It’s All In The Details: JDM RC Drift Car Comp

Wanna check out a cool RC drift event?” was what Johnny of Weld asked me the other week on the phone. I said sure, as it had been way too long since I spent some time shooting cool little RC drifters sliding around. I thought it would make a cool post, especially since it was held at a track I had never been to before. So I packed up my gear, including my new RC drift car (I thought I may be able to squeeze a bit of driving in between the shooting!) and headed north, up to Kuki in Saitama.

My goal was Hobby Garage, a massive hobby shop in an equally gigantic mall. If this place is anything to go by, my assumption that everything to do with this ‘scaled’ world has been steadily growing over the last few years, seems to make a lot of sense. Maybe the recession has pushed people to spend money on other things and if you are into cars at least, then building up a cool RC machine is far cheaper than modding your full-scaled one parked outside.

This is probably the biggest hobby shop I’ve been to with something for everyone, starting off with a couple of slot car tracks as soon as you come in.

Before heading to the large RC drift track I had a quick wander around the main shop area, where you can really find all sorts of cool things starting off with a nice selection of Tomica diecasts…

…to more Japanese things like these cool Shinkansen train model & track combos.

If you fancy something different and anime characters or robots aren’t your thing, how about a dekotora dump truck? No laughing at the name please!

As you can see, kids take their slot car racing extremely seriously. Check out the carbon bumpers!

In the model car section I spotted some true JDM gems, part of the Gurachan collection. Which one would you build if you had to choose just one! Tough isn’t it?

The selection of RC bodies was just as vast…

…and it just keeps growing. And of course after you pick up your shell…

…you have to think about your wheel selection and again you really are spoilt for choice.

I even spotted these Team Yayoi sakura rims which I almost wanted to buy just so I could paint them in silver and pink! But whatever I saw in the shop section really couldn’t even begin to prepare me for what…

…the main event was all about. I assumed an ‘RC drift meet’ would entail, well…drifting. But this was actually more to do with customizations. Hobby Garage organizes this ‘RC Custom Body Show’ every year and it seems that just like in any other car-related scene, things continue to be pushed further and further.

This was the selection of cars entered. Each participant was part of the judging process but before it all began, the Hobby Garage staff…

…went ahead and presented each car. This was done in total Japanese otaku way, with a macro video camera showing all the details…

…of the cars through the two big LCD screen on each side of the ‘show venue’. Up until this point I was standing on the sidelines, so I didn’t really realize just how detailed some of these bodies were.

I soon grabbed my camera, took my shoes off and jumped in. It was at this point that my mind was blown. I know a lot of hobbyists take their art very seriously but this was just ridiculous. Every image that showed up on my LCD screen looked almost like I was taking pictures at a real event.

I proceeded to spend the next couple of hours on my belly, getting up close and personal with all of these cars. While some stuck to more simple accessories to dress up the exterior…

…some went well beyond that and achieved the almost impossible. I mean how on earth do you recreate rust so damn well! It was even realistic to the touch!

It was quite funny to see how the USDM influence the JDM scene is undergoing right now is reflected perfectly on some of these RC Drifters.

Stance is very important in order to obtain that realistic feel, so a lot of time goes into body-height adjustments as well as suspension arm fine tuning to get camber and ‘flushness’ just right. Props to the owner of this E30 M3 for adding a few scaled Speedhunters stickers on there!

Remember the Hakotora from Tokyo Auto Salon and the Nostalgic 2 Days? Yep, this is a scaled recreation of it, complete with racing bucket seats and a driver.

There were some non-drift additions too like this fully functioning Man truck and trailer combo. The realistic touches included a curtain to shade the cabin for when the scale driver needs to catch a couple of hours sleep, to a speaker emitting diesel idle-chatter and something under the cabin to make the whole thing vibrate.

This older style truck was even more impressive as it’s a fully-functional drift machine with custom rear axles sporting a total of six drift tires.

I was aware that these RC trolleys were on sale, but to see one modified on little drift wheels and running onikyan at the rear, well it really made me laugh! The oishii mikan (tasty mikan) box was a great touch. I guess the idea is to drift it without dropping the box full of tasty fruit.

