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1/24 Tamiya Opel Astra V8 Coupe (24265)

The DTM (German Touring Car Championships) thrilled European motor sports fans with plenty of fender-to-fender action unfurled by three major car manufacturers: Mercedes-Benz, Opel, and Audi. The Opel machine that raced in the highly popular 2001 DTM season was the Astra V8 Coupe. With its over-sized front bumper, over fender, and rear wing, the machine’s external design maintained the same style as the production version. However, the machine’s guts, a powerful front-installed 462hp outputting 4-liter V8 engine with rear-wheel drive and 6-speed transmission, were made purely for racing.

Although Opel could not make any noteworthy race results during the first half of the 2001 race season, they steadily began making gains in the latter half. Opel’s ace driver, Manuel Reuter, drove behind the wheel for Opel Team Phoenix and took 4th place finishes in the 8th and 10th races of the 2001 season, a testament to his incredible driving skill and the winning potential of Opel Team Phoenix.

KIT HIGHLIGHTS
    • 1/24 scale, total height: 196mm, total width 82mm.
    • Model replicates machine driven by Manuel Reuter under Opel Team Phoenix.
    • Gull-wing style doors can be smoothly opened and closed even after assembly via metal hinges.
    • Tail-lights employ transparent, clear red, and clear orange parts.
    • Roll-cage and car interior have been replicated with the utmost authenticity.
    • Metal transfer marks are included for grille, emblem, bonnet and door-catch.
    • Decals included for car number 7.
    • MSRP: $54.99

Here is the most recent addition to our 1/24 car review section. A section that we most admit has been neglected for sometime. So expect to see more in the upcoming weeks. This time it was turn for a model kit that I had my eyes laid on for quite some time. Presenting the 1/24 Tamiya Opel Astra V8 Coupe kit # 24265.  This kit is offered in 2 versions, 24265 which is the model kit below featuring a pre-painted body shell, and kit # 24243 which requires painting and decaling by the model builder.

As with other Tamiya 1/24 model kits in the touring and rally series, this is a curbside model. Unfortunately for this article which was drafted a few weeks ago and photography was done, my photo etch set from Studio 27 coming from Japan did not arrive on time to my workbench. Nevertheless, the kit builds very nice as we are used to from Tamiya models. Besides the body shell being already painted and decals on, the rest of the sprues are a combination of molded in black styrene as well as silver. Chromed metal transfers are provided for a more realistic down to scale details; however with the 24265 version of the kit, these transfers have been already applied.

The working gull wing style doors work very nice on this model and leave no gaps when shut closed. If you wish to display the doors open, there are 4 ”bars” to keep them up. The bars are attached to the doors resting on the roll cage represented on the model in a very realistic and functional fashion. A word of caution: these bars have a slight off-set design. Be careful when attaching them to the doors or you my end up forcing them to fit on the roll cage and they could snap apart.

The rims had a coat of Alclad2 Gloss Blach primer and the a coat of Alclad2 Duraluminum.  I have pointed out on the pictures below where to further add cement to reinforce the body shell. I did learn that it has a modest amount of cement when I tried to attach the body to the chassis. I would suggest to add dry test parts C4 & C5. With these parts you might run the chance of having the exhaust pipes (parts B24 & B25) not fitting properly is you commit parts C4 & C5 to cement.

The tires markings (DUNLOP) are via decals but the photo etched stencils didn’t make it on time either. At least my copy of this half-built kit required some cement on the inner half of the doors (parts D5 & D6) especially around the clear windows.I found that the best way to match the body shell to the chassis on this model kit was from the front to the back. That way you’ll strain the front spoiler a lot less than attaching the body from the rear to the front. Done from the front and the ”walá”. No struggling with other parts or the roll cage inside. Like I said earlier, the doors do work very nice. One thing that I didn’t like was the fact that the rear trunk wing spoiler got its decals over black bare plastic. Doesn’t look that bad but I would had preferred to have this part painted prior to have its decals on.

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR
This is a very nice kit and saves a lot of time (and money) by being pre painted. This kit was a gift from my three sons knowing that I love Touring and Rally racing cars. I see no reason not too recommend this model kit. Even though I don’t build variations of any kit, I would make an exception and build the Opel Astra Team Holzer #24248.
If you’re into these kind of cars, this model kit if for you.

PS,
I want to dedicate this post to my good friend and colleague photographer Felix Arellano from Fotocar.es in Madrid, Spain.

George Collazo
George Collazo

George has been hosting review sites and blogging about toy collectibles, travel, digital photography and Nikon digital imaging since 1998. His first model kit build was a Testors 1/35 DODGE WC-54 in 1984.

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