Scale Cars

Motormax Lotus Evora [Commission]

Another Evora! I’ve already built the first version of my own Evora in red – you can read all about it here. This particular Evora is a commission piece for a fellow Evora owner out in Arizona, with a very unique look.

This is the target car. It’s a Series 1 N/A Evora just like mine – originally gloss white with a chocolate brown interior. The owner Will has obviously done a lot – from the Marlboro livery to the big wing, aftermarket wheels, roof box, and plenty of other unique little odds and ends.

I don’t like to take on commission builds unless I know I can for sure get the model build near-identical to the target car – luckily, I was able to source a resin roof box and similar-style aftermarket wheels from independent sellers on eBay.

The core Evora model this time is from MotorMax – unlike the Bburago model I used last time for my own Evora. I really wasn’t sure at first which model was objectively better – I only changed it up this time because the Bburago model was somehow only available for nearly three times the price of this MotorMax¬† piece – so I said screw it, I’m going to customize it anyway, it shouldn’t make a big difference.

This does absolutely feel like a mass-produced cheap toy out of the box though (and it is – it was $20). The paint applications are sloppy, there’s obvious mold lines in the middle of the body (check out that gnarly line on the front bumper above!), the foil stickers they used for the mirrors are barely holding on for dear life.

Two screws are all that hold the chassis to the body. Both sets of wheels are on solid metal axles – no active steering here.

The interior is all boring black plastic, with a single sticker stretching from the top of the dash to the infotainment screen to add a little detail. At least this model seems to come as a manual transmission – unlike the Bburago that gave you the IPS (auto) model.

Windows were all one piece, held in by one rivet behind the rear window. Interestingly, the rear spoiler and bumper are both separate parts from the core body – you can remove the rear bumper if you wish with two screws. The spoiler is surprisingly made of plastic, not metal – makes removing it from the core body easier.

In the paint stripper bath you go. I’ve always said I like working with diecasts because they’re so easy to strip – unlike plastic bodies where you really have to be careful with what stripping chemical you use and how long you soak them for, I’m able to just throw the strongest paint stripper I have at this thing and know that the diecast metal body underneath will come out of it just fine.

Down to metal! There’s some nice molded vent detail on the body, which is nice. Having to use 60 grit to sand the stupid diecast mold lines on the front bumper was not as nice.

My customer’s wheels are custom created by a company called Precision Forged, based off of AVS Model 5 wheels. After some digging, I came across these resin 18 inch Kansei Astros that got very close to the real design. The main issue is that my customer’s real wheels are actually doubled staggered in much larger sizes (19″ front and 20″ rear), but after running it by him we decided that the 18″ square set on the model would work just fine.

I planned to get around the small wheel sizes a bit by reusing the thicker tires that originally came on the MotorMax model. They’re actually staggered in width front and rear too, but the barrels of the Kanseis were a bit too wide for the tires, so I had to do some trimming on the rear of the wheels to make it all fit.

The thicker sidewall tires also made it easier for me to apply tire lettering decals. I’ve never actually done tire lettering before, so this was a new experience – my customer’s lettering actually says FIREHAWK INDY500 as the tire model, but since I couldn’t find that specific lettering available in 1:24 scale, I went for the next closest thing with FIRESTONE lettering – it’s the brand that makes the Indy 500’s anyway.

MotorMax makes an attempt to recreate the Recaro Sportsters that came standard on all S1 Evoras – but come on, look at those things. It’s like you haven’t unlocked these seats yet in-game.

Luckily, I just happened to have a brand new set of detailed resin Sportsters from ZoomOn Model laying around. I’ve been saving these things for years, never using them because I already have these seats in like two other cars in my collection – turns out it was a real good thing I’ve put off using them.

My customer’s interior is a unique light brown – it really does look like smooth velvety chocolate.

Tamiya didn’t make a brown that was quite light enough to match the creamy chocolate look of the interior, so the paint I used here is actually a Testors enamel.

Adding details in by brush paint. My customer’s car seems to have an extended custom shifter, so that was recreated with some jewelry wire for the shifter shaft and a cut piece of styrene rod to replicate his cylindrical shift knob.

Seats and dash filled in with flat black by hand

I ended up getting rid of the original sticker that MotorMax provided for the dash, and used some leftover gauge face decals and an infotainment screen decal from a Subaru I had left in my spare decals bin. The Lotus badge on the steering wheel looks too big because it’s actually pulled off the center caps of my original Bburago Evora model – since I didn’t have any Lotus badge decals on hand this was the next best way to get the overall look.

MotorMax really dropped the ball on the headlights – not only do the lens not feature the complete black outline that our cars should have, the housings themselves are just completely painted silver, where they should be black.

Rectifying those issues.

What a strange feeling stripping an already-white car just to paint it white again.

Started by adding the Black Pack – an OEM color option that blacked out the side skirts and roof cap.

Body masked for the black Marlboro livery.

Grabbed a universal roof box off a resin printing seller on eBay – this thing is solid resin, so it’s very chunky and heavy.

Painted white first and then masked for the black stripes just like the body.

Had some rough peeling on some of the edges (see: front clam) but overall the look is coming together.

Luckily, most of the markings on the car go on the white areas of the paint, meaning I can use my home-grown inkjet decal system to custom print the Marlboro lettering and other miscellaneous badging throughout the car. Since inkjet printers can’t print white, if the colors were inverted (white lettering against black), I’d be screwed and have to order custom water slides from my overseas decal supplier.

Same homegrown water slides were used to achieve the LOTUS and EVORA badging on the rear bumper.

My customer’s car features GRP taillights, an aftermarket replacement taillight style that I actually also now have on my own Evora. To recreate them in scale form, I cut them out of a piece of hollow styrene tubing.

Painted red and backed with a piece of black plastic behind them. Ferrari taillights!

The wing stands on the real car were completely custom fabbed, so we’re doing the same thing here in scale form – after roughing out the shape on a piece of pla-plate, they were cut out and smoothed out to achieve the shape. The wing deck itself is made out of some random resin universal GT wing stand I had in my parts bin, with the endplates and mounting points modified to fit the look of the Evora.

MotorMax originally had the front grille openings all filled in by a black plate on the chassis plate; I cut that section out of the chassis and replaced it all with real mesh. Even if there’s nothing behind the mesh to see (there isn’t on the real cars either), it just looks better for that extra bit of detail.

MotorMax never even bothered including brakes in this model, so I pulled a universal resin set from the parts bin and painted the calipers black to match. Technically the rear brakes should be a little smaller, but we work with what we have.

Gluing the roof box on was the most nerve-wracking – since there were no obvious mounting points, I just had to eyeball the placement and hope I got it centered and right the first time with glue on the roof box mounts – if I messed up it would destroy the roof paint.

Did I get pretty close to the real thing?

I am glad these diecast models usually have opening doors – all the effort gone into the interior isn’t wasted. Usually Japanese-made plastic models are unibodies with no opening panels, and they often include only closed windows, so interiors are barely visible in finished models.

Very happy with how the roof box and wing positioning and sizing came out – for completely eyeballing those things during the build process. You think we use methods as silly as actual measuring and planning here?

Boxed and ready to head to her 1:1 scale owner!

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