Dodgy Bon: Part 1 of 2: Adventures in Turning a Hot Wheels Dajiban Back To Stock
Another quality "un-customization", this time of a much loved Ryu Asada creation
Original 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.
Ever 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.
Above 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.
Above 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.
Above 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.
Here 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.
Above 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.
Here is the body & one donor glass after being hit with a nice built-up coat of Tamiya Color Metallic Red.
What I'm trying to go for, but a higher trim level.