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Tamiya 1/24 scale Toyota GR 86 plastic model kit review

This hot new model car shows off Tamiya’s design prowess
Kit:24361 // Scale:1/24 // Price:$46
Excellent parts fit; nearly no mold lines; great engineering
Taillights require two layers of paint
Injection-molded plastic (white, black, clear, and chrome plated); 126 parts (four semi-soft tires; and poly caps); metal transfers; pre-cut window masks; decals
Tamiya’s 1/24 scale Toyota GR 86 model kit allows you to build a replica of this curvy sister to the Subaru BRZ—designed in a collaborative partnership between the two companies. The kit allows only right-hand drive, but the hood opens to reveal the Boxer engine beneath while the wheels roll and the front steering can be posed.

I chose to paint all the body parts before assembly, but some of the parts could be assembled onto the main body as some builders prefer to do. The black body accents come as separate parts, making them a cinch to paint. The windows and headlight covers have the trim molded on, and the easy-to-use masks included in the kit work well.

All the small fine accent pieces are designed to be glued in place with ease and minimal cement. The mounting tabs on the clear parts are large enough to make no-mess cementing easy, and they fit great. Even the mirrors and headlight assemblies are broken down based on color for ease of painting.

Tamiya Light Blue (No. TS-23) makes a good match for Toyota Halo Blue, and I think looks great on this car. After it had dried fully, I flowed black Tamiya Panel Line Accent (No. 87131) along the doors, trunk, and fuel door to get good separation.

The taillights are molded in clear plastic, and masks cover the back-up lights prior to painting them Tamiya Clear Red (No. LP-52). Once dry, the kit has you use more masks to paint the gloss black trim. This creates two layers of paint on the lights, so go easy with the application and let the red fully dry before masking for the black. While doing the taillights this way saves on parts, the end result is not quite as good as similar Tamiya kits with multipart assemblies that include differently colored clear plastic.

The chassis builds up easily, and the chassis pan turned out to be the most labor-intensive part to paint in the entire kit. I airbrushed the blue body color, and hand-painted the satin black and two shades of silver. However, you should be able to mask and spray the black and silvers without too much of a headache.

The GR 86 includes an engine, and the engine bay looks convincing when fully assembled. However, parts of the block and the transmission are molded into the chassis. So, if you were thinking of swapping it into another car model, you may want to reconsider.

The interior fits together well, just like the rest of the kit, and its well-defined color breaks help ease painting. I sprayed semigloss black on the main parts first and then masked and airbrushed the carpeted areas flat red. The kit provides the red door inserts as separate pieces. Decals enhance the pedals, gauge cluster, and navigation screen. Additionally, decals also detail the six speaker fronts and the red accent stripes on the front seats.

There are front and rear license plates, but I left off the front one for a cleaner look.

As has become Tamiya’s lasting legacy, the parts for this kit fit together beautifully. The delicate accent and clear parts have positive locating features, and the model is not difficult to build. However, take care with some of the smaller, finely molded pieces. Mold lines are nearly nonexistent, so clean up prior to painting is very easy. Still, you’ll want to have experience painting car models to get the most out of this model. I’d definitely build another!
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