First full styrene body build, Suzuki SJ410

Rcscaleworkshop

Supporting Member
Good evening all!

I have been wanting to build a fully detailed Suzuki SJ trail truck for a while as my firs full size 4x4 was a 1.3l swapped 410 with SPOA, narrowed vitara axle and exo cage to name a few mods and my first road car was a standard 410 tin top which i had to sell as i couldn't afford to insure it once i passed my test. my first incarnation of it was a TF2 SWB chassis with a proline sumo shell and basic interior, this truck performed way better then it should have given my interior didn't allow me to run shock absorbers but i still wanted to build a similarly sized full hardbody version on the SWB chassis correcting some of the inaccuracies and of the sumo shell. When i got back form the UK scale nats i sat down and cut out the first part to have a go at a full scratch build shell with absolutely no expectations of it to get past maybe a wonky rear bed and incorrect floor then give up. needless to say it went a bit better then that so I've decided it may be worth doing a build thread as this has gotten out of hand now.

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No it didn't roll, it didn't even fee like i had lifted a wheel... yes i have rolled it several times.

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My dad had 2 other sj's at the same time which were also pretty standard except for some BFGoodrich ko2 tires.

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The first attempt at a scale sj.

To avoid too much rambling I'll just post a selection of the progress pictures of the first full styrene body build. I apologise in advance for most of these being sideways.
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At this point i was realising this might actually work out but i had gone a little too detailed on floor pan and bulkhead for it to fit the SWB chassis.
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Now it looks like an SJ!
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Worst thing about being a mechanic is the permanently engrained oil and stuff that the glue loves to extract.
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This is the current state of the build, now I've made a thread ill be posting updates as it progress's.

Thank you and sorry for another long post with an amount of rambling. I'd love have some feedback on things i could do better or maybe even techniques that could help with this build. once the body is to a suitable point i think I'm going to have to build a custom chassis. Even considering narrowing some yota ii axles by cutting and welding them as this will be around 175mm total width with the 410 style arches. that will also allow me to have both differentials offset to the drivers side (right) as per the full size truck.

I will be doing a post nationals update for the LC70 and hilux builds with future plans for them soon. both trucks performed exceptionally well.
 

RSRC

Supporting Member
The body is looking great.

I love watching these full styrene scratch builds. It's such a neat thing to see a complete body come into being from basic flat sheets of material. Definitely going to need a custom chassis to do it justice :biggthumpup:
 

Rcscaleworkshop

Supporting Member
WOW! That looks amazing! I like that you even did the firewall!
Thank you, plan is to have an opening bonnet so i need something to distract from the likely mess of wires and electronics that may reside there.

This is really great work! You've gone all in, with opening doors, sills, and that excellent firewall.

I'm super impressed. Keep it up!
Thank you, one thing lead to another and before i knew it i was making door shuts.

The body is looking great.

I love watching these full styrene scratch builds. It's such a neat thing to see a complete body come into being from basic flat sheets of material. Definitely going to need a custom chassis to do it justice :biggthumpup:
I may need re-read your TTB thread to try and pick up some ideas to improve my scale chassis building ability, I've heavily modified existing chassis but never build one from scratch...

This does not look like your first styrene build! Very nice work!
First full styrene body where I'm working from affectively nothing. I have made a few minor changes to existing shells using styrene such as my TF2 with the full depth bobbed bed with no tail gate. but that was just making a box with tubs and gluing the Mojave bed sides, front and rear on to it. and a VERY bad series 3 109 LR conversion to a gelande shell. looked okay from 20ft but no closer.

Well, this is rather impressive...
That is pretty much what i said to myself when i found out it was actually square and resembled what I'd set out to build!
 

Bystickel

V.I.P. Member
Quit pretending. As someone who has gone years with grease and grime perpetually lodged in my fingers, I see that you are either a fabricator, mechanic, or both. It was always a shock when my fingertips weren't cut and sore, and when the sides of my index fingers weren't packed with grease.

