Fujimi Honda Integra Type R DC5 (Acura RSX)

P1250061Before I get put on blast and hosed by all the JDM purist fanatics out there…yes I know this isn’t actually an Acura, or an RSX, it’s 100% purebred Integra Type R, but the name is in the title to help associate those who aren’t as familiar with overseas model trims. I would’ve preferred an actual Acura RSX as a kit since it’s what I’m most familiar with here in the states, but alas the only model of the DC5 we’ve ever gotten is this exclusive JDM RHD car.

This is exciting – my first Fujimi model! And it’s already making quite an impression what with the upper corner of the box crushed and crinkled (thanks USPS).

I had no idea what to expect; I don’t look up reviews for these kits online (there are few to choose from anyway) since more often than not I only have one choice; my usual go-to brands like Tamiya and Aoshima don’t make a DC5, so if I want one I only have one choice: this Fujimi kit.

Now, this was an inexpensive kit, but I wasn’t expecting such a sparse parts count. No engine was nearly a given, but even the suspension components seem to be highly simplified. This seems much lighter than even Tamiya’s early 1900’s stuff.

To go with the abnormally low parts count is the thinnest instruction manual I’ve also ever come across – it’s not even the usual flip-out pamphlet – it’s only four pages, or just one long piece of paper folded in half.

Make no mistake though – I know up until now it sounds like I’m bashing the shit out of this kit for being basic as all hell get out, but for the price I paid I’m actually very okay with this. The less parts to work with and the less cluttered manual make for a more streamlined and speedy build. I only have an issue with sparse kits when I pay top dollar for them and get 3 runners and a one-page build manual.

It was only from this kit and this decal sheet in particular that I finally figured out that the popular red Honda badge was actually the factory badge for Type R units sold in Japan. Nearly every modified Honda over here on the west coast has an aftermarket red badge and I always thought it was just a color fad, but I guess it has its proper roots in JDM heritage.

The front bumper’s lower grille has some weird plastic flash in some areas and I’m pretty sure those three thin “bars” aren’t actually a part of the kit. Disappointingly, the side grilles have the mesh pattern faintly molded in, rather than being open.

But that’s an easy fix. Some drilling and sanding will open those right up so we can get some proper mesh lining the back.

I’ve always liked this style of arch wing; I still don’t know if there’s a proper name for them (like pedestal or swan neck) but I find myself most commonly describing it to people as the “STi-style” wings. No holes or pegs are included in the body or on the underside of the wing attachment points – it kinda just gets glued directly onto the trunk.

Getting to the interior tub – which looks to be incredibly spartan, though that’s to be somewhat expected as this is a Type R.

This is where I was really taken aback by how lazy Fujimi was on this kit – not even chrome parts or metallic decals for the side view mirrors! Even the 1989 300zx from Tamiya had plated plastic mirrors, but Fujimi couldn’t be bothered to include any plated parts whatsoever.

My best bet to get reflective mirrors then, was to use reflective tin foil. Small snippets were cut and mated, with glue applied to the plastic mirror pieces.

I then carefully cut the borders off the foil and we get a somewhat clean-looking semi-reflective result. Certainly more chrome than just using my standard silver paint.

The dash is surprisingly bare, but apparently that’s just how it was on the car. Not much to it except some silver accents.

I find myself a bit let down at the tub detail though – no matter how you slice it this is 100% just Fujimi cutting corners wherever possible. The door insides don’t even really include molding guidelines for where to paint the red, and all notions of lower door detail or door handles are just thrown to the wind.

We get an option of a dark gauge cluster with red lighting or a white set with a little more breakup. I went with the dark cluster just because that’s what I’d prefer on a car in real life.

Classic Recaro buckets painted in some very vibrant red.

I had to double check online references several times to confirm that the carpet was indeed supposed to be bright red. This seemed like a super audacious choice on Honda’s part – I can’t imagine red carpet on any modern car today, but I suppose the Type R actually stands for “Type Red”.

Lots of detail that would normally be separated on higher end kits are molded into the main chassis here, including what looks to be the entire underside of the motor, oil pan and all. At least the axle-back portion of the exhaust was given separately.

Fujimi does some really whack parts separation for seemingly no reason. These little discs are essentially spacers that go between the suspension struts and the main chassis – the same effect could’ve been accomplished by just molding these parts into the chassis to create the rise.

I doubt they function to adjust ride height either, since removing them and having the gap between the struts and chassis means that the struts slip out of contact with the lower control arms.

Chassis done.

So why purple? Honestly because I want more color variation in my car collection, and in my opinion the DC5 is one of the few Japanese cars that can rock purple fairly well. I would never dare attempt this color on a Supra or say an S2000, but the Integra wears outrageous stuff like this comfortably.

