Scott Fuller turns new die-cast Aussie muscle car models into the most exquisite exotic junk
This article on Scott’s model cars was originally published in the November 2013 issue of Street Machine
HERE at Street Machine, we’re not too grown up to admit that we still like model cars. We’ve featured plenty over the years, including Jimmi Kouniniotis’s super-detailed diecast street machine (SM, May ’06) and Dave Loye’s amazing plastic models of mostly historic Aussie drag racing stuff (SM, Jun ’09). And here’s another talented builder. While Scott Fuller loves diecast models, once he’s finished with them, they don’t look anything like the picture on the box!
It’s completely different to what Jimmi and Dave were doing as well, with their stunning paint jobs, highly detailed engines and flawless finish. Scott’s creations make a complete about-face and end up looking, well, how do I put it politely? Let’s just say rooted.
“It all started with a 1/43-scale Monaro which was on my window sill at work. I used to sell cars and basically kids would play with it while I tried to sell Mum and Dad the car. I quit the job two years ago and one day I found it with no mirrors, no wipers, faded paint on one side, neglected.
Scott can do shiny stuff too, with this tough-as-nails HQ coupe recently rolling off the Custom Wrecks assembly line. Compare it to the well-worn HX Sandman ute
“I thought: ‘That’s pretty cool!’ It looked really good, so I decided to finish it off a bit and make it look a little bit worse for wear, then I put it on eBay. The following was huge and it sold. From there, I bought two more, did them and sold them, then bought four more and sold them, and it’s just grown from that. Basically the first one cost me nothing, so the whole exercise hasn’t cost me a cent, just buying and selling.”
Scott’s new career in the mining industry sees him on a one week on, one week off schedule, or as Scott likes to put it: “I’m time rich.” That doesn’t mean he sits around all day playing with toys, he just doesn’t waste his time sitting on his arse watching TV or hanging around in cafés. Considering he’s only been doing this since late 2012, he’s been rather prolific.
Like every good modeller, Scott has amassed a pile of spare parts. Also note the pressure packs; the ones in the shot are modelling paints but Scott paints most of the cars using Dupli-Color touch-up paint. That way you can get the factory colours too
If you check out his Facebook page — Custom Wrecks — you can browse through hundreds of photos of dozens of cars that he’s custom-wrecked in that time. That also explains why we’ve only got photos of three or four of them, because once they’re done, they’re for sale.
It’s a bit hard to understand why a model of a beaten-up old car is so desirable that people are willing to fork out over $300 for one. It could be that they just want to add something different to their diecast collection: after all, even if you’ve got a shelf full of limited edition stuff, there’re still at least 250 other people with exactly the same stuff. Scott’s models are unique, and I’m sure even if he tried he wouldn’t be able to replicate the exact same damage and weathering to two cars.
Another reason might be the memories that people cling to, a long-lost GT Falcon or a Monaro that went to the great scrap heap in the sky following a night of teenage exuberance on a wet road. It’s those kinds of memories that fuel Scott’s imagination as well and lend him the knowledge of how these cars should — or would — look if they’d had a long and hard life.
Having owned plenty of old cars, Scott knows where all the grease and oil builds up and using his own secret concoction creates a very realistic effect on every part
“I’m early 40s, so a lot of this is stuff I grew up with. A lot of it is memories. A mate had a Charger that he smashed up, other mates had other cars. I remember the rust and the damage that all of us had in our cars. I might also look for photos of a smashed LX Torana on the internet, so I guess it’s memories and Google as well,” Scott says.
Scott has also played with quite a few real cars, and you’ll be glad to hear he restored them to better than new. “A lot of people comment how I get the rust in all the right spots and that comes from knowing the cars. You know where the rust is going to be on an XA/XB coupe. We used to bog them up in those days but I have restored them properly. I restored an HK ute not long ago, a GTS HQ coupe and a string of XWs over the years.”
The techniques Scott has developed to weather the cars are very effective and although he wouldn’t tell us his secrets, he did give some tips.
“It’s pretty much just trial and error, but back in high school I used to do a lot of arty shit. I had a good art teacher who taught us to look for the fine details to bring out the reality of the piece. But I only just started doing this last year, so it’s like 20-plus years since I’ve been in high school.”
Scott has done jobs to order but what he really enjoys doing is the freestyle stuff, where he can really let his imagination go. Sometimes the model itself lends some guidance.
“It sort of comes to you,” he says. “I pull it apart and I’ll think: ‘I’ll just strip this door, the boot and do this and this.’ I don’t really have a plan to build it, but I have a finished look in my mind. When you pull the thing apart it will talk to you. If a certain part of a car comes apart easily then I can paint-strip it and change it easily. But if it’s not going to come apart and it’s going to snap and break, I’ll leave it.”
The realism of the models has fooled more than one person, but special mention must go to an unnamed panel shop that quoted $9500 to fix up one of Scott’s models.
“A bloke bought a lime green XA GT sedan. He sent a few photos to a mate of his who is a panelbeater and asked how much it would be just to get the front straight because he was thinking about buying it. Then he walked in with the model and said: ‘You quoted me nine and a half grand to fix this!’”
It might have grown into a business for Scott but it sounds like a lot of fun to us.
This is the GT that fooled a panel beater into quoting on repairs. Bending the diecast is not as straightforward as you might think, go too far and it will crack. The bumpers are tricky as well because they need to be damaged, yet the chrome needs to stay intact
Each custom wreck begins with a tear down, including stripping the paint back. This allows Scott to perform his mods and makes it easier to weather parts like the interior and bay. The collectability of a particular model is dependent on the colour combo, so Scott would rather buy a more common version to modify, although he did once unwittingly cut up a twin-mirror Vermillon Fire XY GT. There’s one on eBay as I type, for $1000!