As an MR2 owner I’ve more or less felt obligated to eventually build the entire lineup (since 1/24 models do exist for all three generations), but I never had any plans in place on which car to start with. We’re only going with the worst gen now (the SW20 is the worst MR2 don’t @ me) because I’ve been in a widebody mood and there just happened to be a fine TRD 2000GT transkit available.
I was surprised to learn that Fujimi was pretty much the only manufacturer who made 1/24 MR2 models (for all three generations). You’d think the SW20 at least would’ve been popular enough for Tamiya or Aoshima to hop on the bandwagon, but I guess we don’t really have a lot of options to pick from.
Fujimi’s early kits have always been very spartan. This is all that comes in the box – very much a curbside model with little interior detail and no motor.
Instruction manual is just one large page folded in half.
Fujimi gives you the main body in red plastic, with all body parts molded together sans the rear wing. Lots of mold lines on the surface, to be expected with a kit this old.
So, I mentioned that I’ve been in a widebody mood lately – the SW20 doesn’t have much aftermarket model support, with the one exception being this TRD 2000GT widebody transkit from C1 Models.
I always love C1 Models’ parts quality. Of the many resin aftermarket producers I’ve dealt with, they still consistently pump out the most refined products. What impresses me most is how crisp they’re able to get a lot of the molded detail. A reminder that I’m coming off very fresh from the fitment nightmare glob that was Fugu Garage’s GR Supra Pandem kit.
C1 doesn’t specifically specify how their transkit is supposed to fit (no instructions are included), but after seeing the replacement bumpers, sideskirts, and rear lid it was pretty obvious that we’re expected to cut apart Fujimi’s plastic body.
I’ve never cut this much into a stock body before. Thankfully the panel gap lines were easy enough to follow with a heat knife, and everything came off cleanly with some minor edge sanding for cleanup.
Some of these parts are hardly any different than their stock counterparts, like the engine lid shown here. The raised vents are slightly more square. Normally I wouldn’t care enough to do the cutting for such mundane detail like this, but I figured since I had the resin lid I might as well do it anyway.
Side skirt design is also extremely similar to stock, though I guess this kind of thing is to be expected when it’s a factory body kit. The replacement is necessary since the edges of the skirts flare out wider to meet the wider overfenders.
I didn’t realize until much later that the rear garnish panel between the taillights (and the taillights themselves) were different for the SW20 based on what I assume are facelift differences. All the sample photos of the 2000GT kit seem to be kouki cars with the facelifted tailights, while my kit here is apparently a zenki model with the middle garnish grille filled in as plastic.
I decided to cut the entire section out since I don’t like fake plastic vents. I’ll fill it in with real mesh later and probably add the MR2 emblem back on top.
I have to say, I’m extremely impressed with how well the aftermarket resin parts line up. The bumper cuts and lines are all impressively precise – I really didn’t have to do any fitment modifications to the bumper or the stock body, aside from just cutting the original bumper off following the stock lines.
Everything else fell right into place – no fuss, no muss. I’m most impressed with how well all four fenders line up – they really do fall right into place like a jigsaw puzzle.
C1 did mention on their listing page that this kit would require “filling and blending into bodywork”, which I figured most likely referred to the over-fenders themselves. Since the original 2000GT kit is a molded widebody (and not the usual rivet-on flares we see so much of today), I knew that meant I would probably be blending the stock and aftermarket body lines at some point.
Thankfully the overfenders themselves were molded to line up nearly level with the stock fenders, so it was a surprisingly straightforward job to just fill the small seams with Bondo body filler and skim finish it with some glazing putty.
Mocking up the three-piece wing fitment. There’s no mounting points on the trunk or anything, so no matter what I was pretty much eyeballing it until it looked straight.
C1 does include these two engine scoops that are supposed to mount right behind the C-pillar, but I opted out of using them this time. It seems most of the time only one scoop is used; I haven’t seen a car running both before.
I had originally planned to do the body in just a plain gloss or metallic red since I wasn’t sure what else would look good on a wide SW20 (white looks good, but I feel like I’ve built too many white cars recently – I try to spread my palettes out within my own collection).
However, after my recent (unexpected) success using Testors’ colorshift Galaxy Blue on my last Z32 commission build, I wanted to keep that trend going and try out more of Testors’ colorshift lineup. Their actual colorshift selection is surprisingly limited – a lot of it looks to be some variation of purple/blue/green, which I already got out of the Z32’s Galaxy Blue. The one exception was this – Pink Champagne.
As before, we’re following instructions here by laying a black base coat first before the colorshift coat.
I mildly regret not testing this color on some spare parts first before just sending it and spraying the body, though I’m not sure if even a test spray would’ve deterred me from doing this anyway. The color is expected – the primary light color is a deep maroon/magenta, and at first I couldn’t even tell how this was supposed to be a colorshift color because I was too distracted by the glitter.
I mentioned with the Galaxy Blue Z32 that Testors’ paints are unfortunately a little too heavy on the metallic flake, but that it was fine because the coolness of the colorshift overrides that flaw. This time, however, we seem to be getting the opposite effect. I’m not seeing much colorshift, and the glitter flake is heavy. Like, insanely heavy. I was wrong to assume all the colorshift colors would have the same metallic consistency.
