Building a Formula One racing car – for the garden

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When John White’s grandson was born, he suddenly realised he had the opportunity to fulfil a boyhood dream: to build a Formula 1 racing car! Or, at least, a model of one. We find out more about the role epoxy resin played in bringing a small version of John’s childhood dream-car to life.

How did you begin building the car?

I started out with a £4 model of an F1 Ferrari that I’d bought. I also had some previous knowledge of boat building, so I knew the first thing I needed to make was the plug, followed by the mould and then the moulding. The plug was made from large lumps of wood which took hours of careful carving, sanding and finishing to achieve a shape I was finally happy with. Once the plug was shaped, I faired it using a mix of WEST SYSTEM® 105/205 epoxy with 410 Filler added to “peanut butter consistency” and then coated with several coats of WEST SYSTEM® 105/205 epoxy mix to seal the wood and achieve a glossy finish.

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I then decided to build the mouldings directly onto the plug and fair the outside of the mouldings to a suitable finish prior to starting the painting – this was mainly done to save time and avoid unnecessary work. Due to the shape of the plug, it was designed so that it could be separated into different sections. I therefore made separate mouldings of the various parts of the plugs, which were then joined together into one final moulding away from the plug. These mouldings were made using WEST SYSTEM® epoxy and WEST SYSTEM Episize™ Glass Fabrics and they were then faired with a mix WEST SYSTEM® 105/205 epoxy and 410 Microlight Filler prior to painting.

How complicated was the build?

Over the course of the project, the building of a scale model Formula 1 Ferrari quickly changed into just making a child’s toy. The design and construction of all of the mechanical parts as well as fitting them into such a small space became more and more complex. A lot of hours were also spent getting the electric motor to run at the right speed, the steering required a reduction system and the driver’s seat had to be moulded just to name a few!

The final result can be seen in the photo below! Although the racing car was a working success, it should have been a lot bigger as this would have created much more space inside the mouldings for all the electrical and mechanical components.

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Many thanks to Richard Mace at Marine & Industrial LLP and Hamish Cook and David Johnson at Wessex Resins & Adhesives Limited, for their technical input and assistance to John White.

To find out more about non-marine applications for WEST SYSTEM epoxy, contact us.

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