In 2011 Mercedes released the SLS AMG GT3 upon the motorsport world, and it instantly caused a stir. The gullwing doors and 6.3l V8 naturally aspirated engine mean the SLS is still a sporting role model as much as it is a design icon. The classic lines and growling purr of the engine makes it an unforgettable car, and now if you can’t own and race the 1/1 scale version, Fujimi’s kitset means you can build your own baby one.
Usually my builds are out of the box and as per the instructions, although this particular build is a little different. I am lucky enough to work with these race cars, and this particular build replicates one of the cars within the team. Fujimi has done very well with this kit; all the tooling when compared to the real race machine makes for an impressive base for anyone to build up. Opening the box you are greeted by a white body (perfect for any color option) and some nicely chromed sprues such as wheels and side-exit exhausts. The one difference between this build review and my regular ones is that I had the real machine as a guide for every step of this build, so I have included some reference photos as well.
Beautiful box art greets you on the front, and inside are nice, clean sprues full of parts. The tires are well formed and the chrome is not overdone, but rather has a nice matte hue to the finish as per the real race machine. There is also a sprue of photo-etch parts that are an optional extra should you wish to add these to the kit. One thing about this kit is the lack of sponsorship decals so that is a refreshing change.
The actual car
The full-carbon body and sleek lines of the SLS AMG GT3 make it a beautiful car, and loads of potential for a great display piece.
Chassis and suspension
The chassis appears very crude and basic, although on a GT3 car there is nothing to look at underneath due to a full carbon fiber cover keeping all the drivetrain hidden away. The suspension in the kit is basic, however, once the body goes on everything is all hidden away. The photoetch sprue contains some beautiful metal disc brakes which are a great addition, and very visible through the wheels.
Cockpit and interior
Initially the entire cockpit was formed in black plastic, although the interior of our SLS is white. I simply laid primer onto the parts prior to painting to achieve a brighter, and much lighter interior. Cast into the floor is a lot of the car’s computer gear, extinguisher, and internal wiring for intercoms and communication. A bit of time is required to hand-paint everything, but the time spent is well worth it.
The middle control panel contains the driver’s ignition switch, fire extinguisher buttons, main circuits, and fuel pump switches.
I simply added a photo-etch belt set to the seat and what appears to be a simple cockpit quickly fills up to look quite impressive. The SLS has a very confined cockpit in real life and this is certainly well replicated on the Fujimi model.
The side sills on the SLS are comprised of two layers that go onto the main body shown above. The side of the car in real life is an intricate air dam for cooling and downforce although Fujimi has done a great job of recreating this with a high level of detail, while keeping the process simple. I have gone with the bright orange color as per the team cars, rather than the factory silver.
The fitment of the body panels was excellent, considering there were a few of them. I was very impressed with the way in which Fujimi has designed this, and despite dry-fitting everything (just to be super safe) there were no real issues at all when assembling the sleek bodywork.
The biggest downfall of the kit was that there are no window masks included to paint the black outlines. To simply bypass this I laid masking tape on the inside and held the window up to the light. You can see the guide line through the masking tape, which then allows you to draw the mask with a pencil onto the tape. I carefully removed the masking tape, and cut it with a knife on my craft pad. I reapplied this to the model and then sprayed the black inside of the window in light coats. Problem solved!
The wheels come in a beautiful silver chrome coating, although due to our car running black wheels I had to strip them back. For this I took a foaming oven cleaner and sprayed them with foam, after 20 seconds the chrome had been stripped and I simply washed them down in warm water revealing the plastic beneath. This did not harm the wheels at all and worked much better than I had anticipated. I would recommend a warm soapy wash before painting them to remove any excess cleaner residue for the paint to adhere to the wheels.
Body meets chassis
The final fitment of the body to the completed chassis, everything lines up nicely, and sits perfectly flat. Now the large rear wing is applied, as well as the carbon wing mirrors. Tires come complete with Yokohama ADVAN tire markings and really set the kit off, giving a great finished look.
The completed kitset
My overall impression of this kit was one of exceeding expectations. I was unsure how the bodywork would all fit together and how realistic of a model it could be built into. The quality surprised me, and the finished result was better than I was expecting upon starting the kit. This kitset is a great platform for additional detail to be added, yet looks superb as an out of the box build such as this one. With the body cast in white plastic, it allows you to choose any color platform you wish making it a truly custom kitset. The finished product has all the beautiful proportionate lines, and looks fast sitting still which is an added bonus. A solid 8/10.
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