Arii 1/32 1967 Honda N360
|PRICE:||800 yen from Hobby Link Japan (about $10.50)|
|REVIEWER:||Scott Van Aken|
|NOTES:||Includes diorama base and items|
The Honda N360 is a kei car, designed and built by Honda and produced from March 1967 through 1970, while its larger N600 brother lasted three more years. After a January 1970 facelift, the N360 became the NIII360 and continued in production until 1972. The car featured front wheel drive and an air-cooled, four stroke, 354 cc, 31 hp (23 kW) two-cylinder engine, and was borrowed from the Honda CB450 motorcycle. The displacement was reduced so as to comply with kei car legislation which stipulated maximum allowable engine displacement. This same engine was also used in the Honda Vamos, with a beam axle/leaf spring rear suspension. The "N" prefix stands for the Japanese word "norimono" which means "vehicle" in English. The exterior dimensions were in compliance with Japanese government regulations concerning kei cars, however, vehicles installed with the 402 cc and 599 cc engines were too large for the category, and were largely intended for international sales.
A two-door sedan was the original body style, with a two-door wagon (considered a commercial vehicle in Japan, and therefore called a "Van") called the LN360 coming in June of the first year. An upgraded 36 hp (27 kW) engine was added in October 1968 for the N360 T. A 402 cc engine was used in the similar N400. The engine's technology achievements reflected engineering efforts that were the result of the larger Honda 1300, which used an air-cooled 1.3 litre engine. One of the primary differences between the N360 and the Honda Life that followed was the N360-600 had an air-cooled engine, and the Life had a water-cooled engine. The water-cooled engine was better able to comply with newly enacted emission standards in Japan, and a move away from air-cooled, and two-stroke engines.
The Hondamatic-equipped N360AT which appeared in August 1968 was the first kei car equipped with an automatic transmission.
This is a rather neat diorama set from Arii. What it includes is the Honda N360 car as well as a few diorama items and a nicely done base.
The Honda has a well molded one-piece body with an equally nicely done single piece chassis that includes the suspension bits molded in place. Plastic axles are provided to which the plastic wheels with vinyl/rubber tires are placed. The interior consists of a rear bench seat and a set of bucket seats in front with a center hump on which the parking brake is attached. There are separate interior side panels and an instrument panel with steering wheel and column shift lever. Decals are provided for instruments.
Clear bits include a one-piece interior glass section as well as clear headlights and tail lights. Other ancillery bits like windscreen wipers and mirrors are also separate as is the front bumper. The rear bumper is molded in with the chassis. This kit has no chrome-plated parts so that those bits will need to be painted or you can use chrome foil. The small decal sheet includes plates.
For the diorama bits, you have a nice base, a corner section of fence, a hand water pump with basin, a statue, and a mail box. There is also a power pole with a lamp attached to it. Though a recommended placement is given in the separate instructions, one can pretty well place these wherever one wants. A separate and very colorful decal sheet is included with the diorama bits that includes several posters and signs. As I cannot read Japanese, it is guesswork as to what they actually mean. Instructions for both parts of the set are in Japanese though some color information can be gleaned as Arii uses Gunze paint references.
To those who may be interested, the base is 5 x 7.5 inches and the car is 4 inches in length.
In all, it makes for a most interesting kit and the diorama base and bits are very much a nice extra. These kits are not at all difficult to build and the end result is something neat and different for your display shelves.
Thanks to Hobby Link Japan for the preview kit. You can get yours here.
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