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Show Car Scale Clay Models

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  • Member since
    December, 2011
Show Car Scale Clay Models
Posted by model make on Saturday, March 25, 2017 3:23 PM

Using General Motors Craftsman Guild Contest as a plan.

Have to do drawings first.

Learning to draw. Finally!

Using Amaco Permoplast clay with Woodland Scenics foam as

armature (space filler).

Switching off between brown and grey clay.

Anybody else doing this?

 

  • Member since
    January, 2015
Posted by PFJN on Sunday, March 26, 2017 12:13 AM

Hi,

Several years ago I bought something called Design Studio Pro from a company called  www.Claymodelers.com.  Basically, it contains a foam armature, card design grade modeling clay, tape and some other tools, and plans for a 1/10 scale car to sculpt out of clay, with the option for doing your own desgin. I never got around to designing my own car, but I am currently doing a kitbash of a plastic model.  When I finish that up I may  to exoeriment with some ideas.  When I get that done I may try and translate that concept into a clay model. 

It looks like the company is still in business and still selling the kit.

Pat

  • Member since
    January, 2015
Posted by PFJN on Sunday, March 26, 2017 1:13 AM

PS. to the above

An initial problem I ran into in trying to do something in clay was "trying to visualize want I wanted to do in 3D".

As such I figured maybe starting with a small scale mockup/kitbash might help me better get a feel for how all the different curves and shapes might all come together.  Another thing that I did to help start out, was to download various sketches and drawings of some cars with features that I liked and load them into Powerpoint, so that I could cut/crop and paste different pieces together to get an overall idea of what I was looking for.

Here are some in-process images of this small scale kitbash using an inexpensive model thar I found at a local hobby store.

Concept & Concept 2 - my initial idea is to try and make a modern car with some of the features from an early 1950's Buick

Concept end views

Original kit

Early top view

Early side view

Later top view

Later side view

Even later top view with potential paint colors

Rear end

Front end

Sweep spear

Lengthening & Lengthening 2

 

  • Member since
    December, 2011
Posted by model make on Sunday, March 26, 2017 11:30 AM

Our project is a body and nosecone for a roadster.

Like the Lindberg Serpent that's coming out.

The problem is if you put independent front suspension

on a Bucket T roadster it doen't look to good.

That forces you to make a nosecone to cover it up.

A glorified radiator and headlight bucket fiberglass piece.

Then you're stuck in that it doesn't match T body.

So time to make a custom T body.

Those are the goals.

  • Member since
    June, 2014
  • From: New Braunfels , Texas
Posted by Tanker - Builder on Sunday, March 26, 2017 12:33 PM

I haven't done this ;

  Well , I have , but it's been over fifty years ago . The Fisher Body Craftsmens Guild required that you build of wood , but they were very happy if you made a clay model first .

     My car was a four door Bubble topped ( normal door openings though ) sedan .So the body final cut was smooth , along the lines of a Fifty - Nine Buick , without the fins , But it all came together nice .

 So I learned about Vacu-forming early , and detailing interiors . No flocking or stuff like that . That clay model lasted about two weeks after my little brother got ahold of it when I went to Basic training .

   Oh Well . The clay was similar to the clay used by potters , and I finished the surface with what they called slip . I just let it air harden over a three week period then sanded it down to the final contours .  T.B.

  • Member since
    December, 2011
Posted by model make on Sunday, March 26, 2017 5:40 PM

Thanks!

Did you sand the clay model or the wood one?

What is slip that you finished clay model with?

We did find out Woodland Scenics foam is styrofoam cooler kind

of foam. You can't sand it to a fine form.

It will work for filler under clay.

  • Member since
    November, 2009
  • From: Twin Cities of Minnesota
Posted by Don Stauffer on Monday, March 27, 2017 9:11 AM

Many of us who entered the old Fisher Body Contest made our cars of wood.  That was one of the options GM suggested.  In those days just at the beginning of the plastic era, those of us who built scale aircraft models were very experienced in wood carving, because kits gave you fuselages machine-carved to profile and planform, and the builder had to carve it to the section shape.

Was crushed when a number of years after the contest my entry was destroyed in a fire at my in-law's house.  That contest was a big thing in the forties and fifties.

 

Don Stauffer in Minnesota

  • Member since
    December, 2011
Posted by model make on Monday, March 27, 2017 10:54 AM

Yes. I think I've seen some of those kits on the net.

That's before my time for sure.

Did have a DKW motorcycle when I was a kid.

The Serpent kit that Lindberg is coming out with is the kind of

car we're going for.

The lost art of the custom grill/headlight piece and a custom body

for the T roadster.

We'll probably have indedendent suspension all the way around

and that ain't easy doing that and geting it too look right.

