams that needed cleanup.
Fujimi Fiat 500 Abarth
The headlights and taillights are nice, and look realistic. I only wish that Fujimi had engraved a line on the taillight covers, separating the clear reverse portion from the translucent portion at the right location. Another bit with the taillights is that there is no chrome molding around the covers, as there is on the 1:1 cars.

The final step was to apply the decals.  I tried to use the large red checkerboard roof decal, but the slight front-to-rear and side-to-side contours of the roof gave me numerous issues with wrinkling, so I did not go through with the application.

The largest issue I had was the left side stripe disintegrating when it hit the water. Luckily, only a small portion of the stripe, toward the rear fender, was affected. This was quite surprising; the decals did not seem to be damaged.

Fujimi’s Fiat 500 Abarth is an interesting subject. However, to build a show-quality model, it will require a bit of work. And I can assure you that soon, the front end of my example will not sit as high as it is now.

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