How To Make Opening Doors, Bonnets & Hatches

Once again we are graced with the experience and skills of one Mr Douglas Cheung aka @Carllector – and this time he’s back with another potential game changer. Douglas also offers up some worldly advice on cutting the panels out in the first place – advise so awesome I have put it into effect immediately and the results have been outstanding. Go you good thing!

How To Make an Opening and Closing Bootlid, Hatch or Trunk

First of all let’s just clarify the fact that there are 65.7 different terms for the rear door in a car, and this all changes if the car is red…or if it’s Tuesday (apparently) This all makes for a very confusing story and so for the sake of a good one I am going to refer to the tailgate (see there’s another one!) as the Rear Hatch.

So really what I should have called this post is HOW TO HINGE A HATCH 🙂

Cutting Diecast Panels Off Your Hot Wheels

Before we can think about creating an opening rear hatch we had probably remove it from the car in the first place no?

To do this you will need a Jewellers Saw. I’ve touched on these before because they are a necessity for any customiser worth his salt and so if you have not already purchased one then hurry up already, (this time I won’t wait sorry)

jewellers saw with blades

They look like this in case you are wondering

The following tip is the one I have since started employing and although it now seems like an obvious step to take, I never thought to actually do it…probably cause I was always too keen to just get in there and hack the damn thing LOL

How To Cut Your Diecast Car Cleanly

how to cut the panels out cleanly 1

For example you want to cut out the hatch door of this 260z, you can see the lines/ edge of the door on the body. But while you’re cutting, it might be abit hard to focus your eyes of the edge of the hatch while moving the saw constantly.

So you can put some masking tapes over the area you’re cutting out…

how to cut the panels out cleanly 2

And use a fine tip permanent marker to trace out the lines/ boarder of section you want to cut out…

how to cut the panels out cleanly on a hot wheels diecast car

Now it’s much clearer for your eyes to see where to cut, since it’s black on yellow instead of dark lines on dark blue.
And lastly, if at the end the sections you’ve cut out is really uneven or rough edges, you can always use sand paper to flatten the edges.
Always practice on bigger pieces first like bonnets or roofs. If you’re not concise then avoid cutting sections on the car that has thin pillars, like doors, hatch doors because 1 mistake and you cut into the pillars the entire car is pretty much ruined.
But really, the more you practice, the easier and quicker it’ll be. I can now do it free hand without the masking tapes.

how to create opening panels on hot wheels diecast cars

Simple tip but one that I personally never thought to do! – hope this awesome little tip helps keep you on the straight and narrow and out of cutting trouble moving forward 😉  Now let’s get back to How to Hinge a Hatch – oh I do like a bit of alliteration in the morning :p

How to Hinge a Hatch – What You’ll Need

how to create opening panels on hot wheels diecast cars

Pictured above – apart from the obvious things, are Axle Tubing (metal tubing one would normally use to create axle tubes) Axle rods (again, metal rods about around 0.8mm that one would use to make axles) and glue. Douglas uses Humbrol brand Poly Cement and I personally choose to use Superglue. Each to their own and really if you have nothing better to do then here’s an article listing the differences of each!!  Learn All About Glue
*I know right?! Stay tuned for next week when they cover the benefits of watching paint dry, :p

How to Hinge a Hatch – Step 1:

Assuming you have now removed the bonnet, door or rear hatch in preparation, the first thing you need to do is measure the distance where you intend on placing your hinge:

how to create opening panels on hot wheels diecast cars

How to Hinge a Hatch – Step 2: 

Measure and cut your axle tubing piece as required:

how to create opening panels on hot wheels diecast cars

how to create opening panels on hot wheels diecast cars

How to Hinge a Hatch – Step 3: 

Now take a piece of your metal rod (the axle rods) and insert it into the tubing. Make sure there is at least an inch sticking out each end – we will be trimming this as required later so best to have more to work with than less.

how to create opening panels on hot wheels diecast cars

 

how to make opening doors for hotwheels 8

How to Hinge a Hatch – Step 4: 

We will now be bending the metal rod so that it can serve as the guide or framework that will stick to the inside of the hatch itself. The tubing piece is obviously attached to the main body of the car….
Just giving you a clear picture so you aren’t bending rods willy nilly wondering WTF origami has to do with anything and more importantly why your creation isn’t looking even slightly like a swan?!?!

how to create opening panels on hot wheels diecast cars

how to create opening panels on hot wheels diecast cars

how to create opening panels on hot wheels diecast cars

how to create opening panels on hot wheels diecast cars

Starting to take shape – now refer to your car (in this case the Fairlady 260Z) to get all the measurements and finetuning of your hinge right. Refer to following images as well as the hinge attached to the vehicle to get a better idea of how it works and how you can translate this to your own custom hot wheels build:

how to create opening panels on hot wheels diecast cars

how to create opening panels on hot wheels diecast cars

how to create opening panels on hot wheels diecast cars

How to Hinge a Hatch – Step 5: 

Once the fit of your newly created hinge is flush and allows your bootlid, door, bonnet or hatchback to close and open freely it is time to attach it permanently. Douglas chooses to use Poly Cement, I choose to use Superglue (which I apply with a toothpick to make sure I only get tiny drops at a time) – how you decide you want to attach your hinge it entirely up to you.

how to make opening doors for hotwheels 15

How to Win at Customising

Thinking outside of the box and coming up with ingenious ways of getting things done is how you win at customising.

Here’s some hinging body panels that Douglas @Carllector Cheung has prepared earlier – and further proof that he is indeed winning at customising 😀

how to create opening panels on hot wheels diecast cars

how to create opening panels on hot wheels diecast cars

 

 

 

 

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Author: Alex

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4 Comments

  1. the best guide! Keep up the good work!

    Post a Reply
  2. I tried to hatch the back window of the 90 Acura nsx but the seats are really close to the window section and I couldn’t do this properly and so it’s a little bit off. Do you have any suggestions on how to make it work? Thanks in advance!

    Post a Reply
    • Good point Dim! Just looking at one now (I drilled her open and everything for you 🙂 ) and I see your issue. I think the best way to hatch open the NSW would be to use wire (choose some that is strong but bends easily – Im thinking bonsai wire off the top of my head since I am into Bonsai – but any will do) and then simply cut two sections about 6 – 8mm long and then glue half to the roof and half to the back hatch. Being plastic it will be easy to attach.

      Granted it wont be as hinged as the traditional method (the one shown here) but at least then the wire will allow you to hinge it open and leave it at any height you want – actually this might serve the purpose even better because the hatch will stay open at whatever angle you want making photos easier 😉

      Post a Reply
      • Big thanks master! I will try it soon!

        Post a Reply

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. How To Precisely Cut Hot Wheels & Diecast Cars - Custom Hotwheels & Diecast Cars - […] your cut lines are and remain straight and true. He shared these tips whilst teaching us how to hinge…
  2. Volkswagen Storm Trawler | My Custom Hotwheels & Diecast Cars - […] Cheung has already shared with us how to properly hinge doors and bonnets in this post here where he…

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