Making the tricky body panels The main body of the car, like a standard Locost, has been paneled in aluminium. The relative simplicity of bodying a Locost with flat sheet is testament to the straightforward overall design of the car. All metal parts, including the rear of a locost, are single plane bends of flat sheet. All the tricky bits, like nose cone and wheel arches, are fibreglass.
In an ideal world, the Valkyrie would have been fully aluminium bodied. In reality, its pretty obvious that to fashion compound curves in aluminium sheet to a perfectly smooth finish needed on a car body, was way beyond what I could attempt! The alternative was fibreglass. Its not by accident that the tricky bits of a locost are fibreglass, and that so much of the kit car and low volume vehicle market use it. It gives the user half a chance of getting a decent result, taking the part from a shape fashioned by the designer over which the ‘glass is cast. Notable exceptions that prefer to use sheet metal are Aston Martin and Morgan themselves – but I am not a time served metal basher!
So, as I’m doing this car with lots of fiddly bits on, its gotta be fibreglass.
Be sure you want to do this!
If you are reading this with a view to making parts for a standard locost that could be bought off the shelf, my advice is DO’NT DO IT!!! BUY THEM!
My experience is that :
1. It takes a fair while to produce the part – as its a 3 stage process of buck / mould / part.
2. It’s fairly expensive, as you have to by parts to make the buck, then the fibreglass mould, then the final part. Again, everything is times three.
3. You are only likely to make one set of parts and that does not justify the expense – making your own parts in my view is way more expensive than buying…..cos you are perfoming a 3 stage process…..
4. Its unlikely that your initial parts will look as good as bought ones. If you are going to self-colour the fibreglass parts to avoid spraying them, then your work has to be a really high standard as what comes out the mould is what you are gonna have to live with. You cant sand or smooth the finish down.
5. The process is fairly messy and smelly, with potentially harmful fumes. There is no way you can do this in the house – you will wreck the place and gas everyone! Similarly, hand lay-up of GRP can be pretty ‘splashy’ and will not be the best thing to do to your garage. You need to cover up things you don’t want coated in resin.
Having said all that, its quite rewarding to take a part out of a mould that’s all been made by your own hands. If you could have bought it all ready made and you spent time and money doing your own, in my view you are a nutter!
If you would like to learn the full process click here!