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1980 Toyota Crown: A Brown Car

Mr. Turbo

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First off, I'm sorry for the totally ridiculous number of photos and for the WIP images in there.  I had a hard time paring it down from over a hundred, so this is progress for me.   I was really experimenting with the taking of the pictures in addition to the build.  And my work progress wasn't too interesting or anything you hadn't seen before so I didn't think it really deserved its own thread.  Sorry, again - I'll try to be more selective next time.  A link to some kind of album is probably better.  But it's my first kit in 20-odd years so let me have this one.

Here it is, the godawful boring Toyota Crown Turbo Super Saloon of 1980.  Thought it might be fun to build something I would never look at twice.  Like a blank canvas for my screwups.  Also, I spent some time in Japan in my 20's and have a soft spot for their car culture over there.  I think it did something to me, the day a friend took me to see a Toyota 2000GT parked outside at a dealer just on the side of the road next to a BMW Glas 1300, an Isuzu 117, a Delta Integrale, and a line of vintage Skylines.  You don't just park stuff like that on the sidewalk.  But they do there.  Because there is nowhere else. WasabiCars and Speedhunters are also great sources of inspiration.



Reference car and inspiration. Note the custom panel between the taillights on the red car and the relocated plate.  Just to be extra low.



Checking the stance, trying out colors.  Leaving the stock kit wheels on the sedan.  For now.



This was a big deal for me - cutting out a sunroof and getting the 'glass' to sort of fit.



Headlight cups (made for real bulbs) looked terrible behind the lenses...something was needed.  Also tried to do the thin chrome side trim with masking and a Molotow pen...didn't quite work.  BMF better.



Flashcube innards make great headlight reflector cups.  Thanks 1970's!



The results:



Intro to Scratchbuilding.  Seatbelt buckles, speaker bodies and JDM-style seat covers made from dollhouse curtains.  Wildly out of scale unfortunately but this model is all about experimentation.



I actually found an old white handkerchief with the perfect in-scale material.  I may change it one day.  I thought I was done with the interior...



Until I saw this car for sale in Japan with my seat covers and a Nardi wheel.  Kind of silly on this car but it looked so good I had to try and make one.  The spokes and hub you can buy...



But man, that black stripe is thin in 1/24 scale.  1st attempt with Tamiya yellow tape, 2nd attempt on the right with Tamiya white tape.



And a center hub made from a snippet of blue window tint and several drops of clearcoat built up.



Ok, finally, the car out in the open...a little dusty and polleny outside.  Left the sunroof removable after I couldn't decide what position to glue it in.



The only other piece of 'scratchbuilding' on the car, if you can call it that: rain visors made from 3mm nickel plated battery connector strips.  I have a sack of like 100 if anyone needs some!



In all her brownness.  Custom Toyota City license plate I had printed.  3150 means "Best" in phonetic numbers.



Custom vintage TOSCO Racing Equipment decal.  For +5hp!



In front of a little wall I made from a clipboard and crimped aluminum sheets.  Sprayed bleach on them and left them in the sun for weathering.  Actually corroded little holes!



Tsurikawa (subway strap handle) and one of the hardest parts of the build - tiny strips of BMF along the edges of the fenders.  Window tint is actual brown automotive tint film but very thin.



One of my goals of this build was to be able to read "TURBO" on the grille.  For obvious reasons.  Because TURBO!  The Crown badge was tougher.  The black is Ceramcote acrylic.  Too flat maybe.



Look at that sweet digital display.  Need something better for door gaps but I really need to get good at scribing deeper panel gaps.  I tried, almost ruined everything, afraid to try again.



I don't care.  I like my chicken-wire-sized lace seat covers. 



Could not figure out how to glue the mirrors on the wings.  Ended up drilling the posts and the fender and inserting thin paper clip clippings.  Now they're adjustable, too.



Experimenting with different focal lengths on my old digital camera.  Used the smallest aperture to reduce blurring (increase depth of field) to make it look less a miniature. 



