1971 BMW 2002 tii Looks So Real It’s Hard to Believe It’s a Model

We’re sure at some point in your childhood you grabbed a BMW 3 Series, Corvette, or some other model car off the shelf of your local toy store and thought it looked very realistic. But most of us just used what was included in the set, maybe doing a little painting or weathering. Then there are master builders like Scale-a-ton, whose definition of “realistic” puts anyone else’s to shame. This scale model BMW 2002 tii is a masterpiece.

Realistic Details

Seriously, you’d be easily forgiven for thinking that this was a real project car in his garage. Instead, what we have here started as a Hasegawa 1/24 scale model. It is already fairly detailed out of the box but it’s an unfinished model, so some painting can bring out even more realism. That being said, Scale-a-ton’s creativity went far beyond just slapping the paint down and calling it a day.

One of the main differentiating parts of this build was the inclusion of a USCP engine bay kit. This recreates the entire engine bay of the original 1971 2002 tii, including the smaller details like the strut towers, engine parts, and more. This did require the hood of the Hasegawa kit to be removed and replaced with a USCP resin hood. Scale-a-ton also added USCP interior details like the interior door panels (which also required cutting out the original Hasegawa interior) and a three-spoke Momo steering wheel. For some realistic aftermarket wheels, a set of USCP resin Alpina alloys were also added.

Another trick Scale-a-ton used was using some of a polycarbonate tray, heating it up, and shaping it to replicate the rear of the headlights in the engine bay. Also, any slots or grilles were opened up just as they are on the real car. Some missing parts—like the hood hinges—were also made from brass or metal parts from other kits and repurposed to make sure this 2002 tii was as detailed as possible. We’d say “as humanly possible,” but we’re starting to wonder if Scale-a-ton isn’t actually a living 3-D printer at this point. Fortunately, he does show his hands to confirm he is, in fact, human.

Painting to Life

The detailed pieces are one thing, but it’s how Scale-a-ton paints this 2002 tii that makes it come to life. He thinks about things like the coolant reservoir in which he adds in color layers in order to make it look like there is coolant inside at the correct level. The interior is made to look like a worn leather material, using paint as well. His techniques range from using airbrushing to actual paint brushes for finer details like the oil filter, belts, and more. For chrome, he utilizes aluminum foil tape to get the proper effect.

All of this gives the car a character, as if it was driven hard but also taken care of by a thoughtful owner. An amazing way to create a story without actually telling it in words. It’s also so many details and techniques, it’s worth watching the entire 25 minutes of Scale-a-ton building it.

We’ve also covered other scale automotive projects he’s done, and the work Scale-a-ton has done is just incredible. Be careful, however, as watching these videos and looking over his models may suck you in. (Trust us, this story was supposed to be up hours ago.) We couldn’t help but stare in amazement at everything he’s done from airplanes, ships, and even to robot models—all in such exquisite detail you’d think he ripped everything from 2-D photos and made them 3-D. In a way, Scale-a-ton sort of did.

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