Scale Cars

Tamiya Toyota Supra + Hobby Design Modification Kits

Took me long enough to get to the iconic A80. Can’t believe I’ve built the new A90 before its much more iconic predecessor. I’ve had this Tamiya Supra and the Hobby Design Modification Kits set sitting around for literal years – for some reason it was just tough to always force myself back into this build.

I always had a specific plan for this car – call me the most unoriginal builder in the world, but Brian’s orange Mk. IV from the first Fast and Furious is iconic and deserves every tribute it gets.

I wanted to put my own modern spin on the classic movie car in the same way I did for Brian’s Eclipse though, which means not buying the screen-accurate Bomex kit and going for something a little more different instead – enter this Hobby Design Toyota Supra Modification Kits.

It’s not a widebody transkit or anything with overfenders – rather, it’s a full body kit with two wing options, wheels/tires, hood, and a plethora of photo-etched detail-up parts.

Interestingly, Hobby Design doesn’t specify anywhere on the box or instructions which kit this is specifically. After some digging I found that it seems to most resemble the Ridox body kit, though the full version of that kit seems to include bolt-on rear overfenders, which isn’t seen here in model form.

Hobby Design really goes to town with the photo-etched detail parts, whic his nice. I’m pretty sure the entire radiator fan is replaced with PE parts. The black strip of something I think is supposed to be used for seat belts.

Tamiya’s body shell out of the box. Everything is molded as one piece,with the exception of the hood and spoiler.

Yikes. I don’t remember Tamiya being this bad with mold lines – their quality is usually better than this.

First order of business is fitting the body kit parts. The front bumper is a complete replacement, which means we’ll have to cut the stock bumper off the unibody on our own.

Same deal with the side skirts. What’s kind of annoying to me is that Hobby Design’s side skirts bolt up at some random line in the front – there was no body line or seam line to follow there during the cut, so I just had to do my best and eyeball an approximate area to cut out.

Same story with the rear spat pieces. I measured an approximate line and marked it before cutting, but there was no seam or body split there before. It’s very obvious with the way the resin piece is molded that it’s supposed to be a replacement part and not an add-on piece that goes over the original body too.

After cleaning up all the body cuts, this is what we’re left with of the original plastic shell.

Hobby Design’s kit glued up. They actually include two spoiler options in the box – a Ridox GT wing or this TRD-style wing specific to the Supra. Since I could reuse the GT wing on another car, I opted to go with the TRD wing here.

Here’s the weird thing – the fitment on the body kit isn’t actually that good. I expected Hobby Design to be as good if not better than C1 Models when it comes to their aftermarket body kit fitments (considering how high-quality the parts are and how expensive Hobby Design parts generally are), but it almost feels like this resin kit wasn’t meant for this model.

All the sizing for the resin parts feel like they’re ever so slightly off – only by a few mm or so, but it’s enough to cause difficulties working them into the stock body.

Like, the side skirts feel like they’re just a few mm too short. I had to sand the wheel wells back slightly to meet the side skirts, but most egregious of all was the insides of the skirts where they meet the doors – you can see how I had to cut slightly into the door lines to fit the skirts.

(Yes, I should’ve cut the skirts back instead of the doors to preserve the door line but ya boi’s a dumb-dumb and didn’t realize that when fitting. The front area will at least be covered by a fender vent later so it won’t be as prominent)

The hood is absolutely the worst offender here though. I couldn’t believe my eyeballs when I first threw it on – what the hell is with the massive gaps at the edges?! The hinges molded into the rear corners of the hood are also struggling to reach the holes in the kit, which is why the rear of the hood looks slightly propped up.

I had thought better of you, Hobby Design. Maybe this modification kit wasn’t meant for the Tamiya model? Even though Hobby Design lists it on their site as being for Tamiya models? Mysteries.

Anyway, for all my whining and bitching it isn’t even that difficult of a fix for the hood. I can’t remember when, but I’m pretty sure I’ve done this before where I just glued some thin styrene strips to the edges of the hood to widen its fitment.

Better. I’ll massage some of the high portions with a heat gun. The hood hinges were cut off and re-glued so they line up with the Tamiya kit’s hinge holes properly.

Filled in the seams with some skim Bondo and it’s good to go.

Just as I did with my Fast and Furious Eclipse, I wanted to keep the same base color (orange) but add a slightly different spin on it, in this case doing it with a darker metallic orange.

Getting to the motor work. Tamiya does include a very detailed 2JZ with this kit, albeit everything is stock of course.

Resin parts kit from Model Meister specifically for a 2JZ – includes intake and exhaust manifolds, a big turbo, intercooler, injectors, and an intake cone.

The main parts I needed were the intake and exhaust manifolds, replacing both stock versions.

I’m going with another third party 3D printed turbo too, instead of using the smaller less detailed one that came with the Model Meister parts pack. I believe these turbos are 3D or resin printed from Hobby Design’s turbo molds by an independent parts maker.

