Thursday, July 21, 2016

1960's Dodge Deora II Showcar Completed In Blender 3D

The past weeks have been very busy for me here at the workshop and away from home so I thought it about time to get another posting out to let you know what I have been up to.  I have welcomed into my little part of the world the new arrival of my first grandchild, did some traveling in my Mini Cooper to Tennessee to visit family, and finally gotten rid of an eye sore of a rickety old storage shed in my back yard. (48 or 50 coats of paint were all that was holding it up rickety.) Along with all  this I have found the time to do another interesting vehicle using Blender 3D. 

  Today was a very good day to put the finishing touches on this little project as the temps here in the Midwest have climbed into the 90's so it was worthless to try and do anything outside today or in my garage due to the heat.  Case in point.... the attempt at completing the Captain America ball chair that I have been working on for months on end.  Hopefully when it cools down a bit I can get back to that project and finally post it's completion to let you know how it all turned out. 

  So with out further delay here is my latest creation that I put my blessing on this evening. 

(Click on picture for a larger view)

This vehicle is the Dodge Deora II created in 1960's.  It has been one of my favorite show cars (or should I say truck?) and so I thought I would attempt to make a Blender 3D model of it.  This was a bit more difficult to do as there are no blueprints available to layout what you see here.  I found a fairly good assortment of photos of the car online but nothing showing me a top view, straight on front or rear view.  This made the task of creating this model more of a challenge than some of the other vehicles that I have created and posted about here.

With all of the vehicles I create in Blender I end up with a pretty good looking computer image for my efforts along with a bit of a history lesson along the way due to with my research I do looking for reference photos to create  the work you see here.

  The Deora II was originally a 1965 Dodge A100 pickup truck that was customized by Mike and Larry Alexander from Detroit for the 1967 Detroit Autorama at the time.  After the vehicle had won many awards including the Ridler award in 1967 Hot Wheels picked up on the design and created a plastic model kit from it which is still available today.  The last information that I found about the car was that it had been sold at auction in 2009 in California for $324,500. 

Here are a couple photos I found of the showcar under construction.  A ton of work went into the vehicle as you can see here.

The vehicle had no side doors but rather an unusual pivoting front door and a windshield that actually came from a 1960 Ford Station wagon.

The interior of the vehicle was rather spacy for the day with it's strange looking dual handled steering wheel and gauges laid out along the left inner side of the cockpit and a couple more on the center counsel. 

This image of the car really shows how small it really is.  The driver would have to be pretty short in order to drive it. As you can see from the photo above the guy in the photo had to be pretty cramped to cruise in this show car.  So that is about all it is..... a show car and nothing more.  Interesting just the same.  Hope you enjoy my latest Blender car modeling effort along with a bit of history about the Dodge Deora II.  I'll keep plugging along with my Blender efforts along with all the other projects that as still waiting to be completed in the workshop.  Have a good one!

Friday, June 24, 2016

1967 Triumph GT6 Blender Model Is Completed!

I was stuck all day long waiting for some work to be done at my house so I slugged my way through the final details of my 1967 Triumph GT6 model I have been working on.  I didn't get my housework done or even started today and that's another story all in itself but the good news is that I am proud to show off my latest car modeling effort with these current computer images.  Before I show you my latest Blender model I want to show you what my real 1967 Triumph looked like first.

This is what my little car looked like. I owned it for 18 years and had a lot of fun driving it and getting it into the shape that you see here.  This was the 1967 Triumph GT6 MK1.  It had a 2000cc engine with a top speed of around 112 mph.  It could corner like it was on rails.  A blast to drive.  With that being said here is my latest Blender model of this car.

I couldn't resist continuing to experiment with my GT6 model so below are a couple more images that I set up as a racing version.  A bit of work but I like the effect just as well as the street version above.

(Click on the images for a larger view.)

I am very pleased with my latest car modeling effort.  This will make another fine addition to my Blender portfolio and now is another car I can scratch off my Blender modeling bucket list.  Enjoy.

I also wanted to pass along to those of you who would like to model some cars in Blender this following link.

I received a couple of very nice email from Christopher Plush who creates this training DVD and he informed me that an updated version of the DVD will be coming out some time this year.  It will have additional information on creating Blender car models that was not in the version I started with.  So keep you eye out for it.  It's helped me out a lot with the car you see here for sure.

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Ball Chair Project Pt. 23....... Parts Are Being Painted!...... Finally!

When I started this project I never dreamed that it would be as long of a process that it has become. From fiber glassing to electrical to upholstery it continues to be a challenge at almost every step of the way.  This has also included prepping the fiberglass parts for paint.  Lots of sanding would be an understatement.  More like LOTS AND LOTS of sanding and then you might come close to what I have been up to for the past couple of weeks and I still am not finished.  But with all the sanding I was finally rewarded just a little bit this morning when I started spraying paint on to the base for the chair.

I am very pleased at this point with the efforts that I put into the sanding of just these two parts alone to get them into shape for painting.  Not that I am content with the fact that the paint itself is perfect yet but I see no problem with correcting what flaws I see after a little more sanding and a couple more coats of paint. The larger piece in the photo above is the base for the chair and the smaller piece is the inner mount for the ball itself.  You can see some runs in the paint in the inner cavity of the larger piece but these will not be seen once the inner mount is in place. So no problem there.

The inner mount that you see here has a slot in it to be able to install the bolts that will connect it to the ball portion of the chair once it has been painted and assembled.  The only portion of this piece that will be seen once it is mounted into the base is actually only the upper outer lip of this dish shaped piece.  This is the reason I did not bother painting the lower portion of the part.  The inner surface of the dish could have been left unpainted as well but I thought "What the heck.  Just paint it." There will be a rubber gasket between this inner mount and the ball so the paint on neither assembly will be damaged once the chair is assembled.

