Fujimi: Toyota Soarer MZ21 Review
This build was inspired by a post I made on CarThrottle - my latest dream car. Ever since I discovered the Soarer many years ago, I have wanted one. The only issue is that for half the price you can get an A70 Supra with all the same offerings and with a shorter wheelbase in a smaller package. After all, the Soarer is a large luxury coupe.
Today’s kit is the Fujimi Soarer 3.0 GT Limited - a very popular kit among Soarer enthusiasts.
To begin, the artwork is a photo of a real MZ21, pearl white over light metallic beige - the most common colour for this car.
This kit is not exactly vintage either - the instructions show an email address and the box says 2011. Before purchasing the kit, I saw photos of it completed online and there are a few things I was not keen on which I will talk about later.
As with most kits, the bodykit is optional. Quickly becoming an essential for every kit I build, modelling putty has proven to be very useful to perfect the gaps in the bodykit. If you look closely at the edges of the bumper, you will see some imperfections in the plastic where the molds meet. Before painting, you must get rid of the strips of plastic in the bumpers (see where the white turns to black). The Aoshima kits have the bumpers separate from the body, so they do not have this issue.
Originally the body was white; I chose the factory colour Dandy Black for this model - a dark gloss black over gunmetal grey.
For the interior you only have one choice of seats, and an automatic transmission - this kit is supposed to recreate a factory-standard MZ21. When I say “MZ21” I mean you can only create a facelift Soarer with the 7M-GTEU body mouldings, interior, and badges with almost no customisable extras.
Some notable interior features: I added the manual shifter and pedals from the Gloria kit, and I printed out the factory Technics stereo I like so much. There is a decal for the TEMS screen, but the decal sheet was very sparse. The digital instrument cluster looked good and used transparent plastic for the glass, and there was an optional racing wheel in this kit that I used - a rare TOM’S Racing steering wheel served as inspiration.
Although the seats are the cloth A70 type, I prefer leather so I painted them high-gloss black for the shiny leather look.
It was very early on that I noticed how awkward the original wheels looked, so they had to go.
Although they do look like the factory wheels, my issue is that on the real car they are 16” while in the kit they are 19mm - which equates to 18” in the 1:24 scale world.
Although the tyres are nice miniature Pirellis, I had no use for them.
The wheels are attached in Fujimi’s own method - screws for the front and slotting plastic onto a metal rod for the rear. While this allows freer rotation than the polycaps, it means you damage the wheels when you want to replace them, and you run the risk of cross-threading, ultimately leaving them angled.
You might have noticed that the driver seat is white/red when I completed the kit.
My original idea was to create Recaro RMS 2600G bucket seats in CAD software then have them 3D printed, but that proved to be too much of a hassle and I eventually drew alternative inspiration from a TOM’s Racing bucket seat - and so I took more parts from the 430 Gloria kit.
While the factory seats look really good from the front, they aren’t complete on the backs - almost like an empty shell. I thought about filling them in with putty, but it would take a lot - probably 5mL - and a 25mL tube costs about $20.
Another part that I wish the kit had were factory monsoon shields - they are shown on the box cover, but aren’t included in the kit.
The sunroof is optional so I decided to include it, but to get the gap looking good, it required some cutting and sanding. In the end, the gap was too big for the glass.
Another area of imperfection is the headlights/tail lights. Probably to make the body look more appealing, Fujimi extended the height of the lights - compare the image above to the box art.
I thought it made the Soarer look more like a Honda Integra crossed with a Honda Inspire in the front, while the bottom red band on the tail light heavily outweighs the top red band.
Another downside is that the tail lights didn’t measure up perfectly with the body, so there is a 1mm gap on the right tail light by the number plate.
One thing I did really like was the detail on the indicators - they actually have the protruding triangular piece like on the real car. Although finnicky to install, they looked really good.
Another detail I liked a lot is that they use real steel for the exhaust tips.
Although the car is the more desirable Z21, I recently took a liking to the Z20 tail lights, so I repainted them in that style. I think it suits Dandy Black very well and even covers up the uneven-ness of the extended tail lights (they were too tall, remember?).
You might also notice the Advan Dish on the rear - when I took these last photos, the SSR MK-Is were on the front of the kenmeri, but it works really well to have wheels matching the lower two-tone paint.
You might also notice the missing marker lights on the fenders. I almost forgot to add them, and they are extremely finnicky - especially when the glue tends to melt paint. In the end, they are highly detailed for their size and complete the look of the car.
This kit has many ups: the bonnet and bodykit look amazing, the interior is very good, the marker lamps and indicator lights are very accurately designed despite being tiny and the tyres are very nice, but there are also many downsides:
The headlights are too tall.
The tail lights are too tall.
The kit has almost no additional accessories.
The decal sheet is very limited.
The wheels are too big.
Overall, it is a very easy kit to build and if you can ignore those imperfections it is a good looking kit. If you don’t like the wheels, you can get a plethora of Fujimi and Aoshima wheels that will fit.
Unfortunately, the Z20 is not a common car to find kits for - the only other brand that I know is Tamiya, but that kit is sort of vintage and the wheels are not interchangeable.
If you do like this kit, there are many around so they are very affordable - I believe I picked mine up for ¥1000.