We get a lot of feedback from the community to review more opening price point models, well, we have a few more pieces to share. They come from Solido, the models are Catheram Seven 275R Academy (Blue w/ Orange decals) and 275R (Green w/ Black decals). Both are completed in 1:18 scale and feature a combination of metal and plastic parts. The 275R Academy is more of the “race” approved, the distinctive roll-cage, wheels, carbon fibre elements and script around the tires are the clear differences from its sibling the 275R. These examples will set you back around $65-$75 each CND.
Paint on each is done well. Nothing over the top, results are consistent and uniform throughout. As for body lines, Solido does a decent job in transitioning the Catheram to scale. Shutlines and panel gaps are very good as each piece is 100% sealed, there are no opening bits here.
Decal work is decent and the small elements like the hood latches, indents and what not are all moulded into the exterior panels, with the definition of each provided with added paint. They do prove acceptable for an opening price point piece.
Surprisingly there is an abundance of carbon fibre pieces on the 275R Academy. Solido definition is a combination of moulded and decals, overall, we prefer the execution of the decal over the moulded, visually it takes the win! And finally, chrome work is a little suspect on the exhaust. Both our examples proved poor on the finish work.
As for the exterior difference between the two bodies, it comes down to the roll-cage, missing windshield and the aforementioned carbon fibre on the 275R Academy, while the 275R has a hint of a roll-bar in the rear the with full windshield.
The front is narrow and defined with a large grille. The team uses a transparent piece of plastic with a Black grille and “7” logo printed on it. In behind the hint of a g radiator is present. It sounds somewhat crude, and it is, but the effect is quite convincing in the flesh. Headlight material is basic at best and just below the turn indicators are better – note colours differ on each, Green is Orange while the Blue version is clear.
The rear-end on both pieces are basically the same, the one difference is the Blue doesn’t have the rear license plate. As for execution, each is decent. Taillights and surrounding lighting are good. Gas filter is painted on a defined bump on the metal panel.
No access to the motor, however, the undercarriage is surprisingly detailed for a budget piece. Front to the rear provides a definition of the various elements, though some very basic in design. This is especially evident on the front suspension components, somewhat crude.
Wheels on each model are different, the 275R Academy features a single nine-spoke design while the 275R is dual-spoke design. Execution on both is average. Solid rotors and calipers are in check too.
The interior design is shared between the two models. Completed in all Black, it is one solid moulded piece and separate item for the dash. Rubber racing harness is glued in place and is executed in rubber. For a basic model, it all works.
There is no hiding the fact that the Caterham Seven 275R Academy and 275R are entry-level models, though the sum of their parts does produce something that can provide good shelf presence. Are these models as good as the classic Kyosho pieces from back in the day, hell no. But they do provide something affordable in 2019. We also applaud Solido’s efforts to provide two distinctly different varinats, and as new projects evolve from Solido it seems they are slowly refining their craft. We suggest you check them out. Enjoy the pics!