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Old 01-15-2004, 11:42 PM   #23
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Everything you ever wanted to know about Z32 (1989 - 2000) Nissan 300ZX models but were too afraid to ask

Sorry this got so long, but I'll bet there isn't a more comprehensive collection of info anywhere else!

There are 2 main manufacturers of 300ZX 1:24 scale models that most will be familiar with: Tamiya and Fujimi, however there are other that will be mentioned later on.

Tamiya make but the 2 kits, a 2 seater TT targa top coupe (with series 1 89-93 wing as part of the body), and an NA convertible:

Fujimi, on the other hand, seems intent to bamboozle the market with dozens (23 all up) of different variants and packages. Most are only available in Japan and most are no longer in production, but different ones pop up from time to time on eBay or around the place, so here's a quick rundown of what's out there and what you actually get.

This kit is still in production and is easiest to get. It is a series 2 (94-97) TT coupe (meaning it has the raised series 2 wing) slicktop (no targa roof) with Version S 16" BBS wheels.

There are several other package designs out there with the same thing, however these are not so common

The bottom right has slight wheel variation (you get red dish pieces) and possibly other small changes. The bottom left is as per usual, however you get some accessories to make a diorama, such as a drink machine and other stuff. Unsure if all of these are slicktop or targa top, as box art suggests some have targa roofs.

In the early 90's Fujimi had various box art variations of early model Z's (series 1 wing and standard 16" wheels):

The yellow one is the only NA coupe I'm aware of (no wing, no intercooler slits in front bar), the drifting Z at the bottom comes with a few extra decals. All are targa tops, however the left hand model comes in both slicktop and targa top, I don't know how to tell them apart from the box (or if it's possible)

Then there are some minor variants, mostly with different wheels:

The top left has 18" wheels and possibly minor stick on body mods (a roof spoiler, etc), the bottom left may have sometuning parts. Bottom right has 18" wheels and some extra decals, and top right has different wheels, exhaust, brakes, front bar winglets, a roof wing and stick on rear bumper mod.

Some of the more drastic modified versions Fujimi made:

The 2 widebody kits are the same as far as I know, and are very rare. Never seen them for sale outside Japan. The police version *may* still be in production, I believe hlj still sells it at time of writing. Have not seen it for sale outside of Japan. As well as the changes seen it comes with some interior add ons and some stuff for a diorama such as traffic cones and speed camera. The 2 Veilside versions are different Veilside body kits, the upper from the early 90's, the lower with the more modern Veilside style.

Finally Fujimi convertibles:

Those on the left are standard (all NA), the lower right has different wheels and the upper right has I think different wheels, exhaust and a rear wing, but not 100% sure on that (I know one does, just not sure which).

Those are the Fujimi's, there are a few more out there

The Snaptite 1:32 scale I have not seen but don't think it's of great quality, the 1:12 scale Hasegawa is from what I hear excellent (what would you expect from 1:12?) with a lot of detail and cast metal parts (such as the engine). This is no longer in production and is very rare. I've seen it advertised for as much as US$600 (though it didn't sell), the going rate if you can find one seems to be around US$300.

There are also some IMSA / LeMans versions around

I think they are all full multimedia resin kits in 1:43 scale and 1:24 scale by Studio 27, Renaissance and others, info is hard to comeby. I don't know who makes what in what scale, however I believe the Renaissance kit (whichever that may be) is 1:24 scale, and while expensive, very good quality, including full interior and under body work detail to an impressive degree.

I know of no 2+2 (4 seater) kits out there, and none of series 4 (97-2000) Z's which had the more modern body styling

OK, on to a comparison between Fujimi and Tamya, since that's what 99% of people will make:

Overall: The Tamiya is a better and easier to build kit, but the variety of Fujimi kits may be more appealing to some. All Fujimi kits have the same parts, with an extra tree or parts added to the kit which are then glued on, so comments overall will apply to all Fujimi kits, however I can't comment on the extra pieces.

Body: The Tamiya is of excellent quality and fit, the Fujimi had cast marks which needed to be removed. The Tamiya is one piece, while the Fujimi requires you to glue on the front spoiler and rear wing, which is why there are so many variants.... the body's always the same and you get a tree of extra parts which is different for each variant. The lack of rear wing on the Fujimi means if you want to add your own wing it's a better prospect. The Tamiya has fixrd targa panels, while with the fujimi they can be removed on targa top versions. Both are quite true to the real thing.

Interior: The Tamiya interior is better modelled (the Fujimi seats are a little average) and has more parts, making painting and assembly easier. The Fujimi interior is slightly less accurate and some parts look like little care was given. The Tamiya cluster is in a few pieces making decal application of the dials a lot easier, and it simply has an overall more quality feel to it.

Engine: no Fujimi's have engine detail. The Tamiya engine detail is quite good, fitment of the intake pipes leaves a bit of a gap at the front, and it is NA only (more on that later). The hood is transparent, for those who want to show off underbonnet detail.

Ease to build: the Tamiya appears to be far easier to build well. The body is one piece, while for the Fujimi you have to glue on wings, front bumper trim and front spoiler, and for targa roofs clear pieces need to be masked and painted partially body colour. The front indicators and fog lights on the Fujimi are carelessly done, it will be quite hard to paint them well, while the Tamya does it right and seperates clear parts from painted parts as it should be. Overall fit appears to be better for the Tamiya. The headlights are also going to be much harder to get right on the Fujimi.

Accuracy: don't get me started on the Fujimi, it's hopeless. Both kits will look like a Z when done, but for the nitpickers who know Z's well, the Fujimi underside is hopeless, I can only assume it's based on another car. The exhaust comes from one side and then Y's into the 2 at the back, while the 1:1 real deal has a dual exhaust from the engine back (it's a V6). The suspension is from something other than a 300ZX as well in both suspension arms and strut assemblies, and the rear brakes are 2 piston sliding calipers rather than opposed twin piston as they should be (the two look very different).
The Tamiya is almost faultless aside from the engine.... it is NA for both the NA convertible and the TT coupe. The TT has turbos to bolt on (not that you'll ever see them) but the TT engine is missing the very distinctive second set of intake pipes, in 1:1 scale only having 2 inlet pipes as on the model is always a giveaway of an NA engine. Otherwise it's very good.

Overall the Tamiya is a better model. If you don't want to build stock, the Fujimi offers many more options as kits, the Tamiya front will be easier to modify due to how it handles the front indicators and fog lights, while the Fujimi will be easier to add a rear wing to as the wing is not part of the body. All other areas each should be about equal in terms of ease to modify.

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