Check out this slammed Impreza 22B. It sort of reminded me of some of the N-Style cars we have seen at Hellaflush Japan events in the past.

With so many different type of bodies out there, you can really let your imagination run wild.

A lot of drift shops are getting their own custom RC car bodies made too, just like GP Sports and this perfect recreation of their famous aero kit. What really makes it pop however is the attention to detail in the painting and careful wheel fitment for that perfect look.

Rust seems to be a very fashionable finish to recreate in the world of miniature drifting.

More stance, this time with a more Euro feel…

…thanks to this lime green Golf. Notice the roll cage inside?

This R31 Skyline Wagon body is from R31 House and was sitting on a set of TE37SLs. Wagon RC drifting?  I’m liking this a lot!

When it comes detail, this AE86 Levin was as wild as it gets and I’m not just talking about the exterior.

Just have a look at how the engine bay has been beautifully integrated and made to fit around the underlying chassis components. My favorite touches included the exposed cams and belt as well as the heat-wrapped headers.

Here’s another shot of the wild GX71 from the opening shot! Incredible and if you like these kaido racer creations…

…then this 330 Cedric will hit the spot rather well.

Squint a little and it looks like the real deal!

Of course how can you not finish it all off with tilted taillights and bozo exhausts!

Of course if you prefer the more modern look there were a ton of S-chassis entries to check out.

Some took their cars out on the track and let their hand-built toy sliders do their thing. I hope you are enjoying seeing a side of RC drift culture that we have never really touched on, because I have tons more to show you!

I’ll be back soon with even more RC custom goodness!

Hobby Garage 

-Dino Dalle Carbonare


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69 comments
AhPeace
AhPeace

@speedhunters_dino  >< i am jus a beginner in rc drift, i would like to know how could i mod my drift car for more better drift , i bought a V-max rc drift( hong kong made and like below the picture), i dun have any idea how to mod it and i dun dare to change any setting. pls help me ><

berry7577
berry7577

Really amazing shop, Every <a href="http://www.nitrotek.it/">Nitrotek</a> mentioned here has excellent features and also have all the qualities which are required so to choose one between them required some knowledge and research work.Thanks for sharing.

JeffersonPhan
JeffersonPhan

Where do you buy those RC Drift cars like the 180sx

CianHa
CianHa

These magnificent builds remind me of the work of Mike Villena, aka PlasticBuddha, who used to post on the scale4x4 forum. He specialised in really realistic builds, with lots of scratch-built components, and great attention to detail. I remember a Miata, a Mini, a Lotus 7, and an AE86 with a complete 4AGE under the bonnet. 

weasel
weasel

Dino, tell me something about japanese culture; I dont see any security gates on that store front. Is this common in Japan? I hear theft is nearly nonexistent, but so much so that a staple in American mall shopping, The Storefront Security Gate, isnt nearly as widely used in Japan?

If so, that just solidifies my incredible respect for the Japanese culture.

spiders932
spiders932

these guyz r very talented...!! i love that s13 tho

Yurisminator
Yurisminator

The belt in the Corolla engine is from a belt 4wd touring, most likely a rear one, very nice touch!

 

Dino, any posibility for the Hakotora as a wallpaper!

stikitnowcom
stikitnowcom

We lived in Okinawa for 6 years when I was a kid and those 4wd toy cars were super fun.  We spent all our time modifying them, you could get them to go around the track so fast, they would fly out and injure people.  Wish I held on to a few of them.

AjArmas
AjArmas

Those aren't slot cars, they're mini 4wd cars. I used to race them all the time with my dad. I think I even still have a few, and a dyno for them

OtakuTaikun
OtakuTaikun

That rusted out 180SX is kinda odd. It's the rear end of a hatch with the body of the coupe. lol the roof line/hatch are probably custom fabbed, but even at that it doesnt look half bad. can't wait for part 2

 

itsdaaan
itsdaaan

Wait what scale are most of the RCs?

johnnywobblesauce
johnnywobblesauce

anyone care to send me links to website for parts. this is all way too cool! i need to build one....or 5

jzx81
jzx81

Dino, once again I am convinced I need to get to Japan, because of one of your posts.

