Builder Spotlight: Del Gonzales Part 1

I met Del on a model car forum roughly 4 years ago. Been in contact with him through social media ever since. He has built many great models over the years. All of them with unique style and flare that he can call his own.

From old school to new school, street cruisers to track bruisers he can pull it off with out a sweat..I only say that cause their nicely done and he makes it look easy.

Here’s a bit about Del and what he loves.

“Hey Luis,
First off I want to thank you for considering my builds. I’m no pro by far but this is what I enjoy doing in my spare time. I’ve been into imports since I can remember, but for a long time you couldn’t get any Japanese models. I remember the first time I came across my first fujimi kit, an AE86 Levin. I couldn’t believe it. I ordered almost anything I could get from my local hobby shop. That was in the late 80′s. I’ve built kit’s on and off all my life. The first kit I ever did was an El camino in the 70′s, lol tell’s you I’m old. Now with the internet and online shopping you can get anything and for about 3 years now I’ve been building quite a collection of kit’s. My wife keeps warning me, lol! In my lifetime I’ve had almost every classic you can think of, 78 celica, 78 and 79 corolla, 79 mazda GLC with a 12A, 81 starlet, 83 corolla, 85 AE85 SR-5, 3 S-13′s 1 S-14. But my pride and joy was my 80 quad light corolla. This car caused me a divorce, lol! I drag raced it back in the mid to late 90′s. Ran 11.50′s all day with a built 3TC and a 150 shot. Now I’m currently on my second WRX with enough mods to get out of it’s own way. Anyhow,here are some fotos of some builds. Most you’ve seen before including my 510 and others are recent. Again I want to say thanks and let me know if you need anything else.

Del”

Now onto the builds. This might have to be a 2 parter as there are many many great pictures of his builds. I’ll kick of with the old school builds first.

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This is where I’ll end Part 1. As you can see, there is plenty of eye candy, got some of the new school and a few track ready builds coming on Part 2.

Stay tuned and thank you for passing by.

TE71 Part:3 All the small things…

The saying “it’s all in the details” can pertain to just about anything. When it comes to models details are often left out that can make it less desirable to purchase. With a little bit of practice, plenty if reference material, building material and some patience, anything can be made or added to improve the looks of that vaguely detailed kit.
I try to take as many photos as possible. But often I just get in the zone that I completely forget to do so. Although I might be missing a few steps on how do some parts, I think I can talk through the steps.

For the spoiler you can use a notecard or any kind of card stock to make the initial shape. Make it oversized so you can shape it to your desired look.

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Next you trace it onto some styrene. I used some that’s roughly 1/16 of an inch.

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After you have traced it, cut out the pattern. I used some scissors used for photo etched parts as they are really sharpe. Watch your fingers.
Once you cut it, you can then take 320 grit sand paper and shape it to your desired look.
Here’s what I came out with when I sanded my piece. It’s not the final look, but close to it.

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Now for the sides and the area by the tires I use a styrene stripe. This time it was the 1/4″wide x 3/32″ thick.
With these I used a small flat file to shape it to it’s final look. I’ll then use Tamiya poly putty to smooth out some areas.

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I then capped of the back side using the same stripe and file to shape it.

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For glue I used Pegasus CA glue AKA “crazy glue” and some insta-cure to quicken the drying time. You can spray it on, but I feel as if it wastes it and get all over. So I used an old knife and use it like a dip-n-dab stick. (I’ll snap a pic of these and other items I have used later)

Since I’ll be running this chin spoiler up front, I had to do something for the rear. I wanted to make a trunk wing from styrene, but it didn’t work out so well. So I used some Tamiya 2-part epoxy putty, quick curing time. I saw retro-garage had made one that had the Rocket Bunny style going on, which was what I wanted to do, so I used theirs as a reference.

I got somewhat close to how I wanted it shaped. (Big blob lol) What mattered to me is that it sat flush to the trunk lid as it’s contoured along the top and backside.

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After letting the putty cure a few days cause it’s fairly thick. I took a craft saw to cut off the excess putty from the top. This also gave me a straight edge.
After sanding it with 320 grit to get the shape, I have this. It still needs a bit more work to smooth it over, but I’m happy with the shape.

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Now I can use the bench seat looking rear bumper, or even make the shorty metal bumper, but I like the bumper-less look on these corollas.

There is no detail on the body that resembles the bare rear panel (refer to last pic with wing), so I decided to give it that detail.

I used a pin vise and drilled out some holes to make the square holes. I used a small square file and flat file to square them off. For the smaller squares, I put a thin piece of styrene stripe on the back side to enclose them. On the corners where the bumper would sit. I added some putty to fill is the edges as they are not as defined on the real thing. Also trimming back the bottom step by where the muffler sits adds a better look to it. There’s also a piece of styrene to resemble the brace for the bumper skin.

Reference pic via, the web.
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What I managed to pull off. Fairly close.

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Now in some of the pics I have muffler can mounted. It was kind of the route I wanted to go, but I didn’t like this shape. It was a bit odd after looking at it for a while. I wanted an Apex-i style canister, but I actually don’t have any material that comes close to making one. So I decided on a Buddy Club Spec-II over diff. Some styrene tube and a small piece of aluminum tubing i got this. I used a small candle to soften the styrene tube to be able to shape it this way. It’s a bit tricky, cause if you get it to hot it caves in or it doesn’t keep it’s round shape. I would normally use solid rod for this, but I didn’t have any that slipped into the alum tip.
The aluminum piece is sanded with 2000 grit to smooth and remove the small pores in the raw aluminum and then I using Blue Magic alloy polishing compound, it shines it up real nice.

