[Free Model #3] Tucker Sno-cat build

Discussion in 'Everything else' started by outersketcher, May 1, 2008.

  1. outersketcher

    outersketcher Illustrator, Tinker

    thanks logicman for the tip.... yeah, I think it would've gone easier for me had I folded them all first.

  2. logicman

    logicman Greybeard

    That last photo looks great, David.

    It inspires me - as if I don't have enough projects going -
    to make one and convert it to a railbus. The body shape is exactly right.

    What do you think?

  3. Art Decko

    Art Decko Member

    Hey, the Sno-cat is looking great! Nice recovery from the mis-step! Looks like theose compound curves came out very well. I think you are right about the small details, they have an impact disproportionate to their size.
  4. Gearz

    Gearz Member

    Excellent!! :yep::thumb:
  5. outersketcher

    outersketcher Illustrator, Tinker

    I picked up the cutting mat at an art supply store. Not a craft shop. They also have a translucent, milky white colored mat for use over a light table.... Bought one of those too. I love the light table mat.

    I've use both the green, the black, the blue and the translucent mats and find them all adequate. Black just looks cool. : )

    If by chance, you might be wondering what a "light table" is... well, it's usually a portable flat rectangular box; anywhere from 2" to 5" in height, with a piece of translucent white plexiglass plastic or frosted glass screwed onto the top. Florescent lights inside.

    It's relatively easy to make your own out of plywood, a sheet of plexiglass, and a couple of small kitchen lights. Don't use clear plastic or clear glass. The frosted side of the glass or plastic acts as a diffuser to distribute the light out over the whole surface of the table top...giving you a nice, uniform glow instead of just two or three harsh lines of bright light.

    I'd love to see a rail bus version of the snocat!
  6. outersketcher

    outersketcher Illustrator, Tinker

    Well, okay... not the pontoons yet. First the suspension assemblies. I chose to use the extra detail parts provided by the designer. This allowed me to build up the leaf springs and also had the added benefit of being stronger. (The specs require that the main strut pieces are laminated to a thickness of 2mm.) Coat those pieces with some super glue and you've got a couple of strong assemblies. You can see in the photos that I cut out and partially assembled one of the simpler suspension sections so that I could have a basis from wich to compare the high detail assembly.

    Sanded the assemblies down a bit and raised the bolts up in detail.

    Of course, I had to give the assemblies the ability to rotate just like the model on the designer's website. So, using a dremel tool, I countersank a cylindrical hole into each suspension unite and then drilled a smaller hole through the entire piece. Including the chasis of the snocat itself. Then I rolled up two super glue soaked "pins" from scrap paper and glued them into the chasis of the snocat.

    The suspension assemblies will slip onto the pins and will be able to rotate freely. The pins will have a cap glued to thier ends to match the artwork provide in the parts sheets.

    I tried to recolor the suspension assemblies with the orange marker... but it just couldn't cover the super glue soaked areas... so, I painted them with acrylic paint.

    Before I install the suspension assemblies, I want to add those tiny little binding straps of steel that held the spring leaves in place. You can see them in the artwork of the simpler assembly piece in my hand.

    Next... the axles

    Attached Files:

  7. Lex

    Lex Dollmaker

    Those small parts look like they'll hurt... But you did a very clean job there!
  8. outersketcher

    outersketcher Illustrator, Tinker

    Thanks Lex... the model is small and those itty-bitty-teeny-weeny parts are turning me cross eyed. I can hold the sno-cat in the palm of my hand.

    Well, I glued the suspension assemblies in place. Don't they look great?

    I cut out the axle pieces and spent some time trying to figure out what I was supposed to do with a couple of rectangles that were clustered in with the rest of the axle parts. Never did figure out what they were for. I ended up using them to both cover the brass rod I used for a rigid axle and as a spacer to keep the pontoons at the right distance from the body.

    I tried two separate methods to create the dome of the differential hubs. In the first, I only cut out one side of the "waste" pie sections and used them as glue tabs to pull the colored parts together.

    Didn't like it. Strong... but looks terrible.

    The second method was to just cut out all the waste pie slices and then flip the piece into the palm of my hand and burnish it till the ends curled together naturally. Then it was just a matter of adding a dab of white glue to each joining area and set it aside to dry.

    Much nicer.

    The instructions call for a tooth pick to be used as the actual axle, but I couldn't find any toothpicks long enough to fit the needed length. So, I used a couple of spare pieces of solid brass rod.

