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1,048 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
This was a great casting I’d purchased from Volvo 1:1. I’ve had it forever and was down to the wire when my shoulder went bum on me. So here it is, finally finished-

Neal started with an Aurora 41’ Lincoln, and blended a rear wagon section from die-cast woody, then recast it all—
Excellent, and a true custom!

He’s showed his own finished style of this as a Surf-Woody here, many months’ back- and that’s what hooked me. I knew it was just the thing I was looking for--with the right modifications.

I’ve wanted a (non-Caddy) T-jet hearse for some time. When this arrived, my prayers(?) were answered! My hearse could be built-

With the interest in start-to-finish build ups, I kept this (kind of) in the same vein.
This is pretty much how I did it:

Step 1 BODY

Neal cast it in black, which was very smooth, but I had to section-paint it anyway after the major hacking/grinding/puttying, and breaking of multiple parts and such that commenced.

The chassis fit well enough when I got it, but I still was able to remove a lot of excess material that took up much needed interior space. The whole inside of the body had to be ground out.

I opened up all the cast-in glass, and ground out the inside as thin as I could (this is where the breaking started). I’d cut the rear door and its “glass” from the body (more breakage)- plus, I’d also removed the “C” pillars to give the side a full panel look.

The windshield header and roofline seemed slightly out of proportion from research I’d done, so, I raised the windshield at the roofline considerably to blend better with the flow on the side windows. The roof was re-contoured and smoothed out.

PIC “C pillars removed”

I used clear stock for the windscreen and the long side windows. For the front side glass- they’re made short for a “rolled down” look. I set these aside.

PIC “Parts prep 2”

I followed with cutting up a rear seat cushion from a die-cast interior and formed some interior fender wells for a partial inside padded look--and trimmed, detailed and painted them, also putting those aside.
I didn’t realize until the assembly stage that the rolled and pleated interior is all but covered by the chassis height. Somewhat of a waste of time…
I started gathering other parts for the build.

PIC “Interior and ice cream guy”

Next, I started on the rear floor.
I used an old Afx trailer floor piece- cut and fit for the “wood grain” look. I thinned it about as thick as a file card and painted it. After it dried, I foiled the chrome “runners”, measured the length/width, and left that for the time being.
I wanted the driver and his area to be more realistic, so I used the driver/interior from a damaged Good humor ice cream truck.
Hard to see and impossible to photograph--the driver has a gray uniform, with double-breasted coat buttons, white gloves, and badge on his cap. He also received a “dead wash” to his facial features, and I gave him a patch over his right eye.
The platform was thinned in front to fit in the dashboard area.
Behind him, I carved an oval hole (so he could keep an eye on things-), and foiled the divider to give it an aluminum look.

PIC “Parts prep”

PIC “Driver buttons"


1,048 Posts
Discussion Starter #2
Most Hearses have curtains. I solved this by taking a small section of HO train fence and a small bit of my girls’ Play-Dough, then pressing the fence into the dough to make an impression.
I covered the impression with Pam and filled the cavity with Elmers wood glue (Obviously, I’m no caster-).

After eight or so tries, the curtains formed out pretty fair. I cut, ground and reshaped them to fit behind the driver’s divider and inside the side openings. I painted them a flat purple with gold trim and left them for now.

PIC “Curtain cast”
PIC “Rear Curtains and floor”

The rear door was a lot of trouble, as I broke the rear header—twice, and had to make new ones. I ground the inside of the door down so it wouldn’t look so thick and not bind closing. I thinned the outside area where the spare would sit- so as not to be so obvious.
Also, the rear door drip rail had to be fabbed’ because the channel was too small to save once the rear door was opened up. (Last minute update: I broke it again 2 hrs before this posting—Arrrgghh!)

PIC “ Broken window header”
PIC “Rear door fitting”

I went with a piece of insulation from wire for the double hinge pieces.
I thinned and notched the rear door to accept the hinges to open and close, but allowed the door to stay shut under vibration.
The final step was to fill in any imperfections, foil and paint the inside panel. I drilled and installed an inside rear handle to finish it up. The handle turned out to interfere with the casket and closed door, so I had to remove it.
Also, I painted and foiled a piece of plastic stock and added it below the rear platform to clean up the rear area when the door was open and hide the chass’ a bit.

