For Eduardo Ortiz, 1/24 scale model cars have been an obsession for years. The ability to take model kits and transform them into something truly unique has garnered him over 4,000 followers on Instagram, where he shares all of his creations.
We caught up with Eduardo to talk about his passion, how he makes it happen, and how Shapeways — and 3D printing in general — are taking his passion to the next level.
How long have you been working with scale model cars?
I’ve been working with model cars since 2010. I’ve come a long way since then.
How did you buy or make scale model cars before you discovered Shapeways? Do you find that it works with your hobby?
I would purchase all my model kits from local hobby stores or buy them from around the world via eBay and have them imported to the United States. Shapeways is fantastic when it comes to 1/24 scale models, with so many cool models, accessories, and doodads! They’ve got super fast shipping to boot!
Do you have experience with making your own 3D models?
I haven’t quite learned that yet, but I’m planning on tinkering with some 3D modeling software pretty soon.
What has 3D printing added to your appreciation of model cars?
3D printing brings out all the little details. I use styrene to custom make a lot of my model components, and sometimes very intricate things are hard to craft just right. That’s when I really appreciate 3D printing.
How long does it take to paint one of your models?
Painting is what takes a model car from hobby to real life. It’s what catches people’s eyes. As such, patience is key. If you rush a paint job, the chances of finishing that model is slim to none. And if it does get finished, it’s still going to be a sub-par piece. It’s always important when building a model to make sure your paint job is as good as you can make it.
Tell us about a project you’re particularly proud of.
That would definitely be my 1/25 scale Revell 1998 Honda Civic Hatchback. The model kit is really rare and I didn’t want to damage the body or paint, so I’ve really been taking my time with it. But it’s a kit I really went all-out in customizing: I swapped the original B16 motor that came with the kit to a K20 motor with a 3D-printed intake manifold, exhaust manifold, and Recaro racing seats.
What does the future hold for you? Where are you going from here?
Well, I’ve got a friend who’s also into 3D printing, and I’m planning on teaming up with him to produce some 3D printed products as well. I’m not sure what the future holds, but of course, my dream would be to start a business selling 1/24-scale products.