Dinky Shado conversion

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One of the biggest long term projects I’m doing is creating fleets of futuristic vehicles for a wargames scenerio.

One particular fleet are called the Inforcers, or govenment forces (a mix of police and military services), their vehicles are to be uniform in type and of large numbers, so I need to use something common and easy to get and parts that are plentiful, on that basis the first two I have choosen are below.


To follow the Matchbox BattleKings K111 conversion Click Here

Both of these will work well with my scaling, but the Dinky one is hard to pick up cheaply in good condition, by good condition I mean with decent tracks and wheels, for some reason all the cheap one’s have either no tracks or chewed up wheels, I’m not sure why the wheels suffer so much damage but they do.

You can get the wheels and tracks as reproduction items but would cost over £14 per vehicle to replace, another idea is to replace the tracks with wheels and tyres, this will be a more cost effective solution for six plus vehicle conversions that I am planning, the chunky Matchbox wheels Matchbox used on many of the BattleKings would work well (like on the Matchbox missile launcher above) , getting enough of them could be an issue so I was going to cast my own.

I will be doing three at a time, these are the first donors


Not having as much time as I would like for these projects, I have been looking around for alternative wheels in large numbers (each Shado would need at least eight).

The trouble I have had trying to buy wheels!  ended up buying 20mm Lego wheels for my Shado conversions, doing three at the moment so need lots of wheels.
Anyway got some 20mm Lego wheels which work out the same size as Matchbox Superkings chunky wheels.


Done a ‘mock up’ but now want to try something slightly bigger as I’m not convinced they are big enough so have now ordered 24mm wheels from Ebay, the only downside is having to remove the Lego name from the wheel and the tyre side walls on 24 wheels and tyres.

The first picture shows the 20mm wheels.


The 24mm wheels look better in my opinion, this makes the vehicle look like it has purpose and give better ground clearance.


At the moment they stick out too far so look a little odd, the Dinky tracks were mounted on raised axle bosses.


So next all of the raised parts here will need grinding off, this was done with a 4 inch grinder rather than the Dremel making it quicker, it takes a lot of practice to use a big cutter/grinder to do this so do be careful and if not sure stick to the Dremel.


Next the existing axle holes need filling, for this I used JB Weld, a two part chemical metal, to stop the mixture running through the holes while it sets I have backed up the holes with tape, once set the other side can be done, this will grind down flat once fully cured.


With the metal filler sanded down I can now make a template for the new wheel centres.


I made this from plasticard, as I’m making a number of these a long lasting template is better than card or paper, it did take a lot of trail and error to get to the final centres and for reference the centres are 28mm.


Next the drilling, the template is taped in place and a 2mm hole drilled, once done the template can be used again on the other side.


As I want the wheels to rotate the axles need accurate measurement, for this I use a Digital Vernier gauge, as you can see a fraction under 2.5mm, I’m using the old Shado axle cut down so will open up the axle holes to 3mm.


Next adapting the wheels, as they are Lego wheels the hole in the back suits the Lego axle stubs but far to big for metal Dinky axles, to reduce this I have cut and glued some 4mm plastic tube to fit in the wheel and a further 3mm tube inside that then cut flush.


The centre hole is slightly too small so next I let out all eight wheels with a 2.5mm drill, just enough for the axle to be push fit the axles are cut to 35mm.


Next we can dry assemble the base and see what it looks like.


And again with the body.


Two of the Ground Force Zero figures I’m using have been part painted these are the one’s that go with the vehicles and the blue of the uniform will be similar on the vehicles for this fleet.

Next the flip top has been adapted and glued into place on plastic rails.


The baseplate is held on with two screws with a back and front tab, the tab at the front looks too toy like so this is to be filled.

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Using JB Weld the tab was covered in masking tape to stop the chemical metal mix sticking to it the vehicle was supported at an angle as this filler will creep and run until set.

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With all the filling and priming done I now have three ready for painting

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Finally got around to start the painting in the blue as described above.

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The colour looks a bit lighter in the picture than it actually is, this is Revell number 56 matt. This is also a RAL colour, number 5000, violet blue.

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This was mixed and sprayed using an airbrush, because this paint could mark over time, especially with handling, they will have to be coated with a matt varnish or lacquer after any decals are applied.

Although the bodies are now done the bases, both sides of the wheels, and the seats painted black yet to do.

More soon ………….



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