Author Topic: Best Of Making N scale bumper cars (dodgems)  (Read 7511 times)

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peteski

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Making N scale bumper cars (dodgems)
« on: January 21, 2013, 04:17:01 AM »
+2
With all the non-modeling related postings on TRW (I am partially to blame here too), I decided to post what I've been working on since last weekend.  In my collaboration with Roland Kelley on his carnival extension N-Trak module, I needed to find some bumper cars. Since nobody makes these in N scale, I had to scratch-build them.  Here is a quick write-up of how I did it.


I first gathered some photos of bumper cars. I then got some rough dimensions.  These are the prototype on which I loosely based my model.

Since I needed a bunch of them, I had to make a master pattern and cast them out of urethane resin.


I started with a piece of acrylic (Plexiglas) which I cut to the scale length and width of the car.  The scribed mark denotes how high the car needs to be.


Next ,using a saw, files, and dental grinding bits in a Dremel tool, I removed all the material which was not the bumper car's body.  :D  I then scribed the front grille and a trim line around the body.  Then I polished the body using an 4-grit fingernail polishing stick.


Here is the obligatory coin photo for size reference.
The steps which I didn't photograph (I should have) were milling machine operations: Using a 0.025" mill bit I made a hole for the electric pickup pole in the rear and holes for 0.025" styrene rod I would use for the headlight pods.  Then I glued in the styrene rod and trimmed it  to represent the headlight pods.  I then separated the car body from the rest of the acrylic piece.


Then, using a piece of 0.032" acrylic sheet, I made the "rubber bumper" base for the car.


Base glued to the car body (using a methylene chloride based liquid cement).


I then glued the master pattern to a flat acrylic base.


Using masking tape, I created a dam to hold the RTV rubber and ...

]
...poured the liquid rubber into the cavity.  Once the rubber hardens, I remove the tape and pull the rubber mold off the master.


Here is the first molding popped out of the mold.


I photoetched the steering wheels.  Then I soldered them to a steering column made from a 0.010" brass rod.


Steering wheels ready to be painted black.


A finished bumper car.  The body and the bumper areas were airbrushed with Scalecoat II paint and the seat and grille/headlights were brush painted (under a microscope).


Here is a couple on a Nickel ....


And a whole gaggle of finished models.  :)  Before you ask, yes, I had to cut off the feet of the figures before I plopped them in the cars.  :facepalm:

I'll try a 2-tone paint job on the next batch I'll make. I am totally nuts for making them this detailed, since they will be placed  inside a covered arena, viewed from about 2 feet.  But I just couldn't help myself...
« Last Edit: August 23, 2017, 09:29:47 PM by peteski »
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Zox

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Re: Making N scale bumper cars (dodgems)
« Reply #1 on: January 21, 2013, 06:13:45 AM »
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That's some pretty fine work there, in terms of size and quality. Nicely done!

What did you use to scribe the plexiglass? It's a pretty hard material, yet you created some good, solid grooves--that's difficult to do with multiple knife passes without the knife skittering off-course, but they look too narrow to have been done with a rotary tool.
Rob M., a.k.a. Zox
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RAILCAT

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Re: Making N scale bumper cars (dodgems)
« Reply #2 on: January 21, 2013, 06:23:46 AM »
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Excellent, now make them move  :)

John

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Re: Making N scale bumper cars (dodgems)
« Reply #3 on: January 21, 2013, 06:59:25 AM »
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FAWESOME ...

pedro

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Re: Making N scale bumper cars (dodgems)
« Reply #4 on: January 21, 2013, 07:19:53 AM »
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Excellent, now make them move  :)

I'm thinking the "electric football" game method. It might actually work if you could scale the effect down...

daniel_leavitt2000

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Re: Making N scale bumper cars (dodgems)
« Reply #5 on: January 21, 2013, 07:30:41 AM »
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I cell phone motor should be sufficient for that.
'In my great and unmatched wisdom'

Kev1340

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Re: Making N scale bumper cars (dodgems)
« Reply #6 on: January 21, 2013, 07:37:47 AM »
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Very nice work indeed Peteski  8)

Cheers,

Kev

GimpLizard

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Re: Making N scale bumper cars (dodgems)
« Reply #7 on: January 21, 2013, 07:54:43 AM »
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WOW!!, Simply WOW!!

Amusement rides are not my cup-of-tea, but I am amazed at the contours, and smoothness, of the body. I might be able to get one side to look... not so bad. But to get the other side to match, would be impossible. How did you manage to pull it off so perfectly, Peteski?

bc6

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Re: Making N scale bumper cars (dodgems)
« Reply #8 on: January 21, 2013, 08:25:46 AM »
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At first I thought you were talking about a British term for something like wagon = boxcar. But now that I seen it with my own eyes very cool, I'd like to see the entire scene when you're finished.

PJPickard

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Re: Making N scale bumper cars (dodgems)
« Reply #9 on: January 21, 2013, 08:31:32 AM »
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These are just great, excellent SBS too, thanks!

conrail98

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Re: Making N scale bumper cars (dodgems)
« Reply #10 on: January 21, 2013, 08:45:40 AM »
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FAWESOME ...

+1

Simply superb,

Phil
- Phil

up1950s

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Re: Making N scale bumper cars (dodgems)
« Reply #11 on: January 21, 2013, 10:30:02 AM »
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Gee wizz those came out great .

 What mill do you have ?
 Are you going to arrange for FUD clones sans the wheel , rider , and wire ?
 Would those be shipped on a flat or gon unboxed ?

Ed Kapuscinski

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Re: Making N scale bumper cars (dodgems)
« Reply #12 on: January 21, 2013, 10:32:40 AM »
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Whoa, those are awesome!

I love how nice that original master looks too. Quite impressive freehand work there Pete.

dnhouston

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Re: Making N scale bumper cars (dodgems)
« Reply #13 on: January 21, 2013, 10:37:33 AM »
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David

jereising

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Re: Making N scale bumper cars (dodgems)
« Reply #14 on: January 21, 2013, 10:45:48 AM »
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Absolutely incredible!  Still trying to get my lower jaw off the desktop!  You're making the rest of us look like rank amateurs.  I can't begin to think of the time you had to spend on this.   Wow.  Just Wow!
Jim Reising
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