Hasegawa 1/24 JTCC Auto Tech BMW 318i
It's been a while since I've reviewed a new kit, let alone build one. But I'm excited to get my hands on the Hasegawa JTCC Auto Tech BMW 318i. Before I received this kit I was unaware of the Japanese Touring Car Championship (JTCC). It no longer exists anymore as it ended in 1998. There was talk of reviving it in 2012 and 2013, but I haven't found any current articles regarding the JTCC. But Touring car races and circuits are still popular and they are held around the world. This Hasegawa kit is based on the BMW 318i. In Touring Car Championship racing, the cars are heavily modified but still retain the main body structure. This means that the cars are not as aerodynamic as F1 cars, for example, and it allows for more bumping and rubbing between the cars, which makes for more exciting racing.
The first thing about the kit that catches your eye is the box art. It's a really cool action shot of the car in an actual race. If you look closely, you can see the body damage on the driver side and also some yellow tape on the front bumper that covers part of the Auto Tech sponsor logo on the passenger side.
Opening the kit reveals several parts sprues. The body, bumpers and undercarriage are molded in yellow. The interior, roll cage, dashboard, wheels, exhaust, brake rotors and a few other pieces are molded in white. The detail on these parts looks pretty good. There is a small black sprue that has the racing seat and license plate mount. This is a curbside kit, which means there is no engine detail. But you can enhance the chassis detail with some masking and if you really wanted to go far, you can add some wear and tear and race damage to the car. 4 rubber low-profile race tires are included. The clear parts sprue includes the front and rear light lenses and the windshield, side and back windows molded in one surround piece.
The instructions are clear and easy to read. They also include a paint guide that attaches a number to each part that can be referred to for color description. Because it's a race car the decal sheet is extensive but the decals are clear and should look good on the car. There are also some tire labels included for added detail, and a set of window masks to create the black liner around the windows, which will give the kit a little more realism.
Overall this looks like a really good kit. The details on the body look to be well thought out and you can really create an authentic replica if you like. I will probably build this stock, as an out-of-the-box build. But I do wonder about going in a radically different direction. The BMW 318i of this body style was extremely popular. So if it's your preference, you can build a completely stock BMW or an over-the-top custom. Either way, this kit looks like it will be a lot of fun to build and I am looking forward to getting started on it. I would like to thank Hasegawa USA for providing the review sample.
Happy modelling everybody!