Tamiya Impreza GC8 Dark Dog

 The Impreza GC8 from Team Orange Japan (world famous amongst drifters) moved to KD Racing in France. They "undressed" it and painted it yellow. Sha_Do Graphics made a nice Dark Dog livery for it. And i wanted this beast in my RC collection.


Impreza GC8 from Team Orange


Before Tamiya re-released the Impreza WRC ‘99, i found a second hand body in France, painted yellow! Almost every Impreza body is blue, so this was a great opportunity to make a replica of the French version. Unfortunately the complete car was already sold to someone else. But with an ad on the same website, i found the new owner and bought this shell from him. A new project was born. Probably my craziest/best restauration ever.

This body came from Tamiya kit 58259, German rally champion '99. Intended as the orange/blue WRC of Armin Kremer. It was used, but a good base to start from.


body came from Tamiya kit 58259, German rally champion '99


body came from Tamiya kit 58259, German rally champion '99


As i always do with second hand shells, i polish them. While polishing with fine paper and water, i noticed the paint became weak by the water. The paintwork wasn't very good. So i decided to put the shell in a bucket with water and after some hours i could scratch all the paint out.


Paint washed off


Unfortunately both rear wheel arches were cut to far. I made the cutting lines straight and made parts to fill the gap.


Reshaping wheel arches


Here i'm painting window trims at the outside of the clear shell.


Outside painting 


I sanded the shell a bit, wrapped it up and covered the windows inside. Ready for yellow paint. Than backed with white and black. I also wanted a different front bumper. So i took the risk to cut the original one.


Preparing the shell for paint


I used this Demi Works 180SX bumper. But that car has a longer and narrower nose than the Impreza. Quite a job to make it fit.


Demi Works 180SX bumper


A lot of the bumper is cut away. First fitment here.


 Modified bumper


Fixing the bumper on the body. There's already some Wrap Up Next 3D decal, but i'll change that later.


Mounting bumper 


Making a front splitter. Later you'll see i've cut the holes in the bumper a bit larger.


Spoiler design


Attaching home made side skirts. You can also see reinforcements on the body and the repaired rear wheel arches.


Making skirts


Cut round parts out of the rear bumper to make new skirts fit. Also the lights are work in progress here. Wrap up Next 3D decal, sandblast effect vinyl and grey vinyl. I cut away the sandblast vinyl where reversing lights and reflectors are.


Rear lights


Attaching rear fenders. Some parts on the real car stayed orange. A legacy (what's in a name when we're looking at a Subaru) of Team Orange.


Rear fenders


Mirrors from a Matrixline Impreza, roof scoop, rear wing and windscreen wipers are from a Yokomo Syms Impreza. More orange...




3D printed coolers, WUN 3D decal smoked with Tamiya PS-31 and something to fit this all in the rear end.


3D printed parts


More home made parts: air intakes on the rear side windows. Also fitted the correct wheels here: Yokomo Enkei RPF1.


 More homemade parts


I wanted to have light buckets in this body. So i made my own moulds. I made them in another project shell that has not started yet.


Light bucket moulding


Finished moulds and the results. Also made negatives of the rear moulds to push the hot lexan in it. The light buckets are painted white and backed with black. The front ones have a thin layer of silver.


Light bucket moulds


I scanned the original light decals and printed them on transparent decal paper. The upper ones are for this project and come on the inside. The yellow ones are for another project and come on the outside.


Light decals


This is where the light bucket will come. The led will sit above the light, shining down. In combination with the vinyls this will give a diffuse light. Below some grey vinyl. Beside the lights will come light grey vinyl to look about the same as white light buckets.


Rear lights


Applying decals wasn't easy because the whole body has round shapes in every direction. Stretching and cutting the decals did the job.


Custom decals


Some more things i made: WUN 3D decals, partly painted to look like a big intercooler in the bumper and front grille. And beside it an oil cooler. And some home made parts in the front bumper. The rear end has a splitter under the bumper and a Team Raffee exhaust.

Now Tamiya makes these body’s again, i must agree it was too much work on a used one. But i’m happy with the result and have no regrets. It went from a basher to something people are jealous of. Enjoy the result...

The real one: 

The real dealThe real deal 2The real deal 3


 The result:


The result


The result 2The result 3The result 4The result 5


Hidden at the inside but great at the outside: I soldered leds and resistors for headlights and tail lights. Warm white in the front and off course red in the back. The corner lights in the front and tail lights have bigger resistors for less light. And the special effects come from a L!GHTS led set with exhaust led and brake lights.


Working lights 


Video of working light:




Written by Gumpie22B


#1 Jonny Retro 2019-07-14 10:48
Fantastic work :y: B)
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