Aimed at the beginner but written to provide solutions to the broader customising community, the following All-Inclusive How-To Guide and Customizer FAQ starts with the very basics and goes on to cover almost every aspect of customising diecast cars. With over 50 questions answered this truly is the ultimate customising handbook and a must have for every diecast car enthusiast.

Welcome to the ‘Beginners Bible and Customizer FAQ’ 

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Beginners Bible and Customizer FAQ - The Ultimate Hot Wheels Custom Guide

‘With God Hot Wheels all things are possible’  – Matthew 19:26 Alex 1:64

How it Works: I will be listing every common question I have been asked and under it, providing a short and sweet answer. In the instance where an Article already answers the question I will provide a link on top of giving a simple answer so you can choose to learn more if it is of relevance to your particular part of the customising journey. If you have a question that is not directly (or indirectly) answered below then please don’t hesitate to ask it in the comments. I will endeavour to get back to you but I wouldn’t be surprised if another MCH reader provides the answer – the Customizing community is awesome like that!

A bad workman always blames his/her tools – and we’ll have no bad workmanship around here! It makes sense then to start with the tools of the trade and the all important work area or as I like to call it – ‘where the magic happens’


WORK AREAS & THE TOOLS OF THE TRADE


The first thing I want to touch on before we delve into the actual FAQ is the work area itself. This after all is where everything happens and if you want that to include magic #wherethemagichappens then you need to make sure your work area is organised. More importantly you need to ensure your work area inspires you to create and encourages you to continue, because trust me – sometimes you won’t wan’t to. Like at all.

Beginners Bible and Customizer FAQ - The Ultimate Hot Wheels Custom Guide

A Work area should inspire you to create and encourage you to continue – even when you don’t feel like it.

How To Create An Effective and Inspirational Work Area

There is no right answer to this question because we are all individuals with our own likes and dislikes. As such I think the best way to share the how-to part is to show you my own work area and in so doing point out what I do to stay organised, motivated and of course inspired.
The above image is of course my work area and I have taken the liberty of labeling the various sections – the explanation of which is provided below:

  1. INSPIRATION. Without doubt the most important part of any customiser’s work area is the bit that inspires us. By surrounding myself with a huge range of castings in a whole range of shapes and styles I am able to find ideas that I otherwise might not have come up with. I always try to change what is on the shelf every few months so as to keep the ideas (and my own inspiration) fresh.
  2. Real Rider & Assorted Rubber Wheels. Keep your real rider and other aftermarket wheels organised in separate compartments. At first it might be OK to put them all in one place but the amount of wheels you accumulate will grow quicker than you think and before you know it you have 100 wheels all randomly mixed together. Hard to stay motivated when you gotta sort  through that shit!
  3. Engines and Assorted Diecast Parts. As above, keep your engines, exhausts, suspension struts, roll cages and whatever other parts you accumulate in well organised storage boxes. I recommend clear fishing tackle type boxes as they provide some visibility as to the contents.
  4. Works in Progress. I actually have draws full (see #7 & 8!) but as the WIPs build up so does the need to keep them organised. The above storage boxes are perfect because each compartment (8 in all) fits a hot wheels car with room to spare for the bits that go with that particular WIP. I recommend lining each compartment with a piece of cloth or something soft – but only if you are a little anal like myself :p
  5. Parts, People and Random Stuff. Anything I find that could be used within a custom that doesn’t fit into a typical ‘parts’ category (see #3) goes here. This includes Trailers, boats, cartoon figures that kinda fit the scale…random stuff basically.
  6. Cars to be Stripped (of their real rider wheels). It got to a point where I had so many Real Rider clad Hot Wheels to rip apart that I took to doing it in ‘waves’ as it were. I wait until the shoebox is full (around 50-70 cars) and then go mental over the course of an hour or two removing every wheel and occasionally the axles with them.
  7. Works in Progress. They start to accumulate rather quickly. Concerningly so.
  8. Works in Progress. Did I mention how rapidly you build up your collection of WIPs? I think I might have.
  9. The Waiting Room. I call it this because although most cars I strip of their wheels go into a series of rather large bins (seriously, I have 100+ Kilograms of diecast shells in 3 120L storage containers!) some of the more interesting castings go here while they ‘wait’ for me to decide what to do with them. You could call them WIPs technically but then I’d really get depressed about the amount of WIPs I have on the go!!
  10. The Vice! Probably the most important tool a customiser will need and one that did not make the official list of tools in the next section. As such I made sure to include it here and again draw attention to how crucial a tool it is! I recommend one similar to what you see in the photo as it allows you to swivel the direction of the vice which of course means you don’t have to change position everytime a new cut (or whatever) is required.
  11. Tools Draw. This draw contains things like blade refills and bluetac as well as pens and other random things that I might need throughout the course of any standard custom build. A large proportion of what you see laid out on the table itself lives in this draw or the drawers below #8 & #9.
  12. Engines and Inspiration. This drawer contains vehicles that have interesting engines and other associated parts. Although some of these might occasionally appear on the ‘Inspirations Shelf’ (#1) most of them are so well known to me now and are only in the drawer for their engines anyway that having them visible is not required.
  13. Parts and Inspiration. This …bucket contains vehicles that have interesting and unique parts to them that I know will be of use during the chaos that is customising. A perfect example would be the flatbed hauler which of course contains a rear hauler section that lends itself to pretty much any other casting you stick it against.

