Growing up in the ’90s and early 2000s and being surrounded by Japanese cars, I have always had a soft spot for proper JDM engineering. In the 1:18 scale model car world, those cars are not as much represented as for instance the average supercar or historic Italian car. Luckily a Japanese model maker named Ignition models has made (and still makes) some rare Japanese rockets. I have some in my collection and given the rarity (and price) it is worthwhile to write a review to share the experience. For readers completely unfamiliar with Ignition Models, they create, without exception, sealed models made from resin. The price point is pretty high, not far off brands like BBR and MR. So it is worth it if you’re into this niche?
The particular car under today’s scrutineering is the Fujita Engineering RX-7 ‘Feed’. The Feed RX-7 is the creation of Fujita-san and one of the best Japanese tuner cars. It is not all about looks, but just as much about performance. This car won the ‘Touge Max Battle’ from the Japanese car show ‘Best Motoring’. People familiar with this will know enough by now, it is a masterpiece in terms of engineering and performance.
On to the model itself, we start by looking at the overall picture. What we see here is a very aggressive car in terms of stance. Compared with online photos of the subject, the shape seems very accurate and all the little aero bits and details seem present and correct. The stance of the model seems a little bit lower than on the real car, but the car has most definitely adjustable suspension, so the model could very well be correct after all. One thing is sure, it looks the business with its fully filled wheels arches and aggressive camber. This car is not meant to sit still!
Just as important as the shape and stance, is of course the paint. This model is (or maybe ‘was’ at this point due to the very limited production) available with different colours and wheels. I have chosen the solid white in combination with 18-inch black 10-spoke wheels. The paint is very good, as it is absolutely flawless, evenly applied and shiny. I also opted for a version with a (satin) carbon bonnet, basically a classic colour combination for Japanese tuner cars. The execution of the carbon is one of the best I have ever seen, as good as the likes of Fronti-Art or BBR to name a few. One of the most difficult things for model makers is to make the carbon weave not oversized, like on many AUTOart models for instance. The weave on this model is crisp, clear and very fine.
Not only the bonnet is covered in carbon fibre, but also all of the aero bits on the car, including the massive rear wing. No moulded carbon fibre on this model or anything like that, but the same very fine pattern as on the bonnet. Very good again. Speaking of all the aero bits, without exception, they are beautifully made, very detailed and mounted perfectly. On the little canards up front and the rear wing, there are also small silver paint dots to represent screws.
Something that is normally not a point of discussion on sealed models is the panel gaps, as there aren’t really any. Something I think is normally one of the downsides of a sealed model is that the panel gaps are too shallow and also filled with the same paint as the rest of the bodywork. This gives the impression, when on display, that the model is one single piece (which of course it also is), making it less convincing, particularly on lighter-coloured models. Ignition models are different in that aspect. The gaps are really narrow, but very deep and also painted black inside. When on display, this makes the model look very convincing!
From paint and carbon fibre, we move on to the stickering on the car. No Japanese tuner car without some decals, so this one is no exception. All of them are of very high resolution and applied perfectly. Also, they are under the clear coat, so no risk of peeling off over time. The little ‘Advan’ logo under the side blinker is photo-etched. Nice! Speaking of lights, this model hasn’t got very many and the ones it has been very dark tinted, like on the real deal. But with the correct lighting, one can see through and what is visible then, looks very good. One of the pop-up headlights is sacrificed for an air induction duct on the Feed RX-7.
This brings us to the next subject: Intake, grilles etc. This car has plenty, with the most obvious of course the front bumper. The centre opening is almost completely filled with intercoolers. This intercooler looks very nice as does the tow hook next to it. On both sides of the centre opening are two smaller openings. Unfortunately, these are blocked with solid grilles. It looks like we found the first negative on this model. Under the little front, aero parts are two openings on each side as well, but they are so tiny, that the fact they are closed off is forgiven. Where there are intakes, there is an exhaust. This car has a massive one poking from under the right rear. It is in Japanese fashion one big diameter pipe. Ignitions gave it some nice blue discolouration around the tip.
Windows and window frames are next on the inspection list. Windows are not always as straightforward on sealed models as one would expect, with plenty of models with very flimsy windows and detaching windows (GT spirit & OttOmobile come to mind here). Not the case here. Where most resin model makers choose to make the frames in one piece with the plastic of the windows (by just painting the edges black), Ignition has made a real effort by making it all separated pieces. Just perfection here. Did I mention the way the rear window heater looks like?
Looking through the window we can peek into the interior. We see a lot of greys if we do that, but that is just the way 90’s Japanese cars are, not very exciting on the interior side of things. We see bucket seats with ‘Bride’ logos, an after-market steering wheel and a beautiful ‘Takata’ harness on the driver’s seat. Under the rear window, we also see some chassis strengthening and some carpeting. In total, not the best interior I have ever seen, some more detail on various buttons could have been added, but for a sealed resin model, it is above average.
Last, but most certainly not least, are the wheels, tyres and brakes on this model. The wheels are beautifully crafted in black, with silver centre caps and bolts. The tyres are, naturally, very low profile and look ‘stretched’, which of course is by design. The combo looks crisp and really makes this model what it is. Because of the satin black wheels, the attention is also very much drawn to what is behind. With that, I of course mean the brakes. The brakes are maybe the best part of the model, the grooved rotors, with red centres, are finished with red callipers. The total package looks very convincing.
So how do we summarise this model and do I recommend buying it? To be honest, I think the most important part of that is the interest in this niche subject. But if you are into it, the answer is simple and short: Yes! It is not cheap, but if I ask myself the question, what could Ignition have done better with this model, the list remains very short. Two tiny solid grilles are basically the only negative I can come up with and I think that says it all.