Shining the Light on Extraordinary Talent in the 1/64 Scale Custom Diecast Community…
First off, I wanted to apologise to my amazing followers and website subscribers who have probably wondered where the hell I have been for the last 12 – 18 months. Unfortunately I do not have a really good answer to that, other than to say I have been busy with life outside these 1:64 scale walls. Regardless of excuses (lame or otherwise) I can assure you that I am well and truly back in the saddle and will be back to publishing regular content including tips and tricks, Your Custom Hotwheels features where I share all the amazing builds you guys are creating (remember to keep using the #mycustomhotwheels tag to get featured) as well as my personal favourite, the Customer Spotlight posts, where I shine the light on some of the amazing talent in our 1:64 scale customising community. And speaking of which (good segue hey?!)
Today we shine the spotlight on a customiser who is a fellow Aussie and creates some of the cleanest builds I have seen. He does not necessarily go all out with the crazy wide body kits or morphing 2 or more castings together because he relies on the clean lines of the casting combined with his amazing brush work, decal application skills, and wheel choices to bring out the best in each build. Something else he does that gets my attention every damn time is how he captures these customs (as well as regular mainlines from Hot Wheels, Matchbox, Kyosho and other brands)
The image below provides a sneak peek into how beautiful the finished product is, using diorama figures and amazing scenery to bring his 1:64 creations to life!..and when I say sneak peek I really mean it, because I will be breaking this feature article into 2 parts, the first part showing you some of this amazing custom builds, and the second part showcasing all his incredible diorama action, creating scenes that literally bring the cars to life and in some cases make them look a lot bigger than 1:64 scale.
So without further ado, let’s sit down and get to know Thomas Chu aka @64wheelers a little better
Introducing Thomas and his Amazing Custom Cars and Dioramas. There’s certainly plenty to….wait for it.… Chu on here 🙂
How long have you been customising hotwheels and diecast cars?
Around 3 years now, before that I had been doing RC cars mainly.
How or What Got You Interested in Hot Wheels in the First Place?
Price is affordable, and comes with many variety, from real car model to fantasy cars.
And How Long Before You Turned From Collector to Customiser?
one year after into the game
How old are you and what’s your family status – married? kids? serial killer on the run?
40ish, married with 2 kids. I am on the run, when I can’t deliver my custom cars to customer, lol
Where (in the world) do you call home?
Australia and Hong Kong.
What is your favourite casting from hotwheels?
What sort of customs do you like doing the most? And do you have a favourite?
Cars with racing liveries from the 80s to 90s
Anything in Marlboro scheme, probably because of the influence from the McLaren F1 dominance in the late 80s to early 90s
*Thomas buys more Marlboro decals from me than anyone else and the customs he creates with them are stunning! – in fact I made this meme once to celebrate the amazing work he does with this livery:
Where and How can people see more of your work?
Instagram: @64wheelers Also most of the custom Facebook pages
Alex adds the following – Thomas is especially active on Collective Customs, one of the best Australian based Facebook Groups for avid customisers of all skill levels. Rocco who is the Admin and founder is a legend in my eyes and whilst the group is small (he constantly weeds out those who clearly aren’t playing the game) the engagement levels and mutual respect shown for all members is unlike anything I have seen on the cesspool that is Facebook 😉
The Details on your customs is exquisite. Do you have any tips for our readers on how you achieve such fine levels of details in headlights etc?
Steady hand and patience. If possible, can refer to picture of the real car to see what details are missing and put them to the casting.
Any tips you can share on how you make your diorama photos look so real?
Perhaps I always try to imagine the scene as to how I will see it from my own eyes. Hence I tend to shoot at eye level angle for most of my shots. The best lighting source is always material lights, so be brave to take the setting to your backyard for some natural shots. The key to diorama photography is keep exploring lights and angles, for indoor shootings, try using multiple support lights as well as different angles where to position the camera, they sometimes create a result you may not have expected!
What Camera and Settings Do You Use? (Question for the aficionados out there)
I am using Nikon DSLR paired with a Macro 60mm lense. Most of the shots do require a tripod or something to hold the camera in good stable position. This is important because most of the shots are indoor, and to achieve certain brightness, the camera has to keep the shutter open for a long time, some shots could be up to 30 sec exposure time.
Thanks so much for sharing a little bit about yourself for everyone out there Thomas, it was genuinely appreciated 🙂 And now without further ado, let’s take a look at what I’ve been hammering on about for the past 500 words or so…
Remember to stay tuned for Part 2 of Thomas’ Customiser Spotlight where I share some of the incredible Diorama scenes that include a lot of the amazing customs you just had the pleasure to peruse.