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Making Door & Hood Hinges

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  • 1 year later...

I was wanting to make hinges for older cars look a little more realistic. I took the molded kit hinge and measured between the pivot points and cut duplicate parts from styrene stock. Then I used styrene rod to make the "rivets" by melting each side a little with a hot knife. I was going to add a spring for added detail but sadly the car was damaged by young dogs playing around.







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  • 1 year later...
  • 1 year later...
On 8/3/2012 at 6:14 PM, blunc said:


After seeing the anticipation in another "door hinge" thread, I thought I'd offer up my design ideas for door hinges not made of wire stuck into a tube. This covers a more detailed description of the hinge design I have already posted in "1/32 scale workbench" but I feel will "scale up" well for 1/24 & 1/25 and possibly 1/12 & 1/16.


This tutorial covers door hinges in which the front edge of the door swings inward when the door is opened, thus duplicating the action of the 1:1 car being depicted in 1/32 scale. There are other hinge designs which the entire door swings outward, that type requires the hinge point to be moved forward of the leading edge of the door (and a slightly different hinge design than shown here). I suggest if you want to replicate a real car, research or take photos to get the proper type of hinge to build but most will have same or similar elements just different mounting points and hinge arcs.


Here are the basic supplies that I used for the hinges herein illustrated, I leave to you regarding your favorite cutting, drilling and shaping tools:



note that the brass u-channels pictured are different size and one will fit into the other ( this is for those that wish to make all of their hinges totally out of brass rather than the method I chose for this project )

Evergreen has lots of great shapes and sizes and should be explored by any who need more than basic kit supplied parts.


Here are the design elements; the mounting points (square plastic rod), brass u-channel (cut, shaped and drilled) and the hinge pin(I am using one long pin during the build to maintain hinge alignment, this will be shortened to one pin per hinge during final assembly).



another shot of the hinges showing the orientation of the brass u-channel



A close-up of one hinge piece sitting on top of a mostly finished door.



This is a shot of the leading (forward) edge of a door, note the openings where the u-channel will slip into the door.



An interior shot of the door showing where the u-channel will fit and calling out where the I-beam and square Evergreen shapes were used.



Note that the trailing edge of the door skin has been thinned out to replicate actual dimensionality of 1:1 door.



Here is a shot of the other side door showing how the brass u-channel slips into the I-beam and square Evergreen strips.



A different view of the same door to get better perspective on the Evergreen parts.



Thanks for looking, I will be happy to answer any questions. There are many ways this can be used, u-channel and brass tubes can be used for exposed hinges on vintage rods...

(note that his was done on a 1/32 scale Trans Am)

Old post quoted and photos added due to the Photobucket debacle









Edited by blunc
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  • 1 month later...
  • 1 year later...
On 3/30/2019 at 12:07 AM, blunc said:

those should work, I suggest you test fit everything else that gets built into the dash/windshield area to ensure your hinges don't interfere with anything.

This is a very important point. I once built a fantastic hinge for a trunk for a 1962 Pontiac and did not test fit the base. Come to find out it was hitting the wheel tub. Had to start all over. 

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  • 2 months later...
  • 2 months later...
1 hour ago, fredo84 said:

I would like to know how do you guys make the tailgate open.


  I am an owner of a 1:1 '66 Chevy c10 Fleetside...depending on which rear bumper you plan to use...mine has the flat bumper with a step on each end....that allows it to open 180 degrees....others could swing to the bumper.  The tail gate it self pivots on the lower corners... no major hinge mechanism at all....just catch chains.   " Hence great care " has to be taken to not let it drop down & chains to support it in 90 degree position.  Hope this helps.


Edited by Khils
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55 minutes ago, fredo84 said:

Sorry to dig up old threads ☺️ 

But I'm working on a '66 Chevy Fleetside pickup,and I would like to know how do you guys doing to make the tailgate oppening .

Thanks !

Most pickup kits come with working tailgates. It’s  a very simple pivot as shown below..




I created a working tailgate on this Jeep body I made into a small trailer. 

I glued a piece of round Evergreen plastic to the bottom of the tailgate, overlapping on the sides.  Then I held it up against the body and marked / drilled a small hole for each side.

I have a pack of model ship eyelets.. a loop with a shaft off it.. like a lolly pop. You can also bend thin flexible wire into that same loop. I did that prior to finding the eyelets.

Then I test fit by placing the loops over the Evergreen and pressed the loop shafts into the body. Once satisfied it worked as intended, I put it aside to paint and permanently glue in place.  Just a little glue on the loop shafts will hold it, allowing the Evergreen Rod rotate in the loop.  Zoom in on the above photos and you can see the eyelets are brass color against the white rod, which stands out against the blue body parts.


