Like meditation, the art of modeling is a kind of prayer, and the ultimate homage to an object.  We’ve featured models on The Vintagent before, but nothing quite so extraordinary as this wildly detailed Suzuki GAX1300R Hayabusa – made entirely from scrap paper by ‘Yoshiwo Models’.  There aren’t words to describe the process and result of Yoshiwo’s work, it is simply mind-blowing.  Not in the model’s veracity or trompe l’oeil realness, but in the thoroughness of his pursuit, and the sheer otherness of the result.  The finished model is cool on first glance, but as this film demonstrates, what’s inside makes it truly special.

Perhaps that’s sufficient metaphor for Yoshiwo, who explains: “Do you like the Hayabusa? Of course I love it. I’ll never forget the acceleration when I got on.  Paper craft is my hobby.  I’m making a motorcycle. When I was a high school student, I started my hobby because I wanted to get rid of a bad habit, so I started making models while looking at motorcycle parts catalogs. As an aside, my lover is depressed and is hospitalized in a psychiatric department.”

The completed paper model of a Suzuki GAX1300R Hayabusa. Cool, a little lumpy, but wait… [Yoshiwo Models]
‘Paper Modeling – 隼 – SUZUKI HAYABUSA 2021 How I made bike with paper’ runs 23:40, and is an appropriately thorough document of Yoshiwo’s process.  It’s abundantly clear how they made this extraordinary model, which in no way diminishes its magic.   Scaled-down blueprints and parts catalogs found online were the plans, and non-recyclable paper and cardboard the materials; notebook covers, printed paper, and heat-transfer receipts.  The process is basic: an impromptu lightbox is used to transfer the outlines onto pieces of paper, layer by layer, part by part.   The tools used were equally basic; a scalpel, hole punches, tweezers, and starch glue – because it’s natural and non-toxic.

The beginning: tracing online blueprints and specs at scale, directly onto waste paper. [Yoshiwo Models]
There are paper-sculpture traditions in Japan, origami (folded paper) and kirigami (cut and folded paper), but neither uses glue, and this model falls outside of their Venn diagram. If anything, the paper Hayabusa is a masterpiece of Outsider Art, from a presumably self-taught artisan, constructed with an attention to laborious detail that is less concerned with exactitude than obsessive thoroughness.  Yoshiwo’s paper sculpture is simultaneously humble, and humbling.

The gearbox…it was the gearteeth that blew my mind, and the connecting rods. [Yoshiwo Models]
From the video: “Light boxes are very useful. When I didn’t have this, I pasted a paper on a bright object and copied it. PC monitors, daytime windowpanes, etc. I also covered my smartphone with transparent paper to copy [images]….  I started using starch glue. There are two reasons. The first is to think about micro-plastics, it’s a very fine plastic waste, and its said that it may have an adverse effect. I usually use an adhesive made of vinyl acetate, so I changed to something which is not harmful to the environment. The second is that paper and [starch glue] are good friends. Both are made from plants, so even if the humidity changes, both will expand and contract in the same way.”

The Hayabusa uses and extruded aluminum beam chassis, which adapts well to a paper translation. [Yoshiwo Models]
“Making the details are a special time for me. Because, it makes me think of the people who made [the Hayabusa]. I think, one day the gasoline engine will be gone to prevent global warming. But at that time, I also think that it should not be remembered as a symbol of global warming. Because I don’t think a good future will come without accepting the past. It would be nice to remember that it was a development process, necessary for the world to unite and develop through environmental issues. And I hope that the engineers who contributed to the development of vehicles today will be better remembered by people.”

Every detail attended, including seat and subframe construction. [Yoshiwo Models]
The finished engine is all the convincing required for this extraordinary work of art. [Yoshiwo Models]


Paul d’Orléans is the founder of He is an author, photographer, filmmaker, museum curator, event organizer, and public speaker. Check out his Author Page, Instagram, and Facebook.
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