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RC Ferrari 156 F1 Sharknose 1/10

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RC Ferrari 156 F1 Sharknose 1/10

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Old 04-04-2019, 02:08 AM
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Default RC Ferrari 156 F1 Sharknose 1/10

I followed the thread about vintage formula 1 in the California forum a couple of years ago with great interest. To be honest, I’ve been an addict to these cigar-type F1 cars since I watched the movie “Grand Prix” for the first time…

That thread gave me the idea to turn my 25 years old electric Off-Road Buggy into a onroad 1960’s F1 car. So after a couple of modifications to the chassis, tires etc. I finally made a mold to vacuum-form the body for it. Here’s the car and a couple of my homemade bodies from the mid- to late 1960’s for it:


But ever since, there was still the idea in my mind to build the IMHO most beautiful F1 car of all time: The Ferrari 156 F1 Sharknose from 1961. In case somebody of you wonders what this car is, here are two examples (in 1/43):



I decided to open this thread for those of you, who might be interested to follow the progress of this project.

To make a car like the Ferrari 156 F1 as a RC car, I see a couple of challenges:
First of all: The dimensions with regards to width and wheelbase. Any chassis available is far too wide for these tiny little 1.5L F1 racers of 1961. The original Ferrari 156 Sharknose had a wheelbase of 2300mm and a width of only 1400mm. So in 1:10, it would mean 230mm wheelbase and 140mm width…
I have a couple of F103 but even if I take 260mm wheelbase, the width should be max only ~160mm go give it an authentic look.

So, to make sure it will look close to the original, I decided I’ll build a dedicated chassis to it. I have a couple of Tamiya parts that have been resting for many years in the back of one of my drawers which I will use for it. These are F102 parts and I think they will work well for this project.

Of course, with these chassis dimensions there will be no chance to have a competitive car. But that is not my intention.

No. 1 priority is a scale look
No. 2 priority is a realistic/scale driving behavior – means: Top speed of ~20 mph (~30 km/h) is sufficient. The car shall slide and drift around the corners like an original 1960’s F1 car without wings, so I do not need a high grip at all.
No. 3 priority: I don’t want to spend a lot of money…

I'll post pics of the project progress here from time to time and also obstacles which I'll face certainly.
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Old 04-04-2019, 06:58 AM
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Awesome job on your homemade bodies! And the 156 is a great choice for your next project...I was wondering what you will do for scale tires? I've been eyeing the Tamiya 1/14 truck tires for a similar project or possibly 3d printing your own in the appropriate scale..
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Old 04-04-2019, 01:21 PM
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Looking forward to this... I had found similar older vintage F1 threads which referenced a site that not longer exists for the vintage bodies to fit on F10x platforms.
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Old 04-04-2019, 01:26 PM
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Old 04-04-2019, 07:30 PM
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3d printing is definitely viable. It looks like the Open F1 rc car is fairly popular. For the sake of performance and precision, I wouldn't want to 3d print everything. For things like axles, tires, gears, etc i would want to use off the shelf parts. And of course the base chassis will be proportioned around the 1.5 liter F1 cars of the early 60's.

I did some quick un-scientific calculations and it looks like the 1/14 tires come in at about 1/8 scale for a 1.5l f1 car

Last edited by Manny; 04-04-2019 at 08:46 PM.
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Old 04-05-2019, 12:04 AM
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Hi Manny, yes you are right. Early 1960’s F1 cars had ultra-narrow wheels and tires. Plus they were much bigger in diameter than today’s wheels and tires. I'm having a close look to the 1/14 truck tires, however I'm struggeling to
a) find a way to fix it either on a 1/10 rim
b) find a suitable truck rim that could fit on a 1/10 chassis
does anybody know more details?

I'd wish I had a 3D printer for this. Would make a solution more easy.

For the meantime, I have cut the Tamiya wheels. These plastic wheels are easy to cut with a sharp knife. The front wheels/tires will be only 20mm wide each and the rear wheels will be 25mm wide. For a realistic look, the tires will be 70mm in diameter (!). Let’s see, I assume I may need a smaller pinion with this big diameter.


