Cars

Tamiya Subaru BRZ Street Custom + C1 Models BLITZ Transkit

 

I’ve built a Rocket Bunny Scion FR-S before…but never a Subaru BRZ. So this is a totally different build of a totally different car. Right? That’s how this works?

The FR-S has actually since been taken apart for parts since I wasn’t very happy with how that build turned out – eventually I’ll be rebuilding it (maybe with a different widebody) but I’ve always intended to have Subaru’s side of the RWD compact sport coupe represented in my collection anyway, so here it is. I’m still holding true to my rule of all Subarus I build be World Rally Blue with gold wheels – some things will never change.

I only picked up the illustrious “Street Custom” variant of Tamiya’s BRZ because it happened to be on heavy discount at my local hobby shop. I could have cared less if I had gotten the regular release instead, since with the plans I had in store for this car, I wouldn’t have made use of much or any of the actual Street Custom aero anyway.

I was kind of surprised that this Tamiya release actually included a very detailed representation of the FA20 boxer engine, since many previous Tamiya kits I’ve built (like their ND MX-5) didn’t like to come with motors.

Parts count. I am a little disappointed Tamiya only includes a RHD dash, but oh well. This car will be extra JDM.

I’m fairly certain the “Street Custom” banner mostly just rolls in this extra black runner of underbody aero, a strut bar, and what looks to be a different muffler for the exhaust. I have to admit the wheels actually look pretty nice, though I won’t be using them for this project.

I love it when they give you the little extra pamphlet with a multi-language blurb about how great the car is. This is where I learned “BRZ” stood for “Boxer engine Rear-drive Zenith” It feels more like they named it the BRZ, thought that was cool, and sent the intern to dig through the English dictionary for words that start with a “Z” that they could tack onto the end of the acronym.

Also the FA20 has an 86x86mm square bore/stroke ratio. That’s cute.

Masking stickers, water slide sheets, and chrome dry transfers for the mirrors. I’m actually kind of surprised Tamiya really included an extra sheet of racing stripe decals so you can build the “street custom” as it is on the box art. I almost expected them to make you paint the stripes on if you wanted it, but they’re very kind to make your life easier with these decals instead.

I refuse to ever build a stock-body 86, mostly because just like the real cars, the model car aftermarket for this platform has taken off and has no shortage of body kits/miscellaneous parts available. Rather than go with the usual Rocket Bunny kits that are all over the place (both IRL and in the model scene) I decided to try out a lesser-known kit that’s distinctly more BRZ than it is GT86.

I’ve bought from C1 Models before, and I do believe this is one of their more unique resin kits offered for sale. I’ve never heard of the Blitz Aero Speed widebody before or seen it on any car in person, so I was kind of surprised that C1 Models decided to make it into a transkit.

The kit is pretty comprehensive, which is very nice – you get a full set of flares, a front bumper, sideskirts, a rear diffuser, skirt winglets, and a GT Wing.

The front bumper had a bit of resin flash, particularly around the areas that were small openings. Sticking an excato in the holes and simply scraping the thin resin off was all it took to clean it up.

The rest of the parts were relatively clean, with a little cleanup needed for the exhaust outlets in the diffuser.

I don’t actually think this widebody (the fenders at least) is anything special compared to what else is available for these cars. They’re nice, but not really groundbreaking in design and uniqueness.

Each fender had a big block of flash that had to be cut off before you could start mounting it against the body.

This transkit was specifically designed for the Tamiya models, and while I don’t doubt that it could work with a little modification if you used an Aoshima kit as the base, it’s still nice to be able to just line up the pre-molded tabs on the kit to divots on parts like the bumper.

The over fenders actually took quite a bit of sanding work on the insides to get them all to sit flush against the stock body. There are little variances on each side (small gaps between the sideskirt extensions and the lower rear quarter fenders, for example) that I mitigated as much as I could, but if you really pick the body apart you’d notice them. Still, I’m happy with the overall fit – nothing is outrageously off-kilter.

For all I’ve talked up the aftermarket support the 86 platform has in the model community though, there is a surprising shortage of aftermarket hoods available for these cars. I don’t know of any vented options, which is unfortunate because I think those would go very well with a lot of the Rocket Bunny kits. Thankfully, EightyOne does have one offering – a resin hood scoop style, lifted straight from the WRX/STi. I wanted my Subaru to be as Subaru as it could possibly Subaru, so of course it’s getting the classic Subaru hood scoop.