Lesson & Takeaway: As you can see from the list above, my work area is well organised with everything I need in arms reach #GoGoGadget and the surrounding vehicles ensure I never run out of unique and crazy awesome ideas.

What Tools Do I Need To Customize Hot Wheels?

There is no hard and fast rule as to what tools you NEED but I can certainly say from experience that attempting this hobby without pretty much all of the following items will make your journey somewhat arduous and definitely not as enjoyable. That being said I have taken the liberty of highlighting the must-have tools in red so you can prioritise your own shopping list 🙂

**Note also that the majority of the items listed were acquired through eBay or from my local hardware and hobby store.**

Beginners Bible and Customizer FAQ - The Ultimate Hot Wheels Custom Guide

  1. Digital (Vernier) Calipers. When you are cutting cars in half and trying to maintain equality on both sides you need to be able to measure down to the tenths of a millimetre.
  2. Metal Rulers. I hardly ever use the small one since investing in the vernier calipers but I could not live without the regular lenth metal ruler. Not only does it provide basic measurements, the hard metal edge is solid AND dead-straight – both of which are useful during builds
  3. Metal Drill bits of various lengths. The most important drill bit is the one you use to pull your hot wheels car apart in the first place. I personally use 3/16 inch or 4.76mm but anything from 4.5 to 5mm will suffice. I’ll get to the details when we formally get to that question 😉
  4. Scalpel or Exacto Knife. It’s amazing how often you use this for things other than cutting. It’s also imperative to have these for actually cutting…obviously. I would also recommend buying blade refills in bulk as you will blunt blades quickly.
  5. Small Screwdriver set. Apart from using them to pull apart non Hot Wheels branded cars that actually have screws instead of rivets you also need small flathead screw drivers to remove the axles from Hot Wheels Cars. Again we’ll cover the how to in more detail when we get to that particular question.
  6. Tweezers. I use tweezers to apply decals as well as test the placement of small parts before they are actually glued or epoxied into place.
  7. Small Metal File Set. Files of various shapes and sizes that provide me with the ability to create smooth and rounded edges where necessary. This usually comes after I have cut a section of the car off and need to make the cut look neat and ‘factory standard’ as it were.
  8. Selection of Flat Metal Files. Although the file set at #7 is more detailed and varied it is only a recent addition to my tool-set. The files here however have been with me since the beginning and I could not have lived without them. The most important file is the smallest of the three as it fits into nearly any hole I need straightening. That being said I have to admit it has been too wide on more than one occasion which is what prompted me to purchase the newer set.
  9. Nail Polish Remover. I have tried many brands and found that only the Cutex brand of nail polisher remover has the right amount of acetone in it to do the job effectively. Don’t worry, we’ll discuss what those jobs are shortly.
  10. Metal Polish. I use and highly recommend the AUTOSOL brand as pictured.
  11. Jewellers Hacksaw. Without doubt the most used tool in my arsenal and the one that helps me create some of the customs that put me on the map. I would like to take this moment to say that while everyone talks about the need for a rotary tool/Dremel – ever since purchasing a Jewellers Hacksaw I have NOT USED MY DREMEL ONCE!
  12. Pointy Nose Pliers. Getting in to hard to reach places or extracting parts that are a little ‘stubborn’ requires the need for pliers. Pointy noses help.
  13. Strong Diagonal Pliers. Also known as Metal wire cutting pliers these are again ESSENTIAL to your survival as a customiser.

