|By John Lester - images & text © 2000|
I have to be honest - I don't know much about the Cyberformula series from which this vehicle came. I know there's been a number of OVA's, TV shows, games (and a movie?) since Future GPX Cyberformula debuted in 1991. I know it's the story of a young man - like 14 when he starts racing - who trumphs over adversity to win the Cyberformula races.
When I first stumbled across Aoshima's kits, I wasn't thinking "Must... have ... Cyberformula.... car". I was thinking "That would look so cool with big ol' engines, a couple of blaster turrets .... now THERE's a space fighter! Must... get ... Cyberformula.... car". Aoishima released three versions of this HP-022. All contain the same basic race car, but one is silver and blue, one pink (the Mary K-mobile shown here) and one chrome plated. The only difference between the kits (besides the chrome) is the figure that comes with each one.
What You Get
Inside the box are three sprues of pink plastic (since I ordered the Luisa version for the figure), two of black plastic, a figure, four rubber wheels, decals and instructions. As is the norm for Japanese kits, everything is in little bags to keep parts from scratching each other.
Molding and detail are decent, if not spectacular. There is no flash, no sinkholes and no ejector pin marks where they'll be readily seen. Dry-fitting parts indicates there should be few problems in assembly. One gets the choice of Circuit (ground) mode or "Aero Speeder" mode (front wheels tucked in against the body, tails angled out) - but the kit doesn't transform between the two.
Instructions and paint/marking guide are all in Japanese. This could present a problem for those wishing to make a repica of the cars seen in the show, but since I don't plan that, I'm not worried. The step-by-step pictoral diagrams are easy to comprehend and follow a logical assembly sequence, and I think I've figured out which panels describe the steps for the alternate versions.
Decals are provided for one machine, and include the red "glowing" (?) areas recessed into the body of the vehicle. They are of the waterslide variety, and look opaque enough not to have the underside color bleed through. I don't know how they'll behave with setting solvents.
The included figure is typical of those found in Japanese kits - soft PVC plastic with reasonable detailing. Of note, the Luisa figure is probably the most realistically proportioned woman I've found in such a model!
Assembly & Finish
Despite the number of parts, assembly looks straightforward. I don't anticipate any major "gotchas" from the kit, though I'm sure my own general clumsiness will provide some interesting challenges. I'll be looking through the NACAR/Formula 1 decal selections in the local hobby shops, as I have no intention of putting a pink racer with few sponsors on my shelves. It's in the common race car scale, so accessories should be easy enough to come by.
Whether you wish to build the racer or use the kit as the basis for kitbashing, this looks like a good model. Anyone with a few kits under their belt should be able to make a decent model from the kit - and it will certainly catch a lot of attention on a contest table or your next club meeting. Recommended.
Many thanks to my wallet for providing the review sample. Manufacturers and retailers, interested in getting your wares reviewed and publicized on a site averaging 2000+ readers a day? Contact us!
This page copyright © 2001 Starship Modeler. Last updated on 21 January 2001.