How To Make a Custom Flatbed Trailer
Who Wants More Flatbed Trailers?
Me! I do. Sooooooo much more!
I think my sentiments are echoed by most diecast car customisers and Hotwheels collectors out there. In fact I’d go so far as to say that if you can show me a customiser who doesn’t want more flatbed trailers then I’ll show you a fat man who says no to cake!
Sourcing flatbed trailers for your 1:64 scale diecast collection however is not only expensive, it can be near impossible sometimes. I think the only decent flatbed trailers I can think of come from the Greenlight Hitch & Tow series. Some of the Maisto Transporters have flatbeds but these are waaay too wide and look a bit ridiculous, especially when placed on my diorama shelf where all the streets and buildings are made for Hotwheels. But I digress.
Shout Out and Hat Tip to the Owner of This Guide
Now before we get into it let me make it known that this How To Guide is not of my own creation and actually comes to us courtesy of Kane Gibson, a highly talented customiser and long time Hotwheels collector. Kane owns 2 very active and highly engaging Facebook pages and I highly recommend that you go check them out and give them a like. Considering how awesome he is for putting this guide together I reckon it’s the least you could do.
The pages are below – click on each and it will open in a new window. Go give him a like and come back. It’s OK, I’ll wait 🙂
- Fast n’ Furious Hotwheels Sales – thousands of rare and HTF cars for sale. Literally!
- The Australian Hotwheels Variation Page – Sharing and teaching others about the world of Hotwheels Variations.
Back? Awesome, thanks for liking his page. Now on with the show.
Take it away Kane…(I have taken the liberty of editing and adding to the guide where applicable)
How to Make Your Own Custom Flatbed Trailer
“So Trailers are cool….and not that hard to build with the right ingredients.
I’ll try to do a pictorial to show you how I did my first.
Disclaimer: I’m a newbie, don’t claim to be an expert. Don’t think my attempt is anything whizz bang.
I just want to share what I did and just maybe some of you can take my hit and miss ideas and create a masterpiece.”
– Kane Gibson
Author note: That’s no hit and miss creation in my book brother! What you have done here is create a bloody masterpiece straight off the bat. #Respect.
Making a Flatbed Trailer – What You’ll Need.
- Bulldog Clips. You cannot live without them when superglueing (SG)
- SuperGlue (referred in this article as SG)
- Tin sheeting. You can cut with scissors which gets it accurate. I hammer the edges on a flat surfaces if they curl.
- 1mm brass pipe…use it for axles. Cut with side cutters….flatten ends with long nose pliers to stop wheels coming off.
Author Note: I personally use a different method for making axles that leaves a more professional finish. You can read my method of making your own axles HERE
- Square pipe brass…used for any framework…eg..edging on trailer…also triangle to hitch…tyre stabilizers
- Left…Aluminium pipe…very flexible..used it for hitch(front of triangle)….also Axle tube (1mm brass axle runs through it)….
Middle….1mm aluminum(flexible) used on hitch at truck rear*
Right…this is the 1mm brass for axle. (Notice how it can fit inside the 2mm aluminum pipe)
- Interior (not base) for an HWs 8 Crate. Cut off the wheel arches with my dremel and shaped them
Author Note: For an optional twin axle flatbed trailer I recommend using the wheel arches from the Fast Gassin’ casting [pictured below]
You will also need access to a Dremel [rotary tool] and power drill, but seeing as you are a Hotwheels customiser I am going to assume you have these already 😉
How to Make a Flatbed Trailer For Your Diecast Cars
- Make The Flatbed base and edges:
Firstly I trimmed the tin to the size I wanted…then superglued 2 pieces of the square copper tubing onto the sides to give the trailer edges.
*Use the bulldog clips from the outside and superglue internal edge.
When it is dry…SG the exterior edge lightly.
- Next add the wheel stabilizers. These are those square copper tubes you can see placed on the flatbed to hold car in place – in case you’re wondering.
I place them with tweezers. ..then dab with SG. Tissues for excess a must.
Author Note: I use an old axle or pin and dab it onto a spot of superglue and apply it with that. This guarantees no excess – something of high importance when making my custom deep dish wheels as I do not want any excess SG going through to the front.
- Create Your Axle:
Cut 2mm Aluminum tube to size…I use side cutter then clean up end with the dremmel or pliers.
Flip trailer over and SG into position. ..make sure it’s straight….lol
- Add the V Hitch:
Bend square copper into sharp angle and cut so length is equal. Yes it may nearly break so don’t go too far.
SG to base. *Alternatively, cut the square copper first and then bend exactly halfway.
Blow on glue till you nearly pass out…lol (I’m assuming this part is optional Kane? …Kane? Poor bugger’s still out cold)
- Build the Front Section:
On the front I got a bit arty…
Thats the Aluminum Axle tube…bent at right angles over and over with long nose pliers.
Keep measuring it against the front for size, try and get loops consistent.(I’ll do better next time..lol).
Make sure start and finish are pointing down. It’s very flexible and easy to work with.
SG to front….hold with Bulldog Clips.
- Add Your Wheel Arches:
Make sure you mark where the axles sit so you get the arches in the perfect position. I use a Nicko pen on top where the axles are underneath.
*Obviously this would all have been done prior to painting but as Kane did not expect to turn this into a guide until I harrassed him this is all we have to work with. Use your imagination people 😉
Stabilize the trailer with coins(perfect because of varying sizes).
I place the cut and trimmed wheel arches with the ‘inner’, resting flush against the side trailer rail(square copper).
Use more coins to support the outside of the wheel arches.
Dab SG on the inside where it meets.Author Note: I would personally recommend simply holding the wheel arch against the trailer edge (assuming you are 100% on the positioning before applying pressure) as SG dries to a firm hold in a matter of seconds
- Finish Off Wheel Arch Trim:
I cut tin in the shape [of the pink paper above] then coated the touching faces with SG.
Then SG’d them on the inside of guards for support…worked well
- Once dry….glue the edges again..then SG the inside of the wheel arch where it meets the base
- Make the Hitch:
Cut a real small bit of 2mm Aluminum tube for the hitch.
Dab SG on inside of angle while hanging trailer upside down…so SG drip runs to external point of triangle.
With ridiculously steady hands. ..use tweezers to hold small aluminum tube at end of triangle.
Once again blow on it till you pass out *I’m growing concerned for our friend.
- My custom tow vehicle got a hole drilled into bumper…quite deep.
Bend and cut 1mm flexible aluminum into a right angle.
Poor SG down the hole then place aluminum hitch in.
- Crimp 1mm Copper tube…slide wheel on. Dab SG on wheel/axle if a bit loose.
Slide into axle into tube….measure and cut axle. Put other wheel on…crimp and SG if required.
Author Note: I personally wouldn’t recommend putting SG anywhere near the axle or wheel. It doesn’t take much to stop the wheel turning completely and as such I would employ my own method for making axles.
The Finished Product:
Next time. ..I’ll tweek a few things…put the wheel back a little further.
I’ll also cleanup excess glue from any flat surfaces before painting.
Some More of Kane’s Customs proudly riding on his new custom made flatbed trailer. Looks mint Kane, absolutely mint!
Show Your Appreciation.
If you haven’t already, make sure you go and check out Kane’s Facebook pages and show your appreciation for his amazing contribution.
And if you’re not already subscribed to this awesome blog then make sure you do something about that*
*Signing up would be the best course of action here. Alternative courses of action include chess against a llama and scuba diving for pineapples, neither of which is readily available and sounds much too hard an undertaking to be honest. I’d just sign up personally 😉