Beginners Bible and Customizer FAQ - The Ultimate Hot Wheels Custom Guide

  1. Clay Moulding/Shaping Wire. Used for helping pottery peeps shape their vases and mugs and shit it is the perfect accessory for customising Hot Wheels because it is easily shaped and holds whatever form you leave it in without issue. It will also bend over and over again without becoming weak or cracking.
  2. Brass and Aluminium Rods. I buy 0.8mm brass rods which I use to make my own axles and I use Aluminium rods and tubing as axle tubes, exhaust pipes and whatever else I feel like. Most hobby stores supply these and the next items.
  3. Styrene Rods and Styrene Strips. Used to build framework and fit anything that doesn’t otherwise do so.
  4. Styrene Sheets. Used to make just about anything where a flat surface is a requisite part of the design. Think spoilers and diffusers if you’re stumped for ideas
  5. Masking Strips. Thin strips of various lengths that can be used for GT and pin-striping…among other things.
  6. Putty Shaping Tools. Working with putty is hard enough on a good day. Trying to do so without tools that can create uniform curves and flat surfaces is nigh impossible!
  7. Epoxy Putty. This 2-part putty is an essential ingredient in nearly every custom creation you have seen involving more than one vehicle. I use and highly recommend Milliput brand epoxy putty.
  8. Small-Tipped Paint Brushes. When you want to paint the tiniest of details you need the tiniest of brushes. I use a range of small brushes, the smallest of which has a head on it made up of only 3 hairs!
  9. Acrylic Paint. I don’t care how tiny the head on your paint brush is, if you don’t have any paint then you may as well have bought Scuba Diving Lessons.
    I use and recommend Model Master brand but any decent Hobby store will only stock decent quality hobby paints.
    Weathering Powder. I forgot to number the far left paint bottle because it’s actually Humbrol brand weathering powder. Great for quick rust effects…which of course we’ll get to in due course. Rust easy my friend :p
  10. Paint Pens. Without doubt the most used of all my paints. Granted the colours are not as vibrant as you get with acrylic paints but then nothing beats the ease, quickness and of course cleanliness of having such a large variety of colours so easily accessible. It is also far easier to paint details with a pen than it is a brush. Unless your @Masanong that is 😉
  11. Helping Hands. Like the Vice that was mentioned in the work area section, the helping hands are ESSENTIAL to your survival and are used predominantly to hold your vehicles while they are being painted. For this reason I recommend purchasing at least 5 of them.

Where Do I Get Engines and Other Bits & Pieces?

You can fieverything is a possible donor part for custom hot wheelsnd engines and other 1:64 scale parts by looking at any of the major diecast brands and more importantly, the lesser known cheaper ones you often find at Walmart, Kmart, Target and the like. Some of the more common brands that I look to for unique engine blowers and other random bits include Maisto, Majorette, Matchbox, Hot Wheels (of course) and M2 Machines.

Of course it isn’t just engines that we are looking for. In fact when it comes to parts I find as a general rule that Hot Wheels have all the good engines where as Matchbox and other random brands have the best parts like rear trays, sides, driving lights, bumpers, trailers etc etc etc.

