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Hasegawa BMW 320i

Hasegawa No. 20313
Molded Colors: Red, gray, clear
Scale: 1/24
MSRP: $52.99
Pros: Detail of the molded parts, straightforward assembly process, clear instructions with detailed paint callouts
Cons: Lack of interior door detail, lots of masking or brush painting required

The first thing that impressed me when I started taking parts out of the box was the amount of engraved detail.

Its one-piece body was molded with the grille open so that you can see between the iconic Bimmer individual vertical bars. I was also amazed at how thin the 320i’s complete body is. The plastic is thin enough that it appears almost translucent when held up to any light. Molded as part of the sedan’s body are the grille, badges, and door handles.

Thankfully I didn’t find any mold parting lines that required cleaning, only a few small feed tags.

However, my sample had four round depressions in a row down the middle of the roof. There also was a visible straight line in the middle of the roof that ran from windshield opening to rear window opening, but couldn’t actually be felt. I filled the depressions with Tamiya putty before priming and block-sanding the roof.

That seemed to take care of the depressions and the line, but the line spotted in the middle of the roof re-appeared when a final coat of Testors One-Coat lacquer was sprayed. I should have used a primer sealer on the roof, but I didn’t have time to strip the paint and start over.

There were also depressed areas along both sides of the trunk lid that I built up with putty, and this fix didn’t give me any additional hassle.
Hasegawa’s instruction sheet lays out the assembly process in a straight-forward manner using multiple diagrams. Be sure to follow their assembly sequence, in order, or you’ll encounter problems later on in the build.

The instruction sheet even tells you the correct size drill bit to use when holes need to be opened.

Color callouts are very detailed, but the paint brands they refer to may be difficult to find in the United States.

The BMW’s undercarriage is quite detailed for what is essentially a curbside model. The front and rear suspension are made of a limited number of pieces that attach to the chassis plate. Engraving on all these parts is crisp, and the front suspension is designed to allow for pose-able wheels.

The lower part of the engine and transmission are molded as part of the chassis plate. Room for addittional improvement arrives, as the undercarriage could be made to appear even more realistic by way of careful detail painting with either a brush, or by masking and spraying.

For example, the entire exhaust from the engine to tailpipe tip is molded as a single piece, but the color callouts in the instructions call for the use of four separate colors when painting it.

Inside, the interior is molded in a tub-like fashion, so there’s little interior door panel detail. The front bucket seats, rear seat, console and the instrument panel are separate parts. The instrument panel has detailed engraving and the front buckets are molded as a single piece with head restraints.

Rear seat head restraints are separate pieces as are the center console, parking brake and shift lever. The steering column is molded with a control stalk on both sides and a decal is included for the instrument faces.

Front, side and rear glass are molded as a single piece, and masks are included in the kit to use in painting the perimeters of the windows. Delicately-molded wipers attach to holes in the lower edge of the windshield.

The outside mirrors have separate faces which will need to be painted. Accompanying mirror faces, door handles and grille surround gave me an opportunity to try my new Molotow Liquid Chrome pen.

This was the first Hasegawa kit I’d ever built, and while some things I mentioned here were new to me, they may be familiar to others.

The overall quality of the molding and the parts design is impressive consider-ing this kit was first released in 1993.

I was impressed by the fit of the parts and the attention paid to exterior details, especially the Pirelli tires, which have great tread and sidewall detail.

Once together, the finished model provides a realistic appearance of BMW’s 320i.


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