Since I intend building my Civic as a customer car, rather than a Spoon Sports official vehicle, I shall be replacing the original Fujimi 15 inch SW388s with these Aoshima Buddy Club P1 Racing 16 inch wheels. The SW388 are not very realistic either!
Although both wheel sets have a female fitment on the back, the structure is completely different. The top ones are the original Fujimi SW388s. The bottom ones are the Aoshima Buddy Clubs and the centre mounting pieces are wider and shorter than the SW388s. This all means that mounting them to the EK won't be a simple wheel swap as they won't fit into the original brakes
These are the original disc brakes. They have the centre diameter and depth as required for the SW388s, so in order to fit the Buddy Clubs onto them, I would need to make the hole in the centre wider and then fill the extra depth with styrene.
Before I began chopping the original brakes, I had a quick look at my parts box and found the Aoshima disc brakes seen above. They are the extra brakes supplied with their Toyota 86 kit, the stanced ones. On checking them with the Buddy Clubs, I found out they had the same diameter and depth I needed, so I decided to use these instead. Another advantage I had with these brakes was that I had the photo-etch parts needed for them too, left over from the earlier Toyota 86 build!
The first thing I needed to do was to convert these new brakes from stance to straight fit! As you can see from the picture above, the back side is slanted in order to make the wheels fit at an angle. I don't want this type of fitment on my Civic, so I sanded down the slanted part on every disc brake and got the back side linear with the front
Then, I mounted the new disc brakes temporarily to the Fujimi hubs and see the original ride height. To be honest, I was expecting a worse ride height than seen above! It's not bad, but still requires lowering considering it's an EK Civic!
So I began making all the necessary modifications to lower the EK. First thing was to sand down the width of the inner arches to make more free space for the tires once lowered. In the picture above, I have highlighted the width of the arches using a black marker. The top front and rear arches show you the original width while the bottom ones show the sanded down ones
Then, it was time for the bottom part of the arches to make more way for the tires! The original arches had quite a considerable amount of thickness and were touching with the tires when lowered to the desired height. So a quick sanding using a rotary tool made them less thick, and gave me enogh space to lower the Civic without the tires touching them, as seen above!
With all the sanding complete, it was time to start chopping the front suspensions. For the front, I needed a 2 mm drop so I cut out this measurement from the suspension arm and then glued both sides back together aided with a 0.8 mm metal rod
To compensate for the 2 mm shorter suspensions, I added 2 mm spacers to the front wish bones made from styrene. These spacers were then drilled with new holes in line with the original holes and in the same diameter, for the shocks to rest into
With the fronts sorted, it was then time to work on the rears. Above left you can see the original disc brakes while the middle and right shows the new rear disc brakes together with the original shafts. The new brakes were narrower than the original ones so I needed to add spacers. These can be seen beneath the new brakes and come from the original from brakes!
The spacers were then glued directly to the back side of the new disc brakes and created the necessary offset. These will then be glued directly to the original rear hubs at a higher position, thus giving me the desired ride height (a 2.5 mm drop)
After that, all that remained was to assemble everything together and have a look at the new lowered Civic ride height!
At this point, I realized that something was wrong with my rims! All EK9 models are 5-stud so my Buddy Clubs had a missing bolt! I could have pretented that Spoon replaced the brakes with those of the EK4, but that was a coward approach! So I took out my tiny tools and set off to change the Clubs from a 4-stud to a 5! Picture above shows all the steps taken to achieve this
After around 4 hours, one wheel finally remained! All holes were done with a pin vice drill and new bolts are 0.7mm wire
And finally, all were done! It was a time and patience consuming procedure, but I couldn't leave my EK9 with 4-stud rims!
Then, a new stainless exhaust was fitted. It's from ZoomOn and made from different thickness of stainless steel rods. Due to the higher fitment than the stock exhaust, I also had to modify the exhaust pipe using a 2mm styrene rod (seen in white)
Front brake calipers were filled with putty to look more like the Spoon items and to be able to attach the Spoon decals later
Then it was time to start working on the interior. First thing I did was to make the angle of the front seats better. In my opinion, the front seats are too straight, so referring to a ZoomOn seat I have, I heated the bottom part of the seats and adjusted the angle. First one on the left is the ZoomOn seat, the middle is with the new angle and the far right is the standard Fujimi one
With the angle sorted, I then turned my attention to their back side. This was empty, so I first filled it with putty, then attached a piece of styrene and finally sanded it all together. The seat belt holes were also drillled referring to the real original Recaros
Then I added a pair of styrene B-pillars to the interior tub so that I'll attach the seats belts onto later on during the assembly
With all the parts finally smoothed and all mold marks removed, I then airbrushed everything in automotive 2K primer
Next, it was time to start airbrushing some colours! The undercarriage was airbrushed with an original Honda Championship white while all interior parts were airbrushed in satin black. Then, I started masking so that more colours could be applied
Once the masking was complete, the required colours were airbrushed. Some parts were masked once more to airbrush again
Using the procedure seen in the background, I have managed to airbrush the BuddyClubs in the exact colour I wanted
With all the undercarriage parts in colour and detailed, all that remained was to add weathering and assemble everything
Finally, here's the all finished undercarriage
Spoon decals on the front brake calipers come from the Hobby Design HD04-0075, Manufacturers logos decal sheet
Next job was to finish the wheels. These were detailed with blue lug nuts, custom air valves and slightly weathered
Then I continued working on the interior. The above items are from HD and will be used for the front and rear seat belts
The parcel shelf was then flocked in charcoal grey while the interior floor was flocked in red, same as the real EK9
With the flocking done, I then attached all the decals and fitted the front and rear seat belts in place
Final items were then attached inside the interior tub and it was finally called done!
Then it was time to start working on the body. First thing I did was to cut off the one piece mesh of the front grille and bumper side vents. These will be replaced with more realistic Tamiya mesh at a later stage
Then, all mold lines were removed and body parts airbrushed in automotive 2K primer
This was followed with several layers of airbrushed NH-0 original Honda Championship White
Since the hood will be covered with carbon decal, just like the Spoon EK9, I masked it off and laid down some satin black
Then I removed the masking tape and laid down 3 mist coats of clear, to get the body ready for the panel lines and decals
With the clear drying, I began working on the carbon decals. The Spoon kit comes with a hood decal, however it's plain black, not carbon! So instead, I took a stencil using masking tape on the body's hood and then cut out a carbon copy from it
Same procedure followed for the rear spoiler. This time I made 2 stencils, one for the lower part and one for the upper
The mirrors were also covered in carbon decal using a template due to their complex shape. Spoiler can be seen completed
Then, the panel lines were also done. The hood cf decal and all the decals to make it a Spoon Sports EK9 were attached!
With all the decals and panel lines finished, I airbrushed 2 final wet coats of 2K clear on the body panel and license plates
While the 2K clear was drying, I decided to work on the windows. First, custom window masks were made since these were not included with the kit and then airbrushed using Tamiya semi-gloss black. Rear windows were then lightly tinted with Tamiya smoke
Once the 2K clear was fully dried, the whole body was wet-sanded with 2500-grit to remove all the orange peel
This was followed by a full polishing procedure, same as explained in my Polishing Tutorial. Shine achieved is seen above
After that, the whole body was masked using Tamiya tape to airbrush the window trims in satin black and lights in chrome
With the tape removed, I noticed that the headlights didn't come out as planned, so these were re-masked and airbrushed!
Finally, all the remaining pieces were assembled to the body and the Spoon Sports EK9 was called finished!