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Help Scratch Building a 1/32 Grill

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  • Help Scratch Building a 1/32 Grill

    Hopefully this the right spot to post this but I am building my first car. I’m building a first gen gremlin thanks to a member who 3D printed the body for me. So I have a couple bodies but neither has a grill. I’d like to make a stock grill for them but have almost no idea where start.

    I was hoping someone might have some links to threads or videos that would help be to figure out how to do this. I’ve seen quite a few people build RC stuff out of styrene but not on something as small as 1/32. I’m not sure if that is the best route or not. Any tips and ideas would be greatly appreciated!

  • #2
    Click image for larger version

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    For fine screen detail, go to Walmart or Dollar Store and look for the reusable coffee filters screens.

    Most are all made of fine metal mesh. Work pretty good for scale screen in grill, air intake, etc.


    • #3
      Here’s an odd source for you if you can get one that might do the trick
      Go to a transmission shop or your Nissan dealer and see if you can get a used CVT filter
      They have a fine screen in them like the coffee filter but it’s got ripples just like the chips
      Peterborough Ont


      • #4
        Hey...I like that idea. Looks like a stack of Pringles!


        • Michael Squier
          Michael Squier commented
          Editing a comment
          Thanks, now you’ve got me hungry for a tube of Pringle’s!

      • #5
        Hi CJ,

        Mesh? Or a grill shell?

        It's an area where I spend a fair amount of time. No reason why it can translate from H0 to 1/32. As seen above, different meshes and materials are readily available. I just snatch it up, whether Im gonna use it right away or not.

        Here's expanded aluminum mesh from a pilfered kitchen strainer gizmo, used on a "40 Fode" rat rod, and a tilt nose Willys.

        Where I cant fudge and just lay it in behind, I use the "Oreo" method for self contained or stand alone assemblies. A three piece cookie of sorts. The backer plate, the mouse hole, and the front shell. It takes a little fore thought and a few extra minutes to include into a build. From a one time curiosity, it became a go to move; because the end result really put the whammy on projects that needed a lift.

        Here's the basics.

        The rough Oreo. With the backer and the mouse hole bonded and blended to the cowling, I finally add the shell. The internal perimeter's detail and contour is finalized before hand, while I can get at it. An important step, so I can register the vertical and horizontal for level and square during the bonding.

        The roughed out grill. The basic external perimeter gets contoured in 600 which is close enough. I'll fuss the final shape in 1200, when I do the whole model prior to painting. A big portion of that square leading edge gets removed here, to get that nice radius we' re all looking for

        You should wind up with a hidden slot that you can shove grill mesh or bars into.

        This was the first one. Actually an after thought, because I was burned out on the factory Model A chrome piece. No reason you cant construct them free hand, and attach them later. Now I plan more from the get go, and construct them on the model as I go. This actually makes the final contouring much easier, because you can handle it better when blocking.

        Note: The mesh is cut on the diagonal to give it the diamond pattern.

        Jail bars with mesh.

        No seam at the shell, and why not curved?

        In a nut shell, I just cheat by breaking it up into easily made slices; and shaping things up after bonding it together ;-)

        Hope this helps with your Gremlin project! Got a picture?

        Last edited by Model Murdering; March 12, 2022, 07:49 PM.


        • Model Murdering
          Model Murdering commented
          Editing a comment
          Thank you Brad! I always have a coupla custom rods going in some phase ... mock up, mechanical, or finish. I have a coupe close to paint, and another truck in mock up. The ideas come fast. Would that finishing did same.

        • Model Murdering
          Model Murdering commented
          Editing a comment
          CJ, a picture will go a long way to helping me visualize your task. I'll look forward to it.

        • cjperry81
          cjperry81 commented
          Editing a comment
          Just posted some pics. I think I’d rather build the whole grill and headlight bezels to make sure it’s solid. The green one is stable is but the clear one is super thing so it would need the entire thing

      • #6
        When I read the thread title, I thought he meant a scale outdoor cooking grill......
        Dickie Pearson
        Canterbury, NH

        HOST - Home Operated Slot Tracks
        MSR - Main Street Racing


        • 4424ever
          4424ever commented
          Editing a comment
          We can do that too

      • #7
        Well, there was this grill for cooking...


        • cjperry81
          cjperry81 commented
          Editing a comment
          Wow! I love that thing. The gremlin is my first build and if all goes well I have a quite a list of cars I’d like to build and a ford econoline or dodge a100 are on my list! That’s killer!

        • waaytoomuchintothis
          waaytoomuchintothis commented
          Editing a comment
          I want a Chevy rampside Corvan to go with this guy. Maybe a beer dispensing truck with several taps on the sides, or a hot BBQ beans wagon? Slaw truck? Hmmm.

      • #9

        I did a Google image search for wire screen/mesh.
        I did a screen save to Microsoft Paint for each type & edited into different rows of images.
        Then I printed onto adhesive backed vinyl.
        I cut out whatever style to size...peel & stick.

        Click image for larger version

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        Dave J
        Millstadt, Illinois


        • #10
          Here are the two bodies I’m working with. The clear looking one is super thin where the grill and lights are so if like to make my own front end so I know it can withstand an impact.


          • #11
            Nice car. That model looks great! Things appear pretty straight forward.

            I found some inspiration. After checking out various years, this example looks doable without too much fuss ('76 if memory serves). By the looks of it, a guy could register some mesh on the diagonal and come very close to the appearance shown. The cross bar can simply be a chunk of styrene with the center relief scribed in. Headlight buckets, if needed, can be sliced from a couple of thin-wall ball point point pen bodies, or whittled from styrene tube. Paint it black. Then touch the highlights on using a fine Molotow pen.

            Then again, a guy could just KISS it, by fitting the mesh across the entire opening; and then poking a coupla eyeballs in it, for an equally bitchen' outcome. Simple is good too!

            Good luck!



            • cjperry81
              cjperry81 commented
              Editing a comment
              I’ve been debating on whether I would do the 76 grill or the first gen 70-75 without the cross bar and with rectangular marker lights. Do you have any threads where you have shown this type of work? Or do you know of any YouTube videos that would show a similar process so I could get some visual cues?

          • #12
            When I worked in the west end of Louisville, it was quite common to see our grocery carts in peoples back yards. They were turned on their side and had a fire in grocery area and cooking was done on the exposed top side. When they got too dirty you could just roll it back to the store and take home a new one. The community wondered why big retailers didn't want to invest money in that area of Louisville. When they went to plasticbaskets, the older stainless cars stopped being returned.
            Matt B
            So. In