Toyota HJ60 1/10th RC Scaler Scratch Styrene Build
Since this blog is becoming more and more something I want to hand over to my son Archie one day I figured I’d start sharing more what he and I do together and this is a fun project thatI’ve been archiving as we went along, so here goes.
As a lad I got well into building model cars and trucks. I even came runner up in a photography competition featuring one of my early (albeit unpainted) masterpieces and got very into customisation as a teen.
Back then I could never afford some of the top end Tamiya models so ended up co-building a Wild Willy (!) with a friend of mine across the street. Oh boy that was fun! So now, in my forties, and reliving those years through my son Archie I’ve bought him a couple of kits for us to build and play with together.
The latter of which was a Deadbolt on the Axial SCX-10 chassis, and having done a fair amount of reading up decided that we’d set about building a custom body for it.
I used to own a Toyota HJ60, a much loved 4×4 that took my ex-wife and I around Europe for 5 weeks on our honeymoon (we are not ex because of this trip!) and I was amazed to find that no one manufactured HJ60 body shells for 1/10th scale radio controlled cars so decided this would be a our first project together (a 4×4 VW LT campervan follows!)
Here’s a visual diary of the build that has stretched 10 months, starting with a scale print out of a plan found on the internet. Then, using various packs of assorted A3 and A4 styrene sheets I started cutting…
But soon realised that I would need to cut again! The body was to be made of an inner stronger sheet of plastic and the outer thinner layer to be moulded over shaped profile pieces to give it the proper look of the sides of the vehicle.
Here are the profile pieces cut to give the profile of the sides. As it happened I should have cut more, but this was enough of a taster of how hard it was going to be to work in styrene. Lots f sanding ensued.
Here are the profile spacers cut and glued into position on one side with a top piece laid over to check how much work was needed for the next step.
Let the clamping begin! Styrene bonding glue turned out to be good stuff but I needed a lot of it.
Sheets were slightly overlaid to give the desired effect and add strength. Here we’ve cut the wheel arch out of the top player already.
First mounting of the sides onto the chassis to check I’d measured right and what sort of width we’re looking at.
Wheels/tyres stick out quite a way. The scale is probably all wrong but what the heck – first attempt and all that.
Made the effort to cut out the door handles with much fiddle and re-gluing. Wheel arches also cut and fitted.
Started to score the door apertures and chrome edges to the windows.
Turns out that the side walls couldn’t be made in one piece due to the nature of the angle of the top half of the truck so off they came.
Satisfying wheel arch sanding!
Starting work on the back of the truck.
…and the front, and the first attempt at bracing across under where the dash will be. That’s a T shaped piece.
Really quite pleased with the shape of the sides but it turned out that I could have made the bottom edge turn in even more for realism.
Without the floor in place the body obvs sits lower but I think we’ll need a spring mod too.
The bonnet (and the roof) needed shaping and forming. First attempt starting:
First to strengthen the sides as there would be pressure on them.
First I fitted that base layer as one piece to build up on (and the sand down).
Then glued a thinner piece for the bonnet onto a second frame to glue down onto the first piece.
Then glued and clamped the front edge flat.
The bonnet has a raised profile which I made out of the thinnest sheet of styrene with a frame. for structure.
First fit of the bonnet in place after some sanding. Bonnet front lip being held up.
…and glued in place with a little more sanding…
With the cross members in place and the body mounts in their initial position a quick chance to check articulation and clearance…
I know they’re oversized tyres but I do love the look!
Here’s a view of the body mounts through the cross members and of how thick the sides are at the front for strength.
Wheel arches and boot floor in place.
Door edges scribed and much more wheel arch sanding done.
Lots of front wheel arch filling and sanding too.
Rear seat back and transmission cover in place.
Rear seat back hides rear body mounts. This will of course present a problem for access for body pins so another solution will be needed.
It turns out that my outer frame wasn’t square… something I’d definitely want to get right next time… so everything at the front needs to also not be square!
Front seat backs in.
So I decided there was no way I was one of those guys to go nuts on the interior and build everything to scale and instead found a decent enough interior photo to print out to scale and glue onto a styrene dash.
There was a spare steering wheel in the original Deadbolt box so I butchered it with some extra styrene cut to look like the real thing.
Bought a 1/10th scale driver and sat him in, initially with blu tack to check the alignment of his hands on the wheel. You can also see here vents and other scribing on the bonnet.
Loving the curve of the body profile
Working at the breakfast table? Nah, just taking photos!
First time mounting the roof. Really starting to look like an HJ60 now.
Here you can see the final detail on the bonnet in place and the front filled and sanded just about as much as it can take.
First mount of the windscreen frame.
Plenty more shaping, trimming and gluing needed.
Windscreen glued in place and roof filled, sanded and starting to look part of the rest of the rig.
Now for some paint. Dashboard first – grey gloss. Love that smell! Almost as nice as the styrene cement!
Dash in as a test. Side window frames scribed.
Rear window view. Not the hyper-real bulge which is actually a great feature in the finished model. Structure of lower section taking place to hold the outer skin. Rear light cluster apertures cut.
Here’s how the top half of the body fits inside the lower part.
Top panel of lower half of the rear door. Check my nail file!
And then we jump into colour! No idea why I don’t have more photos of that transition! Lost somewhere… Anyway before we move on here’s the rear view.
So – to prove that this honestly isn’t all just my build (!) here is Archie doing a spot of painting of the driver for me…
…and Lola painting an alternate head!
Meanwhile I was out in the kitchen using the dremel to cut up a cheap rear bike light to make the rear light clusters.
I’m going to fit an LED loom to light the front and back lights so needed to leave space to mount one into these.
There will be a side panel to cover up the unsightly bits!
Here’s the first view of the front end of the car sprayed and with the interior and the glass in. I’ve just drilled the holes for the headlights and cut the surrounds and the lenses. I’ve also painted the chrome outer edge of the grill.
Here’s the front view Very happy.
And now….. drum roll…. the finished(ish) project! Some shots in the garden and some video from the beach. Very pleased. Still need to figure how to fix the body to the chassis. Really don’t want to go down the velcro route.