Japanese Scale Model Cars and Trucks with Engines.

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I use terms to help with what kind of engine the vehicle might have.

FULL ENGINE - To me, this is an engine that assembles on it's own. Meaning the engine can be used for other model projects, or detailed better than having only part of an engine.

Most of these types of kits have an opening hood but not all - even if it has an engine. Also remember that a lot of these model companies separate the engine and transmission, and the transmission could be molded into the chassis rather than being separate.


HALF ENGINE - For a half engine, it could be just the lower half, an upper half, or a combination of both. Typically a bottom half can be molded into the chassis, or separate by itself to be installed by the modeler.

For top half engines, this will usually attach to a lower half that is molded into the chassis already. This can also become a combination of upper and lower parts.


Even though these kits have some kind of engine, I would not avoid the usual curbside kits that have no engine at all. Those kits often include other parts that can be better than an engine.

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  • Photoetch
  • Metal emblems
  • Extra accessoris like helmuts, surfboards, racing parts, and more
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A lot of people avoid Japanese kits because most are curbside - meaning they have no engine. Most of the lower half of the engine is molded into the chassis and that's about it.

But there are Japanese kits that do have engines. Sometimes they assemble different than your typical model car kit, sometimes you have to cut open the hood yourself to show off the engine, but they do exist. Here are a few examples.


Lexus LFA with V10 Engine


tamiya nsx  model

Acura NSX with Full Engine


Toyota 88 with Upper 6 Cylinder Engine


Toyota 2000GT with Engine


mpc datsun pickup 4x4 model

Datsun Pickup Truck


Toyota 86 with Full Engine


tamiya nsx model

Honda / Acura NSX with V6 Engine


aoshima ae86 sprinter initial d model

Toyota Sprinter AE86 Initial D Full Engine


tamiya honda s600 model

Honda S60o with Full Engine


tamiya gtr nismo model

R32 Nissan GTR Skyline NISMO Custom Full Engine


Honda Civic SI


Mazda Cosmo Sport with Engine


Initial D Toyota AE86 with Engine


Mitsubishi Eclipse


Skyline 2000 GTR


Honda S800 Includes Upper Engine


Nissan Skyline GTR with Full Engine


Nissan Fairlady 240Z with Full Engine


Toyota Sprinter Trueno APEX with Full Engine


amt subaru brat 4x4 model car

Subaru Brat 4x4


Impul 731S with Upper Twin Cam Engine


Toyota Supra


Subaru Sambar Panel Van Lower Half Engine


tamiya brz street custom model

Subaru BRZ Street Custom Half Upper / Lower Engine


Honda N360 with Full Engine


Honda N360 with Full Engine


Nissan GTR Upper Engine


Honda N360T with Full Engine


Mazda RX7 with 13B Engine


Mitsubishi Eclipse


Full View Lexus LFA Full Engine


Honda Prelude with Full Engine


Toyota Soarer 3.0 GT with Full Engine


Datsun 280ZX Turbo Full Engine


tamiya supra model

Toyota Supra Full Engine


tamiya skyline 2000 model

Nissan Skyline 2000 GTR Hard Top Full Engine


tamiya rx7 cabriolet model

Mazda RX7 Savanna Cabriolet with 13B Engine


Nissan Fairlady 300zx Turbo Full Engine Twin Cam


Nissan Laurel Medalist Club L Upper Twin Cam Engine


Toyota S80O Full Engine


hasegawa nissan yhp race car model

Nissan Calsonic Skyline GTR Full Engine


Mazda RX7 GT Limited Includes 13B Engine


tamiya brz model

Subaru BRZ Upper / Lower Engine


Toyota Black Limited GT APEX Trueno Full Engine


Subaru Porter Sambar Truck Lower Half Engine


figures for car models


Toyota Celica GT-FOUR with Full Engine


Subaru BRZ Full Engine


Nissan Calsonic Skyline GTR Half Lower Engine


Toyota Mark II Twin Cam Upper / Lower Engine


tamiya ho da ra272 model car

Honda F1 RA272E Full Engine


hasegawa honda ra272 model car

Honda F1 RA272E Full Engine


Acura Mobil 1 NSX with Full Engine


tamiya toyota gt one race car model

Toyota GT-One TS020 Full Engine


Acura NSX Castrol Mugen with Full Engine


Calsonic Skyline GTR Full Engine


tamiya nismo clarion race car model

NISMO Clarion GTR LM Lower Engine


tamiya 84c race car model

Toyota Toms 84C Full Engine


Minolta Toyota 88 CV Full Engine


Pennzoil Nismo GTR Bottom Half Engine


Mazda 787B Full Engine


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