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Hasegawa Nissan Bluebird 1600 Rally Winner

Nissan Bluebird 1600 SSS
Hasegawa No. 213266
Model Type: Injection-molded styrene
Molded Colors: Black, red chrome
Scale: 1/24
MSRP: $54.99
Pros: Ease of assembly, photo-etched parts, excellent decals
Cons: Sprue attachments on plated bumpers tricky to disguise
I KNEW DATSUN 510s had racing cred from the BRE Racing Datsuns (Nissan’s Bluebirds) of the early 1970s, but never had I thought of them as triumphant rally cars.

But rally they did and in 1970 a 510 won the more than 3,000-mile, East African Safari Rally with Edgar Hermann and Hans Schuller leading the charge.

Hasegawa has rereleased its 1/24 scale kit from 1999 and 2008, and it still holds up well. The decals and instructions are copyrighted 1999 while the box says 2008.

There are 101 parts on 11 sprues. This curbside rally car kit has many rally-specific parts, including special bumpers, grill and grab handles, skid plates, raised suspension, rally computer, racing seats and roll bar.     

There also are two frets of photo-etched stainless steel, vinyl material to make mud flaps, as well as Cartograph decals.

Construction starts with the interior, which is molded tub-style. The door panels are fairly simple but the floor is molded.

The chassis is next and although it’s simplified, it builds up into a pleasing representation of the real rally car. A large skid plate in the front hides most of the engine and careful, clever painting helps conceal the fact that the exhaust pipe and drive shaft are molded into the floor pan. The front wheels are poseable.

There was little flash on any of the parts and everything fit precisely into place.

I encountered my own problem with the application of the photo-etched windshield wipers. I didn’t pay enough attention to the illustrations in the instructions and accidentally folded the parts to make wipers appropriate for a left-hand-drive car.

Of course, this car is right-hand-drive and once the PE is folded, it’s not going back. Fortunately for me, there were plastic backups.

The other error was in procedure. After finishing the decal application, I washed off any residue from the setting solution before clear-coating the model.

I noticed the Datsun marking above the rear window was gone. After the clear coat dried, I found the marking had migrated to the right side C-pillar. I’ll be sure to remember to check things more thoroughly and carefully before clear-coating my next build.

Apart from a few self-inflicted errors, this 510 (Bluebird) was an enjoyable and easy kit to build. It also taught me a little more about rally racing in the early ’70s, which was fun. 


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