I purchased another White Body to paint, because the first one was so much fun. This time round, I got a Ferrari 360 Modena (MZN121) that is designed for the MR010/015 Chassis. My general impression of the new body is that while it is quite a nice body, the quality seems poorer than the Mazda. For one, there are far fewer parts in this body than the Mazda. The headlight assembly is unnecessarily clunky – There are two pieces that had to be assembled into the main body, but there is really no reason why they couldn’t have been molded directly into the main shell. No spoilers, no side skirting, no flip up head lights. Just a very simple shell.
Painting the Body
Being a Ferrari, I naturally bought a can of Italian Red Tamiya Paint (TS-8) for it. I also learned from my first body, and purchased a separate bottle of red paint for touch-up purposes. Unfortunately, this time round there seemed to be some orange peel effect on the paint job, but I was too lazy to fix it. Having used up my Mr. Hobby Topcoat, I opted for the Tamiya Clear Spray (TS-13) to cover the body. Next, I masked to the best of my ability and carefully painted the windscreen and window frames. Far fewer smudges this time round, though still not perfect. Again, remembering the experience from the previous body, I let the smudges dry overnight before touching up with red paint. For the tail-lights, I painted the base silver, so that the color of lamps (came pre-colored with clear paint) would show through. Lastly, I re-covered everything with three coats of TS-13. That’s about it as far as the paint job is concerned. There was some frosting of the clear coat, but a little polishing with the Meguiar’s Plast-X cleaned that up.
Assembling the Body
The body assembly was fairly simple. Three headlight lamps are inserted into each assembly, and two tail lights on either end. There is no rear wiper so that’s one less thing to worry about. For this body, I decided to try a method called Heat Swaging. Basically, when a stem is pushed through a locating hole, there is a portion of said stem that protrudes out the other end. I used a propane torch to heat up a screwdriver, and melted the stem onto the plastic surrounding the hole. This ensures a good joint. Just to be doubly sure, I use the Tamiya Extra Thin Cement to finish the joint. For the windscreen/window assembly, I also used an epoxy glue to secure the plastic bits before swaging. The part that was most difficult to work with was the headlight cover. There were two small tabs on each cover that helps locate it on the front of the shell, but it didn’t pass through to the other side. Since the part is highly visible, I did not want to apply the cement on it, which may mar the appearance. Lastly, the edge of the cover shows up prominently due to refraction, so it had to be painted red before securing using fast-setting epoxy. The final appearance wasn’t quite satisfactory, but good enough.
Car Width, Wheelbase and Handling
The shell uses a wider set of wheels than the stock. With the narrow front chassis plate, I used Narrow front wheels with 3.5mm offset (N3.5) and Wide rear wheels with 1mm offset (W1) for the car. Being chrome in color, this was a nice touch for the flashy sports car. I bought some Firelap grip tires for these wheels. They seemed a little tackier than the stock tires. This wider body is also more stable than the narrower ones, especially when cornering.
This shell uses a longer wheelbase than all my other shells, namely 94mm. So I had to pull the rear-suspension T-plate out to the outermost position. It became immediately clear that the suspension was too soft. Even with the rear shock connected, the car rear swung around badly when driving. In fact, it felt as though the whole rear was oscillating and unstable. So I swapped the plastic T-plate with the graphite one from 3Racing, and could feel the difference in handling instantly.
At the end of the day, this seemed to be a pretty simple, no frills shell, which required modification to the width and wheelbase of the car. It does drive very well, probably due to the combination of greater stability and tackier tires. This is now my main bashing shell, and has unfortunately picked up many scratches as a result.