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Lightning McQueen #1

After years of people looking at our Tow Mater replicas and asking "Where is Lightning McQueen?", we have decided to take that step and build him.  Lots of people have taken a red sports car of various makes/models and applied decals to make it resemble Lightning McQueen, but we are going to actually build a correct replica - from scratch - not using an existing car to start with.  In fact, we started with the original Lightning McQueen, using 3D scans of the one at Disneyland California.  

Using these scans, we sliced the car like a loaf of bread, and built each of the pieces individually out of wood, then reassembled them back into the "loaf" again.  

Once we settled on the correct size (actually 10% larger than the original to make it the size of a real car), the wooden sections were covered in a string mesh, and the corners were sculpted from expanding foam.

The body is then covered in burlap soaked in plaster of paris; which is then covered in drywall mud to allow us to continue shaping and perfecting the body.  The custom made "Lightyear" tires are now coming together as well - big 295/65-15s wrapped around 15x10 Aero Nascar wheels.

Then about 12 boxes (42 gallons) of drywall mud were slowly spread over the burlap, allowed to dry and layered again.  Hours of sanding to get a pretty good shape going.  Windows were laid in place to build the recessed openings for them.  Then this layer was sealed with polyurethane.

Next, 2 layers of fiberglass mat were laid on, then covered in a thickened layer of fiberglass resin (tinted red).  

Now off to the bodyshop, where the resin layer is sanded down, and bodywork with normal body filler is done over that...

Back from body and painted in bright red.  This form is looking amazing!  Unfortunately, this is just another step in the process.  Now we have to make a mold of this form in order to make the actual body will will use from that mold.  That means messing this great paintjob up by laying fiberglass all over it...

Parting lines for mold panels are laid out...