(I just replaced the timing belt on an Audi A4 and unstuck the clutch on a 1965 Dodge van, so my hands are freshly cut and bruised. It just feels right.)
 

Rcscaleworkshop

Supporting Member
Good evening all.

Been busy getting some details on the SJ and started building the tail gate as that will be easiest to figure out what I'm going to do for hinges once I'm happy with the fit. also the wheels and tires arrived so i can set about making the arches and working on how I'm going to narrow the axles.

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Got halfway through the tedious task of carving the slots for the grill out, I'll finish that in the next couple of days hopefully.

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Windscreen frame is just balanced on as its not finished yet. also door is not finished as that was was for mock up to build main hoop.

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Trusty tape hinge! I skinned the outside with a 0.5mm sheet of styrene with all the basic detail cut into it and then filed/sanded it down to get it all even and smooth.

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Rear bed detail is in and i filled the gap in the tubs by making a slopped piece of styrene to bridge the gap, filled it and sanded to shape. I was not sure of a better way to make such a compound curve without a vacuum former and wooden mould. I've not finished sanding it yet.

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A couple of front details including the brace on the floor that goes under the drivers seat.

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I have probably missed something that i have done since the first post.

Quit pretending. As someone who has gone years with grease and grime perpetually lodged in my fingers, I see that you are either a fabricator, mechanic, or both. It was always a shock when my fingertips weren't cut and sore, and when the sides of my index fingers weren't packed with grease.

(I just replaced the timing belt on an Audi A4 and unstuck the clutch on a 1965 Dodge van, so my hands are freshly cut and bruised. It just feels right.)
No pretending, i can happily work with metal on a full size car but never attempted to build a full shell out of styrene. did a timing belt on an A8 recently, that was less than enjoyable as getting parts for it is very difficult.
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Give me a rusty car any day of the week and ill be confident i can fix it, a sheet of plastic, i was sceptical about my ability.

Wow, that is really, really nice work!
Killer styrene work!!! Great work so far.
Thank you so much, its still amazing me how well its turning out!
 

Bystickel

V.I.P. Member
This is really coming along great, and it looks like you're doing an excellent job at keeping things square with nice panel gaps. I've spent the last couple of days re-doing parts that I mangled the first time around.
...did a timing belt on an A8 recently...
My fingers are still blackened and sore from doing a A4 timing belt and thermostat, (only Audi could make a thermostat job worse than a timing belt) so I salute you. And that Mini looks great.
 

Rcscaleworkshop

Supporting Member
Seems like you have good body work skills 1:1 and 1:8! (or whatever scale this build is)
Thanks, its about 1/8 by my calculations but its still too narrow to run yota axles or something of similar looks without narrowing them.

This is really coming along great, and it looks like you're doing an excellent job at keeping things square with nice panel gaps. I've spent the last couple of days re-doing parts that I mangled the first time around.

My fingers are still blackened and sore from doing a A4 timing belt and thermostat, (only Audi could make a thermostat job worse than a timing belt) so I salute you. And that Mini looks great.
Keeping it square has been a fun little challenge, had to get the heat gun out a couple of times to get it back to square already but it has good structure now so shouldn't move too far. I had a very close call to messing up the front with the heat gun as i pushed it off the table with my straight edge after warming it up a bit get it back inline. could have easily looked like it had crashed if it had squashed the soft warm styrene.

Only VAG could achieve half the things they have over the years. Every time if think I've seen the most stupid thing something else comes up.
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1996 4.2l v8 that absolutely everything was discontinued by the 3rd parties and oems about 13 years ago including the timing tools so the trusty old paint marker was used. parts to do the work came from 4 different countries. Ohhh and the front end sits so tight to the engine because its a quattro you have to remove it completely or just hang it off the hoses and work around it.
I'm pleased how the mini turned out as it was my first big mini job and i didn't have much original metal or shape to work from.
 
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