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Topic: Newbie topic – converting hot wheels/matchbox

  • #2833

    Mark Ellis

    OK I’m new here and new to road games, but not to gaming or miniature painting. You can see my blog for my painting attempts. 30 years ago or so I also played a lot of car wars but have not played such games in a long time – focusing on more traditional games. Sp, I no expert but do a decent job of painting.

    However, can anyone point me to a good site/intro into how to convert paint Hotwheels (I believe they are call matchbox in the UK) cars?

    They are obviously easy to obtain (and fairly cheap compared to most gaming models) but are riveted together and obviously varnished/enabled painted to survive even the hardest child drivers. 🙂

    So is there an basic ‘how to’ or set of recommendations/suggestions for customization of these models. i.e. how to get the rivets out (if required to disassemble them) and how to put them back together, how to undercoat/strip so them so can be repainted/customized etc. I think something like that would be very useful for us people like me interested in playing with customized cars.

    So help/advice or pointers welcome.



    I’ll try my best to answer your questions. Also, just to let you know, Hot Wheels and Matchbox are 2 different brands, but are both owned by Mattel.

    To take apart said cars, use a drill to drill out the rivits. There is a video about it on this page:

    To remove the paint, I would either sand it off with a dremel tool, or paint stripper to get the paint off. If working with a plastic body, don’t worry about this.

    To put the cars back together, if you drilled the rivits out a certain way, you can snap the car together, otherwise, just use superglue.


    Mark Ellis

    I have started with a couple of cars – trying to make them more in theme with the game and building up a team look. I’ll post a link to the results here as I go and learn by mistakes.



    Hi Mark,
    I usually don’t bother removing the paint at all. If I wanted my cars to look tidy and clean, I would take them as they are. I use GW primer or rally spray undercoat black. As many of my cars are used, they come with chipped paint which can easily be painted as – well – chipped paint…

    For me the first step is to glue the wheels in place using hot glue. If it’s wheels are turning it’s a toy. If they don’t move it’s a model.

    You can see my models in the Garage Area, so you can decide if you like the look..

    P.S. don’t forget to drybrush lots of dust onto the models!

    Cheers, Monsterpainter

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