Detailing can truly make the casting.   Adding things like headlight detail, trim paint and even a dark highlight wash can transition what may be a humdrum piece into something that looks realistic and professional. 

Here a few ideas for some key areas of detailing:

Beads, Wire for Plug Wires, Matting for Interior Detail, Beads for Lights and Even Food Skewers can be Used.

Headlights, Turn Signals and Taillights – Testors makes the following enamels for a couple of these these applications:  Testors Turn Signal Amber (4624), Testors Stop Light Red (4633).  Some are using craft beads, sequins, crystals and stones for their headlights.  Pearlized nail polish is also a great option for headlights as it has a very real look when dried.  Decals can add a special touch as well.  

Trim, both exterior and Interior – Nothing finer then Bare-Metal Foil  – they have a number of styles from standard chrome to bright, Gold, Matte and black chrome products.  See our section on Bare-Metal Foil to see the process.  A thinned black-wash painted over a chrome grill and then wiped off the high points will offer a feeling of depth to the front end.    

Interiors – Highlighting key parts of the interior can add a great touch too – Testors Wood Color (4673) and Testors Leather (4674) can both be used in this area.  Things like stereo speakers, stick shift knobs and a detailed dash can add world of refinement to a custom. 

Engine – Wiring your plug wired and plumbing your hose lines also adds a great bit of detail.  Check out this How-to section for a complete step-by-step on wiring.  This adds a sense of realism to the scale.  Your local crafts shop should have a wide variety of thread and wire for these applications.  There are also numerous hobby paint manufacturers producing authentic manufacturer block and engine colors.  

Opening Features –  This area of detailing has raised the bar as of late – fashioning hinges and such for full openers:  Hood, trunk, and doors.  Flip Front-ends have also been popular.  These tend to be more advanced treatments but you have to start somewhere.  

Wheels and Tires – Tires are another area of detailing over-looked by many – small brand decals can always add a touch or realism as can the addition of White-wall tires on some vehicles.  The standard “real-Riders” versus standard plastic tires is always in discussion.

Other – Accessory parts such as a convertible boot, visor, engine part additions, etc. can also change the looks of the vehicle and add a sense of realism.  External accessories like surf boards, jet skis, trailers and motorcycles also add some great detail to a custom.   

Whatever you decide as you level of detail – like all other aspects of customizing – is up to you.  You may want to experiment with some of those mentioned and see what you can come up with. Experimentation tempered with experience will help you achieve the desired amount of detailing in your customs. Be sure to buy a few good fine-line paintbrushes.  David Elliot also suggests using dental tools for really delicate detailing (as opposed to brushes).

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