Here we go again – the first RSX I built many many moons ago never did really sit right with me. I had gone back and modified it more than once to get it looking where I wanted it, but in the end I decided to just go ahead and rebuild the entire car, this time with a resin widebody transkit courtesy EightyOne and Regamasters the way God had intended.
Instead of the standard DC5 Type R release, this time around we’re building the Special Edition. What makes it so special?
A single runner with two parts that makes up an extremely large and gaudy early 2000’s style wing. Not joking. This is it. There’s very little info online on this kit to begin with, and I happened to pick it up by luck when someone was clearing it out for cheaper than the standard Type R kit, but I was kind of hoping Special Edition would roll in a little more than this.
I’m not going to go to deep into what the standard Fujimi DC5 kit rolls in – I’ve already built and written a piece on this kit before here, so we’ll jump straight into the new stuff – a transkit from EightyOne!
The model aftermarket for the DC5 Integra is painfully barren. Pretty much the only specialized parts you can get is this transkit made by EightyOne, and it’s already been discontinued. I happened to luck out and find this kit secondhand on eBay.
So apparently this transkit was commissioned by the owner of Anointed Aero, with EightyOne modeling the kit after the parts on their shop car. The main idea is obviously going to be Anointed Aero’s in-house fender flares/widebody, but it also rolls in a J’s Racing front bumper, some new sideskirts, bumper canards, facelift front and rear taillights, a new rear bumper & diffuser, and a wing (I assume it’s a J’s Racing wing?)
This transkit is also just about the only way you can get a facelift RSX too, since Fujimi never released an updated kit. The J’s bumper and new rear bumper lose the pre-facelift’s teardrop shapes below the light housings, though for whatever reason my kit didn’t come with new lenses. I assume I’ll have to cut the “teardrops” off the original kit’s lenses to make them fit.
Fujimi gives you the rear bumper and taillights molded with the rest of the body, so if we’re going to replace those parts with the transkit parts we’ll have to heat-knife the original parts off.
Headlights are also molded into the main body, so those have to be cut out to make way for the new resin facelift lights.
Weirdly enough, I thought these sideskirts were extensions that I could just glue onto the factory sideskirts to extend them – turns out they’re full-on replacements, which means it’s back to the heat knife. So much butchery going on for this kit already.
There aren’t really any tabs that secure the bumper to the new widebody over-fenders, so to make sure it all stays nice and snug I went ahead and glued my own holding tabs behind the bodywork.
Just a lil wider. The transkit itself is molded well so it’s easy to line up the over-fenders to the original body lines and make it all fit.
Regamasters have always felt like Honda wheels to me – I think they work especially well on Integras, so I’ve been saving this set specifically for this RSX rebuild. 18″ resin aftermarket courtesy Fugu Garage.
Not sure about the tire profile yet. The stretch is cool, but the 18″ wheels look really small against the chunky body with such thin sidewalls.
Turns out to get the fire fitment I’m after, the OEM fenders actually need to be trimmed. These Regamasters are aggressive after all.
Went in with the heat knife to cut the original fenders at a sloped angle so the tires and wheels can fit right up to the Anointed Aero fender edges.
Debated on the body color for a while (no more purple for me thanks) and eventually settled on wanting to do a clean Championship White R build, with the widebody adding the spice.
Championship white is a funny color though – it’s creamier than pure white and doesn’t have metallic or mica flakes. Just going by that definition alone you’d think Tamiya’s TS-7 Racing White would be perfect – it’s supposed to be a cream white, but that’s just the problem: Tamiya took it too far and made it too creamy.
After looking up some painted examples of models with TS-7 sprayed I decided against it and went with Mr. Color’s #69 Off White spray instead. I’ve used Off White before on some Gundam builds so I’m familiar with how it turns out – while not necessarily a creamy white, Off White is literally just slightly darker and less vibrant than Pure White.
You can’t even really tell it’s Off White unless I put it up against something that’s pure white.
After thinking about the wheels and tires some more I realized it might be a good chance to use those rad tread tires that came with FuelMe’s STi kit.
I like it.
I wasn’t going to be too extra with the interior, but since this build won’t have a motor I guess I’m being extra after all. My go-to for spicing up an interior at this point is just adding a cage and harnesses, but to do that for a car with back seats I actually had to “gut” the rear, basically equating to a rear seat and rear package shelf delete.
I’m being lazy and just reusing the interior tub from my original RSX build and adding some details along with cutting the rear portion up. The chassis here is the old one from my original build that I’m just using for fitment testing.
