Just a quick show and tell of my detailing attempts and just how things go when I practice enough.

The progression starts on the left with the Datsun 240z. I had pens. I had paint and brushes. I also had shaky hands and a desire to be done quickly. Move to the 510 wagon and I have the same tools, but with more patience and a steadier hand. And no clue how to make the car looks correct. Now, I find pictures and use those as guides most of the time. The Mini was another using even more patience and better techniques. No rushing this time as the turn signals can attest. Those last two were ok and excellent in my book. But they took way too long to complete. The Fairlady, on the other hand, is excellent and only took about 30 minutes to complete.

Again, the progression is noticeable from the 240z but there is also something you learn when detailing Hot Wheels. The castings are very flawed and not as detailed as one may want. Do you want to paint the taillights onto a 510 Bluebird wagon? Good luck!

And here’s a factory fresh example:

There are no distinguishable lines indicating where the taillights would exist except for one at the bottom. And as an example on the 240, nothing separating the different lens pieces. The white space is a reverse light. And a spot I didn’t paint since the car is white already. Oh boy...

To the contrary, the separate element on the Mini taillights makes it much easier to highlight. Same for the Fairlady, but the red lens elements are simply on the ends of the chrome mounts. Easy.

Um... ok. Again, the Z looks like my daughter colored it. The 510 looks unfinished, but I insist that it is. Maybe.

The Mini was researched a bit but this exact car doesn’t quite exist that I could find. It was fun and I like it a lot. But took  f o r e v e r to finish. The Fairlady was quick and, while flawed, came out pretty well. The grille and headlight areas were done with silver sharpies. The black bits, Micron pens. The red taillights were paint. Easy.


One other reason the Mini took so long is that some of them come apart, like this one. So I took to the interior a bit as well.

I definitely recommend trying some detailing to anyone. I would say, start by buying cars that are readily available. Buy two or three to practice on. In terms of black pens, the Sharpies are good, but they leave a blueish tint and immediately start soaking into whatever you’re coloring. The Microns run about $4 each, but they’re archival ink, meaning they’re true black. And you have a chance to wipe mistakes away if necessary. Much better in my book.


Hopefully, that answers some questions about how I detail cars. I will start looking into getting yellow headlights onto some European jobs in the near future so look for those. Let me know if you have any other questions.

Thanks for looking!