- A​ staggering amount of work has gone into this already, by the time this photo was taken.

D​odgy Bon: Part 1 of 2: Adventures in Turning a Hot Wheels Dajiban Back To Stock

A​nother quality "un-customization", this time of a much loved Ryu Asada creation

O​riginal release, factory stock casting. Some people like the Dajiban racer look... well, I prefer stock vans that could pass for family haulers or church vans.

O​riginal release, factory stock casting. Some people like the Dajiban racer look... well, I prefer stock vans that could pass for family haulers or church vans.

E​ver since the #hotwheelsdreamteam released the previews of the "Dodge Van" or Dajiban casting in August of 2020, created by the late #ryuasada , I have wanted to completely go through one and make a nice stock van out of it. Having stockpiled about a dozen, I set to drilling a few apart to get a project van plus some donors.

As of mid-June 2021, I started the project.

A​bove is the green Dajiban I started with, wearing a set of HO-scale Siku truck wheels (close to stock 90s Dodge Ram Van alloy wheels), with the roof opened in hopes of filling it, as much customization as I could erase erased, and the first steps made toward lifting it.

A​bove is the customized chassis & bare interior with an extra stock body friction-fit into the rivet holes, to demonstrate that the van was no longer "scrapin' pavement". The casting has an awesome piece of customizer fan service from Asada-san built right in, that being that this is an incredibly easy casting to bring back to stock ride height or even slightly higher than stock.

A​bove is the finished interior, painted to match typical Tom Gale-era Mopar red interior materials up front, with a radically rad racing kart in circa 1994 Quaker State Motor Oil colors sitting on 2 spare Dajiban wheels. While the kart and tires will likely never be seen again, I still thought it was worth detailing. At this same time, I did away with the Asada-san designed front air dam, for a more authentic appearance, and went out to look at my next door neighbor's real SWB Ram Van 1500 for a visual on how to do the bumpers, which I followed by actually detailing the bumpers.

H​ere we have my custom in progress compared to a stock Dajiban. They started life identical, but the bare metal one will look like nothing Mattel has released before or since.

A​bove is the test fit of everything before paint, with a donor glass/roof fitted, windows on the sides tinted, and base fit perfected. This particular donor glass has had the roof hand-painted to match the paint color I chose, so that in case the window insert I masked and sprayed the same shade as the body got ruined by paint, I had a matching extra on hand and 100% dry by the time I get to building.

H​ere is the body & one donor glass after being hit with a nice built-up coat of Tamiya Color Metallic Red.

W​hat I'm trying to go for, but a higher trim level.

W​hat I'm trying to go for, but a higher trim level.

S​tay tuned for Part 2!

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