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Scavenger's Tutorial on Making Customs

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  • Scavenger's Tutorial on Making Customs

    Ok guys and girls I know a lot of you have been interested in trying to make your own customs! So I thought I would Put together a nice easy to follow tutorial for you all!

    In this tutorial you will learn everything that I know on the subject. I do not consider myself an expert and if anyone wants to throw in there suggestions for an area that you think can be done in a different way I will be glad to add it to the tutorial as well!

    The project we will be working on is one of my Apple Cars!

    Lets get started!

    Step 1: Disassebly
    For this step you will need:
    -A drill
    -3/16 drill bit
    -A steady hand and patience

    A good choice for an Apple Car donor is Nitroade...

    Free him from his plastic prison and lets get started!!

    First thing we need to do is completely disassemble him!
    We start by drilling out the rivets...

    I use a 3/16 bit for this.
    The best technique is to press the bit with a good amount but not too much pressure
    against the center of the rivet and just start tapping the trigger of the drill in slow bursts
    to start drilling out the rivet. You wanna keep going until you hit the plastic, but you do
    not want to go through the plastic! Take your time in this step its not a race!!

    If done correctly you will have drilled out the top part of the rivet without going too deep!

    You should now be able to remove the plastic base of the Car.
    Use the small plastic notch below the 2 in Nitroades 28 as a lifting point.

    Here's Nitroade dissected!

    Take all of your extra parts and put them away somewhere safe.

    Step 2: Stripping
    Now its on to stripping Nitroade down to raw diecast!
    For this you will need:
    -A stripper(LOL)
    (Ferris noted to me you could use a soak as well instead of a spray stripper, whatever works best for you..go for it just get that paint off!)
    -A brush of some sort(toothbrush works well)
    -Pliers to grab and hold the Car with
    -Metal Wire Brush(optional)
    -A well ventilated and safe area to spray(Bucket on its side works good)
    **PLEASE NOTE** This stripping spray is extremely powerful and will burn you if it gets
    on your skin and lord knows what it could do if it got in your eyes!!

    Spray the stripper liberally over the entire Car and let sit for a couple minutes

    Grab the Car with your pliers, it should be nice and bubbly and ready to be brushed!

    Everything should come off quite easily at this point

    Once everything has been stripped take the Car to the sink and rinse it off with warm water

    Here's your Car once it has been rinsed and dried..

    Step 3: Primer Coat
    For this step you will need:
    -A can of primer
    -A well ventilated work area
    -Something to hold your Car

    Now its time to go put on a coat of primer!
    You will need something to hold your Car body during the painting process.
    This is my creation but whatever holds the Car from the inside allowing you to paint
    freely and be able to hit the underbody will work.

    Any primer will do but I like this Rustoleum double coat stuff, I only do one coat of primer.
    Feel free to do more if you like!

    Ok got my coat of primer on now I just need to let it dry, usually overnight but I believe it only
    requires a couple hours!

    Primer Coat has dried overnight and looks pretty good...not gonna sand, im not seeing any rough spots!

    Step 4: Painting
    (Its too cold to paint right now so I will take pics and add when I can!)
    This step can be completed with either Spray Paint or an Airbrush.
    I use both..but for this tutorial I will be using Spray Paint considering most of you probably do not have an airbrush set up. Plus I dont have a good shiny silver paint for my airbrush and this color from Rustoleum looks awesome on the Cars!

    I recommend you do 2 to 3 light coats of paint rather than trying to go to heavy and causing drips.
    When painting start your spray before the Car and release after passing the Car.
    *Note*You do not wanna be too close when applying the paint maybe 8 to 10 inches away from the Car.
    Continue doing this till a nice light coat has been applied to all sides of the Car and dont forget the under body!
    I let the Cars sit overnight before moving on to the next coat or next step.

    Step 5: Decals
    Things you will need for this step:
    -Waterslide decals(Inkjet or Laser depending on your printer)
    -A small bowl
    -Razor(Xacto style)
    -Scissors(Small and sharp!)
    -Decal setting solution(Optional but recommended)
    -An inkjet or laser printer
    -Can of Clear Coat
    -Graphic editor(I use photoshop)

    First thing you need to do is find or create the graphics you want to use for your custom.
    When you have what you need you now need to make sure they are sized properly for your Car(This is probably the hardest part of the entire process).
    There is no magic button for this process, its a lot of trial and error.
    Print your graphics on to plain white paper, cut them out and make sure they fit. Resize and Repeat until you get it right!