(Update I originally went with two hinges- but broke one with the last drip rail fix)…
Next was to figure for the rear bumper/license plate area. I found a spare bumper for this, and used a spare Aurora Lincoln bumper for the front- instead of the one that came with Neal’s cast.

The stock Auroa bump’ has thick mounting posts—great for damage control, but too thick as compared to the 1/1. I thinned them up to about 1/3 the original thickness.
Also- one of the nerf bumper-guards was broken off, so I fabbed’ one of those as well
The “fog lamps” under the bumper got a coat of clear-yellow

PIC “Bumpers”


1,048 Posts
Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
The oblong box-

I couldn’t have an open back without something inside, so once again, I took a couple of die-cast’s interiors- cut them up and formed a wedge-shaped box. This gave the inside a posh rolled and pleated look. I used sheet stock to form the smooth outsides. (See body fitting in next section)

For the lid, I took an early 60’s AMT 1/24th scale Ford pickup custom grille and reshaped it to fit over the box opening. I also added sheet stock ends.

With some more thinning, notching, and drilling out holes--I installed wire “hinges” in the casket, and glued them to the lid.
The addition of details such as the handles and the “filigreed” gold side trim came after scrounging around through the many spares I save—I came across a parts tree from an old 17th century sailing galleon ship model. The coffin handles are the rigging cleats for the deck, and the gold wood trim is actually the ships rigging itself- with cleaned up block and tackle on each end.

The bin was a eighteen-piece build-up by itself.

PIC “Closed box”
PIC “Closed box 2”
PIC “Open box side”
PIC “Open box”
PIC “Open box top”


1,048 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
Lucky Stiff

What is a hearse and coffin without a load?
I found a stately gent standing and holding a newspaper from my HO train people. I laid him on various backseat cushions of DC interiors until I found one he fit comfortably, and built the coffin above-
The man would work with some modifications--I scalded him and straightened out his legs, and cut off his hat. Then, he got all the mold lines cleaned up (a lot), and I added a lump of glazing compound to the top part of his newspapers and worked it just before it set. This gave it a “bouquet’ of daisy’s” look
I also added a red carnation to his lapel in the same manner, and painted the lower part of his papers green to simulate the flower stems.

He got the medical examiners table- only because it was a piece of scrap plastic laying in front of me-and the idea popped, so I gave it a smooth coat of aluminum. The cutout in the table fits the purpose

Some morbid colouring and picked out details gave him a nice deceased look-
In the end, he fit the casket like a glove and looked the part.

PIC “Prep table”
PIC “Lucky stiff 2”
PIC “Table w-stiff”

PIC “Coffin full”
PIC “Coffin full-2”


1,048 Posts
Discussion Starter #7

I’d found most funeral cars have custom trim and fancy bits—which mine lacked.
This was alleviated in part by taking a “Cadburys” biscuit tin (sent from direct from the UK- thanks Auntie Doris!). After gorging myself on the choc-ee short bread, I applied frosted tape over the letter “S” on the tin’s outsides. I carefully cut this out and (more than a dozen tries), and applied it to the insides of the side glass.
I think this makes it look a bit like etched glass.
Although I didn’t realize until well after I’d put them on that they’re actually opposite if each other on the two sides…

It still needed something more-
I dug out some dry transfers for labeling electrical components and used the “plus” (positive sign) for a “cross” on both side windows. I used 4 transfers—since the crosses had to be a touch longer on the bottom stake. The extra length at the bottom of the cross was achieved by using the minus(-) sign transfers.
For the rear door glass, I found a small picture of some flowers and cut it to fit. I traced around them to give it a “stained glass” appearance. The edges are held in place with clear glue.
This also was damaged in the final hour- when the rear window frame broke- (Double darn!!)


After all the fitting and painting it was it was time to visualize the finished product . I trial-built it (several times), and I broke as I went—

I felt beside the windows and detail- there still wasn’t enough to convince a complete design.
I came up with the scheme to put a decorative roof rail on the top.
At first, I’d tried using parts tree holding nubs from a 1/25th-scale kit, but this proved goofy and unrealistic-

After scrounging around, I came across another spares tree from the sailing ship again—This one had cannons for the port and starboard sides. Hmmm….
Magic! These were just what I needed!

