SpyMagician’s Custom Pixar’s CARS® car
December 22, 2007


Hey there! SpyMagician here!

Like our fearless leader, Julius Marx, I am a HUGE fan of Disney Pixar’s Cars! And I finally got around to doing a custom "figure" I’ve been meaning to make for ages… Now I love my real car, a Black Cherry Pearl ’05 Scion xA.

So what would be cooler than a toy xA toy done in the style of the Cars Movie? Now a diecast of my car is not that common, most Scion toys are of the xB. But in Japan there are a few toys of the Toyota ist, the Japanese version of my xA.

So I finally tracked one down and finally could start my project! Step 1: The first step was to disassemble the toy , sand it a bit for repainting (I was fortunate that the original Ist Diecast was silver, so I didn’t need strip the paint, I’d just paint right over the silver) and sculpt the 2 key details, the Cars Movie style eyebrow and mouth.

To do this I needed some putty that could be sculpted but would adhere to diecast. I was in new territory here as my normal work involves action figures that are all plastic so I can use polymer clays. In this case I found some Quicksteel Putty at Pep Boys. It sets VERY FAST however, so I only had about 5-10 minutes to do the sculpt!!! Unlike with Sculpey, which won’t set until you heat cure it, giving you hours and hours to work the sculpt, I had to do a quick rough sculpt and finish the rest by carving and sanding. The Quicksteel sanded very well though, and I got a good seamless bond to the metal. To sculpt the eyebrow, I used some more Quicksteel Putty and sculpted right onto the plastic windshield after removing it from the car body. This was much easier as it was a simple shape. Step 2: Step 2 required that I paint the body and eyebrow in the Black Cherry Pearl metallic paint. I checked Pep Boys for the exact color but it was not avaiable but I found a similar color. It’s a touch darker than my actual car but not so much that it doesn’t work.



Step 2

I masked part of the windshield and window piece and sprayed both that and the car body. This was easy enough, but the finish lacked the high gloss I wanted, so I had to add a coat of clear lacquer. The eyes were done by adding a piece of adhesive white vinyl with the eyeballs hand painted. Step 3: Assembly and detail work.

Step 3

With the body paint done I was ready to paint detail and re-assemble the car. I chose to paint the clear windows gray, as that’s how the Cars in the movie look, and also painted the clear headlights silver to match the style the Mattel Cars toys have. Some detail lines in the grill, as well as some black for the body panels, and a coat of mettalic red for the taillights and the paint was done! Finishing! I still wasn’t happy w/ the glossiness of the paint so I tried some car wax, but to no avail… Finally, I used some Tamiya Polishing Compound and that did the trick, giving the high gloss finish I was after! I decided that the Car would need a name so I’m calling him Xavier, since he’s an xA. Clever eh? LOL


Here’s Xavier with an original diecast Toyota Ist:

Comparison Picture 1

And here he is with Radiator Springs McQueen!

Xavier and Lightning McQueen

With Xavier finished, I’m tempted to do more custom Cars, particularly of my friends cars (sadly some diecasts are even harder to find than my xA, as you don’t often get toys of practical economy cars….)



Daniel Pickett
Daniel “Julius Marx” Pickett has been around toys his whole life. The first line he ever collected was Mego’s World’s Greatest Super Heroes line back in the 70s. He has been surrounded by collectables ever since. In 1999 he was confounded by a lack of information and news about some of his favorite toy lines he was collecting. Since he couldn’t find the information he decided to pursue it himself thinking other people might also be interested in the same news. He started writing a weekly column on the toy industry and action figure for a toy news site and in a years time he tripled the sites daily traffic with his updates, reviews and product features. He built relationships with every major toy manufacturer and many sculptors, painters and mold makers. He grew his hobby into a world wide expertise that the industry has embraced. In 2004 he teamed up with his toy buddy Jason “ToyOtter” Geyer and they created their own website www.ActionFigureInsider.com. Daniel has been quoted in both industry and mass media press outlets. Over the years Daniel and AFi have been sought out as experts in the field. Daniel was regularly featured on “Attack of the Show” on the G4 network as the primary contributor to their “Mint On Card” segment, and our front page has been linked to from USA Today’s “Pop Candy” Blog twice. Daniel’s content has also been featured on MSNBC.com, Wired.com, Fark.com, Boing-Boing, Gizmodo.com, Ain’t It Cool News, the Official Star Wars blog, Geekologie, G4, CNet and Toy Fare magazine, among many others. He has consulted on toy lines, books, documentaries and TV shows. But all of that really just sounds snooty and “tootin’ his own horn” – the long and short of it is that Daniel loves toys and he LOVES talking about them.
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