“Building the Fat Fender 40 – CadillacPat Style”
Let’s build a Fat Fender you can all be proud of with a body smooth as glass.
The HotWheels Fat Fender 40 comes with a lot of baggage just like its sibling the 40 Coupe and its newest family member the 40 Ford Convertible.
Harsh heavy raised ridges crawl across the fenders front and rear,
Casting lines invade both headlights,
Long ridges, and in some cases crevasses run down the sides of the roof,
Window and wheel openings require a good filing and sanding.
If you’re lucky you get one with sharply detailed taillights that can be left on the casting and painted.
In most cases the taillights are shoddily formed and are best removed.
Other than that, it’s perfect.
Here’s a shot of a stripped Fat Fender.
It doesn’t matter which issue of the Fat Fender you choose to strip, they all look the same without paint.
The casting is rough and requires about an hour of elbow grease to bring the body around to acceptable condition.
This can all be done with sandpaper but I like to start with a half round (crescent) file about 6 inches long.
Flat on one side and curved on the other this file provides perfect physical characteristics for fine-tuning the body and cleaning out the window openings and wheelwells.
Using your file,
First take down those raised ridges across the fenders, headlights and roof.
Clean up and smooth round the sides and tail end of the rear fenders.
Remove the taillights if you care to.
File smooth the wheel wells and window openings. This one step will make your Customs stand out from most that you see on the Internet.
Lightly file the front and rear window openings so as not to change their shape.
All 4 side windows can actually be opened up a little bit.
Lastly, thin down the rear tab so the painted body will slip back easily into the chassis without marring your paintjob.
When you’ve done all this, go over all your changes with 150 sandpaper and then 220.
Roll a 1” x ¾” piece of 220 sandpaper around a toothpick and further smooth out those window openings.
Curl a piece of sandpaper around your finger and smooth out your wheelwells.
Use the same curled sandpaper around a toothpick to smooth down the space between the headlights and hood.
Through all your steps of sanding and filing make sure not to touch the door handles or simulated chrome trim on the sides. Remember the point here is to retain all the body definition while still cleaning up the surface.
Once you’re satisfied with all your filing and sanding go back over the entire body with #3 Steel Wool available at Home Depot.
Be careful on the sides as you do not want to remove the door handles or simulated chrome trim.
The Steel Wool will take down all the sandpaper scratches to a fine spun metal lustre leaving just the right surface texture for good paint adhesion. Not polished but bright, clean and smooth.
Here’s the same Fat Fender from above after filing, sanding and rubbing with Steel Wool.
From the pictures you can see I’m taking my Custom a little further than some might take theirs.
I’ve drilled out my headlights for Rhinestones.
I’ve removed the running boards to accent the fenders without harming the door handles or simulated chrome trim, and,
In upcoming pics you’ll see I’ve opened up the hood to insert a BoneShaker engine.
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