The lesson here is to keep your eyes peeled at all times because when you look at the world through the eyes of a customiser then it’s not long before your inner Oprah comes out to play 😉

What Specific Hot Wheels Castings Have The Best Engines?

The list of Hot Wheels castings with decent engines is constantly changing and ever-growing so attempting to list them all here would be nigh impossible. That being said there are some classic castings that have been a staple for the consummate customizer and since this is the ULTIMATE BEGINNERS GUIDE I shall list some of the more popular and common engine/casting combinations for you below:

  • Mitsubishi Double Shotz – 4g63 Style JDM Engine
  • Mad Fast – V8 With massive oversized blower
  • Honda Racer – V10 Engine + Great Exhaust manifold
  • Way2Fast – Comes with 2 Blown V8 Engines
  • Rig Heat – New Casting with Twin Turbo V14
  • Toyota Scion – Detailed engine 4Cyclinder Turbo Engine with struts and towers – great for straight under bonnet transplant
  • Tooned Volkswagen Beetle – Crazy Mad Blown V8 with blower and exhaust
  • Breadbox – 4 Cylinder NA engine (small and detailed block)
  • Fiat 500c – Awesome blown V8 with blower and side sweeping exhausts
  • Rodger Dodger – Compact & Blown V8 with upwards sweeping exhausts 
  • Ratbomb – Oversized V8 block with twin blowers and separate side exhaust
  • Altered State – Blown V8 with side intake/exhaust
  • A-OK – Great for Hotrods – blown engine and front grill combo
  • Dragtor – Long Engine block and awesome exhaust stacks
  • Popcycle – Not for Engines but this is where you find the chrome pushbike
Best Engines for Customizing Hot Wheels - JJ Fleming

From L to R. 1, Hot wheels Super Blitzen (V8 nice for non exposed engine builds) 2, Flying Customs Custom Jeep (this one is modified, I cut off the oil tank/diff casing off the front and added a boneshaker skull) 3, Snoopy V8 4, ’69 Daytona Charger (perfect for an open Engine build) 5, Tyrell p34 V8 ( nice for a more subtle V8 build) 6, Flying Custom Amphicar 7, Tooned Mustang 8, Chevy Gasser 9, tee’d off 2 — Courtesy of JJ Fleming

I am aware that there are a thousand more castings that have great engines and other parts for use in your custom builds but the above list should at least give you some guidance when hunting for your parts. –> Read this Article here to learn more.


PULL APART & SLICE N’ DICE


gluten free custom Hot Wheels diecast cars

How Do I Pull Apart a Hot Wheels & Do a Wheelswap?

You use a Metal drill bit to drill out the rivet. I personally use 3/16 inch or 4.76mm but anything from 4.5 to 5mm will suffice.
Follow this link here to learn how to remove the base of a Hot Wheels Diecast Car and perform a basic wheelswap

What if it Has a Metal Base?

If the Hot Wheels casting has a metal base – which is more often the case since it is these cars that possess the real rider wheels we are usually after – then the same approach to drilling apart the car needs to be taken. There are however some subtle differences to how we remove the axles in one piece and other such issues relating to the fact we are dealing with metal and not plastic.
To learn how to approach customising cars with Metal Bases follow this guide here

How Do I Put The Car Back Together?

Once you have drilled out the rivet you will at some point want to ‘click’ it back together again. If you follow the above guide on how to pull apart a Hot Wheels car then 9 times out of 10 you should simply be able to ‘click’ the plastic base back onto the remaining rivet without needing anything else to hold it. If however you still require something to hold the base in place then I recommend a small drop of superglue. Simply hold the car together and drop some glue in the concave section where rivet meets base and hold it there for a minute or two. Once held tight it should stay that way forever. The best part is that to remove the glue you simply drill out the rivet again – this time it’s much easier 😉

How Do I Cut a Diecast Car in Half?

I use a Jewelers Saw (small hacksaw) to cut my Hot Wheels castings in half and to remove sections. I DO NOT and WILL NEVER USE a Dremel as it does not provide the accuracy and finesse required when cutting into your custom creation. The ease with which a Jewellers Hacksaw cuts through diecast negates the need for a rotary powered Dremel anyway – IMHO at least.

