I can’t tell you how badly I’ve wanted to post up this custom since finishing it nearly two months ago! I built it for a contest that apparently was looking for something a little more outside of the box, but now that it’s over I can reveal it for all to see.
I give you my interpretation of the 1935 Diamond T Doodlebug tanker truck that Hot Wheels recreated as the Haulin’ Gas. I was inspired to do this livery after seeing a picture of an abandoned 50s Shell tanker trunk at the ghost town of Jerome, Arizona. Although Shell never used this vehicle, it was mainly used by Texaco, this is how I imagined it would be liveried. Read up more about this interesting vehicle here: http://theoldmotor.com/?p=148721
This was by far the most challenging custom I’ve done to date, not from a creative or modification sense but from a painting stand point. It took me three attempts to get it right and even then I feel like I never really got it to where I wanted it. There is nothing more depressing then having to strip down a freshly painted diecast. I started with a total strip down of the original clear, cleaned it with soap and water, gave it a light primer coat, next was a coat of red and a light clear coat, let it cure for a few days, then the challenge. I wrapped the freshly cured painted cast with a single piece of low tack 3M masking tap and used a plastic pick to tuck it into the crease of the fenders and bumper. Let me tell you, curves and compound radius surfaces are a painters nightmare! Once I was happy with the placement of the tape I carefully traced the crease with a razor and removed the areas to be painted next. A quick run over and tuck of the tape and it was ready for the secondary color layer of yellow. From previous attempts I learned you have only a few minutes to remove the masking tape before the paint starts to set, causing tearing at the blend line. It’s difficult as you can imagine to do thus quickly and accurately. Once the masking tape was removed I let it sit and cure for a few days. When I revisited it I added the details/decals and shot it with a final clear coat. The whole painting and detailing process took me a week!
The interior piece and base was shot in red and clear to match the paint scheme. The only modification to the cast was the addition of a true split windshield. Real Riders were sourced from two other castings and the tires from another two, making this undertaking a 5 cast project! I think it was well worth it though, the rims and tires really make this project come together. If you’ll notice, look closely and sure enough though are Shell hubcaps on the axles, decals that I had to use a needle to set in place!
I really enjoyed the challenge that this one presented. I’d like to think that this is something Hot Wheels would have produced in the gas can line up or in a 100 percent brand line up similar to the Shell one that was featured here a few weeks ago. Enjoy!