The idea for the Snap-On Scorcher came about
after a conversation with Tamiya 101.com member
Volksrod earlier this year.
We thought it would be a good idea to set our
self a challenge for the next Tamiya101 DVD. The
challenge was for each of us to go away and build
a Custom Scorcher in our own styles, but it had
to have a Custom Body (With inner wheel arch liners
), Interior detail, and the Driver figure had
to move. Another item we wanted to install was
a full lighting kit as we wanted to do some filming
of the cars running at night.
This was not a competition between the both of
us , we just wanted to see what we would come
up with. Joe and I constantly sent each other
progress shots to see how we were getting on.
After many days of thought I had finally decided
on how to modify the body. It would require plenty
of plasticard sheets in different thickness, sections,
rods, tubes and plenty of epoxy resin, super glue
and car body filler.
Bonnet and Front Wings
I wanted the nose of the car to drop away and
blend with the top of the front wheel arches.
To achieve this I had to cut out the entire bonnet
moulding on the body with a Dremel tool , this
just left me with the front wings and the thin
windscreen wiper panel.
Large plasticard sections were cut out to the
shape of the bonnet opening to give me a base
to structure the new bonnet on. A dashboard panel
was also cut from plasticard to shut the back
of the bonnet off.
I then cut wedges of plasticard to simulate the
curve I wanted on the bonnet. The nose of the
bonnet had a radius section of plasticard fitted
on and this would shape the bonnet front.
The centre of the bonnet had a fuel cell cut
out made from plasticard and fitted to the base
of the bonnet.
All of this was then filled with Car Body Filler
( Isopon P38 ).
Once dry the bonnet area had to be filed and
sanded down to the correct shape and had to blend
nicely with the rest of the body.
The front wings on the body were cut back to
blend and flow with the radius on the nose of
the bonnet and cut in at the backs to blend with
the sides of the body.
Engine Lid Spoiler and Rear Wings
For the rear of my Scorcher I wanted to remove
the engine lid moulding and replace it with a
1973 Porsche 2.7 RS style duck tail spoiler.
This was done, by cutting out the old engine
lid with a Dremel tool. Then a framework of two
1mm diameter stainless steel rods, one for the
top profile and one for the bottom. These were
bent by hand to the shape I wanted. Each wire
form was glued to the body and plasticard sections
were cut and glued in place to fill the 2 wire
Next the whole spoiler was covered in car body
filler and left to dry. When dry the final shape
of the spoiler was filed and sanded to shape.
This was not an easy job. It took 4 attempts to
get the shape right. Once I was happy with the
shape of the spoiler I needed to blend the rear
wheel arches to go with the spoiler. The arches
were cut and radiused back and each arch was blended
into the side of the body to match what I had
done with the front of the car.
I also removed all the roof rain gutters, rubber
mouldings around all the windows, opened out the
sunroof so it had no step inside and I also removed
all the running boards on each side of the body.
The fuel filler flap on the side of the body was
also filled as I had modified a fuel filler cell
for the middle of the bonnet already, and I also
filled the holes for the windscreen wipers.
The whole outside of the body was sprayed in
grey primer , this showed all the errors on the
body. All the problems were fixed and the body
was once again primered to see if all was ok.
The Body Interior Detailing
This was the point in the build where I had to
decide how to make a model with a working driver
figure, an interior and a chassis housing all
the electronics and running gear. The model needed
to be easy to take apart to replace the battery
and get to the electrics. The car would also be
run on sand so the interior design had to allow
for the sand to escape the interior.
The best plan of action for me was to make a
model with 3 stages.
The Driver/Interior Base.
The Chassis and Electrics.
This enabled me to fully detail the inner skin
of the body, dashboard and rear firewall.
Again the liberal use of Plasticard sheet, rectangular,
square, L section and tube sections were used
throughout the interior skin of the body.
I started work on the dashboard first. This was
built up with plasticard sheets and given an edge
with l section plasticard. I left an area where
the steering column would pass under and would
cut this away later when the driver/interior section
was installed. I used many parts for this car
from an old Tamiya 1/12th Porsche 934 static kit
The Dashboard moulding from this kit was cut
back, so I only used the area the dials were moulded
on and glued this to the dashboard in the Scorcher.
