Apart from dragster races, if there is one type of typically American racing competition, it is the competitions that take place on oval circuits, and more specifically, NASCAR racing. From my point of view, from a Spaniard who has grown up watching rally competitions and the occasional F1 race when they were broadcast on television (I am talking about the 1980s), the American stock car races, along with the dragsters, they were something completely mysterious and exotic, and in a way something incompressible: what interest could there be in seeing 40 cars during 200 or 300 laps turning in the same direction in an oval track for two or three hours? According that the speeds have always been very high, hovering around 200 mph (around 300 km/h.), Which are the races are certainly spectacular and with a large number of accidents that put a point of excitement to the races, but as car races in themselves did not seem interesting to me. Another thing was the cars, models with bodies quite similar to the series cars from which they derived, but which cover complex tubular chassis and simple mechanics with V8 engines that in the current models are 5,800 cc. and about 700 cv., that although mechanically they are not very advanced, they are spectacular cars, and from my point of view very beautiful and with some very attractive liveries.
All this changed when I started to see complete races. I remember that around 2010 they began to broadcast them on Teledeporte on Sunday nights. The first time I saw a complete NASCAR race, it seemed boring to me, but as I watched more races I began to find interest. Currently on Youtube you can see all the Nascar races we want, both current and from years ago and I have to admit that the organizers of automobile competitions in the USA know how to make a show of racing at all levels, and I´m not just talking about NASCAR racing, but also Indycar racing, and more. The races are very oriented to spectators and show and that´s something car race organizers around here (Europe) should take note of.
Within NASCAR racing, there are several categories, the main category of cars is currently called "NASCAR Cup Series", which are the races that immediately come to mind for motor sports fans when we hear "NASCAR" but they have a category that strikes me a lot, which is "NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series" where they race with typically American pick-ups but reinterpreted to what a NASCAR car should be. In this way it is run with pick-up vans, with V8 engines between 650 and 700 hp. in oval circuits with similar regulations to the stock cars, with which spectacular and very successful races are achieved. Whoever wants to delve deeper into these types of competitions, nothing better than starting from their official website nascar.com
If you search the internet you can find a lot of images of those cars. On a page where you will find a lot of photos it is on motorsport.com where I have taken the following image:
On the other hand, in an edition of the Foroslot I bought a Ninco Ford ProTruck body because I found it very cheap, with the intention of tunnig a raid car. The car that Ninco sold as the Ford ProTruck is actually a fourth-generation Ford F-150 pick-up, manufactured by Ford from 1997 to 2003, a widely sold van in the US. and that apart from the preparations to compete in "Baja" races it also had its version as NASCAR Truck at the end of the 90s. Even Ford sold a limited edition of this van called "1998 Nascar Edition" that you can see at this link. This is the bodywork I bought:
Testing with different chassis from the ones I have stored out there, I found that the wheelbase of the Ninco Ford ProTruck was the same as the Avant Slot Porsche RS Spyder, and suddenly the light bulb went on: Why not build a NASCAR Truck?.
After a long time in which I practically only made custom car decorations, I missed doing scratch work. So when the idea came to me, I immediately put it into action. In addition, it was something that had been going through my head for a while, since I had stored some Superslot F1 axles from the collection by fascicles of Formula 1 cars and they always seemed to me phenomenal wheels for a car of this type, so that when I saw the Avant Slot chassis fit perfectly everything fell into place. In some way, in these works the pieces are stored there and suddenly they all fit together, it has happened to me several times with various works, they arise as if by magic.
The first thing I did was remove the simulated hood, which was a part separate from the rest of the body, and glue a plastic sheet from a used card used to close the truck bed of the pickup on top. To maintain the distance along the truck bed, temporarily glue two plastic bars to the front and back of the truck bed.
With the truck bed closed, I made the front bumper of the van, because the original body doesn´t have it. Again I used a used credit card, attached to the front outline of the model. To top it off, I glued a rectangular strip of evergreen plastic to simulate the front bumper and slightly reinforce the entire area.
Inside, I glued some plastic pieces from credit cards to reinforce the front bumper from behind.
To finish the "rough" job, I glued at several points some more plastic strips as a reinforcement for the body, the anchors for the chassis in their corresponding place and ensured its correct gluing with two-component glue (fast Araldite in this specific case although I could have used any other similar epoxy glue).
With all the body parts glued together I started the modeling part. First, I trimmed off the excess plastic on the front wheel arches and gently sanded the entire body to remove the original paint.
And I glued some plastic strips on the inside of the wheel arches and putty around them and then sand them until they are properly shaped. I also caulked the roof air intake to cover it, since NASCAR trucks don´t have it.
Sanding the putty I shaped the wheel arches. At the required points, use Tamiya putty to cover scratches and level the surface better. When I was doing this job I glued a spoiler to the back and finished off the bottom of the front apron by gluing on a plastic sheet to make a small spoiler.
And to finish the modeling of the body, I glued a rectangular piece of evergreen plastic to simulate the rear bumper.
To finish off the bodywork and detect possible faults, I applied a coat of Dupli-Color gray spray primer, it grips the plastic very well and being sprayed it is very easy to apply, as well as being of very good quality.
Apart from the typical failures that the primer highlights, scratches, lack of putty and other defects, when I primed the car it gave me the feeling of excessive simplicity. It is not that these types of vans have many details but the one I was making looked too simple. Reviewing pictures of NASCAR pick-ups, I realized that it was missing at least two details:
And with this modifications and another coat of primer I finished the modeling process of the pick-up.