I glued them together, shortened them to a better scale, then, drilled holes in two sides of each.
Using wound-type guitar strings (Fender Super lights- A string- for you music buffs), I formed a square rack for the front/back and sides, finishing with painting gold and clear/yellow.
These resulted in a nice roof railing.

Pic “Hearse roof rail”
Pic “Hearse w-rr door open”
Pic “Hearse w’casket
Pic “Hearse w/coffin in


1,048 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
Final bits

I finished it off with dry-brushing the wood sides to give it an ebony wood look and bring out the grain (a similar look to a guitar neck).
I foiled the grille, front marker light and headlamps and detailed the window surrounds. Plus the grille and headlight surrounds got a wash to bring out a bit more detail.

Neal’s casting of the front grille was so precise, I wanted to keep as much of it in view as possible. The bumper sits a tad lower than the Aurora one to achieve this.

The front funeral lamp is a 1/32 injector stack filled with clear glue and painted. The procession/announcement horn on the bumper is another stack with a black wash. The rear lamp is an oil filler cap.
The tail lights are the corners cut off a 1/24th rear view mirror. The rear license plate is a parts tree identifying tab.

Side coach lamps were running lights added from a 1/64th scale Brass-era Peugeot DC and tinted purple. The side mirror is from a DC.
The exhaust tip is a larger plastic model suspension pin.

PIC “Hearse lft”
PIC “Hearse rt fnt”
PIC “Hearse fnt bump lite-horn
PIC “Hearse w/casket back


1,048 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
Step 12 Completion

I reassembled this thing many times before it would all fit, and stay together, look right, and run. Although tight- there is no “tweak” on the chassis, so it runs fine and looks good doing it.
One hard de-slot though, and it will have to be buried along with its passenger!
The coffin is near impossible to remove once it’s in and the rear door shut.

The decals are from a railroad sheet. It’s hard to see on the license plate but it reads “Watch your step”.
Finally, the whole thing was “futurized”.

Pic “Hearse w/casket lft”
Pic “Hearse w/back open”
Pic “Hearse close”
Pic “Hearse w/casket open”
Pic “Hearse w/casket”

In summery:

This is up there with my all-time favorites-- but it was a bloody lot of work!
I doubt I would attempt something so heavily involved of this kind again-- at least for some time, anyway…

The sad part is- a lot of the detail is barely seen- especially running on the track. I shouldn’t have worked quite so hard!
Figuring it all out it took a long time, but finding the ways of fitting of it all, took the longest.

Thanks so much again Neal, as you deserve the credits for bringing such fine piece to the slot car world!
Plus, for a proper custom- filling a needed niche for mine and possibly others’ future layouts.
Getting this, and staring at it for so long at a time gave me the initiative to see this through. Thank you for the mental inspiration!

There’s just nothing out there or in my collection like it…

And thanks to everyone else for wading through the long build-up post-



Premium Member
349 Posts

...humor and weird (in the most positive sense!!!) customs are things I always enjoy! :hat:

Boss, you really did an outstanding custom - I love it!!! :thumbsup:

BTW: Did you count the hours you spent on that beauty? How did you build those micro hinges for the rear door (sorry if I overlooked that in your great documentation!)?

Thanks for the work you did on the step-by-step "instructions" and sharing with us the fun you obviously had!!! :cool:

Greetings from Germany,


Model Murdering
7,331 Posts
Pushin up daisies

Damnatition Boss. You kill me! Good thing I can now be hauled away in style. Thanks for the humungous one handed effort to share this. Let alone the build itself.

I enjoy the play by play immensely, as well as the detailed explanation of what came from where.

Awesome casting Neal! if your lurking around.

Truly a masterpiece. You need treatment! ;)


Premium Member
1,219 Posts
Boss, very, very neat demonstration of creativity and execution. I love the thought you put into the details - and appreciate the patience required to bring this off. Thanks! Jeff

Duke Dave of Sealand
2,879 Posts
Wow! Boss once again you amaze me, that is one wicked Hearse...very nice detail and great imaginative application.

