Danny Huynh is an Australian photographer, artist, and RC enthusiast who is gaining attention worldwide with his highly detailed and stylized custom vehicles. With only a few years in RC under his belt, it’s amazing to see how quickly he’s developed a signature style and a knack for creative, home-brewed engineering. We talked to Danny about how he comes up with his amazing creations.
When did you start getting into RC?
I’ve only been into RC for about three years, starting in 2012. A buddy of mine had an HPI RS4 Drift 3, and as soon as I saw how the clear bodies worked and how the cars could be upgraded and customized, I was hooked. I got a Tamiya TB03 VDS and then an Axial Wraith, and now I’ve got about 15 vehicles.
Do you have a favorite RC vehicle?
The Axial Wraith. Its looks and simple layout make it my favorite rig to work with. After that, I’d say drift cars or anything with a flat chassis that leaves lots of room for drivers and animation mechanisms. When did you first start doing your custom creations? I made little mods to my cars during my first year in RC, but I really got into it about two years ago. The first really customized car I built that was anything like what I build now was my first drifter, the TB03. I stretched it and made my own PVC wheels, and added a driver figure with a turning head.
Do you have formal training with design or engineering, or are you self-taught?
No formal training—all self-taught. Most of what I do is simple cutting, drilling, and grinding. I’ll draw some parts out on graph paper or mock them up with scrap plastic to get linkages right and that sort of thing, but it’s mostly just eyeballing.
You’re obviously a creative person. What other forms of artwork do you do?
I come from an arts background, and photography is my specialty. I really got into this hobby purely for photography.
How much time do you typically spend on each vehicle?
Lost count on time, as I keep evolving them. That’s why they’re not for sale. If I had to re-create any of the vehicles here, I’d say it would take anywhere from maybe 40 hours to over 120 hours depending on the complexity. Getting driver and navigator figures to work smoothly and hide all their servos is a challenge.
What’s your inspiration when coming up with a new project?
Not much on inspiration—I just build them as I go. There are no drawings or plans. I just make sure it works visually, then I start building on the theme. I’d say my style is influenced by anime, steampunk, science fiction, and hot-rodding. What can we expect from you in the future? Just more rigs I’ve been working on under secrecy. Also, I will be creating a custom Vanquish Products Wraith.
Do you have any plans to go commercial with your designs?
No. I’m not business-minded like that. But I would love an RC company to put one of my creations into production one day. What full-size vehicles are your favorites? I love old-school ’70s’ Japanese cars: Datsun 240Z, 510, and S370Z; ’73 Corolla SR5; Mazda Cosmo; firstgen Celica… The cars of that era had a really distinctive look that modern cars just don’t have. If you could give advice to others out there, what would it be? Your mind and imagination are the best place to shop for ideas. So innovate—don’t imitate.