The rear firewall was the next part cut from
plasticard sheet. The first section was cut to
fit around the inside of the rear window neatly.
I added various lengths of 1mm square sections
to this part to give it a more interesting look.
The next part of the rear firewall had to be shaped
to allow the Chassis roll hoop to pass through
the body and connect to the body clip on the roof
of the body. The final part was cut from plasticard
again and angled and fitted to the inside of the
Once all of this was glued into place I started
work on the foot well panels and inner wheel arches.
All of these were first templated in paper and
then copied in plasticard and glued into place.
I added several plasticard strengthening flanges
in this area also.
The same was done for the rear engine bay area
and the rear inner arches.
Next I added doorframes and strengthening bars
to the inside of the body, all of these were cut
from plasticard sections and tubing.
The roll cage was the next part to be made as
I wanted this to be fixed to the inside of the
body. First a 1mm diameter rod was hand bent to
make a template for the roll cage sides. Once
this was made thin walled 4mm diameter aluminium
tubing was bent, using a bending jig to copy the
steel rod templates. Cross members were also added
to the roll cage and all of this was glued together.
The roll cage was then test fitted several times
to make sure it would fit after painting of the
body had been done. The roll cage was then primered
and painted silver.
I had to custom make a front body mount to the
body, so it could fix to the chassis without any
body pins showing. This was made from a piece
of L section plastic with a hole drilled into
one end to accept a mounting pin on the chassis.
The L section was heavily glued onto the underside
of the bonnet.
Painting the Body
I had wanted to do a Snap-On paint scheme on
this Scorcher from the beginning. The colours
of the body had to represent that sponsor, so
White, Red, Black, and Silver were used.
Firstly the whole body was sprayed in grey primer.
The primer was lightly sanded down and washed.
Once dry Tamiya TS Pure White was sprayed on the
inside and outside of the body, this was done
in several coats to build up the colour. The paint
was flatted between each coat, so it would be
nice and level. This was left to dry thoroughly,
approx 2 weeks.
The red was next to go on and I used Tamiya TS
Bright Red. The whole of the inside of the body
was masked, as I wanted this to stay white. I
uset Tamiya masking tape and paper to blank the
inside of the body.
Tamiya tape was cut into 1mm strips and used
to mark out all the curves and straight lines.
Then each area that was to be left white was masked
in with Tamiya masking tape. All the edges of
the masking tape were burnished down with a toothpick.
Red was applied to the body in several dust coats.
If they were sprayed on too heavy the red would
bleed under the masking tape. This was left to
dry for several days and then I sprayed the red
on heavier to get a good depth of colour.
The masking tape was then removed once the paint
had dried and I was very happy with the results.
The Snap On Decals were custom made for me by
my Friend Lee, who makes all the reproduction
decals for Tamiyaclub. These were cut out and
fitted to the body and I also fitted other decals
from Tamiya models, but only the ones that were
coloured Red. White, Black or Blue. I also added
some Snap-On decals to the interior.
The whole body was then clear coated with Tamiya
TS Clear. The body was given several coats, again
rubbing down between each coat of clear. When
the body had dried thoroughly the clear topcoat
was flatted and polished down to a wet look shine.
Detailing the Body
Now that the body had been painted I had to add
all the fine details to finish it off.
Firstly I gave all the door panel lines and rear
engine grill detail a wash of thinned matt black
Humbrol paint, this would make them stand out
nicely against the white and red body.
The silver painted alloy roll cage was now fitted
and fixed into the body using epoxy resin. The
dashboard had all the dial faces decaled using
the decals from my old Tamiya 934 kit. All the
dial bezels were detail painted silver and I added
small warning lights to the dash also. I scratch
built a radio unit with a wire to the dash, the
radio was made from plasticard and the cable was
a piece of fine wire wrapped around a paintbrush
and painted yellow.
All the other interior parts came from the 934
kit. Oil Tank, First Aid Kit, Water and Oil Tanks,
Fuse Box and Tool kit. These were all built up,
painted and fitted to the inside of the body.
I used Braided hose and rubber tubing to plumb
in all the oil and water tanks.
I used a piece of window netting left over from
a Tamiya Super Champ kit and sprayed this with
Tamiya PS ( flexi polycarbonate paint ) and fitted
it to the driver side window.
Two number boards were made up from plasticard
and these were glued into the rear side windows.