I actually would’ve liked a darker shade – a deeper royal metallic purple would’ve been perfect – since this skirts a little too close to lavender for my liking, but I didn’t realize this until after I laid down the first coat, so I decided to keep rolling with it.

The bumpers are a bit strange in that the front is a separate piece as usual – but the majority of the rear bumper is molded together with the main body, with only a rear lip given separately.

I probably could’ve/should’ve cut that upper grille section out and replaced it with mesh, but I wanted to preserve the badge mounting plate, so I went ahead and did it up with gloss black brush paint instead.

Note that there’s a sparkle in the paint – this was achieved with a light coat of Pearl Clear, to give the purple a bit more of a metallic sheen, since the original color was just straight gloss. I think the effect is subtle and not too overpowering, since it only really shimmers in the light. It actually reminds me a lot of the glittery sparkle color wraps that I see around nowadays.

This is my biggest regret with this kit – painting the headlight housings silver. They’re supposed to be silver, but the gigantic bulb housings just make it look dorky. I should’ve gone for the more modded look with black housings, but alas by the time I noticed how bad it looked the kit was already assembled.

So now an issue with the wheels – the Type R wheels are quite stylish for stockies, but I went into this build with a specific style in mind – that of the crazy negative camber, meshed wheel faces that are the signature of movements like Stancenation.

I figured these BBS Type RG wheels from Aoshima would suit that purpose well – I actually dislike their design, but for the specific style I was trying to emulate I thought they would be a good working candidate.

I had a tough time trying to decide what tire style to use – the stretched look would be most appropriate (pulled off a new set of Work Emotions, seen above) but they made the wheels look super small, so maybe a regular tire profile would be more practical.

I’ve seen some RSX’s pull off a purple body and bronze wheels really well, so that was the idea here. A base coat of gold followed by metallic orange.

Ugh. Mistakes were made. I’m not digging the look at all, though I’m sure it appeals to some audiences. The sizing and fit are fine, and I could totally run it like this, but the core wheel design just turns me off.

In my desperation to get this fitment to work, I went into carving the suspension, which means things were moved around and re-glued, hence the rubber band to hold things together.

Shocks and struts gutted to lower ride height.

And because the suspension was modified to sink lower into the body, we had to extend the inner wheel hubs so they met with the rotors and mounting points. Thankfully the polystyrene tubes I had lying around fit perfectly in the wheel hubs.

So much negative camber.

Test fit. Jesus Christ I know this is kind of what I was going for but man it’s ridiculous.

So silly. I can’t tell if it’s the wheel, the car, the colors, the tire profiles, or whatever, this just isn’t gonna fly. Maybe the look would’ve been tied together had I also slammed the fronts sideways, but I wasn’t ready to commit to more modifications when I’m already horrified by the rears.

Attempting the look with the super thin stretched tires from the Works. Now the wheels look too small. I guess I’m simply not woke enough for that #stancenation life even on my model cars.

Reworking the front suspension a bit; had to trim a toothpick to use as pegs since cutting the originals apart without anything to hold them together was a bad idea.

Attempting to keep the steering rack axle there so I can still turn the wheels once all’s said and done.

So now that the BBS wheels are out the window, I needed a new set of wheels and I wasn’t about to special order a new set of rims online, since it would take weeks to arrive and I just don’t have that kind of patience. That means the stock R34 wheels leftover from my GT-R Z-Tune will finally have their chance to shine.

I’m convinced the super saturated metallic orange was part of the problem for the original wheels, so for the new ones I decided to keep them pale gold.

In an effort to keep tires with their proper sets, I’m keeping the BBS wheels with their original tires, while stretching the stock Integra tires for use on the R34 wheels. Obviously the R34 wheels are wider than the stock Integra tires, but I’m still okay with using them since you won’t be able to see the inside wheel once it’s mounted on the car (many a modeler would hang me for this).

And because these R34 wheels were originally meant for a Tamiya GT-R, we have to remove the hub pegs in order to mount it properly on the Integra.

Original polycaps glued into the wheel hub, which will then slot easily into the Integra’s hubs.

Windows are given as one large piece, with of course no masking stickers so the black trim will be done by hand.

Thankfully not difficult. I actually like this full dome design more than window insets that have the roof cut out or whatnot; makes it easier to press the piece in and make sure it contacts.

I know for a more modded look a lot of people would have just straight up deleted the ambers from the head and taillights, but to me that’d make them look too plain.

Ever so tiny clear parts for signal and brake lights.

I also super regret adding that bit of amber on the housing itself. Combined with the amber already on the clear lens, it’s a bit too much. Again, I should’ve just painted the housings black for a cleaner look, but unfortunately it’s too late to go back and change that now.

All those holes I cut and drilled out of the front bumper wouldn’t be for nothing. I’m running out of mesh for my bumpers, since I seem to use a lot of the stuff.

