Starting Two New Customs

Ruby Has Been UpgradedCustom SRT ChallengerCustom SRT ChallengerCustom SRT ChallengerCustom SRT ChallengerCustom SRT ChallengerCustom SRT ChallengerFor a couple of months now, I’ve wanted to customize a Hot Wheels Dodge Challenger SRT to match our own Challenger SRT. Finding the right casting has been a challenge (no pun intended). Even though our Challenger is a 2018, I feel that the best casting is a 2015 Challenger from the Muscle Mania series. This custom will actually be a combination of the 2015 Challenger and a 2018 Demon from the Factory Fresh series. I didn’t take any disassembly pics of the 2015 Challenger, but there are numerous Youtube video tutorials that will show you how to disassemble most die cast cars. First thing I do after disassembly is to drill out the support pillars and tap them for screws that’ll be used to put the vehicle back together. The casting on this particular vehicle was really nice. Good detail with no pitting. Since the interior of this car was red, I painted it a flat black. The body was wet sanded with 1000 grit sand paper, then given 2 coats of self etching primer and wet sanded again with 2000 grit sand paper. Finally, I finished this part of the project with 3 coats of Hot Red paint. It’ll be left to cure for a couple of days before proceeding to the next step.

Christmas Vacation Custom Hot WheelsChristmas Vacation Custom Hot WheelsChristmas Vacation Custom Hot WheelsChristmas Vacation Custom Hot WheelsChristmas Vacation Custom Hot WheelsChristmas Vacation Custom Hot WheelsChristmas Vacation Custom Hot WheelsChristmas Vacation Custom Hot WheelsI usually won’t start two customs at the same time, but I wanted to get a jump on the next custom I had planned to do. I want to make a near replica station wagon of the Ford Taurus station wagon from Christmas Vacation. Finding a 1989 Ford Taurus 1:64 die cast is impossible, so I opted to use what is readily available at the moment. I’ll be using a Hot Wheels ’70 Chevelle station wagon as the base for this project. It’ll take a lot of customizing to get it to look anything like the ’89 Taurus wagon, but I’ll get it as close as possible. Most of the detail will be in the paint. I used Rust-oleum aircraft paint remover (best I’ve ever used) to remove the paint, then assessed the casting. This casting too was pretty good. Good detail, no pitting and only one imperfection in the body. The imperfection was missing metal at the bottom of the casting right between the driver and rear passenger door, about the size of a pin head. To fill the void in the die cast, I decided to use a technique that I’d read about a year or so ago. It was suggested to fill the void with super glue, then immediately sprinkle it with baking powder. It hardens the glue immediately with the same texture as the die cast and it can be filed or sanded seconds after the application. I was a bit apprehensive, but I gave it a try and it works perfectly. I’ll be using this technique many more times in the future for customs. After the void was filled, I gave it a quick sanding and ended this part of the project. I probably won’t return to it again until the Challenger custom is finished, but I promise to have it finished by Christmas.

1:64 Scale Surfboard For Diorama Beetle

Building 1:64 Scale SurfboardBuilding 1:64 Scale SurfboardBuilding 1:64 Scale SurfboardBuilding 1:64 Scale SurfboardBuilding 1:64 Scale SurfboardBuilding 1:64 Scale SurfboardBuilding 1:64 Scale SurfboardHad some time this evening and decided to make a surfboard to go with the roof rack that I completed yesterday for the 1:64 scale diorama. Wanted it to look vintage, so I decided to make it out of wood with a nice seal. I started with a popsicle stick, cut it to length, trimmed the sides, then started sanding to get the right dimensions. For a fin, I cut a piece of card stock, attached it with super glue, then coated the whole board in super glue to give it a nice finish and shine. Pretty quick and easy project, took maybe an hour or so.

Diorama Update / 1:64 Scale VW Beetle Roof Rack Version 2

1:64 Scale Roof Rack Version 21:64 Scale Roof Rack Version 21:64 Scale Roof Rack Version 21:64 Scale Roof Rack Version 21:64 Scale Roof Rack Version 21:64 Scale Roof Rack Version 21:64 Scale Roof Rack Version 21:64 Scale Roof Rack Version 21:64 Scale Roof Rack Version 21:64 Scale Roof Rack Version 2Even though I was happy with my first attempt at a 1:64 scale roof rack for the diorama Beetle, I knew that I could do a better job with it. I re-thought the design and started from scratch again. Small paper clips were still used for the frame. Instead of trying glue anything, I soldered it together with a much smaller tip on my soldering iron. For the wooden slats, I used strips of card stock soaked in super glue. I was a little more patient with this attempt and I think it turned out much better. I may give it a 3rd try in the future, but I’m much happier with this one than I was with the first one.