Until I have a better solution, I have made my own tires. Foam/cellular rubber that can also be used for RC tires is available in many dimensions. I took a 20mm thick plate and a 25mm thick plate and cut the tires with a hole saw:


This is how it looks on the wheel. The tire will be balanced and sanded once it is fixed on the wheel.


And finally, this will become the chassis


The wheelbase is 270mm, the width is 170mm. I think it comes pretty close to the original dimensions.

Now I’ll start to make the mold for the vacuum-forming of the body. I always use simple wood boards for all my molds, which I shape in good, old craftsmanship by hand into the right design. I’m just using drawings and several pictures of the original car to get the right appearance. No CAD/CAM, 3D prints ect…



To be continued…

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Old 04-05-2019, 12:39 AM
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Of course the foam tire method works well too! It's a great way to get the exact tire size you need and you should get really good traction as well. My only concerns are durability of such a high profile foam.

As far as hand carving the body, I'm going to give you extra kudos for that! My middle aged hands are too old and skill too little to do that. I need to use a CNC machine for bodies.
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Old 04-05-2019, 08:43 AM
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Old 04-05-2019, 09:15 AM
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As a reminder the Tamiya F103GT allows you to mount TC style wheels, as such you can run HPI Spoked Wheels and VTA tread patterns as well.





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Old 04-08-2019, 01:03 AM
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Default Making the mould

Thanks for the recommendations on the wheels, I'll have a look into that. I'm not yet really satisfied with my current solution, but for the time being I'll leave it like that and will finish the body first.

The mold is made out of two pieces that can be detached - this is imho the only way I will bring the mold out of the body after the vacuum forming. It can be detached exactly where the original car had the engine cover. So the little groove that will be formed into the body is well intented!
I scrached also other grooves into the mold like the original car. I use small nails for the rivets that the Ferrari Sharknose had on the fuel tank


The air intakes got each a small hole that leads to the bottom of the mold. So the vacuum will pull the Lexan into it.


From below the mold looks like a piece of cheese...


The Ferrari 156 F1 was available in many versions that had slight little differences. Basically the car was almost never identical to the previous race during the 1961/1962 seasons.
The most elementary difference is the engine. Initially, Ferrari started the season with a 65° V6. Later they used mostly the 120° engine, often both versions where used in races.
The 65° engine had only one big "bubble" to cover the intake trumpets, whilst the 120° engine had two small covers.
Since I'm planning to make more than one body of the Sharknose, I will do also both different versions. So the covers for the intake trumpets will only be fixed with some double-sided sticky tape. So I can remove them again.

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Old 04-08-2019, 06:15 AM
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Default Forming The Body

I finished the body. I use for all my bodies both Lexan (or to be precise: Makrolon) and PETG. A body made out of PETG is for sure less durable, but vacuum forming PETG is much easier (you don't need to pre-dry it, the temperature window is wider etc. etc.). Whenever I try a mold for the first time, I prefer to use PETG, because if the result is not what I expected, the rootcause is much likely in the mould itself, and not a mistake during the heating of the sheet or vacuumforming procedure.
Once the first body of a new mold is ok, I switch to Makrolon.

I lifted the mold a bit on my vacuum box so that the vacuum will pull the sheet also slightly under the mold:




Now this is the reason why I thought it may make sense to make the mold into two pices


The body can quite easily be taken out of the mold (or the mold out of the body...? ) even though it has huge undercuts




First time the body is on the chassis... I need to paint is asap!!
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Old 04-09-2019, 08:03 PM
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That's some nice engineering on the body. I like the way you handled the undercuts. I can't wait to see it painted!
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Old 04-10-2019, 01:24 AM
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I choose to paint it like the Sharknose of Von Trips, German GP Nurgburgring 1961 (2nd place). I still need to install the RC components, then it will be time for the first roll-out :-)






At the moment, it is just resting loose on the chassis. I think will try to fix the body with magnet clips so that no holders will be visible. Plus, I assume the body is pretty fragile, so my hope is that with magnet clips the body will rather pop off the chassis instead of being destroyed in case of a crash...
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Old 04-10-2019, 05:27 AM
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Looks awesome, great job.
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Old 04-10-2019, 09:19 AM
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good job
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