Widebody GTR Stagea Build

Thread in 'Project Cars and Builds Threads' started by Doritofu, Oct 14, 2022.

  1. Doritofu

    Doritofu Active Member

    Jun 25, 2012
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    The tyres were rubbing like a bitch but I did get some photos of it to show the fitment and why stock fenders aren't going to work.




    This shot really shows the difference in width. It was a little hard to visualize up till now.

    Also thought it was a good idea to show how much higher the GTR arch sits than the Stagea ones





    Initially I thought that it was that the radius for the wheel arch was actually larger on the GTR, but it turns out they're both the same size it's just that the GTR fender is obviously designed to be a lot closer to the ground than it is and so the whole thing just needs to be dropped down about 20mm before it matches the rear.

    But moving on from that, the rear fenders were marked for cutting.



    For the fender cut I actually opted to go pretty conservative with my initial cut. I know that I'll need to take more than this out to get full suspension travel clearance, but I wanted to design the widebody first so I know what material to leave.

    Even so it's still pretty much the same process except I didn't bother welding it the whole way up, just a few tacks to give it back it's rigidity.








  2. Doritofu

    Doritofu Active Member

    Jun 25, 2012
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    Here we go, on to the fun stuff.

    Time to finally start the widebody. First step is sealing off all the gaps because this expanding foam goes absolutely everywhere.


    This time I even put something on my wheel tubs because I've still got foam on the ones on my cybermx5.



    So we're going with expanding foam again. I've thought a lot about the best way to tackle these widebodies since making the one on my mx5 as well as things I would change.

    So I still don't have a 3d printer or any computer design skills so that option was out. CNC cutting profiles was going to cost more than the car so that's out. Clay would be awesome and I really wanted to try that, but you can't buy it in NZ and by the time I'd shipped enough of it from China the price was going to be astronomical, and then I'd have to store a whole pallet of clay in a barn that is hardly even waterproof.

    So it really did turn out that the best method was still to box it all up and go with the expanding foam. So I got to pouring.




    Shaping this foam could not be easier. Larger chunks are cut off with a saw, then I found that a carving knife goes through this stuff like nobodies business and give a little more control with taking the fine slices off.



    Shaping the front was easy as. Since I spent all that time shaping the fender underneath to the exact perfect line, all I had to do was sand down to meet up with that line and then carry that straight down the sideskirt and on to the bumper.




    The rear was more of a challenge.

    Because I was designing this on the fly, there was a lot of sketching and measuring and eyeballing.

    I took a lot of the design elements from the GTR and transferred them to the rear like the angles of the front and rear of the fender, as well as the gentle arch on the top.

    It ended up looking quite a lot like the Pandem style kits but that was actually completely accidental. It's actually not the only time I worked my own way towards a design that already exists but working with car that has been modified as much as the GTR has, it's pretty hard to find something that hasn't been done before.

    I will just say though, before Rocket Bunny or Liberty Walk announce it like next week or something, here me out: Narrowbody kits. Basically make an inverted fender where you cut the original to expose the tyre and then put this liner on the inside to make the look cleaner. It exposes the tyre and makes the car look like an F1 with the exposed tyres.

    I'm patenting this design so nobody steal it until I get a chance to.
  3. Doritofu

    Doritofu Active Member

    Jun 25, 2012
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    Carrying on with refining the lines.




    For the front I decided that I wanted to cut the flare off as high as I could. There was no way to avoid bringing a piece on to the front bumper itself. The actual radius of the over fender was shifted quite a lot from the original and so they didn't line up at all. The bottom of the front bumper piece was determined by what the highest point was that I could mate the flare to the bumper while keeping a smooth curve between the two.


    The reason I wanted to make this front piece as small as possible was because I want people to be able to fit whatever front bumpers they like when they do this kit. If I made the front section of the flare come all the way down to the bottom then that limits peoples choices for front bumpers.


    Because most bodykit manufacturers design parts to work with each other, you'll find a lot of the bumpers are all very similar the closer you get to other panels like the fenders. This means that that section of almost all the aftermarket bumpers should be pretty much the same, otherwise that bumper wouldn't be compatible with standard GTR fenders. So using that to my advantage the design that I've gone for should mean that you can run any front bumper you want.

    And of course the front bumper piece covers up the OEM GTR turn signal so that anybody buying this kit has the option to re-use the ones from the Stagea and save having to spend hundreds of dollars on even more GTR parts.



    While refining the rear the main things that I had to focus on where the defined ridge running straight through the middle of the fender, as well as the size of the front and rear sections and the arch at the top.

    For the angle of the ridgeline I wanted a slight downwards slope to match the front (gives feeling of speed and all that nonsense) luckily the Stagea bodyline already had this downwards slope so rather than put 2 competing lines on the car I just used the laser level to copy the Stagea's body line straight down and use that. So that part was sorted.

    The upper arch was more tricky. Because it was determined by the end points of the ridgeline, that meant the top of the arch, the ridge, and the inner radius for the wheel well were all linked together. I actually tested quite a few combinations of heights here and had to repour the foam a couple times.

    I ended finding what in my opinion is the perfect balance of; just enough curve, enough distance from the ridge line to the inner arch, enough distance from the ridge line to the upper arch, enough distance from the upper arch to the bottom of the rear glass. It was tricky, and it took a lot of back and forth but I reckon I nailed it.


    Then with those 2 sorted, figuring out how much to extend the flare in front and behind the wheel was just a matter of shaving it down until it went from looking good to looking bad, then adding it back on and not touching it anymore.

    And then I cut out the filler door.