This ain't no hum drum same old same old project.

Looked up slipcasting on Wikipedia and little hard to follow.

I think it puts a hard shell on clay model.

Will look into it some more.

  • Member since
    June, 2014
  • From: New Braunfels , Texas
Posted by Tanker - Builder on Tuesday, March 28, 2017 9:09 AM

Hi Model Make ;

 "Slipcasting " is a different animal .When you have a hollow mold you pour in the slip .Then you rotate the mold all around to fully coat the interior .Then before it sets , you do it again . Let sit for the required time and open the mold .Clean up the seams and blurbs and then put it in the kiln for the required time .Viola ' You have a vase or whatever .

  • Member since
    December, 2011
Posted by model make on Tuesday, March 28, 2017 5:13 PM

Well. That's a little ways off.

Doing the 'copy this drawing' part of General Motors Craftsman's Guild

booklet.

Mine is the 1954 edition.

Would like to get a 60-63 one.

The styling is just the way I like it in those years.

Next is tracing.

Getting a starter little light box from Walmart.

Later get a Gagne Made in the USA decent size one.

You see leftover new Gagne's selling for @ $49.

Going to trace the right era cars to get into the spirit of the thing.

  • Member since
    June, 2014
  • From: New Braunfels , Texas
Posted by Tanker - Builder on Wednesday, March 29, 2017 11:48 AM

Cool ;

 Keep us posted of course . I still have my  "Porter Made"  Light table and it's 36 " x 48" . Porter made them in the seventies and they were custom made in California .They used  a POST table base . . They were very sturdy and stable . I have NEVER seen one for sale used . Mine uses three Bulbs for lighting and a quarter inch thick Frosted top . The top is tempered glass . T.B.  The nice thing about it is that the light is so diffused you cannot see a definitive light pattern .

  • Member since
    November, 2009
  • From: Twin Cities of Minnesota
Posted by Don Stauffer on Wednesday, March 29, 2017 1:37 PM

If I remember the suggestions GM/Fisher gave, if you did a clay model, they recommended making a set of plaster negative casts from that, putting down a parting agent, glue the casts together to make a negative mold, and make the final model for entry from plaster.

Don Stauffer in Minnesota

  • Member since
    December, 2011
Posted by model make on Wednesday, March 29, 2017 4:44 PM

Here's .pdf of 1951 booklet.

http://chevy.oldcarmanualproject.com/stuff/51dmb/index.html

Yes.Gagne looks like the new Porter made.

Maybe an employee started it or someone just jumped in the void.

That plaster. They made movie sets with it.Might have been different types.

How do you finish plaster after it comes out of the mold.

Woodland scenics has a half dozen kinds of plaster.

Keep in mind I'm plunking along at 'Learn to Draw' stage.

  • Member since
    January, 2015
Posted by PFJN on Wednesday, March 29, 2017 6:18 PM

Hi,

Thanks for the link.  That's exactly the era that I'm most interested in.

Pat

  • Member since
    January, 2015
Posted by PFJN on Wednesday, March 29, 2017 7:05 PM

Hi,

Last nite, while looking for something else, I came across some of my old attempts at making my own automobile design, that I thought I'd pass along here to share lessons learned and stuff.  The 1st image shows the 1/24 scale body I was initially converting, alongside a copy of the 1/24 scale police car model that I had started from.

1st attempt

Additional view

One problem that I ran into, with trying to start in plastic and putty (plus some balsa wood as well) was that it was hard for me to fully visualize how some stuff should come together and it was hard to make changes and/or try out ideas that you didn't fully have planned completely out yet., especially around the front and rear ends of the car  As such, I decided to try some smaller scale clay mockups, as sown below.

Clay models

Additional view

For the larger model I built a rough armature/base for the model out of balsa & bass wood, but unfortunately messed up my dimensioning.  As such, I later started the smaller scale model, by taking a small scale inexpensive diecast sedan apart and pressing "sculpy" type clay into it to make a rough armature that was more closely matched to real car dimensions.  Another mistake I made though, was in using the wrong type clay.  The stuff I used was just some basic modeling clay that I got at a craft store and it was very greasy and not real well suited for this type modeling.  You can kind of see in the image above how one side of te models is discolored from being close to a heat source, which kind of had a negative impact on the clay.

In the next image you can see the smaller clay model turned upside down, showing the red "sculpy" armature (whic I had baked in my oven to harden).  Along side that model is a later balsa wood half model that I tried out for testing different shapes and curves on.

Half model

Finally below you can see an image of my latest attempt along side that snap together Mustang that I am using as a basis.  Here you can see where I hav recently cut the model to lengten its well-base, since I am trying to mock up a 4-door sedan instaed of a two door coupe.

