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Old 2018.01.15, 05:04 PM   #1
Thorvald
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Vacuum form copies of Autoscales - Anyone tried?

With the quickening demise of certain bodies and even white bodies I've been seriously considering picking up a small hobby 12" x 12" vacuum form and some .015 lexan/polycarbonate sheets to make copies of my favourite Autoscales for use in everyday racing.

https://www.widgetworksunlimited.com...ORMER&CartID=1



Before I get too far, has anyone ever made a copy of a white body autoscale in poly/lexan and how did it turn out?

Thanks
Tim
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Old 2018.01.15, 06:24 PM   #2
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interesting but I wonder what temperature the "lexan" is heated to and would it deform or bond to the autoscale?

My second question would be whether or not the roof line would crush under vacuum pressure but I imagine you'd install the windshield to try to get that shape and add rigidity.
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Old 2018.01.15, 07:02 PM   #3
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As I recall from reading you heat it up with the oven at around 250 for a minute till the lexan droops and then quickly take it out and put it over the mold and turn on suction.

I suspect an unprotected body it would likely stick to so might need to make a negative mold out of plaster of paris and then make a regular mold out of that.

I have an old body that is in good enough shape to try it though, might need some mold release on it the plastic or something similar.

Just hoping someone else has done it before I become the lead experimenter lol.

Cheers
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Old 2018.01.15, 07:04 PM   #4
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Cowboy has a very good point. Personally, I'd make a mold of the body first and use that to make lexan molds. It might also wreck the body though.

Also keep in mind that while Lexan is durable, the idea of the hard bodies is to protect our chassis while running. If you are only running stock motors you might be okay.

Have you considered 3D printing bodies? You would likely need to come up with your own CAD files though...
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Old 2018.01.15, 07:10 PM   #5
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I would think that you would first have to take the ASC body and make a negative mold out of say plaster paris. Once that is done and proofed for flaws you would then make a positive mold. In the old days the positives were made of silicon bronze. From that the body was pulled. Now days companies like Patoo's in Australia 3D prints the positive and makes the body from that. Contact him and see if he is helpful. His slot car bodies are A-1.
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Old 2018.01.15, 07:33 PM   #6
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Well son of a gun... I know Patto well as I get stickers for my GT-R builts from him but had no idea on the bodies he had!

Sure enough, not my exact body I want but will do in a pinch:

(NOTE: This is a picture of the mold not the clear body lol)


2012 Nssan GTR GT3


I'll order one up as a test and see if he can also make a mold of the GT500 car.

Cheers
Tim

P.S. I just sent Bruce an email to see if these will fit Mini-Z at 98mm wheelbase.

Last edited by Thorvald; 2018.01.15 at 07:44 PM.
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Old 2018.01.15, 08:00 PM   #7
Thorvald
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TeeSquared View Post
Also keep in mind that while Lexan is durable, the idea of the hard bodies is to protect our chassis while running. If you are only running stock motors you might be okay.

Have you considered 3D printing bodies? You would likely need to come up with your own CAD files though...
Actually quite the opposite, I run poly bodies on my GL-Racing AWD car without issue and fully modified. The large foam bumper at the front and full carbon fiber tends to take abuse better than an all plastic MR-03 (of course since the drivers at our track are much better than myself, I rarely get hit... it's the RCP walls that take the abuse from me lol).

However since the white bodies of my favourite cars are no longer available I'm either forced to 3D scan and print or move to Lexan/Polycarbonate/PETG.

That being said, next time I fall in love with a particular body I'm ordering a ton as spares lol.

Cheers
Tim


EDIT: Just heard back from Bruce, they are what he calls "1/24 true scale" and will not fit Mini-Z... back to square one.

Last edited by Thorvald; 2018.01.15 at 08:06 PM.
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Old 2018.01.16, 05:49 AM   #8
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Don't give up yet. Several years ago I ordered a McLaren M-6 and a Chaparral Coupe(2F?) and found the M-6 dropped right onto an LM 102 chassis and the Chaparral fit well at 98MM. Neither were out of scale.
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Old 2018.01.16, 07:13 AM   #9
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there was a member, dogbreath, that used to pull molds from models mostly, whatever he found. I bought a couple from him and while you loose some fidelity due to the material and methods, the end result is decent enough. lexan, while flexible, can also brittle in some cases. all the replicant lexan bodies i've had cracked or broke similar to autoscales. I had a early 90's civic ek9 made still have it today, whats left of it anyway.

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Old 2018.01.16, 11:19 AM   #10
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Interesting topic!
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Old 2018.01.16, 12:42 PM   #11
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Ok well I'll be the new guinea pig. I'll order a pair of 1/24 bodies from Bruce and see if they fit a GL car without issue.

Failing that I'll likely order up a 12x12 vacuum former and try to make copies of Autoscales and Tamiya 1/24 models but I'll take a page from Bruce and try the PETG as well as Polycarbonate.

The trick seems to be avoiding any sharp angles on exposed edges... which goes against the grain of wanting detailed bodies lol. I've been doing some digging and that is why alot of lexan bodies "blend" the front and rear and sides to ensure there isn't a sharp angle that won't flex in an impact. Sounds like fun to figure out lol.

Fun Fun Fun ... lol.
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Old 2018.01.16, 01:17 PM   #12
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Most prefer PETG as opposed to Lexan. lexan requires drying otherwise there is a high chance of air bubbles. We are using PETG for our lemans body.

There should be no undercuts in your mold, otherwise you run the risk of not being able to pull the plastic off the mold. Some argue to not have less than 5 degrees draft angle. However most I know have gotten away with 2 degrees.

Sharp angles are okay provided they are not undercuts or don’t break the 2 degree rule.
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Old 2018.05.16, 12:10 PM   #13
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www dot pattosplace dot com
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Old 2018.05.16, 12:11 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thorvald View Post
Ok well I'll be the new guinea pig. I'll order a pair of 1/24 bodies from Bruce and see if they fit a GL car without issue.

Failing that I'll likely order up a 12x12 vacuum former and try to make copies of Autoscales and Tamiya 1/24 models but I'll take a page from Bruce and try the PETG as well as Polycarbonate.

The trick seems to be avoiding any sharp angles on exposed edges... which goes against the grain of wanting detailed bodies lol. I've been doing some digging and that is why alot of lexan bodies "blend" the front and rear and sides to ensure there isn't a sharp angle that won't flex in an impact. Sounds like fun to figure out lol.

Fun Fun Fun ... lol.
Any updates on your exploits?
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Old 2018.05.16, 12:15 PM   #15
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Quote:
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www dot pattosplace dot com
Thanks Arch!! I had found it in the meantime... I didn’t know what to search for since the spelling of his name in this thread was inconsistent..

I wish there was more photos.. he only has mold photos of the ‘new bodies’
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