The Easy, Medium and Hard Way…
By Sergio Luis dos Santos
All text and photographs are copyright of the author.
How many times do we want to have “that special version” from a specific car or racing event? Sometimes we wait for years until it surfaces but what about those that never show up? The only way to go is to customize an available model.
Some projects need only a few decals and some fine touches to be finished. More elaborate work might need a complete set of new decals for the entire car, but the most complicated ones need a complete repaint as well.
Here are the easy ones from my 1:43 collection.
1 – Minichamps released this Porsche 911 GT3 from the Porsche Michelin Supercup 2006 in a “neutral” livery without a driver’s name. This was the easiest one: no decals to be removed. I added a set of white names for the side windows plus the smaller ones with the Brazilian flag above the doors provided by Jbot Decals. I left the rear window without the Senna name, since I could not locate any image to confirm this.
2 – Best Model released this Alfa Romeo 33.2 as the car driven by José Carlos Pace and Marivaldo Fernandes at 3 Hours of Rio de Janeiro in 1969. In reality, the model as it was released matches the car raced by Pace and Marivaldo at 500 Km. de Salvador. For a correct Rio race car, a large Alfa Romeo badge was applied in the front white panel under the number 33. I also replaced the small Alfa badge for a new one, both provided by Jbot Decals.
3 – In 1996 the International Touring Car Championship had a round at Interlagos, São Paulo on 27 October. This Alfa Romeo 155 V6 TI was the mount of British driver Jason Watt. Japanese driver Naoki Hattori drove it in the Japanese round, so HPI released it in Hattori markings. In the Interlagos race the car was driven by Max Wilson in the same livery, so a new set of Wilson in white for the side windows did the trick.
4 – Also in the ITC Championship in 1996, Ricardo Zonta drove this Mercedes Benz C Class in Germany at Nurbürgring on 1 September. This car was released by Minichamps as raced by Jan Magnussen from Denmark. A set of white large Zonta for the side windows and the smaller ones with the Brazilian flag for the hood provided by Jbot Decals were used. The real car is preserved as raced by the Colombian Juan Carlos Montoya in Silverstone!
5 – Flávio “Nonô” Figueiredo drove this Vauxhall Vectra for the Vauxhall Sport team at the 1998 British Touring Car Championship. Onyx released both cars from this team, the number 88 of Derek Warwick and number 98 of John Cleland. Again Jbot Decals produced a set of Figueiredo names plus the new number 99 with a white background in a perfect matching size to cover the older ones.
Now let’s see the ones I call the medium category. In this category, we must remove all decoration, decals, etc, and keep the original colors, sometimes with small color touch-ups.
6 – This Aston Martin DBR9 from IXO had all decoration removed with a new set of decals from Race Track Decals to finish it. Brazilian Fernando Rees had his debut in GT car racing at Mil Milhas Brasileiras 2007 at Interlagos with Gregor Finsken, Steve Zacchia and Roland Berville. A pair of small front wings were added to match period photos.
7 – Augusto Farfus, Gregor Finsken, Steve Zacchia and Roland Berville raced this BMW 320d at 24 Hours of Nurbürgring 2008 obtaining a 1st place in the S1 Class. A Minichamps BMW 320si had all new decorations put on, then a new set of decals from Race Track Decals were used. Only color change was the external rear view mirrors in black.
Next are the hard ones… These models had all paint removed to add new colors plus custom made decals. Both models are based on real cars down to the license plates.
8 – Volkswagen Beetle, or as Mexicans say, Escarabajo. Using a Mexican taxi from an Altaya partworks collection, the old green and cream livery was changed to white and blue from Acapulco using automotive paint.
9 – This Volkswagen Santana is a taxi from Curitiba City, in Paraná, Brasil. In truth this is the Chinese VW version but a close match to the Brazilian one. This model belongs to a Del Prado partworks collection. The silver color was removed and replaced
by actual reddish-orange automotive paint obtained from an auto workshop through a friend doing a trip to Curitiba, who also provided some photos of the real taxi!
It’s worth mentioning here that the models in the medium and hard categories were made possible due the skills and hard work of my friend Afonso Giordano Netto. He sadly passed way in December 2017.
We welcome your comments and questions. Please go to our Model Auto Review Facebook page, or email us at maronlineeditor at gmail.com.