Toyota FJ43 Land Cruiser
AK Interactive, 1/35 scale
Reviewed by Francisco Guedes
F i r s t L o o k
I was lucky enough to be one of the first to have this beauty for review, sent directly from AK-Interactive.
A FJ43 Toyota is a most welcome addition to all 1:35 modellers… its will stand alone or in a vignette perfectly and it has unlimited options and scenarios.
Not talking about FJ43, all its history, and the Toyota wars… This is a very well know vehicle, as civilian one as a military use. Anyway, here’s some random picture from the world wide web.
I`m here to talk about this little jewel brings us by Ak-Interactive
I n t h e B o x
Well, I decided to make a paint-free build of this model kit. The aim of this is our aim isn't too write in depth articles, but to summarise construction of these releases and add our own notes for your use.
But, first a quick look of the inbox.
You are given 8 sprue in total, two being transparent.
The sprue A is an exclusive of the hard top box as you get the rood, sidewalls and new doors.
The sprue B is all about nothing…. There`s no B sprue.
The sprue C are the rear long sets and their supports.
The sprue E are the main body parts, and the under main structure.
The sprue F are wheels. Two types are given and you can use then at the same time. Nice looking wheels.
The G sprue has all the inner below detail parts as direction, suspension, pipes and pipe exhaust as the rear wheel support.
The sprues H and I are the transparent parts as headlights and windows and windshield.
The last but not the least, the K sprue. Well, I don’t find any use for this little sprue but let`s see if I use them during construction.
The instructions is a booklet of 19 pages in satin paper with good drawings and color indication a long the construction.
C o n s t r u c t i o n
The build starts with the under chassis. This part of the build is very important so you can have a balance jeep in final.
The plastic is quite good, not a brittle one! It’s a quite good to work with.
So I started and the first thing, I notice is that joint of the parts are very precise and quite helpful for modeler as you have precise point to attached the parts. They almost look like Lego. So it’s quite easy to full and understand de concept.
Yet, that said, I have some problems in deciphering some of the pieces that are indicated in the different steps as being those that are going to be glued. The question is in what position, in concrete, attentive to the factual detail of the piece. I don’t like the way that Ak highlight the parts to use in the construction stage…
It’s a very dark grey that make difficult to see the part itself and the details of the drawings that are important, at least for me, to see if what I’m doing is correct, even with the location glue helps.
I would prefer a light blue or green color.
I started with the second step, and leaving the wheels to a later stage of the construction.
On step 5, an important decision has to be made: front wheel in front, the left or to the right?
It’s a cute and nice detail from AK-Interactive and it give lots of dynamic to your work.
Until the stage 9, is all the chassis building as they are several delicate pieces and all much be done with extra care and attention to the construction. It is a most difficult part of this model
Everything went quite smooth but the dark grey color of the parts to glue and some misleading parts (example the G16 is on the G17 place and vice-versa), makes these stages a bit more demanding but nothing that an intermediate modeler couldn’t do with no problem at all.
Until now is a perfect fit of a perfect detail model kit.
The stage 10, shoe us that this model kit is not totally perfect but almost. The windshield and its only because one thing that I don’t know if it could be avoid.
The sinkmarks… and quite a few… so some putty and sand. Easy to fix by the way! :D
The cargo bed and driver area are very straightforward build with very good details. All the build, until now is very good, and very intuitive.
The Stage 13 and 14… finally some FJ43 shape and to see if we are doing everything correct if the model stand in his four wheels.
Speaking of wheels, I now back to the stage 1 and build four wheels that come in two pieces and once again, the fit is perfect.
Now with the wheels one, let’s have it a try: And Yes! Easy peasy. All steady and balance.
All the upper work of the dashboard, seats are simple and fast.
More care and dry-fit is need on stage 19 – fenders and running boards assembly. The dry fit here is essential to see how it will attached. Not hard to do, but still, a little attention and patience is recommend.
If you want to do some damage, the moment is now, before gluing.
Now, the main frame and chassis is done, it’s time to the hard top.
This is sprue A that is exclusive to this release (as the other is a pickup without hard top) and as all this model kit, it’s very straightforward. I leave the hard top widows out of the constructions but with the simple dry fit is possible to make them in place. It`s that kind of fit. Perfect.
The doors, diver and seat doors, are very simple to make and with very good inside detail. In fact, all the model has a very very good engraved details and keen attention to detail.
Now there`s lots of option to the modelers: door open, or close/ with or without red benches, with broken windows or not, etc…
Now the hard top comes to place. The pics is only in dry fit without any glue or bluetack. The fit is very good and with some AK extra-thin glue, all will went smooth and perfectly. It’s done… and I didn’t use the K sprue…
I didn’t glue the hard top because I want to paint the model properly and for that I need a hard top easy to take off.
C o n c l u s i o n
Well, what a release!! It’s a fantastic start for AK-Interactive with their own new molds.
The FJ43 Hard Top is a long waited 1:35 model, that has almost infinity option to make in several, both war or civil scenarios.
The plastic is very good to work, and the parts have very good detail. The construction is thought by modellers to modellers.
I love to build this one, in a paint-free paint (for now) and its show that the model is well thoughts, with good build solutions (without too many sub-constructions that multiple the number of parts and the modeler patience), with keen details, and a very reasonable number of pieces.
My model was build in 3/4 nights of work, in a total of less the 8 hours of work, probably even less, which is fantastic for a slow modeler like me.
For the construction sequence of the model and parts available, I`m in a positive mind that AK Interactive will release another Fj43 variants.
So do yourself a favor, being AFV/Aircraft/Car/Ship modeler, and get one to enjoy and treat yourself. It’s time to relax in a build!
My truly thanks to Fernando and AK-Interactive for the review sample.
Text and Images by Francisco Guedes