Construction of our Red Bull Soap Box Racer nears completion
After a month of painstaking work, we can now reveal the first photos
of our kart for the Red Bull Soap Box Race on the 8th August. Since
the end of June, the team has been working tirelessly to build the
outer body of the part-kart/part-fish. Heres how construction took
The first step was to add plastic and glass fibre poles to the bike
frames as support. Then we carved cardboard ribs to make up the shape
of the fish.
Once the cardboard ribs were cut to size, we gradually replaced
them with high density foam and added the tail fin.
Then we added spacers to all the foam ribs and glued them together
with hot glue guns. The usual sound of reggae and downtempo beats
coming from Jim's stereo was often interrupted by shouts and f**ks
as we burnt our fingers on 170c hot glue. Still, with more than a
few blisters we got the job done and moved on to adding the outer
After a few attempts, we had the right technique and glued sheet
foam in strips to the foam spacers. Working from the tail forward,
we then added thinner foam that we had cut into scales for that extra
level of detail. Meanwhile, we had bought B&Q out of gluesticks
and now needed pipelagging to make the lips.
With the body looking good, we concentrated our work on the face.
Adding a streached layer of black foam to make the features. Dan
was lost inside the bowls of the fish adding the back to the mouth
and Andy set to work on carving all the teeth. With glue gun and
evo-stick in hand the face started to take shape
Once we had the shape of the face, this was covered with thin white
foam to keep everything the same base colour. Then when with the
teeth in place we started mixing the paint. We used paint mixed with
Latex (liquid rubber) to give it strength and stop it from cracking.
The first few coats took ages to cover and we started with a blue/grey
and built up layers of colour, shading and highlighting.
Then we worked on the face. Jim and Sean bought a foam ball for
the eyes and bravely slit the eyelid holes. The eyeballs were added
and suddenly, the fish had a personality!
So with the kart almost ready, the team settled down for a very
nice curry (thanks to Jims folks) including the now famous curried
eggs. Still a few things to finish, some detail to add and then isoflex
varnishing for that extra touch. Then our attention can turn to team
uniform and inlisting support for team Moby and his Dicks.
26th July 2004