So you can not afford the real thing, or want to expand your collection. What can you do? There are a surprising amount of Impreza models available with a large diversity in size, function and cost! A word of warning, once you start it becomes addictive.
Slot car racing has a lot of followers. Scalextric have produced a very accurate WRC Impreza and even produce a set called Subaru Challenge.
These are extremely accurate 1:43 scale die cast models. I can see myself getting a collection of these.
Seen below is the Richard Burns 1999 WRC, the Steve Petch 4 door Group N and 1998 Dallava/Fappani San Remo entry. The attention to detail is quite amazing considering these cars are only 4 inches (100mm) long.
The IXO range was new to me when I spotted the MY2001 WRC and it is a good little model in the same 1:43 scale as the Trofeu. The only aspect to let it down are the rather thick not-to-scale aerials.
The Auto Art range consists of 1/43 scale and 1/18 scale diecast models. The range includes a road going 22B and STi Type R as well as the more normal rally cars. Seen below is the 1:18 Richard Burns 1999 Monte Carlo Impreza WRC fitted out with the head light pods.
The above IXO and Auto Art models were purchased from Autosport Models.
This is a limited edition pewter 1/24 scale model (approximately 6 inches long) from MDS Collectibles. Mounted upon a wood plinth, with a perspex cover this pewter model with antique finish is something to behold. There seems to be two different versions of this model although unconfirmed. The one here comes with a Certificate of Authority signed by the Subaru World Rally Team Manager John Spiller and is individually numbered on the plaque on the plinth with only 200 available. There also seems to have been a second run of 3000 off without the certificate and without the individual numbering.
Check out the detail inside.
There are a number of plastic self assemble kits available of the Impreza in its rallying form. Tamiya makes a number of kits and here is one of McRaes WRC98 Safari...yes I have not started it yet. 1:24 scale, the kit is up to Tamiyas high standard.
I have only just ventured into the hobby of radio control cars and I am amazed at the number of models there are available, both in electric and i/c (internal combustion) format. In one magazine alone I counted 8 different models!
Again Tamiya have a number of models available and I chose the 1/12 scale TL-01 electric powered version to start my hobby.
The TL-01 refers to the chassis, which is used on a larger number of Tamiya models (not just Impreza) and is aimed towards the lower end of the spectrum with respect to radio control cars. It is an electric powered chassis with 4 wheel drive with shaft drive front/back and a differential at each end. A two channel proportional radio control system is used with steering and speed control.
The kit is excepionally well made being screwed together and the engineering which goes into building the kit is brilliant. Ever wondered how a differential works? Well build one (two in fact) for yourself and you will know all about planetary gears.
The construction of the steering control and way the associated drive shafts and suspension all came together was very educational.
The body is a simple vacume formed plastic moulding which is extremely tough (good thing too). The kit comes with a sheet of pre marked window shapes which are used to mask the interior shell before spraying. After this has been done the inside of the body is sprayed. One other thing the body is covered on the exterior by a clear flim which can then be removed after spraying hase been carried out. We are now all ready for the decalls and stuff but I'm thinking of keeping it plain blue to look like my P1.
There are quite a few ready to run out of the box Impreza models available and they start at a reasonable price and can be found in high street shops too.
Nikko can be found in shops like ToysR'Us, Woolworths, Maplins and even Halfords. They do three versions of the new Bugeye WRC, one in 1/24th scale with a simple controller for around £12 to £16....
...one in a larger 1/16th scale for around £20 to £30 with a more traditional controller. Both are two channel i.e. forward/backwards and left/right and both are only digital on/off type controls.
The larger Nikko is seen here along with my other WRC models. From left to right...Tamiya 1/12 R/C, Nikko 1/16 R/C, AutoArt 1/18 diecast, Nikko 1/24 R/C, Scalextric and Trofeu 1/43 diecast.
The smallest Nikko is only 45mm long with a 21mm wheel base! See the picture below to really appreciate how small this is.
The car is not radio control but IR control which initially sounds a disadvantage because you need line of sight. In practice this is not strictly true and I have run the car under furniture and the like and around objects well out of sight where stray IR from the transmitter reaches via reflection with no problem. The controller is also proportional and as a result a lot more flexible and nicer to control than the other two Nikko models. This means the car can go as slow as you want and speeds up as you pull the trigger. Pushing the trigger from the central position gives reverse. Steering is very controllable once mastered from tight or quite wide with everything in between as you apply more or less pressure to the turning control. The way the car steers is also very clever. It actually drives the rear wheels independantly and to turn it applies more drive to one wheel than the other as per a tracked vehicle. The front wheels are fixed straight forward. This can result in turning on the spot about its own axis if you want!
The car is so small that it isn't big enough to hold a decent sized battery itself so it has a super capacitor internally which is charged from the hand controller. 2 minutes charging gives around 10 minutes play.
I am in awe of this little car and its capabilities. Proportional control, the size and its a Subaru! One final word the cars are available in 5 different frequencies. The frequency band is marked on the side of the box next to the model identification. If you are buying two cars (Mercedes A Class, BMW Mini, and Mitsubishi EVO also available) then ensure that they operate on two different frequency bands!
The Nikko iRacer is available online now from Otherland Toys.
Not an Impreza, not even a Subaru but I feel that special mention has to be made of the Mattel Wheels/Tyco Canned Heat Audi TT radio control car. The source of many fun dinner times in the office racing against a collegues Canned Heat Mini Cooper it goes to show that radio control really has dropped in price in recent years. Bought from Toys'R'Us for £19.99 each these little cars (see the picture) are available in either 28MHz or 40MHz so you can race against each other without interference.
As with all of the other cheaper radio control cars these are two channel but digital in action.
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