Steering wheel, Headrest, Seat
Before I finish off the project with the wheels and tires, some final cockpit details had to be built. First: the steering wheel. I tried to start with a rough approximate of the 3D shape, formed with layers of 1mm thick cardboard. It also includes a hole where the hollow axle will be attached.
I then covered the basic shape with carbon and made the axle with its gear shifters.
Mounting it, however, was postponed for later as I needed to be able to glue all the details first. Luckily, I found an accurate 3D model of the steering wheel which helped immensely with deciding exactly which knobs to feature, how to simplify them where necessary and what to leave out in a bid to increase build quality. After some fiddling on Adobe Illustrator and a very high-quality printer which rendered even 1mm diameter circles with text inside, I mounted the display and knobs pretending to be a watchmaker.
Here’s the result, once in my hand, once next to a 1Euro coin for size reference.
I didn’t take enough photos of the headrest, but there weren’t many details that are worth mentioning. Once the main frame was ready, I covered it in red with a single seamless piece which I then sanded with several grades of sandpaper, experimenting with the surface quality. I discovered that a lovely gloss is achievable if you sand once after the first layers of acrylic varnish. However, this has to be done with utmost care as damaging the top layer of the cardboard (the epidermis ) can lead to a less smooth result.
The final component of the whole car came to be the seat. As is with all internal components, unsurprisingly few photographs are available. So I had to build using mostly “common” knowledge, basing the shape on a Scarbs’ drawing. As the seat is a complexly curved object, I decided to use a “mold” to define the geometric boundaries. Using simple 2D shapes, this is what it looked like (it is no more ):
I then used one main piece of black card with many vertical slots on its sidewalls to form the seat itself. I then reinforced said sides with further material and sanded the edges, fitting it every now and again to the jig to ensure fit.
Carbon fibre coating came next. Nothing too different here; probably just the fact that coating convex shapes is slightly trickier that concave ones: the glue I use for large surfaces, Moment Kraftkleber, does exactly what it says on the tin: it sticks instantly, which means once the two parts come into contact anywhere, their relative position can’t be changed anymore. This makes alignment tricky. Some aluminum foil and varnish coats later:
Finally, the seat belt system. Contrary to expectation, this was great fun to do. Here’s all the buckles:
I put them together using some old red fabric. The way the “seams” turned out (just using a black thin marker) is so cool. Then I just put everything together.
Now, brace yourselves: this was the final construction report! I will skip the wheels and tires and treat you to the finished car already. The build was finished on the 21. of January, after almost 3 years, and I can’t wait to share the result and some concluding thoughts with you. So stay tuned, the launch is scheduled for Sunday, the 10th of February! Until then!