Where's my shrink ray?

Making perfect miniature versions of your favorite motorcycles can be almost as involved as working on the real thing. In fact, once you’ve watched Kenji’s Plamodel Diary’s video on a Kawasaki 750RS Z2, you might even swear you’ve seen much worse jobs done on real bikes. I know I talk about attention to detail a lot with these soothing-respite-from-everything videos, but Kenji might just be top of the list. 

While the job of any good customizer is to see beyond the bike that’s in front of them and visualize what it could be, bike customizers also get the satisfaction of knowing that they (and/or a customer) will get to ride the finished project. A bike model customizer, on the other hand, must be content with displaying an amazing art piece at the end.  

Similarly aligned goals, to be sure. There’s an infinite level of patience, frustration, and simple meditation on the intricacies of process involved in both types of customization, especially if it involves fabrication. Add in the fact of the sheer fiddliness of increasingly tiny components on a 1/12-scale model, and it’s easy to see how it could completely draw your attention in if you were the person working on it. Also, infinite woe betides the person who vacuums your workspace unasked. 

In this video, Kenji starts with an Aoshima 1/12-scale Kawasaki 750RS Z2 model kit, but it’s just not good enough. The proportions are all wrong, and the tiniest details just aren’t up to scratch, either. Kenji proceeds to use every single tool at his disposal, from epoxy paste to spare aluminum bits, abandoned model kit leftovers from other kits, sticky swabs from a Japanese dollar store, you name it. (Side note: if you have a Japanese dollar store nearby, you owe it to yourself to check it out for all kinds of useful workshop and household items you may not even have known existed.) 

For heaven’s sake, Kenji’s side stand doesn’t just look good. It’s also functional. You expect that on a real bike, but who even thinks about it with a model or toy version? Need some new glass for your instrument gauges? Here, this cell phone screen protector will work! There is simply nothing not to love about the intricacy with which Kenji brought this Kawi to life. You call that a dust seal? Not if you’re Kenji, you don’t. ONLY THE BEST WILL DO. 

May we all have standards and focus as unrelentingly high. We need more beauty in the world, not less.