2012 Subaru BRZ

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Company: Tamiya - Website: Visit Site
Provided by: Tamiya America - Website: Visit Site
Box Art

1/24th scale, molded in “WRX” mica blue, black, clear and chrome; includes window masking templates, photo etched parts on an adhesive backing, and metal hood brace. The kit makes one version.

History and Research

The Subaru BRZ (B=boxer enginer, R=rear wheel drive, Z=last letter in the alphabet) is a result of a joint collaboration between Toyota and Subaru. It was designed as a world car and is known by the names Subaru BRZ, Toyota GT86, and the Scion FR-S. They are all powered by a flat “boxer”-style 4-cylinder engines in all models and is engineered by Subaru. Most of the rest of the development of the car was the work of Toyota.

The Build

This is one of the latest issues from Tamiya. All of the BRZ’s body parts are molded in Soobs’ iconic Mica blue; I had to look long and hard to find any body molding seams to correct. I decided to build a street-racer version of the BRZ in the WRX style with gold wheels. A quick bath in Super Clean rid the wheels of the perfect chrome plating. The wheels received a quick shot of black primer, and then I air brushed on a light coat of Alclad Pale Gold (ALC 108). All of the body parts were shot with Tamiya’s Mica Blue (TS-50) right out of the spray can.

I began building the engine and underbody suspension and drive train componants using various shades of black and silvers. As with all Tamiya builds, everything fits like a proverbial glove. The boxer engine is designed as only the top half, as the bottom of the car is flat to increase vacuum and adhesion to the road. Therefore, you will not see the bottom half of the engine. Even with that limitation, there is plenty of detail to see in the engine compartment,t as indicated in the photo.

The interior is very well executed, particularly the dash which includes decals for the following: center stack NAV display, driver instruments, and driver’s clutch/brake/go pedal, door-mounted speaker grilles, and Center Mounted Taillight (in LED’s). All in all, the entire interior is a nice model all by itself. Everything was airbrushed Tamiya Semi Gloss Black (X-18). The interior tub mounts to the chassis for ease of assembly.

This kit was my first successful use of the Tamiya masking patterns used for all of the car’s greenhouse glass, which included the front windshield, side glass, and rear window. After carefully lining up the masks to the glass and masking the outside of each glass piece (an important step here unless you want to clean overspray from the front of the windows), I airbrushed Tamiya Semi-Gloss black (X-18) on the parts. Alcohol does a nice clean up of wayward paint, if necessary. My only complaint was that the masks left some residue on the windows that I cleaned up with Alcohol on Q tip.

With all of the major sub-assemblies done, it was time to put it all together, but first more assembly is needed on the body for the front and rear light assemblies. The front headlights are a 3-piece assembly consisting of a clear projector lamp inserted into the headlight bezel, and then mounted to the body while trapping the front clear lense. Considering the complexity, it was pretty easy; just remember to scrape the plating off of the bezel parts H1 and H2. The same holds true for the rear lights, which are also a three-piece assembly; again, scrape the plating off of parts H3 and H4. Also, make sure to paint clear parts D4 and D5 with Tamiya’s clear red (X-27).

The final assembly of the model is pretty clever and this is the first time I have seen it in a car model. Normally, when fitting the body over the chassis/tub interior, there is a certain amount pushing/pulling to get the body/tub/chassis to line up, hoping that all four wheels will hit the ground level. In the case of this model, the rear of the chassis has two pins that locate inside two receptacles molded into the rear of the body for positive alignment. When the front of the body tab engages the front wheel well slot, thetab automatically locks into place. To take the body off, simply pull the body forward to un-engage the body from the chassis…slick!

The kit also included chrome Mylar stickers for all of the mirrors and emblems, and a metal hood prop to display the model with the hood open.


Typical Tamiya quality and engineering, easy to build, many extras, parts that are extremely well engineered and produced with no flash to speak of. On a personal note, with the current price of domestic car kits hitting close to the $30 mark, putting out an additional $35 for a kit requires it to be exceptional. This little gem is just that.

I’d like to thank Tamiya USA for supplying the kit for review, and IPMS-USA for allowing me to review it.


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