Engine Manufacturing and Nosecone

Over the last few weeks I was working a bit on the engine and finished off the nosecone. Of course, all beside RB10 troubleshooting.

The nosecone was actually not planned to build that early, but some circumstances forced me to build the nosecone now. This circumstances are some kind of a “secret project” which I’ll show you in a few weeks. Target date is first week of April. Wait and see…

Engine: Front wall of the engine block is almost finished. Mounting points to the chassis are all done and looking very stiff. Not much to tell about the engine any more. Apart from the to expect ultra high grade of detail.

The nose is also a huge improvement compared to the RB7 one. The laminate thickness is much more realistic (not that fat as it is at my RB7). However, the nose is very stiff and the nosepins are very rigid. The front wing pylons were also a bit of a weak spot at the RB7. On this nose, I reinforced the pylons with a steel wire each side and provided another tube for picking up the FW mountings. The shape of this nose was highly complex. Especially the bulge under the nosetip and the step were very difficult to get properly done. But everything worked out quite well without any big problems. The nose is probably a bit lower than the original, but at least it’s within the regulations.

Lotus E21

Current state of the RS27 engine. I got a bit of heat damage at the lh side of the engine front. It can happen that I leave it like this to show a few signs of wear.

Lotus E21

The first attempt to attach the engine to the chassis was highly successful. The stiffness of the assemblage is astonishing. The tech regulations require 6 M10 bolts to fix the engine to the chassis. In my case the engine is fixed by six steel pins.

Lotus E21

Nose cone drawing. Loads of regulation lines to start. You can clearly see the bulge under the nosetip which wasn’t there every race. Means, Lotus had at least two nose specifications over 2013. I did not made a lot of research in that direction. As I know that I’ll build the Belgian specification there is no need to know how many different noses they used over the season.

Lotus E21

Structural nose part. Here you can see the crashbox and at the left there is the jig to bond in the nosepins.

Lotus E21

Bonding process of the nosepins. That’s always one of the most critical points of the build (as the nose should be removable). But everything went quite well to my full staisfaction.

Lotus E21

Templates for the black coating of the nose. From left to right: The sides and the lower part are one part (bulge included). Top cover is in the middle. The cutting edge was designed to be covered by the nice gold stripe. The strange looking part on the very right hand side is a front wing pylon.

Lotus E21

First attempt to fit the nose.

Lotus E21

Here you can see the internals of the pylons. The rear tube is the structural beam, the front tubes are the pick up points for the front wing.

Lotus E21

Logo fitting…

Lotus E21

I’m getting better and better doing the paint jobs. The surface of the nose is almost perfect. A few small tweaks to be done, but in general it’s a great finsih.

Lotus E21

Nothing to say about this…

Lotus E21

Chassis: E21-03; Cockpit badge

Chassis finishing off

As reported in the last post, the chassis was in the paint process over the last few days. This car is the first one, where I created a really planed paint process. There were four steps:

  • 1st Step, paint preparation: Sanding every single surface of the car and especially cutting edges up to 1500 sand paper. After sanding, all sponsor labels were added as quick as possible to avoid damage or whitening. Quick clean of the main surfaces to get rid of big dust particles or similar contamination.
  • 2nd Step, prime coat: Tape all surfaces that need no highly polished surfaces (means monocoque inside, chassis sides behind side pod intake). Applying first coat of clear lacquer immediately after finishing with the first step. Applying 9 layers at all. Waiting at least half an hour between applying next layer.
  • 3rd Step, main coat: Add all missing non highly polished surfaces to the chassis (monocoque underside, front bulkhead, radiator ducts,…). Applying additional five coats of clear lacquer and drying it on a radiator. Waiting at least one hour between every single coat.
  • 4th Step, subsequent improvement: Inspect painted surfaces and apply another few spray dots to faces where no polished finish yet.

And the result of this process is astonishing! I never got such a nice surface quality and highly polished finish of the car. I will apply this process from now on at every car with probably a few improvements.

After the paint process it’s obviousely very critical to work on the car (avoiding surface containment). When I’m working on a specific area on the car, I have to cover the surrounding surfaces with some tape stripes. What I also detected during working on the car shortly before the paint process is, that the monocoque is fucking extremely stiff and rigid. I was hardly struggling to get the holes for mirror assembly and nose pins done. With a hammer and a scriber and nail I was working for several minutes to get this four holes onto the car. That means, that the implementation of my thoughts about how to get the chassis stiffer and not significantely heavier has taken full effect. I guess I was never so satisfied with a chassis as I am at the mo. Although there could be some minor improvements, but that can wait till the next car.