I used what I believe was .035 dia styrene rod for the hanger. I just drill a hole on the chassis to glue onto place on the final build up.

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This is where I’ll leave this at. I know I mentioned interior pics in partII, but I think I’ll leave that for another part.

Stay tuned and than you for passing by.

From Ukraine with Love, Builder Spot Light

There are many builders world wide that are amazing and thanks to model car forums and social media I have had an opportunity to speak to many of them. Slowly I will try to get as many as I can featured on here. The first will be Sasha Vlasov.

I’ve been following (as best as possible) “Sasha” Vlasov’s builds for a while now. I ran into him on a model car forum a few years back, which then in turn we bumped into each other on Facebook. His style of building is definitely both unique and eye catching. The attention to detail he puts into his builds are amazing.

Sasha currently has a Rocket Bunny kited Toyota 86 and a Liberty Walk Ken & Mary Skyline in the works with his touch, which I’ll show you in a bit. But first a few words from Sasha and some pics of his older builds.

“My name is Vlasov Oleksandr, I’m 20 years old from Ukraine, Mykolaiv city.
Learning design at the University of Culture.

During the last five years began to seriously pursue the construction of scale models.
In this case, most of all love to do more detailed engine compartment and engine.
Constantly trying to improve the quality and detailing what I’m doing.
Tanks to my father, since childhood I love old japan cars, especially Toyota, and Nissan.
This is evident in my models)”

This is his Tamiya hakosuka. The exterior received some hand made fender flares made from 2 part epoxy putty. The interior is a back half gutting with a back half roll bars. The front sports the factory bucket seats, dash and steering wheel. The engine bay got some extra details in the form of wiring of the battery, spark plug wires and fuel line plumbing giving it a realistic look.

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Pictured here are the Supra and 300zx that caught my eye years ago.

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This Aoshima AE86 is currently taking on a new look. This is a before pic.

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And this is the current status. Looking forward to it being done.

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An aoshima N2 AE86 also in the works

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Along with this crazy looking Toyota Hiace van with a scratch built roll cage.

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Here’s his Aoshima Rocket Bunny build. Lots of extra details went into the engine bay compartment. The choice of engine could have easily been a 2JZ from a supra, or even a Chevy LS. But you have to remember that he loves Toyotas. So he decided to scratch build a Beams 3SGTE. Which honestly is the direction Toyota should have gone

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If you are familiar with the Hilux from Engineered To Slide, then you will know that it has inspired him to build this Hilux.

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His latest is another Aoshima kit, the Liberty Walk Ken & Mary Skyline. This one will have full engine bay detail with an L28. It will be a replica of Kato sans Skyline.

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Although theses are all works in progress, they already look like masterpieces. Once they are done, I will be featuring them on here.

Thanks for stopping by.

1/12 Hasegawa rx7

The mighty 1/12 Rx7.  For quite a few of you a kit that you probably never heard about, for some it’s only something they have seen rarely in pictures. Well it is true it is one of those unicorn kits, along with the 1/12 nsx and 1/12 300zx, that every now and again. The reason for that is Hasegawa stopped producing it years ago and even then not many were produced. Another major reason is that Hasegawa actually closed down a few years back so these have become highly sought after stuff.The Rx7 is a beautifully elegant machine. Its form vs function look and amazing engine made it an extremely popular car. Its a pity that the kit wasn’t as readily available.

Now after many many years of searching I have been very fortunate to finally have my own. This was one of my unicorn kits and it really does feel amazing to finally have one. But you get the slight feeling that you may be disappointed, similar to don’t drive your hero scenario. yes I know these do fetch really crazy prices at times but is it worth it?? Well in my mind yes and no. No mainly because for that price ( anywhere from $250-$400 for the red) you could buy two 1/12 Tamiya Datsuns. however with that being said there is a few yes’s that make it well worth it. For one its a 1/12 rx7. It’s massive and for any builder that loves Jap cars its a dream. The proportions are great and so is the casting. No flash what so ever and thought has been put into things like how big mold lines are on the body. I have yet to go through the instructions as yet so I cannot answer the question of whether the suspension moves etc but there are springs that are in the packet so I guess that’s a good sign.

So lets have a look.

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Yes the box is massive

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Unfortuantly the seat and dash came off during post but luckily no damage.

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As you can see the parts are layed out quite nicely.

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The business part of the kit, the motor. Really a good job done on the motor and compared to the fujimi skyline there are a few more parts in that area.

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I have yet to test the fitment of the body panels but fellow builder did mention that it was good.

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Now this is a very special book. This explains every detail of the rx7 ( although it is in Japanese) along with great pictures for references. This will come in handy when building.

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i love the fact that the windows are prepainted.

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The glass parts were done very well with no haze in them.

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This bag contains the hoses and a white metal intake for the motor.

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The tires, although small, are done with a soft rubber and have been casted with the highest detail.

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The body has been crafted to perfection. It really is a job well done. The body is made from ABS plastic and is quite rigid compared to the 1/12 skyline. It has a decent weight to it as well.

If Im not mistaken I think this is the first that the kit has been reviewed and I do hope that I have done justice. This is really an amazing kit with lots of potential to be even better.

For those who want to find one the best i can tell you is eBay. I have added a link to one currently for sale ( the black edition even more rare).

http://www.ebay.com/itm/HASEGAWA-1-12-Mazda-fini-infini-RX-7-TypeX-Black-LTD-NM-/151151786637?pt=Model_Kit_US&hash=item2331593a8d

Thank you