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Bodywork 101: Part One

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Old 03-13-2011, 10:41 PM   #1
Semi-retired customizer
Wikkid's Avatar
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 1,582
Location: Saskatchewan, Canada
Collection Count: 120
Bodywork 101: Part One

Part 1: Creating Contors:

Begin by gluing styrene or whatever substrate you plan on using to the project. Shown here is styrene panel bonded to Masterpiece Starscream’s hip junk. This will become a rear quarter panel for a MP Hot Rod project:

The factory part already had a flow that suited this project but needed to be widened and curved in specific areas. I begin by putting down a piece of 80 grit sticky back sandpaper to my desk top. I then sand the area down in a rocking motion to achieve a gradual curve. It's important to use long strokes and be sure not to press hard. Let the grit do the cutting:

I use the same technique on the other side of the panel:

Now, to cover the whole thing in filler:

Follow the same technique as before and round your panel out to your liking. Do not sand it all off; we're trying to create a larger, rounded body panel:

[The] side panel gets the same treatment. On this side, I rounded the lower quarter to curve inwards towards the rocker panels:

Wrapping a piece of sandpaper around my finger, I . . . .

. . . . notch out a combination crown in the forward section of the quarter panel. This then needs to be worked into the other high crowns by sanding the curves lightly:

The panel takes shape as so. I'll need to go in a put a quick skiff on the dark red area which is a low area then sand it out:

Always be sure to test fit your parts:

Part 2: Filling and Tightening Gaps Around Moving Parts:

I begin by filling the 90 degree angle in the fender wedge. This is done to eliminate the joint line and create a seamless flow between the two panels:

After sanding the whole area for the sake of adhesion, I fill over everything end to end:

After sanding out the fender in the same way I did the quarters earlier, I fold a piece of sandpaper and finish the inner fender to hood edge:

The finished product here is the hood flowing directly into the fender and the fender into the bumper. I also re-arched the wheel well:

Using a razor knife, I score the edge where the panel is to detach. Do not cut too deep or you'll end up with wide gaps again:

The panel should just pop off clean if the prep work was done right and the product is sound:

Part 3: Fixing Mistakes:

On this project, I went and installed a matrix bay within the hood/chest. This was all done without the actual matrix in place, so once I cut the opening and installed the hinges and matrix, it pushed the panels outward. I'm way too lazy to start over on this after all the work, so I cheated by raising the rest of the panels to align:

After prep-sanding everything, once again we apply filler to the entire area:

Using the earlier techniques of long strokes and a gradual curve, the panel is sanded to fit again:

Now we score the outer edge once again:

There's the church and there's the steeple. Open the doors and see all the people:

Then close it up to see how well everything fits. If the alignment problem remains, fill again until everything sits true:

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Last edited by Superquad7; 10-15-2013 at 01:58 AM..
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