Now lock doen that coffin that corpse looks like he might get up and starting eating brains!

Dave (<---Zombies would starve)

4,010 Posts
I have spent the last near to 12 hours pondering what to say about this latest (greatest?) project (mamoth UNDERTAKING) of tiny proportions, eh!

I am left scratching my head, mate! You have described in some (the word "colorful" comes to mind) detail, this project as you went along building it. The details, you were quite modest about, and the trials of the parts collecting and assembly were down-played quite a bit, too.

Holy Hannah!!! :thumbsup: :thumbsup:
I have never, ever seen a slot car of this (or any) scale with so much delightful detail, eh!
Every panel was worked, inside and out! (and then some!) I am awed, humbled and thrilled! While I could never have the hope to approach detail of this tiny magnitude, I find inspiration in your build-ups. I find a wealth of ideas and glimmers all wrapped up in this one single painfully detailed package.

Sir, I take my cap off (if I wore one) to you!

A beautiful slot car, mate, with beautiful bits that are masterworks in their own right.

Thank you for sharing with us!

Premium Member
1,629 Posts
:wave: Bossman, I am absolutely speechless ! No previous description that you provided can even do justice to the photo's you just supplied. I am so glad & HONORED that you made my creation the basis of your great custom.One of the idea's I have had in the past is for a Hearse version of the Lincoln but any thing I could do would pale in comparison to your great work.While I do not have as much time as before for slots due to my work schedule I am inspired to get on to my next project.you have really done an Augean task in creating a truly great piece of Automotive art ! Perhaps some day this can be re-created as a real 1:1 scale operating automobile !

Regards, Neal :dude:

1,048 Posts
Discussion Starter #19 (Edited)
Well, Thank you Gents- very much!

I wish I could take better pics of black cars, though-
You all heard this before—but it really does look a whole lot better in your hand-

I like to build cars with a theme for a layout or diorama.
Nothing crazy about that!
Thank you, mate!

I guess this means you &%$#@#$)@!#$!! Like it

Thank you! I always try to inject a little (sometimes very little..) humor into a thread—starting with the title. A tradition I done ever since I’d joined.
I appreciate a caster of your caliber giving praise to both Neal’s and my work-
The hinges were a simple construction consisting of different gauge wire that could stand the bending open & closing the door. It was a lot of trial and error (with a lot of error), and it works but I’m keeping my eye out for a pocket watch hinge-
(I tried hinges from a pair of my girls’ sunglasses, but they were too large.)

Between you and Park—that’s what got me to post this in a build-up format.
Bill, I’ve said this before- your work is exceptional and you’ve raised the bar in my book. Thank you for the comps’.

If the saying “The devil is in the details” is true—you are talking to a spawn of Satan!

Thank you for taking the time to read the “book”

Thank you Sir!
I tried to give the stiff a “recent departure” look, instead of zombie-fied.
He took several different washes and came out ok.


I wish I could say it took me 12 hours!
You’ve heard me yappin’ about this for waay too long. You knew I’d pull through—just not sure of what year!
(a tad late for Halloween, eh?)

Thank you for your patience listening to my sobs of breakage and delay-
Too bad it’s so fragile—it would make for a sweet casting (complete as a hearse), no?

Oops! I hear rumblings off the East Coast…
Must be Volvo getting the .44 out for me even thinking that last thought for Joez!

Thank you for the comps’, but remember- it would never of been without your original design…
Thank you, Sir! :thumbsup:


If you recall, Neal showed his own version of this some rime back.
I thought you might want to know that this is a 4-door “Surf Woodie” that Neal made—I converted it into a hearse. The “C” pillar removal helped a lot w/the look-
You should be able to do the same…

Again, thanks everyone for taking the time and enjoying my build- :)


Ps- ( Park doesn't like it because it has an extended wheelbase, Mic doesn't like it because it can't be flat tracked and it's not 1/43rd scale, and Noddaz doesn't fraternize with an illegal alien. (He must of found out my green card expired!) :lol: :wave:
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