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FROM THE August 2011 ISSUE

Fujimi McLaren MP4/5

McLaren MP4/5
Fujimi No. 090573
Model Type: Injection-molded styrene
Molded Colors: White, black
Scale: 1/20
MSRP: $59.95
Pros: Little flash; good detail; excellent tires
Cons: Engine block chrome instead of black; wing a tight fit; challenging wheel/tire installation
Fujimi has really come a long way with its F1 kits. This kit is exceptional. It is simplified enough to allow the average builder to make a nice replica; with some added detail, it would approach museum-level.
The parts are molded in white and black plastic, with excellent rubber tires and a full McLaren sponsor decal sheet. The kit also includes white tire transfers to apply to the rubber slicks.

I found little flash on the sharp and accurately-molded parts.
McLaren MP45
There is full engine detail, but the engine block is plated in a high satin chrome; the 1:1 Honda engine was painted semigloss black. There are no seat belt decals or belts, but the holes are molded open to add them later.

There is good molded-in detail in the transmission case halves that assemble so cleanly there are barely any seams.

The rear suspension arms go together flawlessly; the only finicky area is the side pod inserts. They have nothing to attach to, so lining them up upon final assembly is tricky. (I never could get them to line up correctly.)

The headers were also plated in aluminum, which was a bonus because the bright plating was a great foundation to apply some Alclad paint to heat-stain them properly. Because the engine block was so cleanly cast, I was able to pick out nuts and bolts with gold and silver paint after the block was painted black.

Several areas of the monocoque are carbon/Kevlar weave; to simulate this look, I masked the front of the monocoque and airbrushed Alclad Jet Exhaust. Leaving the entire assembly black would have been acceptable too.
Fujimi McLaren MP45
Before the monocoque can be attached to the undertray, the front suspension needs to be added. The front wheels are also made to be poseable with minimal effort.

The brake and caliper assemblies are excellent reproductions of the 1:1 units. The rotors are molded in two parts, with excellent center hub and side vent detail. The calipers are molded separately from the rotors, making painting and detailing much easier.

Each hub has a poly cap that needs to be inserted inside before final assembly so the wheel nut stubs have something to hold them in place.

There is a masking template sheet for the white and red separation line on the rear engine cowling portion of the body. This template worked well.

The kits decals are crisply registered and respond well to Micro Sol.

The rear wing is a tight fit, and the center winglets can bow or curve if you’re not careful.

The tires and wheels stand out. The wheels slip snugly into the tires, which are molded so precisely there are hardly any seam lines to eliminate.     

Each wheel has a separate nut/stub that slips into the wheel centers and presses into a hub assembly. The rear wheels go on with little effort; the front wheels are a different story. Because the wishbone suspension arms are molded so thin, they flex when pressure is applied to them. Exercise extreme caution; push too hard and something will break!

I highly recommend this kit to any McLaren F1 fan.


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