That MkII GX71 is amazing.

(I am a 1/24 model builder and I am in awe).

Spike4090
Spike4090

Im surprised to not see a Rocket Bunny FR-S replica!! I know 500 kits where made, also made the 380sx and BenSopra replica kits where produced, but I don't see any of them here. Thank you again Dino! You F*in rock, this post was awesome, brought me back to my child hood although I will never grow up.

jake Laird
jake Laird

Impressive. I just hope none of these guys start customizing real cars.

FunctionFirst
FunctionFirst

I could give two squirts of piss less about RC cars...

 

Until I read this post. Holy sh*t, the level of detail and recreation is absolutely awesome. I can totally understand the allure, I could see myself buying about 15 styles of wheels and 7 body styles to just create different cars and styles, switching them out every few weeks because I could. This hobby would run me straight broke in a hurry and my real car would get all neglected. Cool stuff Dino. Maybe I'll pay a bit more attention to these posts now.

Censport
Censport

Fantastic. Would love to have the time/money for this hobby. For now, I'll settle for seeing that cabover semi in action. Any shots or video of that?

mcastaway
mcastaway

Hi There! I recommend to all Rc drift lovers to follow "RwdRcDrift" page in Facebook!!! you can find more info about  Rwd Rc Drifting,from custom modification..bodies..option parts and more stuff for the Rwd rc drifting!!

nugundam93
nugundam93

the level of detail that they put into these are just so amazing. 

IHCrusader
IHCrusader

Yet another amazing feature, thank you Dino! :-)

Roger_the_Engineer
Roger_the_Engineer

Interesting article guys, way to think outside of the box.  My question is, "are rusted hoods going to spill over into real life car builds"?

 

RC Max
RC Max

You can get one at Akihabara area, there are 3 shops who sell 180 SX ( Tam-Tam, RC Adviser, Super Rajikon)

weasel
weasel

 @OtakuTaikun My buddys battered RPS13 has a pair of coupe tail lights ziptied to it to satisfy road legality. They were just sitting around his shop and he needed tail lights to drive to an event, they actually hold better than the OEM tails did.

Tonioseven
Tonioseven

@jzx81 Dude, best hobby in the world!!

speedhunters_dino
speedhunters_dino

 @Spike4090 Those were just model cars, not RC body shells.  But there were a few 86 in there, check the next post on the event 

johnnyffsfsf
johnnyffsfsf

maybe SH isn't the right blog for you to be visiting then...

FunctionFirst
FunctionFirst

You know, you've taken a piss on every single automotive style, trend and every type of motorsport that I don't think anyone could even come up with one thing about the automotive scene that you enjoy, like, admire or have anything but a boiling hatred for.

speedhunters_dino
speedhunters_dino

 @FunctionFirst It's so easy to blow tons of money in RC stuff. Been there done that, hence why I try to control myself these days haha

speedhunters_dino
speedhunters_dino

 @Censport No I wanted to see it drift but it was entered by a friend of the owner so was only on display 

Tonioseven
Tonioseven

@mcastaway Gonna check it out. Thanks for the info!!

jake laird
jake laird

@FunctionFirst No, sir. If you pay attention, you'd realize that I only take a piss on the stupid styles, trends, and types of motorsport. For example, stance, drifting, etc. I like and enjoy many things, but SH often features stupid things like stance because they cater to the 16 year old Need for Speed crowd, hence why it seems like I hate everything. May The Lord bless you, Function First, ad well as all of your descendants and pet fish.

otar
otar

 @FunctionFirst people like you annoy me so much.

 

Just because you don't like a sport/style/trend/etc. doesn't make it a dumb one. I don't know where you think you have the authority to tell people what is right/wrong, especially in something that doesn't affect you at all. 

 

I mean, I don't think you'd want me saying that just because I don't like whatever you enjoy must mean it sucks. 

 

Or, to put it in another way, look at the Westboro baptist church. They are doing the same thing you are. Voicing their negative comments on subjects that don't affect them whatsoever(or very little). 

 

Also- those RC cars are awesome! Especially that e30


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