These last couple of photos of the base really show off how smooth I was able to get the outer surfaces of this part.  Again it all boiled down to lots of sanding starting with 80 grit and going up to 600 grit wet sanding over and over again.  So if I can do as well with the rest of the parts of the painting of the chair I will be a happy camper.

  I had to throw this photo in just because of how it looks at this point.  This is the dome portion of the ball chair where a white star on a blue field will be painted.  I will show you how I plan on getting that put together once I get this part completely painted white first. 
  In the photo above I had primed the part in gray primer and thought it was smooth enough to paint.  So I painted it white and let it dry.  After I had looked at the part again I had noticed that it was not quite as even as I had hoped for. I went back to more wet sanding to even things out more to my liking.  As I sanded through the white paint primer started appearing again which was ok as I knew I was getting the part where I wanted it to be and the end result is this gray and white dome.  Interesting pattern don't you think.  It looks to be very smooth and even now.  A couple of more coats of glossy white paint and this part will be ready to be prepped to put a star on it for the Captain America ball chair. 
  I'll post all about that process in the coming weeks when I can find the time. In the meantime I will let these parts dry for a few days before either touching them up or putting my blessing on to them and move on to the remaining parts.  Lots or work still ahead but with that I can finally see my work load decreasing and my happy face appearing bigger every day. For those interested.... total hours of work so far is now at 458 hours.    

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Ball Chair Project Pt. 22.... Buttons, Buttons, And More Buttons!

About ten days ago I thought I had finally completed the upholstery work for the ball chair project.  Boy was I wrong.  I had assembled all of the buttons that I needed for the upholstery.  A real pain to be sure only to find out that after a couple of days several of the installed buttons had failed to stay assembled.  I spoke with my sister Rose who has done professional sewing for 40 plus years and she agreed with me that making covered buttons was and still is a  royal pain and iffy at best if they will work properly especially with vinyl upholstery.

Here is the picture I posted the first time around of the wedge pieces completed.  With the failures of some of the buttons I decided to rethink my design or should I say go back to my original idea of having buttons that were Navy blue with a white star on them.  I thought it would tie in nicely with the entire USA theme of the Captain America ball chair.  So with that in mind I started searching online to find what I wanted for the interior.  Way to many hours later, bleary eyed, and tired of looking I gave up my search.  I had found buttons with stars on them but way to small and nothing on a Navy blue field.  I got off of the computer for several more hours but did learn how some of these buttons were constructed.  How hard could it be to make my own buttons using my 3D printer?  I started back to work on the problem.

I started the first attempt at making the 27 buttons that I needed.  I 3D printed the button that you see above.  It was the right diameter but to thick and close to the color that I wanted but the star stuck out to far from the face of the blue button.  And of course the rough surface of the button would need to be sanded smooth. All easily fixed.

I printed the next button thinner than the first and then sanded the top surface smooth.  The opening in the recessed star area of the button is so the eyelet that is printed on the back of the star can slide through and make mounting the buttons an easy task.

Here is what the back of a button looks like.  Each button is 1 1/2" in diameter and the back surface did not have to be sanded smooth as it would not be seen in the final assembly.  With the star eyelet coming through the button it is an easy task to pull the button down into the upholstery without a fear of it coming apart.  I printed the parts using a 40% fill so they are nearly solid ABS plastic.  Very strong buttons.

I sanded all of the faces of the buttons smooth and decided to paint them to match the amplifier housing that will be in the chair.  This was an easy task of putting on several coats of Navy blue paint onto each button.  The test button stands out in the photo above as it is not painted and is a nice color blue but nowhere near the color that I wanted for the ball chair.

Once all of the buttons had dried for a couple of days it was a simple matter of assembling the stars into each button as pictured above. 

After a couple of hours I had scrapped the original gray vinyl covered buttons and replaced them with the new star buttons.  Quite a satisfying thing to do and with that it adds just that little bit more detail into the interior of the ball chair.  Plus the fact that I know that the new buttons will stay in place without worrying about them failing.   I also can always make more buttons if I should want to install them in a foot stool I have been thinking about for the chair.  So now I am sure that I can cross off the upholstery work for this project.  A good time to put my feet up and take a break for a while.

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Blender 3D 1967 Triumph GT6 Model Is Progressing Again!

With all of the different projects that I work on here at the Tinker's Workshop I still try to find time to get back to 3D modeling in Blender.  I started a Blender project 3 months ago ( that long?) and am finally getting  into it once again.  My ball chair project has taken up a large portion of my time over the winter and spring and so I am happy to report that I have dusted off this Blender project and wanted to show you the progress that I have been making with it over the last week or so.

(Click on the pictures for a larger view)

I am proud to finally show off my efforts with this Blender 3D model of this small 1967 Triumph GT6 that I owned for 18 years.  I loved the little car and thought it was about time that I made a decent computer 3D image of it.  I still have a long ways to go with the modeling of the car but I think I am pretty much over the hump so to speak at getting the car into shape and actually looking like a complete car. 
  Lots of trim pieces, rear lights, windows, and interior work still needed to be modeled before I will put my blessing on the project and add it to my Blender portfolio.  For those of you who would like to try your hand at modeling your favorite car using Blender I recommend getting a copy of the Blender 3D training DVD titled Car Modeling and Texturing by Christopher Plush from CGMasters.  This DVD is what I used to get  started in modeling cars and as you can see it has helped me create what you see here.

Here's the link to get a copy of the DVD.
  When I get the 3D car model completed I'll be sure to post the finished project to let you see how it all turned out.   Hopefully a lot sooner than three months this next time around.  Enjoy.