P-40 Cruiser - NEW faux gun barrel concept

Discussion in 'RRB BUILD OFF #5' started by MatthewRobertHenry, Jun 4, 2010.

  1. MatthewRobertHenry

    MatthewRobertHenry

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    I've been watching the builds in fascination as a new member and a recent CL parts bike has provided a donor frame so I'm throwing my hat in the ring :). I spent some time brainstorming and have my theme and beginning progress to document. I will be building a P-40 flying tiger WWII themed cruiser and I've got some really neat ideas from fake bombs and exhaust to a working propeller and of course the iconic sharklike Mouth and Eye but let's get into some pics shall we?
    The donor bike: an aluminum Monterey Bay 3-Speed badged by Next. I bought this solely to steal the Nexus 3spd wheelset for my DR. It rode nice as it was - the aluminum frame is light and responsive plus nearly rust proof (so important for me living on a boat in the pacific) but it just didn't have that classic beach cruiser look I love so much. Now that this build has consumed my thoughts for a few days I may end up wanting to make it my primary ride by the end, we'll see.
    Here she is just as I got her:
    [​IMG]
    Now the fun part. I realized if I fabricated a custom tank it would give it the classic cruiser look I love and you wouldn't be able to tell that it's missing the pair of bars that normally sweep from the seatpost to the bottom of the headset. The idea of a custom tank got my imagination running wild. I thought, how cool would a tank look with a sharkey mouth and eye like you see on those wwII planes? something like this:
    [​IMG]
    I don't want a straight up copy of that look, I want rat rod meets P-40. I decided Camo green won't be flashy enough for me so I'm going to go white on the frame with stark red and black design elements complemented by silver and Chrome. I drew up a prototype idea and came up with this:
    [​IMG]
    The drawing is incomplete but I stinkin' love the way the tank makes it look and it was enough to point me in the right direction. I think this just screams for a chrome springer fork but alas I don't have one nor much $ so that may not happen (if you've got a deal or donation by all means let me know :wink: )
    Red Rims, white spokes, whitewall tires, White frame, mouth, and eye are all decided.
    Undecided on Sprocket, tank, and chainguard color/theme.
    Ideas for your consideration - A white sprocket with black star circle like the WWII planes had, possibly a silver tank and chainguard.
    Possibly a white tank and chainguard with Red accents on the chainguard (pinstriping, RatRodBikes.com sticker, etc)
    3 Ideas that didn't make it into the drawing:
    1 - I penciled it in but a faux bomb hanging under the frame would look pretty cool IMO
    2 - I'm so stoked about this: a red nosecone with a functioning black propeller mounted where the headbadge would normally be (that should be a fun project)
    3 - A faux exhaust similar to the P40 pictured either on the tank or the top frame bar

    I am so excited to do this build! I'm on paternity leave for 3 more weeks after the birth of my first son (Ryder Matthew Henry) which gives me some free time and I think I have the parts I need so it's just a matter of fabrication and paint. Let me know what you think!
  2. MatthewRobertHenry

    MatthewRobertHenry

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    Re: P-40 Cruiser

    Here is my progress so far:
    [*]Bike disassembled, all stickers, hardware, and headbadge removed. Awaiting cleaning, prepping, priming and paint
    [​IMG]
    [*]Donor wheels located (I put the Nexus 3spd wheelset on my DR since that's what I bought it for)
    [​IMG]
    I realized when I got the tires off that these rims are different widths. I think I'm ok with that, they are true and hold the same size tires. I'll just put the skinny aluminum one upfront and pretend it makes the rear look more beefy :wink:

    I'm hoping to begin tank fabrication tomorrow and have something workable curing by the end of the day.
  3. Markm

    Markm

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    Re: P-40 Cruiser

    cool ideas!!
    bicycledesigner.com has cheap springers for cheap!! :mrgreen:
  4. frameteam2003

    frameteam2003

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    Re: P-40 Cruiser

    That tank would be really cool made of foam(cut to the shark mouth)and fiberglassed.
  5. diceman

    diceman

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    Re: P-40 Cruiser

    man i love your idea , i always loved those planes .
  6. MatthewRobertHenry

    MatthewRobertHenry

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    Re: P-40 Cruiser

    Life has proved very unpredictable with a newborn so I had a few day delay but I did get a few hours in on the tank, thought I would share the progress.
    Step 1 -> create a tank template:
    [​IMG]
    Step 2 -> Transfer template to wood and cutout (in duplicate) with a jigsaw (my woodworking tool of choice :eek: )
    [​IMG]
    Step 3 -> Template some internal stop blocks for mounting the two tank sides together
    [​IMG]
    Step 4 -> Cutout the stop blocks in duplicate
    [​IMG]
    I decided to not create a block that fills the entire length between top and bottom tube so I could have an access point for storage but I may later change my mind, it will depend how it looks in the mock up.
    Step 5 -> test fit
    [​IMG]

    All in all I'm happy with the progress. My day got interrupted before I could get to routing. My plan is do a small 1/4 rounded edge on the inner sides of each tank piece (the inside edge next to the frame) and a big 1/2 or 3/4 round on the outer edge. I may stop there if it looks god or I may break out the belt-sander and taper and round the whole thing
    Once I'm happy with the shape I'll paint the whole thing in West Systems epoxy to waterproof and seal it. Then I'll sand and prime it and we'll be in business.

