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Tamiya 1/24 scale Ferrari 360 Spider

Manufacturer: Tamiya, imported by Tamiya America, 2 Orion, Aliso Viejo, CA 92656-4200, 800-826-4922,
Kit: No. 242387 Scale: 1/24
Price: $41.00
Comments: Injection-molded, 132 parts (4 vinyl), self-adhesive metal transfers, plastic mesh, self-adhesive window masks, decals
Pros: Excellent fit, metal transfers and window masks welcomed additions
Cons: Tough-to-fill depression in the center of each satin-plated wheel
If I bought a new Ferrari (undoubtedly following a lottery win or bank robbery), I'd want to show off a little, and what better car to show off with than a convertible? Ferrari's new 360 Spider would be an excellent choice. Powered by a 395-hp V-8 mounted amidships, I could blast to 60 mph in 4.5 seconds while working on my suntan. Not a bad daydream. Unfortun-ately I don't have $170,000 for a full-size 360 at the moment, but I'm more than happy to take delivery of Tamiya's new 1/24 scale version.

The Ferrari 360 Spider model is based on Tamiya's earlier Modena kit. This is a full-detail kit with a complete engine compartment and drivetrain, and the box is full of not only individually bagged parts trees, but also lots of extras. Tamiya includes beautiful (and tiny) self-adhesive metal transfers, die-cut window masks for the clear parts, a swatch of plastic mesh, four realistic vinyl tires, decals, and a 10-page instruction book.

I started with the model's body. The cleanly molded main shell has only a few faint mold-separation lines that are easy to remove with fine sandpaper. The rocker panels are separate pieces and include the rear wheel wells. The parts fit together perfectly, so I painted them before gluing them together. I airbrushed the body parts SnJ Spray Metal aluminum, then clear coated them a few days later with Testor Colors by Boyd High-Gloss Clear enamel (No. 52720).

While the body was drying, I started on the chassis. The large chassis plate is well detailed and warp-free - important, as it's the backbone for the 'guts' of the model. The front suspension features separate shock assemblies, and the wheels can be posed after assembly. Plastic tubes hidden in the brake assemblies secure the wheels yet allow them to rotate.

The interior is particularly well detailed, with lots of separate parts. To get started, I spray painted the main cockpit, seats, dashboard, and separate side panels Tamiya semigloss black. When it was dry, I airbrushed the trim panels with SnJ aluminum after carefully masking them. A little flocking on the floorboards provides a realistic carpeted look and covers a couple of ejector-pin marks. Decals are included for the dashboard gauges.
Despite their complexity, the engine, drivetrain, and rear suspension go together easily, as long as you're careful to follow the assembly sequence outlined in the instructions. The metal-transfer Ferrari logos look great on the bright-red intake plenums.

The windows are crystal-clear and very thin; use caution when removing them from the sprue. The self-adhesive window masks fit perfectly, but I found the larger ones (like the one for the windshield) were easier to use if cut apart and applied in smaller sections. To keep the flat black window trim from seeping under the masks, I turned up the air pressure and decreased the paint volume so the paint went on nearly dry. The finished trim was razor sharp when I removed the masks.

I returned to the body and assembled the separate pieces using gap-filling super glue. The three-piece engine-compartment hatch includes the 360's characteristic window. It's hinged, and fits nicely when closed. The headlight and taillight assemblies install easily from inside the body and look great.

All of the subassemblies went together perfectly at final assembly. Each satin-plated wheel has a tiny depression at its center, making it difficult to apply the tiny black-and-yellow logo decals. Instead of filling them, I covered the depressions with discs of .010' styrene I made with my punch-and-die set. After the discs were in place I added the decals over them.

This kit took a month's worth of weekends to build, and was great fun. It's a great addition to any exotic-car collection, and would also be a great competitor in the 'box-stock' category at the next model-car contest. It's a little too complicated for beginners, but anyone with a few full-detail cars in their collection is sure to enjoy it.


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