During the paint process, which contains a lot of waiting (which I partly bridged by drinking beer), I also started the manufacturing of the engine. The manufacturing of the engine block is one of the most annoying parts of the car. Machined metal parts, the most time consuming work in paper modelling. It’s a pain in the ass!


The chassis shortly before the paint process. All surfaces were treated to 1500 sand paper. Few sponsor logos and rear mirrors missing.


Within the paint process. Immediately after applying the lacquer, the car always looks perfect, but after drying you’re back in reality… It takes an awful lot amount of time to get a proper paint job done.


Prime coat: Nine layers of lacquer results in this milky look. But the surface is already wonderfull. All edges are beatuifully blended and smooth. After this, I had to wait for 24 hrs plus, to rework the car before applying the final main coat.


One part of the car rework was f.e. the fit of the rad ducts. As you can see, I taped off the surrounding surfaces to avoid contamination of the nice surface.


This is also the first car, where I really planed a fastening system for the whole bodywork panels. And I hope it will work. It’s kind of the same system as it’s on real F1 cars. Here you can see the fit of one fastener…


“Machining” the holes for the nose pins. I would say, in combination of glue and my treatment of the paper, this components are much harder than some plastics or woods…


First pic after finishing the 3rd paint step.


Finished chassis with (non painted) heatshield.


Current state of the car with half finished radiators and in production progress being engine block.


Front bulkhead.

Here are just some pictures to show you the incredible surface finish of the car:


The Kimi logo is the only one I did by hand. There was no suitable Kimi logo available on the net.


I think in this pic, you can clearly see the really incredible finish of the chassis. Hopefully all parts of the car will get like this.


Lotus! It would be interessting to know, if I already caught Lotus’ attention with my work as it was at the RB7 and the Audi R18 TDI.


The thing I was most worried about were the side pods. Especially this extension (with the burn on it) which are housing the side impact structures. But with my now developed paint process, it got awsome…

Best wishes,


Chassis ready for Paint Shop

Just a short, but reasonable update. Chassis is now finished for 1st stage painting! During paint process I’ll start off with the engine.


Last minutes before the chassis goes to the paint shop!

Side Pod and Airbox Manufacturing

Nice progress in the past few weeks. After bonding together the two halfs of the monocoque I immediately started designing the side pods. Always one of the most challenging things. The shape of a modern F1 side pod is such a masterpiece this days that it’s really hard to model it from paper. As the proper pods surface is bent in two directions and paper is basically not drapable and just able to be bent in one direction, I had to simplify the shape to a developable, just in one direction bent surface. It actually worked out well with the usual problems at this stage.

Second big point of progess is the airbox. The E21′s airbox is the most car typical airbox since the Merc 2010/11 fin style airbox. The two PDRS (Passive Drag Reduction System) floppy ears were a bit of a pain to do and the right hand one did not got perfect, but it’s acceptable. This is also my very first airbox, I did with full details like roll hoop inside, profiled leading edge and so on. The car will propably get a bit too high (it’s already very close to the 950mm limit). I will propably measure it at RBT with a more adequate measuring tool than a set square.

Another huge improvement is the surface finishing of the car by sanding every single surface up to 1500 sand paper. This will help strongly during the paint process. The paint process itself will be 2 stepped. With a first stage lacquering of all the painted (means red’n’black surface with the sponsor labels on it) surface by approximately 7 or 8 layers and second stage will be with all aditional features like bodywork fixing flange, carbon fibre texture, etc.

Quick forecast over the next weeks. On 28th of Jan, RB10 will be launched. Hope it’s as good as the 9 end season car. :) I expect finishing off the whole stuff on the monocoque next weekend to get started 1st stage lacquering the car. And starting parallel with the engine, which shouldn’t be that a big challenge as I have already built the same one for the RB7 and have seen the engine in flesh now for many (very many) times – but didn’t took any drawings, sketches, dimensions or anything else with me. Just the stuff which I was able to memorize in my head.


The 5 stages of the side pod shape. Top left was the initially calculated shape. The next ones are all refined shapes by using my side pod jig to evaluate the perfect shape. Was a very challenging task, but I brought it to a very satisfying level.


My side pod jigs. The left hand one is for evaluating the best shape and the right hand one is/was the bond on jig for forcing the pod into the right shape during bonding on the car.


