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Tamiya Ford Mustang GT4

Kit No.: 24354
Scale: 1/24
Mfr.: Tamiya,
Price: $53
Comments: 136 injection-molded parts (white, black, clear, and chrome plated); four black rubber tires and polycaps; window masks; two decal sheets 
Pros: Flawless construction; beautiful parts; excellent decals   
Cons: Curbside
Tamiya’s all new tooling for the Ford Mustang GT4 looks like a street car, but it only builds into one of two race cars (the Graywood Festival No. 17 or the official Ford car No. 18). And yes, it is curbside, but it does include a bare engine block and transmission — think of it as a starting point if you want to detail under the hood.

As you would expect from Tamiya, the parts don’t have mold lines to contend with, and the sprue points end up hidden during assembly. There are a few delicate mold lines on the body, but cleanup and prep were negligible.

Of course, the parts fit extremely well, and I’m again impressed at the engineering for the clear components (especially the lights) to make gluing and placement easy and minimizing the chance of crazing the plastic.

I followed the instruction’s paint callouts and used the recommended Tamiya colors. Painting the taillight lenses might have been the most daunting aspect of this kit for me. Hand-painting the gloss black areas is the best option, as opposed to masking and spraying.

The parts are sharp and accurate, but the clear plastic and acute angles make painting a challenge. It’s hard to see the demaraction lines between what should be black and remain clear — until some paint was on. Make sure to use a good paint, like Tamiya semigloss black (X-18).

One sheet of decals contains mostly details and labels. Decal solvent helped the edges of some of the markings to conform. You also get a full set of seat harnesses and a couple of decals for the switches on the dash that fit perfectly over the raised details. So cool! Tamiya Mark Fit (strong) decal solvent helped them seat without fracturing. I put a drop under each decal and allowed it to work for about 3 or 4 minutes before carefully pressing the film onto the part with a cotton swab.

A second sheet contains the main exterior decals. Sharply printed, glossy, and opaque, these markings fit extremely well. Again, a little decal solvent came in handy to convince a few of the edges to hold their shape. Where the decals crossed doors and panel lines, I sliced them with a sharp knife after they dried and hit them with decals solvent. I decaled the body before fitting the windows, lights, and ground effects.

What can I say? I expected a kit that would go together without fuss, and that’s what I got. From assembly to graphics, this was a stress-free build of a very good kit. I plan to build another. And then, maybe, another.

– Mark Jones


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