    When you do get your sizing correct I recommend you then layout your things like you see below so you dont forget anything

    Once you are sure your graphics are exactly the size you need you can move on to printing them on to your Waterslide decal paper.

    The paper usually comes in 8.5 x 11 sheets. What I recommend is you cut these into three 4 x 6 photo paper size and use your photo printer to print. Make sure you print at best quality under print settings and select glossy photo paper as paper type.

    Once printed you should have something like this..

    Now you need to spray a couple nice layer of clear coat over your decals and allow to dry. I will do 2 light coats of clear coat for this, you can usually do coats about 15 minutes apart.
    (This is extremely important, your ink will run right off the decal paper as soon as
    it gets wet if you do not!) NOTE: If you are using a laser printer you will not need to clear coat!

    NOTE: I know I said we were working on a silver/black iCar but its too cold to paint right now so we will continue
    using a white car that I already had painted!

    Next what I like to do is get everything ready for decal application.
    Cut your Decals out
    Get a nice warm little bowl of water
    Have your decal setting solution and brush ready to go

    First step of decal application is to let the decal sit for a minute in the water
    Then take it out and give it a few second out of water before separating from back of decal
    Using your fingers slide the top of the decal off of its backing
    Apply to you Car(Wet the area of the Car prior to putting on decal, this will allow you to slide easily into place)
    Next if your using it brush a light layer of the decal setting solution onto the decal
    Then press with a little force on the center of your decal and gently work the water out from below the decal
    Be careful not to be too forceful but you do need to get that water out from below!

    So now that you got the first one done now just keep moving on to the next
    If you notice I use large decals, this is so less lines will be visible when complete and assures things line up perfectly
    If you wanna cut out each decal individually go for it!
    If you look at my side decals below it does overlap the wheel wells a bit, you can cut off the extra with your xacto knife.
    The eyes I keep as one decal as well, wanna make sure they are properly spaced and this makes it easy!

    When working with bend, ridges etc..this is where the decal setting solution is a must in my opinion!
    If you look at the top of Nitroade in the pic below you can see the ridges on the roof, you need to have your
    decal not only cover over it but not be bubbled around it. Decal setting solution softens and allows the decal
    to sink into whatever it is over. Brush a nice amount of the solution on top and let sit for a bit, now with some
    force of your finger press the decal into the roof starting from the most rigid part and work it down all the way around.

    Here's a little trick for doing tiny decals..
    Instead of putting into your cup of water simply put a little drop on the Car itself and let the decal soak in the water
    right were it needs to be, you can use your finger or something pointy to slide it off its backing right there on the Car!

    Its quite fulfilling once all decal have been applied! But your not done yet!!

    My desk has seen better days eh? LOL

    STEP 6: Clear Coating
    This is a relatively easy step, yet could cause some serious problems if rushed!
    -Get your Car body back in your painting area
    -Get your self some glossy clear spray paint
    -As with the painting steps you want to apply in light layers and do not want to spray too close to the Car
    If you go too heavy it could cause the paint to bubble and you will need to start all over(Been there done that!!).
    -I do 2 very light coats, but 1 could be enough as well
    FYI clear coating will not hide the lines of your decals...they will help them feel smoother to the rest of the Car but they will still be visible.
    -Let your clear coat dry, usually only takes a few minutes but I never touch them for at least a couple hours.

    STEP 7: Even More Painting

    -I guess you could do all of this when your painting the Car, but I tend to do it last for some reason?
    Im glad I decided to do the white car now for the tutorial so you can see how to paint the rear bars to match the car!

    -First thing i do is get a nice strip of some painters tape(I like Frog Tape if you can find it) and lay it on something flat.
    -Cut small straight strips with your xacto knife
    -Use those strips to cover up the rear windshield of the Car as seen below
    (Yes it is a very tedious part!)