The dimensions of the hood were very rough around the edges, but thankfully it overall looked to be larger in every aspect than smaller, meaning it was a simple job to just keep cutting/sanding around it until it fit between the fenders and lined up with the bumper.

So for wheels…this is where it gets a little awkward. I ordered these Work XD-9’s from EightyOne for this build way ahead of time – I think I had them sitting on a shelf for a month or two before I even got the BRZ itself. Since the car was going to have a widebody, I figured 19″ wheels would fit – I’ve seen owners do it before with their V3 Rocket Bunny kits after all.

Wait what. What’s going on here. These are 19 inch right? I know these cars came with 17″ stock so 19″ is a pretty big jump but…I was almost certain this would work.

Aside from looking like a straight up monster truck, the wheels themselves actually look disproportional to the car – way too big for those fender arches.

I wasn’t ready to give up yet. I went in with a heat knife and started “rolling” the fenders – basically cutting the fender edges at an angle to allow more room for the wheel lips to sit up flush.

This allowed me to get the fitment to a point where most of the tires were tucked, but like this I thought the wheel lips weren’t poking far enough out, so I still wasn’t satisfied. Never mind the fact that even with the tucked tires it’s still a goddamn monster truck.

The only real way to get low with these wheels/tires was to camber them to next Sunday, and I’d very much rather not. This is when I really had to concede that they just weren’t going to work – a huge shame because I really like the design of the XD-9’s. I was inspired for these wheels on a BRZ in the first place because Calvin Cabiling ran a similar style custom wheel on his Rally Backer BRZ and I thought it looked clean, but unfortunately we’ll be heading in a different direction now.

Before we get back to figuring out wheel fitment, we’ll figure out some of the details for the rest of the body. Ironically, at first I liked the FR-S bumper a lot more than the BRZ’s, since the BRZ had a black plastic bar in its upper grille section that made it look like it had a funny mouthguard.

Fast forward a few years and my tastes have inverted – I now really like the stock BRZ bumper, much more than the FR-S and GT86 variants. A big part of why I liked the BLITZ aero kit is because their front bumper is distinctly BRZ rather than FR-S – it keeps the car’s original smiley grille. Given that, I wanted to see if I could fit that “mouthguard” piece from the stock bumper in the aftermarket bumper opening – an odd choice, I know, but I just wanted to see if it would end up looking good.

Hm. It’s not terrible, and I would be able to massage the fitment later for a more precise fitting, but I’m not sure how I feel about it at the moment.

Moving onto the back of the car – we need to run a wing, and the BLITZ kit comes with a specialized GT Wing, but I didn’t really like it since the wing stands were perched a little too closely together for my tastes.

Remember this little accident? Yeah, I try not to either. I’ve been saving it in a dark box marked OPEN ONLY FOR EMERGENCIES. This is an emergency.

I will make this 86 as WRX-y as I possibly can. At least we know now that the USCP sedan transkit wasn’t totally wasted.

I’m lucky enough that the WRX and BRZ trunk dimensions are similar enough that the overall width of the wing doesn’t look too funny on the coupe body, but really it was never meant for this car so the fitment isn’t exactly 100%. The 86 trunk has some funny slopes on the edges where it stops being a flat plank to mount a wing on, so there’s a bit of a funny gap on each side of the wing mounts where it isn’t touching anything.

I know 86 owners will actually do this to their cars and it’s a bit of a polarizing look, but I personally love the style of the STi wing no matter what it’s on, so I think it works. For what it’s worth, I think the straight-up STi wing looks better than the Nur-spec wing that’s actually meant for these cars.

Alright, so back to our wheel dilemma. Obviously I overestimated the size of these fenders and fitting 19″ wheels under them just isn’t going to work. We’ll have to size down.

Trying out some 18″ Gram Lights I pulled off my NSX, coupled with some stretched tires and…it looks great?!

I have so much more room to work with camber and fitment here – and the car looks properly low with a flush fitment.

In my desperation, I even stretched the “stretched” tires over the 19″ Works to attempt to fit them at all costs, but that still wasn’t cutting it.

The car was going to be painted the same World Rally Blue anyway, but I still stripped the wing of the old paint just so I could glue it to the body and have it all done together to be the most uniform.

