Starting Two New Customs

For 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.

I 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.

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