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Shaping the Body

The 914 has reached a really exciting phase. It’s starting to take the shape I’ve been daydreaming of.

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After a lot of trial and error, several failures, it finally dawned on me to form the shape of the car with industrial modeling clay. The same clay professional designers use to prototype and mock-up their own cars. What a difference clay has made. Clay is non-toxic, stable, requires no time to cure, fosters experimentation and is forgiving of mistakes.

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Take a look at the patch area where the b-pillars used to be. This area has been, by far, the hardest to get right. As noted in an earlier post, I’ve welded-in and ripped-out several patches in the attempt to make this area look unabtrusive and natural. The process of getting this patch right required a lot of experimentation, but materials I used made the iterative process excruciatingly slow. Industrial modeling clay changed all that. I settled on this shape in about a week. I can’t believe how great it looks!

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The areas where I’m most excited to be making progress are the bumpers. This is were all the hard earned lessons I learned are really starting to pay off. The final shape of the bumper plugs will be formed in clay, but most of the plug’s internal volume is actually two-part expanding polyurethane foam. To get a block of foam attached to the body, from which I could rough-carve the car’s nose and tail shapes, I needed to make a form which I could pour the expanding foam into.

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Once the foam set and pulled away the form, the carving began. Initially, I removed foam very cautiously and conservatively. But it didn’t take long to notice that I had to be very aggressive in removing bulk from the bumpers. Every time I forced myself to shave the bumper closer, the better it looked. Can’t be afraid to remove.

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A notorious characteristic of the 914 was that it didn’t bear any resemblance to other Porsche models made up to that point. Its looks are so different that some people are surprised to learn that’s a Porsche at all. I wanted my work to imbue the 914 with a little more visual heritage than it had before. That is, I want the 914 to remain distinctive but clearly show it’s lineage with other models. I took some photos of Porsches at the local CarsAndCoffee and use them as a reference when carving the bumper. I’d say the results are positive.

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