The trunk had some very convenient little bumps that were useful for helping me line the new wing up – I’m sure they were mounting points for the factory spoiler.

Body all done and ready for paint.

Everything is primed first to check for any resin imperfections I could have missed. Turns out there were little patches of rough surface area on the front bumper, hood scoop, and some of the fenders so those were smoothed out before proceeding to the next coat.

I like using silver as a base for metallic colors, even if it may or may not make an actual difference, since the color coat usually goes on pretty thick anyways.

I feel bad, because I’ve used this color (Tamiya TS-50 Mica Blue) way too often for my builds. I try have diversity in my collection, especially with body colors, but that’s hard when I’ve committed to building all my Subarus in World Rally Blue, and this particular paint is also used for my Skyline’s Bayside Blue.

Roof sanded with 3000 to prep it for some Metallic Black.

I feel like I’ve done too many black/carbon hoods lately, so to buck the trend I’ll be going with a black roof for this car and a body color hood. I also did a metallic black hood for my WRX hatch, and this car is already going to be same body color with the same color wheels, so I wanted to add at least a little bit of differentiation between the two.

Trying the mouthguard piece again. After seeing how the body looks together in full color, I think I’ll pass on this. I originally thought the BLITZ bumper opening was too big, but it really doesn’t look that bad once it’s been hit with color.

I was really, really lazy and didn’t want to mask the front bumper to paint the lip section metallic black, so I just decanted some of the spray into a bottle cap and filled it in with a brush. It doesn’t look as clean or as smooth as it would have if I had masked it, but I’m hoping some light sanding and a re-coat with a thinned layer will get it looking proper.

Rear diffuser and sideskirt winglet painted metallic black and attached.

Finally getting on to the rest of the car that isn’t just the exterior body. Here’s most of the rear subframe and suspension components.

The boxer engine is nicely detailed, but I am a bit disappointed that the lower end is molded with the wheel arches and strut towers. Just more of a pain in the ass to paint.

Chassis underbody and wheel arches painted body color first before masking for black.

You probably won’t ever see the sway bars after they’re tucked away in the suspension and subframe components, but I painted them red anyway because race car.

Added some “scrape” weathering with flat gray and silver because the black undercarriage was too glossy, and with how low I intend to have this car, you know it’s only realistic that it scrapes.

Motor coming together.

Back to the wheels real quick – after I figured out the 19″ Works wouldn’t fit and that I would need to run 18″ instead, I decided to start shopping for some more aggressive wheels that would fit that spec, since the Gram Lights I showed earlier were nice, but really with a widebody I wanted to run some deep dishes.

Ironically, there wasn’t much available that fit my criteria. In the end, it fell to a set of DUBS of all brands that ended up being the most unique and attractive in the size I was looking for.

It feels really weird to be running DUBS on such a JDM car. But a lot of Works and Rays really do look too similar, so I think these Attack 5’s are a nice break from the usual. They’re staggered with a more aggressive offset and deeper dish in the rear, perfect for our RWD coupe.

Lips painted chrome with Motolow Liquid Chrome.

Faces painted gold with decanted Tamiya lacquer. It’s a very hotboi aesthetic, but that’s what I live for, dammit.

Oooohhhhhhhh there it is. There’s the vision.

Finally getting to the interior. I didn’t want to do anything too fancy with it, since in my mind this was just going to be a street car – not a track monster that needed a cage/harness/racing wheel or any of that.

I had these Bride Cugas stashed away for months since they were supposed to go in my eventual Supra. Given how my pile of backlogged kits is continuing to stack itself sky-high and there isn’t even a Supra in there, I thought it would be wasteful to save these parts for a kit I may not build for months or even a year.

I’ve never used Model Meister parts before, but apparently they’re made in Thailand and Thailand resin is sketchy and fragile. The molding is generally crisp though, barring some smushed scribing on the edges of the seat bolsters.

I wasn’t going to go with blue seats in a blue car at first, but I thought black/gray wouldn’t stand out enough and I do red seats way too often.

Matched the steering wheel with a little blue too since I wasn’t planning on going with an aftermarket wheel.

Painting in some interior detail – just some silver here and there.

