Yes we are back and this time its a very exciting time at 12Twentyfour. We have had the amazing opportunity to join up with Maiham Media for some model features. Who is Maiham??? Well they are a couple of guy that insane car nutters that travel the world filming and shooting the worlds best machines. Get a taste of they are about here: http://maiham-media.com/ some truly amazing work there. Some of you might recognise the work there as it has been on many famous car blogs and websites. I had the opportunity to chat to one of the heads of this media house Aaron Mia.
I headed to Japan in 2006 to experience the automotive culture and lifestyle that Japan is famous for. After a couple of months I decided I should be documenting some of the amazing cars that I was coming across on an almost weekly-basis.
Soon after picking up the photography bug I started Maiham Media with my good friend and business partner Luke Huxham who creates the wildest internet videos on earth. Since then the experience has been somewhat of a crazy JDM roller coaster with opportunities to visit amazing shops such as Liberty Walk, RAUH-Welt Begriff, Top Secret, Mazda Japan, Bee-R*, Nissan and the list goes on.
Having the opportunity to visit such shops is only providing more and more inspiration for the 1:24 scale builds that I undertake and am currently unsure whether my scale hobby is a good addiction or will totally take over my house!
So to get this rolling we jumped straight into Aaron’s latest build. Some Kenmeri goodness.
Japan is famous for shakotan builds, the old classic ‘kyusya’ are well documented on the net, but it’s not often you can come face to face with one outside a big car I had the chance to head down to Liberty Walk (more famous for it’s wild Lambos) and shoot this 4-door ‘Kenmeri’ for a magazine in New Zealand. While there the car grew on me and being a keen scale modeler I decided I wanted to try and build a little 1/24-scale version myself.I wasn’t sure how easy (or hard) recreating this car would end up being, until while browsing Hobbylink Japan’s website I came across the Aoshima 4-door ‘Gurachan’ kitset. After ticking that up, all I needed were police lights and the correct wheels. Luckily Aoshima patrol car parts B set, and a boso fender kit ended up netting me the SSR MkII wheels I needed. All that was left was to build the thing up.meet.
I started off by dealing with the chassis. Aoshima kits if built per the box with no modifications are pretty good for their stance however I wanted mine to be properly low so I took a little nick here and there out of the chassis to make sure the rear diff was basically sitting on the ground. Throwing away the metal axle I used a toothpick as a substitute.
The reason for the toothpick was that the pointed ends allowed me to alter the camber of the wheels without any cutting or bending to the kitset. Instant ‘onicamber’. To hold them on all I did was put a knob of ‘Blu-tac’ on the ends and the wheels would stick to the toothpick.
After the chassis and suspension was buttoned up I removed all the wheels so I could concentrate on the interior. I needed a few things that didn’t come in the kit, namely a roll cage, and some period correct bucket seats. Scratch-built roll caging was fitted up; while some historic Ford Escort RS1800 bucket seats were cut down to represent the old school seats in the 1:1 car. Add a little bit of colour printed chequer carpet and the interior was pretty much done.
Now the fun part started, the body first had to be cut back, well the wheel arches anyway. I did this with a dremel kit and a cutting blade. Much easier than sanding and filing, it was messy but took about 15 minutes. Now that the bodywork was beginning the million ‘test-fitting sessions’ began. I mocked up the suspension and wheels attached the body, and test fitted the fenders to ensure everything was going to line up. After some minor alterations I was happy with the stance and now I could lay some paint down.
White basecoat, with the black bottom. Finally it looked like a police car…well started to anyway. The biggest challenge with recreating this car was getting stickers done for it. A buddy of mine who was present at the shoot, and who is a full time signwriter; Lance Streeter, helped me out by creating some 1:24 scale shakotan police graphics. Super thin, and amazingly easy to work with they went on like a dream and really do finish off the car perfectly.
Lights were built up, the front grill was altered to ensure it was as close to the real thing as possible I was missing just one piece to the puzzle now – a KPGC Hakosuka wing. This quickly arrived courtesy of my buddy Marcus Lord just in time to go on with the tall yellow boso pipes that were made from the sprues that came with the kit.
All in all the build was a lot of fun, a little start and stop although scratch building is never meant to be straight forward. It’s nice to create something, which is a little different, and I hope the owner Kato-san is happy with the creation of his ‘Shakotan Police’ Kenmeri!
For more on this build check out : http://www.hobbylink.tv/aoshima-124-kenmeri-shakotan-police-liberty-walk
We would like to thank Aaron for taking time out of his busy schedule for us. Do keep your eyes peeled for more from him soon.