Don't know if other modelers do this with customs, but for me, when I get an idea for a one, I can usually see it reasonably clear in my mind's eye. I always feel more confident to butcher some kits after I create an illustration, though. My avatar 911 woody wagon is one such example, but since that one dates to B.C. time (before computers, for me anyway) I had to sketch it out using pencil tracings from a Porsche brochure.
Trained graphic artist that I am these days, I swipe various photos off the internet and hack them up in my CorelDRAW program. Visualize having multiple copies of a photograph and using a virtual scissors to cut 'em into pieces, layering the pieces on until the desired look is achieved. I used to do this stuff in PhotoShop, but I can't afford the upgrade that would make my old version 7 work on my newer iMac.
Since Dan Palatnik is showing off his original 3D drawings in his own thread in this forum, I thought I'd start off mine here with a hat tip to two of his pieces. The first one was purely for my own satisfaction, to see if a 3-wheeled '49 Ford could be done to keep up my running joke of such vehicles for the GSL "Group" category. It worked, as can be seen here, Dan's original is at this link, and right below is my alteration of it. Dan had a good laugh at it when I emailed it to him in 2013.
Next is a more recent alteration of Dan's set that was a '54 Pontiac, where I tortured bits from his '57 wagon to fit on it (the passenger side headlight is out-of-perspective). I believe the overall idea would work out reasonably well using parts from most any '57 kit and the Monogram '53 Chevy (or whatever else is out there that I'm not aware of), but at the rate I'm going, this is a project I most likely will never have time to get to. Dan is a good sport about my alterations of his work.
Then there's this one, where I snagged some photos of a 1:1 Robertsham LLC custom kit car version of the Daytona Coupe (originals are the small inset pics). Much as I love the original Daytona Coupe, the kammback always looked like such an unsightly afterthought, to I grafted on a regular Cobra roadster back end, and then did various other proportional tweaks, as in shortening the hood just a bit while lengthening the cabin just a bit. No offense to the Shelby designers, but maybe it sorta evens out the whole car a bit better. However, this is a project I'll never probably get around to building.....
My stuff isn't all that crisp or professional compared to others, and pro photo alteration guys will easily see the flaws in my work, but then again it's just a kind of virtual sketching exercise to see if some of my wacko ideas work or not. Trust me on this, some of 'em just obviously do not work, and I toss 'em into the virtual trashcan. But some are keepers since they seem like they are maybe 90% on the way to being an actually worthwhile idea. Stay tuned, I have a small stack of those to share.
Edited by Russell C, 05 September 2014 - 04:42 PM.