And the finished product.  I’d be happy to answer any questions.


Edited by Tom Geiger
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1 hour ago, fredo84 said:

Sorry to dig up old threads ☺️ 

But I'm working on a '66 Chevy Fleetside pickup,and I would like to know how do you guys doing to make the tailgate oppening .

Thanks !

This is how I did mine. Not exactly a factory stock look, but they work nice.



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I like to use hinging quite a bit as it adds a lot of realism and finish to a completed build, but their just fun to make also.

I use all brass tubing and rod for 2 different styles of opening hinges pretty much like the simple designs already seen here.

Here's a sample of one car completely opened up with hinges.



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  • 2 weeks later...

Here's a magic trick for installing hinges on hoods or trunks for cars that already have the chassis/engines permanently attached. There needs to be enough space between the cowl and the back end of the hood to glue the ends of the hinges that stay with the body. The hood or trunk also needs to be flat from side to side. If not, see further down.

Using any of the methods shown online for making hinges, epoxy the hinge ends that stay with the body in place. When dry, this leaves the two "arms" that glue to the hood lying loose. These arms need some kind of flat surface attached to the top of each arm that will meet the hood's underside. Check fit before gluing, as the hinge arms may need to be bent upward to meet hood/trunk underside.

Next place a thin thread from side to side of the engine/trunk opening UNDER the two arms and long enough to clasp with each hand outside the opening. Load pads on each arm with 5 min epoxy, fit trunk/hood in place (over thread sticking out each side), tape hood/trunk securely in place, pull string taut and voila! Hinges glue blindly to hood/trunk.

If the hood has deep sides (like an older pickup truck) there needs to be small ring-like devices attached under the hood/trunk at the flattest area (a small bead on each side of the flat hood area would work) to make the string pull the arms up to the hood/trunk bottom. Care would need to be taken to place the body side hinge parts where they would meet the hood/trunk in this flat area. Thread the string through the "left eye," then under the arms, then through the other eye and out the side leaving enough loose string to be able to put glue on pads and finish as above. Just pull the strings.

The string method will need fine tuning for people who want hood/ trunk to stay up without support.

I hope this is useful.


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  • 4 weeks later...

Hey txfatboy I'm building my first model car.  It's a 1:25 scale amt 67 Impala.  I would love to have realistic looking hood hinges like the ones you posted back in September 2016.  How much would it cost for you to make some for me?

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Hey txfatboy I'm building my first model car.  It's a 1:25 scale amt 67 Impala.  I would love to have realistic looking hood hinges like the ones you posted back in September 2016.  How much would it cost for you to make some for me?

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  • 5 months later...

Fascinating topic!  Most of my hinge efforts are on cars that I saved from my car modeling days (1967-65) many of which were curbside/promo types, never having an engine.  Nice strong ivory-like plastic, but tricky.  I'm glad my proto is basically the same as y'alls; but I stick with aluminum jewelery wire and plastic tubing mostly.  For every '60 Bonneville hood I open, I need to source not only the engine/trans, but radiator/bulkhead, firewall, etc. pluse mock up some kind of front suspension.  Still, my old kits aren't fun unless I include these, and solve the hood hing problem over and over again.

Wick, made my first kit in 1953 (Auroroa Famous Fighters planes) and still trying to complete/restore my collection at age 76.

Thanks, Jairus, for the good styling studies; always interesting, even if too new age for old me. :-<)

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  • 8 months later...

I am working on my first model with opening doors. Thanks to this thread I’ve pretty much got the hinges configured. I want to install 3mm magnets to keep the door closed. In order to drill a hole in the door jamb for the magnet, I used a PC board drill by hand to put in a pilot hole. Then I made this “shorty” pin vise from a really crappy one that I had no use for. I also had to cut down the drill bit so it was short enough to fit in the door opening.





Edited by NOBLNG
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This is a little trick that I've been employing on several of my most recent builds.

While it's not a functioning hood hinge, it's a technique for allowing display of your model with the hood in the opened or closed position with relatively realistic looking hinges.

With this method, you can eliminate the need for a hood prop, and also eliminate the unrealistic slots in the firewalls or fender wells without having to go through the work of trying to create actual functioning hinges.


This is accomplished by adding tiny miniature magnets to existing kit hinges, firewall and hood, making the hinges completely removable, and yet simple to quickly pop into place when you desire to display the model with the hood in the open position.

Not an ideal situation, as you are then required to keep the hinges separately when the model is displayed with the hood closed, but it's a perfect solution for anyone who wants alternatives for situations like the contest tables, or really anytime when you want a quick change option

You can not only display the model with the hood open or closed, but the hood is then entirely removable for unimpeded viewing of the engine compartment.











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