The Tofudabeest: 1/32 Toyopet Crown Custom

Started by puddingwrestler, June 07, 2010, 12:53:42 AM

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Gentlemen, I give you the Tofudabeest!
Imagine taking a 55 Toyopet Crown and making it into an American style custom. It's small, slow and not very powerful. But then the whole point of early customs was to make them look like something they were not - a more expensive and luxurious car. Power was optional.
The Tofudabeest is like that... with out the power at all.

So many hot cars involve the word 'beast'. Uncounted hoons refer to thier hoonmobile as 'The Beast' and plenty of drag cars have born the name in some way.
But this car is not a hairy cheasted beast.
Remember the farside cartoon where the Leopards accidentally killed a 'health antelope' - it looked like a real antelope, but it was tofu. A Tofudabeest.
Which is why I have named the car the Tofudabeest - it looks like a real custom, but under the skin it's not really. It's just pretending. Plus it is a Japanese machine, and Japanese food involved Tofu. And learning mad drift skills in oyur car involves Tofu - just watch Initial D if you don't believe me.

I'm going to do some fairly heavy customization curbside work. I intend to use Photoshop to help plan the top chop (an Idea from Scale Auto Magazine) and turn it into a hard top to boot. Among other things.
Pics later on probably.
For now, here's a pic fo a real world Toyopet Crown custom. A subtle one.
There are no good kits, bad kits or grail kits, just kitbash fodder.


Kind of like a custom Moggie Minor then? (Not that that hasn't been done...)

Along similar lines to the tofudabeest, a campfire conversation at a bike rally several years ago (alcohol and recreational pharmaceuticals may have been involved... :rolleyes:) resulted in a "Save the Gort" campaign, the object being persuade people to wear proper leather jackets to prevent innocent Gorts from being farmed and brutally killed in order to make Gortex jackets..... :wacko:

Likewise, the Scotsman magazine runs an annual Haggis Hunt, using it's webcams.... http://haggishunt.scotsman.com/camera.cfm?camera=1
"Things need not have happened to be true. Tales and dreams are the shadow-truths that will endure when mere facts are dust and ashes, and forgot."
 - Morpheus in Sandman: A Midsummer Night's Dream, by Neil Gaiman

"I dunno, I'm making this up as I go."
 - Indiana Jones '


Behold: plans, cunning, one, top-chops for the use of(pinched from an article in Scale Auto)

First, a photograph is taken of the car body side on, against a neutral background (a blue plastic tub in this case)

Second, the windows are blacked out (no point being able to see the pillars on the other side, it's just distracting)

Third, through the use of skill, cunning and the polygon lasso, a man can plan where to chop his top and how.

A: The 'A' pillar is cut about half way up and about two-three mm of material removed. This is a fairly chunky chop... about two and a half inches to three and three quarters in 1/1 (or so I am informed by ScaleCalc... unless i'm using it wrong again). For a custom, this is a fair amount, for a rod not so much since older cars had taller roof lines. Although I have chosen to retain the stock windscreen angle, it's possible, with a few more cuts, to tilt the windscreen back - this is a popular trend with more recent customs, but I've decided not to use it here for simplicity's sake - after all, this will only be my third or fourth top chop, and the first in about ten years on a car without dead straight model A style pillars.
B: The front vent window is to be retained - all 50s customs have these. A new frame will be fabricated for it rather than try to get the existing one to survive the top chop process.
C: The 'B' pillar will be removed to give hard top styling. This'd probably make the real car very wobbly as it's got suicide rear doors, but this is a model of a custom, so screw it. Note also that to have the 'A' and 'C' pillars line up after the chop, the roof is cut in the middle and lengthened about 2mm.
D: The 'C' pillar is also cut about 2-3mm, however it's base is slighlty angled so that the roof slopes downwards subtly towards the rear of the car, giving a hint of fast back styling. Tilting further would result in the roof line developing a 'kink' which looks pretty goofy.

I also plan a tube grille, and revised side trim, something in the style of Buick side flashes.
And spats.
I also have an idea for custom tail lights, but I'm not sure if they will work out.
We shall see.
There are no good kits, bad kits or grail kits, just kitbash fodder.


Lowering the suspension on this kind of solid axel curbside model is so easy... just make the holes the axels slide through about 2mm taller... and the tyres are now scraping the wheel wells. Really should have checked the stock ride hieght out, since it still looks pretty high...
There are no good kits, bad kits or grail kits, just kitbash fodder.


Got the top chopped off and lowered; removing the B pillars and window frames makes the car a lot sleeker. Have not yet lenghtened the roof or glued it back in place.
There are no good kits, bad kits or grail kits, just kitbash fodder.


The roof is still not back on (waiting for glue to dry before I sand and putty the extension-o-matic insert), but here are pics of the process so far:
Step one: The 'B' pillar and window frames are removed, then the roof is chopped off, and the pillars shortened 2mm. I made the cuts close to the bottom of each pillar so that they'd be at thier widest (the pillars taper inwards; the roof is narrower than the belt line of the car).

Step two: The chopped roof is placed back onto the body. Looks okay with the 'A' pillars lined up, but the 'C' pillars are about 2mm forward of where they shold be. It's not that obvious here, but if the rear glass was to be put in at the stage, it'd kink outwards and look very silly.