How Do I Cut Really Intricate Panels From a Hot Wheels Casting?

Cutting intricate panels and small sections from a Hot Wheels casting requires a steady hand and a couple of simple tricks to make the process easier. Again I point out that attempting to cut intricate lines and panels from a diecast car with a Dremel or any rotary powered device is all but impossible and is another reason to throw yours away.

Follow this link here to learn how to cut intricate lines and panels from your Hot Wheels cars

How Do I Create Hinging Doors, Bonnets & Hatches?

Thanks to Douglas C aka @Carllector for this guide

Creating Hinging Doors and opening hatchbacks first requires you to precisely cut out the panel in the first place. Assuming you have already read the last question then you are ready to create the necessary hinges and custom metal work to make these panels move.

Follow this link here to learn how to create opening doors, hinging bonnets and removable hatches

How Do I Make an Intercooler or Oil Cooler in 1:64 Scale?

Want to make an intercooler or Oil cooler for your Hotwheels Custom? Hellayes! Then use staples. That’s it really.

how to make an oil cooler for hotwheels

Follow this link here to learn how to create detailed Oil Coolers and Intercoolers for your Turbo charged creations

How Do I Use Epoxy Putty?

Using Epoxy Putty really is an art form unto itself and requires lots of practice to get it right. Do not expect your first few attempts to look anything like they did in your head but be sure to continue because once you have mastered the art of working with epoxy putty you can start to create some amazing customs, even going so far as to start fabricating your own parts – you know, for when you can’t find what you’re looking for 😉

Follow this link here to learn how to use [Milliput] Epoxy Putty (not my guide)

How Do I Make a Wide-Body Kit in 1:64 Scale?

amazing custom work by Pisut MasanongUse Epoxy Putty to create fender flares and wide body kits for your next custom build. Whether you go for a Rocket Bunny look or you prefer the Stanced look of the LB Liberty Walk widebody kit – it all starts by first learning how to master Epoxy Putty.

The image to the left is an example of what happens when you are REALLY (REALLY) good at working with epoxy putty and comes with the disclaimer/warning that you nor I will NEVER be this good. Accept it and move on because Pisut Masanong is in a league of his own. End of story.

Of course if you really want definitive lines and a professional looking finish on your body kit then you need to combine the use of Styrene sheets with epoxy putty. @MurderedCoyote provides a great how-to guide and takes you through the process of building a body kit for his Hot Wheels Mustang using a combination of Epoxy Putty and Styrene sheets.

It’s how I learnt (thanks brother!) and I recommend checking out his awesome bodykit video here

Follow this link here to learn how to make a Widebody [Rocket Bunny] kit for your next build.

How Do I Make Wing Mirrors For Hot Wheels & 1:64 Scale Diecast Cars?

There are many different styles of wing mirrors and here at MCH we have covered a few of them.
Follow this link here for a detailed guide on how to make 3 different styles of wing mirrors for your Hot Wheels and 1:64 scale Diecast Cars

How Do I Make Roof Racks For Hot Wheels?

Paddle Pop Sticks and Paper Clips will suffice. Sure you can use Styrene sheets and Clay Modelling wire since you’re all fancy now but before all that we had to improvise. Funny thing is these improvisations are still some of the best methods we have found. The roof rack trick is one example – Click Here to learn exactly how

How Do I Scratch Build and Custom Make Parts?

Well aren’t you getting ahead of yourself now! Go you and your advanced line of questioning. OK so if you have been reading from the top then you would already know that many of the parts we need to make or alter ourselves can be done using epoxy putty – but if you really want to take it to the next level then you’ll probably need to read this guide on how to scratch build 1/64 scale parts 😉

How Do I Create Rust Effect on Hot Wheels Diecast Cars?

how to rust hot wheels and diecast cars feature image 2

There are many ways you can create a rusted barnyard look on your diecast cars – and of course we share all of them here at MCH. The following links are labelled for your convenience and will provide you with step by step instructions using a variety of mediums and techniques.

