Back in 1987,
I owned a blue Baja Bug, which was amazing
fun so I have always loved the Sand Scorcher.
Twenty one years later, I painstakingly
rebuilt a really tatty rough rider that
I got from swapping a few old skateboards
with a guy I was working with at that time.
With the addition of a Blitzer beetle shell,
I finally owned what was as close I could
get to a Sand Scorcher. When I heard the
Sand Scorcher was being re-released, the
thought of building a perfect new version
However, I did use another Blitzer shell
with an orange nose cone for this project
as it would have somehow felt wrong doing
what I did to my perfect new body shell!
Having been so inspired
by some of the amazing Sand Scorchers that
other people have built, I have used many
ideas that I have seen done before. However,
I did try and add a few things to the mix!
My favourite Scorchers
are always the really tatty lived-in
so that's what I went for.
I also wanted
to make two parts that I had on my
old Baja bug, the side bars
and the kit part at the back of the
car above the engine.
achieve the basic dented old look I did the
Firstly, I joined the nose cone to the body
and using body filler I smoothed out the join.
I did trim the wheel arches down slightly,
then used a tala small flame torch
to heat up the areas on the shell that I wanted
to dent. I did this really cautiously at first
as I didn't want to melt it too much. Once
the plastic was soft enough I could use various
implements to dent it. I found the rounded
end of a pencil was quite good! Once I had
enough dents, I then put small amounts
of body filler in areas where I wanted rust,
then I stippled it with a brush to get a good
texture. I also did this on the dents I had
created! Once I was happy with what I had
done, I primed my body shell.
I then got my tubes of acrylic paint out
and painted the scuffed up areas rusty.
Usually, I used two colours for this yellow
ochre and a burnt sienna. In some
areas, I added a little water and let the
rust run down in streaks. I
also sanded areas of the body, like the
dented areas, with a fine sandpaper. After
this, I did washes of dark brown and black
acrylic with plenty of water, that I
rubbed off with a damp cloth, leaving areas
to look like grime.
The final touch was applying decals
of which some were original and some I made
myself using inkjet water slide decal paper.
I did enjoy making the tiny window stickers
(some of which I had on my dash board in
1987) I also weathered areas of the
larger decals with really fine sandpaper.
Side bars and
interior roll cage
These were relatively easy to make as I
bought butyrate tubing and fittings from
E.M.A Model supplies. They sell a
variety of tubing and angled joining pieces
so it's like putting a kit together.
For the side bars, I used 4.8mm tubing,
90 degree and 45 degree bends. I did have
to add a strip of plastic to each side of
the car (just under the doors) to attach
my side bars to. The roll cage was assemble
using 6.4 tubing and the relevant bends,
I added a little fire extinguisher
to the roll cage, which I still need to
make some decals for!
body kit part
I made this by sculpting the part straight
on to the body shell using a plasticine type
material. I then moulded this in silicone
and got a fibre glass positive
out of my mould. I had to cut away
quite a bit of the rear of the body before
cleaning up the piece I had made and fitted
this to my scorcher.
I used the great site - www.acme.com/licensemaker.com
to make my number plate. I went for a Hawaiian
plate to give my car a little Aloha,
heated it up to bend it a bit and make it
look older, then stuck on the printed out
number plate. I glued on little 3D plastic
letters that I have had for ages but sadly
I don't know where they came from. I finished
it with a little glued on sand and a rusty
old paint job.
I did fill in behind the wheel arches so
my car looked less like a model using these
templates - www.tamiyaclub.com
then poured some fast cast,
which is like a liquid plastic (pigmented
brown), over my cardboard filled in area.
Just before it had set fully, I sprinkled
on some fine dirt.
I bought the roof rack from eBay and added
some little plastic pieces to make it look
as if it was attached to the car properly.
By creating a few holes in the mesh, adding
sand for texture and doing my usual rusty
paint job, it helped the roof rack
to look as weathered as the car. I know
the gas canister isn't in the safest of
places on the roof but I couldn't resist
as I thought it looked good
(which was also from eBay). The shovel
was actually a 1/6 scale shovel but I sanded
it down a bit to be closer to 1/10 scale.
The little tarpaulin is hiding the battery
for my lights!
At some point, I do intend to sculpt a
detailed driver and also feel that
I need some kind of model engine as the
back as it is looking a bit 'empty' but
I need a few more free weekends before this
'Real Thing' - Baja 1000 1971
got to start somewhere, right?
Damaging a new shell?!
|When the primer was dry,
I sprayed the shell with chrome spray
paint. Again after leaving this to
dry I started my paint scheme using
Liquitex which is spray acrylic.
The great thing about this is
you can pick off areas to make chipped
edges of doors etc. really easily! You
do need to be careful
as the paint can come off when you are
masking it, which I saw as a happy
accident. Sometimes I
would mess with areas of the paint before
it had dried properly. I tried anything
to make the paint
work look old and passed it's best.
top, a few essentails...
of scale safety!
all could do with some 'Sex Wax'!
thanks Justin for this superb article!
- The T01 team.