So I've got these two curbside kits (from Aoshima) of the Mitsubishi Delica Star Wagon 4WD Super Exceed. Yes, really. From now on it will simply be the Delica. These are occasionally sighted around Vancouver as a Japanese import with right-hand drive. They are tall, narrow, tippy little things, with lots of room per square foot of roadway occupied; mechanically there is a noisy little 4 cylinder and a jacked-up 4WD chassis. I couldn't resist the opportunity to cut them up and build an 8X8 crew cab with a platform suitable for carrying the Honda S800 racer that I've already got. So fresh off the Jimney, I got out the saw blades.
First, however, I did a little planning using photos and the old-fashioned technique, literally, of cutting and pasting. (You younger folks may want to ask your Dad about 'scissors' and 'Scotch tape'. I believe the modern version is called 'photoshopping').
I came up with two versions: one with a central section from Kit 1, augmented with the ends from Kit 2; this would be about 20' at scale. The second involved splicing in the middle door from Kit 2, which would make 23' total length. I decided on the 20' version as this is plenty for the Honda to park on the rear deck while still allowing a cab of almost 10'. The picture below shows the 20' version done up as a van.
An initial design had two cabs back to back which would have been cute, but perhaps impractical... I eventually decided to go with a classic crew cab shape.
After deciding how to minimise number of cuts while maintaining some reasonable level of dimensional integrity in the various components, initial cutting went well. Here Kit 1 has gotten the chop and the rear body panel has become the cab back wall, while Kit 2 watches nervously from the back.
Next up: slice off the lower section of Kit 2. I followed the upper edge of the side molding as a convenient marker. The 54 tpi blade came in handy as did the jeweller's saw with an 0.008" wire blade.
Taping everything together reveals a few spots where putty will be needed, but overall the mockup looks good. I may hijack the front door panels from Kit 2 and use them for the opposite-side rear doors on Kit 1; the rear passengers will be sitting on a wheel well and will therefore be facing backwards, so the raised window sill will be needed to cover the roll-down window. Overall seating should be 5 people, two in front either side of the engine, and three facing back. There may be room for a couple of forward-facing jump seats, to be determined.
Of course getting chassis and interiors to line up will require some planning; but as it is a curbside, I won't bother with an engine, and the axles may or may not actually be connected to a driveshaft.
Stay tuned for more gory modeling tales. There is something cathartic about slicing stuff up...