Diorama Update / 1:64 Scale VW Beetle Roof Rack

Diorama Beetle Roof RackDiorama Beetle Roof RackDiorama Beetle Roof RackDiorama Beetle Roof RackDiorama Beetle Roof RackDiorama Beetle Roof RackDiorama Beetle Roof RackDiorama Beetle Roof RackDiorama Beetle Roof RackDiorama Beetle Roof RackDiorama Beetle Roof RackDiorama Beetle Roof RackDiorama Beetle Roof RackDiorama Beetle Roof RackDiorama Beetle Roof RackDiorama Beetle Roof RackCompleted Roof RackCompleted Roof RackSince I had fairly good success making the swamp cooler for the Beetle diorama, I wanted to continue to add by making a roof rack for the Beetle. I kicked around ideas for materials and finally decided to use small paper clips for the frame. I didn’t want it to look new, so removing the kinks from the paper clip gave it just enough wear. I used needle nose pliers to bend and shape the frame, trying my best to keep in to scale. I also tried different methods to hold the frame together. JB Weld didn’t work very well and it was very clumpy. Epoxy didn’t well either and like the JB Weld, it was clumpy. I had a little success with super glue gel, but in the end, it just didn’t work out. I ended up soldering the parts together. It’s still a little clumpy, not too bad. For the wooden slats, I was going to use a popsicle stick, but the scale wasn’t so great. What I ended up doing was folding a piece of paper 4 ways and gluing it together. This gave me a good thickness that was close to scale. After the glue was dry, I cut it into strips, dunked them into stain and let them dry. I did use the super glue to secure the slats to the frame. All in all, I’m pleased. It’s not perfect, but building one from scratch at this scale is very difficult.

Diorama Update / 1:64 Scale Swamp Cooler

1:64 Scale Swamp Cooler1:64 Scale Swamp Cooler1:64 Scale Swamp Cooler1:64 Scale Swamp CoolerVW Garage DioramaVW Garage DioramaVW Garage DioramaVW Garage DioramaVW Garage DioramaVW Garage DioramaVW Garage DioramaVW Garage DioramaWorking on the diorama is always a good way to pass time on rainy days. I haven’t had any updates to it since the end of winter, but had an opportunity to add a couple of things this past weekend. I’ve been wanting to add a swamp cooler to one of the shop beetles, but finding material to build one at 1:64 scale proved to be a challenge. I ended up finding a few pieces of plastic tubing in my “junk drawer” that seemed to work perfectly. I can’t remember where they came from or what they were initially intended for. I didn’t take photos of the entire process, but basically these 2 pieces of tubing, a little super glue and JB Weld got the job done. I’m pleased with the way it turned out. Next project for this shop beetle is a new roof rack.

Repair The Repaired Surfboard

Repairing The Repaired SurfboardRepairing The Repaired SurfboardRepairing The Repaired SurfboardRepairing The Repaired SurfboardRepairing The Repaired SurfboardRepairing The Repaired SurfboardRepairing The Repaired SurfboardRepairing The Repaired SurfboardRepairing The Repaired SurfboardRepairing The Repaired SurfboardRepairing The Repaired SurfboardRepairing The Repaired SurfboardRepairing The Repaired SurfboardRepairing The Repaired SurfboardRepairing The Repaired SurfboardRepairing The Repaired SurfboardRepairing The Repaired SurfboardLenora acquired a Rusty surfboard for Mabel a couple of months ago from friends who had picked it up at a VW show in another state. I’d been looking for one for a while and if you’re lucky enough to even find one for sale around north eastern Kentucky, they’re very, very expensive. I’ve been told that this is an early 70’s board that had been damaged some time in it’s life and repaired. It’s supposed to be a quality board, honestly, I don’t know. It’ll probably never see water again unless Mabel is getting a bath, for the rest of it’s life, it’s just a prop. I decided to “redo” the repair only because whoever had done the original repair didn’t take a lot of time to camouflage it. It actually looked pretty bad. This time around, I’m not going to try to hide the repair, just make it look better. Just like Mabel, I want people to see all of the bumps and bruises, that’s what gives it character. I’d thought about having it repainted originally, but I’m sure it’s probably not worth spending anymore money on it. Again, it’s just a prop. I did print some new Rusty logos to put over the repair just so people could see what kind of board it is. I may clear coat it in a couple of days or may just leave it the way it is….I like the way it turned out.

Swamp Cooler Complete

Swamp Cooler CompletedSwamp Cooler CompletedSwamp Cooler CompletedSwamp Cooler CompletedSwamp Cooler CompletedSwamp Cooler CompletedSwamp Cooler CompletedFinished the last step of the swamp cooler this afternoon. Some people include a brace/stand with their cooler, some people don’t. Even though this repo is actually lighter than the original cooler of the 60’s, I thought a support was warranted. I made this one myself with some aluminum tube, all thread and a piece of a aluminum yard stick. Added a suction cup for added support, some fresh paint and it works like a charm. This was a beta build and I may redo it in the future, but for now, it’s perfect.