Johnny Lightning 1989 Nissan 240SX

(Copied over from my writeup on The Lamley Group. Thank you for the opportunity to show my work!)

So this S13 was given to me by my friend (IG: @toastedsushi) from a trade about a year ago, and he bought it in rough shape from a random at our local diecast swapmeet. I had been working on this on/off since then, but thanks to a bunch of editing on the pics I accumulated over these past few months, you can experience the ‘magic of TV’ and see it all unfold in about 2 mins…

I was really happy to get an S13 in this scale but I wasn’t thrilled at all about how JL made a kouki front bumper and skirts for the casting, but left EVERYTHING else out. I didn’t bother trying to figure out this design decision, so I just went ahead and filled in the blanks, starting with the 3 piece rear valences:

As you can tell, a stock & bare rear bumper ruins the look of the entire car by discontinuing the lines from the side skirt. But after many layers of tiny sections of styrene, I had the valences finished with the breaks in between for the exhaust and tow hook like the real article.

Next thing was the front lip, and it was done in a pretty similar way. First I made a main lower piece that fit the contour of the front edge, then added some filler bits to help create the sloping angle afterwards (with filler putty):

The hood started looking too plain for me, so I decided to go with a vented hood. The particular model I chose was a Racing Service MAX vented hood, and each ‘blade’ sits at a different angle to match the curve of the hood.

A set of Ganador mirrors is a staple for any well-executed S13, and that ended up on the to-do list as well. I used a Kinder Surprise toy because of the similar overall shape, after a bunch of putty and sanding it got glued onto a mounting plate made from styrene. A little more putty to fill in the missing areas and it was ready:

The style of spoiler to go with was an easy choice, which is the OEM kouki Type-X unit. The ends are made from the same Kinder Surprise toy I cut up, the center span is styrene, and the stands are plastic fork prongs.

Because the plastic windows were all scratched, I sanded them down, polished out the haze, and applied floor wax to turn them crystal clear. The back window needed the original black trim again so that was masked off and sprayed:

Also masked off and painted were the window trims:

The taillights obviously needed to be turned into the kouki model, so I filled in the original panel lines with putty, and painted several layers on for the reflector effect of the housings…

…and also designed & printed the carbon-Kevlar center garnish in the form of an overlay.

Next up was the interior, which received a secondary color in the seat inserts and decals to recreate the OEM 180SX gradation pattern. Also, I made a shift boot and Pivot “Quick Shift” knob, and a scratchbuilt e-brake handle with a Yashio Factory twist button.

Interestingly, this casting is a bit narrower than the usual HW, so the twin 5-spoke wheels I used had to be shortened. The wheels themselves had the center countersunk slightly to match the design of Yokohama’s AVS Model V wheel. To finish the look, they were painted in gunmetal, and the center cap was detailed in too.

There’s a LOT of stuff that I skipped, but this post just covers the most interesting parts of the build. I’m sure nobody wants to see me make the plain, flat base for the car (because the original could be seen right when looking at the car in side view...).