Latest attempt

Overhead view

Side view

Pat

 

  • Member since
    December, 2011
Posted by model make on Thursday, March 30, 2017 12:22 AM

Those all look real good!

How are you getting both sides to come out the same?

Back to drawing for me.

  • Member since
    December, 2011
Posted by model make on Thursday, March 30, 2017 3:26 PM

Ordered this book yesterday.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/272539297544

There are two other books about contest and

there are lots of those available.

Says there's only a couple of these.

I have not seached to see if there's more around.

  • Member since
    January, 2015
Posted by PFJN on Thursday, March 30, 2017 7:46 PM

Hi,

I saw some copies of several of the old Fisher Body Design Guidelines and rules pamplets on eBay as well, but the prices for some of them were fairly high.

Also, I found the old diecast model that I had used to make an armature for one of the small clay models that I posted about the other day.  In the pictures below you can still see traces of some of the red Sculpy that I used on it.

Pat

Diecast Top

Diecast bottom

  • Member since
    January, 2015
Posted by PFJN on Thursday, March 30, 2017 8:19 PM

Hi,

I meant to post something the other day, while discussing clay types but forget.  In the clay modeling kit that I bought, on the DVD they cautioned about using the right type of clay.  I can't remember the type of clay the recommended but they said that it never dries out or goes bad, but that you need to preheat it to use it (I actually bought a toster oven just for that purpose.

Looking around on the internet I see some stuff called Chevant AutoStyle Industrial Modeling clay that looks similar to the packages of clay shown in the manual for the kit I bought.  A google search indicates that this type clay goes for about $21 for a 2lb block, so it doesn't look cheap.  I think that the kit I bought came with maybe 4lbs of the stuff (I think), for doing a 1/10 scale model.

Regards

Pat

  • Member since
    December, 2011
Posted by model make on Thursday, March 30, 2017 8:56 PM

 

Pat

I have three big samples that Chavant sent me.

One is Auto Design and one of the other ones is 525 something.

525 is the original clay used or recommended for GM contest.

Bought Amaco Plastruct clay from Hobbylinc.

Boy was I surprised when it turned out to be dry and hard like Chavant.

How did you get both sides to look the same?

  • Member since
    January, 2015
Posted by PFJN on Thursday, March 30, 2017 9:04 PM

Hi,

I just remebered one last semi-related thing that this thread got me thinking about again.

By training I'm a naval architect & mariine engineer, but I have an interest in all types of engineering, especially in looking at where there could be cross-overs, or in how other related engineering fields handle similar tasks to what I do.  Along these lines I've bought a number of books on both car design and airplane design.

With regards to the clay modeling that is done for cars, I kind of wondered if there might be some applicability to ship design.  Specifically, in the past a hullform shape (or "ship's lines") would be drawn iteratively, plotting contours out in multiple views and checking that the lines were "fair", and slightly tweaking points if they were not.  In doing this it was theorectically possible to also try and take into consideration how the hull would actually be built up by individual plate sections, and try and take into consideration limiting compound curvature in certain places to make it simpler to bend the plate when building the full scale ship.

However, with modern computer tools alot of hullform development is done with 3D computer drafting tools that use fancy mathematical surfaces (like something claaed a Non Uniform Ratioinal B-Spline - or NURBS - surface).  The hard part that I have had with these type computer tools is in trying to envision how that computer model can be broken into the individual plating pieces that will be used to build the full-scale ship, and then feeding back into the computer model things like "if you strighten this section out, you can eliminate compound/complex curvature here" which could make the ship easier and less expensive to build.

The bottom line to all this is that I've kind of wondered if you couldn't take the initial output from the computer program and build a clay (or wax) model of a hull.  Then you could cut out thin plastic sheets representing plating sections to try and "fit" them to the model, and experiment around with either "shaving the clay (or wax) in some areas" or "building the clay (or wax) up in other areas" to make the model better match the contours that the semi-rigid plastic sheets (and hence, hopfully, the full scale steel plates) could easily be bent into.

I even suspect that now with some of the high-tech 3D scanners available it might then be possible to re-enter the shape of the revised model back into the computer in order to recheck how those changes made in the clay mught affect other aspects of the desigm.

Sorry for going off on a tangent, the whole thought of clay modeling has just gotten me thinking about a lot of different things.

Pat

  • Member since
    January, 2015
Posted by PFJN on Thursday, March 30, 2017 9:19 PM

model make

 

Pat

I have three big samples that Chavant sent me.

...

How did you get both sides to look the same?

Hi,

That was kind of hard.  The DVD in the claymodeling kit I bought suggested concetrationg first on one side, and then tracing templates that you could use to try and trace key points to the other side with.

