Well this is my first entry for this new blog – thanks to the GTROC for inspiring me to go ahead with this project!
A bit of background – this blog will be about my journey “building” my own model R35 GT-R. Ok, to be precise, it is a 1/8 scale model, but it will be a build nonetheless (completed it will be almost 60cm long and weigh around 10kg!). But this is not just another plastic model kit, similar to those we all built as kids growing up. This my friends is something quite different.
In Japan, there is something which I will call the “weekly subscription DIY scale craft model.” Basically, a specialist publisher will take a popular object – in the past I have seen classic steam locomotives, cars, military vehicles and naval ships, anime robots, motorcycles, racing cars, etc. – and create a large scale, extremely detailed metal and plastic model, which is then broken down into several hundred pieces, for assembly by the “subscriber.”
Here is a link to a well known publisher in Japan and its offerings:
(for us car guys – yes, there is a Toyota 2000GT, 2007 Ferrari F1 car, etc. But note there are also CD and DVD collections in addition to these build it yourself kits). And actually, the publisher who is doing this R35 kit is a British company, Eaglemoss Collections. Check out their offerings, especially that James Bond Aston Martin! http://eaglemoss.com/
Each week, the subscriber gets a few select parts – for example the disc brake assembly on a car, or the wheel of a motorcycle (depending on the kit of course), along with highly technical magazine with information about the subject being built. Such information might include history, engineering items, and also information specific to the part for that week. So, for example, if I get the Brembo brake caliper of the GT-R one week, there would be a bit of background on how the Brembo caliper was used on the GT-R, why it was selected, etc.
The subscription continues until the object is finished. In this case, the GT-R is a 100 week series, so it will take me almost TWO years to finish this model! Here is a full list (in Japanese, sorry) of the 100 weeks of parts:
And what kind of model do you get in the end?
Something fully authorized and licensed by Nissan. With working headlights, brakelights, opening doors, bonnet, trunk and fuel filler lid:
and of course interior bits such as a steering wheel that turns the front wheels, specially lit instrument panel, front seats that actually slide back and forth, moveable sun visors, and interior lighting that lights up when the doors are opened.
Truth be told, when the GTROC guys were here in Japan for the Tokyo Auto Salon, we found a booth that was selling GT-R Volume 01, and after explaining the concept of the weekly subscription DIY scale craft model, Fuggles, Geetak and Roger convinced me that it might be a worthwhile project for me to take on. Even if it does take me 2 years…
So, I signed up, and look what arrived in the post today:
Yep, FIVE weeks worth (the series started in January)! Obviously I will be doing my best to catch up over the next two weeks….
Here is a look at the contents of the magazine in Volume 1.
As you can see, each week the magazine portion will contain the following 5 chapters:
1) R35 GT-R Story
2) Mechanism and Factory
3) Racing Legend
4) How to Build
5) History of Nissan
Obviously, translating everything will be time prohibitive, so I will endeavor instead to simply give a one to three paragraph summary for each section, as appropriate. Readers who have questions can do so via the comments section at the bottom of the blog page.
So stay tuned for Volume 1 – where I will assemble the Front Bumper, Grill and GT-R Emblem!
PS: As a preview of what’s to come – here is a photo of the parts included in Volumes 2-5: