Customizer Techniques – Detailing the Lights

I have been building custom Hot Wheels for about 6 months now. And one thing that frustrates me more than I care to think about is adding details to the cars that I build.

I seemed to have picked up painting the cars just fine. But, when it comes to painting the details, especially headlights and taillights, I just can’t seem to find a satisfactory way to get it done.

I first tried using a brush, but quickly realized that it wasn’t going to work. Not only did I have trouble painting a straight line, but it left brush marks. So I then moved on to trying to paint details with my airbrush. I had seen this technique done on Youtube and I liked the way that the paint laid down flat without a single brush stroke.

hot wheels nissan 300zx

I had also seen nice results using masking tape to section off the area to be painted and figured that if I could lay the paint down flat with my airbrush, the masking tape would define the area to be painted. This method worked well except for the fact that in a couple of places the paint bleed right under the tape.

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LIHW – Long Island Hot Wheels Collectors and Customizers Club

As you know from my previous posts, I have been building the Long Island Hot Wheels Club. There is just something about the tiny cars that I find cool. I know that many people will disagree with me, but in some ways even cooler than full size cars.

I mean when it comes to the full size 1-1 car, I can see having two or three, but with the diecasts, I can have thousands and never worry about where I am going to park. I also will never be concerned when it comes to such things as keeping up with registrations and inspections as well as maintenance.

Get it or custom build it and display it on your shelf – done! As I said, many will disagree with me, but my one Camaro works for me.

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Product Review – My Experience With The Iwata NEO Airbrush

When I first decided to begin making custom diecasts, I knew that I going to need and airbrush, but having never used one before had no idea of which one to choose. Shopping without any knowledge of the product is never easy, but once I decided which one to try my knowledge of what I wanted in an airbrush and how they worked grew rather quick.

The airbrush that I chose was the Iwata NEO. Hobby Lobby has a very good price of $49 of which they immediately take off 40%. Considering that I had heard of the name, Iwata combined with the price, it was enough for me to give it a try. I would like to say that the Neo had certain features, but honestly I didn’t know enough at the time to even know what I wanted.

Now, that I have been using my airbrush everyday for the last 6 months, today it’s a completely different story. I have lots of airbrushing experience. I not only know what the different features of an airbrushes are, I can tell you what I like and what I would prefer worked better with the one that I am using.

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UPDATE: Current Projects – 95 Impala and 87 300zx

In my last post, I showed off my latest two projects – the Nissan 300zx and the Chevy Impala. Although both cars are a long ways away from completion, I figured that it was a good time to give you a glimpse of how far long the cars currently are.

Let’s begin with the Impala. After locating a Johnny Lightning for a base to begin on eBay, I received the car about 10 days ago. There are many mods on the car that I am reproducing including a hood scoop, a rear spoiler, and a front splitter so I immediately got to work cutting out a section of the hood where the scoop is to be located. I then using styrene and Tamiya putty and began forming the mods.

Here are a couple of pictures of the actual car and the diecast.

As you can see that the modifications have been installed, formed and just need to be cleaned up. The only other thing that needed to be done was the wheels which were chrome needed to be painted black.

Once those things are done the car will be ready for paint. So as you can see although there is a lot left to do mostly in the way of paint, a lot has gotten done.

As for the Nissan, although it has a lot fewer modifications to reproduce, I do have some body work to do as the car was an 84 turbo and I am turning it into an 87 without a turbo.

I also decided that I would like to give the car T tops. Although T tops were outlined in the hard top, I decided that it would look much better if I broke out the Dremel and actually made T tops.

I then puttied around the lights since the 84 and 87 have a different taillight setup and removed the turbo using a file.

At his point, the car has been primed and painted and I am in the process of painting in the taillights. Once that is complete I plan to clearcoat the car.

Here are some pictures of the Nissan.

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Current Projects – 95 Impala and 87 300zx

Along with setting up and establishing the Long Island Hot Wheels Club, there are a couple of other projects that I have been hard at work on. Mainly a 95 Chevrolet Impala and an 87 Nissan 300zx.

The Nissan is a car that I just decided one day to do as a lark. My friend Jeff bought his dream classic a couple of months back and I wanted to build him a miniature of it. I figured that not only would it make an excellent gift to give a good friend, but that I would gain lots of needed experience doing so.

The Impala is actually much more interesting. It’s a basic 95 Impala SS, but what makes it interesting is that it has several very cool mods that I need to reproduce.

The guy that I am building it for was recommended to me by a guy that I met on Instagram.

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February 2019 – Group Update

Today is March 1rst and I just realized that I haven’t posted in over 3 weeks. Well, in one way it’s kind of understandable because I am a car guy who lives in New York.

It’s cold, dreary and I haven’t even washed my Camaro in, let’s just say a while – a long while. Actually, except for the occasional outing my Camaro spends it’s day’s under a cover in my driveway. I have written before that since being back in the automotive world this is my first offseason and it’s not much fun. There is nothing to do except wait for the better weather.

Or is there? As I am sure you have seen, I have become more and more into my Hot Wheels. It’s started last summer with a couple of cool Camaros that I bought on eBay and moved quickly to full-blown customizations.

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Approaching 1 Year

As difficult as it is to believe it’s fast coming up on the anniversary of my getting Bowtie. I am realizing this because this Sunday is the Superbowl and it feels like just yesterday, when during the last Superbowl that I asked my friend Jeff his opinion of the car.

Of course, at that time Bowtie wasn’t mine. He was just a listing on Carguru that I very much liked and was considering buying. It had only been a couple of days that I had been thinking Camaro, but by this point, my choice was narrowed down.

It was just a matter of which Camaro to get. Remember I knew nothing about the Camaro since I hadn’t owned one in almost 25 years and it was still a very strange concept, the idea of me owning another Camaro. It didn’t seem real, but I was enjoying the experience.

So Monday morning, the day after the Superbowl, I remember calling the dealership and beginning the paperwork. And it was Thursday of that week that my friend Bob and I took a trip to King of Prussia to pick up the car.

You can read about my first thought here.

Now that it has been a year, as difficult as that is to believe, what has even been harder to believe is the way that this car has changed my life. Since that time everything has been all about the Camaro. From the clubs that I have joined, to the friends that I have made, to my Hot Wheels collection it has all been about the Camaro.

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