I was originally going to cut my own carbon fiber decal out for the passenger dashboard but then I realized the carbon texture extended all the way to the screen bezel. I didn’t super want to deal with that using my own decals so I just got lazy and used what came in the box. Tamiya’s carbon pattern isn’t great (I assume it’s meant to evoke carbon fiber anyway) but it’ll do. Pedals were also decals that came out of the box.

Speakers and steering wheel badge decals added.

Seats done, thrown in. I was going to flock the carpet, but then totally forgot about it until after the seats were already glued so I said screw it, not worth removing them and taking the tub apart to do it again.

Tamiya’s window masking tape worked like a charm. Rear window was tinted dark with transparent black spray. I decided to keep the side windows clear this time in order to show off the BRIDE seats better after it’s all assembled.

I love it when they give you the chrome dry transfers for mirrors instead of telling you to just paint them in silver or with chrome plastic. These are easy to work with and look much more realistic.

Firewall accessories like the master cylinder/brake booster and battery assembled. I like the good amount of detail Tamiya chose to include for the battery this time – there are even warning decals that come with the kit!

When was the last time you saw a modified GT86 with stock taillights? The classic “Valenti” lights might as well come stock (and they almost do – the 2017 refresh for the twins saw some revised taillights that look suspiciously familiar) they’re so common. Despite their ubiquity on real cars though, I was still surprised to see EightyOne actually offered a photo-etch detail set that let you achieve the Valenti look for 1/24 cars.

EightyOne didn’t bother to give you any instructions (they never do for anything, actually) on how to install the photo-etch pieces, but it’s pretty self-explanatory. Given that they’re just flat edged bits of metal, it made sense that they could easily act as “covers” that go over the existing taillight housings.

I like clear red lenses on my blue cars okay.

Third brake light painted chrome and clear red.

Headlights came in all chrome – the manual called for some bits of the inner housing to be painted semi-gloss black.

The headlight housings themselves actually snapped into place against the radiator support fairly easily. It was the headlight lenses that gave me some fitment issues. Not unexpected, since the bumper is aftermarket, but still scary nonetheless.

For the longest time I couldn’t figure out if the correct approach was to tuck the lenses behind the bumper or squeeze them to fit, since the bumper opening for the headlights was a tad too small.

Eventually I manned up and just snipped the ends of the clear lenses a few millimeters. Cutting clear parts is scary because they could very easily crack or spider-web if you’re not careful, but thankfully I shaved these lenses down bit by bit and got it all to line up perfectly flush.

Time to figure out body-to-chassis fitment. I knew going in that it probably wouldn’t all clip together seamlessly without a little cutting here and there, since the front bumper is aftermarket and didn’t seem to have tabs along the bottom to clip the front of the chassis into.

Ironically I ended up cutting a little too much of the chassis lip off to get it to fit into the bumper and had to rebuild a little bit of the front again afterwards. The bumper lip is very aggressive and takes up a lot of the bottom edges, meaning if you don’t cut the sides of the chassis lip it’s going to collide.

Aoshima included some vent decals for the little fender garnishes – a nice touch that saves me from trying to paint that stuff in with a toothpick.

I was going to save the GReddy cat-back exhaust I had on my Rocket Bunny Scion FR-S for that kit’s rebuild, but heck – there’s no time like the present, and the BRZ is what’s getting built now.

Fitment is pretty good, despite the exhaust system being meant for an Aoshima model and we’re trying to shove it into a Tamiya chassis. The peg holes under the fuel tank obviously don’t line up but that’s not a big deal.

I really like the GReddy tips, but the BLITZ diffuser cutouts are obviously meant for a quad-tip system. My first thought was to try to keep the GReddy tips and add an extra set on each side. I don’t even remember where I pulled those extra tips from – maybe it was a Z?

Turns out trying to make mismatching tips work is actually really dumb, so I had no choice but to let the GReddy tips go. May they serve another day. So, I was left looking for a quad-tip system. I could very easily make some tips out of styrene tubes if I wanted to, but I wanted a nicer rolled edge look that pre-molded exhausts will give you, rather than the flat edges that I would be getting out of a scratch-built set.

These look a tad too large but heck, they barely squeeze into the diffuser openings so I’m sending them. Believe it or not, they’re actually stock tips from an R35 GT-R. Thankfully that car comes with a nice rolled quad-tip outlet, but man it speaks volumes to that car’s size when its stock tips look gargantuan on an 86.

