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1989 Nissan Skyline GT-R R32 - Bayside Blue Godzilla

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This build will hopefully take less than 10 years. Can’t promise though. 😊

Anyway….so after building that…lets call it “challenging” ABC Dino kit, I decided I needed to build something that actually fit right, didn’t have to be re-worked, and had plenty of reference material to build properly. So, old, well-fitting and nicely designed, trouble free Tamiya kit seemed like a good start, right?

Wanted something simple. Picked up this R32 kit on eBay the other day - always liked these Skylines, my brother had one back in the 90’s, and I currently am seriously considering bringing one to Texas. So this felt like a good choice:

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The kit itself requires no introduction, it did however arrive slightly damaged, with roof squished in, and radiator support bracket snapped. Had to repair both pillars and the bracket before proceeding – turned out just fine, luckily was a clean break:

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Body was primed with Tamiya grey, artifacts sanded off, ready for color coat:

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I picked Bayside Blue for the color, had the paint from Zero Paints sitting in the box for 10 years. Stunning color. Cleared with Dupont Chromaclear. Polished with Tamiya coarse, 3M finish, and Treatment model wax for shine.

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Had a few tiny specs land on the clear, but luckily was able to polish those out:

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Then long and tedious process of cleaning up all the parts – remove parting lines, fill the sink holes, cut the burrs – you know the drill. Bunch of black and aluminum/metal parts painted:

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Started with the engine. It’s a nicely designed powerplant, lacking detail by modern standards, but still good. I wish they would give the lettering in the middle of the cam cover as a decal, but they didn’t, had to paint it and well… I’m not very good at detail work anymore, came out ok I guess, filled in couple of letters there.

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Will spare you progress shots, but here are few pix of the engine before I stuffed it into the front subframe carrier – added some minor details like fuel rail, coil pack harness, couple of vacuum hoses, some hose clamps, etc.

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Surprisingly good level of engraving on some parts, but then its Tamiya after all. Engine is mounted on the subframe carrier:

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Next, I started working on the chassis. After studying several underside pictures, I painted it with some primer showing through in the mid-section, cause most cars I saw had that portion rustproofed or some such, and it was this grey-yellowish color, so I thought that was a good way to replicate that finish. Turned out great. Decided to add some heat shielding before installing the engine and suspension:

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Installed front subframe and other suspension bits in the front:

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Same with the rear suspension/fuel tank/exhaust :

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Overall, I think it looks great, will still add few bits here and there, but I’m trying not to get carried away, as this was planned as a “box-stock” kinda build….

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Finally, couple of the shots of the engine bay as it sits right now. A bit bare, but there are still a few additions that I plan to fill up the empty spots. There are few little bits that I have already added there – drilled out front shock mounts and added strut stocks sticking through, battery cables, etc.

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So this is where I am at the moment.

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I'm genuinely liking that so far it's a fairly stock GTR. Gives the big coupe a chance to shine on its own. The Bayside Blue works well as an R32 color too even though it's usually associated with R34's. Keep at it!

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Loving it! I'm a bit obsessed with skylines and have just completed two and have another 3 on the go. Despite this I haven't done one in Bayside blue yet so I might just have to make one more! XD

Can't wait to see it finished.

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10 minutes ago, SelineManson said:

Loving it! I'm a bit obsessed with skylines and have just completed two and have another 3 on the go. Despite this I haven't done one in Bayside blue yet so I might just have to make one more! XD

Can't wait to see it finished.

I built R34 V-Spec in Bayside ages ago (2002). Very nice color.

http://italianhorses.net/Gallery/Tamiya/TamR34/tamr34.htm

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Haha, yeah that's mine. I have not looked at that page in years, and just now realized how small the pictures are! I guess they were decent size for 2002!

Without getting too much off track here, I really need to re-do my website up to modern standards and update pictures to bigger sizes. If any of you web-design gurus out there have skill and ability to help - please PM me! Thanks!

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31 minutes ago, Italianhorses said:

Haha, yeah that's mine. I have not looked at that page in years, and just now realized how small the pictures are! I guess they were decent size for 2002!

Without getting too much off track here, I really need to re-do my website up to modern standards and update pictures to bigger sizes. If any of you web-design gurus out there have skill and ability to help - please PM me! Thanks!

I cant help you with the website stuff but your pictures really helped me with my first kit. They were perfectly big enough for my phone screen lol.

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Great start and progress on the R34. I love the color and the finish is the visual definition of "brilliance"!

I also like the panel lines. It can't be stressed enought how vital that is to a great, realistic-looking finish. The engine's coming along nice, too. Would be nice to see more builds of you again. Your website may be a bit outdated technical-wise, but the contents are still great to read and to look at. So rather spend your time on new projects... B)

 

 

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4 hours ago, Tommy124 said:

Great start and progress on the R34. I love the color and the finish is the visual definition of "brilliance"!

