Beach Buggy with a few mods

Thanks Peter,
I’m sort of new to the Auto forum too, normally over on the armour forum.

The figures are quite nicely sculpted, especially for 1970s Airfix, but both share a problem which I think is apparent from a lot of the builds of this kit. Both have their heads tilted back so that they look like they’re staring up into the sky, particularly the woman, who as a result looks like she’s a bit out of it.

I did the same with the woman’s head as with the legs, drilling into the back of the neck and tilting the head forward, then inserting styrene wedges into the holes to maintain the shape. To cover up the work I added more hair using MagicSculp. I decided to also give her a sarong, so she’s not just in her bikini, and found this photo for reference.

He was simpler because he has shorter hair and a neck scarf, so I removed the head completely and tilted it down and turned it to the left. He also got longer hair.

Test fitting to ensure that she remains seated but with her feet on the ground.


Mathew, The sarong addition is simply brilliant! Exceptional work all-round!

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Well, more than just tolerable, this thread is wonderful so far Matthew! Great detailing and mods on the buggy, and truly amazing work on the figures to get them into a more realistic pose. And then adding features and clothing!

Thanks for sharing your thoughts and so much detail on your processes, Love it!!

Cheers, D

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Thanks guys, thanks for the nice feedback.

With her arms moulded in place, she’s pretty much set in place, gripping the edges of her seat, but his separate arms are easier to change into something other than lightly touching the steering wheel.

This took a lot of fiddling to get the seat the right height and him low enough in relation to the bodywork. Material was shaved off the bottom of the seat, some more off the seat cushion and his backside, and then about 1.5mm was added by cementing two strips around the bottom of the body work to raise it off the floor pan a little.

The top of the arm was reshaped a bit then holes drilled to take plastic rod to keep it at the right angle.
This is checking his arm pose looks natural by superimposing him over a photo of me.

Here he is bluetacked into the seat with his arm taped in position while the glue sets.

One that was set (everything takes 24 hours these days…) I was going to just pivot the other arm and set the angle later:

But the angle of the hand was also wrong, so his lower arm was also severed:

To get the pose right a brass rod was inserted as the steering column, right through to the steering rack.

Also visible in the photo is some of the interior details and more treadplate in the luggage bay.

I missed taking photos at this point, but with the steering column the right length, the driver in place (lots of bluetack), and the end of the steering wheel drilled out, I was able to cement his arm and hand in the correct position. After another 24 hours small cuts were made in his knuckles so that his fingers could be bent around the wheel, and some time later the knuckle cuts were filled with Mr Dissolved Putty.

Then I thought it would be a bit more normal if he was wearing a T shirt instead of that waistcoat, so that was added with MagicSculp. His long scarf / cravat was shortened into something more like a snood. Here they both are under grey primer:


Very nice sculpting, on the two figures. Love it.


The figures look great.

Have you thought about also posting them in the figure campaign?


Thanks for the feedback. :+1:
Having sort of updated things with the figures, making them a bit less retro - well, he does have a moustache, which is unusual these days, really should have turned it into a beard - I thought I should update the safety features a bit. The old Bugle buggy had a single roll bar behind the passengers’ heads, but nothing in front, and it makes it look a bit rear / top heavy in my view. Although they look cool with nothing at all, it does look dangerous - this photo of Steve McQueen and Faye Dunaway in “The Thomas Crown Affair” kind of gives me the heebygeebies. If you zoom in you can see she’s screaming…

So using this kind of thing as a model…
and after a lot of experimenting and bluetack, I managed to get something that fits into place. I epoxied small sections of brass tube into the body work to provide a secure anchor for the thinner rods of the roll cage. This made it much easier to fit it in place accurately. The cage is made from both tube and rod. The tubing is easier to bend, and I inserted plastic rod inside the tubes to prevent any kinking at the bends.

I then went ahead and primed the buggy parts.


Excellent fabrication job on that roll cage.


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I’m with Joel, lovely work on the roll cage. Getting that sorted and everything in primer is a big step forward!

Cheers, D

Oh ho ho man!! This is so frickin’ cool. Watching this one come to life.

Figures and the Buggy are looking mighty good.

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Thanks again for the positive comments.
I was looking for a sparkly green or turquoise finish on the bodywork, and came across “The Shifters” range from Vallejo, which I hadn’t seen before, so gave it a go.

As with other metallic paints it’s recommended to use a black base coat, and the paint is almost clear at first, and has to be built up. This does make the finish quite dark looking, even after enough coats to get the full colour. As you can see, this paint reflects different colours depending on the lighting.

Added some different shades of black and grey to the chassis, and painted some engine details.

The start of colours on the figures. She is definitely looking too purple here:

The colour wheel dictates that yellow will have to be used to move to a more reasonable skin tone. Thought I’d better collect a few reference photos for what I’m aiming for… clearly I won’t manage to reproduce this look, but it should help. :face_with_hand_over_mouth:


Great color choice for the Beach Buggy. And your application of the paint is perfect.

Looking forward to seeing how your tone corrections to the figures work out. Believe me I know just how hard it is as the few figures I’ve attempted over the years were complete and utter failures in every sense of the word.



That roll cage looks pretty amazing. “The Shifters” green/turquoise is a great choice of color

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Thank you for the nice feedback, trying to keep things going without dropping the ball… bound to happen somewhere along the line, usually does.

I guess a shortcoming of kits this age, certainly Airfix, is treadless tyres, though on the Porsche 917 slicks were probably acceptable. I had a try out with some beautiful looking Scalextric rubber tyres, but couldn’t get them to fit the wheels well. Ironic in a way as Airfix and Scalextric are both owned by Hornby. Went for just painting on basic tread as better than nothing.

This is the figures after quite a bit of painting, I guess more than half-way done, as I’ve already added the pattern to the sarong, given his t-shirt a second coat of black, and also finished his hair. Weirdly I though his blonde hair would be harder, but somehow her dark hair is harder to get right, as are her eyebrows which are driving me slightly mad. They are too heavy and the wrong shape, adding to what my brother cruelly described as the cross dressing Neanderthal look :sleepy: but it’s hard to fix without undoing some of the other work. She is still a bit purple…

The 917 wheels come with a single big quick release nut for pitstop changes, so I added five (Grandt Line) bolts to each, and filled the centre hole with big inverted Aber screws.

This is them mostly painted, although I have then fiddled several times with the finish.


Great work. Love what you’ve done with the wheels and tires. Your idea of painting the threads works very well.

Love the figures. The man’s face looks quite pale, almost greyish; could be the light though.

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I wouldn’t have thought about painting on the tread pattern but your results look great, and will certainly fool most lookers.


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A bit more paint on the figures. Almost finished, though the eyebrows are still bothering me, and I’m thinking of resculpting her hair as her head looks too big…

Obtained some Alclad II for the first time and coated the roll cage. Interesting experience - a bit easier and more forgiving than I thought.

Normal metallic paint with a bit of Alclad over spray on the floor, then a try out to see if the wheels make decent contact and still fit correctly.

A couple of ebay purchases arrived. Modern style number plates, and dashboard decals. Number plates are printed self adhesive vinyl, which I’ve trimmed and stuck on to brass sheet.


This is moving along very nicely Matt!
A quick word of advice on the Alclad, try to avoid handling the build using the roll bars now, it can be quite fragile and rub off with your fingers. Alternatively, give it a water-based clear coat like Alclad Aqua Gloss which won’t affect the finish and protect it from damage.
I like the Alclad metallic range. It’s a very nice product to use and I love the finish, but handle with care!

Cheers, D

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The figures look fine

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