First thing I did was to start planning out the interior, beginning with the seats. For this I chose a set coming from the Tamiya R32 Gr.A Skyline consisting of a standard R32 seat and the other one a bucket seat. These were already hand painted so after test fitting them I put them in isopropyl alcohol to remove all the old paint. This layout of mismatched seats will give me that true JDM look where it's common to have this configuration
The standard R32 seat will be used for the passenger side and once the paint was removed, I heated it from the bottom side and adjusted its angle to match with the original AZ-1 seats. The bucket seat needed more work since it had the molded harness. This was carefully removed using a rotary tool and then I also filled the holes and cut new ones
Next job was to make a scratch-built roll cage to enhance the little interior's overall look. This was made using 1.6mm electrical wire with the copper replaced with metal wire. This procedure is described in the 'Custom Hoses & Rods' tutorial. Watch HERE
Another addition I thought would make the interior more cool is a boost gauge, to monitor the little turbo's boost! So I made one myself using a piece of old brush turned to shape. Then I made a simple bracket from styrene so that this could be mounted on the dash
Then it was time to upgrade the chassis components and here I thought of making the front brakes bigger. Above is a comparison of the original kit brakes (black) with the new ones. These come from the rear of a Tamiya Skyline GT-R! Since these had the single piston calipers, I modified these to look like front-mounted calipers. I also had matching photo-etch parts for the discs, left from a previous Tamiya Skyline build... perfect!
Once both calipers were modified with styrene to make them more realistic, the new discs' rear part was cut out to obtain the same width as the original kit's front brakes
Next on the list was the exhaust where I decided to eliminate the original silence and tiny little pipes + exhaust tip, and make my own straight pipe and much wider metal tip!
Final modification before heading for primer, were two little pins beneath the rear spoiler together with matching holes on the body. This will make attaching the spoiler easier
With all the major modifications carried out, all the parts could be then cleaned free from mold marks and airbrushed in primer. As always, I used 2K automotive grey primer
Next job was to start airbrushing some colours, beginning with satin black to several interior pieces
The highlight colour of the whole build will be candy red, so first I airbrushed silver metallic as a base to the parts seen above
This was then followed with clear red, where I used a lacquer one from Humbrol
Seats were covered with Textured white from ZP to make the final finish more realistic
Interior floor and area behind seats was covered with charcoal grey flocking. Silver paint was added around the gear lever. Back of driver seat was airbrushed with 2K clear
Dash and steering received several touches to make them even more realistic
Then it was time for some seat belt hardware! For this, I chose harness material and driver's photo-etch from Decal Shop and passenger seat photo-etch from Scale_Lab
While viewing some real Autozam AZ-1 door panels, I noticed that they had hanging door handles so that the gullwing door could be pulled down. I decided to add this details by making some custom handles from the same Decal Shop red harness material
For the driver's seat, I printed some custom Bride decals to attach to the center
Last details added were Bride and boost gauge decals from the HD04-0076 decal sheet
Finally, with all the parts airbrushed and detailed, everything was ready to assemble all the interior parts together and call it done!
At this point I decided to make the interior even more realistic with a pair of '90s-era floor carpets, custom printed with the AZ-1 logo included. Real Autozam's had similar ones
The dash was next to be finished and here it is in all it's glory.. I love these kei cars!
All that remained was to attach the last little pieces and call the interior done. Here it is!
With the interior done, it was time to continue working on the body. I decided to add a livery to this, same as I did with the Copen! This time, I chose a nice Red Bull livery
First thing I did was to airbrush the body in a generic automotive white from PPG
This was followed by several layers of Pearl White from Gravity Colors, the GC-222
Then I began making templates to achieve the desired white and blue body I required
That's one of the sides masked! Pattern was planned by my creative wife.. thanks!
With the sides, hood and bumpers masked, it was time to airbrush this blue! For this I chose the lovely Humbrol 222 Metallic Blue
With the blue fully cured, it was then time to remove the masking tape and admire the new pearl white and metallic blue body.. perfect for the decal scheme I have in mind!
Next, I airbrushed some light layers of 2K clear to seal the white and blue colours off. Once this was dry, I painted the panel lines using Tamiya smoke
Then I attached the Decal Shop Red Bull decals, as seen above. I have also used some of the kit's decals on the body, mainly the AZ1 logo ones
For the rims, I utilized some blue TE37 and Rays decals from an Aoshima decal sheet
With the decals fully cured, I then applied the final layers of the automotive 2K clear
While waiting for the 2K clear to fully harden, I began working on the undercarriage. First thing I did was to airbrush a dark matt grey and masked the middle for the next colour
Next step was to continue airbrushing more colours beginning with satin black. Some pieces were masked and airbrushed in their next required colour, like the disc brakes
The photo-etch pieces for the front brakes were attached to a rotary tool and sanded down while rotating to create a worn, more realistic look behind the rims!
These were then attached to the disc brakes and finished as can be seen above! On the calipers, I have used Brembo decals from a separate Hobby Design sheet
All the remaining chassis pieces were painted and detailed, ready for final assembly!
Here's the undercarriage detailed and fully assembled
With the polishing done, the body and windows were then fully masked
This was followed with the airbrushing of semi-gloss black to the body and windows
Before beginning the final assembly, only some minor details remained. This included the Japanese license plates where I used custom clear decal sheet, on it I've attached the lettering and numbers from the sheet seen above and the plastic plates airbrushed yellow
Once attached together, these were then airbrushed with a layer of clear and attached in place on the bumpers. Custom rivets were used to make them more realistic
The wheels were also assembled together, finished with a set of custom valves
And this will be the final picture before the final assembly and calling the AZ-1 done!
Next job is to assemble all the last remaining pieces after joining the body and interior/chassis together. Keep following this page for the final updates on the Autozam AZ-1.