I had clear the decoration of the car from the beginning. NASCAR cars have quite complicated decorations, very colorful and with logos everywhere, they are a very characteristic liveries and they are part of the show that NASCAR races are and within them, a decoration that I have always especially liked is that of the yellow cars sponsored by Pennzoil, not only in NASCAR races, but also the single-seaters of the INDY formula. In addition, a friend gave me a set of Zero Paints paints, paints that I had never used before, and among the colors he gave me was a can of "Pennzoil Chrome Yellow" (reference ZP-1099). The moment I saw that color I knew I was going to use it in the decoration of the NSR Corvette C6R. After thinking about decoration, and since I like to make several cars with a similar decoration scheme, I decided to paint the truck with the same decoration scheme as the Corvette adapted to it. I didn´t want to make any overly complicated decorations, because that was not the intention, just to make a showy decoration that would fit in a NASCAR Truck without getting to the complexity of those car decorations.
Zero Paints paints are ready to be used directly with the airbrush, very diluted, so that to obtain a correct coverage, several coats of paint are necessary. Another of its characteristics is that, especially light colors, they cover very little, and it is important to apply a light and homogeneous base coat to achieve a good result. For the rest, they are applied very easily, since they are very fluid, but it is important to shake the cans well to get a homogeneous mixture of pigments and solvent and to achieve the best results. Considering this, the results are downright good. This is how the truck looked after several coats of Zero Paits Pennzoil yellow.
To break the monotony in the decor, I painted the top of the truck bed and the bars coming out of the cabin with Humbrol gloss black (reference 21) as part of testing with different types of paint, just as I did with the rear of the Corvette C6R. I also painted the front grille and headlights in Tamiya X-11 silver. Basically what I wanted was to practice masking to improve my skills apart from making a slightly more attractive decoration.
To finish off the decoration, I developed the following decal sheet, again, very similar to the one I made for the Corvette C6R although with some extra logos printed on white decal paper, which are the ones that appear at the bottom of the image.
The decoration process was very simple, another day in the office, but not fast because there are many small logos to put on its place. Also I like to take my time to get the best possible decoration. As always, after placing the waterslide decals, I applied two generous coats of automotive varnish to protect the body.
If you look, in the previous images the rear wing is painted red (Tamiya X-7 acrylic). I painted it between coats of varnish, because it gave me the impression that the rear of the car was a little bland and lacked some color. And to be honest, I think I was right, I like it a lot more.
While I let the varnish dry completely, I finished the interior. First I cut the tray to use only the part of the passenger compartment.
As it was excessively simple I attached some roll bars of a car that I had stored in the parts box, I do not know which car they came out because I bought them in a lot of scrap interiors of which I am using the parts that interest me. The thing is, it fit very well with virtually no work to put it in place.
I glued some plastic strips from an old card to make something more similar to Nascar car seats and I painted it matte black (Humbrol reference 33).
I was thinking of leaving it like that but it seemed too simple for me, so I painted the interior with aluminum Humbrol enamel (reference 11) and the driver with Vallejo colors. I´m glad I did it even though I was tempted to leave it as it was, but it would have been a blur at work, and honestly it didn't practically spell work for me, but it was a huge change. Judge for yourselves:
For the mechanical part, as I said at the beginning, I used a Avant Slot Porsche RS Spyder chassis, with the following components.
For the performance of the car on the track, the Scalextric wheels are not the most suitable, but for the aesthetics of the car they are ideal, I like how small wheels with high profile tires look in these cars.
And when I thought I already had the car finished, I realized that something was wrong. The rear of the truck was not well finished, the interior of the body was too visible and was very ugly. I decided to cover it with a piece of plastic to close the truck bed underneath. To do this, I drew a template with the shape the piece should have on a piece of paper and with the appropriate shape, I cut it out from an old credit card.
I reinforced it on the inside by gluing some plastic pieces:
For the visible part, I glued plastic pieces to simulate the reliefs of a car underneath, as if it were the fuel tank. The intention was not to leave a flat plastic sheet.
To finish off the piece and remove some defects, with an old brush I applied Tamiya Putty diluted in acetone and let it dry well.
With the putty well dry, sand it lightly with 500 grit waterproof sandpaper and as the putty already served as a primer I painted it with satin black reference X-18 from Tamiya applied with the airbrush. I really like that Tamiya color, it is applied very well, it covers phenomenal and the color is beautiful.
And placed in its place it was like this:
To finish, place the windows. Ninco´s Ford Protruck had no windows so I had to make them from the plastic of a blister and then glued them together with the special glue for "Formula '560'" airplane cabins, which is very strong and once dry is practically transparent. I will explain the process in detail later.
With everything finished, I stuck the fuel cap in its hole (cloned resin part from one of Fly Car Model), a cloth grille painted black on the inside of the front grille of the car, exhaust pipes made with crimp bootlace ferrules, I screwed the chassis to the car body and the car looked like this:
Of few works I am more satisfied. It has its flaws, if I had to repeat it I would change some little things, but it is one of those works where if you put the successes and the flaws in the balance, the former win by a landslide. When I started doing it I took it as a test bench, especially for paint tests, and I didn't expect such a good result. I had been wanting to do scratchbuilding work as such for a long time because I was more focused on the decorations and I have enjoyed it enormously. I have enjoyed it so much that I would do it again, and that does not happen with all the works I do.
|Chassis||Avant Slot Porsche RS Spyder|
|Dimensions (L x W x H)||155 x 63 x 44 mm.|
|Engine||Avant slot Hurricane|
|Front tires||Scalextric F1|
|Rear tires||Scalextric F1|