Thursday, October 8, 2009

Two Minutes to Midnight

Hey guys! So it's been about a month since we've really shown you any progress on the bus. What can I say? It's been a busy month. We've raced it and did pretty well, but for now let's go back to where we left off and show how we completed the body.

Our back wheels are bare and need a home. Luke begins marking his foam core to make a skeleton for the fender molds.

The fender has too look good, so he smooths out the curves on fender ribs.

Luke makes small cuts for the ribs to slide into.

And now it starts to make sense as a mold. Or to look like the beginnings of a kick-ass fan.

We've split up for the moment and are each focusing on different parts of the build. For example, Sean is about the cut out the old brake, which was damaged when we tested it at 30mph. The support was too thin and bent under all the power. It seems Sean thinks the best way to beef it up is to look like an over-protected nerd. HAHA! nice face-guard, loser! What could you possibly need that much protection for?

Oh.. yeah, that'll do it.

Christine has bondo-filled a lot of the large imperfections in body surface and is ready to start sanding. Look at that go-getter stance. I bet she'll be done by lunch with time to spare!

Well, she'll probably be done by dinnertime at least.

Ok. Maybe breakfast is a better goal. Delicious breakfast.

While Christine gets hungry, our extra team member, Guy, does his usual badass thing... Ok, so he's not on our team, but TechShop is pretty awesome, isn't it?

After a hearty breakfast, it's time to fill out the fender mold too.

Then sand and coat it.

Glass it.

Let it cure overnight.

Then, when it least expects it, rip its guts out.

The mold release and latex primer make this a much easier job.

Brand new fenders, comin' up!

We cut holes in the body to fit the fender and see how they rest relative to the wheels. We'd naturally done a lot of test measuring before cutting.

I'm just testing out the rock before we attach the fenders. It seems to be working.

Get all the pieces lined up and squared off.


Aww yeah.

Andrew cuts out the mouth shape because we don't need that buck-toothed piece in the front for support anymore.

But once the bus took on its final shape, it came to life.

And devoured its first victim. Poor Luke.

So we slayed the beast to save him.

Then we went back to more sanding because paint is coming soon.

To paint, we had to build our own spray room. Tech shop has a powder coating room, but it we didn't want to monopolize it and it wasn't big enough for us to comfortably spray in every direction anyway.

Pro lighting.

Some sort of voodoo is going on behind those curtains.

And the bus comes out primed.

Then we paint the whole body a base coat of black and mask off the windows.

Followed by a metallic coat of blood red.

Pulling back the masking reveals the windows.

While that was happening, we dyed our front tires, because we were tired of them being gray.

Christine works on our vinyl stencils. She's really meticulous. So is the computer that cut the shapes for her.

With the stencils on transfer paper, they are ready to be put on the bus...

...which let us achieve this sick paint job (along with an automotive clear coat)

After the paint dries, we pack it up for transport. We still have more work to do: the bus needs all its chrome parts and cosmetic engine attached. Chrome will be the next post. It will be soon, I promise.

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