Added a little piece of styrene to each end tip and connected it to the resonator cans so they wouldn’t look ridiculous with fake tips. Though I’m pretty sure the way I routed those pipes is also equally ridiculous – never let me near a custom exhaust shop.

Okay, with the rest of the car pretty much squared away, can we finally talk about boost?!

I’ve never straight up added a turbo to an NA model car before (I’ve done it in real life to a real car – it didn’t end well) so this is a somewhat new experience for me. The motors I’ve built up until now were designed as kits to be the way they were – boosting this FA20 meant I was the one gathering the pieces and putting it together on my own.

So I had initially planned to use this turbo that I got from EightyOne’s turbo and intercooler set, which included four turbos (two large, two small) and two intercoolers (one for a twin setup, one for single). However, I was a bit disappointed with the turbo quality – there wasn’t much detail on the compressor housing, and most of all what bothered me was the sloppy looking compressor wheel. The white ring on the compressor I actually had to add on my own, since the original shape was flat.

Thankfully I decided not to settle. I would still use EightyOne’s intercoolers, but I started looking for some nicer 1/24 turbos. Hobby Design is generally the end-all-be-all solution, but their parts were surprisingly hard to find at the time and (as always) very expensive if available. Thankfully it looks like there was someone on the East Coast making highly accurate Hobby Design turbo copies, and I am definitely not above using replica parts when the going gets rough.

I’m very impressed with the crispness of the mold for the size, especially since this is apparently a home-made gig that the seller is doing. It really blows the EightyOne turbos out of the water – it never even had an exhaust turbine! (Though in fairness, an exhaust turbine is kind of pointless detail since you’re more than likely going to be covering it up with an actual downpipe or exhaust piping and never seeing it again, but damnit the detail counts!)

So, boosting is pretty easy right? Once you know how a turbo system is supposed to route it isn’t terribly complicated. What is complicated is figuring out how to fit everything nicely in the bay.

I’m glad this platform was almost being boosted before it even came out. It’s a walk in the park to find tutorials and build logs of owners turbo-ing their real 86’s, so there’s really already an established way for fitting everything in the bay.

All the intercooler and exhaust piping was done with styrene rods, which thankfully bend and form very easily with a little heat applied. Still, it took a lot of trial and error to finally get correct piping sizes. It probably took longer than it really should have because I’m an ape and insisted on constantly rebuilding the piping when its sizing was off instead of just taking measurements and building to precise numbers like a normal person would.

As everything falls apart when I clip the body on top because it was all delicately held together with spit and bubblegum.

Turbo and intake manifold with piping painted.

For the exhaust piping coming off the hot side of the turbo and routing to the underside of the car, I wanted to have some differentiation between it and the rest of the intercooler piping, since they would all be similar in size and probably silver. I saw another modeler replicate exhaust wrap on their model and thought it was a good idea, so I thought I would give it a shot.

The only problem is I had no idea what people used for wrap on their kits. The closest thing I had was a sheet of adhesive fabric that I used for seat belt harnesses. I figured I’d cut a strip and see how it would look wrapped around the pipe – go figure, it ironically actually looks pretty good! But it’s green – do exhaust wraps even come in green?

Solution: paint the fabric gold. It actually looks a ton better than I thought it would. The texture that’s ironically meant to evoke harness belts really works as heat shield wrap.

I have the layout and configuration of Subaru’s boxer engine to thank for me not needing to build an exhaust manifold from scratch, since it would be hidden underneath the turbo and exhaust pipe outlet anyway. Is that turbo hot side just floating there, attached to nothing underneath? Yes. Will you ever notice that once it’s all put together? Please don’t take my motor apart to find out.

So, I’m finally forced to tackle something I’ve been avoiding for a long long time – hose fittings/clamps. The only other engine I’ve really had to use intercooler piping and fittings for before was the ridiculously over-complex twin-turbo RB26 in my Top Secret R34, and for that motor I copped out and just painted black bands to stand in for hose fittings. So how am I becoming more sophisticated for this build? By using red pinstripe tape from AutoZone of course!

Okay but really, the pinstripe tape is actually about the perfect width, and it’s already adhesive so that’s less work for me. Why not? The problem comes with the actual clamps that would be used to secure the silicone fittings on real cars – I’ve been looking for an aftermarket part solution for a while, but it seems hard to find in 1/24 scale.

