Scale Cars

ZoomOn Subaru 22B STi

I love the 22B – not because of its legendary performance icon status or what it means historically to Subaru – I just like that it’s a 2-door STi, something we haven’t gotten in decades. I’d probably own a Subaru by now if they offered an AWD performance coupe.

I think Tamiya actually makes a rally racing version of the 22b as a 1/24 kit, but as far as I know a pure street production version of the car isn’t available in plastic. Enter ZoomOn, an aftermarket resin parts company based in Hong Kong(?). They make several full from-scratch resin kits, along with a bunch of aftermarket bits like wheels/decals/aero.

No actual assembly instructions are included – just some full-color pictures of the parts count and a glued-together unpainted prototype. Figuring out how things go together isn’t difficult just from referencing these photos though, since the parts count itself isn’t actually very high.

Everything looks to be resin cast, so the small stuff comes on trees while the larger parts have very obvious resin nubs and flash that will have to be trimmed off before assembly.

Good on ZoomOn for not just producing a 22B shell kit that requires a donor chassis from a plamo kit – everything here looks to be bespoke and all the parts you’d need to complete the model come right out of the box.

They even include a very healthy selection of photo-etched metal parts, metal stickers for the badges and mirrors (the best way to do those parts imo) and a crisp water slide sheet.

The main body’s quality is overall very good and very crisp on the details. There’s resin flash and nubs here and there but that’s to be expected, and not difficult to clean up.

No engine or opening hood here, but at least ZoomOn molded the bottom half of the 22B’s EJ in.

Interior is almost unironically underwhelming and simple – but I guess at its heart this is still just a 90’s Subaru.

Something that really surprised me – ZoomOn went through the trouble of including LHD and RHD dashboards! As much as I always build my cars LHD if possible, I was under the impression that the 22B STi was never made for LHD markets – so this inclusion is particularly unexpected. Still, accurate or not – my car’s going to be correct hand drive.

I believe these are factory BBS? They’re very nice wheels and iconic on the car – which is exactly why I won’t be using them.

Just for the sake of being different and customizing this kit as much as possible – I dug through my spare 18″ wheel sets and came across some Work T7R’s from Scale Stars.

I would’ve wanted something more interesting and unique than the T7R’s since the wheels are going to be one of the few things I’m going to customize on this kit out of the box, but the only other wheels I had on deck were these SevenK Nika-S’s, also from Scale Stars. Not sure I’m down to desecrate a 22B this badly.

Resin flash cleaned off the rear end.

The hood scoop and hood vents come as separate pieces – here they’re cleaned up and glued to the main body.

I actually really like the 22B’s stock wing, but again – in an effort to modify this kit, I’m sticking standard aftermarket GT wing on the back. This GT wing doesn’t have a specific brand attached to it – it just came out of a universal wing parts pack from Aoshima.

Right about how it should look with the parts I’ve added.

I’ve built 3 Subarus already before this one, and every single one of them was done with the same formula – World Rally Blue body, gold wheels. It’s iconic Subaru – and as much as I would love to keep a good thing going with a group car theme, I still wanted to go outside the box a little with this one.

Enter Testors Color Shift – it’s back! I’ve used this type of paint twice now on two other cars, but this is really the color spectrum I’ve been wanting to try – their “Purple Sunrise.” Instead of the green-to-purple shift that I got out of the 300zx, this should be a dark blue to purple shift.

Colorshift paints are actually semi-translucent, in that their primary delivery isn’t color pigment, but metallic flakes that are responsible for the actual colorshifting. As a result, you can change the overall look of colorshift paint in subtle ways by varying the color of your base coat.

I wanted to do something different with this car, but I didn’t want to stray too far from the WRB tradition of the rest of my Subaru collection – so the base coat on the 22B is still going to be World Rally Blue.

The Testors Purple Sunrise is then sprayed over the World Rally Blue – the flake is heavy, but it definitely adds more spice to just another blue Subaru.

We’re still doing the gold wheels though.

Two or three coats of Tamiya Clear are then laid over the colorshift and cut and buffed to a high gloss. The colorshift pigment is so heavy and large that you don’t really see the gloss unless it’s directly reflecting light.

Started cutting with 3000 grit and finished with Novus plastic polish.

