The Hot Wheels Bone-Shaker...

...Is quite possibly the nicest and most versatile casting to come out of the Hotwheels factory in a long long time and talented customisers the world over have proven this point by producing some incredible builds. I too have celebrated the classic ratrodesque lines of the Boneshaker by creating a few custom hotrods and ratrods myself but this time I kinda accidentally raised the bar. Sucks to be me from now LOL...

From Concept to Creation

It all started with a Rocket Oil Special, a casting I have owned for some time but have never really paid much attention to. I realised that hidden under hideously oversized side panels (for lack of a better term) lay a very sleek and sexy looking 30's and/or 40's era racing car.

rocket oil special side panel removal comparison

Am I right or am I right? Of course I'm bloody right, I mean look at it!

I did (look at it I mean). For a long time in fact... and then I looked at a boneshaker. And I started thinking...

  • After chopping the front off of the Rocket Oil Special and doing the same with the boneshaker I placed them together with the wheels and everything to get an idea of how it would look.
  • The problem of course was that the side pipes from the rocket oil special just ended abruptly (not to mention the fact they curled inwards) and as a result the concept looked incomplete.
  • It required exhaust pipes but they needed to extend out the sides in order to balance out the proportions of my creation due to it being so much longer than a boneshaker was meant to be.
  • The answer lay in the Dragtor, an odd Hotwheels casting that I really wish I had more than one of ;). I added the Dragtor exhaust stacks and with the help of some blue-tac I created my custom - the concept at least...

original boneshaker custom concept build

original boneshaker custom concept build

OK This is $@&*!! Badass!

Half Boneshaker, Half Rocket Oil Special, and all Badass...

Introducing the 'Rocket Shaker'

rocket plus shaker equals

Rocket Shaker collage 5 art filter

Rocket Shaker collage 2

Rocket Shaker collage 1

Rocket Shaker collage 4

Rocket Shaker collage 3

Building the Rocket Shaker

I will be sharing some of the build processes like using epoxy putty and custom axle tubing in MUCH GREATER DETAIL through dedicated How-To Guides in the coming weeks so don't worry if I breeze over certain elements of the build, which we will go through now:

The first thing I needed to do was join the two parts together.

When cutting the pieces I made sure to measure twice and cut once, followed by lots of hand filing. This resulted in two halves that had as much surface area as was available in order to stick and made the whole process so much easier. 
I achieve this by using a Jewellers Saw and a small hand file. Everything needs to be done manually in order to maintain the precision needed. 

Oh and I use Superglue to make the initial join.

Rocket Shaker WIP 12

Rocket shaker WIP 11

It was almost meant to be - with the height of the Rocket Oil Special's nose matching PERFECTLY with the height of the Boneshakers bonnet line. 

*In most instances this is not the case and I use sheets of paper to get the height matched during the initial joining stage.

Now it was time to add the putty and smooth out the join to give the impression it is one body panel.

Rocket Shaker WIP 7


That looks pretty good... Whoa Alex, you gonna tell us what and how or just leave it at a photo or two!?!?

How to Use Putty on Your Hot Wheels Custom. (The Quick Version)

  • I use Milliput brand Epoxy Putty and recommend it highly. I also have a glass of water handy at all times when puttying.

milliput putty is best for hot wheels

  • I mix the two substances supplied in an even 50:50 ratio until the two colours (yellow and white) are one consistent colour (as shown in image above)
  • I then take as much as I need and apply it to the applicable area. 
  • I have a few shaping and moulding tools but in most cases find my finger is far more effective at getting smooth lines and perfect transitions between panels.
  • Every now and again dip your finger in water and this will instantly cause the putty to soften and allow the surface to be smoothed to a glossy sheen.
  • Look at your work from every angle possible and make sure there are no indentations or bulges in the putty work you have just done.
  • One thing I find helps is to apply more than you need initially as apposed to trying to be exact. As you scrape off the excess and push it around with your finger(s) you will find the putty compressing nicely, thus removing any and all chance of ghastly depressions ending up in your beautiful custom.
how to use putty on your hot wheels diecast cars

You can see how smooth and seamless this looks, and that's just using my finger and water!

Time To Strip and Paint*

One of the questions I get asked is whether you can apply paint stripper and other toxic chemicals to your custom hot wheels after you have applied putty. Well I am here to answer that question with a resounding yes, as the images below prove.

*If you choose to nude up at this point prior to painting that is entirely up to you. Although I admire your commitment I do recommend you see someone about your obsession with taking everything literally.

strip and paint the boneshaker custom hot wheels

Primed and Ready for Painting... But what colour?!

Army Green and Moon Eyes. A Match Made in Hea...Wait! What?

I had some Moon Eyes Decals left over from some previous builds and decided they would look good (well the cross decals anyway) over an army green sort of colour. I didn't have an Army green colour handy so I grabbed the only dark green spray paint I had - a Gloss Brunswick - and went to town.

painting and adding decals to my custom boneshaker

I see neither Gloss nor Brunswick. I do however see an Army Green sort of hue. WINNING!

Putting it All Together

The only real customising I had to do when reassembling the Rocket Shaker was around the rear axle and where it sat.

  • Naturally it would have sat too high and as a result I need to cut up into the base a few millimetres.
  • I wanted this custom to roll so I used axle tubing and glued them across the back and down into the slots I had cut
  • I then placed the precut base from the Boneshaker down over the whole thing to give it a finished look - using a tiny drop of superglue on each corner to hold it in place.
Rocket shaker WIP 1

I use a rolled up microfibre cloth to rest my customs on when working on the underside.

Rocket shaker WIP 3


Now please enjoy the fruits of my labour (again) through the following slideshow.

And if you have some tips on using putty or you've got a badass Boneshaker custom of your own you want to share - or you just wanna say hi then comment below - no need to be a stanger now 😉



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