Finally, seeing it under a more incandescent light gives us a better idea of the actual colorshift. I guess the color name takes the champagne part from the gold it turns after the pinkish maroon it normally exhibits. I’ll admit – this is cool. Gold/maroon is a very cool two-tone combo, but my god that glitter. It just burns your eyes out, doesn’t it?
I could’ve stripped the body and gone with a different look, but I really didn’t think any plain red or white that I would’ve done otherwise would make this a more interesting model. The glitter flake definitely isn’t what I had in mind when I went in, but it’s still visually gripping enough to hold my attention, so we’ll keep it this way and hope the rest of the body details will mute it somewhat once it’s all said and done.
Anyway, wheels – I tried a few different wheel sets I had laying around before settling on this set of 5-spoke three-piece resin wheels from Hobby Design. They actually come from the Hobby Design Supra modification kit (which I haven’t built yet), but I know I won’t be using these wheels for that kit so they’re available for use here.
Barrels painted with Molotow Liquid Chrome. The lips have varying mounting depths for the faces as per rear or front wheels.
I was really indecisive on the wheel face color since I honestly wasn’t sure what would go well with the unique body color. In the end I let my Insta community decide with a poll and actually listened to the majority this time, running with a light gunmetal.
Gunmetal was a safe choice, especially against such a crazy body color.
As usual with some of Fujimi’s older kits, they really break it down to basics with the undercarriage and subframe detail. It’s more or less front subframe, rear subframe, and struts. At least we get a linked front axle for steering.
The motor looks good from top down (bottom down?), but alas it’s of course only a half-mold. The engine lid on the body was never designed to open anyway.
Added as much detail as I could.
For only being the lower half of the motor, it’s pretty convincing once everything’s buttoned up.
Even while looking up sample images of the SW20’s interior online, it’s at best…uninspiring. Everything is utilitarian, with no fancy bells or whistles whatsoever. The only thing I could really do to “modify” it was add seats and an aftermarket wheel. I don’t normally do single seats, but I happened to only have one of these Recaros sitting around, and the SW20’s stock seats actually look fair, so I felt less bad keeping one in.
Fujimi never likes to mold door card detail…so we don’t even get door handles on the sides.
This is the spare Nardi wheel that came from my last Z32 build.
Adding just a touch of carbon to the front lip insert. The rear wing deck will also be done carbon.
This is the first time I’ve seen this – no masking stickers are given with this kit for the window frits, but the last page of the instruction manual has a 1/1 print-out of the window coverings and instructions on how to use it to make your own masking stickers.
I guess it would’ve cost Fujimi just too much to literally print that diagram on a sticker sheet, but for what it is it actually works pretty well. All I did was lay my Tamiya masking tape over the diagram and trace the shapes, then cut it out and voila we have homemade window masking stickers.
Fujimi does include clear T-Top covers, but I’m going to ignore them entirely since I never plan to display the car with them on.
Piecing together my own brake set from leftover calipers/rotors since the kit only comes with the tiny stock brakes.
Exhaust tips are literally going to be big open tips slotted over the stock pipes.
At the last minute I decided I didn’t like the single red Recaro look in the interior after all. The bright red on the inside just didn’t jive with the maroon exterior.
Switching over to some less bucket-y buckets. These SR11s are resin aftermarket seats from Hobby Design.
Switching the steering wheel over to an old Skyline wheel as well.
Little rough on the paint since this was a last-minute change that I rushed through, but hopefully it won’t be super noticeable once it’s in the cabin.
Final touch was a thin piece of pla-plate I cut out and glued to the rear vent where the garnish used to be. The MR2 decal that’s on there now barely worked; all the decals that came with this kit were so old and yellowed they nearly fell apart the moment I touched them.
Finished. I also switched the tires over to stretch tires at the last minute since I ended up needing to add some camber to make the brakes and wheels fit.
The colorshift on this car is a lot harder to see than the previous Blue Galaxy I had done. The shift to champagne gold honestly hardly ever shows up; I found that lighting conditions have to be extremely specific for the body to look anything other than just sparkly maroon.
This photoshoot gave me a lot of trouble since my usual approach in broad daylight wasn’t really showing the color off the way I wanted, so I tried a nighttime set under white LED light – but that only made the glitter sparkle in the paint more pronounced and didn’t give me much color shifting.
Side by side look at how the paint behaves under natural light (left) versus LED white light (right).
I do kind of regret going with this color for this kit at the end of the day since the widebody and transkit did turn out so clean and seamless, and yet this dark sparkly color really hides body lines a little too well. I don’t think you’d really be able to tell this was a widebody MR2 unless you really knew the car.
Went back and forth with some wheel nerds for a while on what wheels these actually are, since Hobby Design doesn’t tell you when they come included as part of a separate parts kit. They feel very much like Work Meister S1’s, but the ends of the spokes don’t feel quite rounded enough for that, especially when you look at how the actual S1’s looked on my old NSX.
We eventually figured the next closest wheel would be SSR Professor SP1, which I was more than happy to run with since I had plenty of leftover SSR wheel markings for them.
I’m not particularly fond of this car’s rear end. The 2000GT front bumper is cool, but the rear just feels a bit boring for me, even with the sick TRD wing. It needs either more low or a big fat rear diffuser to fill out that open bottom.
Sad to say, this kit didn’t do much to make me like the SW20 more, and I was really hoping it would.