How Do I Remove Hot Wheels From Blister?

To Remove a Hot Wheels Car from the Blister you need to first know that this method will only work on those cards with a cardboard (non laminated) back.
How you actually do so is simple: Using a Q-Tip or cotton bud apply Cutex (nail Polish remover) the area where the blister is (but on the reverse side obviously) As you do this the blister will start to come free from the main card.

Follow this link here for a more detailed guide on how to cleanly remove the car from it’s blister

How Do I Re-Card a Custom Hot Wheels Car?

To put the car back into it’s blister you simply apply a small line of PVA Wood Glue to the join and then apply a heavy book or three so that the blister (complete with custom car) is firmly pressed against the card. Although you will see the white PVA Glue smearing everywhere you will be pleased to know that we chose this glue because it dries completely clear and leaves almost no residue – assuming you wipe any excess away after initially pressing the two surfaces together.

How Do I Make My Own Custom Hot Wheels Card?

Making your own card comes down to your own creativity and what sort of look and feel you want to achieve. That being said there is a process to actually printing the right paper thickness and how best to achieve a factory look whilst creating your own card from scratch.
The following link takes you to an article covering a custom I did for a wedding in which I made my own custom card. This article not only provides you with detailed steps on how to print and cut out your own card, it also provides you with a template should you choose to keep the ‘Hot Wheels factory look’ when building your own custom card.

Click Here to Learn How to Create Your Own Custom Hot Wheels Card and Card Art.

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WHEELS & SUSPENSION


where and how to get real riders and custom wheels

Where Do I Get Real Rider Wheels?

Everywhere! – But then you should probably read this detailed guide that I prepared earlier – a guide that shows you in detail where and how to find real rider wheels and other after market rubber wheels. Simply follow this link here.

Are There Other Aftermarket Wheel Options?

Yes! And they are incredible! Click the image link below to see all the new KREAuto wheel range and purchase directly. As I write this there are also another 3 companies producing after market wheels aimed squarely at the 1:64 scale Hot Wheels customs world. We are experiencing some amazing growth in the Hot Wheels custom world and I for one am excited to be a part of it.

Custom Deep dish JDM and EURO wheels for Hot Wheels

How Do I Make My Own Axles?

You can make your own axles using 0.8mm brass rods and a hammer. Follow the link to find out exactly how to make your own axles 

Any Other Methods for Making Axles?

Yes actually. Thanks to Nate S aka @GTR_Hotwheels  we have another little hack for making axles that does not require a visit to a specialty hobby store for brass rods. I have combined the process into one image with the steps outlined below:

Quick custom DIY Axles for Hot Wheels Guide

Thanks to @GTR_HOTWHEELS aka Nate S for this guide

  1. Get a paper clip that has the plastic coating on the outside.
  2. Cut a piece off, preferably around 2.5 cm.
  3. Cut just the plastic bit around it on one end. Be very careful because you only want to cut the plastic bit off.
  4. Pull the plastic sleeve off of the wire on the inside.
  5. Cut the axle with wheels you want on it in half from the middle.
  6. Put a dab of super glue on the end of the axle. Then slide it on to your preferred length.
  7. Repeat for other side and fix length on car to get perfect.

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How Do I Make Deep Dish Wheels?

volkswagen caddy

Caddy wearing my patented Work Meister Style Deep Dish Wheels

Over the years I have developed and mastered a number of methods for creating deep dish wheels – all of which require nothing more than your regular mainline wheels from both Matchbox and Hot Wheels. There is also a method requiring real rider wheels that although is the hardest of all to do – it gives us the MCH patented Work Meister style 5 spokes that have been so popular with JDM loving customisers the world over.

The methods for creating these deep dish wheels include:

How Do I Lower, Slam & Drop My Hot Wheels Car?

