Hello again everybody! After a long absence, I’m back with a new project, and sincerely hope the wait has been worth it. So without further ado, let’s plunge into the build of the Ferrari SF15-T of 2015.
Let us talk about the drawings and collection of information first, as this is a step hugely underestimated in my previous reports. Firstly, I scanned the whole topic on F1T for useful photos and collected them in a folder. Then, I searched specifically for any components not present in my collection. As soon as I’d acquired a good overall impression of the car, I made a side and top view of the whole car. This involved a long search for dimensions, partly in the regulations and also trying to measure them off photos (several of the same thing, shot from different angles, perspective taken into account as accurately as possible). It served as a guide for these more detailed monocoque drawings:
With these drawings, I could proceed to production. My aim was to work very cleanly and neatly. 1:10 is new territory for me, but it turned out to be very pleasant. The first few pics show the basic structure of the monocoque. Something I had to adapt to was the different behavior of cardboard thickness in relation to its size compared to 1:18. It is less stiff (needs more layers), but allows for much more precise sculpting. It’s just like the process of building a carbon fibre road bike – apply material where needed. The front bulkhead, for example, is made up of three layers of cardboard. This layup also ensures much higher stiffness, as glue soaks into the paper fibres and solidifies them.
Once the basic shape was complete, I worked on the internals, which honestly was a real pain in the ass. NO specific info is to be found about pedals, steering etc, so it was more or less guesswork. Nevertheless, I gave it my best. First came the dampers, rockers, and anti-rollbar.
I’m particularly proud of the steering column. I included realistic universal joints, and in addition, the spot where the steering wheel will later be attached came out nicely (the “V” under the windshield).
The pedals were even more difficult to figure out, this is what I came up with:
With these bits installed, I could glue the top and bottom half of the monocoque. Here, I used reinforcement angled pieces which I could cut to form a nice fillet. It then got covered with a thin sheet of paper and sanded for a smoother surface and additional stiffness.
Next, I started working on the outside. I applied the basic red cover – a time-consuming process. It had to consist of one piece only which conforms to curves in different planes. This means that I had to introduce slices which allowed bending but were as unnoticeable as possible. A measure I only reluctantly took, but it couldn’t be avoided. I also added carbon fibre texture and the characteristic white line.
The covering continued around the cockpit opening. Here, the shape defining process was even more complex. Several attempts were made until I arrived at the correct shape, and even then, I had to sand and thin the paper in specific regions so that in the end it sit where it should.
The next step was adding the sidepods’ holders and their cooling gills, as well as the radiator bases with their special cooling winglets. The leading edges turned out neat, and to my satisfaction got firmly glued to the chassis. As for the winglets, Ferrari ran radiators which were relatively flat, so they serve the purpose of sending air up for more efficient cooling.
This step also involved the application of the heat shielding on the sides and back wall of the cockpit, as well as the holes for the engine. Here, I consulted my front view drawing and made an engine positioning jig to make sure the actual one will later fit properly.
Some small but really satisfying details followed – the rear view mirrors and the fins situated right behind them. Gently bending and sculpting the cardboard, adding screws and sanding to achieve smooth curvatures was enjoyable.
The air box was the final component in this area. Note the additional slot under the big air inlet. This piece is characterized by a complex, two axis curvature.
I later added the transponders and TV cameras. Especially the one on the right-hand side turned out nicely, with a beautiful fillet. It also surprised me how stiff the bond is, even though there are no reinforcing elements supporting it.
The closing stages of this report include the cockpit’s internal walls, with some logos and the ignition/switch box. Also, on the top surface: the pitot tubes, suspension adjustment panel, the windshield. Not much to say about them really.
Moving further forward, the turning vanes. I built the USA spec ones (with three elements). I chose to omit the “bat” wing and apply no carbon fibre here to achieve cleanness. The result was smooth and I liked it.
And finally, the front bulkhead details. Pics of them were scarce, but I managed an acceptable level of detail. From top to bottom, respectively: steering rod holder (joint with the top wishbone’s front leg), some kind of control box?, brake fluid reservoirs, electrical connectors (these were tiny, but great fun to glue together), lower wishbone supports and right at the bottom, nose supports. The curved piece on top of them all is a cover, I guess. It looks quite the part
I then sanded all surfaces using my new homemade sanding kit, featuring sandpapers ranging from P400 to P2000. I also made some useful “files”. The decals were pretty easy to find and as usual, I reworked them with Adobe Illustrator. I glued them in place and covered everything with two coats of water-based Marabu varnish. On the following day, I applied further two coats of an oil-based one to achieve a glossy finish.
Just enjoy the glossiness
That’s pretty much it for now. 1:10 is taking much more time than 1:18, but I think it’s worth the patience (420 pieces on the table, or about 40 hours of work). I hope you enjoyed this report. Comments and suggestions are very welcome! And for more, please visit my website