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Hopper’s HiLux - 2WD stepside Dually pick-up

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Just a very brief update - I'm slowly getting back with this build again now I've exhausted pretty much every permutation and distraction with the ebaYJeep...


As mentioned a few posts above, because the length of the load-bed is longer than the chassis frame, I've extended the chassis with a series of rods and brackets to create a drop-down tow-bar (it's actually the 4-link bracket that came with the rear axle, turned upside down), which in turn offers plenty of space for a rear-mounted winch to be installed behind the rear cross-member.

The cross-member panel is simply cut from a sheet of styrene and extended to fill in the space above the tow-bar and provide a suitable location for the winch fairlead. If this were a real vehicle, then typically that cross-member would be an integral part of the chassis, and the obvious thing would be to just bolt the winch through the back of it so the pull is spread to each chassis rail...

However, this being a scale model, I've had to compromise with the cross member being part of the [plastic] body, so while visually it might still appear legitimate, in practice I fear than any serious pull on the winch might start to bend/break the cross-member, which would be a shame.

So currently I'm experimenting with an alternative way to bolt the winch directly to the chassis and just have the fairlead mounted on the cross-member, or else beefing up the cross-member sufficiently so that it could actually handle the full force of the winch if required*

*admittedly this winch installation is more for the visual effect of having a rear mounted winch to help load a trailer etc. - but at the same time, if it's going to be a working winch, it ought to work properly I feel?


photo. a compromise might be to bolt the winch through the load-bay floor, as the Loops rear body is very substantial, and the way the whole body-shell mounts to the chassis ought to be sufficient to spread any winch load.

Ultimately, having the winch mounted on the body-shell (rather than the chassis) is also going to make it far easier to remove and replace the body [for servicing etc.] rather than having to undo the winch hook and thread the cable through the fairlead each time I want to remove the shell completely.

Decisions decisions... you can see why this build is taking a little longer than it might, but I trust the end result is going to be worth it.

More soon...

Jenny x


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Having taken a break from this build (not least to assemble a temporary distraction - a new cage crawler Willy's Rocker) over the past couple of weeks, I've had time to work out a few things with regard to the engine bay, together with assembling a collection of scale accessories and details to incorporate...


photo. custom cage (made from a bent coat-hanger) to hold propane tank.



photo. fuel-filler neck cut from alloy tube and glued on (I have a moulded filler cap to fit after painting).


[Inner] winging-it...

Moving on to the engine bay - unlike most of my builds where the front end is crammed full of all the electronics, the idea with this build is to have a fully detailed engine bay and try and hide all traces of 'RC' ness under the bonnet - I'm aiming to mount the vehicle electronics in the narrow space between the engine-bay bulkhead and the interior footwell/bulkhead - and indeed have an opening/removable hood (which I intend to hold on with hidden magnets) so that the vehicle can be displayed and even run with the engine in full view.


photo. the V8 engine motor cover is exceptionally well detailed already, and I hope the addition of some ancillaries will really lift this build to the next level.

Along with the scale engine motor cover I'd already purchased, I've bought and fabricated some additional ancillaries which will be mounted on a custom bulkhead and inner wings - including a pair of ProLine batteries, a K&N style air filter and hose for the front of the engine, a scratch-built brake servo, and a pair of fluid reservoirs for coolant/washer fluid. I also plan to utilise the now redundant fan from the motor cover as an extra detail behind the radiator, complete with a custom cowling.

First of all, I needed to design and cut a vertical bulkhead for behind the engine, and decided to incorporate the rear section of the inner wheel-arches too:


photo. Cardboard Aided Design used to full effect here...



photo. cut-out to clear gearbox, while the inner arch sections will be angled backwards to more closely follow the line of the wheel-arches.



photo. with the bulkhead in place, the inner wheel-arches either side of the engine could start to be constructed (note the whole engine bay assembly will be secured using the front shock top bolts, and will stay in place allowing the main body-shell to be removed easily as required).



photo. inner wings angled to allow tyre clearance underneath, and various ancillaries to be mounted either side of the engine itself. note. I actually like the shock towers poking though, although equally it would be possible to box these in with more styrene of course.



photo. it's coming together! I've decided to keep the final layout simple, with essentially one ancillary in each quarter - the air-filter to the front right, the brake servo will be mounted rear right of course... then the fluid bottles on the panel rear left, and finally the twin batteries front left - balancing everything out.



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photo. my scratch-built brake servo... this is a random angled Tamiya chassis part and shock spring seat, together with the end of a clear tube that a set of 1150 bearings came in. The 'reservoir' section will ultimately have a cap too of course and the whole thing painted.


photo. mocking up the radiator fan cowl, and making sure there is room for the scale batteries.



photo. the idea is to mount the ESC and Receiver on the back of this bulkhead, which will be hidden by the interior footwells once the body is installed.



photo. additional bracing for the rear inner arch sections and bottom of the radiator fan cowling. Love super-glue!



photo. the complete bulkhead and inner wing assembly (other than the final trim sections that will be required to fill the space behind the headlight buckets).



photo. twin batteries mean they do encroach slightly into the wheel-arch on that side.


More soon!

Jenny x


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Ok, time to finish off the inner wheel-arches...


photo. more cardboard templates...

On the right hand side (from the driver's perspective of course), the inner arches needed a cut-out to fit around the twin batteries - ultimately it's cosy with regard to tyre clearance, but everything clears even on full lock and compression - however, I will elect to leave the corner of the battery visible inside the arch, rather than try and box it in - and actually I think that will add an nice 'hidden' detail too?



photo. double checking everything fits before cutting the final pieces from styrene.

The left hand inner wing was far more simple, although you might notice there is a tiny gap in the corner just by the air-filter - this will need a an angled piece cut to fill, before all the joints are beefed up with Araldite (or the US equivalent, not I've run out of my UK stash - I need to go shopping).


photo. styrene sections cut, and tacked together with superglue.



photo. I was pleased with how these turned out - rather than try and heat/bend a curve in the arches, I felt it was actually more appropriate to have these styled as if they were fabricated panels (I may end up either covering them in aluminium foil or checker-plate, complete with rivets), since the vehicle itself has had an engine transplant with a huge V8 anyway?



photo. twin batteries fit perfectly... coolant/washer-bottle tanks made from the ends of an X-acto knife blade box - will have filler cap detail added too.




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Rear-end re-think...

Happy with how the front end was coming on (I can't really do any more under the bonnet now until I get some more epoxy and fill all the joints and sand etc.), I decided that the rear end also required 'no compromises' after all, and that fundamentally the winch needed to be mounted to the chassis is some way, so that it would be a legitimate 'working' installation.


photo. Styrene rear panel removed, and original chassis cross-member cut down to fit between rear wings.

Mixing and matching various rods, spacers and brackets meant I could position the aluminium cross-member/bumper at exactly the right distance to fit inside the moulded corners, and some further mixing and matching also saw the tow-bar reinstated by mounting the brackets behind the cross-member so the drop bar is now flush:


photo. I'm pleased with that - it's like it was meant to be!

The only thing I wanted to address was the fact the tapered ends of the cross-member didn't quite like up with the bottom edge of the bodywork... Now I could have trimmed the body panels of course, and indeed I considered that tapering the rear wings upwards at the rear to meet the taper of the cross-member would look suitably 'sporty' (and something I would certainly do if I was building a 4x4, or off-road biased truck)... however, this is essentially going to be a working rig, and since I also want to incorporate the Trailfinder II rear side marker lights into those panels, I would actually prefer to retain the squared-off rear end, particularly as if I mounted the cross-member the other way up, it fitted perfectly flush with the bottom of the body panels.

So the simplest thing to do was to flip the cross-member over, and fill in the gaps [which were now at the top] with some Quik-steel - and to simplify this process, I 'shuttered' the corners with some styrene off-cuts and tape:



You'll also notice I drilled four holes in the cross-member, and also cut a section out of the underside, as I decided the simplest (and indeed most realistic) way to mount the winch securely to the chassis was to turn it 90° and bolt it through the cross-member, and mount the fairlead on the lower pair of bolts - making for a very neat and compact installation.


photo. note the winch motor/wires only just fits against the chassis extension bars on the right hand side - if I'd chosen a winch that was any bigger it would have to be off-set, which would have been a shame.


While I purposely chose the red colour on the winch body (as it reminds me of an old Superwinch Husky for example), I thought it made the fairlead look a bit cheap, so it was out with the oven cleaner to strip off the anodising:


photo. leaving it in for an hour or more, the cheap tin-pot metal meant the result was actually some very effective weathering too!



photo. I reassembled the fairlead using M2 button head screws rather than the original socket-head screws (which were rather chunky), further adding to the scale appearance...



photo. That is pretty tidy! (note. I also swapped the oversize tow-hook that came with the winch for a shackle - and the hook now has pride of place on Ta’Mater's crane cable!)


I have to say, I'm actually tempted to leave the tail-gate off this build now, as I really like the open deck look (and could always fit a tail-gate net too of course)... however, before I make that ultimate decision, there was one thing I wanted to try:


photo. Yes, those are actual teeny-weeny (doll's-house) working hinges!

More soon!

Jenny x


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A few more details of my engine ancillaries... as mentioned previously, my intention is to have a 'scale' engine bay with this build - and indeed the idea is that the vehicle can be displayed and even run without the bonnet in place, so in that regard all the RC electronics will need to be hidden or at least disguised.

Along with the wonderfully detailed motor cover - which represents a contemporary V8 engine, complete with intake manifold, spark plugs and coil packs, and even exhaust headers - I intend to supplement this with five key ancillary components - a brake servo and header tank on the bulkhead (complete with brake lines disappearing into the depths!) / a pair of expansion/fluid tanks / twin batteries / an air-intake hose and filter, and finally a fan inside the radiator cowling, along with a radiator cap of course.

Some of these parts are available off-the-shelf as accessories of course, but the servo cylinder and coolant tanks (as pictured previously) I've had to construct, and to finish the detailing I needed some suitable scale 'caps' - I did consider just cutting some out of tube/rod or using socket-head screws with some filler in the centre (for smaller ones for example), but then I had a rummage in my spares stash:


Turns out that the [unused] covers for the back of the ProLine spotlights I'd fitted to Desmond would be perfect as the larger radiator cap and brake fluid reservoir cover once the tabs had been trimmed off, while the knurled section of the tap from the water can would be perfect as a coolant cap. (note I also considered using the cap/s from the Wild Willy NOS bottles - pictured above fitted to the Propane tank)...


You might also notice I've glued in a piece of clear lexan inside each opaque fluid tank to represent the liquid level, and the underside will be painted with a thin colour wash.


photo. all the engine ancillaries (less the brake servo itself which is being painted), ready to install.



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So as hinted above, it was time to get some paint on a few components and progress this build to the next stage...


Since there are still a few more things I need to finish test-fitting before painting the main body-shell, I took the opportunity to test out a new paint effect by rusting the wheels and engine bay assembly first...


photo. traditionally I've always started with a coat of red oxide primer, which along with the salt technique, can produce some pretty authentic 'rust' already - particularly if you weather it with some dry powder too.



photo. however, this time - following on from my abortive attempt at chemistry with the hydrogen peroxide/vinegar/salt mix I tried on the ebaYJeep wheels, I invested in a 'proper' rusting paint-effect kit, which uses a base coat of paint with metal particles in, together with a similar concoction of chemicals to rapidly rust the metal...



photo. left overnight, I have to say the results are impressive! That is genuine rust on top of the original red-oxide base coat, giving a really authentic textured finish.



photo. scabby as you like!

The next stage is to add the salt where I want the rust to remain visible, and then blow over the wheels in the main colour coat - in this instance it will be matt white:



Similarly I also made a start on the engine bay assembly - primed:


...and then rusted and salted too:


I did consider that since this vehicle has had a more recent engine swap, that the 'owner' might have considered fabricating a new engine bay too - and indeed the more angular shape to the inner wing panels would suggest this... however, while I might well detail some of the under-bonnet area with some checker-plate for example, if it was too shiny and clean under there, I fear it would be at odds with the exterior which I do intend to have suitable shabby and worn - so the compromise is that the engine bay will be sprayed the main body colour as it if were semi-original, with patches of rust in corners, along with some repaired sections...

Yep, as usual this is going to be another nail-y build!

Jenny x


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Just when I thought this one was going to be bright and shiny...the rusty primer and the salt appear!

Love the coolant levels! This one is really coming together now. 

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I am absolutely taken by that engine bay - even before seeing everything all together! More top-notch execution and general brilliance there :) It reminds me that I need to get motoring on my step-side Bruiser, even though it will lack a bit- well, pretty much all the detail you have thrown into Cilla G.

JennyMo build threads are one of the great pleasures of TamiyaClub, I think!

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2 hours ago, Grastens said:

I am absolutely taken by that engine bay - even before seeing everything all together! More top-notch execution and general brilliance there :) It reminds me that I need to get motoring on my step-side Bruiser, even though it will lack a bit- well, pretty much all the detail you have thrown into Cilla G.

JennyMo build threads are one of the great pleasures of TamiyaClub, I think!

Thank you Grastens - I think you're gonna love it even more now the rust and paint is on it!


photo. this photo was before the inside of the wheel-arches have been blacked out with underseal, and the radiator shround painted satin black. I'm also planning on lining the side panels which are opposite the exhaust headers with checker-plate...


More soon!


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... some more epic scabbiness!



It takes time to mature to this extent, but I have to say that rust weathering kit is very authentic!


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So a few observations about the Modern Masters rust kit - first of all, the results are awesome - the best rust effect yet, because it is actual rust of course!

Because I'm still finishing off a few construction details, and painting parts piece by piece, I've been able to experiment with how and when to apply the various finishes... first of all, as usual/previously, I blow over the whole body with red-oxide primer, which give a good basic 'rust' underneath any flaking [grey] primer and paint I apply on top, using the salt technique to help the paint flake away leaving the layers underneath visible, and adding to the general texture of the corrosion.

However, with this build, I wanted to add more concentrated rust in specific spots - which I initially scuffed up with the reaming end of a Dremel, to give a little depth (in some places boring all the way through the panel to leave a hole), and then painted the 'Iron' base-coat paint in those areas with a fine tipped brush, and let it dry for a couple of hours.


first attempt/method

The wheels I did first, and used the pump spray head on the Activator solution bottle to spray the wheels all over. You do need to be patient, but eventually the corrosion comes through, and I started adding the salt to those places I wanted the rust to remain visible, which at the same time also provoked the chemical reaction a little more too. Once the rust was sufficiently formed, I then sprayed the [white] top coat on the wheels in the usual way let it dry, then washed off the salt with warm water.

I was pleased that good amount of the rust effect remained despite the washing (unlike my abortive attempt with the wheels on the ebaYJeep you may recall, where I'd dipped the wheels in the hydrogen peroxide/vinegar solution, and unfortunately when I removed them, all the rust essentially washed off immediately), however, the 'orangeness' had faded somewhat back to the iron colour, so I brought that back with a fresh application of the Activator solution, and the effect was even better as the rust 'grew' under the edges of the [white] top-coat paint too.


second attempt/method

With the engine bay/inner wings, again I blew over the whole assembly with red-oxide primer, let that dry, and then added the Iron paint in the areas I wanted more intense corrosion - typically along the body seams and around the area where the batteries will mount. Rather than spray the Iron painted areas with the Activator solution at this stage, I just covered those areas with the salt and sprayed the top coat, and let that dry thoroughly before washing off the salt.

I then used a brush dipped in the Activator solution bottle to paint on the areas that were Iron painted, and again, slowly the rust started to develop in those specific areas and 'grew' under the edge of the top coat colour too. I did have to add two or three more coats of the Activator solution (every couple of hours) to really intensify the rust areas, but ultimately leaving things overnight resulted in a really controlled way of developing the rust, without wasting too much of the activator solution.


So in conclusion, it really doesn't seem to matter which order you incorporate the Activator solution... although the brush-on method seems more time consuming, it is less wasteful, and similarly if you are going to wash the salt off the painted parts, it makes sense to only apply the Activator to the rust areas after you've done that, to save wasting/washing off the initial rusting - although I would say it comes back more quickly if it has already been rusted prior to the salt and top coat.


It's also worth noting that the Activator solution is corrosive enough to start to melt the chrome finish you get on some plastic parts (see above) - and I realised this when I initially sprayed the bumper and grille parts (which I'd only partially roughed up with fine wet&dry paper), and noticed that the fluid had actually soaking into the masking tape on the headlights and side-lights and removed some of the chrome there I was trying to protect... However, because this is a rough old 1980 model HiLux, a bit of faded/peeling inside the headlight lenses is actually even more realistic, and fortunately I caught it just in time before too much had been removed.


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Happy with the 2nd rusting method, I finished off the prep on the load bed section (fortunately the two halves of the body bolt together, meaning I could paint the rear and let it dry while finishing off the styrene work on the cab), and similarly blew that over with red-oxide primer:


photo. load bed ready for paint - note the series of holes drilled in the rear quarter panel for the Trailfinder II rear marker lights to fit in.



photo. first coat of primer - because this is going to be a rusty working truck, there is no need to be ultra precious with surface prep of course.


The other thing I wanted to incorporate was some raised TOYOTA lettering for the rear tailgate which I'd carefully removed from the Loops rear body, and will re-attach with working hinges and latches.

Now I know you can buy some pre-cut letters that are the perfect fit for the rear tailgate of the Trailfinder/HiLux/Bruiser body from RC4WD, but posted they are the best part of $20, so I thought I'd have a go at making my own first:


photo. a quick noodle on the google, and apparently Arial font in Bold is pretty close to the original TOYOTA lettering...


I printed the 'logo' out in 56pt size, and in reverse (which actually means just swapping the A to the beginning of course) so that when I glued it to the sheet of 0.5mm lexan, any remaining glue would be on the back side once the letters were fitted to the tailgate.


photo. fortunately most of the letters are nice straight lines, which can be scored with a Stanley or X-acto knife.



photo. only the Os proved slightly more tricky - although with a bit of sanding and using a round file in the centre you can do a pretty reasonable job.



photo. Test fitting on the tail-gate. Not bad for a first attempt I thought, although ideally they would be cut from either thinner material (easier to cut) or ideally die-cut of course if you have access to a machine.


I'm still debating whether to try and finish these by sanding the edges smooth once they've been glued on - particularly as there will be some rust and corrosion/peeling paint anyway, so they don't need to be pristine anyway of course...

Plus, and as a massive hint to the final colour scheme for this build, you can of course make up your own logo too:





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working side windows

With the rear end coming on nicely now (it's surprising how even just a coat of primer can start to tie the build together from what was a series of mis-matched colour plastic parts), there were a couple more jobs to finish in the cabin before that too could be primed, painted and rusted...


photo. yep, I went there again... like with the ebaYJeep, I've chosen to incorporate actual working side windows in this build too!


photo. since I was using up my left-over C-channel, the drop on the passenger side is slightly shorter/not full depth as I'd not got quite enough length... however, in practice this won't matter since I feel it is more authentic to have the windows only partially wound down anyway?

The window channels are made from 1.5mm styrene C-channel glued to the inside of the window frames, and a strip of styrene at the bottom to stop the window glass dropping all the way down, and to provide rigidity to the two channels. Initially everything was just tacked in place with superglue, then the jointed bolstered with Araldite (actually the stinky JBWeld equivalent, which really takes much longer to go-off than the pukka British stuff ;o)


photo. The side windows were cut from the original one-piece RC4WD lexan window assembly for the Trailfinder II - not as refined as a polycarbonate version perhaps, but for what I wanted easier to work with and the end result will look the same.



mounting the hood...

While I don't intend to have opening passenger doors on this build, I do intend to have an opening bonnet - or more accurately, a removable bonnet, so the vehicle can be driven with the engine bay on display too (yep, another clue the paint-job ;o).

I'd already scored and cut the bonnet section from the front wings using a Stanley knife, so now all that was required was a relief on each side to support the edges, and some way to keep it attached... magnets!


photo. more styrene strips - this time cut from 1mm.


It would be easy enough just to essentially put a lip along each side and sit the bonnet on them - however, because I need to put magnets (or at the very least washers) on the underside of the bonnet too, a sandwiched step down [the thickness of the magnets] was also required so that the bonnet sits flush with the wing-tops when closed:


photo. the 5mm thicker part is then glued to the inside edge of the wings, with the 10mm square taps sticking into the engine-bay for the magnets to be attached to.



photo. the strips needed to be heated slightly and bent to follow the profile of the wings.

I bought a bag of tiny magnets (approx 6mm diameter x 1mm thick) which would be perfect for this application, and was rather proud of how I managed to attach them all without resorting to a measuring device of any kind!

As per the photo above, I attached a magnet above and below the four 10mm tabs in the engine bay, where they would naturally self-centre on themselves.

I then put a dab of superglue on the top of each upper facing magnet, and simply sat the bonnet on them until the glue dried.

I then flipped over the cab, and removed each magnet in turn (having marked the bottom of each with a pen so I knew the polarity would be correct), plus dab of superglue on the tab, and then replace the magnet, which centred itself on the one now glued to the bonnet of course.

Finally, I beefed up the edges of bonnet support strips and all the magnets with some epoxy to make sure they won't come detached in future.


So, with that element finished, it was time to mount the engine bay assembly at last, and check that everything goes together correctly:


photo. fan shroud painted satin black, radiator cap and warning decal applied.

I'd say that is looking promising!

More soon...


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A few more mods to the interior before I can prime that too:


photo. this truck is technically 37 years old now... so of course the driver's seat would be a bit saggy!



photo. similarly the backrest of the seat needed a little wear and tear - although I had to remove the ribs from the back/inside so I could heat the plastic and bend it (with my thumbs) in the same way.


The bonnet and the rear bed had their top-coat this morning - the trick is to use a nice rich colour so you only need a light coat or two - making it much easier to wash off the salt afterwards:


photo. The top coat is an ultra flat 'Military' Tamiya colour AS-19 (Intermediate Blue/US Navy) which is very effective, since the aged and worn body means the original paint would have started to dull and go thin anyway.



photo. Salt washed off, and a fresh coating of rust Activator solution applied... hopefully a couple more applications and the real rust ought to be showing by the end of the afternoon.

Once the natural rust has matured, I'll add the final dry-brush weathering and then seal it with some flat clear lacquer.

Cabin next!

More soon...




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Cabin fever!

Ok, now the difficult part... as I've hinted a couple of times above, my colour scheme [and overall look] for this build is essentially a twist on my previous WBO project TaMater, himself a homage to the Cars movie Tow Mater.


As I mentioned at the time of that build, it was my most elaborate paint-job to date, although with this HiLux version, there is even more detailing to consider - not least the added 'real rust' and a full interior to paint and distress.

Since (like Mater) the doors of this build are not removable, it means I need to mask the cabin twice to achieve the two-tone effect:


Because it will be easier to mask the smaller door panels before I paint the final 'main' body colour, it makes sense to rust/weather these first and paint the top coat - then let it dry throughly while I rust the main body, prior to masking the doors and finally adding the blue to the wings and roof.



photo. salt added where I want the rust and corrosion to show through the top coat. note inside of the windows also masked to prevent any colour bleed to the interior.


note. As I've continued to utilise the Modern Masters Iron paint and Activator solution on the previous body panels, I've found the best/quickest result is to paint the Iron paint on those areas I want intense rust, let it dry thoroughly (a few hours), then brush over those areas with a coating of the Activator solution. Leaving it overnight, already the process is beginning to develop - I then spray the body with water and add the salt, let the excess water dry off and then paint the top coat.

Once the top coat has dried, washing off the salt also seems to take the 'gloss' off the paint with the Iron filings in, meaning that once you re-apply the Activator solution, the rust comes back more quickly and more intense than before too. A couple of applications of Activator a couple of hours apart and the rust is pretty much as intense as you'd want a build like this I feel.


Interior panels...

While I'm watching the proverbial and literal paint dry, I've elected to juggle a few more of the parts which require painting - in this instance the interior will be a dull yellow/faded mustard colour (Tamiya TS-3), and the plan is to contrast this [slightly] with tan flocking on the seat faces and door panel trims.


photo. door speakers and handle recesses masked, as these ought to remain black plastic of course.

The interior kit I bought (from RC4WD) comes with a number of metal details, including vent covers, dash inserts, and even door handles and infill panels for the steering wheel spokes! It also includes many plastic dash details such as heater vent knobs, column stalks, window winders, armrests and of course a pair of shift levers.

I have to say, while this interior kit was relatively expensive ($37.99), the level of detail really is, well, 'next level' as it were... Part of me would perhaps to have liked to incorporate the AMPro Eng. illuminated dash panel (which could always be retro-fitted I'm sure), but as an overall interior, this off-the-shelf solution really is superb. Of course it's going to take all my patience and dexterity to really do all the tiny details justice!

More soon!


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Apologies for the slight gap in the proceedings, I was on holiday last week... but fortunately that coincided with getting the first colour coat of paint on the body [the doors], leaving plenty of time for it to cure before masking for the second colour.:


photo. doors in contrasting 'mint' green - Tamiya AS-29, another one of the military (aircraft) colours in flat-matt finish.

You can see above how the salt was used to mask those areas I wanted the rust and red-oxide primer to show through the top coat. By it's nature it is a pretty random effect of course, however, if you concentrate the salt in those areas where genuine rust and deterioration/wear would occur, the effect is pretty realistic, and can be further enhanced with some dry-brush and powder weathering to really make the detailing pop.



photo. a quick test-fit of the body, prior to painting the blue top-coat on the main cabin wings and roof...



photo. ...and a sneak-peek of the engine bay with the ancillaries fitted (the engine itself still needs some painting and detailing).




I also started to detail the RC4WD dashboard (and plan to refine the deterioration on the front grille panel a little more too):




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photo. masking the doors prior to spraying the alternate colour for the wings and roof.



photo. again salt added where the rust and other deterioration needs to show through.



photo. I've found the trick is to use a deep/rich top-coat colour, so you can get away with just a single or at least a couple of fine coats, so that the salt underneath doesn't clump too much - making it much easier to remove when you wash it off.



photo. doors unmasked, and the contrast is already clear and defined.



photo. salt washed off (under a running tap), and the rust Activator solution reapplied to those areas which were originally painted with the Iron paint.


More soon - I'm currently juggling all manner of components in an effort to get things to all come together quickly now!


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Like all of your builds this is also absolutely incredible. Especially the front grill, dash board and engine are my favorites. 

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Thanks Aerobert! - I fear you might have to add to your list in a minute ;o)


front and rear windows

So now that the main [spray] painting is finished, it's time to add a few more details using a brush and acrylic paints, plus a new technique I've wanted to try for the seats and door lining panels...


photo. masking the window rubbers before painting with Tamiya XF-85 'Rubber Black'.


Using a strip of masking tape around the screen (and rear window) rubbers and scoring them with your thumb nail before cutting them with an X-acto knife, leaves a nice clean line between the body panels and the rubber:




side windows


photo. the side window rubbers (and in this case channels for the slide-down side windows) are also painted in XF-85 Rubber Black, using a fine-tipped brush. note. gap between door and frame darkened with watered-down flat black paint (Tamiya XF-1).



photo. while I've chosen to cover the quarter-light upright in self-adhesive aluminium foil, which when sanded back with 800 grit wet&dry leaves an authentic worn 'chrome' finish.



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The interior is still a work in progress, but as a sneak-peek as to what you can expect:


photo. The RC4WD full interior set includes three pedals, two gear levers (I shortened the transfer lever to make it more contemporary), window winders, arm-rests and even a pair of column stalks!



photo. a technique I've seen, and have wanted to try myself for a while now is flocking the seats (and also the door side panels) to give a real retro 3D feel to those surfaces - and this 1980's Toyota work truck would seem to be the perfect platform... I have to say, it's really authentic!


And finally for now, I fear I have outdone myself in the nerd stakes... if the scratch-built tail-gate latch on the Defender 90 and battery cut-out switch on Desmond's scuttle panel weren't enough already:


photo. fuel filler cap on neck... actually screws on and off!



More soon!

Jenny x

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It's been a pretty manic 24 hours - this thing has taken over my life, but I'm getting close to finishing now all the elements are coming together at last...

Inside job


photo. marking and drilling for the pedals in the driver's footwell.



photo. gear levers and flocked bench seat - note the saggy section where the driver has been sitting over all these years!



photo. checker-plate floor mats (cut slightly small so you can see the rust in the footwell boxes).



photo. Dashboard fully assembled - those are Wild Willy 2 dash instrument decals in the centre console - perfect fit! (note simulated wear to the glovebox lid, again, this is a 39 year old vehicle!)



photo. door-trims include contrasting grab handles to the flock panels, metal door latches, and window winders and front speakers.



photo. the interior finally being assembled...



photo. finished!

As I was putting this interior kit together, all I could think about was the original Tamiya tag-line "Scale model, suitable for radio control" - and I have to say, while this interior set is another $37.99 on top of the Mojave (or Bruiser ;o) body set, it really is a scale model in it's own right - it's almost a shame to put it inside the vehicle rather than display it on it's own! Fortunately, I've got working windows on this build so you can peek inside.


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Engine detailing



photo. splitting the motor cover to paint the HT leads and plug caps, plus blow over the intake and exhaust manifolds in flat 'alumnium' silver.



photo. reassembled - the temptation is to weather this (and I might well add some black-wash and oil stains), but at the same time, the back-story is this old HiLux has had a more recent V8 Tundra engine transplant, so it's fitting that the engine itself is in better condition.



photo. reinstalled in the engine bay - the V8 cover simply clips onto the motor... and yes, I've even smeared real grease on those battery terminals!


So with the grille panel finally glued to the main body shell (tacked with super-glue, then beefed up with Araldite as the original screw holes are now missing due to reshaping of the front wings), it was time to finally fit the body around the engine bay:



photo. I've also elected to paint the front grille plain black as the chipped chrome wasn't really working the way I would like.



photo. bonnet held on with four magnets (one in each corner under the return lip along each wing).


And finally for now, I just had to try on the rear body-tub too of course:


More soon!


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I'm beginning to loose the will to live. Your skills and attention to detail are just awesome."We are not Worthy";)

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Following on from my previous post detailing the side window channels/runners and using the lexan RC4WD windscreen, I decided that while the moulded screen section fits the cab well enough, the 'glass' isn't as clear as I'd like, so elected to cut individual window panels from a sheet of 0.5mm lexan instead:



photo. passenger window slides approximately half way down (due to only having a short length of C channel left over)



photo. driver's window drops almost all the way (but not so far so I can't pull it up again from outside).



photo. rear window features a [missing] slide section, while the windscreen itself needed to be heated and bent to fit the compound curve of the screen surround - fortunately the HiLux has a pretty flat screen other than the bottom corners. Again, screen was initially tacked in place with superglue, then the joints beefed-up with Araldite.

The other thing that arrived in the post recently was these proper 'working' metal windscreen wipers - which are the correct size for the deep HiLux screen (compared to the short plastic 'Jeep' ones I'd bought previously) - the wiper arms even have tiny metal springs inside to help snap them against the screen!


Once the screen glue has cured, final assembly can begin... all that is really left now is the tailgate detailing and to work out the final design/location of the rear lights...

More soon!

Jenny x

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