The iconic blue and white Calsonic livery is almost as Japanese as sushi if you are a motorsport fan. Typically adorning Nissan Skylines, the Calsonic team has been dominant since the early days of JGTC (Japan Grand Touring Championship) or SuperGT as it is known today.
Tamiya has released a range of the Calsonic Skylines, and one of them is the 1999 R34 as I will feature here.
The kitset comes moulded in white, engine grey, and ‘Calsonic’ blue.
Chassis & suspension
The front suspension consisted of 5 pieces, I sprayed them all semi-gloss black as upon completion none of this shall be visible except the small area of suspension arms leading to the brakes. Everything fit like a glove and also fitted to the chassis perfectly.
The rear subframe requires the base to be painted in the Calsonic blue as this all links into the chassis. It’s nice to have a bit of colour. I highly recommend taking time with the rear suspension and gearbox as this is quite visibly open upon completion of the model. A little detail goes a long way here. I used Tamiya’s ‘panel line accent’ to fill the slots in the brake disc rotors for a little extra realism.
6-spoke mags look great, the centre nuts are moulded into the mag which make painting hard can be a challenge. I gave the tyres a light sanding to give them a slightly used look.
I laid down some simple wiring for the model as it would really stand out with the blue interior.
A basic photoetch belt kit by Acu Stion was added.
The Acu.Stion set is a pleasure to work with. The belt material is adhesive so it sticks nicely to the seats and leaves the belts sitting very nicely on the seat. Highly recommend picking one of these sets up for adding some detail to your car interior.
The rollcage consists of 6 pieces. I prefer to glue the entire cage together initially as shown and then paint it. Fitting it to the chassis required a little pushing and squeezing although it slid in nicely. Everything lines up perfectly and it is quite impressive in its design.
Cockpit ready for the rollcage to be installed. Tamiya does a great job adding not too much detail, but enough to make it realistic.
It was at this stage that I took the end of the harnesses and wrapped them around the rollcage tubing directly behind the seat to fasten them.
This view of the chassis with wheels on gives you an idea of just how big the rubber these cars run really is!
I heated up my Tamiya Spray rattlecan and shot the body in TS44 (brilliant blue) and masked the window trim and painted that. I recommend fitting the bumper the body prior to painting purely so you don’t have to glue the two together when painted. We all know how quickly model glue melts model paint…
Now it is starting to look like a JGTC race car. The body sits on the car lightly, not so heavily clipped like other Tamiya cars so be gentle with it otherwise front bumper may break off.
I highly recommend using the Tamiya ‘panel line accent’ as with a colour like the blue it really breaks up the panels to give that realistic look. It is super super easy to use and if it runs onto the panel, just wipe it off with no damage to the paint finish at all.
Decals & completed model
The decals were a pleasure to work with. The white Calsonic lettering once applied over the TS44 did not shadow at all. I used decal solution on a few parts here and there for better fitment although on the whole everything went on like a dream. With the side doors care should be taken with the order you put the decals on to ensure you don’t run out of space accidentally. It’s great getting the decals laid on the body as it quickly breaks up the blue too. A final metal decal for the exhaust surround that protects the body from backfire flame is a nice touch as well.
I give this kit a solid 9 out of 10. Why? Fitment is amazing, the livery is timeless and this model gave me no headaches at all. It was a pleasure to build and looks superb sitting on the shelf. If you haven’t got this one yet, go and pick it up!