“Wanna check out a cool RC drift event?” was what Johnny of Weld asked me the other week on the phone. I said sure, as it had been way too long since I spent some time shooting cool little RC drifters sliding around. I thought it would make a cool post, especially since it was held at a track I had never been to before. So I packed up my gear, including my new RC drift car (I thought I may be able to squeeze a bit of driving in between the shooting!) and headed north, up to Kuki in Saitama.My goal was Hobby Garage, a massive hobby shop in an equally gigantic mall. If this place is anything to go by, my assumption that everything to do with this “scaled” world has been steadily growing over the last few years, seems to make a lot of sense. Maybe the recession has pushed people to spend money on other things and if you are into cars at least, then building up a cool RC machine is far cheaper than modding your full-scaled one parked outside.This is probably the biggest hobby shop I’ve been to with something for everyone, starting off with a couple of slot car tracks as soon as you come in.In the model car section I spotted some true JDM gems, part of the Gurachan collection. Which one would you build if you had to choose just one! Tough isn’t it?…and it just keeps growing. And of course after you pick up your shell……you have to think about your wheel selection and again you really are spoiled for choice.
I even spotted these Team Yayoi sakura rims which I almost wanted to buy just so I could paint them in silver and pink! But whatever I saw in the shop section really couldn’t even begin to prepare me for what……the main event was all about. I assumed an “RC drift meet” would entail, well…drifting. But this was actually more to do with customizations. Hobby Garage organizes this “RC Custom Body Show” every year and it seems that just like in any other car-related scene, things continue to be pushed further and further.This was the selection of cars entered. Each participant was part of the judging process, but before it all began the Hobby Garage staff…I soon grabbed my camera, took my shoes off and jumped in. It was at this point that my mind was blow. I know a lot of hobbyists take their art very seriously but this was just ridiculous. Every image that showed up on my LCD screen looked almost like I was taking pictures at a real event.I proceeded to spend the next couple of hours on my belly, getting up close and personal with all of these cars. While some stuck to more simple accessories to dress up the exterior……some went well beyond that and achieved almost the impossible. I mean how on earth do you recreate rust so damn well! It was even realistic to the touch!Check out this slammed Impreza 22B. It sort of reminded me of some of the N-Style cars we have seen at Hellaflush Japan events in the past.
Some took their cars out on the track and let their hand-built toy sliders do their thing. I hope you are enjoying seeing a side of RC drift culture that we have never really touched on, because I have tons more to show you!
I’ll be back soon with even more RC custom goodness!