Mmmmm, I love the smell of alliteration in the morning
This guide aims to show you how to create hinges so that you can have opening and closing doors, hoods, trunks and bonnets etc. Of course it goes without saying that if you have not yet read the guide on how to intricately cut out doors and bonnets etc then you need to check that out first. Visit this article on HOW TO CUT BONNETS AND DOORS and then once you have successfully removed one or all of the panels come on back and let’s get that hinge working for you.
3 Ways to Create Opening and Closing Parts with Hinges
Now because there are so many different methods to making a hinge I have employed some help and as such will be sharing not 1 but 3 methods on how to create hinges for your 1:64 scale diecast creation. The first method I want to share is, without doubt the best Hinge Hack I’ve ever seen! Massive shout-out to @_thelastsuper_ for allowing me to share this most awesome method with the MCH community.
Method 1: Pin & Swivel Mounted Hinge
TLS Garage keeps it short and simple (unlike some people… ahem Alex) with this video where he demonstrates using the age old technique of drilling tiny holes in the top and bottom of the door frame and then uses … an axle probably to create a swivel mounted hinge. Not sure what the name of this method is but I have unofficially called it the … well you can read :p
Method 2: Hinge Open Bonnets, Trunks & Hatchbacks
This method works best with horizontal type hinges where the movement is up and down rather than side to side. The bonnet hinge works well on models like the Datsun 510 shown below but a lot of castings are bonnet to plastic window with no additional diecast to fix the hinge to. In those instances I would recommend the above Pin and Swivel mount hinge (drill a hole in the casting and put tiny points on the ends of the bonnet to attach to the holes… but anywho, that’s method 1 not 2…
I have made a quick video to demonstrate a few of the basics as well as the tools required so watch that first and then I’ll go into more details about making the hinge and getting it to work.
As mentioned in the video, the important tools you will need include:
- Some sort of super thin yet super strong modelling wire. The stuff I use is about 0.5mm thick (a Hot Wheels axle is 0.8mm thick for reference) and is incredibly malleable
- Aluminium tubing – the same stuff you would use to make your own axles.
- Pliers of some description – which goes without saying
- A Q-Tip. Don’t ask – the Q stands for quiet not question!
Steps to creating the actual hinging mechanism:
- Thread the wire through the aluminium tubing and leave at least 2-3 inches sticking out the end (as shown above)
- Take your pliers and cut about 5-8mm of the tubing from the end. (the wire inside will prevent the tubing from crimping – it will still crimp a touch but all good)
- Pull the wire through until the small section of tube is in the middle.
Now to make the hinge work we need to make small hooks on each side as this allows the bonnet or door or whatever to open and close freely without moving off it’s original position. The size of the hooks I made in this demo are actually a tad too large so note this when making your own. You realistically want no more than 5mm of length but any less than 2mm and you probably won’t have enough clearance to let the bonnet open in the first place.
- Using a Q-Tip or something similar curl the wire around so it loops back on itself like a paperclip
- Slide the tube up until the desired length (between 2 and 5mm) is met
- Using your pliers bend the U shape down until it’s at right angles to the rest (as shown above)
- Do the same thing to the other side so it ends up looking like this…
- Now cut the excess wire off so it touches itself and creates a symmetrical loop. Like this…
- Now take a Hot Wheels axle (no really) and insert it into the remaining aluminium tubing and cut another 5-7mm section of tube (the axle stops the crimping even better than the wire actually)
- Insert this section of tubing into the other side of your hinge (bend the wires out and jam it in) until it looks something like this…
Now you get the fun part of attaching it to the actual custom WIP sitting on your workbench. How I approached this and what I recommend is to glue one of the tube sections to the car itself (not the part that will be opening and closing) and then use a marker to determine where the other hinge should sit. I would also recommend using an epoxy glue since you may want to adjust the position of the hinge ever so slightly.
*Ensure that the glue on the first hinge is dry before you start messing around with getting the bonnet (or whatever) into the right position.
Method 3: Hinge Open Doors and Hatches
Big thank you to @Moreno-Reyen for allowing me to share another one of his brilliant customising tips, this time he shows us how to effectively hinge open doors, hatches and any other parts you happen to have successfully removed with your trusty jewellers hacksaw.
They say a picture is worth a thousand words so I’ll just let Moreno do his talking via the pictures – they are self explanatory after all 🙂
Thanks again for allowing me to share your amazing talents and customising hacks Moreno <3
BONUS (EASY) METHOD: Using Modelling Wire
This method has to be the easiest of the lot by a very long shot but there are not many times when its application would be appropriate. Still, it’s easy and it’s another method so bring it on I say 😀
‘The wire in question seems to be readily available from a number of brands and distributors and for my American friends I have taken the liberty of linking the image here to the Amazon product in question, an AMACO brand of modelling wire that will set you back a whole $7.75.’
- To make the hinge I simply superglued a long flat section on the floor of the rear cab and made as perfect a right angle with each piece as I could, allowing for a long section of the wire to protrude straight up from the open back.
- I then placed the top on, marked exactly where it sat [in relation to the wire] and made the first bend – pushing the long straight wire ends through the the window hole.
- Making sure the roof section was still perfectly aligned I used pointy nose pliers to pull the wire through until it was well and truly flush with the walls of both the roof section and main body. I then checked the alignment was still right – it totes was!
- I then turned the wire back on itself and threaded it down through the large hole in the roof, again using the pliers to pull the wire until it was as flush as I could get it.
- I needed to make sure there was enough length on the wire that it would wrap fully around the roof section and in on itself – which obviously would serve as the anchor point for the top – I couldn’t/didn’t want to go putting superglue all over the top of my build!
- I then cut the excess wire and put a touch of superglue on the end where it curled around and touched itself – and my makeshift hinge was complete
Feeling unhinged yet?
Hope this guide was helpful and didn’t overwhelm you with useless information (which is highly probably given the author :D) If you enjoyed this article and haven’t already then why not share it – there’s buttons on the side and down the bottom and everything!