I added my customary number 22s to each
Next to be fitted was an Aluminium fuel filler
cell to the hole in the bonnet. This was turned
up on a lathe and then all the holes were drilled
into it on a milling machine. All the details
were painted into it and then it was glued into
While I was working on the fuel filler cell I
decided to fit a stone deflector to the bonnet
to help protect the driver from flying stones.
This was made with L section plasticard and a
small piece of clear lexan. Small holes were drilled
to the base of the L section and these were fitted
with cut down pinheads, to look like rivets.
I wanted to make a custom visor for the front
screen opening. I firstly cut out a template from
paper to get the correct shape. Then I cut out
the same shape in 1mm thick perspex. This was
then lightly sprayed with Tamiya PS Smoke to give
it a tinted look. I then fitted one of my Awesome
Alloys decals to it.
Lastly to go onto the body were the Side mirrors
and the internal rear view mirror.
The side mirrors came from Tamiyaclub member
Mike00top. These are custom aluminium mirrors
which were masked on the mirror face and sprayed
bright red. I fitted them to the body with rubber
tubing, as this would enable them to move in an
The interior mirror came once again from the
Tamiya 934 kit. This was fixed to the body with
the same rubber tubing as the side mirrors.
The Chassis and Electrics
The chassis was a modified version of the classic
SRB item. All the cast components were cleaned
primered and painted gold. These were all built
up as usual, but using stainless steel screws,
ball races and a brass Super Champ idler gear.
I removed all the torsion bars and springs from
The main chassis plate was a Twinset alloy item
that was heavily drilled out to reduce a bit of
The front suspension and gearbox assembly was
fixed to this chassis. I used Super Champ servo
saver and steering rods as they are much
stronger than the standard ones.
New holes for the servo mounting brackets were
drilled into the chassis and an Acoms servo fitted
to the steering rod.
I was kindly given some Alloy front and rear
bumpers by my good Friend J-man on Tamiyaclub.
The front bumper was modified, by adding a machined
alloy skid plate. The front bumper bar was sprayed
white to go with the body colour. I also added
some spotlights from a Hi Lift kit to the front
bumper. These were masked and sprayed matt black
on the outside.
The Alloy rear bumper was also sprayed white
to match the front item. These were both fitted
to the chassis carefully.
The standard dampers are replaced with Tamiya
Hi Cap dampers for the front and Tamiya TRF units
for the rear
There was a large gap between the rear bumper
and gearbox casing, so I decided that would be
a good place to store the emergency spare tyre
and set up a rear light bar.
A Rough Rider front wheel fits perfectly into
the gap and this was fixed to the rear bumper
with a handmade clamp plate and then secured with
a machined alloy 3 pointed gold lock nut.
The rear light bar was made from parts in my
spares box. I found an old Tamiya 1/6th scale
Honda CBR with some great looking indicators.
These were used to make the rear light bar. The
clear orange lenses were painted clear red and
the indicator backs were drilled to accept tiny
LEDs. I made a small alloy bracket and fitted
the light bar to the gearbox casing.
I used a Tamiya TLU01 lighting kit for the lights
and all of these were wired up to the spotlights
and rear light bar and then neatly tidied up around
the chassis. All the exposed wires were painted
matt black to resemble a wiring loom. The unit
was powered up and all worked well.
I fitted some custom made exhausts and silencers
either side of the rear bumper, these were made
by Tamiyaclub member Mike00top.
The next item to be fitted to the chassis was
the receiver and speed control and all of these
were neatly wired in. It was very important to
keep the wiring neat, as the space in this model
would be very limited.
The battery was installed and held in place with
some Velcro straps. I made 3 pillars from alloy
bar to hold the driver/interior section in place
and these also held the battery in place.
The final part to be modified on the cassis was
to make a front body mount pin and this was made
from some alloy bar and fitted to the top of the
steering servo saver shaft.
To finish the chassis off I opted to use Rough
Rider Wheels and tyres. I fitted some Awesome
Alloys Rough Rider Box Art Alloys. The tyre lettering
was painted in matt yellow, as this is the colour
I use for all my Custom Models. Not standard white
as in Box Art examples. The rivet detail in each
alloy wheel was painted with clear red to bring
out the detail and finished off with a red anodised
I also fitted an Awesome Alloys alloy SRB contoured
skid plate to the base of the gearbox.
