Body Mods

Body Modifications lattanzi-powervette The custom pictured above, courtesy of Lattanzi Customs, epitomizes the art of body modifications! But if that sort of thing looks to be too advanced for your skills, why not attempt a more simple modification like the one pictured below. demers-32 A relatively easy conversion, Mike has carefully removed the roof from this factory ’32 Ford. He then touched up the bare metal from the cut with black gloss enamel for a factory look. van-beach-04 This is a Van Design creation which basically required some careful cutting. This is side-loading Beach Blaster! Obviously the more advanced body work requires some fore thought and planning. You have to be able to “visualize” the finished project, as well as find a workable combination. Some bodies just don’t lend themselves to grafting well with other bodies. A Hot Wheels Miata, for example, would be difficult to graft together with a ’57 Chevy. So the key is to find two bodies that have similiar dimensions along at least one part of their length. Here is a creation made using the Tail Dragger back and Dodge Sidewinder front: van-tailwinder Now, if you were to disassemble both a Tail Dragger and a Dodge Sidewinder, then compare their body dimensions carefully, you’d probably be able to “visualize” the same thing. And, as a result, you’d probably develop a good idea about where to cut the two bodies in half at. If you can get two bodies to line up at least close, then you have a chance. You then rely on brass stock and JB Weld or automotive body filler to close the gaps. Be prepared to do a lot of filing and sanding though! The first coat of primer will show you exactly where you need more work in this area! Imperfections such as sanding gouges, air pockets in the filler, depressions, and other such uglies will show up well. And this is where the pros are separated from the novices. The novice may let little imperfections slide in hopes that the color coats will hide them. The pro will continue filing and sanding until the hybrid looks awesome before the first coat of paint ever gets close! HINT: A hybrid custom with heavy body mods severely limits your margin of error when it does come time to paint. Why? Because most fillers are not real compatible with paint stripper! So, if you can’t sand out the screw up, then you’re probably in trouble. Key Items to have: Jewelers Saw is a must – fine cutting blades allow precise cutting of doors, lids and around fenders. The smaller and more precise the blade is the finer and more accurate your cuts will be. This tool requires some practice to master – practice on some “peg-warmer” before ripping into that $10 die cast you just bought. These are available at most Hobby Shops and through Micro-Mark . Adhesive – Glue of your choice for assembling and graphing pieces together. bondo Body Filler – this is a must. As previously mentioned, this will be used to fill seams and gaps after gluing and before painting. Bondo is traditionally used for 1:1 cars but can be used for this scale. It is traditionally a “timed” product – meaning you only have a short period of time after mixing with the hardener to use the product before it starts to set. There can be a lot of waste and this product can be very expensive. Glazing putty hardens as well but not as quickly – it requires no mixing and can be used with a finger or brush for easy application. It is suggested that both are tried to determine what works best for each situation. ***** Molding Front Ends and Rear Pans – Contributor Unknown Definition: Molding front ends and Rear Pans is the removal of the bumper and the smoothing and blending of the lower valance area to blend with the body. Usually painted body color. Here is one method to consider….You can take a portion of the chassis, and cut it off. Go just behind the bumper area, and try to leave the rivet hole attached to the chassis. Before cutting, put the body on the chassis, and using a fine marker, make an outline trace onto the top of the bumper, so you know how far to grind back to. Now take the body off, and with a Dremel, grind off the bumper, etc. back to the line. An assortment of Dremel cutting burrs and hand files is essential. When you get close, stop and check fit against body. Continue with hand files until you match the contours. Now take the chassis and cut the front section free. Take the front section and epoxy or super glue right to the upper body. Now you can continue filing or sanding, until you have a nice smooth blend. If the front of the car – meaning the area removed – is what stopped the chassis from going ‘deeper’ into the body, you will need to take a piece of material (wood, plastic, etc.) and make a ‘stop’. Place it onto the inside of the chassis floor, and work through test fitting. Once you have it trimmed so the body will sit at the right depth, you are done! This will work the same way on the rear pan. You can do the same thing as a starting point to a modified front end also….when you have the shape all matched, you can then make spoilers or air dams, and attach and blend them in also

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