Big things with little cars

[CUSTOM] Déjà Vu - A Very Special Custom

Some of you may recall February of 2016 when I showcased a 1:18 scale custom of my Metallic Thunder Gray 2008 Suzuki SV650N, made from a yellow Maisto SV650S. Recently I got a second chance at this build, as a new coworker turned out to be a fellow SV-N rider and I wanted to build his bike as well. The color was never quite right on my first build anyway.

My Metallic Thunder Gray SV650NK8 by the English River in Iowa County, Iowa, USA.
One of my new co-workers is a fellow SV enthusiast, and this is his customized SV650NK3.
It was full teardown for these builds, and I was able to find a metallic gunmetal that matched my paint perfectly. In addition, I had some blue sapphire metallic that fit the bill for Ethan’s SV.
Both customs began life as the yellow SV650SK5+ seen far left in this family picture. Both of us have the same belly pan fairing in real life, and I created the 1:18 versions from balsa wood.
It was fun recreating all of the little details. I painted on all the badges and decals this time around, adding a new level of depth and realism that I’ve never before attempted. Forgive the canted mirrors on my NK8, they came from the SK5+ model.
Seen here is the 2003 SUZUKI letters on the fuel tank, which changed to the stylized S logo on 2004 and later SV models. You may be saying, hey, I thought all 2003-2004 SV models had silver frames! You would be right, but Ethan painted his black. My radiator is also black where the ends of his are silver.
Also added in 2005 in addition to the black frames were twin spark plugs per cylinder, which was good for 73 hp from the 645 cc V-twin. His bike retains the clip-on style bars, where I adopted mine from a Harley XG750 Street.
Similar to Doss’ 1:24 Camaro ZL1 custom seen a while back, I was able to print and attach mini versions of our license plates, which from a glance are so convincing that I swore I was looking at my actual bike!
Some detail of the original SV650S badges and stylized S logo on the tank.
It isn’t perfect, but it was super fun adding the badges to my bike after omitting them the first time around. I’m so happy with how this turned out!
Perhaps even more brilliant is how Ethan’s turned out. I did my best to replicate all of the small details and mods and I feel like they add a sense of customization akin to his 1:1 that brings his real bike faithfully down to small scale. His headlight was donated and cropped from the same Harley XG750 Street.
After seeing the results on Doss’ ZL1, I simply couldn’t omit the license plates on our SV twins. Note the custom fender eliminator and clear custom signal indicator lights on both bikes.
It was a blast redoing this custom, with much better paint, better details, and better resolve, especially working on Ethan’s side by side.
If you were wondering what the little black plastic stand was front and center on my bars, it’s my replica RAM mount for my phone, made from the XG750's exhaust bracket.
Sitting pretty in the box with display stand. This ended up being Ethan’s box, and another yellow SV650S with stand is on the way to become the final home for my SV650NK8 custom.
I also gifted him the yellow S for the complete before/after treatment, as I have another one the way to donate it’s box to my custom NK8. Again, like Doss’ ZL1 project, I had to round out the whole package by customizing the box, replete with wheelie picture on the right!

This has been another amazingly fun project, and it’s quickly becoming an addiction building small scale replicas of people’s 1:1 vehicles. As much fun as it was remaking my SV much better this time around, it was exponentially more rewarding making Ethan’s SV and Doss’ Camaro. Watching someone get excited because they see their personalized vehicle in small scale is truly a humbling and heartwarming feeling. The cool part is, diecast has the potential to bring people together, even if they aren’t necessarily into diecast to begin with.


Next up is a Maisto 1:18 SVT Cobra Mustang for the best man in my wedding two months ago, one of the 490 Zinc Yellow coupes in 2003.

Stay tuned...

As always, Happy Collecting!

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