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The making of....  a Volvo S80 in resin - part 2

2. The first steps

Prototype material

The first thing before I actually touch plastic and glue is to do some S80 research. Virtually indispensable is a good line drawing, which doesn’t need to be a factory blueprint (you will hardly ever find these offered), but it should be similar to the ones seen in car brochures. If you happen to like really exotic cars you will be lucky to even find a 90° sideview photo and work with that – that’s all there is sometimes!

Of course there are no such problems with the S80, being a current production car. A search on the internet revealed a drawing in about two minutes.

I have also collected other material during the last weeks: photos from every possible angle, lots of detail pictures and a 1/43 scale Minichamps model for reference purposes. A bigger scale model is often available and helps to understand the prototype’s lines / serves as a pattern when the photos don’t show everything.

Time: 2 min., total: 2 min.


It is always a good idea to check the drawing in regard to accuracy ... do length, width, wheelbase etc. match the specs? No problems in our case, the dimensions are true to scale.

With a graphics program (or just a b/w copier) the „blueprint" is scaled down to exact 87th scale * and then printed out.

* We don’t need to worry about making the master bigger to compensate for shrinking moulds – the modern moulding components and resins have neglectable shrinking factors of 0.05% and less.

Time: 6 min., total: 8 min.

The stencil

To obtain a reusable template the photo is glued to 1 mm plastic sheet and precisely cut out. I still have to think about cutting the roof off at this point, which would help to model the sloped window area seperately.

The little piece of plastic is now employed to bring the Volvo’s shape onto the styrene. Furthermore I will need this stencil throughout the entire building process to regularly re-examine the master.

Time: 26 min., total: 34 min.

Part III will show you the beginnings of the three-dimensional pattern.

Part III      To the other 'specials'