Just started building the car and I'm a optimistic pessimist and my first impressions are that I'm pleasantly surprised. Although I haven't gotten to the shocks and diffs yet (I always build those last). What's up with the rust on the hingepins and ballstuds though, lol? I polished the 'pins and massaged the 'studs, so its all good. I don't know Associated's process of anodizing but a few pieces are different shades of blue (I never noticed any glaring differences of color in my past Schuie's or Yokomo's), plus one of the bulkhead/bearing caps has splotches of white in the anodizing.
I can't comment on the lettered screws or plastic shims....I won't use them. Schumacher shims and SS screws from RCScrewz are used. Won't be using the stock bearings either, BOCA ceramics going in.
All in all though I'm enjoying the build (no head-scratchers yet)
The car & design of things looks like its a serious contender. Had a rare day off today, so I don't know when I'll get back to it, but I can't wait to finish it up