Thursday, October 13, 2011

Project Model Surfboard

Aside from today it's been flat around here. In order to keep the stoke fires burning I started to make a model surfboard out of blue foam. I started by cutting down a block of foam I had hanging around the studio. I then looked for templates to print out and follow. 

Once I found my shape I cut it out and drew it on the foam. From there I delicately cut out the silhouette of the shape from the foam.

After sanding the outline down and smoothing out the bumps I was left with a big chunk of foam. Then it dawned on me that I now needed to learn about rocker and foam distribution. Needless to say I had a lot of sanding in front of me. 

In order to create a rocker template I printed out a fish profile that I found online. I continued to draw my guide lines then proceeded to sand out my rocker profile.

Then came the rails and this was by far the hardest part. I really had to use my gut to figure it out. I let my hands feel the way and used my eyes to double check the lines and curves.

Sand, sand then sand some more. I finally shaped the rails to the best of my ability. Next up is glassing! Well in my case I used acrylic polymer to seal the foam then sanded more to smooth it out. Then applied more medium then sanded and so on. 

Now that it's getting smoother I painted it white so that I could get creative. I applied several coats then sanded and painted again and well you get the picture. 

Up next is the art. I took some imagery from my own work and applied it to the bottom of the board. I wanted to do some crazy paint work on the top so I masked of the bottom then sealed it with medium to ensure clean lines. That's a little trick I picked up years ago from another painter. 

Now we paint! I just went over to my paint table and grabbed some colors that were already mixed and thinned out. The gray/green and red look great together but the purply pink pops the whole board. 

Clean lines. The mask worked and I love the contrast between the top and bottom.

Okay now the fins. After some reasurch I settled on these twin keels by Gephart. I used an old milk carton as the material. I read somewhere that the fins should point to the stringer at the nose of the board. I don't know if this is true but I did want toed fins so I set some guide lines and glued them in place.

Once the fins were on, I covered the board a few more times with medium, effectively giving it a hot coat. The finished board!

This project was a lot of fun. I learned so much about shaping and how hard it really is. I already had a lot of respect for shapers who shape by hand. Needless to say I now have so much more. I am really interested in shaping and would like to learn more.

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