I know they exist, but when I was looking for this car, they just didn’t seem to be on the market. So, I actually got the idea to use thin beading wire as a stand-in from another modeler. I never thought of using a cylindrical shape like a wire to get the look since in real life these clamps are supposed to be flat metal strips, but I suppose for scale modeling you have to broaden your scope and come up with creative ideas.

Passable, I think. Better than having no fittings/clamps, and the wire is probably better than my original idea of cutting up tiny tin foil strips.

Spicey. But then after clipping the body over the bay I realized the top intercooler pipe that connects to the intake is actually riding too high, preventing the hood from closing. The turbo is also canted slightly upwards thanks to the exhaust pipe not bending enough.

Crafted a new pipe that fits now. But in giving the exhaust pipe a more aggressive bend in order to level out the turbo, the exhaust pipe and intercooler intake pipe are now touching. Whatever. The exhaust is heat wrapped, it definitely won’t cause any issues if we’re only running like 7psi of boost right?

Final touches on bay detail with some wiring.

Time to fit those beautiful DUBS. As usual, I’m getting my ride height and wheel offset very primitively – just glue some plastic spacers to the hubs until it’s at the desired fitment.

Rotors will be sandwiched between the hubs and the wheel backs. The 86 comes with boring econo-brakes – I opted to steal some cool boi calipers from a spare WRX STi I had lying around. Keeping it Subaru.

I wanted to do red calipers but I feel like I literally only do red calipers, so to switch it up I decided to go with a very adventurous and high-risk color that may or may not land with the rest of the car – black.

I was originally going to keep the rotors chrome too since I didn’t have any photo-etched rotors to use, but after a while I decided to stop cheaping out and bought a set.

I really wanted to use the slotted and drilled rotors on the right, but for some reason it looks like the company forgot to mirror them for the other side. The rotor vanes for the slotted and drilled set are all facing the same direction, unlike the slotted ones that are properly mirrored. These parts are only etched on one side too, so I can’t just flip them. I wonder if this was just a part defect or all the drilled ones these guys produce are like this.

I’m also cheating a bit by using one photo-etched set for all four rotors, when each set is meant to be a set of two complete vented rotors (the geared disk in the middle is meant to sandwich between the two rotor faces). Since I already had the rotor bodies with the calipers in plastic, to add the photo-etched detail all I had to do was cut the metal rotors a bit to fit around the calipers and glue them to the surface.

What the original setup was going to look like, with the plain chrome rotors and stretched tires. After fitting the wheels to the car though, I decided that the stretched look wasn’t quite working.

Thankfully I had a set of staggered low-pro resin tires lying around that I got from another aftermarket wheel set. Tires these thin are somewhat hard to come by, especially with such a unique tread pattern, so it was a stroke of good fortune that they just happened to be in 18″ and would fit the DUBS for the BRZ.

Tamiya has an interesting approach with their badge decals here. They give you two option sets – one set with the Subaru badges with their traditional white backing or a set with clear backing. It looks like the clear backing is meant to go over a chrome base plate, which they give to you as metal transfer decals. It’s a nice touch.

I wanted to go in with a good amount of water slide decals for this kit since it has so much on it. It took me a while to come up with the idea of adding a roll call style line of white markings on the hood – it’s actually inspired by Paul Walker’s R34 from 2Fast2Furious.

Tamiya actually includes a metal rod in the kit as a hood prop – I suppose this makes sense given the BRZ hood actually has hinges and is meant to be opened, unlike some of their older kits like their Z32 where the hood was simply meant to be removed entirely if you wanted to see the motor detail. Still, the metal rod is a bit out of scale and plain, so I made my own prop out of jewelry wire instead.

One final touch – the BLITZ bumper actually annoys me because it curves up at the front, rather than laying flat and parallel to the ground. This means the front of the car looks more raised than the rest of the bodywork. To counter this, I decided to add a custom-made diffuser to the front lip.

I wanted to go with a very simple and understated diffuser, in order not to overshadow the rest of the custom body kit bits. No winglets or fancy cut shapes – just a board that’ll add some low to the front end. I did go out of my way to cover it with carbon decals though, since there’s no other carbon on the rest of the car I wanted this to be a subtle area where it could work.