With the body  mounted to the chassis and the wheel situation finalized, I went back to check if I made the right choice…and am beyond relieved that it looks like I did. The color was a mistake, but I can’t get over how much I dislike that BBS wheel design. Maybe (hopefully) it’ll look good on the right car. It just wasn’t an Integra.

Kind of annoyed that Fujimi didn’t size the Honda badge decals correctly. The square that protrudes out of the front grille that’s meant to house the badge is maybe half a millimeter smaller than the decal is on all sides, so it takes quite a bit of fiddling to get it to look right and not clearly oversized. I ended up screwing the first one up so I sacrificed the second badge that was supposed to go on the trunk so the front could at least have one.

The mirrors also don’t fit perfectly snug; there’s either too much plastic cutting off fitment on one side or too little, leaving a bit of a gap between the mirror connector and the window trim.

Can’t forget the wipers because what would we do when it rains?

So after all my whining earlier about the headlights being silver, I decided to finally man up and fix my mistakes. I didn’t want to take the lenses off after they’d been cemented since it could mar the plastic, but I figured that was a better alternative than being unable to live with the gross silver housings.

I thought an easy fix with painting the housings black would solve all the problems, but that didn’t actually turn out to be the case. Even black instead of silver couldn’t save the head lamps from just looking weird. I decided that it was because of the giant openings in the lamp units, which would do well to be filled in. As such, I took out some of my usual polystyrene pipes and went to work sizing some aftermarket-style projector lenses.

Yup, I think that did the trick. As far as I know the original DC5 never got these types of head lamps; the later facelifted model did. The only way to get these types of lights was to go with replacement aftermarket units, which is where I drew the inspiration to build mine.

The pipe polystyrene I had was conveniently the right size to fit in the larger bulb opening, but to get dual projectors I also needed a smaller sized tube. Instead of going out and just buying a smaller diameter, I went ahead and sized down my current pipe by cutting some material out and gluing the ends back together.

It’s a bit of a patchwork job since I did this on impulse way after the kit was considered finished, but even with the few blemishes from paint and cement I’m much more happy with this look than the original bland silver housings.

It’s actually kind of funny – I was super dissatisfied with this kit immediately after I finished it, due to the unexpected wheel situation, the ugly original headlights, and the lighter-than-expected body paint color.

It’s grown on me though. It’s tough for me (and I’m sure for plenty of other enthusiasts who are familiar with the R34 Skyline) to look past the wheels so clearly coming from a stock GT-R, but even without thinking about what the alternative could’ve been, I find that I still like it.

The RSX/Integra’s body design has always been a bit of a back and forth for me – I like it sometimes and sometimes I don’t. I think I’ve pinpointed that from the front at certain angles it just looks too tall and not wide enough – the lower sloping hood and high arch at the top of the rear windshield make it look strange.

It’s prettier from the back than it is from the front, I think. I love the wing and think that something of that size is appropriate for balancing out the body lines. Wingless RSX’s that I see on the roads around here just look plain and boring.

I’m actually only noticing this now – I thought I sanded and removed all the mold lines from the body, but it looks like I missed a vertical one there running down the corner of the bumper under the taillight. Not about to tear it apart and repaint the body for that now.

Here’s a juxtaposition of the original headlights against the revised retrofit projector units I modded in after I couldn’t bear the originals. This was the one difference in really getting me to like the finished car.

I had taken the entire photoshoot with the old silver housings already; it took me a while to work up the courage to go back and break apart the lenses. The front end looks much more tuner-esque now (which in my book isn’t a bad thing).

The front bumper also has some fitment issues, what with that giant gap along the sides where it meets the front fenders, but I didn’t see fit to put in the extra effort to close it. Call it a self-serving excuse just to be lazy, but I see worse fitment gaps on real cars every day.

I imagine the bright red interior might be polarizing to some, given the lavender body, but I actually really like the combo. Among all my cars so far I think this interior stands out the most, though ironically it’s not the most detailed and rather spartan given the nature of the Type R.

The tires not even being close to the proper width for the wheels is a bit embarrassing, but thankfully I’m not displaying the car like this. This is also probably the most underwhelming and least detailed undercarriage I’ve ever worked on too, though for such a cheap kit I’m not very bothered by it.

 

Side by side with the closest car I can compare it to in my current line-up – FWD, I4, liftback coupe brothers. I guess if I were designing a car for the Fast movies back in the day I would’ve been rejected out of principle for not even coming close to the minimum body decal quota.

Fujimi didn’t exactly set the bar high with this first experience from them. I know this kit isn’t particularly old so I can’t even blame it on age – the cheaper and older 1989 300zx from Tamiya had more suspension detail and a full motor for crying out loud – but at the same time we need to remember that this is the only way you’re going to be able to build a 1/24 DC5. If you want one, this is your kit, and for how inexpensive these usually are, I actually rather enjoyed the speedy and simplified build.

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