Hot Wheels customiser builds Expression Session XB

150 hours of painstaking work went into this scale NASCAR dreamboat


Expression Session artist Aidan Donald blew it out of the water with his NASCAR-inspired XB coupe render last month, creating a gorgeous tribute to an iconic era for our October issue.

Now there’s a one-off, 1/64-scale version of the Falcon thanks to New Zealand Hot Wheels customiser Aaron Smit – better known as biohazardnz on Instagram.

Though he’s been collecting die-cast models since 2000 (with over 60,000 now to his name), Smit only got into the customising game recently.

“I’ve been doing it for five or six years now, but with last year’s lockdown I started doing more detailed stuff,” he said.

When the country was again put into lockdown more recently, Smit says he hit the web for inspiration.

“I was bored, so I just started finding pictures and building replicas, and this one jumped out at me,” he added.

Of course, there was much more involved than simply hacking up a model Daytona and gluing the parts onto a model Falcon. To properly integrate the nosecone, Smit had to perform intricate shaping with putty and resin compounds. It’s a major challenge at such a tiny scale, and his least favourite part of the process.

Modelling styrene, paperclips, and staples were also used to transform the XB into a NASCAR-spec hero.

“I’m wearing magnifying glasses the whole time I’m working on them,” he said.

Other body mods included covering the factory GT scoop, shaving the side vents and adding a side-exit exhaust – all faithful to the render. The wheels are replacement units, while the decals were created by Instagram’s CustomNZDHotwheels.

All up, he poured about 150 hours of effort into the creation.

“Most of it you can’t see, and even I have no idea where it went!”

The Falcon has drawn major attention since its debut, well beyond the usual Hot Wheels customisation community. “I’ve never had this much attention on a car,” Smit added. “It’s taken a life of its own.”

It’s now off to live with its visionary, Aidan Donald of ADI Design. “Aiden wanted to buy it,” he said. “But it’s his design, so he can have it — I’m not out to make money.”

While Hot Wheels renditions of Aussie cars are relatively scarce, Smit has a number of locally-built customs to his name.

XB Falcons are a favourite, like this wild blown example and even a wagon conversion. A mid-engine, Sports Sedan Falcon coupe is on the list, too.

While he collects all badges in die-cast form, the Mopar man dreams of a Hot Wheels VH Charger.

He’s also working on a two-door VE Commodore, and a crazy VT Commodore conversion, which appeared on Unique Cars a few years ago.

Starting with a 2000-era VT SS sedan, a lot of plastic fabrication work has gone into the one-off tray design. Tiny details on the hand-cut, styrene frame include a slide-out compartment and spare wheel mount.