I like to think that if I really owned an 86 (and I kind of do want one), I’d start with a World Rally Blue BRZ and build it just like this. Maybe not with the BLITZ front bumper since there are more aftermarket options available, but I know I’d for sure avoid almost anything Rocket Bunny, just because I like to feel like a special snowflake with hipster parts/cars.

Okay, to completely confess – at first, I really only went with this BLITZ kit for this BRZ because I think Rocket Bunny parts are played out beyond belief for this platform, so I did it for the sole sake of being different, not because I was actually in love with the BLITZ look any more than I liked Rocket Bunny’s stuff.

As far as I’m aware, every version of the Rocket Bunny 86 widebody is available on the 1/24 model car aftermarket. This BLITZ transkit was the only one I found that wasn’t RB (I do wish the RallyBacker kit was available), so I didn’t even really look very closely at it before just straight up buying it because it was a widebody and it was different.

But then after receiving it and putting it together I ended up loving the style. The only thing I’m still kind of iffy about is the front bumper – I only dislike it because the bottom end curves up, which is why it needed the front splitter, but even that didn’t completely solve the look. I do however really like how the grille opening is distinctly BRZ, with the upwards facing smile rather than the FR-S’ distinctive downwards scowl. I remember when I first started learning about the twins I identified them by which one was smiling and which one was frowning.

The BLITZ kit is more nuanced than I originally thought before I actually started building it. I only really noticed after everything was painted how interesting the fender lines really are – the fronts in particular I think are really cool for how they curve near the bumper and headlights but then transition to a sharp angle cut near the bottom of the fender garnishes, matching the raked look of the rear overfenders.

Both the front and rear overfenders also have some neat “vents” at the rear where they end, which really are just shallow spaces recessed into where the body kit cuts off, but I really like the aesthetic.

Look at how that front bumper chin juts out, it’s like a giant underbite.

I’m happy that this 86 ended up being so distinctly Subaru though. Between the WRB body color, gold wheels, STi wing, and giant hood scoop, I think it gives it enough distinction for when I eventually build another actual Toyota GT86 for my collection (that will probably then be the most Toyota Toyota GT86 ever, with TRD livery and a 4AGE swap).

I’m sure opinions are split on the STi wing, but man I’m in love. Probably the first thing I’d throw on my BRZ if I had a real one (so keep me away from one at all costs).

I’m a little sad that the Valenti taillights don’t stand out as much as I had hoped they would though. I think the clear red lens covers mute the photo-etched detail a lot. I even tried adding chrome to the actual Valenti stripe inside to bring it out more, but it didn’t really work out.

It’s stock officer. Trust me, Toyota and Subaru finally decided to put a snail in this motor, I swear it rolls off the factory floor just like this. What do you mean you’ll need to ask the ref?!

 

I’m only somewhat disappointed that the sick turbine detail in the turbo can’t even be seen from most angles because it’s so tucked away and sitting side saddle.

I’m surprised I was able to preserve the steering rack with this fitment. Though what’s shown above is literally the farthest the wheels can turn because they’re actually kind of giant. This car would have a tough time taking tight corners or making U-turns now, but that’s what you give up for the stance life, right?

Speaking of the stance life though, I think it’s worth noting now that this car actually accomplished something – Best Stance at the second annual California Stance Model Meet! This was a local competition for model cars (mainly 1/24 scale of course) hosted I believe by the ScaleRiders organization and their affiliates.

I wasn’t banking on the BRZ to win anything or carry the competition; for that I was working on a very special Itasha Bensopra GT-R, but I was an idiot and screwed up that build right before the event, so I couldn’t bring it. I decided to just show some of my latest builds like the BRZ and NSX to participate, but surprisingly the BRZ actually got picked for Best Stance. Some of the categories were Best VIP, Best Engine Bay, Best Paint, Best Interior, Best of Show, etc, and I don’t think I excel enough in any of those areas to have a leg up against some of the god-tier builders that were there.

I remember looking at the awards categories and totally glossed over Best Stance because I thought a prerequisite for that award was at least a million degrees of camber and some insane wheel lip-to-fender fitment [HELLAFLUSH FAM], but I guess the judges really liked the BRZ’s fitment. A little ironic in that I literally only switched to the thin and wide low-pro tires the night before the event, ditching the stretched tires that I would have assumed better qualified as “stance.”

Now I just need to make sure my future kits are this clean with fitment this on-point. Easy?!

 

 

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