    We're taking Ryder to Arizona for a week to see the new grandparents and I'm bringing parts along for the purposes of painting while I have access to a garage, should be good times 8)
  7. Double Nickle

    Double Nickle American Vintage Bicycle Supply Moderator

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    Re: P-40 Cruiser

    NICE FOOT :lol:


    looks great keep it up!!!
  8. Gdcast

    Gdcast

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    Re: P-40 Cruiser

    Cool proyect, I love the P-40, please keep those pics coming!!!
    Check out Foose´s P-32, you may get some ideas from there...
  9. nascar

    nascar

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    Re: P-40 Cruiser

    Cant wait to see more pics.
  10. MatthewRobertHenry

    MatthewRobertHenry

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    Re: P-40 Cruiser

    Thanks for the encouragement fellas. Yes, there are many clues to my lifestyle hidden in these pics :D
    Living on a boat I rarely wear shoes. Its san diego so if I do wear shoes they are flip flops (hence the flip flop tan). Obviously you would not have real grass on a boat but I love the turf equivalent so I recently did the entire upper deck and flybridge in astroturf. Workspace is limited as you can see my saw setup in the aft deck is very small. Storage is alwatlys an issue/challrnge so. I don't. Have very many bike parts laying around :-/.

    I will keep working abd posting pics. I hooe to get the tank finished, prop worked out, and everything painted in the next 10 days. Then all I should have left is assembly
  11. Fireproof

    Fireproof

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    Re: P-40 Cruiser

    Okay, I got it. Click on the pic to see those fabulous tootsies!
    Man, I thought I had good excuses to not work on my bike project . . . I can’t imagine doing bike fab work while afloat! And with a newborn? (Always remember that babies are a precious gift!)
    Looking good so far . . . keep up the good work!
  12. MatthewRobertHenry

    MatthewRobertHenry

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    Re: P-40 Cruiser

    Okay, I've been silent a while because I thought I didn't bring the camera cord on the trip but I found it in my backpack so everyone gets an update :D. I've been working really hard while I have access to a garage half the time and relaxing very well while I spend time with the family and new baby. I don't have a ton of time at this second but I'll give a partial update:
    The tank is the coolest part so I'll give some updates. I routed the top with a 1/2" round and the bottom with a 1/4" round:
    [​IMG]
    Here is a good picture of the round from a front angle:
    [​IMG]
    Next I fitted the stop blocks and screwed them in from the inside:
    [​IMG]
    I ground down the back block a bit to get it to pinch the frame correctly. Then drilled and screwed (on one side of the tank only) in 3 places with screws that went through one sides tank and block then and into the next block to cynch it together. Looks like this:
    [​IMG]
    Here is a front view of it mocked up. The screws and blocks worked great it is never gonna move
    [​IMG]
    Next step: wetcoat entire outer surface including endgrain with fiberglass resin to seal the grain for paint and protect against dings and rot:
    [​IMG]
    Once this cures I sanded it with a long block to get it partially flat before the second and final sealer coat:
    [​IMG]
    Final resin coat:
    [​IMG]
    There are more photos but I gotta go, I'll update more soon. Hope you guys like it :D
  13. stretch

    stretch

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    Re: P-40 Cruiser

    lookin good! the last shots makes me think of some of the desks at school. :roll:
  14. cman

    cman Moderator

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    Re: P-40 Cruiser

    Nice job on the tank. Living on a boat would be fun but very challenging with new baby. You must have a wonderful wife.
  15. Gdcast

    Gdcast

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    Re: P-40 Cruiser

    ...and one resin smelly boat :lol:
    Even the fish are mad at you I bet!
    Great tank, my congrats!
  16. MatthewRobertHenry

    MatthewRobertHenry

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    Re: P-40 Cruiser

    Thanks. Yep, my wife is awesome! We love adventure and we love our life so bringing the baby into that hasn't been as hard as you might imagine. It's actually a really great community where you hang out on your decks and walk to your car and get to know everyone. For the most part "everyone" consists of retirees or empty nesters so Ryder has like 100 adopted grandparents who help make our life a lot easier 8)
  17. MatthewRobertHenry

    MatthewRobertHenry

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    Re: P-40 Cruiser

    Alright. After a long drive from Tucson to San Diego in our 2 door convertible with all the stuff the trip and baby generated PLUS the bike and all 3 of us we are back on the boat! I had a really awesome week with family. Both our parents got to spend a ton of time with their first grandson and Ryder got to meet his Great Grandparents (also their first great grandchild). It was super fun but I also managed to squeeze in lots of progress on the bike while I had access to things I don't normally (you know, space, tools, a garage, etc :wink: )
    I have pics and will diary this below but for a bird's eye view, here's where things stand:
    [*]I sanded the heck out of the rims, painted the spokes white and the rims red. They look sort of circus like at the moment but I know that's just when they are by themselves, they'll fit the bike great and the whitewall tires will really calm things down.