Lowering a Hot Wheels car differs for each casting due to the individual designs of each. Some require nothing more than raising the position of the axles by using your own axle rods or glueing the axle to the top of the tabs that are supposed to hold it down – while others require a whole lot of cutting to the interior in order to accomodate the new ride height. Whatever the case may be you will find the steps on how to lower your Hot Wheels cars by following the link to THIS GUIDE HERE

How Do I Create Stance and Negative Camber?

how to stance hot wheels diecast cars

Creating Stance is something I love to do because I think it looks hellaflush and of course is so bloody impractical in real life that the 1:64 scale world seems about the only logical option, … but I digress. Ahem
Stancing your Hot Wheels car is as simple as bending the axles at either end to create the right angle or negative camber on the wheels, How we do this however is an art-form in itself and requires a little forethought and common sense.

This guide here should arm you with the forethought and knowledge part – the common sense however is on you.

How Do I Raise a Hot Wheels Car?

Raising a Hot Wheels Car can sometimes be as simple as glueing the axles to the underside of the base instead of inside – I did this very effectively with an FJ40 Cruiser and can’t fault this technique for quickly and easily raising the height of your Hot Wheels Car.

How Can I Make Adjustable Suspension?

scratch build adjustable suspension for custom hot wheels cars

There are some incredibly talented and creative people out there in the Hot Wheels customising world and they have kindly imparted their wisdom on us here at MCH. One of the guides was shared by the ever talented Sharon Tarshish a few months ago and you can find the link to this guide by clicking the image above or by following this link here.

Hot Wheels Leaf Spring Suspension Guide for Diecast CarsNot to be outdone there is yet another clever method for creating your own adjustable raised suspension for any Hot Wheels casting of your choice. This guide comes to us courtesy of the highly talented and all round nice guy Karan Lolyekar. To learn how to create adjustable Leaf Spring suspension using cable ties (I know, brilliant right!) then simply click the image to the left or visit the Adjustable Suspension Cable Ties Hack here.

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PAINTING & DETAILING


How to customise hot wheels diecast cars

How Do I Strip The Paint From a Hot Wheels Diecast Car?

remove paint from hotwheels with paint stripperUse Paintstripper. I use and recommend Diggers brand but know that PolyStrippa is equally effective.

  • To actually remove the paint I simply paint the jelly like paint stripper substance all over the car, letting it fall down the sides and making sure I allow it to cover all areas of the vehicle in question.
  • After anywhere from 8 split seconds to 1 minute you will notice all the paint bubbling up and starting to peel off on its own.
  • I then use steel wool to scrape off the excess paint.
  • Finally I blast the casting with the tap (I am outside after all) and let the water pressure do the job of getting the flakes of paint from the grill and other hard to reach areas.
  • After this is done I attack the casting with 3 different grades of steel wool so as to remove all paint residue and impurities in the diecast.

How Do I Remove The Tampos Only?

Remove the tampos (or factory decals if you’re like ‘dafuq?’) by applying Nail Polish Remover (I use Cutex brand) with a Q-Tip to the tampo itself. Sometimes you will find the paint itself fades slightly if you are too heavy with the nail polish remover so start slowly and gently.
Follow this link here to read the full Tampo Removal Guide

How Do I Polish the Casting to a Chrome/Mirror Finish?

how to strip and polish hot wheels diecast carsTo achieve a chrome-like mirror finish on your diecast car you first need to remove any impurities from the casting itself. There is unfortunately only one tried and tested method to effectively doing this and that is with good old fashioned elbow grease. I like to sit in front of the news or TV Show so that I am distracted and will then spend 30 minutes to an hour polishing furiously – somehow managing to go through a good handful of steel wool and turning it into a fine metal powder in my lap that goes flying when I get up to take a piss or something :p

Once you have removed all the imperfections and obvious marks from the casting it is time to apply the only metal polish I have ever come across that actually works on Hot Wheels metal. That polish if of course Autosol brand (mentioned in the tools section) and for a complete guide on how to effectively use Autosol to create a mirror like finish simply follow this link here

How Do I Paint a Hot Wheels Diecast Car?

