Last month I had a look at what plastic kits are available of the A10 Violet, Stanza and Auster series. Unfortunately, there was not a lot of variety to be had but with models of the Nissan Silvia and Gazelle series, this is not the case. Whilst there are plenty of re-issues of older kits, there are still quite a number of different kits available from a variety of manufacturers. Here I’m only going to cover the first three generations of Silvia, the CSP311, S10 and S110. Needless to say this is not an exhaustive list as there are no doubt more rare and obscure kits out there but below you can check out the most commonly found ones.
First up is the original Fairlady Roadster based Nissan Silvia from 1965, the CSP311 model. There are, not surprisingly, very few kits of this car with the only readily available kit coming from Imai in 1/24 scale. This is motorised, as are most Japanese kits but regardless, it is quite a nice model and features a full interior. I have built the earlier release of the Imai kit and with care it makes a very nice model. The only other CSP311 kit I have seen (above left) is from an unknown manufacturer and is again motorised but curiously features a metal chassis. Below are the early and late (current) releases of the Imai kit.
The second generation of Silvia, the S10model from 1975, is better supported and there are a number of different kits available in various scales. The kits made by Arii, who issued several versions in both stock and race car guises, tend to be in an obscure scale of 1/28. The LSX-E Special Turbo in race car livery is quite unusual in that it features quite a wild wide body treatment unlike any other S10 race car kits. Having not seen this kit in the flesh I can only hope the actual contents reflect the box image! There are possibly other issues of the stock Silvia LS-X kit than shown below. I am not absolutely certain if the “White Road Runner” kit above left is made by Arii or Nichimo as I have not been able to find any more information about it.
Two other kits that are of unknown manufacture are the two pictured below.
Nichimo also issued kits in 1/28 scale and at first glance the stock version looks to be similar to the Arii kit judging by the box art, although closer inspection reveals the race car version to be quite different so I would assume the stock version is too. The version of this kit I own (below left) features a wind up clockwork motor, although the race car version appears to be powered with an electric motor.
The pick of the S10 kits and no doubt the hardest to find (and most expensive) are the ones made by Grip (Eidai) which come in yet another unconventional, although pleasingly larger, scale of 1/20. Both of the Grip offerings are based on the LSE-X version.
The S110 model launched in 1979 was the first variant to be badged not only as a Silvia but also as a Gazelle. The car also now came as both a hatchback and a coupe too. There are four distinct versions of the S110 covered by models kits, the coupe, hatchback, convertible and group 5 race car. The most common version to be seen as a model kit is the coupe, although there are actually only two companies who have issued models of it, Fujimi and Nitto. Fujimi have certainly made the most of their moulds and there are several issues as both a Silvia and a Gazelle as seen below. All are in the conventional 1/24 scale and can be has as either a stock version or with a wide arched body.
Nitto have probably made even more issues of their version, although it is more often modelled as a Silvia rather than a Gazelle. Nitto even went as far as to issue the same model moulded in different colours, complete with matching box art. Whilst Fujimi tend to make models of the high performance twin cam 2000RS, Nitto concentrated on the lower spec ZSE-X and XE models. I have never personally seen one of these Nitto kits so cannot vouch for their quality, although as they are in the unpopular 1/28 scale I doubt I’ll be actively seeking them out! I have had a couple of quite early Nitto kits in this scale and to be truthful they were rather dismal and nigh on impossible to make into an accurate model.
A curious diversion in the Gazelle and Silvia range of kits are those of convertibles. There wasn’t actually a factory built convertible so I would think these kits have all been inspired by the late 70’s and early 80’s Japanese TV series, Seibu Keisatsu (Western Police) in which the lead character, Sergent Daimon, drives an S110 Gazelle. Certainly, the models from Aoshima are of that actual car, whilst those from Fujimi seem to be of a generic convertible.
Whilst the convertible version isn’t a genuine Nissan product the hatchback certainly is, although not often seen in model form. The model kits shown below are from Fujimi and all would appear to be variations of the same basic kit.
The two hatchbacks shown below are possibly based on the Fujimi moulds, in fact the Scale Craft kit on the right even uses the same image on the box so it is almost certainly a Fujimi based kit. The kit on the left is of unknown manufacture but could also be Fujimi, although the box design looks similar to some old Yamada kits.
Lastly, the most famous of all the S110 Silvia’s is also the subject of a plastic kit. The Group 5 turbo super silhouette race car is, I believe still available from Aoshima and is a fantastic kit complete with full interior, despite being motorised. It also has an excellent and comprehensive set of decals. The kit has seen a few re-issues and has been available in other liveries as both a Silvia and a Gazelle. There are also a number of kits with clear body-shells as seen on the “Speed Trial” kit and in the two “Black Special” show at the bottom. These kits have guide rails to attach on the sides, presumably so they can be run on some kind of track.
I’ll post up a guide to another range of plastic kits again next month. The next lot will cover the Sunny series from B10 through to B310.