So yesterday I showed a test run limited to 2mm and 2.5mm washers plus hand-cut sequins. I stopped by the home improvement store last night to pick up some more sizes, got to work, and now have some finished products to share.
First project: Back to the drawing board on my Mini GT Civic Type R
I posted about this yesterday. Even though the scales were quite accurate, I personally felt that the 2.5mm washer for the back was too small and hand-cut sequin for the front was too big.
I picked up some new 3mm washers to try but after that it jumps to 4mm, which is too big for me. So I took a look at some standard size #6 split lock washers and it turns out it’s right in between 3mm and 4mm. Here it is a comparison photo of the washer options:
The #6 washers are cheapest at about 4 cents apiece but I felt like they were too big. I stuck with the 3mm simply because they looked the best. But the problem is the inner diameter of the hole is too big to hold onto the inner diameter of the rim. I happened to have some extra 2mm washers from my original purchase that turned out to be too small for anything else so I just used them as what lock washers are originally intended for. I slipped a 2mm lock washer behind the 3mm to hold the 3mm in place.
And here is the finished product:
Side-by-side comparison of the same model with and without the washer brake rotor additions:
I was thinking about painting on some paint calipers but I’m satisfied with this.
Next project: [Knock-off] Kyosho Ferrari 458 Italia.
For this one, the 2.5mm washers didn’t fit. I had to go back to the store and grab some more 3mm pieces. I’d like something smaller but I don’t have much of a choice.
This one I took vdubyajohn’s advice and tried painting brake calipers on there. It turns out you really don’t need the use masking tape like I did, as long as you go back after to scratch off some paint after it’s dried to make the sides clean and straight.
Not enough space between the rims and the brakes but since I can’t go any smaller, this is better than having complete emptiness behind those thin rims.
I could possibly go bigger on the caliper size but I’m calling this project done.
Last project: Mini GT Liberty Walk GT-R
This one I really wanted to work on. The wheels on this heavily modified street car are as big as you’d expect. That makes it feel really empty behind those wheels. But, as mentioned in my old feature on this piece, the interior is stuck on the base so I can’t take the wheels out.
Because my ambition to make this look pretty was so high, I jammed something really flat in there, closed my eyes, and pried the interior off. Yes there were two pegs to hold the interior place but it turns out the real culprit of the stuck interior was the glue that held the seats to the interior seeped onto the base.
2.5mm fit the inner diameter like a glove but wasn’t wide enough on the outside. 3mm wasn’t large enough either. #6 (or 3.5mm) was the perfect outer width but left a hole in the middle so it would dangle or fall out of place. I could have done the same trick with the Civic and held it in place with a 2.5mm washer but my store ran out. As an alternative, I grabbed some museum quake putty and plopped it on the back to hold it onto middle of the rims.
And here is what the wheels look like with and without the brake.
The result is beyond satisfying:
The best part: #6 washers are the cheapest and cost under a nickel each.
Vdubyajohn had a fantastic question:
“How do you flatten [the washers] after they’re in place?”
That’s the hard part and where the sequin would be a lot easier. I hold the pliers parallel to each other to get grip on as much surface area as possible. You can see the gap on the left, between the pliers. It helps that the right pair in my dominant hand has a wider tip.
Another good method is twisting from the bottom. Picture the washer as a clock, where the opening is the 12 o’clock position. If you’re right handed like me, keep the same position with the left as in the above photo by using the pliers to grasp the 6-12 o’clock positions. This time, grasp the bottom of the clock perpendicularly with the other set of pliers where 4 and 5 o’clock sit and twist.
To make things easier, you could also just clamp the two open ends together then use one of the above methods for the finishing touches since clamping doesn’t come out even.
And I’m not sure what you can do with this but you can fit a #6 washer inside these rims:
I’m not giving up on cutting sequins just yet. Metal washers are easy to get and cost friendly, but sequins are thin and flexible. That’s still my ultimate goal with this cheap and easy custom brake project because I want to be able to fit them only my fancy Kyosho models without having to drill the rivets.
And ironically, this detailing tip is the polar opposite of creating depth and shadow.