May 11, 2013

Build and Results: Hot Wheels Datsun 510

So I've finally got around to taking pictures of my first custom painted Hot Wheels, a Datsun 510 coupe from the 2012 lineup. While I did upload one picture of the model on my Instagram yesterday (May 10) to celebrate '510 Day', I completely forgot to follow up with higher quality shots to be posted on here. What other day would have been more fitting...nevertheless here is a log documenting the rebuilding process and my thoughts along the way.

The build begins with a new paintjob. The original metallic blue paint has been stripped, and in its place is Krylon white primer, Krylon Almond Gloss for the basecoat, and finally Krylon Clear Gloss to top it all off.

Next, the grille was detailed through the following steps:
  1. The original unit at the start.
  2. Tamiya X-11 Chrome Silver applied to the grille slats and X-2 Gloss White on the Datsun emblem.
  3. Tamiya X-7 Red and X-4 Blue painted onto the left and right hand edges of the emblem's diagonal section.
  4. Tamiya X-2 Gloss White and X-8 was used to paint on the headlights and foglights respectively, using the chuck-end of a drill bit to maintain a uniform, circular shape. Also, the chin spoiler was painted XF-1 Flat Black.

Note: the particular drill bit size was chosen to expose the underlying silver paint in order to reproduce chrome headlight trim.

Vintage Japanese race cars from the 70s were the source of inspiration for decorating the interior. Their distinct styling cues were recreated with:
  • Several light coats of generic flat black on the entire interior assembly,
  • Yellow shoulder patches on the seat harnesses,
  • Tamiya Chrome Silver on the harness buckles,
  • Custom-mixed caramel-coloured paint to emulate a woodgrain steering wheel ring and shift knob, and
  • Tamiya X-10 Gunmetal paint covering the rollcage that snaps on top of the interior tub.

Here, the car is temporarily assembled after the swapped wheels were painted gloss white, and the body received chrome silver drip rails and window trim, along with tailights and side markers painted in the same way the headlights were done to replicate chrome trims and bezels. In a similar fashion, flat black paint is exposed on the lowest portions of the license plate illuminators for the effect of rubber grommets installed underneath the metal units. Last but not least, both the front and rear bumpers were painted in X-10 Gunmetal to provide a contrast from all the brightwork against the light-coloured body.

The word 'temporarily' is key - I felt that the casting's lack of front turn signals under the grille (which are included in the card artwork) was hindering the effectiveness of all the other details on the car that I had spent so much time and effort on. To resolve this, pieces of Evergreen sheet styrene were carefully cut with a hobby knife and painted in a custom-mixed gloss orange color and glued into their respective places.

And with that, the custom Datsun 510 is complete. This build has taught me a lot about working on model cars, especially with which tools and supplies I absolutely cannot imagine building without, and new ways of detailing and finishing the model. To conclude this build log, here is a break from all the cellphone pictures posted so far: