Introduction: How to Modify a Die-Cast Car
Step 1: Step One: Materials
Here is a basic list of materials:
1) Die-cast Car
- Try to get a simple, stock-looking one with smooth surfaces and a low ride height.
- Good brands include Tomy Takara and Matchbox.
2) Rotary Tool
- You will need a drill and saw attachment.
- You can use the sanding attachment as well.
3) Spray Paint
4) Clear Tape
5) Hobby/Utility Knife
- Box cutters, X-Acto knives, and pocket knives will all work.
- It is a good idea to sharpen them beforehand.
8) Black Permanent Marker
- Sharpies work the best.
9) Clear, Hard Packaging Plastic
- Easily obtained.
- If not available, cover card stock with clear tape.
- Be sensible about the grit
Step 2: Step Two: Disassemble the Car
Using the rotary tool and drill attachment, drill out the metal rivets that hold the car's metal body to the plastic chassis. Drill deep enough to remove the lip of the metal rivet. You will need to exert some force, but be careful. If you do not have a rotary tool, you can try to use a hand drill and a sharp knife. But be warned, it is not easy. If this fails, cut or drill away at the soft plastic surrounding the rivet. Disassemble the car as much as possible. Separate the body, the interior, the windows, and the chassis. If it is possible to remove the external lights, do so.
Step 3: Step Three: Remove the Paint
First, scrape off as much paint as you can with the knife. Knives can remove certain kinds of paint faster than sandpaper. Remove as much paint as you can with the knife, then use the sandpaper to remove the remaining paint. It is extremely important that as much paint is removed as possible, otherwise the new paint will not adhere properly. However, be careful not to make holes or deep scratches in the metal body. If you do, sand them down using the sandpaper. As a final precaution, sand down the entire body, including the inside, to ensure that the paint sticks properly. Wash the body using water and rubbing alcohol.
Step 4: Step Four: Remove the Old Spoiler
If you have a spoiler on the stock body, you need to remove it to put a new spoiler on it. Using a rotary tool with a saw attachment, saw off the spoiler. Take care not to hurt yourself or damage the body. Smooth the cut with sandpaper. If your body does not have a spoiler or you do not have a rotary tool, skip this step.
Step 5: Step Five: Paint the Body
Now it is time to paint the body. Holding the spray can at a slight downward angle, depress the nozzle and sweep upward. Give the body light, multiple coats and let it dry in between coats. If bubbles form, sand off the paint and try again. Make sure to paint the inside as well. Once you are satisfied with the color, let the paint fully cure for one day.
Step 6: Step Six: Add a Carbon Fiber Hood
Take a black permanent marker and color the hood (note: permanent marker has a very distinct shade that resembles carbon fiber much more than black paint. In addition, it is easier to work with and dries very quickly). Work slowly and carefully, making sure to thoroughly cover the hood. If you make a mistake, gently and carefully scrape off the layer of maker using a sharp knife. When you are done, let it air-dry.
Step 7: Step Seven: Make a Carbon-Fiber Splitter
Trace the front lip of the car onto a flat piece of clear packaging plastic. Cut out the shape and sand the edges smooth. Thoroughly color both sides using the permanent maker, and let dry. Finally, glue the splitter to the underside of the chassis using superglue.
Step 8: Step Eight: Make a Carbon-Fiber Spoiler
First, trace out the basic shape of the spoiler on a piece of clear plastic. Cut out the shape and sand the edges smooth. Using the knife and the ruler, fold down the two edges of the spoiler to create wingtips. Locate possible mounting points on the car, and using the ruler and marker, mark those points on the bottom of the spoiler. Take two staples, bend the ends as shown in the picture, and attach them to the mounting points using superglue. Reinforce the connection with two pieces of paper soaked in superglue. Thoroughly color the spoiler with the permanent marker and let dry. Finally, bend the staples in the center and attach the spoiler to the rear of the body.
Step 9: The Finished Product
Once all of the modifications are complete, put all the parts of the car back together again. If necessary, glue the body to the chassis. Make sure to post pictures of your modified die-cast cars in the comments box.