time for a ride
In the 1995 Disney Pixar CGI-animated movie Toy Story, thereís a scene where the lead characters stow away on a pizza delivery truck for a restaurant called Pizza Planet, and a wild ride it is, the driver disregarding traffic laws and physics! I fell in love with that truck and immediately made up my mind to model it someday.
With that in mind, I pulled out this Monogram Snap-Tite kit (#1012) that was built sometime in the early 1980ís, and I carefully broke it down back into pieces.
Compared to the movie truck, the kit body sits too low, and the bed is too long. Not to mention, this is a late 70ís Toyota Hilux, and the "1978 Gyoza" of the Toy Story trilogy is a slightly newer, rounder body style, with different headlights and taillights. The most notable change will be adding a topper, custom decals, and of course the rocket sign on the cab roof.
I found a variety of screen shots on the internet, to make the signage for the doors and roof. It seems several people have tried this project already, since the time of the original movie (and hidden in all except one Pixar movie to date), and their searches and efforts are out there to see too.
My original strategy was to keep the one-piece body and fabricate a new chassis from styrene strip-- no real effort, since I didnít intend for viewers to look at the bottom, but good enough to keep the body off the ground. (So far no movies have shown the bottom of the truck!) I figured that once I shortened the truck bed, I'd know the dimensions of the frame and go from there, but after test-fitting and comparing and scratching my head, I realized shortening the kit chassis pan and putting in some spacers to raise the body did the job with the optimum effort.
I dug up wheels of a good size from my parts bin. I vaguely remember they had originally been the "stock option" wheels from an old 1/25 scale MPC Chevette kit.
The rear bumper was a decent match, but the front bumper and grill had to be custom built to match the movie stills.
The front end of the Toyota model needed several modifications to match Pixar's generic Gyoza truck, which has more of a newer Toyota Hi-Lux front end, mixed with Nissan or Mazda maybe. Mine has little detail, as I think the movie truck was supposed to have a missing or darkened chrome grill, which I simply painted a dark gray. I filed and sanded the sharp edges off the body, taking care to sand off the taillight detail and using a chisel blade to remove the incorrect side lights.
I boxed out the engine compartment (so daylight didn't shine through!) and removed the tabs front and back that had originally held the chassis to the body, shortened the body, filled the seams, and sanded.
There were no real modifications to the interior tub, except to add a prominent shifter (from another hilarious scene in Toy Story 2, where the toys are driving it as a team.) I painted it a medium brown, with black and silver highlights on the pedals, knobs, and gauges.
On the underside I painted black primer, then dusted on a red-brown primer, and finally dry-brushed rust on the exhaust components. Also note that I replaced a broken axle pin with sprue.
With the basic truck kit together, next was to add the new details-- topper, mirrors, door handles, lug nuts and hubs, gas filler door, and of course that nifty Pizza Planet rocketship sign. Paint, rust, and dirt strategies were always floating around in the back of my head during construction.
Since the chrome hubcaps on my donor wheels wouldn't do for my rusty pickup, it was necessary to scratch together some detail. The wheel center is just styrene sheet. The hub is cut sprue, and the lug nuts are small slices of stretched sprue.
Next came the cap for the back. Here I used my thickest styrene, so I had enough material to round off the edges later on. I formed up the cap/topper from styrene shapes and fitted it to the truck bed. Here I've begun sanding, slowly and methodically, to the final shape.