The model scene has been on the rise since the introduction of social media platforms such as Facebook and Instagram to name a few. Now one of the joys of these social media is that we get to see lots of different builders from across the globe that might not have been recognized before. One such guy is Roy Farley. I noticed his amazing work on a Tamiya R32 Gtr kit that he is still currently working on. The extra details he added really caught my eye. Although the build is on hold he has recently completed a Rocket Bunny 86 which was purchased from Eightyone81. Once again Roy added some extra details along with a sweet paint job make it a really well all round model. Lets hear what else Roy had to say.
Raees: Give us some background about yourself Roy.
Roy: Welllllll, my name is Roy Farley, I’m from the United States, southeastern Kentucky to be specific, and I’m 27 years old.
Raees: So where does the love of cars come from?
Roy: The love of cars comes from my dad. He passed away in 2011 from cancer, and it’s been a long road ever since. He showed me how to turn my first wrench, how to rebuild my first carburetor, and when I blew the engine up in my first import car from street racing, he made me pull the engine and trans and swap a new one in since i broke it. My love started out in domestic muscle cars (mostly Chevelle’s and Nomad’s, but anything Chevy and anything fast) and grew quickly when i saw my first real import car (97 RHD TT toyota supra). Ever since I was hooked on having fun and building cars, no matter what they are. I wish my pops were here to enjoy them with me, but we enjoyed a lot of cars together, and I still keep around his hotrods. It’s just something that will never get old to me, even when I’m old, haha.
Raees: What inspired you to get into model building and for how long have you been at it?
Roy: Well, I “built” models when I was a kid growing up; I think all boys “built” models growing up, so I use that term loosely. These were models that were half glued together, minimal painting, and parts that definitely didn’t fit right. I was trying, but I didn’t understand the complexity of building a box stock kit. I got discouraged and gave it up after I was about 11, and only dabbled with a kit here and there until I pretty much stopped at 13ish. When I was in college I decided to try and build a few kits again, but only built one and it was still not that great. I remember it well, it was a Revell WRX, which I didn’t know at the time was a rare kit to be had, but I remember being so stoked it had a turbo in the kit, and then got to the turbo and was so disappointed. The lack of detail in the it was just overwhelming, and very disheartening. I felt like no matter what the kit wasn’t going to end up being that great. I finished the kit, very displeased and with many mistakes under my belt for one build (I didn’t strip the chrome on the wheels, just straight dry brushed over them, hah, looked like shit, got glue ALL over the headlights and windshield/windows, and ended up gluing all of the wheels in place on accident), and decided ‘okay enough, I’m done. I gave it up for what I thought was good. I had some shit come up in my life, ended up moving back home with my mom, and left the kit at my old apartment never to be seen again. I got involved with a wonderful woman and started building real cars again (1990 eagle talon, a poor man’s evo), but the winters here suck, so I took the car building itch indoors, which is never a good thing. While looking at build sheets and parts for my 4g63t, I stumbled across Mike Lawrence’s time attack Evo and was BLOWN away. I knew I had to get into the hobby again, and it’s pretty much history from there. I have been spending more money on model cars than real cars ever since!
Raees: Is there a specific style or theme that you build and why?
Roy: I’m over the top. Not like, bosozoku over the top, but on 98% of my builds, I do things that most people don’t even care about. I put detail into places that even I won’t see when it’s installed, but I try to stay as close to scale as possible on everything. It’s kind of sad to know that most of my detail won’t ever be seen, but I know it’s there. I know that I did or didn’t do it and it can really bother me sometimes because I’ll think to myself ‘well, it would suck if it wasn’t as close to 100% accurate as I could get. I’m still learning a lot, especially with scratch building and painting, but that’s the best part about doing something you love. I never get tired of it because I’m always learning something new. I like to keep everything clean and fresh, new ideas, new item placement, new designs, whatever I can do to keep a clean fresh palate.
Raees: Do you prefer a certain brand of kits?
Roy: I like Tamiya kits mostly. They have very high quality kits and have most of the brands and models I prefer. I should say I primarily build Tamiya kits, as I look now I have 7 Tamiya kits, 3 Revell kits, 2 Hasegawa kits, 2 Aoshima and Fujimi kits. I prefer the Tamiya kits because there is no casting flash in the window surrounds, and usually minimal mold lines to remove. I also prefer Tamiya kits because of the engine detailing in the ones with included engines. Fujimi makes great kits, I enjoy the way their kits feel when you work on them, as well as Aoshima. I keep primarily Aoshima wheels in my collection, although I’ve been trying to get my hands on some Fujimi vintage wheel sets.
Raees: What is your favourite part of model building?
Roy: The research and design. I love looking at what other people have done and go a step beyond, or think of something new to add to the equation. I love scratch building, even though it can be highly frustrating and expensive. I love seeing a kit come together as I’m building it and seeing how the pieces interact with my ideas and the pieces around it. I bet I put my kits together 100+ times before I shoot paint, just to make sure everything fits well. I still make mistakes, which is my least favorite part of building, but it’s part of everything. I put as much time into research for a kit and 1:1 models as I do actually building it.
Raees: Do you have a favourite build?
Roy: I’ll answer this a few ways:
This is my first ever truly 100% completed model. Seriously. The last build I finished was the WRX and it was when I was 20ish, so a long time ago, and it was far from 100%. So this rocket bunny is my favorite build by default because it is the first one I have ever finished, haha.