Had to modify the mounting point for the turbo manifold quite a bit to make everything fit properly. Technically the turbo I went with is a tad too large – I wasn’t even sure if it would fit below the hood at this point – so figuring out how to clock it properly was a challenge.

The 2JZ valve cover is iconic, so I wanted to do something special for it – trying my hand at some precise carbon fiber work here.

Turned out better than I expected!

Some chrome for the rest of the cover to really make it pop.

The intercooler that came with the 2JZ parts pack was thin and dinky, so just like with the turbo we’re going with some custom printed aftermarket solutions.

The intercooler is mounted first on the frame, after we’ve made sure it’ll fit behind the front bumper and leave enough room for the radiator going in later. Then it’s a matter of bending pipes until it all connects. I ended up partly building the throttle body out of scratch too.

Going with a little TiAL-style external wastegate.

I was kind of confused on whether or not I should retain the radiator fan and shroud, since it looks like most big turbo 2JZ builds go with a completely different radiator setup from stock anyway, and I’m over here trying to mash some hybrid setup together to retain use of the stock rad.

The Hobby Design detail kit comes with these lovely metal covers for the radiator so I of course wanted to make use of them.

Bit of a tight fit, but it’s technically all there – she’s boosted!

Absolutely not using that tiny and over-choked stock exhaust.

Straight pipe baby! Just one piece of hollow styrene tubing from the back of the turbo bent all the way out the back end.

Adding a muffler and tip from my spare parts bin – I’m pretty sure this particular one was off some Jada diecast that I stripped for parts.

Finally to the fun part! I had sourced these decals from USCP many many moons ago – I remember I had to contact them directly to special order this decal set. I do believe it’s normally included in their Bomex Supra transkit set.

Adding some carbon inserts to the hood with some Scale Motorsport carbon decals. To get the shape easily, I just lay masking tape over the area, draw out the shape I want on the actual part, and then peel and re-lay the masking tape on the decal paper and cut to shape, just as I did for the engine cover earlier.

No frills with the interior here. The front seats are Hobby Design’s resin “Sports Seats” set D, which is code for they’re just Recaro Sportsters. Went with an aftermarket steering wheel and an aftermarket gauge pod to stick on the dash in true Fast & Furious fashion.

I wanted to use the rear diffuser Hobby Design included in its parts kit, but I quickly realized with how low I wanted this car, coupled with the massive fart can exhaust, the diffuser unfortunately just wouldn’t fit. Saves me the trouble of covering the entire thing in carbon fiber, I guess. It’s a nice piece, so I’ll be saving it for a future project.

Adding the finishing touches on the engine bay with some wiring and hosing detail. None of it actually goes anywhere, but it makes it look detailed!

Done. I gotta be honest – I’ve been on-and-off this project for probably over 3 years. I think I first started working on it in 2020 – and here we are in 2023, finally getting it together. It wasn’t a particularly complex build – I just kept losing motivation as I went. The finished project feels underwhelming to me, like it’s not worth a 3 year on/off journey.

I think you can tell I really started to burn out and just wanted to get this thing done in some of the sloppiness of the finish – I cracked one of the rear taillight lenses cutting it off the runner and just said screw it, send it.

Hobby Design had some extra photo-etched stuff in the box like some fender aero that’s part of the Ridox kit this body kit is based on – but I couldn’t be bothered.

The idea behind this build was always to build it as a companion piece to the Revell Brian’s Eclipse that I built in 2020.

Just like the Eclipse, I went with the darker metallic body color based off the film car’s color scheme – and made subtle changes to things like the body kit parts and wheels.

They do end up looking like a nice pair, especially since I tried pretty hard on both motors.

I did have quite a bit of trouble getting the headlight lenses to line up properly – probably because of the aftermarket Hobby Design bumper throwing a wrench into things when I attached it to the stock Tamiya body. Tamiya itself usually doesn’t have parts fitment issues.

I am pretty happy with the engine bay, all things considered – finally I have a big turbo clocked properly where you can see all of that turbine glory!

Supra’s totally winning in a race though right? 10-second car and all that.


  • Edward

    I frickin love all your builds. Such an inspiration. Wish you were on YouTube. Such a breath of fresh air seeing a custom build.

    • James Pierce

      Thank you, glad you enjoy them! I’m a bit old fashioned sticking to the long-format picture-heavy blog post review style, I know everyone nowadays is about video content ^^; old habits die hard I guess!

  • ejf86

    No worries, I’m the same way. Scratch built on entire 1/10 Civic Ek and posted it on YouTube it was bit different doing so.

    • James Pierce

      The Tamiya Supra itself can be found anywhere, like eBay, Amazon, most local hobby shops, etc. The Hobby Design transkit is becoming more rare though, I think you may still be able to find some on eBay, but they’ve gotten more expensive

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