I had a custom Hot Wheel of my M3 made
My 2012 BMW E92 M3 gets shrunk to 1:64 scale.
My daily driver Competition Package 2012 BMW E92 M3 often pops up in my automotive content. Sometimes I am talking about the ownership, sometimes adding parts to it, and sometimes just ranting about it, but this time I am immortalizing it.
Danny Korecki | @dkorecki
My M3 isn't anything too crazy. If I were to put a definition to it I would say it is OEM+. A lot of tasteful upgrades just enhancing what BMW already made perfect. Borla exhaust, Recaro Sportster GT seats (not pictured above), and carbon fiber bits added among other things. It isn't the best, but it is mine and I wanted to do something special.
I have seen custom Hot Wheels before, but I never pulled the trigger on commissioning someone make my M3 into a Hot Wheel until now.
Where to go?
DriveTribe has quite the diecast community - Live and Let Diecast. Fellow DriveTribe writer Scott Nadeau is the Tribe Leader over there and I reached out to him to point me in the direction of a great diecast builder looking to take orders on a custom build. Scott said: "Got a guy for you, his name is Rich, very talented artist." That Rich was Richard Shirley-Mena (aka rj_diecast on Instagram) who can be found on Live and Let Diecast as well.
How it started?
Richard and I connected and first he told me what he could do. I won't be mentioning any prices as respect to a industry and hobby that runs on quotes. First, I don't want my article to be a source or comp in a negotiation to screw some artist like Rich out of a few hard earned bucks. And second, just personal preference that I don't want to say what I paid. All I will say is it wasn't some crazy amount and I am incredibly happy with the final result.
Through our chats, Richard told me he could painted/detail the car, swap wheels, color matched paint, as well as also add extras like exhaust, spoilers, other accessories may be possible. I was happy with how he presented the information so I pulled the trigger and had him move forward.
I sent Rich a handful of photos of my M3 so he could get an idea on what needed to be shrunk to 1:64 scale. Rich sent me back "I assume the color is Melbourne Red?" - I clearly picked the right guy.
The artist works
When I commissioned the build, I asked Richard if he could document the build taking snapshots to showcase the progress. I told him he didn't need to send them as they are taken, I didn't want to be an annoying customer. I simply wanted them for later (actually now...) to tell the story of the work he did.
I chatted with Richard to learn just why he does this. Like many he has been playing with Hot Wheels since being a kid, except as a kid he would take sharpies to create unique designs and liveries.
He told me, "Creating detailed custom hot wheels lets me fill my mini garage full of wild cars that I could not have in real life, in any color and style I want. There’s something ever fascinating about real life things replicated at tiny scales. For a gearhead such as myself, what’s better than a world of mini cars in all of the ways you imagined as a kid? Mini custom wheels, logos, exhaust pipes, racing liveries, et cetera. I always enjoy packing in details and making my cars realistic, but some customizers go as wild as they can. That’s the beauty of the customizing community, there aren’t any rules. It can be very therapeutic to customize and collect these little cars, it’s something I look forward to and enjoy thoroughly."
I also asked Richard how he built my M3 and if he could comment on anything special with building this particular M3.
Rich told me, "I did two separate stages of clear coat for this car, an initial semi- wet coat to provide a base for the details and decals, then after it was all complete two finally wet coats were added to seal everything in. There are tiny BMW roundels on front and back, I used little decals for them. There is a quad tipped exhaust, using aluminum tubing that was bored out for the tips, this replaced the molded plastic exhaust that was originally on the car. The headlights and taillights are actually painted in three separate stages, but the headlights took more patience and work to complete. The spoiler is scratch made from styrene sheet and shaped with a hobby knife and sandpaper.
The result is simply amazing.....
Danny Korecki | @dkorecki