After a substantial period of stagnation, I finally gathered some motivation to go on with my project. The area of the car that had to be dealt with was the suspension. Basically, the general technique remains largely the same as in previous projects. This time, however, the scale gave me the benefit of being able to more precisely replicating the shapes of the wishbones themselves. I could decide, in every single case, weather it is more suitable to use tubes or 2D planks. In both scenarios, though, a metal rod runs through the whole wishbone and at the same times serves as a connector to the chassis. One significant improvement over previous cars was that I managed to build the parts relatively accurately and selected the distance between the two ends of each wishbone to be slightly longer than the corresponding mounting points on the chassis. Thus, I could mount them by gently stretching them and they held themselves in place by slight internal stress. The other benefit of the scale was the fact I could easily wrap the wishbones in carbon, which worked very well on the front and a bit less elegantly on the back.
Of course, as in every component, the initial drawing was critical. To make sure everything would fit together later on, I built a jig that visualizes the axle position and ride height (front and rear). Luckily, suspension pictures are readily available, so this was not that much of a challenge. The more difficult area was of course the rear suspension, but I’ll come to that in a minute and you’ll see why in the pictures.
The front suspension was mostly a joy to build. As the wishbones are pretty airfoil-shaped, so I chose to use flat pieces of my second-thickest cardboard (~0,5mm) and then sanded them to shape. Laying the carbon fibre on top of that was easy.
Another major improvement are the uprights. Now, I integrated the axle holders. The wishbones attach with a press-fit and the whole assembly remains comparatively compact, so that room remains for the brakes etc. This solution is sufficiently stiff.
The front brake ducts worked out wonderfully. Sculpting the air inlets and their curvature was enjoyable. A nice detail is that they actually transfer air towards the axle, so if you blow them from the front, you can feel the outward flow.
And another detail about the process: I love building while talking to friends on messenger
Finally, I assembled the wishbones, pullrods, brake ducts and uprights.
Next, I moved to the rear counterpart of that assembly, leaving the brake system for later.
The process here is pretty much analogous. The differences are that the wishbones are slenderer, which poses a challenge to the carbon coating. Also, there are a lot more components in a tighter area: apart from the wishbones and pullrod, there’s also the track rod and the drive shaft, all of which have to fit through the rearmost extension of the bodywork. So here’s what the uprights, wishbones and rear brake ducts look like:
Before I could move on and install all of these parts, I had to build the bodywork area mentioned earlier. This was as much fun as it was a challenge, as is with every piece which is characterized by a complex, multidirectional curvature. I had to cut out several prototypes before I arrived at the final shape.
Now, recreating such a curvature means introducing a slot somewhere in the paper blank to enable it to approximately bend in more than one plane. The challenge is to do that in such a way that the slot is hidden in the final product. A trick I use is to look at the decals and try to slot the paper below one of the sponsor logos/transitions, so it gets covered. This time, the transition between the red section and the carbon fibre underside was the perfect spot. Some sanding was required, and after I added the decals and treated the bodywork with my two varnishes, that was the result:
Only then was I able to fit everything together. This was significantly trickier than the front suspension, as most components were overconstrained, having to fit both through the (narrow) bodywork opening and to the gearbox casing mounting points while still remaining properly oriented.
Next, I moved on to the brakes/brake covers. I paid more attention to the front brakes, as their covers are less enclosed and allow more of a view of the finished assembly. As far as detailing is concerned, I built the discs, calipers, mounting support, wheel axle, nut and wheel mounting points. Some internals such as brake fluid pipes, electrical components or exact turning mechanisms are missing, because I really lacked the patience to build something so tiny that would not be visible once the car was completed.
The whole assembly was covered with the drums, one relatively simple component with cooling slots and a diameter of 33mm. And the front suspension was complete.
A very similar procedure followed for the rear brakes, their calipers are just a bit less detailed. Also, note how the rear axles are not hollow (blown) – they end with a sharp cone.
The rear drums are more enclosed. I had to build them from 4 pieces: the main drum cylinder, then a transition cone, then a ring , and finally, another cone facing inwards. In reality, all of this is a continuous rotational piece, but that would be near impossible to make at that scale.
Sadly, a picture of the carbon-covered result at that stage is not available (i.e. I forgot), so check it out in the next reports.
That's it for now, tune in next friday, when the next report will be published
Thanks for watching