Model Factory Hiro Ferrari 275 GTB LM
Model Factory Hiro continues to release important road and racing Ferraris of the 60's, and each new kit is another masterpiece of detail and execution. Recently released Ferrari 275 GTB LM kit continues this tradition.
The body of the model is made from familiar by previous kits gray resin, and the moldings are very nice and clean. Panel lines are a little on the soft side, but correct and straight. Surface is very smooth, and will require little preparation for the paint.
Overall shape of the body is correct, although rear wheel arches seem slightly wrong to me. The rear fenders seem to be a little small as well, but I haven't compared it to the real car, and it is hard to judge 3D object by the pictures.
Interior and chassis frame are made from white metal, traditional material for the most parts in Hiro kits. Both parts have some flash, but it is easily removable. Both castings have good fit, but will require some tweaking before priming and painting. Chassis looks great with all the crossmembers in place. Lower A-arms are also molded to the chassis, this will ensure perfect suspension fit.
Rest of the small parts packed in a slightly different (from previous releases) plastic box, I think mainly due to the shape of the parts.
There are quite a few chrome plated metal parts, and quality of the plating is superb. Both front and rear bumpers, fog lamps, side trim, and multiple handles and latches are all plated, and attachment points are located in inconspicuous places for easy cleanup.
Each new Hiro kit contains more and more beautifully turned steel and aluminum parts. In this kit it is wheel hubs, lights, blinker and wiper handles, brake disks (nicely scratched to imitate pad's grooves), headlights and taillights bezels, and excellent exhaust tips.
Few other plastic bags contain other small parts - headlight lenses, taillights and turn signals, wiring for the spark plugs, springs for the shock absorbers.
There is also a bag with small bearings for the engine and shifter, few rivets for the body, and 4 screws that keep the chassis fastened to the body.
Dashboard is made from resin (only right hand drive version provided in my kit, though I'm sure other versions might have LHD as well), and is nicely done. Some flash, but overall shape is very nice.
Wheels are traditional, very high quality, 10-piece each assemblies, with excellent turned aluminum multi-piece rims, thin photoetch, and nice and soft rubber tires. The tires in Hiro kits have absolutely the best thread detail I've ever seen in a 1/24 scale kit - better than Tamiya's!
Vacuuformed windows and headlight covers are clear and warp-free. I didn't check the fit, but it should be similar to other Hiro kits - excellent.
Big change from previous kits comes in the photoetched parts department. Main photoetched fret is now rubber-backed, meaning that you won't have to cut the parts off the fret - just peel and use. This is a big improvement, and will greatly reduce preparation time for every P/E part. The quality of the parts is still very high, with nice engraving and excellent detail on every part. The sheet is somewhat smaller than in previous kits though. Note that there are both LHD and RHD dashboards provided on the fret.
Photoetched inserts for the wire wheels are same "old-style" frets as in previous kits, but still one of the best.
Decals are usual Hiro's perfectly registered and thin offerings, with all the correct markings for two versions of the car and perfect colors. Should be compatible with setting solutions (I only tested them with Microsol though) and very opaque.
The rest of the kit is made entirely from white metal. Engine is partly based on the engine from 250-series kits, but it is totally re-worked and updated to represent the correct powerplant for the 275 GTB. Details are good, though it will take few hours to clean-up all the flash. This is one f the most detailed engines of the series.
Interior pieces are somewhat rough, will benefit from thorough cleaning, and even some filling. Preliminary test-fitting showed relatively good fit, but I'm sure few adjustments will be needed during final assembly.
Exhausts are nicely reproduces in white metal.
Suspension is very detailed, with multiple separate parts for both front and rear. Detailed steering rack included in the kit.
Multiple small detailed for the engine bay, interior and exterior.
Kit has colorful and very easy to follow instructions. Paint guide is not 100% complete, but what's there is accurate and easy to understand, even with almost no English.
Hiro's instructions are even easier to understand than Tamiya's, due to use of different colors and superior detail in each drawing. One of the best instruction sheets I've seen.
The kit is surely one of the best 275-series Ferrari kits to date, with superb engine and drive train detail, excellent interior and true to life exterior detailing. What's more important - its the only kit of 275 GTB/C (two-cam) car (Italeri 275 kit is a four-cam). With some skill, the kit could be built into a very impressive replica. The price is still very disappointing $200+ US, but you get what you pay for - and you get a lot! Recommended to experienced garage kit builders and Ferrari enthusiasts.
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Copyright 2004 Alex Kustov. No copying or reproduction in any shape or form without written permission of the author.