Car Pattern Inspiration.

General discussions for car and semi-truck racers.
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whodathunkit
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Car Pattern Inspiration.

Post by whodathunkit » Mon Dec 09, 2013 10:44 pm

Where do you draw your inspiration from?

When deciding on ideas for your first or your next pinewood derby car.
Do you look for ideas in old hot rod or car magazines or maybe from your favorite toys
& hot wheels cars.

Perhaps you turn to television shows or cartoons & video games for ideas or even look to the
internet for photos & patterns you can down load for free.

Do you prefer to use a computer with CAD and cut it out on a CNC..
Or to draw your ideas out on paper and to cut it out from scratch.

Maybe you turn to books for your ideas about building pinewood derby cars like..
Troy Thorne's or David Meade's or maybe even someone else's books with pattern ideas.

Do you like designing it to be stiped down to the bare bones with only speed in mind.
Or do you like to build the car up desinging it for looks alone hopeing to win the best of show.

How many long time car builders turn to different types of wooden car modeling books for ideas?
For example books like: Makeing Classic Cars in Wood. by .. Joe B. Hicks.
Or Buiding Antique Models Cars in Wood. by .. William Reeves.
Scaling the patterns to size to turn them into pinewood derby cars looking like the real cars.

Car pattern ideas can come from what ever you can dream up...
So lets hear it where do you draw you ideas and inspiration from.

Whoda.


What type of automobile can be spelled the same forwards & backwards?

Speedster
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Re: Car Pattern Inspiration.

Post by Speedster » Tue Dec 10, 2013 6:22 am

The SPEED Demons. I love the 1/4" wafer cars. Balsa fenders are available that supposedly will get even more speed plus make the machine look like a race car. I think any scout can build the car himself after the initial cut. The adult helper will be there to guide him. Lots of decals and striping tape available. A Tiger can put a Flame paint job on his car using a decal and do it with a brush if that's the design he wants. When he's finished he knows it's his car because he's done all the work. He might even win the race and take an award for Best Design. I've changed my entire display this year to wafer cars. I have always advised folks we will be concentrating on speed but the car shape is up to the scouts.

A side note. I learned a District in our Council has no award for Best Design. The scout can bring his car in and put it on a table and everyone can look at it. There is no voting or awards. I wonder how common this is across the U.S.



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Noskills
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Re: Car Pattern Inspiration.

Post by Noskills » Tue Dec 10, 2013 3:31 pm

Whoda,

Mostly my kids for now as evidenced by this car:
http://www.derbytalk.com/viewtopic.php? ... 233#p68033

I find what my kids like and work with them to make it happen. Its been a hoot so far. For fast cars we find a theme and work with that, like the zombie car we did last year. This year the theme is Minecraft for my son and Tiger stripes for my daughter and "ultra-cool" for me. When I make one for me its all about speed with a little swag. The cars have to look cool too. I have been eyeing some classic formula one cars for some future point in time just for me.

Noskills


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Re: Car Pattern Inspiration.

Post by TXDerbyDad » Tue Dec 10, 2013 5:00 pm

We home school and use the derby as an opportunity to learn elementary physics, so we approach it as a physics problem and design on what we know works and build up from there. That said we also build around our lack of tooling over the years. Now that I have room in my garage, I have slowly built out my workbench and tooling, and now I think we have a decent amount of tools necessary to build a car from scratch. One of the few things we don't have right now is a bandsaw, but that's really the last thing since I added a small drill press.



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Darin McGrew
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Re: Car Pattern Inspiration.