    -Next take these to your painting area and apply a layer of primer

    -Then a layer of paint

    -Once dry, be extra careful taking off the tape
    You wanna pull the tape slowly as to not pull the paint off!

    Painting the Wheels
    Yes if you want them to match your car they will need to be painted as well! And let me tell you this is not an easy step and can be quite frustrating! The easiest way to paint the wheels is with a very fine brush, a steady hand and some testors acrylic paints(Thanks to gotfrank for the tip!).

    Now it is finally time to put your Car back together!!

    -Make sure you put everything back where it belongs!
    -lay it upside down
    -Mix up some epoxy
    (Some like to drill and use screws...whatever you wanna do just get it together!)
    -Add a little color to your epoxy if you like, just a small drop will do!
    -With something small and thin(I use a nail) scoop up some epoxy and rub it around where the old rivet held the plastic to the Car
    -Then continue to fill the hole with the epoxy
    -Move on to the next hole and repeat
    -You need to move somewhat quick so the epoxy does not harden before you get to use it
    -Let the Car sit on its roof until dry.
    Drying times vary depending on what kind you use, I use Gorilla Epoxy and it takes about 15minutes for it to somewhat harden. After about 15 minutes I sit the Car back on its wheels and let sit overnight.

    Thats it! Congratulations on your new custom!!

    I will be going through this tutorial and cleaning it up from time to time, im sure I will learn better ways to do things as I continue making these things and will share these tips with you.

    If anyone has any questions for creating customs feel free to post to this thread, I am on here everyday and will be glad to help whenever I can!

  • #2


    • #3


      • #4
        Is there a place to put this info so we can find it easily when we are ready to start.


        • #5
          Originally posted by Clearysdad19 View Post
          Is there a place to put this info so we can find it easily when we are ready to start.
          Maybe Chris can sticky it to the top of this sub-forum??
          You can also just save it to your favorites in your web browser


          • #6
            very nice instructions
            seeing nitroade completely stripped
            it might make a nice zamac car like in hot wheels
            just polish and add decals lol


            • #7
              We can stick this thread if required, but there are already 2 other threads for this on this first page of topics!!!




              • #8
                Originally posted by MrBrownstone View Post
                We can stick this thread if required, but there are already 2 other threads for this on this first page of topics!!!


                Didn't realize you had a thread here mrbrownstone..a sticky is not necessary it was just a suggestion.

                That other link was just a question not a tutorial...although it did lead to some replies taking you to other tutorials.
                Last edited by Scavenger; 11-13-2013, 01:11 PM.


                • #9
                  This is very cool, can't wait to see part two...


                  • #10
                    No worries Scavenger - I never got around to finishing mine...

                    Your customs are much better than mine so I'm definitely interested in how you produce yours. Maybe a thread linking through to the different tutorial as a sticky would help. When I first produced my customs I read multiple different guides and pulled mine together from the techniques that I preferred. I'll bet that I've actually changed a process or two since I wrote that guide!!!

                    I'm still looking to find a good way to apply decals.... I mess those up lots!!!


                    • #11
                      I asked Scavenger if he'd create a tutorial with step by step directions with photos... he was kind enough to honor my request... he's been making several customs recently and I thought others would appreciate the steps.

                      I'd forgotten about the other topic in this section - I don't read every post in every sub-forum.

                      Seeing these directions makes me wish I could make my own customs... but I know me better than that.

                      And one of these days I hope we can make an announcement about a certain custom racer that several of us are wanting to see.

                      I am cac1959... I am a Cars-a-holic... and a proud supporter of Nathan's Playroom


                      • #12
                        Updated...but not complete yet!


                        • #13


                          • #14
                            You are the man! It's amazing how much work goes into transforming these little guys.

                            Ka-Chigga, Ka-Chow, and Ka-Ciao! - DjB


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by DjB View Post
                              You are the man! It's amazing how much work goes into transforming these little guys.
                              Thanks! It is quite the process, but once you have done it a few times its not as overwhelming! Not that it becomes any less work, but you dont feel as anxious about the whole thing!!

                              Oh and if anyone is wondering what happens if you paint when its too cold see the pic below! This was what happened when I applied clear coat in the cold, but the same thing will happen in the painting stages when its too cold! I was not a happy camper to say the least when this happened!