    Attached Files:

  9. outersketcher

    outersketcher Illustrator, Tinker

    Finished the axles. The cone pieces that come from the hubs down to the axles are supposed to be eliptical in shape... NOT round. Took me a bit to realize that.

    Went to install the axles to the suspension and discovered that the spring leaves didn't extend far enough down from the main suspension pieces to clear the hub! And I'd thought I'd gone overboard by laminating each of those spring leaves three layers thick each.

    Anyway, I had to remove those pretty little spring leaf sets from each suspension frame and began again. This time, I laminated each spring leaf four times. That did the trick. You can see the NEW and IMPROVED spring leaf sets in all their uncolored glory. I really like how those thin little binding straps, (two each per spring leaf set) help bring out the "gosh that looks real!"-ness of the model!

    I glued the axles in place, and painted the spring leaves.... once again... with medium cadmium orange acrylic paint to maintain the original look of the design.

    The last photo is just my tongue and cheek way of standing the sno-cat up for the night.


    okay, for reals now... it's time to tackle the pontoons. While the detail is impressive. You know I can't just leave it. Will have to laminate up some of that track detail... yes... gonna have to.

    Attached Files:

  10. Lex

    Lex Dollmaker

    It's coming together nicely, can't believe those small bits are made from paper!
  11. outersketcher

    outersketcher Illustrator, Tinker

    The SnoCat pontoons were esentially big metal balloons with rolling tracks that ran along the outside edges. The vehicle literally floats on the surface of the snow. Kinda neat.

    The designer created a simple setup for the pontoons. Each one consists of basically 7 parts. Including the tab pieces.

    But, I wanted to bring out some of the detail of the rolling hardware through some creative lamination of the artwork that is already there. Particularly, I wanted to show that the steel bars depicted in the art were, in reality, actually raised above the surface of the pontoons. So, I printed out a few extra sheets of the pontoon parts and addressed the challenge as follows....

    One track was cut out of the parts sheet. No lamination at all. Another two tracks were each laminated three times to increase their thickness. One of those tracks was carefully sliced using a straight edge razor to produce the steel bars. The other laminated track was sliced up to produce the square bases for those bars.

    .... this took a _long_ time....

    Once the pieces were all cut and ready in their little piles. I first lay down the square bases for the steel bars along the track. Than, I lay down each steel bar across those bases. Efectivly creating dozens of little paper bridges across the track.

    I then laminated the inner edge of the two pontoon sides with a piece of cardstock that was about 1/8" smaller in overall size than the outside, visible piece. This provided me a sturdy "shelf" to wich I could then wrap the hi-detail track along the edge of the pontoon sides. Worked out great.

    Now the pontoon has a depth and level of detail that vastly improves the overall impact of the SnoCat model.

    NO ADDITIONAL PARTS ADDED! Just creative lamination of the artwork that's already there.

    And it only took 4.5 hours to do the one pontoon! ; )

    nine days....... eeeeeeeeeek!! Where's that case of Red Bull...

    Attached Files:

  12. outersketcher

    outersketcher Illustrator, Tinker

    Another pontoon... I had the presence of mind to stop and take a snapshot of how I constructed it on the inside. You can see the inner, pieces of cardstock that help to keep the tracks in place as I glue them down.

    Once the tracks are assembled, the pontoons become amazingly strong. I'm constantly impressed with how tough these little paper models can be.

    At the rate I'm going, It'll take me two more evenings @ 4.5 to 5 hours each to complete the other two pontoons. I plan to simply slide them onto the brass rods without glue. No need. The tension of the paper against the brass rod is plenty to keep the pontoons on. And I will have full mobility of the pontoons on the z and the y axis...or... is it the z and the x axis?... dunno.

    I had hoped that I could get away with not painting the track rails, but, they need it.

    Next in line after the pontoons will be the smoke stack, external storage bins and the other little external geegaws like the headlights and roof hatch.

    Attached Files:

  13. Millenniumfalsehood

    Millenniumfalsehood Active Member

    Wow! Look at those treads!

    After this build, do you think they'll let you build models in the sanitarium? sign1

    Just kidding, mate. Those pontoons are looking stellar! :thumb:
  14. logicman

    logicman Greybeard

    Shouldn't be a problem. It wasn't for me. But it was hard work sneaking-in the circular saw. :mrgreen::mrgreen::mrgreen:

    Great build and tutorial. :thumb::thumb::thumb:

    I fully intend to have a bash at this one some time this year.
  15. outersketcher

    outersketcher Illustrator, Tinker

    Ha Ha.. Insane asylum... Don't need one cause I'm already there. I've got four kids. Oldest is nine. For example... I was awakened at 7:00 AM this past Saturday morning by my 2yr old who thought that the glass of ice water I keep by my bedside would look _MUCH better_ on my chest.

