RedBull Soapbox Race 2004

Construction of our Red Bull Soap Box Racer nears completion

After a month of painstaking work, we can now reveal the first photos of our kart for the Red Bull Soap Box Race on the 8th August. Since the end of June, the team has been working tirelessly to build the outer body of the part-kart/part-fish. Heres how construction took place.

The first step was to add plastic and glass fibre poles to the bike frames as support. Then we carved cardboard ribs to make up the shape of the fish.

Once the cardboard ribs were cut to size, we gradually replaced them with high density foam and added the tail fin.

Then we added spacers to all the foam ribs and glued them together with hot glue guns. The usual sound of reggae and downtempo beats coming from Jim's stereo was often interrupted by shouts and f**ks as we burnt our fingers on 170c hot glue. Still, with more than a few blisters we got the job done and moved on to adding the outer foam.

After a few attempts, we had the right technique and glued sheet foam in strips to the foam spacers. Working from the tail forward, we then added thinner foam that we had cut into scales for that extra level of detail. Meanwhile, we had bought B&Q out of gluesticks and now needed pipelagging to make the lips.

With the body looking good, we concentrated our work on the face. Adding a streached layer of black foam to make the features. Dan was lost inside the bowls of the fish adding the back to the mouth and Andy set to work on carving all the teeth. With glue gun and evo-stick in hand the face started to take shape

Once we had the shape of the face, this was covered with thin white foam to keep everything the same base colour. Then when with the teeth in place we started mixing the paint. We used paint mixed with Latex (liquid rubber) to give it strength and stop it from cracking. The first few coats took ages to cover and we started with a blue/grey and built up layers of colour, shading and highlighting.

Then we worked on the face. Jim and Sean bought a foam ball for the eyes and bravely slit the eyelid holes. The eyeballs were added and suddenly, the fish had a personality!

So with the kart almost ready, the team settled down for a very nice curry (thanks to Jims folks) including the now famous curried eggs. Still a few things to finish, some detail to add and then isoflex varnishing for that extra touch. Then our attention can turn to team uniform and inlisting support for team Moby and his Dicks.

26th July 2004


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