Deriving its name from its country of origin, the 458 Italia is the latest from the Ferrari stable. All the usual things you would expect from a Ferrari are there including incredible performance (top speed over 200 mph) and styling that makes it look fast just standing still. There are some firsts for Ferrari including no floor shifter and direct fuel injection. The gear changes are handled by paddle shifters coupled to a dual clutch, 7-speed transmission. A former Ferrari team driver Michael Schumacher helped design the interior layout. Cooling air is introduced by some clever intakes around the headlamps and behind the rear quarter windows. Another neat innovation is the airflow vanes in the front grille that actually deflect as speed increases to reduce drag. The 458 has been in the news lately for a rash of fires that destroyed several cars. The problem was traced to a wheel well adhesive that couldn’t take the heat. In spite of a recall of over 1200 cars, Ferrari reported a 20% increase in sales in 2010.
I’ve built a few Fujimi kits and have come to expect very high quality from them and this kit is no exception. You get 81 parts cast in white, tan, clear and chrome. The chrome parts have just the right amount of shine for this scale. Everything is well reproduced compared to photos of the real thing. The tires are rubber and a metal rod for the rear axel is included. A multilingual instruction sheet and a small set of decals round out the package.
There is not a lot to describe. This is a curbside kit so the level of detail is limited to what is visible through the glass. Since the bottom is flat, the suspension is a framework that holds some nice rotor/caliber assemblies. The interior parts are a basic engine block with a nice intake manifold assembly over top. Finishing the cockpit needs nothing more than some careful painting. Decals are provided for the gauges and interior logos. Ferrari offers several interior and exterior color combinations but I chose to follow the colors recommended in the instructions. Part fit was excellent throughout, especially when installing the body over the chassis.
Ferraris are red! I just couldn’t paint one any other color. I relied on my favorite Tamiya TS-8 Italian Red for all the red parts. I normally undercoat with Tamiya primer but some labeling issues (or so I’m told) have kept it off the shelves of my local hobby shop so used TS-8 as primer and finish coat. A number of areas that appear black on the body and underside are really a carbon fiber grey. I used Tamiya TS-48 Gunship Grey for those areas. I hand painted the black trim around the side windows and masked the front and rear glass to spray the black areas. All the clear parts fit like a glove. A few decals for the body emblems round out the project.
This kit is a 10 out of 10. Beautiful detail is cast into every part and as I said before, it all falls together. Most impressive is the way a very complex body has been reproduced. The quality of this kit easily puts it within reach of most modelers. I really enjoyed building this one and want to thank Dragon USA/Fujimi and IMPS/USA for allowing me the pleasure of doing so.
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