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Hasegawa Mitsubishi Galant VR-4 Rally

Hasegawa No. 20307
Molded Colors: White, clear
Scale: 1/24
MSRP: $72.99
Pros: Off-road accessories, decals, photo-etched details
Cons: Wheel fitment, ride height
Known for extremely rugged terrain and changing weather conditions, the Safari Rally was revered as the toughest on the World Rally Championship schedule.

Despite some early adversity in the 1992 Safari Rally, the driver combo of Kenjiro Shinozuka and John Meadows battled back to a 10th-place finish. 

This rerelease has not been seen on model shelves since 1992, although you may be familiar with some other variants, such as the street-car version or one of three other liveries for rallies with names like the Monte Carlo/Sweden, Ivory Coast, and 1,000 Lakes. 

In the box of this curbside kit you’ll find styrene molded in white and clear.  There are extra parts intended for other build variations, such as a left-hand drive dashboard, but instructions make it clear which parts can be ignored.

Also included are photo-etched parts, a leather-like vinyl sheet for mudflaps, a thin vinyl sheet for seat belts, and a small metal rod for the antenna. 

The 50 individual decals are durable and fit well. One thing I noticed was that they leave a fair amount of adhesive residue, so I was sure to give the body a thorough wash with warm water and detergent before applying the clear coat.

The rear section of the car, painted blue, will require accurate masking to ensure the decals align properly later on.

Another great aspect of this kit are the 75 photo-etched pieces: tow hooks, window clips, seat-belt hardware, and more, all requiring patience and a steady hand; but they add tremendously to the car’s final appearance. Be careful not to drop or lose any pieces; there are only a few extras on the sheet.

Speaking of seat belts, both racing seats include a 5-point racing harness that can only be described as an interwoven masterpiece of soft red vinyl, photo-etched buckles and adjusters, and decals. Threading the seat belts and their buckles is time-consuming and perhaps a little frustrating, but well worth the effort.

The only trouble I encountered involved the Galant’s wheels and ride height. Its tires, which are soft rubber and feature a nice tread pattern, were too big for the rear wheel openings. I swapped in a set of street tires from my parts stash.

Then I attempted to dismantle and lower the rear suspension, which resulted in a couple of broken components. After fixing those with generous globs of super glue,

I was discouraged from lowering the front of the car and thus the car currently sits a little nose-high.   

My favorite part of this model is all the added equipment necessary to compete in the Safari Rally: four giant floodlights, obnoxious over-sized mudflaps, and the brush guard with a photo-etched mesh screen. These details are well rendered and really set this build apart. 

I highly recommend this kit to the advanced builder. The patience required for the seatbelts and other photo-etched parts may deter some, but the basic model build is straightforward and looks really cool on my shelf.

Want a different spin on the VR-4? There is a wide variety of aftermarket decals and resin parts for accurately depicting the Galant in other race liveries. Check online. 
For more information on the street-car version of the Galant VR-4, check out Mark Jones’ build and review in the December 2017 issue of Scale Auto.                


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