1984 XR3i Caspian Blue

Recreating my own car in 4mm

Visitors to my blog that know me personally will already know that my other passion is 80’s Fords, and that I own a 1984 Escort XR3i in Caspian Blue and a 1990 Fiesta XR2i.

Oxford Diecast have made the Mk3 XR3i in Red, Black, White and Silver to date so I thought I’d have a go at creating my car and adding some details that they missed in their production.

Probably the most obvious detail they’ve missed is the wing mirrors. I’ve created my own using Evergreen strip, cut to size and filed to shape, and located them in position by drilling a hole in the door sides.

Before fitting the wing mirrors, I stripped the factory paint by soaking it for a couple of hours in brake fluid and once washed and dried I coated the car body in white primer.

Paint stripped from Oxford Diecast XR3i

Diecast car painted in White Primer

The next thing was to mix some paint which would closely match Ford Caspian Blue and for this I mixed Humbrol numbers 52 and 27002.

Painted 1:76 Scale Mk3 Escort XR3i

After leaving to dry over night, I put the car back together just to see what it looked like. I was pleased with how it was taking shape so moved onto adding a few more details, especially to the interior. The inside of the car looked too plastic with it being black all over.

With the interior removed I sprayed it all over with white primer and once dry, I set to painting the interior details. The dash on the Mk3 Escort is a grey/brown colour and Railfreight Grey proved ideal.  The rear parcel shelf and seats were painted the same with the seat bolsters requiring a darker shade, in this case I used Roof Dirt.

Model XR3i Interior

Another thing that needed some adjustment was the size of the tyres and this is usually fairly normal for most Oxford Diecast cars. The axles were removed from the chassis and the profile of the tyres reduced by spinning the tyre on the axle in the mini drill. You do need to be carful not to generate too much heat in the tyre, so do it in short bursts!

The exhaust on the Oxford model is also missing. I’ve used a small round file to allow the tail pipe to be recessed into the rear valance. I used a 0.5mm brass tube located onto the valance with a small amount of super glue. The tail pipe was then painted chrome.

Last but not least was to paint the lights and indicators etc.

One final thing was the height of the suspension, it doesn’t look low enough for ‘hot hatch’. So the chassis was modified with a small file to raise the height of the axles.

At this point I thought it was a little ‘overkill’ for a car that’s going to play a relatively small part in the bigger picture, but overall I’m pretty pleased…

Finished Scale Model XR3i


5 thoughts on “Recreating my own car in 4mm”

    1. His name is Clyde because I had to go all the way to Scotland to find a good one. I think he'll be parked in the station car park as that's the end of the layout I'm building first.

  1. Doesn't seem like too much work to me – One of my pet hates is collections of untouched diecasts littering model railway layouts. A few really good vehicles really make a model.

    Of course, when the car means something special as well then it's a fun project and this is all meant to be fun isn't it. Once I've finished all the VeeDubs, there is a Ford Cortina GXL to go metalic green and a Mk1 Fiesta dull grey. Now, who does a Talbot Sunbeam from the 1980s…

  2. What a lovely piece of work!

    Definitely not overkill – it's nice to see this standard of work applied to road vehicles. All too often are decent layouts ruined by untouched die-casts placed straight from their boxes.

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