From what I could dig up, all 22B STi interiors came in black cloth with blue inserts. Since I was building a LHD variation in colorshift blurple anyway, I decided to switch it up and add some contrast to the interior by doing the inserts in wine red.

Masking the door inserts off and cutting the shapes out with an exacto.

Went with a mix of battleship gray for the door cards and center console, while the seats were done in flat black.

Filled in the rest of the details with brush paints.

Very cool assembling both front and rear differential cases – I guess this is the magicks behind Subaru’s infamous AWD?

A little tree of clear resin is included for the light housing lenses.

Taillight lenses painted with Tamiya’s acrylic clear red.

I absolutely love it when aftermarket wheel manufacturers include separate lug nut assemblies that plug into their wheels. Makes painting such a breeze.

Using ZoomOn’s photo-etched rotor parts that are included with the kit.

The only bit of carbon I’ll be using on this car will be the rear wing deck. It’s been a hot minute since I’ve worked with complex shapes and carbon fiber decal work, so I wanted to ease my way back in with something simple like this.

Not perfect. But good enough.

My only real critique for this model from a manufacturing and design perspective – the damn windows. This is common from what I’ve experienced – the all-resin Varis VA STi from FuelMe China also made use of thin plastic sheeting to create its windows.

Nice of ZoomOn to include masking stickers, but there aren’t any frosted lines to guide you on placement for the window frits so it’s an eyeball game on placement.

My biggest gripes with how ZoomOn engineered this is that the windows all attach from the outside, rather than from the inside like traditional plastic model kits. The biggest drawback with this is that it becomes so much harder to glue them in cleanly when you have such fine edges to adhere the thin clear plastic to, and obviously any mistakes are exasperated as a result.

The windshield kept jutting up on one side or another, likely owing to the fact that it’s really supposed to be a compound curve shape that we’re trying to create with just a flat piece of clear plastic.

The rear quarter windows also ended up an absolute mess, with the glue on the attachment edges pulling the black paint off of the frits on the inside.

I decided enough was enough – there was no salvaging those windows that came with the kit. So I turned to my leftover parts bin – and found that I had an extra clear window assembly leftover from a DC5 Integra. The windshield shape fit almost perfectly.

This plastic is much much thicker than the paper-thin clear sheets ZoomOn designed their kit for, so it wasn’t as simple as sticking the entire window assembly under the body and calling it a day. The nice thing here is that I have full control over the window sizing though, so I was able to measure precisely how large I needed the windshield to be and cut it out with a heat knife for fitting.

The rear quarters were a lot simpler in that they could actually just be flat pieces of clear plastic, so I cut them to size out of the DC5’s front side windows. Instead of fitting them on top of the frame the way ZoomOn designed, I cut them to the exact size of the window openings and wedged them in, with dabs of glue around the backside to hold them in place. Much cleaner way to install.

The front windshield had frosting for me to follow the frit lines, but the rear quarter frits were pretty much all freehanded.

An unexpected fitment challenge right at the end: because the new front windshield was so much thicker than the original one, it kept pushing up against the edge of the dashboard when I tried to mate the chassis and body shell together. Even though I cut the windshield itself down as much as possible, it took a lot of trimming on that thick resin dashboard to finally get it all to fit flush.

Ironically ZoomOn included several extra rear windshield pieces (likely because they’re more unique with defroster lines molded in) but that was the one window piece from the kit that I didn’t have an issue with – got it right on the first try.

Fini. Another blue(ish) Subaru with gold wheels – I’m just a whirlpool of original ideas.

We saw this on the 300ZX and the SW20 MR2 I’ve used these paints on before – the flakes in the Testors colorshift paint are ginormous. But that’s the secret sauce isn’t it – the colorshift relies on those heavy flakes to achieve its signature effect.

I do think the Mica Blue basecoat I used gives the car an overall blue hue, but the purple definitely still comes through very nicely when it catches the light.

I did originally plan to do some sort of livery design with the body, possibly WRC style, but I figured that the actual Tamiya WRC 22B exists for that, so I should double down on the tuned street car look.

I think the final product is decently polished, but I can’t help but think it’s kind of…boring? The wow factor on this build was supposed to be the paint job, but I don’t think it stands out enough to carry the rest of the model being sort of bland. Maybe I’m too used to going 6+ months on widebody/full motor projects that this 1 month build has become an underwhelming experience.

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