Post by Darin McGrew » Thu Dec 12, 2013 5:03 pm

In general, I do not draw inspiration from car magazines or even from actual cars. Other than that, my inspiration is rather diverse, including:
  • media (Wacky Races, Finding Nemo, Up, Calvin & Hobbes, Firefly)
  • toys and games (dominoes, Monopoly®, Lego® blocks, cribbage board planned for my 29th car)
  • vehicles other than cars (bumper cars, trains, chariots, tractors, Firefly-class transport Serenity still in planning stages)
  • imagining cars to suit various "drivers" (penguins on ice flow, peanut on celery stick with peanut butter, characters from Finding Nemo in aquarium, Calvin & Hobbes on red wagon)
  • my derby "anniversaries" (stack of $20 bills for my 20th car, a "24K" gold ingot for my 24th car, cribbage board planned for my 29th car)
  • other events and activities (birthday cake for Louis Braille's 200th birthday, raised bed garden, rock climber on climbing wall, backpackers cooking over a glowing LED campfire)
  • cool things I thought it would be fun to build (screwdriver car with a lathe-turned handle, trebuchet, puzzle box, a wrecked automobile, backpackers cooking over a glowing LED campfire)
  • food with wheels (Hershey® bar, sub sandwich, chocolate truffles on a marble slab, peanut on celery stick with peanut butter, birthday cake for Louis Braille's 200th birthday)
  • simple shapes for years where I had little time to build my car (rock climber on climbing wall, stack of $20 bills, gold ingot, chocolate truffles on a marble slab, Hershey® bar)
I hand-draw my design on a blank template, the same blank templates we give the kids at the beginning of derby season. The only thing I've used the computer for is keeping a list of possible ideas for derby designs.

And in general, speed is purely secondary. The "trophy" I most care about is the finished derby car, and all my derby cars sit in a pair of display cases in our home.



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whodathunkit
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Re: Car Pattern Inspiration.

Post by whodathunkit » Sat Dec 14, 2013 6:44 pm

Darin McGrew wrote:
I hand-draw my design on a blank template, the same blank templates we give the kids at the beginning of derby season. The only thing I've used the computer for is keeping a list of possible ideas for derby designs.
And in general, speed is purely secondary. The "trophy" I most care about is the finished derby car, and all my derby cars sit in a pair of display cases in our home.
Darin, I also like to draw out ideas on paper.
You also have some good ideas listed for what a racer can be as well..
as it dousent have to be a car at all.

I also like what you have said about the car as the "trophy"


What type of automobile can be spelled the same forwards & backwards?

DerbyDash
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Re: Car Pattern Inspiration.

Post by DerbyDash » Tue Dec 24, 2013 7:30 am

We try to find the simplest shape we can so that we don't destroy the car when we build it!! :rofl:



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Re: Car Pattern Inspiration.

Post by Scrollsawer » Tue Dec 24, 2013 8:43 am

The first thing we do is draw a bunch of 'blanks' on paper that are approximately the outline of the car. Then, we look at the traced car block outline as a slab of marble, just waiting for the inspiration to reveal itself in the marble. One thing I've personally noticed is that I am not comfortable with lots of rounded shapes. Apparently, I feel much more comfortable with a ruler and exacting measures on each cut. Rounded shapes are a real mental block for me apparently, because I tend to steer the boys away from them, and instead go for 'boxy' designs. Plus, it's been easier for me to guide the boys through a straight cut on the saw, versus a complicated round cut that (if not well executed) can easily result in having to toss the car into the trash bin.

This year, our race is in late January, and one of my Scouts wants to do a 'hot dog' car, so we're definitely going to have to break through my aversion to rounded edges. If anybody has any tips for crafting a wooden frankfurter and rounded bun out of wood, please feel free to share. I do not have a lathe, so will need to figure out how the boys can create a curved, and rounded wiener shape out of pine wood.

In summary, the inspiration for our car designs/themes is usually driven by the kids. I have tended toward linear designs, due to my aversion to curves, but that is about to change.

Regards,

Scrollsawer


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whodathunkit
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Re: Car Pattern Inspiration.

Post by whodathunkit » Tue Dec 24, 2013 9:10 am

DerbyDash wrote:We try to find the simplest shape we can so that we don't destroy the car when we build it!! :rofl:
Let me Guess! (thin body car designs!)
When I think of thin body car designs that go really fast..
I think of seeing a thin sheet of metal on the back of the car.. like a car tag.
Might be fun to build a car that is thin in design that looks like a car tag with wheels.
Can't say that I have ever seen a pinewood derby car that looks like a tag off of a car.

That might be one simple shape that is thin car design.
Thanks DerbyDash. ;)


What type of automobile can be spelled the same forwards & backwards?

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whodathunkit
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Re: Car Pattern Inspiration.

Post by whodathunkit » Tue Dec 24, 2013 9:30 am

Scrollsawer wrote: In summary, the inspiration for our car designs/themes is usually driven by the kids. I have tended toward linear designs, due to my aversion to curves, but that is about to change.
Scrollsawer
Tell me about it Scrollsawer!
Kids are always asking to build cars that are driven by there inspiration and design.
So why not let them build it what ever it might be.


