Car Modeling On Another Level
Mind-Blowing Scale Auto Art

In my first story from the 2015 Shizuoka Hobby Show, I gave you guys the basic rundown of this very special event. If you read that, you’ll remember I said I was actually saving the really cool stuff for the next story. Well, this is that post.

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I’m talking about the modeler’s club displays – a huge area where modeling clubs and organizations from all over Japan brought out their expertly-built models and custom projects to share with the thousands of showgoers who came through the Shizuoka Twin Messe over the weekend.

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Sure, these might have been scale replicas rather than real vehicles, but I’m not exaggerating one bit when I say this was legitimately one of the most impressive things I’ve ever seen while working as a Speedhunter.

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It doesn’t matter whether you’re into building or collecting models yourself, the stuff being shown here was jaw-dropping. In fact, for someone like me who struggles to build models without getting glue all over the place and screwing up the decals, it was all the more impressive. There’s a lot to show here, so let’s not waste any time in getting started.

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Let’s begin with a modeling club called 1/24 Motoring. These guys have a their fingers firmly placed on the pulse of car culture both in Japan and abroad, and their highly-detailed, custom-built models perfectly replicate what’s going in the world of real cars.

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Among their large display of models was an amazing diorama of a VIP car meet, complete with Nobori flags and models representing several different styles of custom luxury sedans.

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Each and every car was perfectly modeled after the actual VIP machines you’ll find at an event. Check out that camber!

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Hmm, this thing looks quite similar to the Odyssey I spotted at Wekfest Japan earlier this month. Many of the cars that 1/24 Motoring build are actual replicas of specifc cars from Japan and the US.

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This one should be immediately recognizable as Akira Nakai’s RWB Rotana Porsche 993. Every last detail was present and accounted for.

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And just as we like to swap engines in our real cars, these guys like do it with their scale models. Check out this Miata with a GM LS V8 sitting in its engine bay.

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Modeling also gives builders a chance to play around with different ideas and build things that might not be possible in real life. A slammed Mac Tools delivery van for example.

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Or how about an AMC Gremlin with a shakotan ride height, wide wheels, a full rollcage and a Dodge Viper V10 wedged into its engine bay. This stuff is amazing!

Setting The Scene
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In many cases, the modeling went beyond just highly detailed cars and trucks. Some builders chose to make their vehicles parts of dioramas that represent colorful vignettes of car life.

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Here we have a Hakosuka Skyline rusting away beneath a cherry blossom tree. Check out the details like the bent hood and bricks holding up the rear end.

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The great thing about these dioramas is their simplicity. As basic as it is, this scene of a Honda City sitting outside a family restaurant will surely spark many nostalgic recollections of 1980s Japan.

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The builders have gone as far as modeling the cars to be dirty and worn, and if you look at this one using Presentation Mode, you’ll even notice pieces of trash in the interior. I’m guessing the owner of this Civic is a college student.

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Even a scene as simple as a guy washing his Volkswagen Beetle can inspire awe when you see it painstakingly modeled in 1:24 scale. You can’t help but smile.

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Here we have a scene from the Japanese cop show Abunai Deka, with badass detectives Takayama and Oshita chasing down a perp’ with their F31 Nissan Leopard.

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Motorsports dioramas were also popular, with some builders choosing to recreate classic scenes from racing history – like this grid scene complete with a Porsche 917LH and a Matra.

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It was especially cool to see people applying techniques from military diorama construction into motorsport scenes, like this World Rally Championship MINI splashing across a river.

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And how about this stunning scene of a Lancia Stratos ripping across the gravel during the 1975 Safari Rally in Africa. From the dirt caked on the windshield to the massive cloud of dust out the back, it was one of the most impressive miniature recreations I’ve ever seen.

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Since we are officially living in the future now, it was only fitting to have this diorama showing Marty and Doc in Back To The Future II’s 2015.

Anything Is Possible
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It wasn’t the only BTTF model on display either. I also found this vision of what might have happened if Doc Brown decided to build his time machine out of a Lamborghini Countach rather than a DeLorean DMC-12.

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Again, one of the coolest things about car modeling is how you can do stuff that would be difficult, or perhaps even impossible to pull-off in real life. A Lotus Elan slammed over a set of SSR Star Sharks for example.

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Or how about this? It’s a 1:18 scale 1970s Subaru R2 built in the style of an Impreza STI works tarmac rally car.

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The over-fenders and the custom carb setup were CAD modeled before being manufactured using a 3D printer. A nice peak at what the future might have in store for custom model building.

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A Fairlady Z32 with a Nissan race V12 swap? It’s probably not likely to happen in real life, but in scale form, nothing is off limits.

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Check out this Nissan Sunny Truck on RS Watanabes with a turbo rotary engine swap and a set of TE37s in the bed for good measure. Love it!

