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Christmas Vacation Custom Wagon Complete

Finished Christmas Vacation WagonFinished Christmas Vacation WagonFinished Christmas Vacation WagonFinished Christmas Vacation WagonFinished Christmas Vacation WagonFinished Christmas Vacation WagonFinished Christmas Vacation WagonFinished Christmas Vacation WagonFinished Christmas Vacation WagonFinished Christmas Vacation WagonFinished Christmas Vacation WagonFinished Christmas Vacation WagonFinally finished the custom Hot Wheels Christmas Vacation wagon. Not perfect, but I’m pleased with my interpretation of the car. I was very happy with the paint job, sort of hated covering it with snow. This is one I may revisit again in the future if I can find a wagon that looks more like the ’89 Taurus that was used in the movie. And before you ask what I used for the snow, it’s latex based window glaze. Very easy to work with. Now it’s time to plan the next custom.

Christmas Vacation Custom Hot Wheels Part I

Christmas Vacation Custom Hot Wheels Part II

Christmas Vacation Custom Hot Wheels Part III

Christmas Vacation Custom Hot Wheels Part IV

Christmas Vacation Custom Hot Wheels Part V

Christmas Vacation Custom Wagon Update 2

Christmas Vacation Custom Hot WheelsChristmas Vacation Custom Hot WheelsChristmas Vacation Custom Hot WheelsChristmas Vacation Custom Hot WheelsChristmas Vacation Custom Hot WheelsChristmas Vacation Custom Hot WheelsOne step closer to completing this custom. Finished the wood grain side panels that actually turned out a lot better than I thought they would. These didn’t have to be perfect because they would be partially hidden behind faux snow, but the dry brush technique worked perfectly. I’ve watched at least one video of a very talented custom builder trying to do this same custom and they struggled with the snow and ice on the car. This made me think long and hard about what I was going to use to replicate snow and ice stuck to the car. After looking at numerous glues and paints that I had available, I decided to go a whole different direction. Lenora had recently re-glazed some of the windows in the house and was using a latex based glaze. I remember thinking how much the texture of the glaze reminded me of frozen snow. We had some left over, so I thought I’d give it a try. It was a bit dry to use right out of the tube, but I thinned it a little with water and it brushed on the car exactly how I wanted it to. I kept building up layers until I was satisfied with the look. Once it’s dry, I may add a little more once I address the wheels. Won’t be long and it’ll be time to mount the tree.

Christmas Vacation Custom Wagon Update 1

Griswold Christmas Vacation Wagon20181103_01210120181103_00253020181103_00010620181103_154145Worked on the custom Christmas Vacation wagon a little last night. After looking at so many possible paint colors and since this is my vision of the wagon, I decided to go with Arizona Beige. No, it’s not the chocolate/mauve color used in the movie, but it’s what I think will look good as a finished product. I also started on the wood grain trim/panels on the car. Just like the movie wagon, these are going to look out of place. I’ve only applied the base color, which will be the color of the trim/border of the wood grain. I also finished chroming the bumpers and painting the grill. The grill is supposed to be a silver color, but it looks like it matches the bumpers in the pic. It’s actually darker and less shiny. More to come soon!

Mabel Gets A New Battery

New Battery For MabelNew Battery For MabelNew Battery For MabelNew Battery For MabelNew Battery For MabelNew Battery For MabelNew Battery For MabelNew Battery For MabelI noticed a few months ago that if Mabel sat for a week or so without being started, the starter struggled a bit to turn the motor. I installed a hard start relay to see if this made any difference. The battery I was using was a Autocraft Silver 42-1 which is perfect for these cars, it has the protective cap over the positive terminal to keep from accidentally grounding out the battery if somebody is sitting in the back seat. Anyhow, I’d throw the charger on the battery for an hour or so and it’d be fine for a couple of weeks, then after she sat for a few days, I’d have the same issue. Voltage out of the battery without the car running was 10.8 volts, that’s low. Should be around 12.6. With the car running, I was getting right at 14 volts, so I knew the generator was working properly. That battery just wasn’t holding a charge like it should. I also tested for parasitic battery drain and everything checked out ok. The battery is almost 5 years old, time for a new one. This time, I decided to go with a Interstate MT-47. It got good reviews even though it cost a bit more compared to other batteries. It doesn’t have the protective cap over the positive terminal, but the case is built to prevent any accidental grounding. For added protection, you can always throw a piece of rubber, such as an old floor mat, over top of the battery as well. [Read more…]

Christmas Vacation Custom Wagon Update

Christmas Vacation Custom Hot WheelsChristmas Vacation Custom Hot WheelsJust a little update on the Christmas Vacation wagon. Had some time this evening to chrome the bumpers and paint the interior. I’ve decided to make this a mashup of the original Griswold Truckster and the ’89 Taurus wagon used in Christmas vacation. The best of both worlds.

Christmas Vacation Custom Wagon Continues

Christmas Vacation Custom Hot WheelsClark Griswold Custom WagonClark Griswold Custom WagonClark Griswold Custom WagonClark Griswold Custom WagonClark Griswold Custom WagonClark Griswold Custom WagonClark Griswold Custom WagonClark Griswold Custom WagonClark Griswold Custom WagonA couple of weeks ago I started this project by trying to find a good donor car since Hot Wheels does not make a 1989 Taurus station wagon. Finding something close, then finding something that’s close and available makes this task difficult. I figured that most of the detail would be in the paint and of course the massive tree attached to the top of the car, so I went with something the I could work with and something that was readily available, a Hot Wheels ’70 Chevelle station wagon. Of course a 1970 Chevelle station wagon looks nothing like a 1989 Taurus wagon, but the station wagon in the movie wasn’t stock either. The Taurus wagon never came with faux wood on it. So, for the purists out there, tough! I’d do my best to make them look close. This starts by removing the hood pins and changing the head light configuration to make it look more like the Taurus. A little filing and sanding on the hood pins, some JB Weld to cover the Chevelle head lights, more sanding, then it’s first coat of primer. I’m still kicking around ideas for this, so this won’t be a quick project. As many times as I’ve watched Christmas Vacation, I would’ve sworn that the color of the wagon was light metallic green, not to be confused with the Truckster in the previous Vacation movies. [Read more…]

New Die Cast and Pops

Die Cast and Pop CultureDie Cast and Pop CultureDie Cast and Pop CultureDie Cast and Pop CultureDie Cast and Pop CultureDie Cast and Pop CultureDie Cast and Pop CultureMy family knows all of my vices. Over the past few months, they’ve flooded me with some of my favorite pop culture goodies. As most of you know, we’ve collected die cast cars for many, many years. Mostly Hot Wheels and mostly VW die cast, but if we see anything else that we like, we’ll try to get it. A couple of years ago, I started collecting Funko Pops. Not all of them of course, but just the ones that I really like. Luckily my kids share a similar taste in pop culture. I’m very easy to shop for. 🙂