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Miniature Craftsmanship: How One Japanese Man Found Out That Size Doesn’t Matter

By Františka Blažková

TARO__0628’s Twitter account is like any other. When you drop by to browse it you’ll see the classic set: foodie snaps, cats, him cruising on his beloved bike, tiny precise 3D printed bicycle models complete with accessories… Wait, what?

Our cover picture kind of gives it away. First you notice the beautiful Cannondale bike, then you notice the unusually large hand and the more observant might notice a 3D printer in the background, and all those clues start to piece the puzzle together.

Apparently, there is a miniature fair in Japan called Wonder Festival and its main focus is to display and sell “garage kits”, which are sculptures made by amateurs (“in garages”) that usually replicate anime characters, but the nature of the models varies greatly. What the models have in common though is that they are extremely detail oriented and elaborate, as you can see in the picture below. This was Bicycle TARO’s stand at this year’s festival and we must say we are seriously impressed. And we were not alone as he allegedly sold everything.

First, he designs a 3D model, 3D prints it, sands smooth the bumpy bits, and uses it to make molds, from which he then casts multiple resin copies. Then comes the primer and supreme paint and spray paint job where he even meticulously replicates all writings and logos.

Remember how we said he makes bike accessories too? Yes, you are actually looking at tiny hand painted bidons, set on toothpicks to dry. Apart from that he also makes tiny helmets for his occasional diminutive anime female riders. His dedication is immeasurable.

TARO’s account is definitely worth following if you are interested in any of the aforementioned things. Even though it’s in Japanese the automatic translation will give you a hint of what you are looking at and TARO himself is really quick to react, so you can go ahead and ask him anything.