Rocket bunny. The company that has really taken the world by storm in the after market tuning sector. The infamous 86 rocket bunny took the world by storm and soon after they released the 380zx body kit. Its wild and something fresh. Its a new take one the 200sx and the cherry on top of this car is that amazing GTR motor. Now when these amazing body kits are released its only natural that in the model world, we want them too. We fortunately there’s the company called eightyone81. Yes that name has been mentioned a lot but that’s because these guys are on the ball. The latest and greatest kits coming out of Japan these guys have their prototypes going. Roy is also not unfamiliar with 81’s kits as we featured his 86 bunny not too long ago. Again Roy blows us away with the amount of details added so the overall finish of the build. Lets hear more from the model master about the build:
This kit initially started off as a Tamiya 180sx that was purchased alongside the coveted Ben Sopra x Greddy x Rocket Bunny 380sx widebody kit and resin engine kit from Factory EightyOne. The kit came with the bumpers, front and rear diffuser, front and rear fenders, spoiler, wheels/tires, an entirely new interior tub with removable rollcage, a VR38DETT engine along with so much more. The trans-kit is very well detailed and is an overall excellent quality kit, very big thanks to Thomas Wong and Toppi for doing this kit up right.
Along with the modifications I had to make to fit the trans-kit, the kit was heavily modified and super detailed. I truthfully lost count of the amount of scratchbuilding I put into this model, along with the amount of working and reworking of custom parts I built.
I modified the VR38 engine by removing the cast-in manifolds and building tubular TRUST style manifolds to reach the custom GReddy 25g turbos and the custom made twin GReddy Type-R wastegates, with the manifold ending with a heatwrap and wash to simulate classic DEI heatwrap. The boost flows through 3in scale piping with simulated weld beads and couplers (some piping is even heat wrapped just like the 1:1 380sx), and excess pressure is bypassed and dumped out external wastegate tubes below the chassis. In order to seat the twin-entry intercooler, I used styrene to build the bumper support added by Ben Sopra, and then added mounting tabs to the intercooler.
The building doesn’t end there, the coolant reservoir was modified, air diversion panels were made for the radiator and intercooler, reservoir bracket for the front case, oil dipstick, radiator hoses both upper and lower, and oil feed lines were added to the turbos.
After several photos and many hours of research, I was also able to scratchbuild the R32 GTR brake booster and master cylinder used for the VR38 swap. It’s hard to see, but there’s also a brake reservoir there, as well as many hoses and wiring harnesses.
I ended up building the Full Stage catch tank twice, the first venture proved too large. It is also painted with Alclad Polished Aluminum and then hand detailed with the Full Stage logo. Near the catch tank is a distribution block, and also some heat shielding for each turbo.
Moving away from the engine bay, on the interior we have several other detailed items. The massively detailed fuel system stands out the most, it is correctly plumbed with aluminum line and fittings from aluminum and hex styrene. The fuel cell is detailed as well. Each fuel pump is individually wired with a power and ground, and each pumps harness runs to the man harness, which also snakes back to ground at the cell. In the center of the setup is a hand built swirl pot and bracket, and the first cylinder in the fuel system is a custom built inline fuel filter. The hard fuel lines are then thermal wrapped and ziptied and exit through the floor.
Behind the passenger seat is an air tank that was hand built from styrene tube with very thin styrene rod ‘welded’ around the tube and the ends capped, and feeding the air tank is a coiled yellow fill hose made from thing gauge wire and airbrushed with Tamiya Lemon yellow. There is a light weight metal plate beneath the steering wheel, a pedal assembly, and the VIPEC v88 ecu/relay box on the passenger side, and even though it’s near impossible to see, there is a RacePak display and twin widebands nestled inside the instrument cluster.
It doesn’t stop there. Flip the model over and there is detail to be found. The twin exit wastegate dump tubes are evident up front, and if you peer through the k-member, you’ll see that I have handbuilt the sumped portion of the oil pan on the VR38. Follow the massive 3in straight pipe exhaust from the turbos underneath the car, you’ll notice a few things, 1) the classic style DEI heatwrap, 2) the v-band and 2-bolt exhaust flanges used to fasten the exhaust, and 3) the exhaust hangers even with real rubber hangers attached, all out to the angled dual tips.
I purchased this model close to the beginning of the year, and as far as I know, aside from Toppi/Thomas, this is the only other finished 380sx. It is one of my crowning achievements, and even with all of the detailing I still find things I wish I would have done, but I could have literally spent the rest of the year adding finishing touch after finishing touch. As with every kit there were a few hold ups and some things that made me never want to pick up a scale model again, but thankfully I managed to not Hulk-smash it into millions of styrene particles.
I would like to thank a few people for helping make this build happen. First I’d like to thank Thomas Wong and Toppi over at Factory EightyOne, without them obviously this kit would not be here, and even without the extras I incorporated, they have made a very killer kit that I would gladly build again; so thank you guys <3. Next I’d like to thank all my buddies over at the Wheel House (Michael, Dave, James, Jonathan, Donnie, Punch, Jaime and everyone else that I’m probably forgetting at 4am), Bryson Wong and Wan Nob for encouragement and kind words, and of course my good buddy Raees Amien for making this article happen (and hopefully along with many many more) and for all the help and support you’ve provided for me. You guys have all been great friends and inspiration. And saving the best for last, my wonderful girlfriend Kimberly who put up with many nights of falling asleep on the couch while I needed “just a few more minutes, my fingers are glued together,” and from keeping me from over indulging in models while this thing was nearing completion. Thank you, dear 🙂
I hope that’s everything, sorry if I’ve left anyone out, I could go on for days about moral support, but if I have, then thank you again. I hope you enjoy seeing this scale replica.