All Awesome Alloys alloy wheels and parts can
be obtained by visiting; www.Awesome-Alloys.com
The Driver/Interior Level
Now the body and chassis were finished and test
fitted together I could see what room I had left
to make the driver/interior fit into the rest
of the body.
The base of the interior came out to approx waist
height on the driver. I made several paper interior
bases and test fitted them onto the 3 pillars
holding the battery on the chassis. Once I was
happy that the paper templates fitted the chassis
and body I made a plasticard copy. This was drilled
to accept the 3 pillars and mounted to the chassis.
I realised I would need to make a higher section
in the middle of the base, because the battery
connector had no room under the interior base.
A section in the middle of the base was heightened
by 7mm to accept the battery connectors.
I used a driver figure from an old Tamiya Hilux
kit and cut it down to the correct height for
The head area on the body was drilled out to
7mm diameter to allow for servo attachment to
the head. A micro servo was fixed to the inside
of the body and a rubber tube cut to the correct
length for the head was fitted to the servo horn.
The driver figure was test fitted to the interior
base and glued into place when he was in the right
I angled the sides of the base down about 15
degrees each side to how more of the inner body
details I had made and this also acted as a way
of removing trapped sand away from the interior
when the car was running.
Next thing to do was make a steering servo platform,
where a micro servo would be fitted to power the
steering wheel. This was made with plasticard
and had to be test fitted many times to fit inside
the body neatly. The servo was fixed on and a
length of alloy tubing was fixed to the servo
horn to act as a steering column. I used a steering
wheel from the old Tamiya 934 kit as it was a
perfect scale for this model.
The whole of the driver/interior was sprayed
Matt Black in preparation for painting the driver.
I chose to use a Driver head from a Wild One
kit as I just love the aggressive look of that
Arai Helmet. The helmet was sprayed in several
colours and the face and rubber detailing on the
helmet were hand painted. I wanted the driver
to have goggles as this would be needed for a
car without a front windscreen. I found this part
in my spares box again and it was a set of goggles
from a 1/12 Tamiya BMW Paris Dakar model.
I had to modify the rim slightly to make it longer
as the scale was slightly wrong. Then I added
some lenses and tear offs to the goggles. I made
a goggle strap from Tamiya Masking Tape and painted
The Driver body was now detail painted and I
added some shoulder stubs from plasticard to connect
the drivers arms to.
The head was now fitted to the body servo and
the servos were tested. Unfortunately they all
worked in reverse, so I had to get a servo reversing
lead for each servo and this fixed the problem.
Now came the arms, these had to be flexible and
move when the steering servo operated. I cut the
hands from the drivers arms and these were
fixed to the steering wheel. I found some nice
white cotton gloves that would stretch and were
the correct diameter for the arms. The index finger
on each glove was perfect, so these were cut off
to the correct length for each arm.
The inside of each arm was made from rolled up
aluminium foil and the elbow and shoulder joints
made from rubber tube and fixed to the alloy foil
arms. The shoulder joints were fixed to the driver
body. The cotton sleeves were then pulled over
each arm and glued to the shoulder and the hand
on the steering wheel.
The action was tested again and the effect was
I added some extra details to the interior base
such as, Battery, Wiring loom, Electrical Boxes,
Fire Extinguisher System, Gear lever with rubber
boot and water bottles.
I needed to make a seat for the driver and this
was made from 2 seats from the trusty 934 kit.
The side of one seat was cut and the opposite
side of the other seat was cut and the two parts
glued together. This made the seat the correct
width for the driver. The seat was cut to fit
to the interior base and the correct height to
suit the driver. I made a headrest from plasticard
and a plasticard framework for the back of the
The Driver was treated to a seatbelt harness
made from vinyl tape and some felt pieces for
the belt shoulder straps.
All the servos wires were given enough length
so the driver/interior section could be removed
for battery change without disconnecting all the
A final test showed all worked well and the model
was finally built up.
This Model was run this year and has been filmed
running in the day and night on the sand dunes.
It will feature in the next DVD from the Guys
This model was a big challenge to get done in
time for the filming.
I nearly gave up on building this model so many
times, but I am glad I kept on with it to the
end and managed to get it all on film too.