Step three: Here the 'C' pillars are lined up properly, and you can clearly see how much the alignment has changed - there are huge dog legs in the 'A' pillars now!

Step four: To compensate for this, the roof is sliced in two around where the 'B' pillar was (I acxtually used a pair of small ejector pin marks on the inside as my guides)

Step five: A 2mm piece of 1mm thick plasticard is bent, shaped, and glued inbetween the two roof halves. The rear section is now on a slight downwards angle to give the car a bit of a fast back, curved roof line.

Obviously I now need to putty, sand and repeat the join and then glue the whole roof assembly back onto the pillars.
The whole effect is rather dramatic; the cabin looks a lot more airy and open thanks ot the hard top treatment, and the top chop adds a certain sleekness to the car. In fact, I wouldn't mind getting a second example and making a convertible version, it'd be cute at least.
There are no good kits, bad kits or grail kits, just kitbash fodder.


With the roof off, it's time to rework the grille. Let's face it, the stock grille is about the stupidest looking grille this side of a 1960 Frontenac, a brilliant Canadian answer to the question 'what if we took a 1960 Ford Falcon, and gave it a grille sort of like the 49 single spinner ford, only we make it look silly' eg:
(sorry, just discovered the thing, and I'm still a bit suprised by the thinking behind the grille)
The whole grille is part of the body since this is a small scale and not hugely detailed kit. So I've cut it all away. I intend to add a nice tube grille, but the opening lacks drama... so I've decided to give it a more dramatically sculpted look popular on customs. I've glued a strip of styrene onto the inside edge of the grille surround to extend it outwards, and I'll be blending it into the body with putty.
Sorta kinda like waht the Alexander Bros. did to the front of LeRoy Brook's car:

I'm sure there's a name for this kinda custom trick, i've seen it performed a lot, but I'm jsut not sure... oh well.
Pics will be posted sometime.
And I promised spats. Spats will happen.
There are no good kits, bad kits or grail kits, just kitbash fodder.


Can't wait to see where this goes.  I'm really enjoyong all of your car builds!


That Frontenac painting deserves serious analysis.  Presumably this tableau takes place in Canada.  Then why the Roman soldiers on parade in the background?  At least it gives people an excuse to avert their eyes from the car.  Also, why is a dog chasing a car that is standing still?  Is he trying to run away from it?
The Leng Plateau is lovely this time of year


THe marching soldiers in the background look more like English guardsmen in those huge furry hats to me, which makes mroe sense. As to the dog, I assume he is just desperate to relieve hmself on the Frontenac as the nearest thing no one will really care about.
There are no good kits, bad kits or grail kits, just kitbash fodder.


Logan, the Frontenac is a Ford. A canadian one at that.
There are no good kits, bad kits or grail kits, just kitbash fodder.


And here we see the grille modification process in glorios technicolor! Okay, so the model is basically all white, but there's colour in the background...
First the grille is removed with a scalpel, some judicious razor sawing, anda  bit of sanding. Note mightily puttied roof next to car.

Plastic strip is allplied to the insides of the grille shell. It's a bit big, but it will be filed to shape, so that's okay.

A little putty is applied. This is a bit like the Two Fat Ladies definition of 'a little cream' really...

This is then sanded back with a rolled up piece of sand paper to give a nice curve.

I've decided on a fairly simple grille, very deeply recessed. I've built it up from a sheet of plasticard with some 1mm plastic rod glued across it.

The ends of the rod are trimmed and shaped, and it pops into the grille opening nicely. It'll be left seperate for now, and I'll be covering it in Bare Metal Foil before installing it inot the painted body. Painted blue by the way.

TIme now for the buick-ish side trim. First up the shape is drawn up on a scarp of card and then transfered to the model on both sides.

Then a strip of thin plsticard is glued on following the line.

Time for the promises spats. I've decided to go with Ford style bubble skirts rather tna GM style flash skirts. Partially because there's not much space in the wheel wells for the wheels, and partially because the bubble skirts are such a feature of traditional customs. PLus the toyota's rear fenders had this great sculptural detail which lent itself to this sort of skirt. First the shape is desiged and cut from thin cardboard. I traced the inside of the wheel arch and expanded it a bit to get the shape.

Then the shape is transfered to plasticard and cut out, flipped, and cut for the other side.

The roof has had to havea second hit with the putty and it's drying at the moment, I'll get it back on tommorow.
The colour scheme has been decided - a nice silvery light blue I found in the touch-up spray section of the local autObarn, and two tone blue interior using tamiya light blue for upholstery and a light blue flocking I have for the carpets and trim.
I've seen a techique for making baby moon hubcaps online, but I'm not sure if I trust myself to do it right, so the wheels might remain stock, not sure.
Anyway, it's got spats now, so Brian should be happy.
There are no good kits, bad kits or grail kits, just kitbash fodder.


Will die without understanding this world.

Logan Hartke

Quote from: puddingwrestler on June 11, 2010, 12:31:45 AM
Logan, the Frontenac is a Ford. A canadian one at that.

That's right, I was thinking about the subject of the build.