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Aoshima 1991 Efini Mazda RX-7

1991 Mazda Efini RX-7
Aoshima No. 050286
Model Type: Injection-molded styrene
Molded Colors: White, black, clear
Scale: 1/24
MSRP: $32.95
Pros: Diecut window masks; Easy final assembly
Cons: Incomplete painting instructions; front bumper difficult to install
The Mazda RX-7 is one of the more famous Japanese sports cars ever produced. Through the years, there have been only three generations of these rotary-engined RX-7s produced, with plenty of refinements along the way.  

This kit represents the most recent, and final generation of the RX-7: the FD3S.

The FD-chassis RX-7 began production in 1991, and was Mazda’s answer to the then-revived Nissan Skyline GT-R. The car was an instant success: it looked good and performed wonderfully.

This kit models the 1991 edition of the FD RX-7. It’s a reissue of Aoshima’s original FD RX-7 kit, so the tooling has aged a bit.  

Inside the box you will find all the parts you need molded in white, black, and clear. There are plated parts and a small decal sheet. To my surprise, window masks are included too.

Assembly begins with the chassis.  The front suspension consists of eleven pieces, which all assemble well. The rear suspension/differential is a different story, however.  

The upper rear subframe and A-arms were warped quite badly, and negatively affected the way the rear assembly built up. Using super glue and strategically placed clamps helped to solve the issue. The torque bar and exhaust system then install to the chassis, and look great when completed.

Interior assembly begins next. The interior builds in a typical platform style. There are two-piece seats, separate door panels, and the dashboard is well engraved.

Although the interior does build without any problems, I found the painting instructions to be incomplete.  For example, there are no paint callouts for any of the knobs or switches on either the dashboard or the console.  Another thing missing from the interior is a badge decal for the center of the steering wheel.

The body is molded pretty well, though there are a few mold lines near the rear of the car, and on the hood in the shape of a pentagon – quite strange, I thought.  To my eye, the shape of the pop-up headlights isn’t 100 percent correct, either; the foremost edge seems to be too round.  

The front bumper is a separate piece, and it does not install well; the panel line gap turns out to be way too big, or uneven. However, with extra work, the front bumper can look good.  

You may also wish to deepen the panel lines a bit; I think they are quite shallow.

As stated earlier, my surprise in this kit were the diecut window masks.  Masks are included for front and rear windows, and they worked better than any other set that I have used. I must say, though, that it is quite difficult to get the masks lined up properly with the frosted edges inside the windows.

The wheels and tires are two-piece affairs, and look fantastic without any paint-detailing. I did have a problem with the front wheels when installing them to the chassis: the lower A-arms were touching the inner wheel edges, preventing the wheels from being installed completely. I used a file to knock off the edges, and all was fine.

Final assembly was easy and straightforward, with driving lights, taillights, and window wipers all being installed.

I believe this kit would be great for a beginning modeler, despite a few challenges.


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