Since the release of the 1/24 Holden HQs a few months ago, the modelling world has been eagerly anticipating the next release from Diecast Distributors Australia, the Holden HJ Sandman panel van.
As we are working closely with DDA on releasing paint colours to match their kits and I had previously built and pained the original HQ prototype, Jesse from DDA asked if I would build one of the new HJ Sandmans for use in promotion in the lead up to their release in early July 2023.
The test shots for the HJ "Blown Custom" arrived here at SMS HQ a week or so ago and I finally had a chance to sit down and have a closer inspection of the sprues.
First impression I had of the kit was how clean each part has been molded. Each part is clean, with no flash or seam lines to contend with.
As was with the HQ kits, the body is rigid in the way it has been produced so as to avoid any warping of the plastic as is commonly seen in comparable kits from other manufacturers. This feature is one of the things that makes the HQ such a brilliant kit to build and I am glad that the trend has continued with the HJ with the slightly different body shape.
Now let's have a look at the sprues :
Each sprue is the same style layout as was with the HQ (and similar to AMT/Moebius kits in how the sprues and gates look). There are a few parts that are common with the HQs, but the majority are all new and unique to the HJ.
One thing I really like is that the roof liner for the back of the panel van is included in the kit. The HQ (and this HJ as well) didn't have a roof liner for the interior (front cab on the HJ) so it is a welcome addition to see a liner for the rear section.
Another thing to take note of is that the front seats are now supplied in black. The original prototype of the HQ that I had painted, had black seats but the final production kit had them in white. They are still the same rubber material that the wheels and wiring parts are made out of, but being black means that you can easily leave them unpainted if you were going for a black leather look. Saying that though, SMS Premium Acrylic Lacquers will adhere perfectly fine to the seats with no need of using Flex additive nor needing to do anything special to prep the surface.
But as this is the Blown Custom version, there's no bonnet included. This caused controversy with the HQ Blown kits not having bonnets either and it appears that it will be the same for the HJs.
The instructions are in a similar vein to the HQ kit instructions, albeit more clearer this time with easy to follow diagrams and paint suggestions based on the second wave of our Auto Colours range.
(Expect the second wave of SMS Auto Colours to launch at Model Expo in Melbourne in June)
So from this initial inspection of the test shots, the new HJ looks like it's going to be a winner that's for sure!
Make sure to keep an eye on our social media pages for updates and a future issue of Phoenix Scale Modelling magazine for a full build article on building and painting this kit.
Keep on modelling!