I rarely have something bad to say about Japanese kit manufacturers, especially Tamiya and Aoshima. I’ve built three of their kits before and have two more in the works and none of the time have I felt “hm, this wasn’t fun” or thought “that didn’t go together at all“, however all of the time I think “Jesus, there’s some damn wizardry at their design company going on – how does it work this well!?“. And it’s on that thought that I decided I would try one of their more specialized kits from Beemax. A little bit of explaining is required there, Beemax isn’t just some in-house developer of Aoshima, it’s actually a company from Macau that spends all of their time on researching, developing, planning and fine touching a specific series of models and they then let Aoshima do the casting, packaging and selling.
They’ve made some deliciously beautiful model kits of all sorts of motorsport heritages, some I am definitely gonna be buying sooner or later, like the ’91 BMW M3 E30 from the DTM, the ’84 and ’89 Toyota Celicas of the WRC fame and the ’88 Toyota Corolla and ’91 Honda Civic of the Group A and it just goes on… They’re up there with anything Aoshima has ever produced, only better. Generally, Aoshima doesn’t do race, rally or touring cars. Specialized tuning cars of the JDM scene, sure, but it’s no Tamiya in terms of going from consumer cars to DTM legends, though Beemax now fully fills that void no problem.
When I bought this kit, I never had the intention to re-create the kind of legendary Cruze driven by Menu, Muller and Huff – it won the WTCC three times in a row from 2011 through 2013 and even then, technically it’s four victories in a row for the Cruze as it also won the 2010 championship in a Cruze LT. I intended straight away to make it a stock car, a bit like the old street stockers like the track ready 426 HEMI equipped Charger Daytona. So this basically means, ordinary street paint job, very limited amount of sponsor decals but for the rest still a racing car through and through like the full roll cage, race equipment and such.
I always had this fascination for clean race cars, DTM especially. There’s something beautiful about a completely factory stock say, Mercedes C-Klasse DTM that doesn’t have any sponsorship stickers on it yet and has been sprayed in a ordinary, sort of classy even color. So I wanted to bring that love across to a WTCC, even if it’s by all means a rebadged Daewoo with a turbo charged I4 engine.
And I have to admit I am truly doing this kit a dishonor by making a normal Chevy Cruze in a WTCC jacket cause the decal sheet for this kit is nothing short of legendary. Every single piece that ever had a logo, icon, sticker, decal or even as much as a indicator has a decal for it. Plus the kit is ever more enhanced by the photo etched sheet you can get in addition for it, which makes the kit just gorgeous to behold. I already paid up to forty dollar for the kit alone so I thought buying another twenty dollar item to pretty it up with was a tad steep but if you see the contents, you can understand that I totally considered it up to the last moment.
In truth, the kit is pretty simple. But in a good manner, of course. It is just like many other Japanese kits without a engine but it makes up for that by giving you some stellar detail on everything else and it all goes together like a puzzle from heaven. Plus the instructions are crystal clear and has extra codes for potential sources of paints, not to mention – included segments if you had purchased the detail-up kit. That’s something I can appreciate!
I did screw some stuff up, well specifically I screwed one thing up worst – I accidentally bashed the nose of the car against a hard corner and it ruined the grille and the nice metallic inlay for the chrome striping, which now looks… crooked and broken. Ah well… All in all, one day I am certainly going to do a proper WTCC Cruze. I still got 95% of the decals left over so I could even get it second hand but I wanna do the victor of ’11, ’12 and ’13 justice and build the #1 Cruze driven by Mueller.
’12 Chevrolet Cruze 1.6T WTCC specifications:
Kit: Beemax, No.5
Skill Level: N/A
Molded in: White and Black