KIT: Arii 1/32 1957 Daihatsu Midget
KIT #: 41007
PRICE: $7.00 from a swap meet vendor
DECALS: One option
REVIEWER: Scott Van Aken
NOTES: Don't see these every day!


Finding something about this vehicle proved to be more difficult than I'd thought it would be. I was able to put together a few snippets of information such that this 1957 Midget was their first vehicle. It was built to take care of a need for a small delivery vehicle. A three wheel design was used as three wheel vehicles can be licensed as motorcycles, a loophole that is used by many in countries where auto licensing fees are quite high, but those for a motorcycle are not.

Daihatsu is currently doing quite well in Japan and other parts of East and Southeast Asia where several countries, including Indonesia, have manufacturing plants producing their quite small, but efficient automobiles.


Molded in a lovely green plastic, there are two sprues of fairly well done parts. A clear sprue with a nice stress crack in the windshield is also given as are four vinyl tires.

There is a bit of flash around the transaxle and a tad on the chassis. Ejector pin marks are on some of the parts that will have to be filled in. I also found a rather large sink area on the underside of the chassis. For those who are going to enter this kit into competition, those will have to be removed as they will be rather easily seen.

With only about 30 parts, this won't be very trying to build. What may be difficult are finding some of the colors shown on the box art, and trying to get the canvas roof and bed cover to look like canvas. Of course, you can leave the bed cover off if you so desire, though I'm not really sure where you'd find stuff to put in there. The kit is a curbside with no engine detail at all. It is basically a trike.

On one side of the instructions is a listing of all 23 1/32 Japanese cars (wait, one is a Porsche 911 and another is a VW), that are in the series. If you read the preview of the Honda 600 sports car done a bit back, you'll find that one on the list, along with a lot of cars you've never heard of much less seen unless you've lived in Japan during the 60s. The other side of the instructions gives the few construction steps needed. Of course, everything is in Japanese, but at least it seems they use Gunze paint references, so most of us won't have any real trouble in that area. A small decal sheet is provided that has plates and some names for the side of the canvas bed cover.


Not your usual subject and one that I'm sure will draw some interest when shown to friends. It looks to be a rather simple build despite having some small parts so would be great for those just getting into the hobby.

November 2005

You can thank me for picking up this rather odd subject

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