Welcome to another customiser spotlight from My Custom Hotwheels. Today's spotlight article is slightly different in that the customizer being spotlighted is also the contributing author...again. This talented young man that everyone knows as @Hotrod_Crazy is no stranger to the Instagram community due partly to his amazing 1:64 photos and epic diorama setups but also because he is such a genuinely all round nice bloke. A rarity these days I must say. Gram (the afore mentioned young man) is also no stranger to the MCH community because of the fact he has contributed no less than three articles to these illustrious pages - showcasing his diorama setups and providing awesome guidance so others can do the same.
Well now Gram aka @Hotrod_Crazy has some updates for us - and I must say these updates are no less than MIND BLOWING. Just over 100 images of his latest diorama setups and updates to his old ones will certainly make you salivate, but it's the attention to detail that is truly mind blowing. I for one am suitable impressed. <3
So yeah, I'll just shut up and get out of the way now and let Gram take the stage...
1:64 Diorama Creations by @HotRod_Crazy
It’s fantastic to be bringing everybody another update on the diorama. If you have not read my two previous articles, I suggest you do that so you can see how to create a junkyard and many other things. Below is how my 80 square foot diorama looks today. Complete with a vintage style dragstrip, a junkyard attached to a s’cool gas station, vintage-inspired Chevrolet dealership, a 1950s style Plasticville diner, a toy store, and the Bonneville Salt Flats --complete with a Mooneyes tent set.
Hot Wheels Drag Strip Diorama
Let’s begin with the dragstrip. The grandstands and sponsored walls are from the dragstrip kit from mycustomhotwheels store, and the watchtower is from Innovative Hobby Supply. Both kits are made out of paper, but this article is not going to show you how to build them. Frankly they look fantastic in photos, but when you pick mine up or look too closely in person you can see where I made mistakes. Maybe you have a steadier hand than I do and will be able to do a better job. The key is to be sure you take your time, and round up the supplies you’ll need ahead of time (an exacto knife, a ruler, super glue or double sided tape, a cutting board, and PATIENCE!) The guardrails and hay bales are from an HO slot car track. The Christmas tree is from a Johnny Lighting two car pack.
Alex’s kit comes with a modern-looking dragstrip turf, but I chose to go in a different direction. I replaced the dragstrip turf that comes with his kit with a gray cement-like pavement. To achieve a similar look, you need two things: a black wash, and this foam sheet pictured below. You can find both on Amazon or at a local hobby shop.
Carefully brush the wash over the foam like so and drop a gear and disappear! In fact, here's some I prepared earlier...
Drag Strip Diorama Images Slideshow:
Chevrolet Car Dealership
Now let’s move over to the Chevrolet dealership. This is another kit I got from Alex and I modified it so it looks like a vintage dealership. There's a whole range of car dealerships from different brands available in Alex's store - CLICK HERE to see them all.
I found photos of old dealership signs online and printed them to the size I wanted. I explain how to print to scale here (Alex, can you add link to that article) I often play around with the lighting in my photos -- lots of trial and error -- to disguise any imperfections in the build and to help create that wow factor. The big blue Chevrolet bowtie sign was purchased in a local Pep Boys Auto Parts store, but It may also be available online.
Bonneville Salt Flats
My favorite part of the diorama is The Bonneville Salt Flats. The “salt” is actually this white cloth I found at Michael’s, a hobby store chain, and the thin black line that you follow down the salt screaming at 100 plus mph is just a cut to size piece of Tomica masking tape painted black. The main stars of the salt, however, are the Mooneyes tents from Alex. Like actual tents, they sometimes blow over, or aren’t completely even on all sides, but that only adds to the realism. This kit from Alex comes with a small parking lot that is not shown in my photos. These tents have so much character and are a must-have for anyone who loves Mooneyes cars and parts. Caution: the photos below might give you the salt flats fever.
The Bonneville Salt Flats sign was made by my good buddy @moss_rods
Bonneville Salt Flats Diorama Images Slideshow:
Diner, Toy Store & General Street Scenes
The other sections of my diorama have been a part of my set up since it was nothing more than a little Thomas the Train table in my childhood room. The diner always features a car show, and the toy store stocks everything diecast and plenty more. The Hot Wheels case boxes are from the mycustomhotwheels website. Sign up with your email and you can access a print out.
Diner, Toy Store & General Street Scene Slideshow:
Junkyard & Gas Station Diorama
And finally the junkyard and old gas station. The gas station was purchased from a hobby store and the attention to detail is immaculate. It can be found online by googling HO scale gas station. There are any number of nicely detailed styles to choose from. I’ve cut back on the size of the junkyard to make room for my Bonneville set up, but even so I think it’s the best it has looked to date. If you look closely you might see some familiar projects in the yard along with some new ones. I spend a lot of time on the details of the junkyard, often using scrapped customs and old beat up diecast parts to add realism.
Junkyard and Gas Station Slide Show:
Thanks for visiting!
I hope you have enjoyed the photos and tips I’ve shared here. And I hope you’ll take the time to check out the amazing kits that Alex has in his shop. These kits add so much character to any diorama. Finally, feel free to ask me any questions via my Instagram @Hotrod_crazy. A huge thank you to my Australian diecast brother Alex for the opportunity to write another article for his website. It’s always an honor, my friend, and I look forward to the next one!