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Another super-cool build was this nostalgic funny car with Celica liftback bodywork. Of course, the body flipped up to reveal a fully-detailed nitro V8 powertrain.

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Ever wondered what a first generation Celica coupe would look like with a Rocket Bunny kit? Well, wonder no more…

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While some models impressed with their imaginative and unusual designs, others wowed by having incredible amounts of detail. It’s hard for photographs to do them justice.

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This 1:12 scale Tamiya Porsche 935 Turbo had insane detail, and even featured cut-away body panels to fully expose the amazing craftsmanship inside.

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Just as I know I’ll never be able to hit a baseball out of an MLB ballpark or dunk on an NBA hoop, I know I’ll never be capable of modeling like this. It’s unreal.

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Scale examples of Japanese Dekotora also had a strong presence at the show, with the most impressive being these huge models with onboard sound effects, LED lights, fully modeled interiors and more.

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I know this really just scratches the surface of the amazing craftsmanship and artistry on display at the Shizuoka Hobby Show this year, so I’ve included an extra large selection of bonus images in the next chapter that will hopefully convey just how great this was.

Next time I’ll be back with a look at some of the incredible Kaido Racer and Kyusha models that were being shown.

Mike Garrett
Instagram: speedhunters_mike
mike@speedhunters.com

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92 comments

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1

best. post. ever.

2

@SW1 I thought it was The Greatest Car Meet Ever. Well I guess I spoke too soon. That, or it's a tie.

3

All of these models are beyond me. It's like taking a picture of a picture!!! Incredible stuff.

4

Hell ya.

5

I have a few custom 1/18's but nothing to THAT extent

6

Never in my life have I seen such vast variety and detail, it's amazing!!!!!

7
The average guy

the smoke cloud and the water splash at the rally machines are pretty amazing.

8

ChrisRacer1 That's still very cool - thanks for sharing!

9
Jeroen Willemsen

Jaw dropped Mike, amazing stuff!

10

incredible cars! so hot!
my current build

11
Chris 'Haffy' Hafner

Absolutely blown away.

12
JuanPabloCarreraManciati

This is amazing ! so much effort in each car ! Thanks for posting this !

13

I want to get to this stage of modelling for my RC Drift car - that would be amazing

14

I couldn't contain myself in a place like this

15

Hi ..... Chris this LAMBO ia for sale? Is aweosome

16

This is my private colection

17
EktorasPapageorgiou

But, do they roll? The child inside me asks...

18

THIS... IS... MADNESS!!!

19

How'd you get all the turbo stuff? Custom made?

20
Danger_Drew_4h30

This makes me feel like crap when looking at my builds...

21
Guransh Singh

I must order one

22
Chasseur de vitesse

So impressive, but that Escort Cosworth in the first bonus image must be the result of someone's imagination...surely?

23

that lancia...whooowee

24
EricSeanDelaney

I always buy model kits with the intention of doing my best to finish them right, then I get done with page one and give up. But at least the boxes are cool.

25
KarelKazSysala

This is just amazing what people can do... I got few 1/18 Muscle cars,basically all i do to my cars is just make them sit right,plus wheel swaps...Currently buildin that red SVO Fox to a fun street machine,still waiting for engine

26

As a professional scale modeler and intimately familiar...I'm jealous you got to attend Shizuoka! A modeler's mecca...thx for sharing!

27

Absolutely Mindblowing. Can't find words. Perfect in detail and i can't stop watching the Pictures.
I love the Honda McLaren F1 Cars.What Scale are they?

28

I was definitely too cool to look at this post...
Then I saw the John Player Special Lotus!

baaauuuuuwwhdudh...jaw hit the floor.

29

norton_tk おめでとうございます!

30

norton_tk これは嬉しい!

31

Awesome hobby. Heres a few of mine. @508boricua

32

I spotted Girls und Panzer RX-7 and Railgun dragster..

33

508boricua These are fantastic. Thank-you for sharing!

35

One of the best events for scale modling, hands down.

Here is my contribution!

36

These are just amazing!

37

508boricua Awesome work !
Where do you get all the cool custom parts, like the wide wheels etc?

38

Danger_Drew_4h30 Thats a Good Model Bro

39

Modeling level: Japan

40

ChrisRacer1 underground racing as your inspiration???? that is  soooo bad ass.... i'd leave the bumper off permanently

41

the diorama build in the opening is amazing. the way they were able to capture the dirt spraying... and the weathering... i've only seen this type of work done to gundam dioramas but not cars. very stunning. they are truly the masters of modeling dioramas.

42

Another year of amazing builds displayed at Shizouka, it's a dream come true for any modeller to visit such a wonderful show. Thanks SpeedHunters for this post, which gives us an excellent view at what was displayed exactly.