Basically, if I am recalling correctly, you furst start by building each side up as reasonably close as you can get them.

Then, if you have your armature somewhat fixed in place, you can use thin modeling masking tape to mark of key curves and stuff from one side of the model, and then lightly trace that to tracing paper that you can flip over to the other side and using a pin or toothpick poke small holes through the paper and shallowly into the clay.  You can then use some more thin modeling masking tape to trace out that curve and start refining/sculpting the that side to match the other side. 

I also think that it was kind of an iterative process, where you might 1st work on getting the curve to look right in one view (like the side view) and then go and try and match up the shape of that curve in the top view, and then go back to the side again, etc.

I believe that for fine tuning and shaving they recommended using a flat plastic sheet thin enough that you could give a little bit of bend to it.  If you use the same tool and technique on both sides of the car they said you can typically get the fine tuning at the end very close on both sides.

Hope that helps.

Pat

  • Member since
    November, 2009
  • From: Twin Cities of Minnesota
Posted by Don Stauffer on Friday, March 31, 2017 9:15 AM

Plaster can be finished with a couple of coats of primer, then your normal paints and finishing materials.  Because the plaster is a little more porous than plastic or other modeling materials it may take several coats of primer, sanding between coats.

Don Stauffer in Minnesota

  • Member since
    November, 2009
  • From: Twin Cities of Minnesota
Posted by Don Stauffer on Friday, March 31, 2017 9:53 AM

Don Stauffer in Minnesota

  • Member since
    January, 2015
Posted by PFJN on Friday, March 31, 2017 11:14 AM

Thanks for the links.

Pat

  • Member since
    December, 2011
Posted by model make on Friday, March 31, 2017 3:08 PM

 

Here are the books that have been around awhile.

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-fisher-body-craftsmans-guild-john-l-jacobus/1110843801?ean=9780786471614&st=PLA&sid=BNB_DRS_Core+Shopping+Books_00000000&2sid=Google_&sourceId=PLGoP62465

 

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/p/inside-the-fisher-body-craftsmans-guild-john-l-jacobus/1102188565/2684663177811?st=PLA&sid=BNB_DRS_Marketplace+Shopping+greatbookprices_00000000&2sid=Google_&sourceId=PLGoP24104

 

It's the Fisher Body Craftsman's Guild sponsored BY GM.

Not the General Motor's Craftsman's like I've been saying.

Fisher body is a whole story.

It hung on in the Cadillac's up into the 70's.

Car's would have a 'Body by Fisher' plate on the doorsill.

  • Member since
    December, 2011
Posted by model make on Friday, March 31, 2017 3:14 PM

 

Watching 'Neanderthal Man' 50's sci fi movie with cars provided by Nash.

Nash's are also in 'Adventures of Superman'.

Their styling is helping me get into drawing exercises in my

'54 Guild booklet.

Early 50's styling was conservative and stodgy.

Olds, Buick and Pontiac were pretty plain looking.

So were other makes Hudson and Packard.

It was a big deal to have smooth rounded cars instead of

'old fashioned' fendered and separate hood type 40's cars.

So the styles I'm copying make a little more sense now putting

them in perspective.

  • Member since
    January, 2015
Posted by PFJN on Friday, March 31, 2017 8:24 PM

Hi,

Thanks for the links.  I do seem to recall Lois Lane driving a Rambler (I think).

As for early 1950s cars, that's actually my favorute period.  It was just the begining of the chrome-era, and fins or big V-8s hadn't fully taken root, so you kind of had a transitional period, wih low-power/high-torque big iron inline 8's, early/simple torque converter automatics, almost enough room to stand up in the back seat, and no power steering, so that you'd get a really good workout on a drive. Smile

Pat

 

  • Member since
    November, 2009
  • From: Twin Cities of Minnesota
Posted by Don Stauffer on Saturday, April 01, 2017 9:19 AM

The Craftsman's Guild started out with competition to build carriages- horse drawn vehicles.  I think those must have taken a lot more skill and effort than the later future car design models.  I did one of the cars- not sure if I would have taken on a coach project!  It is fantastic to see those old shots of the carriage models, though.  Wow, the craftsmanship is stunning.

 

Don Stauffer in Minnesota

  • Member since
    December, 2011
Posted by model make on Friday, April 21, 2017 3:31 PM

 

Yours truly is the proud owner of one the first automatics.

Borg Warner contracted by Ford and labeled something else.

Back to the actual Fisher Body plan.

Getting tracing paper today.

That will get tracing exercises going in booklet.

Have the engine to go with tranny.

Yes it is a 'torque engine'. Not all that big though.

Am scheming on an IHC 392.

Back to the Fisher Body project.

Have to get grey Amoco Permoplast clay.

That just 'does it for me' somehow.

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