Nissan 350Z (Fairlady Z)

Kit: 1/24 Tamiya Nissan 350Z (Fairlady Z) kit #24246

Pros: Interior details are almost perfect - moldings are very crisp, with good detail. Many separate parts. Excellent body proportions, and a testament to Tamiya engineers - its molded in one piece. No flash, light mold lines, perfect parts fit (except rear window), window masks, metal transfers, red and amber colored parts for lights, great instructions with correct color charts - in other words, everything you'd expect from modern Tamiya car kit.

Cons: Still, this kit is far from perfect. One of the biggest disappointments is that its curbside (especially after we all saw Tamiya's excellent 300ZX). Suspension detail is somewhat limited, with most of the components molded in the chassis plate. Exhaust and lower half of the engine are also molded in the chassis, and it takes some skill and patience to paint it correctly. Front wheels do not steer (kit uses metal axles), rearview mirrors are too big, and finally rear window doesn't fit completely inside the body and requires some tweaking to fit correctly. Only right hand drive steering version of the dashboard is provided in the kit.

Verdict: Despite of all the problems, its still a very nice kit. I built mine as an exercise to see how fast I could build a kit straight from the box, but I couldn't resist to add few details. Hopefully Tamiya will add the engine to their possible re-issues of this kit. There are several upgrades available for this kit from aftermarket companies - Studio 27 makes a nice photoetched detail set for the kit, and has a nice body kit that will be very appealing to those who like "tuners". I highly recommend this kit to any modeler, especially beginners, because of its simplicity and good looks.

Model Details

Rear suspension components are molded to the chassis plate, together with exhaust, silencer, arms, etc. Everything you see on this picture is molded in, except for the muffler. It takes a while to paint it correctly, but I'm still amazed by Tamiya's ability to mold so many details into single part!

Interior details are amazing - separate door handles, very detailed instrument binnacle, separate pedals, shifter, handbrake, metal transfer for the horn button, etc. If you get Studio 27 PE set you could add even more interior details.

Front suspension is also molded into the chassis, and front wheels do not steer (you can see metal axle behind A-arms. A lot of masking involved, but the end result is very realistic.

I wanted to build this kit box-stock, but after seeing such a nice interior, I couldn't resist to add some more details - I flocked the floor, added seatbelt retainers, CD, some BMF here and there, and photoetched instrument trim.

Looking at this picture it is almost impossible to tell the chassis is just one piece. This is quite unusual for Tamiya to do that, and the only other Tamiya kit with similar chassis treatment is Subaru Impreza WRX.

I also added flocking to the package shelf. You can easily see it through the rear window and it adds great deal to the finished model.


I finished this model almost immediately after Tamiya released the kit. I always been a fan of Z cars, and after drooling over the pictures in many automotive magazines, I was really exited when Tamiya announced they will make this car in 1/24 scale. My excitement quickly changed to disappointment when I saw that the kit was curbside. The kit was built almost box-stock, with little additions in the interior, and finished entirely with Tamiya acrylics.


Copyright 2003 Alex Kustov. Updated in 2005. No copying or reproduction in any shape or form without written permission of the author.