“How To” Project- The Making of a Mazda Lantis


 -“How-To” Project-

The Making of a Mazda Lantis

by Sinisa Pismestrovic

#1   It all began with a JE Toys Dodge Viper. A completely destroyed beater that was in my resto project box for years.

#2   The Mazda Lantis is a beautiful four door coupe that has never been produced in diecast small scale. Ever since my brother got this car I wanted one in small scale for my collection. Herpa has done a plastic model in 1/87 and there are some 1/24 Kits and a 1/43 handmade model that I tried hard to acquire, but have not succeeded. This picture shows a nice example of the real car.



#3 My favorite customizing materials – mustard tube sheet metal and UHU Repair All Power Kit – a 2-component adhesive and some kind of putty – have helped me on my way through this project. Another bunch of tools included Dremel, a lot of sandpaper, knives, scissors, a hammer and some other tools.


#4   Although I don’t really have the space and time to do a project like this, I still decided to use the short soccer season break to try customize building a model of the Mazda Lantis or 323F as it is called locally.

The finished “body” made me happy in its proportions and size. on to the next step.

Also a shout out to my girlfriend who supports my madness patiently day by day never letting me fear being kicked out of the apartment for doing this while I could watch some movie with her instead.

After gluing together different sheet metal parts, I put the “Repair All” around the metal body. It had to dry over night to be completely stiff.


#5   Next day I modeled the body in the shape I wanted and drew the characteristic lines onto the body of the car.


#6   I added the base and interior of a different custom project to see how it looked. Thanks to my Dremel and the consistency of the materials the shaping went easily.


#7  On these pictures you will notice the comparison with the Herpa 1:87 scale Mazda 323F – the only mass production small scale model of this car. The rear of the car was distorted and I had to remodel it again. it was a tough task but I succeeded repairing it to a certain grade.



#8 After I was happy with the body itself, I added the roof. First I made a sheet metal “skeleton” and then I put 2-component “Repair All” over it and modeled it with my Dremel and sandpaper.


#9   After, I engraved the door lines and other typical features to the body. The lines didn´t turn out perfectly, but made me happy all in all.



#10   Then, for a second time, I tested the base with wheels to see how it would look like when finished.


#11   The base had to be redone for the wheel fit. I had to widen the wheelbase and add some sheet metal axle holders for the model. I also molded another part of the rear exhaust pipe area……



#12   … then I made the exhaust.


#13   The body now got a first coat of primer which was used to see imperfections. By doing this step, I succeeded in removing most of the mistakes.

#14   Here you see the engraved headlights and the sheet metal construction for the air intakes.


#15   The interior of the car isn’t that important at such a small scale, but nevertheless I decided to remodel the one I decided to use. It came from a Hongwell Mercedes C-Class police car beater. I had to do some reshaping and added some axle holders to it by using sheet metal and “Repair All”.



#16 After the main work was done, one coat of primer and two coats of color was applied – I used the greenish-blue Dupli Color spray from my local automotive parts dealer as it closely matched the original color of my brother’s ride. As you can see, there are still some imperfections, but keep in mind it is a fully handmade model made from scratch.


#17   After the body was done I painted the interior and other parts.

The last step was detailing; adding custom made windows by using blisterpack plastics and adding the final wheels to adjust the ride height.


#18   Here is the finished model. Enjoy the pictures and I wish you good luck if you have got the motivation to do something similar in the future.


#19 Below you can see a comparison with a 1:58 scale Mazda RX-8 by Realtoy. As you can see, both cars could be somewhere around the same scale.

I didn’t really take measurements while I was doing the model. However, I did take measurements before compiling this project. I created the small comparison and scale table for the model car and its original.




Real Lantis     Custom Lantis     Scale

Length:           4245mm          75mm                 ~1:57

Width:             1695mm          31mm                 ~1:55

Height:            1355mm          25mm                ~1:54

More views of the Mazda.




Thanks to Sini for another great project!!

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