Who owns the Kyosho Mini-Z?

Be the dark horse and check out the optional white body!!

While the Kyosho MINI-Z is smaller in scale compared to the conventional 1/10 scale for RCs, it is equal in terms of driving performance, setting scope and popularity. While it’s easy to enjoy driving the MINI-Z, the white body introduces another way for everyone to have fun, not just hardcore RC fans.

I first saw the Kyosho Mazda Demio at the photo session prior to last year’s hobby show. As the first body style developed for the new MINI-Z FWD chassis, its size caught everyone’s attention. For better or for worse, the MINI-Z created its own unique 1/27 size standard, which is slightly smaller than the 1/24 global standard for plastic models.

I’ve heard many people say “if the MINI-Z was 1/24 scale, I could use different plastic models for the body”, so when the Demio made its first appearance, it looked at first glance to be 1/24 scale. The body makes the MINI-Z look larger but according to the specifications table, the body width is 70mm and the length is 156mm on a wheelbase of 98mm. Compared with the specifications of the actual Demio, the 1/24 scale width is almost the same but the length would be 13mm longer than the MINI-Z Demio. However, as the result creates the perception of an accurately scaled down version, the modifications have succeeded. 

[Product Name] Mazda Demio XD White Body Set
- Plastic unassembled body – Price: ¥ 2,800 (excl. tax)


Set includes: unpainted one-piece body with exterior parts; tinted window parts; wheels, and partially colored lights. Mounting parts for the MINI-Z MA-03F chassis are also included. Rolling chassis and interior are not included, therefore if intended as a display model you will need to prepare these yourself.

Back to the MINI-Z Demio; I found the Mazda Demio XD White Body Set being sold as a replacement body set at a large electronics retailer when I was returning to my company. At first I thought about mounting it on a junk plastic model chassis but this was too random so I decided to make my own simple ‘board chassis’ to mount it for display in ‘scale model style’.

For the interior, I used a Hasegawa mini crossover. The smoke tint on the windows is quite dark so you may not even need an interior. Since the design is completely different I decided to leave it left-hand drive.
I used the wheels from a Tamiya New Beetle with stretch tires from Orange Wheels. As the back of the fender is cut in, the front wheels can be rotated and steered.
The muffler was made from different diameter plastic pipe. I reversed the number parts in the kit upside down and used the original fixing dowel as a replacement stay.
As camber angle creates atmosphere I made it larger. The Orange Wheel stretch tires are slippery so they just managed to contact the ground.

Factory stock is good but customizing is even better

By luck I had wheels from a Tamiya New Beetle so following on with that, I decided on the New Beetle’s Cyber Green as the base color for the Demio. The color recipe is: Gaia pure yellow with a little pure green, then white, and finally add Creos 8th silver. Mix the same volume of Gaia super clear and after diluting it, spray on with an airbrush. For the overcoat, spray on Creos 46 clear.
The headlights consist of a clear molded housing and a clear cover, with a two-piece configuration. Refer to a photo of the real car and paint over the molding in the glossy LED section with chrome paint.
Tail light lens is already colored.
Spray the reflector part molded into the body with chrome paint.
Antenna, door mirrors and wipers are molded in soft resin. The rear spoiler is a separate part.
Side window sashes are already colored in matt black and are integrated into the window part. Fitting is also done perfectly.

I was able to produce a model with a scale finish as good as a 1/24 scale plastic model (even if I say so myself). Hopefully at some stage in the future, Kyosho will develop a range of body styles that create a 1/24 scale feel for the MINI-Z. For example, I would love to see a Pao, Figaro, Be-1 and Pike car and 3rd-5th generation Starlet for Japanese young-timers to enjoy.

Is this board chassis for real? A few corners were cut but it still works!

This was made using Tamiya 2mm plastic board. The front has a conventional dowel hole; the side has mounting fins for the body and the rear fits neatly on the rounded part under the bumper. Brake unit, front king pin and tie rods were cannibalized from other models. Wheels were not secured but as the shoulder of the tire couldn’t clear the fender, the wheels wouldn’t come off. The rear was constructed of plastic board and pipe. The focus is on lateral symmetry and vertical alignment.

Makoto Ukai

Born 1973 in Yokohama. I have always loved cars. I learned the alphabet by remembering car brands and grew up with Car Graphics magazine. I joined Neko Publishing in 1996 and worked on automotive publications such as Daytona, Car Magazine, J’s Tipo and Honda Style etc. When it comes to cars, I’m regarded as an omnivore because I like everything. After joining Model Cars magazine in 2014, I became Editor in Chief in 2015. Now I drive a 1983 Mercury Zephyr and am encouraging my two sons to love cars as much as I do.

Model Cars 2018 June Edition

Model Cars was first published in 1985 as a magazine dedicated to minicars and plastic models featuring comprehensive coverage of the latest updates, obsolete models and event information etc. relating to miniature and plastic model automobiles. The term ‘automobile’ refers to nearly anything on four wheels; race cars, commercial vehicles, construction machines etc. from Japan and around the world with a wide variety of topics. The strength of this magazine is not limited to the world of miniature cars and encompasses history and knowledge linked to real vehicles.

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