    I thought about playing around with the hinges so that I could keep the smooth lines of the flare, but every way of modifying the hinge just seemed real janky to me. And it simplifies making this kit if I can just not include that extra piece anyway so I just elected to leave it as it was. I used to not like how these cutout filler caps looked but seeing it in person and thinking about how much work was going to go into it change my mind.

    Also going to take this time to shamelessly plug my videos again.

    This was in episode 14 of my GTR Stagea build series, oh no would you look at that, I dropped the link all over the place

  4. Doritofu

    Doritofu Active Member

    Jun 25, 2012
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    Finally caught up to real time now and here's where we're at.

    So after I'd say only a week or so and most of that was head scratching, I had the shapes for the fenders sussed.

    One thing that I learned with the Mx5 and then again with the Mx5 again, and then again with this Stagea, is that expanding foam is not a very stable material. If you leave it for a couple days it will shrink back on you and make these annoying craters everywhere.

    So with the Mx5 widebody, this was where I shaved the whole fender down and then applied about 4 tubs of bodyfiller to it to build it back up. An issue that I ran into doing it this way was everytime I started getting close to the foam layer the body filler got really thin and if you pressed on it too hard you would crack it, or easily sand through into the foam and then you'd have to carve it out and re-apply it, which is the most frustrating thing when you think you're almost done shaping and then have to start again.

    So to fix both of these issues I decided to seal the foam in with a super quick layer of 80gsm fiberglass tissue.




    This meant cutting all the joins and splitting the pieces in order to take them off the car. Unlike the Mx5 widebody which was only 4 simple flares and a lip. In this bodykit both the front and rear flares needed to be split into 3 parts each. To make the kit a little easier to install I decided that I was going to mould the lower portions of the flares into the sideskirts and produce it all as one piece. They will still look like bolted on overfender extensions to match the rest of the kit, but this design choice simplifies things quite a lot.






    The rear fender needed to be split in order to get the door open obviously. I also decided here that instead of my original design where I follow the original door line all the way down and around the fender, it would look nicer if I just changed the door line.





    Changing the door line also means that packaging the kit will be easier since it makes the rear flare section shorter and gets rid of the flimsy little dog leg that could just snap off due to poor courier handling.

    So now time for my trademarked Tofu Auto Works fuck up. But to explain myself a bit here before hand, back when I was making the widebody for the Mx5, the whole time I was sanding the filler I wished I'd just used something a lot easier to sand. Fast forward to making the fastback roof and I decided to use some jointing compound to shape the roof. I cant even tell you how much better it was to work with. Sanded like nothing and I was able to build up all the filler, let it dry over the weekend and then sanded the whole thing in no time.

    So I thought, sweet, let's give that a go on this Stagea then since it worked so well for the fastback.







    Now here's the fuck up.

    It actually sands a little too easy. The thing with the fastback was that the plug I made was meant to be skinned with the fiberglass, not used to make a mould. And so the surface finish of it was perfect for that, but up close the finish was dogshit. And I just sort of forgot that when I started on this Stagea.

    So what this meant was that after applying 3 layers of this plaster, waiting over a week in total for it to dry enough to sand, and then immediately sanding too much and having to apply more and wait another 2 days, I had a finish that was so soft that I couldn't even touch it without leaving a mark.

    Getting fine details was a nightmare. At this point I could tell that it was just going to be so much work sanding this and then coating it in resin give it an outer shell that I could sand and hope to retain some detail. Not worth it. So I chipped all of it off and went back to body filler.

    Don't get me wrong though, there's a time and place for everything. If I were making a race car or a one off kit and I needed a nice simple mould that I wouldn't mind doing a little bit of filler work to the fiberglass piece afterwards, then the speed you get from this plaster is definitely worth it.

    The reason it wasn't what I wanted here was I need a production quality surface so that parts I make are good to go straight out out of the mould. It's a little bit of extra work for me but it saves everyone else who buys this kit countless hours. The other reason is the weather has been real shit here and it meant waiting 2 days between layers and I just don't want it sitting in my barn taking up space forever.



    And that's pretty much where we're at now.

    So I've been jumping around between my builds and now I'm just finishing up some work on the Cyberpunk Mx5 before getting back into these fenders but when I come back the goal is basically to build up the body filler and get the plugs pretty much done ready to make moulds.

    Since I added the fiberglass underneath I think they should be strong enough to drive on so I'm going to test the wheel clearance on these plugs and hopefully get away with just making a single set of moulds unlike the mx5 where I made an initial set to test fit and then made tweaks to that to make my final moulds.

    Still though it's coming along pretty good and I hope to have the next update out pretty soon, or at least the next video.
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  5. Samuele Deganello

    Samuele Deganello New Member

    Jul 1, 2023
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    hi Guys my name's is Samuele i'm from Italy and i see the work of this car on You tube.
    i want ask about the matirial's used and where can I find it.
    in particular the bi-component polyurethane. i not post the my work for rispect in you.
    anyway if someone want know what it is you can go on Istagram page (samueledeganello).
    i changed to many part of the car. and i want and I would like to go the route of external modification.
    i hope you can help me thanks a lot and see you soon.
    #25 Samuele Deganello, Jul 1, 2023
    Last edited: Jul 1, 2023
  6. Samuele Deganello

    Samuele Deganello New Member

    Jul 1, 2023
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    Hi Chris you have's an answer.
    Best day to you
  7. Samuele Deganello

    Samuele Deganello New Member

    Jul 1, 2023
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    Sorry Chris forgive me for the inappropriateness, but here you could have done it differently.

    a center line could be created with cardboard or any other material that was not too thick.
    luck has it that you are always in time to do it.....
    p.s nice Project even if I would have chosen a much shorter subject

    the bad luck of those who have no followers is that they are often grossly mistaken.

    #27 Samuele Deganello, Jul 2, 2023
    Last edited: Jul 2, 2023

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