  16. outersketcher

    outersketcher Illustrator, Tinker

    Built the third pontoon last night. I've learned to slice the steel bars, soak then in superglue and set them aside to dry first before gluing them to the raised bases on the track assembly. On the first two pontoons, I have a little of that "superglue fog" that sometimes appears on nearby surfaces as the glue dries. So, I now avoid that by merely waiting a few minutes before installing the bars to the tracks.

    Much nicer.

    Only one_more_pontoon_to go. No matter what I do, it takes me about 4.5 hours to do each pontoon. Ah well... almost done.

    In the photo, you can see the collected pieces for the assembly of the final pontoon. The original track length on the bottom of the photo that I will use as a base to laminate up the artwork detail, the pre-cut lengths of track that I've already begun to chop into the square base pieces, the sections of track that will be sliced into the steel bars, and the two built up sides that I have temporarily mounted to the brass rod.

    The circles will cap the brass rod ends once the pontoons are permanently installed.

    The SnoCat doesn't seem so small now with those monster pontoons mounted to the axles. I gotta make one of those cube thingies to photograph next to it I guess.

    Attached Files:

  17. Lex

    Lex Dollmaker

    Are the units on the cutting mat in... inches?
  18. Stev0

    Stev0 Active Member

    they are divided into 8ths so it would seem.
  19. SCEtoAux

    SCEtoAux Member

    It looks like 1/2 inch squares in the field and the perimeter is divided into 1/8 inch markings. :)

    That is turning out to be quite a good looking model. The tracks look real good. Lots-o-fun making them, right? :mrgreen:
  20. outersketcher

    outersketcher Illustrator, Tinker

    The pontoons have been completed. Built, and touched up with paint to hide the white edges... Now to mount them permanently to the SnoCat chassis. This was done by trimming and filing down the brass rod till the ends of the rod juuuuuuust poked out beyond the outer edge of each pontoon. Each end cap for the brass rod was cut out, laminated 3x's, doused in superglue, and filed with a nail file so as take on a more rounded shape. The backs and sides were colored and a small hole was drilled through each cap. The strengthened caps were then gently twisted onto the ends of each brass rod so that the end cap and rod ended up flush with each other. A _tiny_ drop of super glue was added to the joining surface of each endcap and rod.

    I can now twist the axles along the z axis, and rotate the pontoons along the x axis.... just like the original vehicle. Too bad the tracks can't move. This would make a really fun RC toy I bet.

    Took a minute to clean up the absolute MESS of a work space I had accumulated during the last few days of building.

    Under the right side door is a storage bin thingie. The artwork depicted straps... so, of course those had to be cut out and laminated for depth. There are no instructions as to where to mount the storage bin tho... Thank heavens I had downloaded the pictures of the completed model that the designer has posted. You can see in the photos that the straps for the bin are added to the bottom of the right side body.... the bin glues right underneath there.

    On each side of the front hood is a vent covering that was intended to help control the entry of the frigid, arctic air into the engine compartment. The pieces themselves were very simple to assemble. I colored the entire inside of each piece with the orange marker since the insides of each vent will be visible to the viewer. Again, you will need to have access of the designer's build photos or some good photo reference to mount the vents. There are no placement markings on the hood sides. Maybe to allow those who don't wish to include the arctic vents to leave them out?

    I also mounted the cabin vent on the top.

    The exhaust pipe takes a little creative guess work as well. I didn't like how the bottom piece of the exhaust positioned the rest of the pipe so far away from the body of the SnoCat. The photos of the designer's build showed the exhaust pipe hugging the lines of the body. So, I trimmed down the bottom pipe so that I could do the same on my model.

    The headlights are another point of confusion. The designers photos show only one, large headlight mounted to the driver's side. However, the model sheets have headlights for both sides of the model, and the mounting brackets are completely different from what can be seen in the designer's photos AND in the directions.

    I'll just mount the two headlights with the brackets provided.

    Oh yeah, the cutting board is divided into inches. I downloaded one of those neato cubes to help establish the size of the SnoCat. I doesn't fit in the palm of my hand anymore! ; ) It's like a little kid wearing very large boots!

    Next post, I will complete the hatch and finish up final detail work.

    Almost done now...here's to hoping I can slide under the contest porticulis before it slams shut! : )

    Attached Files:

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