I’ve never built an actual gutted interior before, so I’m not even really sure how to approach something like this. I’m most likely going to just take the easy way out and leave the chassis floor as it is since it looks kind of gutted already, without adding any of my own under-carpet detail or anything. It looks fine under the hatch window, and I’m only doing this so I can have proper mount points for my roll cage later.
The actual chassis plate of this car was painted Off-White so the exposed gutted portions will look proper, while the bottom is painted flat black.
Not the most complex kit – Fujimi’s suspension setup is very basic and made up of very few pieces.
I normally never actually bother adding spring detail but I guess because the undercarriage will be so plain as it is I figured it would be worth going the extra mile here.
At least the bottom of the motor is molded in, even if there’s nothing above that. Most of the exhaust is molded in and painted, and I went ahead and made the sway bar red just because red is fast.
Undercarriage pretty much done. It’s not much, but at least it looks more detailed than my last attempt (which was all black sans the exhaust and motor underneath). A muffler and exhaust tip will be added later after I figure out how it fits with the diffuser.
Tub carpet flocked red because Type R.
Cage is being built from scratch with polystyrene rods. I had to do a lot of digging online to even get a good grasp on the shape, since apparently DC5’s aren’t caged often?? Mine is loosely modeled on the Cusco 6-point variant.
Figuring out the cage fitment with the gutted interior and constantly test-fitting it with the body shell to make sure the beams clear the roof and windows was a process.
To achieve maximum durability (in case the car rolls, obviously), PlasticWeld Epoxy is used at all the joints. The byproduct of doing this is you get thick globs at every joint, which almost look like weld points if I were less liberal with the stuff.
Holes are drilled in the cabin floor and chassis plate so the mounting points for the cage are the same even after I take it out for paint.
Painted Cusco blue…sort of.
I absolutely dread having to build harnesses because of how tedious the work is, but here I am bending over doing it anyway.
Much to my surprise, the original Type R Recaro seats that Fujimi includes in the kit already have the harness pass-throughs molded hollow, which means I don’t have to cut them out or drill them out and create a mess as I usually do. They’re narrow, but they’ll work.
I had to add a little filler plate on my own for the gutted portion of the rear seat floor since I’m pretty sure that mold indent is meant to be the gas tank.
Little mounting points for the harnesses are then added – apparently mounting to the floor is usually not advised?? But almost every photo reference of a DC5 harness with cage setup I pulled up online has the belts ran to the rear floor, so I guess this is okay? I’m clearly not a certified track safety technician.
Sure. Totally NHRA certified.
What a colorful interior – it’s really gonna pop once the all-white body shell goes on. I had considered going with an aftermarket race wheel too but I figured the stock one was good enough.
Eightyone’s facelift resin headlights painted flat black.
Headlight bowls then done in chrome – taillights done completely chrome since the lenses will be clear red.
Only two parts of this entire build will be carbon fiber – the front splitter and rear diffuser.
The splitter is relatively easy – just trace its shape onto the decal paper, cut it out twice, and lay on a top and bottom. Done. The rear diffuser is significantly more complex due to its multi-layered face, meaning I’m essentially wrapping it in carbon fiber decals a panel at a time.
The details end up looking neat though, so it seems worth it.
Wheels painted pure white, which will have a subtle contrast against the body’s Off White coloring.
About 4 coats of Off White to build a nice even base color, then around 3 coats of Tamiya Clear. Sanded with 3000 grit then buffed with Novus plastic polish.
I wasn’t originally going to tint any of the windows at all since I put effort into the stripped interior and harnesses/cage, so it would only make sense to show that stuff off as much as possible. The fishbowl look of completely clear windows still bothers me though, so I decided to just go with a very light one-pass tint as a bit of a compromise.
So…the EightyOne transkit includes facelift headlights and taillights, but didn’t include any facelift lenses. Just the housings. I’m not sure if they were missing with my particularly kit or EightyOne seriously expected builders to take the original pre-facelift lights and modify them to fit, but I guess I don’t have a choice now.
The headlights were the easy part – just trim the teardrops and sand slightly to fit the new bumper and we’re good to go.
But the taillights threw me for a loop, mostly because I couldn’t just trim the teardrops – the molded lens detail that Fujimi included wouldn’t line up with the new facelift housing style (there are three taillight circles in the facelift now instead of the two). Without any way to really preserve the lens detail or generally have any sort of lens detail, my only choice was to sand it all off and polish it back to being literally just clear taillight covers.
