Subaru’s 360 was and still is one of the smallest cars ever to hit American shores. This microcar competing successfully in GP Rally racing is a feat I’d call amazing.
I was struck by how tiny the body of the Subaru 360 really is in comparison to another Subaru Rally car I am also reviewing. A rather spartan decal sheet has rally markings, number bubbles, and decals for the gauges and license plates.
Steps 1 through 3 involve the building of the overly simplistic chassis assembly. All parts went together with no difficulty and showed minimal flash and mold lines.
Parts with mold lines were in areas that would be hidden.
Painting and detailing of the underside were simple and required some masking, as the body color is located in the wheel wells and along the chassis edges. Itty-bitty tires and rims were painted and installed as per the instructions. Note, the 360 builds as a spirited curbside.
Its interior is just as simplistic as the chassis, with only a front and rear seat (yes, the car has a rear seat), shifter, brake lever, and a-three lever control panel mounted to the floor. The only part of this car that strays from a normal color palette are the light green seats.
Modifications must be done to convert the body from a street to a rally version by filling the windshield wiper holes and drilling new holes in the relocated mounting holes for the right-hand drive setup.
Remove side vents on the C-pillar to attach the white-metal side scoops. A couple of additional holes must be filled in the body for rally configuration with a dot of super glue and accelerant.
Painting the 360, I used a mix of Tamiya Wood Brown and Tamiya white to get as close a match to the beige tone found on the real car.
An unusual item that I thought was maybe a shadow being depicted on the box art is the black-eye headlamp surround on the driver’s side. After research, I found that the 1:1 did in fact have this, for what reason I still have not been able to find.
Next was installing Subaru’s windows and interior panels. The windows leave a little-to-no mounting surface for attachment to the body. Be sure the windows are aligned properly before cementing them in their respective openings.
At this point, the dash and door panels also are installed into the body. Now comes the only part of the build that disappointed me. The resin replacement bonnet and rear boot that replaced the kit parts are both undersized, and when installed onto the body left significant gaps all around.
If I had additional time, I would have converted the kit parts into the rally-configured parts and discarded the resin pieces.
The clear roof panel was painted in white with black trim, and all chrome was stripped and painted black before it was installed. This Subie did not have any chrome trim.
The rest of the body was completed with the addition of the head and taillights, white-metal windshield wipers, a side-view mirror, and the addition of the turned-aluminum gas filler in the rear of the car.
Minimal decals placed on the car went down without any trouble and required no setting solution.
Mating the body to the chassis was super simple as it fell together without complications.
I have taken a liking to build these microcars and recommend this to anyone wanting to create something out of the ordinary. This is truly one of the most fun builds I have had in a long time!