We met Luis Aguilar at a local AE86 owner gathering and immediately had our brains melted by his astounding 1:24 scale plastic models. It wasn’t just his tremendous attention to detail that caught our eye, but his highly accurate adherence to Japanese customizing styles. We’ll let Luis tell you about his cars in his own words. This is Part 02 of his story. — Ben
In scale form I have many kits of all makes and models: American hot rods, muscle cars, some Euros as well, but with Japanese cars being the majority of my collection. Most of my kits are 1:24 or 1:25 scale, but I have a few 1:12 and the more rare 1:16 and 1:20 scale kits too. I cannot say that I am influenced by just one style for my builds. It’s a mixture of a lot styles — kyuusha-kai, shakotan, bosozoku, drift and a bit of the performance side as well. I tend to throw in a bit of all that I like.
My building pace is really slow and I’m meticulous about how I build, so I have several work in progress builds. I have a tendency to put one aside and start on a new one. Some will understand how that is. Thank you, Ben, for giving me a chance to show some of my models and a big thanks to my wife and and kids for putting up with my addiction to things on wheels. Hope to be back again.
Datsun 280ZX, kit by USAirfix. This kit had one of the worst interior details as it’s meant to be motorized. The interior bucket was shallow to fit batteries underneath it. I cut it out and fit “normal” sized seats. A rear deck lid was made to replace the non-existent rear seats. A harness bar and strut bar were made for added detail. It also has a huge front-mount intercooler with a small takeyari tail pipe. The ride height is slammed to the max and it has plenty of oni-kyan. The paint is Tamiya Italian Red, and it’s not the cleanest or shiniest, but it was meant to look this way. I wanted it to look like a garage-built cruiser. Wheels are Aoshima SSR MkII on hippari tires.
D1GP Weld Toyota Mark II, kit by Aoshima. I built this for an online “stance” contest. The body kit was modded a bit. I added some extra material to the bottoms of the front bumper and side skirts to add some aggressive lowered effects. The paint is nail polish Mint Apple by Sinful Colors. Wheels are Aoshima Gartmier 5-spoke with added negative offset on hippari tires.
Datsun 510, kit by Revell. This was 10 years in the making. I started it back in 2002. I didn’t like how it looked so I boxed it up and it took a while before I started on it again. The base kit is a remake of Revell’s BRE kit minus the race parts.
The engine in this one is a scratch built and casted piece by Jimmy Nilan. It’s the OS Giken TC-16 MA2 mated to the base kit transmission. It sports dual side draft carbs and scratch built “snake den” header into a straight pipe exhaust. It has a front mount oil cooler that is plumbed from the oil cooler adapter sandwich to the remote oil filter and back to the engine’s oil pan.
The interior consists of some old school bucket seats with harness belts, back half roll cage, and gauge console from a NASCAR kit. The MSD box and wink mirror were both made from scratch. The outside mirrors are from a Impala kit and the rear underspoiler is from an R32 kit.
Hiding behind the Aoshima Techno Racing TVRs are a set of R32 brakes mounted to extended lower control arms. Front and rear sway bars were made from brass rod along with some front strut arms and steering capability which the original kit didn’t have. The paint was Tamiya wood deck tan with hints of brown for the rusty patina look. The style that I went with is that of a military man that was based in Japan and came back home to the States to his sitting 510 and decided to build it with influences that he saw out there.
In case you missed it, here’s Part 01 of this series. Special thanks to Luis Aguilar for sharing his amazing model kits and giving us some insight as to how these incredible models were created.