Tiger Shark

Built by: Tory Mucaro

Every December my model car club holds their annual holiday party meeting. At this meeting, we all vote for which model we will build for the following December’s holiday party. Last December the RC2 re-issue of the MPC Tigershark won. So I set about trying to figure out how best to build this kit. The first place I stopped was here on the Guest Gallery to see how others have handled this kit. I found only one built up Tigershark, done by Dave Young. After studying his beautifully built model, I read his description which included reference to having its Hot Wheels counterpart, the Python. A little light bulb went off over my head and it was etched in styrene. I would build a 1/25 scale Hot Wheels Python.

I considered going the dumbed down way with a simplified chassis and engine, but decided to approach it as if it was a real show rod since it could have been the third and final incarnation of the Car Craft Dream Rod. And so, I set about converting a Tigershark into a Python.

First order of business was to locate a big blown engine to replace the small block Ford that comes in the kit. I found the perfect subject in an old MPC War Horse Maverick Funny Car kit a buddy of mine gave me not more than a couple of months ago. It was started and kind of messy, but salvageable. I cut the tranny free of the small block and attached it to the Boss 429 from the War Horse to it. Matched up almost perfectly. Then I glued the hood to the body, and cut a rectangular hole into it to clear the monster engine. I also added some vertical walls to the sides of the opening to finish it off a little cleaner.

The Hot Wheels Python doesn’t have the recessed area on the rear deck for the gas cap, and in my opinion looks better for it. So I filled in the recess with epoxy putty and 3M Blue Acryl glazing putty. Also, for some reason MPC molded a step on the roof to reflect the asymmetrical step on the hood and trunk, although neither the Dream Rod nor the Tigershark had this detail. I guess someone at MPC thought it looked cool…it doesn’t and was filed down and smoothed over to leave a nice flat roof.

In an effort to simplify construction, I eliminated the working steering (Hot Wheels cars don’t steer!) and opening doors. I also had to re-engineer the way the body goes together so I could attach the interior and chassis after painting the body. I cut the front and rear lower body pieces free and attached them to the upper body, and smoothed them in. The middle section was attached to the chassis and was glued to the interior tub once everything was painted. Much better!

Speaking of paint, the body was painted with House of Colors Candy Lime Gold with a touch of Candy Organic Green over House of Colors Silver Base. The black vinyl top is Krylon Semi Flat Black and the window trim is Bare Metal Foil. The interior was painted mostly flat black with Krylon Beige seats and door panels. I created snakeskin decals and applied them as inserts to the seats and doors in keeping with the whole Python theme. The dash and instrument cluster housing were painted same as the body. The instrument panel and top of the tranny hump were painted wood grain using Testors Flat Brown (in the little square jars) and I applied the grain with a dark brown sharpened colored pencil. I then over coated it with Tamiya Transparent Orange to give it that highly varnished veneer look. The engine and chassis were painted gloss black, the inside of the body and outside of the interior tub were painted flat black. The kit wheels and tires were used. The five spoke mags were close enough to Hot Wheels for me, but the tires just had to be red lines. After several attempts at masking them to create the red lines, I finally resorted to hand painting them, very tedious but not impossible.

As a final touch I created a section of 1/25 scale Hot Wheels track to display it on. And that’s about it. All in all a very enjoyable build and the end result is almost exactly how I envisioned it from the outset. I’ve been asked if I was planning on doing all of the original sixteen Hot Wheels in 1/25th scale. Definitely not, but I might be tempted to do one or two more. I guess it all depends on what we vote for at this coming December’s meeting.


Show Rod Rally Home Page | Gallery List