Aoshima 1/24 1991 Efini RX-7

KIT #: 050286
PRICE: 2000 yen
DECALS: Instruments and plates
REVIEWER: Scott Van Aken
NOTES: Curbside


The Mazda RX-7 is a sports car by the Japanese automaker Mazda. It was produced from 1978 to 2002. The original RX-7 featured a 1146 cc twin-rotor Wankel rotary engine and a sporty front-midship, rear-wheel drive layout. The RX-7 was a direct replacement for the RX-3 (both were sold in Japan as the Savanna) and subsequently replaced all other Mazda rotary cars with the exception of the Cosmo.

The original RX-7 was a sports car. The compact and lightweight Wankel engine (rotary engine) is situated slightly behind the front axle, a configuration marketed by Mazda as "front mid-engine". It was offered as a two-seat coupé, with optional "occasional" rear seats in Japan, Australia, the United States, and other parts of the world. These rear seats were initially marketed as a dealer-installed option for the North American markets.

The RX-7 made Car and Driver magazine's Ten Best list five times. In total, 811,634 RX-7s were produced.

Efini is one of the sub-brands of Mazda that is geared to sports-oriented cars like the RX-7.


Now that Dragon USA is importing Aoshima kits we will be seeing these more and more often on store shelves. Like Fujimi, Hasegawa, and Tamiya, Aoshima does car kits, and does them very well. This particular car is the 1991 version of the RX-7. Like most car kits, it is a curbside, which means it does not have a full engine.

Like modern Japanese car kits it makes use of those clever poly-caps to hold the wheels onto the axles. This is something that Revell-Monogram has not yet picked up on and it would be to their advantage to do so. Having no engine does not mean a lack of detail as the suspension and exhaust is well represented, including the catalytic converter. Tires are rubber/vinyl and are directional so one needs to pay attention to that.

The interior is well appointed, though typically, there are no safety belts. I've always wondered why most car kits leave these out. Even decals would be better than nothing. The car is right hand drive as you'd expect a Japanese car to be. There are decals for the instruments, which is a nice touch. The glass on this one is a single piece that is attached to the inner roof. Aoshima has provided masks for the front and rear windows as these are outlined in black. A nice addition that I wish all car kit makers would supply. Other clear bits are the turn signals and the rear light assembly. The aluminum wheels are very nicely done and really look like aluminum, not chrome as is so often done.

Most of the kit parts are in black, since most of the car is black. Won't stop many from using different colors. The one-piece body is molded in while as is the lower front valence section. Molding is superb and while there are the usual molding seams to remove, these are not prominent at all. The instructions suggest black for the body as well, but I'm sure most will want something a bit brighter. Instructions are well done with enough English in the construction steps to be helpful. The decal sheet includes instruments as mentioned earlier as well as license plates. Something I've noticed in these kits is that rarely are the plates actual ones, but generally only the name of the subject. Perhaps there is some sort of law in Japan that prevents that. I also see that the kit is built under license, so the Japanese have had their bevy of lawyers out squeezing model companies as well.


A very nice kit of a neat car. I have this car on my PS3 Grand Turisimo simulation and it is a real blast to drive. The kit looks very straight-forward and should make into an excellent model.


September 2011

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