Aoshima Gra-chan: C110 Review

Aoshima Gra-chan: C110 Review - Toys and Gadgets

Finally we get to the 3rd and last review of the gura-chans - even though this was the first one I built. In case you are wondering, gura-chan is short for “Grand Champion”, which I believe to be cars inspired by the Fuji Speedway Grand Championship race series held in the 1970s-1980s.

Aoshima Gra-chan: C110 Review - Toys and Gadgets

As with most of the gura-chan グラーチャン kits, there are multiple customisable parts, as well as the option of building a stock-standard car. Included in this kit are two centre consoles, three choices of grille/headlamp (2000GTX pignose, square headlamp, and 330 Cedric), multipe steering wheels and stereo accessories, standard seats and bucket seats (every kit seems to have this), and the standard afterburner tail lamps or Crown Coupe tail lights (see below).
Unfortunately only one set of wheels are included in this kit - SSR MK-II. It seems they are the most common wheels to find in Gura-chan kits, but they are one of my least favourite.
The good news is that, like the other grachan kits, they are the polycap design meaning they are easy to fit on and I believe there are 6 polycaps included to get that perfect fitment.

I broke the slat in the reverse light
I broke the slat in the reverse light
Aoshima Gra-chan: C110 Review - Toys and Gadgets

The body comes pre-coloured in a light shade of red, however I believe no-one should leave a kit unpainted. This would also make it more difficult to paint a different colour - there is another version of this kit in blue with large over-fenders.

Aoshima Gra-chan: C110 Review - Toys and Gadgets

Since there is the option of building a standard C110, the rear spoiler does not flow nicely with the body. I thought the box art was one of the best car-pictures I’d ever seen so I had to recreate that image as closely as possible, which meant a lot of bodywork. With the bodywork came a lot of sanding.

Also of nuisance is that the kit includes the famous C130 Laurel side indicators, however the body already has protruding indicators where they would sit. Originally I glued the indicators to the stumps, but protuded out from the fenders so I cut the stumps flat then re-attached the indicators.

Aoshima Gra-chan: C110 Review - Toys and Gadgets

The interior is very simple - I left it mostly unpained for the plastic/vinyl look with some brown highlights in the doors for the 70s leatherette-look. The dash cluster was vintage-analogue so there were no decals; I had to carefully paint the raised dials in eack socket.

When I finished the kit in mid-February, I wasn’t happy with the result. The bodywork I did looked bland, the front wheels did not match the rears (both are from the C210 kit), and because of the difference in colour between the body and body filler, I had to coat the car in matte-black then paint in red so the vibrant colour was gone, and in its place a DA7-esque burgundy (refer to the Integra in my CarThrottle Garage).

Aoshima Gra-chan: C110 Review - Toys and Gadgets

I spent many hours fixing the surf-line to make it more prominent, and then I resprayed a white undercoat followed by more sanding, more undercoat and then a few layers of Italian red topcoat, finished with a lick of metallic red for the subtle sparkle effect.

I’d previously used gunmetal grey for the window surrounds and small highlights around the body - that was much too dark- this time I used chrome silver. To give the side-emblems more depth I filled them in with gunmetal grey, leaving the centre and outer rings silver.

Get the matte-look on the wheels by breathing on them
Get the matte-look on the wheels by breathing on them

My original plan was to use SSR MK-I on the front and SSR MK-III on the rear - hence why I bought the 430 Gloria.

Overall, it is a very nice kit, many extras, but it is lacking in wheel choice and also required a lot of bodywork to look as good as the box-art. I would buy it again for the artwork, but I don’t want to repeat the hours of sanding.

As for recommending this kit; probably not as you’d be stuck with the lengthy task of miniature bodywork, and if you’re not a fan of MK-IIs you may have to source aftermarket wheels.

As close to the box-art as it gets!
As close to the box-art as it gets!