[Diecast] Learning the basics of advanced customizing...

I have always been a fan of restauration and customization of diecasts. I usually tend to restore the car the closest possible to its original state, and don't change any parts. But sometimes, the car is so wrecked or messed up that doing this is almost impossible. Other times, i simply already have the car in perfect state in my collection, so it would be useless to add a second. Those two criterias are perfect to create a new car from scratch! But it's absolutely harder than it looks...
The goal here : Starts with a Matchbox Mercury Fire Chief, to become a 1967 Mercury Monterey. Let's roll!

Starting with a horrible wreck.

Would you seriously show this ?

Every restauration needs a starting point : a car that is absolutely impossible to display. There's a good example right here. One of my coworker just brought me this car : an old exemplary of a Matchbox Lesney Mercury Fire Chief... completely wasted. Wheels were twisted, it had that strange black paint everywhere, windows were half covered with paint etc. So it was a perfect candidate for a little customization. I had a hard time stripping the paint, especially because of that hard stuff, that was impossible to remove...
Even more, then i drilled out the car, one of the windshield pillar just broke!

That's when the fun begin. After a few tries at stripping down the paint, i decided to leave it like this. There was a hole in the roof, mainly because of the (missing) fire light. I had no choice to buy some putty, and try it (first time i manipulate putty!). This didn't give an overall so good result especially because of my poor sand paper. But i succeeded at at least fulfill the hole. I also modeled side vents, and reworked rear bumpers. I know, those guards are way too high comparing to the real car. I finally cutted out some mirrors from a plastic clothes tag. I also remade the broken pillar out from plastic.

Remodeled rear bumper.
Added plastic mirrors
I also added a piece on the base. Of course, i had to change the wheels, and i took one of a recent Matchbox Volvo P1800S... unfortunately, the axes were not large enough for the car, resulting that i had to change them. Sad point of this is that the car isn't rolling anymore. I added an exhaust on the car, made from a small nail and some plastic.

Custom base.

I had to do a little work on the interior too. First, removing the fire officers was a must... this isn't a fire car after all! I had to fulfill the floor holes with some putty, and added some texture on the dashboard. Of course, all of this had to be repainted after. I chose to put the interior's floor and dash black, and white seats.

Interior with added putty.
So i chose to put the car as matte tan paint, to make it looks like an old car. I detailed the base lights and calander, added some white on the wheels, and then made an antenna and some wipers from plastic. Of course, i added details with silver paint, especially windows trim, and the side vents i made with putty. The bumper was completely chromed, with a few red for the rear lights. I should have re-done the windows though, they look quite broken on this car...  You can admire a few pics of the finished work below :

And here's the real car, a Mercury Monterey 1967, for comparison:

Evaluation of my own work : 6.5/10. It looks good, but a little rough, rear bumper is inaccurate, and windows should have been re-done. I'll surely try to improve next time! I'm actually working on a new one, called Detomaso Longchamp... some news about it to come :)
I'm perfectly open to constructive criticsm, i just want to improve!

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