Doesn’t look too weird. The inside two light circles are supposed to be clear instead of all red, but whatever.
The headlight housings themselves though…didn’t fit quite so well. For whatever reason the fitment from the shape of the headlights against the front bumper, hood, and fenders just wouldn’t line up, and I was 100% certain I had my bumper lined up correctly. The driver side light left a huge gap at the bottom when inserted with everything else lined up, so my solution was to just glue it in and fill the gap with putty. It worked?
I decided to steal the muffler and exhaust tip for this car from an old leftover R32 GT-R.
Carbon-wrapped rear diffuser and front splitter coated with some Future Floor Finish to get that final carbon shine. My smoothest and glossiest carbon yet.
The weird thing with the rear diffuser is that there’s really no obvious way for it to attach to the rear. In the sample photos, it kind of just…floats. EightyOne certainly doesn’t give you any attachment points on the part or any instructions.
So of course we ghetto something together, even if it means just stacking a bunch of pla-plates and gluing the diffuser straight on.
The stock rear rotors/calipers for the DC5 are embarrassingly tiny. They’ll be beefed up a little with some photo-etch slotted rotors.
To keep my life easy when fitting the stance, the rotors/brakes and wheels are all assembled together as one unit first, which will then glue to the chassis directly.
But of course, because of the widebody the wheels will need to be pushed out a little further than stock. Plastic spacers are added behind the rotor assembly instead of between the wheel face and rotor.
I wasn’t going to decal the Regas at first, but after thinking about it, how would people know these are Regas if I didn’t tell them?
We have the technologies. I haven’t used this stuff in what feels like years.
When the decals get this small my household inkjet printer has trouble handling the quality and keeping them crisp, but I guess having some fuzzy 240p decals is better than nothing.
So, the car was finished like this and even sent off to a show with the big boi FuelMe China tires that came off my earlier STi, but something still bugged me about the meaty stance. It works for the serious Type R/track-focused look I was going for, but man I’m a stanceboi at heart.
Ironically while I was at the show I actually saw these for sale from a vendor and knew it would be perfect for the RSX.
I’ve never encountered hard resin tires before, but it’s exactly as they say on the box – these tires are literally hard resin, rather than the usual soft resin/rubber most other model tires are made of. The R888 tread pattern is wicked cool.
Slimmer than the original tires I was going to use, but not crazy stretched – I’ll always be a sucker for the low profile look.
So, speaking of the show I wanted to enter this build in – I haven’t built a new kit since the SoCal open show earlier this year, so this DC5 build was supposed to be a fresh entry for the 3rd Annual California StanceModel Meet (remember I entered the BLITZ BRZ in the 2nd Annual last year).
I didn’t think this build in particular was strong enough in any specific award category to bring anything home (certainly not Best Stance or Best (no) Engine), but I guess the judges liked the interior a lot anyway?? Going the extra mile with the cage and harnesses paid off I suppose, ironically I only did it because I felt bad about not having a motor in this car. Not what I expected, but I’ll take it.
Also surprised my Top Secret R34 won Best Engine. I wasn’t even going to bring that kit along since I’m not particularly proud of it anymore, but thought I’d take it just to fill my lineup variety, and whaddayaknow it comes back with recognition. I probably spend the most time trying to dial in my bodywork and exterior looks, but when it comes down to it I’ll win for anything but. Oops.
Final look with the R888 hard resin tires. Very fond of the look, especially with the rears pushed out so far that you can clearly see the tread pattern.
The original transkit came with front canards and a GT-style wing, but I opted to go without those and use the original Type R wing instead for a cleaner street-car look, instead of making it look too track-focused.
I struggled a lot with picking out decals during the last step after all the other bodywork was done – in the end I decided to only use the factory Fujimi Type R decals without much other aftermarket stuff in an effort to keep the white look pure.
It says Type R like four times throughout the car (all on the rear end) because you need to let everyone you gap know that they were gapped by a Type R.
Confession: that Super Kawaii banner on the rear windshield is literally only there because I messed up on a portion of the rear spray tint, so I needed some large decal to mostly cover the area up. Oops.
I do really wish the headlights came out cleaner. Because of the wonky front end fitment in general thanks to the resin parts, the headlight lenses never really did sit completely flush, resulting in some messy glue work around the edges where you can still see the clear cement gobs.
The J’s Racing front end is cool, but ironically I think I like the rear end of this car a lot more – maybe I’m just really proud of the complex carbon diffuser that ended up working out.