Side pod during bonding process. There were a few stages to get it finished. I also applied a glue film on the inside of the pod to give it a bit more stiffness.


First airbox test. Height check and so on. The fairing between the air inlet and the monocoque went thru the same process as the side pods.


Airbox with seperated roll hoop. I guess, what means that  I don’t know, that Lotus is using a carbon roll hoop. Even if I know that f.e. STR or FI are using Aluminium ones.


Bonded in roll hoop. It was a bit difficult in the end to get access to the (later bonded on)PDRS inlets.


Moulding of the PDRS inlet. The negative mould tool is from full cardboard and sanded into right shape.


Chassis at it’s current stage. As you can see, the first sponsor logos are already fitted. Airbox is bonded on and looking quite good.


Rear view of the car. The internal ducting of the airbox will be a bit challenging. But that’s nothing to worry about this time. That’s the problem of March or so.


Rear end of the monocoque. It’s looking really good now. I’m very satisfied with most of my work. Note the nice louvres beside the impact structure beside the drivers head. They are there for helping ventilation of the engine/radiator bay.


The nice vanes and winglets on top of the side pod. Note the nice moulded top edge of the vanes. They are sanded up to 1500 sand paper to a almost perfect shape (rounded edges, ball shaped front corners).


One of the few differences between the real car and my model (apart from the size) is my logo. There are two reasons for it: I decided to label now all my cars with at least one of my logos. Second reason, almost more important, I can hide the cutting edge between the side pod and the actual (structural) chassis. Nice turn I would say.


And a bit of fun at the end. It’s not going on so seriously during my car build all time. I might not missunderstood the sense of an airbox, but that’s definitely assembled in the wrong position.

Bonding together upper and lower Monocoque Halfs

Over the last few weeks I had a very little time where I was able to bond together the two monocoque halfs. There were a few little problems where the single dampers and the pedal assembly collided during the bonding process. The single dampers are now not in there correct position (they are tillted a bit inwards) but you can hardly see it. I also added a part of the outer layer of the monocoque.


The two monocoque halfs finished for the bonding process. You can also see the frame for the cockpit padding.


The finished cockpit padding. Ref. 2013 FORMULA 1 TECHNICAL REGULATIONS-Drawing 3


Cockpit padding inside the upper half. Not very much space left for the driver. :)


And finally the two halfs bonded together. The stiffnes of the monocoque is amazing. Its a very lot stiffer as for example the RB7.


A bit of “delamination” during the bonding process at the inside of the cockpit area.


The outer shell of the monocoque with all it’s cutouts for suspension members, hatches and so on.


Chassis with outer shell.

Here is the list of all cars I’ve ever built. I will add pictures to each single car (if available).

The new page is under menu point cars.


Inner front Suspension arrangement

Even though the 1:1 RB10 needs almost my entire ressources at the moment, I was able to finish the inner front suspension stuff within the last weeks. When the inner suspension stuff was just a simple scheme at the RB7 and a basic arrangement at my Audi R18 TDI, the E21 has now a fully detailed inner FS and pedal arrangement. Although all this details can hardly be seen after bonding the two chassis halfs together, I do not worry about it. It’s in there and you can reveal it thru the hole in the front bulkhead.

In the next few weeks I’ll finish the few missing parts inside the monocoque, finish the cockpit entry with a clear lacquer und bond the two halfs together – hopefully before christmas.


Front rockers


Front rockers mounted to the inside of the monocoque.


Springs, dampers, PAS (Power Assisted Steering) and steering column.


Two potentiometers and a bit other electronic stuff for measuring single front damper movement.


Assembling a poti. Quite a fiddly work.


Kimis pedal assembly. The cutouts on top of the pedals should initially be just a half circle, but that would have been a bit difficult to produce, so I prefered to do it as a full circle.


Whole pedal assembly mounted to the lower half of the chassis. The big fat line you can see coming from the back is the hydraulic line for the interconnection between front and rear heave dampers.


Different angle of the pedal assembly.


Hopefully my work was accurately enough not to get problems by colliding items when fitting the two halfs together. But I think it should be alright.


At the left hand side you can see the hydraulic lines for the interconnected suspension and the rear brake line. At the right hand side, there are the hyd lines for the PAS and the line for the gas pedal.


Top view of the pedal assembly.


The two chassis halfs almost finished to bond together.


Cockpit entry is ready to get finished with clear lacquer. I’m just waiting for the arrival of my spray cans.


Also a new feature, the cutouts for the whole electronic and hydraulic lines on both sides of the monocoque.


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