Those who want a DIY project that is both fun and challenging need to look no further than Japan’s amazingly detailed plastic models. From ultra-realistic scale models to recreations of the fantastical, trying your hand at one of Japan’s most intricate hobbies is a unique experience. These are no simple Lego blocks, as careful construction with unconventional parts is needed to ensure the model looks as authentic as possible. The sheer number of different models and themes can be overwhelming, but here are five selections that show off just a sampling of the imaginative world of plastic model construction.
Still Stylish: Tamiya’s Mitsubishi GTO Twin Turbo
Tamiya is almost synonymous with the plastic model industry. Their reputation for precise detail and high quality parts has allowed them to appeal to both veteran hobbyists and beginners. When you see their double star logo, you know that you’re buying a premium product. Though there are a literally hundreds of models to choose from, those looking for an iconic Japanese design need to look no further than this 1/24 scale model of the Mitsubishi GTO Twin Turbo. The flagship sportscar of Mitsubishi in the 1990s, it’s vivid coloring and exemplary design is reproduced by Tamiya with startling accuracy. If you never had this car in its heyday, now’s your chance!
Incredible Innovation: Aoshima’s JMSDF US-2
Want a bigger, bolder project? The US-2 air-sea rescue amphibious aircraft showcases cutting edge technology used by Japan’s Maritime Self Defense Force today. The aircraft is renowned for its ability to take off and land quickly, making rescue operations more efficient than ever. Only four have ever been built, so why not make the fifth? This set is from manufacturer Aoshima. While not as well-known as Tamiya, Aoshima matches its rival in build quality and affordable pricing.
Blazing Through the Stars: Bandai’s Space Battleship Yamato 2199
While Tamiya and Aoshima are respected for their extreme accuracy of real vehicles, Bandai is untouched when it comes to bringing fantasy into reality. Bandai, Japan’s biggest toy manufacturer, is also a powerhouse among the plastic model scene. Battleships are a popular subsection of plastic models, but what’s more exciting than a battleship? A space battleship, especially one as memorable as the Space Battleship Yamato. This model is based on the 2013 reboot anime, meaning the scope and scale is much larger than its original counterpart. There are many other minor differences, see if you can spot them while building!
Imagination at Your Fingertips: Gunpla
Gunpla, the snappy shortening of “Gundam Plastic Model,” is Bandai’s most famous line of plastic models. This series focuses on recreating the stunning robots of the world’s most famous mecha franchise, Gundam. Even those who have never seen an episode of the long-running series can’t help but be impressed by the breathtaking imagination and realism of these towering mechs. The Real Grade version of the RX-78-2 Gundam from the original series Mobile Suit Gundam is the perfect blend of affordability and build quality. The customizable inner frame makes it more flexible than many of its counterparts. If you’ve never made one, why not start with the original mobile suit that started it all?
Rustic Recreation: Woody Joe’s Horyuji Five Story Pagoda
Introducing a set that doesn’t have any plastic parts at all may be cheating a bit, but it’s impossible to ignore the wonderful designs of Woody Joe. Originally a wooden ship model manufacturer, their designs branch out into many other themes, including Japanese architecture. The simple and elegant design of the five story pagoda of Nara’s Horyuji temple is the subject of this set. One of the oldest wooden buildings in the world, building this masterpiece of Japanese architecture and serves as a fantastic construction challenge. When it’s completed, it’s like having a piece of Japanese history in your own home.
From classic cars to futuristic robots, the huge variety of plastic models guarantees there is something appealing to everyone. Will you start by faithfully recreating your first car, or is making a ten story robot more your speed? Either way, with Buyee, you’ll be able to find anything you need at the lowest price. Start searching now to find your next weekend project!