Now, if I’m talking about my favorite build, completed or WIP, I would have to say it’s of my r32 GTR that is a heavy work in progress. It is a Tamiya HKS R32 GTR that I have added about 1 million extra details to, and the list will continue to grow and grow. It is a mix of several 8 and 9 sec r32 drag cars, with a streetable twist to it, and it has all scratchbuilt peripheral parts (intake, exhaust manifold, exhaust, turbo, etc) and will be heavily customized from front to back with some pretty cool features added. I’m very excited to put it back on the bench.
Of all time, i’d have to say it’s probably Mike Lawrence’s Evo. How can it not be someone’s favorite build? It’s utterly breathtaking.
Raees: So more about your build. Where did the inspiration come from?
Roy: The inspiration for my build came from several places. I love the ft-86, and when I first saw rocket bunny had produced a kit for one, I fell in love. When I started modelling and found out there was an ft-86 kit released, and soon would be a release of the trans kit, i was hooked. I did probably 50 hours of research on the ft-86 and went over hundreds of build threads and thousands of photos. I came across a galaxy silica blue BRZ that just took my breath away, so when I was finished with the bodywork, I ran out and nabbed a mixed spray can of GSB and sprayed it down. I’m a terrible painter with cans, so I over flooded the body with colour, and the paint wouldn’t adhere well, and was so thick that it couldn’t dry. so I stripped it, refit the body kit, and said ‘okay, time for redemption.’ I came across Mackin Industries build of an FR-S that they fitted the kit to, did a roll cage in, and did a full color change, Porsche’s Mexico Blue. I was hooked. I came home, mixed up some Tamiya acrylic Sky Blue, and started spraying. I came out with a perfectly matte Mexico Blue. Eightyone’s kit really comes together with this color, and I wish it were a colour they actually offered on an FT-86, I’d sell my soul for one. I fabbed up the turbo kit and rollcage from several different sources, not happy with any one real source seeing as they were all done in gutted cars. I wanted mine to retain the stock interior, but merely look like the pieces were fit around the rollcage, not the opposite. I think the cage looks like it’s supposed to be inside the car, not like it was an afterthought.
Raees: Is there any scratch built or aftermarket parts on?( do elaborate on the base kit too)
Roy: Yes, several. I didn’t want to add too much to the kit, I wanted to keep it very clean, but I built several parts for the car. I fabbed up mounts underneath the engine to build a header from, and I made a long tube un-equal length turbo manifold from solder in true boxer fashion. I fitted a styrene flange at the top with some hex bolts that I glued in place. After I installed the turbo that came with the trans kit, I fabbed up a scale 3in downpipe and wrapped the header and downpipe up in athletic tape. After it was wrapped, I drybrushed some alclad polished aluminum over the tape to give it a look very similar to DEI titanium heat wrap. Very pleased with how that turned out. Obviously i modified the intake manifold to accommodate intercooler piping instead of an airbox, and I made intercooler piping to attach everything to the supplied intercooler. I scratchbuilt an o2 sensor for the downpipe and a blowoff valve that i added to the piping and plumbed in with detail wire to look like wiring harness and vacuum line. I also painstakingly built the rollcage, which turned out fucking sweet in my opinion. I love the gussets in the rear, and it fits like a glove. I didn’t scratchbuild the racing harnesses but i put them together which was very painful for my hands, but pleasing for the eyes.
I was very happy with how easily the base kit could be modified. The engine bay was very roomy once the airbox was removed, and there were several places to stick a turbo. I was also pleased with how the overall kit turned out. The tamiya base kit was very good, but there were some fitment flaws with the hood. It never fit correctly even out of the box, so I shaved quite a bit all the way around, and still had fitment issues. Once those were solved, fitment was fine even through paint, but when installing the hood onto the kit for the final time, it wil not seat properly without more modification, so pay attention to that if you build this kit. The Eightyone transkit was a beautiful thing. The resin was very hard and casting quality was superb. There were some very minor fitment issues that I couldn’t work out of the trans kit, but didn’t really affect the overall fitment. One of my sideskirts was exactly .80mm shorter than the other, so I had to fix that, and one of the front fenders was longer than the other by a small margin, but I don’t think I could have fixed those without changing the overall fitment of the part. I’m not even upset about it, because the kit was so easy to assemble. I actually did it twice because when I stripped the paint the first time, the bond for the glue was broken. I also had an issue with two wheels, out of two sets, and Thomas fixed it up for me with another set no problem. Definitely quality in every way. Overall, the quality of both the basekit and the transkit were great, and I intend to build another rocket bunny if funds permit later on.
I’d like to take a second and thank some people if that’s okay. I’d like to thank Thomas Wong, and Toppi from EightyOne for being a great help to me. They’ve answered questions for me, had great customer service, and are putting out some cutting edge parts and kits. they deserve all the positivity they can get and I hope they can continue to put out great products for us to enjoy. I’d like to thank you, Raees Amien, for being a good friend and encouraging me to continue building and for all the kind words you’ve sent my way, and also the metal Watanabe’s, haha, can’t wait to do more work with you in the future. I’d also like to thank all of the great people on all the wonderful Facebook groups and forums, Brandon, Dave, Elliott, Jorge, Luis, Jaime, just to name a few, you all have been a great inspiration for me and have pushed my love of modelling further. And I’d like to thank my fiance, Kimberly, without her I wouldn’t have had the support to do any of this, and partly because she helped pay for my 380sx transkit. HAHA!
All media belongs to Roy Farley.