Jun's mini garage

MCHOF ’20: Zen and the Art of Model Car Building with Jun’s Mini Garage

Building plastic models of cars is fun and rewarding, but how many people would call it relaxing? A video channel on YouTube presents an argument that assembling and customizing models can be downright Zenful. And for that, Jun’s Mini Garage earns a spot in the Model Car Hall of Fame.

Jun's mini garageJun (the only name he gives us to go on) builds scale models, mostly cars, mostly Japanese, mostly 1/24 scale. Lots of them are built as custom tuners, or to look like works in progress. When seen together in a diorama, they represent a wide tapestry of modern car culture. With over 90,000 subscribers to his YouTube channel, there is obviously a lot of demand for this sort of thing.

Jun's mini garage Videos are shot primarily from Jun’s point of view, giving viewers a sense of participation. The videos have minimal or no voice-over, focusing on the sounds of sanding, painting, and other assembly processes. If that sounds grating, guess again… It’s surprisingly relaxing. How about “3 Minutes of Plastic Cutting Sound?”  It’s like an ASMR video for plastic modelers.

Despite a complete build fitting into a 20-30 minute video, there is a relaxed pace to watching the work that goes into refining and assembling the bits. Techniques are explained in just a few captions here or there, but viewers get a clear sense that it may be a challenging hobby, but one that can be tackled by anyone. It almost reaches a Bob Ross level of calm. And like Ross’s paintings, you feel like you can go out and buy a kit and create a masterpiece yourself.

In an age of over-the-top production and yelling-as-entertainment, Jun’s Mini Garage is a refreshing change of pace worthy of a spot in the Model Car Hall of Fame.