Seems like a simple question but one that has many answers. I of course can provide the simplest of all because I don’t make this part of the customising process any harder than it needs to be.
To paint a hot wheels diecast car I use Spray Paint – plain and simple. I try to avoid the really cheap brands but that being said have found the British Knights owned ‘Squirts’ brand is the best to use – and at around $7.50 a can it’s definitely a budget friendly method.

I know of many customisers that use Airbrushing kits to paint their vehicles and do so because the availability of colours and variety of styles that can be applied far exceeds that of the simple spray painting customiser. Despite all of this I do not have the time nor the capacity to go and replace all my spray paint with an airbrush and then go about mastering the damn thing.

How Do I Paint Details

how to paint and detail hot wheels diecast cars

Holzmobel Fathur shows us how it’s REALLY done

Painting Details is something that is mastered rather than taught. As such I can only go so far as to provide you with the tools and tips – the rest comes down to practice and your own imagination.

There are however some tips that can make your own journey to mastery much faster including making sure you use paint pens as much as possible when detailing headlights, tail-lights, door handles and sills. Other tips can be found here in the MCH Paint Detailing Guide

How Do I Apply Waterslide Decals to Hot Wheels?

Assuming you already know that here at MCH we supply the largest range of waterslide decals for Hot Wheels anywhere your next step is figuring out how to actually apply them. To do so you should….follow this link and save me writing it all again :p

What Is The Difference Between White and Clear Backed Decals?

If the decal paper is a CLEAR version then anything you see in white on the decal sheet product examples will appear clear
The  advantage of using a clear backed decal over a white backed one is the fact that you don’t need to be precise when cutting around the small logos and lettering associated with racing livery and motor racing in general.  So Far So Good?

white vs clear decal paper - exciting stuff indeed

When using a WHITE version of the decal paper you get a slightly brighter and clearer image (due to the background being solid) and you also get anything printed in white actually appearing. For this reason I have made sure that decals that are best suited to a white backing are grouped with other decals of the same nature.
Obviously I have done the same for decals requiring a clear backing – which to be honest is the majority of them anyway.

TIP: If you have a decal with white in or on it and it’s printed on clear decal paper then simply apply a small amount of white paint to the section of the vehicle where you know it will show through. Decal appears white where it needs to and rest of decal covers edge of your painting. Problem solved.


DIORAMAS


diecast diorama life in 1:64 scale - diorama shelf

How Do I Lay The Foundations For a Hot Wheels Diorama?

There’s a lot that goes into creating a diorama for your Hot Wheels cars and there are a lot of issues we face – the main one of course being that no one in the diorama world creates anything in 1:64 scale. As such we need to focus our attention on the Hobby Train world and their 1:72 and 1:87 scales. From there it’s simply a case of being clever.

Click the link to learn just how clever – and then set about making your own Hot Wheels Diorama today!

How Do I Make a Diorama Junk Yard?

Thanks to the awesome talents of Gram S aka @HotRod_Crazy we have an awesome guide on how to add a realistic junk-yard to your ever expanding 1:64 scale diecast world. Click the image below or follow THIS LINK HERE to see for yourself how easy it is to create a junkyard in 1/64 scale.

How to make Hot Wheels Junkyard Diorama

How Do I Find 1:64 Scale Figures For My Diorama?

As mentioned earlier, trying to find anything in 1:64 scale can be difficult. Trying to find actual people and diorama figures in 1:64 scale is bloody impossible. That was until I came up with this awesome hack 😉

Where Can I Get Diorama Inspiration From?

I always turn to Instagram for my inspiration – both for customs and the diorama they may find themselves on one day. When it comes to dioramas however there are 4 names that instantly come to mind. Whether you’re into dioramas or not, the fact you are here shows you are into Hot Wheels and 1:64 scale stuff – therefore I strongly recommend and urge you to follow these guys if you are not already!

In the spirit of being inspiring here are just a few samples of the amazingly realistic diorama work of Takuji @Takupon0816. Check out his IG for more!

diorama inspiration with Takuji

diorama inspiration with Takuji

diorama inspiration with Takuji

diorama inspiration with Takuji

diorama inspiration with Takuji

 

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