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Fujimi Volkswagen Golf GTI 420 Si 16V

Volkswagen Golf GTI 420 Si 16V Fujimi
No. 12484
Model Type: Injection-molded styrene
Molded Colors: Black, clear
Scale: 1/24
MSRP: $22.99
Pros: Quick assembly; RH- or LH- drive options
Cons: Engine detail does not match box art; car sits too high
Fans of compact European cars have another shot at Volkswagen’s mid-1990s Golf GTI, thanks to Fujimi’s rerelease of its 1992 model.

This time, the car is packaged as a Cox 420si. Cox is a Japanese tuning company that specializes in VWs.

The kit has three sprues of black plastic, one of clear, and one of chrome. There’s also a bag of small screws, a set of vinyl tires, four vinyl keepers for the wheels, a small decal sheet with a gauge cluster, a couple of GTI badges, and the badging for the Cox 420si special edition. The 78 parts include left- or right-hand-drive options.

Many parts attach with screws; others fit tightly into locating holes or snap into place. I used glue where I didn’t trust the friction fit, though.

A one-piece underhood detail part appears to depict the base monopoint injection engine, rather than the 16- valve DOHC engine shown on the box art. Because of this, I opted not to open the hood.

The underbody is relatively simple, and there are no front brakes, which allows for operating steering. The rear axle is detailed with disc brakes. The tires are nicely molded Pirelli P7s – a good choice for a period car – with decent sidewall and tread detail. The plated five-spoke wheels have Cox nameplates in the center caps.

The interior is molded tub-style, so the door panels have only a shadow of the 1:1 car’s sculpted arm rests, door pockets, and other details. The dashboard shape is good, but the center stack is a little vague, especially around the radio. The instrument cluster is represented with a decal.

The car includes one-piece sport seats without any texture, so they represent leather surfaces well. The rear of the seatbacks are hollow.

The builder has a choice of manual or automatic transmission shifters. However, it looks like the parts molded into the floor pan and the underhood detail part represent an automatic transmission.

The instructions are a single sheet, with exploded-view drawings showing simple steps. Painting callouts are included, and there’s a drawing showing decal placement for the Cox special- edition badges and some Japanese-market window stickers.

The body shell is easily the best part of this kit. The proportions look great, and there is little flash. The mold lines mostly follow gaps in the body panels.

The only sanding I did was to remove the antenna base from the driver’s-side front fender (the kit includes a roof-mounted antenna) and some lines on the bumper covers, which are molded as part of the body.

I used Tamiya Camel Yellow to represent VW’s Ginster Yellow. When the color was smooth and shiny, I masked it so I could paint all of the black trim on this European-spec car. North American GTIs tended toward an overall body-color theme, but the body shell has the European-style fender spats molded on.

Assembly went fast. The parts fit well, and the dreaded chassis-and-body-shell assembly wasn’t a problem; the chassis snaps into two sturdy slots in the bumpers. The only downside was that the ride height seemed a bit too tall.

Modelers who are up for a bit of scratchbuilding can make a standout model of a popular compact tuner car. Those who are just getting into the hobby can have a good-looking model without much difficulty.
 – Eric White


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