This is my latest build, an Aoshima Toyota 86: http://www.freewebs.com/briffak/toyota86.htm

Karl

43

Bro5 508boricua Thanks man. Most of the wide wheels are custom made by re barreling them. The wheels on the AE86 and Rocket Bunny are custom made one off's and the DBS has stock wheels with staggered lips added. You will find the occasional wheels like Aoshima Kei sets that are wide with stretched rubber. Google Aoshima wheels, you'll find something you'll like for sure.

44

Speedhunters 508boricua Thanks! Big fan of you guy's . You guy's have the best site out there. Always diverse with your articles, a car lovers daily go to.

45

gotta love those weathered and battered cars on display (my fave is the stratos).  another nice 1/24 article mike! :)

46

ScaleCarCollection awesome 86, karl!

47

nugundam93 Thank you, that is very much appreciated. I'm glad you like my 86 build :)

48

Wow, the BTTF Countach just WORKS!

49

I didn't even know a V10 swapped Gremlin was something I wanted until now. Oh and how do I want one!

50

PowerTryp Make it happen!

51

Ice Age Agreed. Looks so natural.

52

nugundam93 Glad ya liked it :)

53

ScaleCarCollection Very nice! Glad you enjoyed the coverage :)

54

d_rav Yeah it was amazing. Some of the military modelers also did some similar tricks to make it look like tanks were firing their weapons and such.

55

LouisSoon That's a good way to put it haha.

56

Wildcardfox That sums up my feelings as well.

57

ErasmoRios Nice work!

58

508boricua Hot stuff.

59

508boricua Hot stuff.

60

@THE GRINCH The detail on that JPS was unreal!

61

mitsubishi58 They were large. 1:12 maybe? I'm sure one of the expert modelers here knows better than I do.

62

MRinaldi You should come see it!

63

KarelKazSysala Nicely done.

64

EricSeanDelaney That's more or less what happens with me as well. Still love seeing other people's talent though.

65

@Chasseur de vitesse Yep, such is the beauty of all this. No harm done at all.

66

Danger_Drew_4h30 Much better than I could do I'm sure.

67

EktorasPapageorgiou Next time I'll ask the builders if I can play with them a bit ;)

68

LukeEVOVIII Good luck!

69

JuanPabloCarreraManciati No problem. Happy to hear you liked it.

70

Chris 'Haffy' Hafner Yep. That's how I felt too.

71

RiZ444 Looking good.

72

@Jeroen Willemsen Thanks man!

73

The average guy Bringin' em to life!

74

UWerqxTeam_MJ Agreed haha.

75

UWerqxTeam_MJ Too much cool stuff eh? Glad I could help.

76

Awesome article Mike! I was an avid die cast collector/customiser as a kid, and have recently been back in to it when I can find the time. Naturally I am drawn to start dabbling in the 1/24 world, the amount of detail is just unbelievable, especially when you see builders taking a unique approach to something. So many great examples here.

77

I did the other patrol car from Abunai Deka recently. And here is a few more ive done. Hit me up on Facebook as Clay Davis say Speedhunters sent you.

78

I HATE IT.......when these features end, I can never get enough of the scale models and drift cars. So cool!

79

Got a new project.

80

Needs more dekotora! 
<iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/mpRiyEnvcx8" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

<iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/EsoYCUXgJsM" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

81

Mike Garrett Thanks Mike, I'm glad you like my Aoshima 86 :) Yeah I definitely enjoyed the coverage, and from the amount of shares I've seen on fb from other modellers, I'm sure every person in this hobby enjoyed it too. Thanks once again Mike and keep it up!

82
MAXIMUMatttack

I want some. 4door r31. Jzx81.

83

Loved the details! One can go crazy seeing these things!

84
tenpennyjimmy

Ha ha I actually fell for (as in thought for a second i was looking at a real lorry) the dekotoras… twice!

Wicked post, thank you Mr Garrett. "Since we are officially living in the future now" also made me laugh, while fact-checking what year BTTF II was set in ;)

Do you think sometimes the influence goes the other way ie real car builders getting inspiration from model car builders? It wouldn't surprise me...

85

Hi. I see some of my peers in here so I figured I'd join in...

86

gimme all dat shit nao

87
Slappy_Pistons

MY GOD.

Look what they did.  I mean, you're right even beetlewash.jpg is ridiculously good.


#kidinacandystore #contentapproved

88

Mike what kind of car is that in front of the rwb porsche (rotana)?

89

Mike Garrett Maybe a silly question and maybe it is already answered in the other article (reading these in reverse order), but do any of the show participants ever sell their completed models?  Because I see quite a few that I would be happy to shell out good money for, as most (read: all) of these are well beyond my skill and patience level.

90

Itasha spotte....the animes are from Super Sonico, Girls Und Panzer and To Aru series (i.e. To Aru Kagaku no Railgun)

91

i wish i was der

92

want to buy a set of those who can i contact

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