    [*]I got the tank primed and basecoated and I think it is going to look so cool once it has the shark mouth and such on it (can't wait for that :lol: )

    [*]After learning from some of the other builds that frames can be stripped a lot easier and more effectively with the help of a whirewheel :idea: I stripped about 60% of the bike down to bare aluminum. After seeing the bare aluminum I just totally fell in love with it :!: so I changed the plan to clear-coat the bare aluminum frame rather than paint it white. Not only will this look super rad but I think it seems more fighterplane-ish

    [*]I also messed around with props and got something that should work. It's functioning and painted but not on the frame yet since I am not done stripping and clearcoating it. It definitely looks way cool 8)

    [*]With the change in tank color I laid the pieces out and decide how I wanted them painted then updated the original drawing. You can see it below. I think it will look better in real life than the drawing. The white paper gives a false impression of tons of white when in reality the bike will be mostly silver with red black and white accents. I think that unlike the drawing, the white tank, chainguard and front fork will really pop
    [​IMG]

    I have already painted the sprocket, chainguard, fork, prop, and the base white of the tank. I probably have an hour or two left to strip the frame, lots of time to mask and paint the tank, and plenty of time to clearcoat but I feel like I've come a long way. I go back to work next Wed so I'm really hoping to get this completed before then and submit it before my leave is up. I'm optomistic at this point :)
  18. MatthewRobertHenry

    MatthewRobertHenry

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    Re: P-40 Cruiser

    Lots of progress today. Thought I would show the continued process on the tank.
    After that second coat of Resin I sanded the heck out of it to get it super flat. I found out AFTER that you can use a spray bottle to mist the resin with Acetone and it will self level - Next time that should save me some work. Anyway, nothing wrong with some elbow grease: Here they are primed:
    [​IMG]
    Then two coats of Gloss White as the tank base-coat:
    [​IMG]
    At this point I bubble wrapped it, drove it to San Diego. Then today I masked it while I watched the Baby. Christy came home took over Ryder-duty and I got it painted. The whole process took about 4 hours but one side of the tank is now done!
    Step 1: freehand pencil out the mouth and eye per my original drawing
    Step 2: Mask the white and red parts of the tank. I use Automotive pinstripe tape for the detail because you can curve it as you lay it down. I learned this from doing intricate flame paint jobs but it worked equally well for this. I had 3 random colors of pinstripe tape - white, red, and silver - The white is hard to see in the picture but you can probably get the idea:
    [​IMG]
    Step 3: Use blue painter tape to mask the big parts:
    [​IMG]
    Step 4: Spray the masked tank with the Gloss black
    [​IMG]
    Step 5: Peel off the tape. An exacto knife is handy for grabbing corners of the pinstripe tape to get started then you just have to carefully pull the tape at a low angle, close to the surface of the tank in the direction you are pulling the tape. This helps you keep a nice masked edge rather than a raggedy one:
    [​IMG]
    Step 6: The sprayed black turned out pretty good, just needs the red and a little touch up. Unfortunately it pulled off a small section of the white base but I can touch that up too.
    [​IMG]
    Step 7: Filled in the Red and touched up the black. I don't have any white touch up but it looks pretty sweet IMO. Now it will just need clear and I'm halfway (remember the tank has two sides)
    [​IMG]
  19. Pinche

    Pinche

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    Re: P-40 Cruiser

    Very cool build. Is the frame going to be the same color as the rest of the plane? What other parts are going on as far as sprocket, maybe fenders or bars?
  20. MatthewRobertHenry

    MatthewRobertHenry

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    P-40 Cruiser - Painted Mock up pic!!!

    Now that one side of the tank is painted and the majority of the parts are painted I layed it all out to see what it looks like and I am unbelievably STOKED! The hand drawing really did it no justice, it is really coming together. Don't forget to look close to see the prop :wink:.
    [​IMG]
    I'm so happy I went with the brushed aluminum on the frame, it really looks cool with the tank on there. This mock up is not complete because it doesn't have the black accents the finished bike will have: ie chainring, pedals, whitewall tires w black tread, handlegrips, headset, and seat. Let me know what you think!

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