I also like the panel lines. It can't be stressed enought how vital that is to a great, realistic-looking finish. The engine's coming along nice, too. Would be nice to see more builds of you again. Your website may be a bit outdated technical-wise, but the contents are still great to read and to look at. So rather spend your time on new projects... B)

 

 

Thank you! Interesting you mention panel lines - except for re-scribing them a bit deeper before the primer (tamiya panel lines always felt a bit faint to me), I honestly have done nothing else to them. Darker paint color also helps, I think.

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Looking GREAT as usual!!,  Can I assume, that you like/need to build less detailed once in a while for a break?......because I sure do!

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1 hour ago, Dann Tier said:

Looking GREAT as usual!!,  Can I assume, that you like/need to build less detailed once in a while for a break?......because I sure do!

Thanks! 

Sure, I just took a 10 year long break! You know, totally burned out on those super-detail builds, had to walk away.... :) [/sarcasm font]

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1 hour ago, Italianhorses said:

Thanks! 

Sure, I just took a 10 year long break! You know, totally burned out on those super-detail builds, had to walk away.... :) [/sarcasm font]

Thank God there is someone else besides me who does this!! Unfortunately sometimes I feel like people are shocked, or disappointed when you don't do every build as a Uber-build,

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5 hours ago, Italianhorses said:

Thanks guys. I have more done, just need to take pictures - will update asap.

Looking forward to it!!

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With engine and chassis shaping up, I turned my attention to the interior. Very typical for 90’s kits from Japan, it’s a simplified interior tub, with almost no detail on the sides/door cards, one piece, with separate dash and front seats. Decided to go with regular Skyline grey color.

It was painted light grey, masked:

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Then sprayed with a bit darker grey, and then flocked. Missed the color on the base coat a bit for the flocking, but it is close enough. Flocked rear shelf too.

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And then I decided it was too bland and too grey. It was time to spice it up. Dashboard was painted and decaled, seats fitted with seatbelt latches.

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Then I realized that I misplaced the shifter, and it was gone. Looked in my spares box for something similar, but all were ill fitting. So, I decided to make one.

So, if you scratch building something – make it as real as possible, right? Measured the opening, made a plastic base for the shifter just the right side.

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Skived some black leather, made a rough template for the boot. Then I tried to make a knob from a plastic rod, but then I thought, how about some polished aluminum knob?

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Solid aluminum rod was slightly re-worked with metal files into a GT-R knob shape, and then I clamped into my Dremel and polished it – turned out quite nice.

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Shifter was assembled, and boot glued to the base, and the knob – turned out quite nice, and best part – it moves too, so if you are so inclined, you can imitate shifting!

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Then I switched my attention to the seatbelts – it would have been crazy not to make then now that I’ve made a working shifter, right? Front belts on the real car are mounted on the side of the car (b-pillar) but since R32 does not really have a pillar as such (frameless door windows) it has this tiny strip of blacked out glass where the assembly can be hidden.

To make it work on a model, I made these strips of plastic slightly narrower than the window part, glued a wire loop to put the belt through to the top:

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Painted them black, made some belt buckles. Looked in my spares for photoetched pieces, but then remembered recent conversation how a lot of PE parts look flat and not lifelike, and decided to go with a bit more 3D version.

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Decided to go with Motorsport red belts to break down the monotony of the black-grey boring interior. Glad I did. Front belts assembled.

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Rear belts were easy – just glued to the back seat. I later made little belt retainers and glued them to the rear seat (seen later in completed interior pictures)

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Next I needed to glue the fronts so they would line up properly to the side window strip. Constantly checking for correct placement and incline, I glued the belts to the interior tub:

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This is how it looks from the outside:

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Finally, I couldn’t stand bare door cards, but didn’t want to redo the whole thing at this point I simply didn’t have it in me! So, I made some door handles and little door pulls to make it look a bit more realistic.

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Everything was put together, test fitted, touched up – interior is now ready to go.

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Alex,

For just getting back into building again after your absence, 

Doesn't look like you've lost much if any of your skills.

Trevor

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1 minute ago, porschercr said:

Alex,

For just getting back into building again after your absence, 

Doesn't look like you've lost much if any of your skills.

Trevor

Thanks! I guess its like riding a bicycle, you know?

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There is a lot of good stuff going on here, Alex!!  -First off, I think the carpet kolor works VERY well!!…..did you mix it yourself?!, and secondly, if you are referring to our chatt about the unnecessary/unrealistic use of PE stuff, Seat buckle sets are obviously fine, and realistic. My main example was those horribly flat, and totally unrealistic DM battery clamps. The seatbelt hardware you SB looks awesome!!, I always loved checking out how you made things on your interweb page!!

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