What type of automobile can be spelled the same forwards & backwards?

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Re: Car Pattern Inspiration.

Post by Scrollsawer » Tue Dec 24, 2013 10:02 am

In prior races, the boys wanted the fastest car, so steering them toward a Hershey bar shape was easy (I just gave them a physics lesson by having them stick their arm out of our moving car window with their open hand parallel to the road, then I had them hold their open hand facing the direction the car was moving. They quickly grasped the concept of aerodynamic drag, and thus they wanted to go with the Hersey bar shape to reduce aerodynamic drag).

Well, several first place trophies later, the boys are now Webelos, and now at least one of them wants to concentrate on the creative design aspect of the build (thus the 'hot dog'). We will definitely try to make the hot dog car the fastest hot dog in Pinewood derby history, but the focus this time around (for at least one of the boys) will be on the creative design, not on pure speed. This is definitely a departure for us from years past. Will be a good opportunity to explore new build concepts with the boys. :working:

Scrollsawer


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Re: Car Pattern Inspiration.

Post by resullivan » Tue Dec 24, 2013 11:24 am

Does your pack not allow one car for looks and one for speed? Ours allows this, but your looks car cannot compete in speed and your speed car cannot compete in looks. At least part of the reason we allow this is because at districts the cars competing for looks are not required to meet all the dimension and weight requirements.



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whodathunkit
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Re: Car Pattern Inspiration.

Post by whodathunkit » Tue Dec 24, 2013 12:41 pm

Scrollsawer,
When your talking about a hot dog car..
You are talking about a car that looks like a hot dog on a bun right..(?)

A few design concepts.. that I think of under the name of hot dog car.
A chili dog car.. maybe even a corn dog on a stick car.

The Oscar Mayer Weiner Wagon car..(maybe!)

Just to be different by design from what ever one else is makeing or thinking of for a hot dog car.

How about a pinewood derby car that looks like a real Dog.
Gnawing on an ear of corn that has sticks on the ends ..
(As if this dog has took the corn off of a hot buttered plate.)
And maybe this dog could be wareing a scarf around it's neck that has flames on it..
and looks to be as if the scarf is flapping in the wind as the dog is running off with the corn.
As haveing all of this in its design would cover.. the chili dog /corn dog eating..
Hot dog car. :D

Scrollsawer, Just trying to pass on a little Inspiration your way! ;)

Whoda.


What type of automobile can be spelled the same forwards & backwards?

Speedster
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Re: Car Pattern Inspiration.

Post by Speedster » Tue Dec 24, 2013 1:54 pm

re, why not put them all in one category and see if a speed car can't also win in Best Design. I'm presently building the familiar wafer car, 1/4" car, 1/4" tungsten cubes, aggressive CM, rail rider etc., etc. I have for the 1st time bought balsa wood that will be "the car". The car will resemble a race car and will be finished and decorated with "McDonald's" colors and decorations. Automotive base/clear will be used for refinishing and I can get McDonald's decals from a Revell kit. I have an "OUTLAW" McDonald's car that uses a plastic body from a Revell kit and the kids go wild over it. Scouts pick the winners for Best Design. If you build a somewhat stylish racecar, put a beautiful refinish job on it, and give the children a theme they're familiar with, you just might win both awards.



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whodathunkit
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Re: Car Pattern Inspiration.

Post by whodathunkit » Wed Dec 25, 2013 8:53 pm

resullivan wrote:Does your pack not allow one car for looks and one for speed? Ours allows this, but your looks car cannot compete in speed and your speed car cannot compete in looks. At least part of the reason we allow this is because at districts the cars competing for looks are not required to meet all the dimension and weight requirements.

resullivan,
Here out in my area.. The Scout show car events are few and far between.

However I have seen a few districts rules sets for the show car event.
Where the car body used must be from The Official Grand Prix Kit.
The wheel dimensions must stay the same as the race dimensions..
1 3/4" between wheels and 3/8" car to track clearance.
Short to extended or as many wheels as the builder likes can be used..
No Limits as to the hight or weight of the car..kit axles need not be used..
Plus the car body may have moveing parts.
(The car must race to be judged for best in show.)

Then I have also seen a few rule sets out on the net..
were the car dousen't have to race to be judged for best of show.

Could I get you to tuch on your Districts show car rules set a little more.


What type of automobile can be spelled the same forwards & backwards?

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