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FROM THE June 2011 ISSUE

Fujimi Ferrari 458 Italia

RELATED TOPICS: FUJIMI | SPORTS CAR
Fujimi Ferrari 458 Italia
Italia
458 Italia
Ferrari 458 Italia
Ferrari 458 Italia
Fujimi No. 123820
Model Type: Injection-molded styrene
Molded Colors: White, tan, clear
Scale: 1/24
MSRP: $49.95
Pros: Good overall representation of 1:1 car; nice tires and decals
Cons: Detail lacking in some areas; steering rod too flexible; final assembly tricky

The Ferrari 458 Italia is the new platform that has replaced the F430. It is a typical two-seat midengine car, powered by a V-8 engine featuring direct fuel injection. This feature is a first for Ferrari in its midengine road cars. Fujimi’s kit represents the car well.   

I was disappointed when I discovered there was no engine, or at least not a full engine. The body parts are molded in white, which is always a plus. The chassis, suspension components, and interior, are all molded in tan plastic.

The Bridgestone Potenza tires are the nicest I have ever seen, and are of the proper width for the front and rear of the car. The wheels are crisply molded with lugnut detail and are finished in a satin chrome plating that looks accurate. There is a nice decal sheet for all badges and interior gauges, along with clear plastic parts for the glass and lights.

The first step is to assemble the brakes. Everything fits together well, with nice engraving on the rotors. The calipers assemble in two parts, holding the rotors to the hubs. The front of the calipers are plated in satin chrome with raised Ferrari logos. I was able to paint them gloss black (as per reference photos) and wipe off the black on the Ferrari logos for a convincing look.

The front lower control arms are molded to the chassis pan, and the upper arms are mounted to a plate that is glued to locations on the chassis pan. The brake assemblies are then sandwiched between tabs on the ends of the upper and lower arms.

Then there is a steering rod that connects to the hubs on brakes so the steering is poseable. I discovered later that the steering rod bends when you try to turn the wheels.

There are no shocks present in the suspension. The rear suspension has a similar setup to the front, with upper and lower control arms. A metal rod slides through the chassis into the hubs to hold the rear tires.    

The top of the engine block loosely represents the shape of the V-8 engine, with soft molded details on the valve covers. The intake and air box assemblies are one unit, and are tricky to paint. This unit mounts to the top of the engine block and the engine shroud after the engine is glued to pedestals on the chassis pan. There are no manifold or exhaust parts.

The interior is molded in tan plastic, and has the seat bottoms molded to the floor. The door panels have no door handles or trim; I decided to paint the interior black to make the lack of details a nonissue. The upper seat backs are two pieces, making it possible to carbon- fiber decal the backs.

The body is molded in crisp, white plastic with minimal mold lines. Door panel lines are fairly deep. I glued the rear clip and lower body panels together to make painting and color-matching easier (I used Scalefinishes’ Sunset Pearl Metallic).

The windshield and side glass are molded as one piece, and the side glass does not fit nice and tight to the side of the door openings at the roof line.

The signature three-pipe exhaust ends are plated in satin chrome, and snap in the back of the rear clip.

Final assembly is tricky, because the side panels of the body have to be spread apart quite a bit in order to drop over the chassis.   

The completed model is a great representation of the 1:1 car. Because of its simplicity, I think a beginner could build this kit, but an experienced modeler will be disappointed with its lack of detail. 

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