Clay, Application to refinement


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Wheels and Tires

The wheels and tires for the scale model will be a smaller version of the originals. The size tires for the original vehicle are P245/45ZR-17 for the front and P275/40ZR-18 for the rear, Goodyear Eagle F1 GS Extended Mobility.


The wheels are 17"x 8.5" front and 18"x 9.5" rear, high polished forged aluminum. With this information I will build the rims and tires using three different materials and two methods.


Method 1. Using wood (poplar) and turning on the lathe. This involves gluing-up the stock in segmented rings, to reduce the amount of end grain being turned and also to reduces the amount of possible uneven shrinkage.


Using RenShape ( A easily machined tooling board with excellent dimensional stability and good edge definition.) Turned to shape on the lathe.


Method 2. Construct a spinning jig and spin the wheel and tire out of clay.


Wheel and tire of the Chevy Corvette, polished aluminum.

The photograph on the left represents the largest wheel and tire. Using this as a guide I will try to capture the same flavor but in scale form.


The more detail that you include in producing the wheels and tires, the more realistic the scale model will look at the end of the day.


During the early stages of modeling, it is normal to produce foam blanks of the tires with photocopied wheels attached. This helps in achieving the correct proportions and buys time while the detailed wheels and tires are being made.


Engineering drawing of the Chevy Corvette wheel showing a section cut through the rim.

The illustration above is an interpretation of the wheel in scale form and will be used as the working drawing when turning the rims. As the wheel progresses modifications can always be made to improve the overall look.


The following 1/5 scale dimensions will be used in the construction of the rims. Wheel 1


Front Wheel 1/1


A. 15" or 381.0mm

B. 16.75" or 425.45mm

C. 18" or 457.2mm

D. 18.5" or 469.9mm


Front Wheel 1/5


A. 3" or 76.2mm

B. 3.35" or 85.09mm

C. 3.6" or 91.44mm

D. 3.7" or 93.98mm


Rear Wheel 1/1


A. 16" or 406.4mm

B. 17.75" or 450.85mm

C. 19" or 482.6mm

D. 19.5" or 495.3mm


Rear Wheel 1/5


A. 3.2" or 81.28mm

B. 3.55" or 90.17mm

C. 3.8" or 96.52mm

D. 3.9" or 99.06mm


Detailed engineering drawing showing the cut through section of the rim.

Full size cross section


E. 0.125" or 3.0mm

F. 1.5" or 38.1mm

G. 1" or 25.4mm

H. 1.5" or 38.1mm

I.  1.5" or 38.1mm

1/5 size cross section


E. 0.025" or 0.5mm

F. 0.3" or 7.62mm

G. 0.2" or 5.0mm

H. 0.3" or 7.62mm

I.  0.3" or 7.62mm

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