In May of this year the team at INNO Models officially announced their entry into the scale model arena, well at least to our team members here at DiecastSociety.com. Three 1:18 scale specimens were the initial release, two of which we share in review. Since then the team has explored 1:43, all future releases.
We have model# IN18001RA – Honda Accord #16 “Castrol Mugen” JTCC 1996 – Castrol Mugen Honda official team, #16 driven by Osamu Nakaku (limited edition of 280 pieces) and model# IN18002RA – Honda Accord #15 “PIAA” JTCC 1996 – Nakajima Planning Team sponsored by PIAA, #15 driven by Takuya Kurosawa (limited edition of 220 pieces). There is a third car available, Model# IN18003RA – Honda Accord #14 “JACCS” JTCC 1996 – Mooncraft Team sponsored by JACCS, #14 driven by Naoki Hattori (limited edition of 280 pieces). Each model is officially licensed material from Honda Motor Co. Ltd., more detail can be found on their website.
Suggested retail per model is roughly $218CND or $179US. Each model is manufactured in resin with closed-body design. INNO Models step up their game to include the following features, more on each below. Clear coating covers the quality decal work, lowered car height with camber, carbon effect parts, photo-etching parts and all interior small details. Each release will include leather base and acrylic clear cover case with badge. The team that makes up INNO Models aren’t just numbers people; collectively the group has a history working with various scale model manufacturers and professional race car teams/drivers. All this add up to 20+ years of experience. So how do the models measure up?
This is first from INNO Model here on DiecastSociety.com so we traditionally start of the packaging. The box is covered with a paper sleeve which shows the INNO Model logo and line drawing of the model inside. Underneath the sleeve the model is housed in cardboard box, similar to what is utilized by BBR, MR Collection and Looksmart. Remove the layers of additional packaging at the model is revealed; housed on leather base with acrylic clear cover case. Not too shabby folks!
Remove four screws from underneath the base and the model is free. A few items that are striking off the bat. First and foremost the paint finish is outstanding. INNO Models technique to the layer the decals underneath the clear coat are working! The deep shine is evident in all painted parts and transcends to the carbon fibre elements too.
The second is the massive camber and low stance at all four corners. It works, definitely gives the model character. Overall lines are tight and based on images we reviewed it seems to mirror the original cars well. Shutlines and panel gaps are on point, usual suspects given these are sealed-resin models.
From the front view each model is executed with care. Quality cues are found in the materials used to complete the headlight and lower turn signals. Perforated grille is found in the lower section. Lower chin sees some nicely executed carbon fibre weave. Spoiler it self has inlets on each side; though they go into the bumper with some depth they are sealed – nothing too serious here. The hood also finds some photo-etched hood clips.
The rear mirrors the front on quality and finish. Large spoiler, tow hook are found in check and cute single exhaust pipe makes up the rear area. Did I just say cute? The undercarriage of each example is defined with suspension and exhaust bits moulded into the plastic panel. The only real definition is the exhaust from front to rear. Very typical of resin models.
The wheels on each model are identical, basically the colour (Green or White) differentiates the two. Paint application mirrors the exterior, excellent. Calipers are rotors are defined with quality materials and craftsmanship. Better than the AUTOart McLaren P1 GTR we just received.
This is one area we always like manufacturers to excel in. Investing a few more dollars here is paramount in our opinion, Inno Models definitely hits the mark! If there was one area of concern it seems the front ride height is little too low. We’re not sure if the cars within the Japan Touring Car Championship have fully adjustments suspension via air ride or what not. If not, the romancing factor here doesn’t deter from the overall presence of the model. If fact it may add to it lol.
The interiors of the Honda Accord are identical from what we gather. The quality of the exterior does find itself inside, and that’s a good thing! Paint in various colours are used to highlight various elements within, and provide the depth and realism one graves. Seat and steering wheel are covered in a textured material. The seat also finds a complete racing harness made from actual material, no plastic here!
Full roll-cage, cooling ducts, and carbon fibre elements in the dash and doors complete the package, an excellent solid effort from the team.
INNO Models have presented two solid efforts here. Being their first forage into scale model manufacturing they have succeeded in producing a very good well rounding product. One can recommend without hesitation. The uncommon racing series, Japan Touring Car Championship might prove a slight challenge to drive sales. Though the uniqueness factor, along with quality execution and materials will definitely sway those that may be on the fence. INNO Models have a winner here, the proof is in the pudding or should be say the 60+ photos. Enjoy the pics!