This one's wide-angle for bigness.



And I know it's getting excessive but I had to play around with studio-style shots.



If you've made it this far - here's a side view!  Tried to make it look heavy on its wheels - not slammed with the rims tucked up under the fenders like on the box.



Cold light from one side, warm from the other.





Funky reflections...



Mmm, those rain visors.  I couldn't figure out how to make or attach them.  I don't even know what they're glued to, maybe the window?



Final detail.  Fujimi's standard one-piece underside for a bunch of their sedans.  Did a little weathering, a little masking.  Could've done fender liners or painted the inner body black.



My little photo setup, if anyone's curious.  3 crappy desk lamps, two gooseneck clips, lots of paper and a couple glass vases because they were within reach.  And that's my brown car.  Sorry again.



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You kept my attention, it's excellent! Great photos and the Crown is very nicely built - I really like the finished look of it. The extra details work very well.

I love the big Japanese stuff from this era, I own a 1:1 Datsun Laurel.

I have a "Benz Mask" version of this kit, basically a Mercedes grille planted onto it......

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This looks awesome! I don’t know why you keep apologizing over the number of detail and behind the scenes photos - pretty sure we’re all nerds here who obsess over this exact thing ? No one is going to complain about too many high quality photos like yours!

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Thanks, guys.  Means alot.  Glad to have somewhere to put these pictures.  Glad anyone actually looked at all of them.  Gareth - I do like to get really close in some of the photos, especially during the build.  More than once I saw something in a photo that I could barely see with my eyes.  The better I make it, the more flaws I see: way too-thick paint, those panel gaps (which, due to the thick paint, are now like smooth valleys between hills.)  Amazed with myself that I got it this far, though, so I'm happy.  Nigel - I saw one of those Benz-face kits, pretty awesome in a terrible way.  I think I also saw a BMW-faced Celica at one point.  The JDM equivalent of our Roller-grilled VW Beetles!

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The ability to get macro shots and zoom in on a screen means we see far more than before, be that good or bad!

I had a look this afternoon and was reminded that my Crown kit also has flared arches - from memory the wheel openings have been opened-up to accommodate the wide wheels, so without major surgery I'll have to build it that way:


Fujimi 1:24 Toyota Crown 2800 Benz Mask by Spottedlaurel, on Flickr

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Great job!  You addressed a pet peeve of mine, the headlights, brilliant solution.  Glad you didn't do the extreme "stance".  The steering wheel is excellent.  Overall enjoyable read too.  One of my daughters is very much into her Mazda and the Ricer culture, has her license plate bent, which I never saw before.

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2 hours ago, e30lover said:

Fantastic build! Love those attention to detail - the fabric seat cover brings so much memories. Your work on Nardi steering wheel is on point as well. Did the brown tinted windows come with the kit?

Thank you!  I tried small samples of different window films to find the right color.  Airbrushing would be best but I'm not so good yet.  This product on eBay worked well but it's for flat glass and will wrinkle on compound curves: https://www.ebay.com/itm/SOLAR-NON-REFLECTIVE-LIGHT-BROWN-WINDOW-FILM-TINT-20-x-10-FT-F-5B/114148412280?ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT&_trksid=p2057872.m2749.l2649

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On 10/17/2020 at 8:21 AM, StanGlover said:

This looks awesome! I don’t know why you keep apologizing over the number of detail and behind the scenes photos - pretty sure we’re all nerds here who obsess over this exact thing ? No one is going to complain about too many high quality photos like yours!


On 10/17/2020 at 12:07 PM, doorsovdoon said:

Looks amazing. Post away mate, we love pictures from all angles of completed builds. I only post about ten pic personally, but that's only because I want as little exposure to my flaws as possible! xD

Agreed!  Super presentation! That’s a valuable skill in itself. I especially like your interior detailing. One suggestion, you may have found a tighter fabric in doll house supplies, especially for what they call “half scale” which is 1:24. 

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