When we next returned to the shop, we found that we weren't as keen on the foam geometries we were when we had left it previously. The one idea that we had tried to implement with the foam that we still liked was the attempt to keeping a level, flat line across the bottom of the gastank and the seat. The fall of the frame towards the rear loop slowly emerges from the gastank/seat combo, and we thought we could capitalize on this.
So we changed tasks from trying to figure out the geometries of the overall tank, to trying to figure out the bottom of the tank. We figured the hardest part of this was going to be creating our flat 'shelf' which would be our guide line for this horizontal line across the new features. We templated our cuts with pieces of chipboard.
We then set upon cutting out these templated pieces out of our sheet metal aluminum. Here's Nemo cutting out the back piece of the tank bottom. You can see the foam pieces from our previous mock up scattered about the middle of the shop.
Nemo annealing the aluminum prior to shaping.
We cut out all the chipboard pieces in aluminum, annealed them, and used either a break or a hand vises to bend the pieces into shape. The result was that we had changed our chipboard armadillo into a aluminum armadillo.
You can also see that we've stripped off a lot of what makes the CX500 offensive. Fenders, tank, seat, headlight, headlight nacelle, bars, radiator shroud, side covers, battery, air box, and tailight. Much of that is in the pile on the rolling table of the photo above. If anyone on here is a CX lover and needs any of those parts, shoot me an email. Most are in decent shape (other than the seat cover) and will probably go up on evilbay in the near future.
Here's Nemo setting the 'dillo's armour on properly, a test fit prior to welding. You can also see our "horizontal line datum" a metal frame (shelving support scraps) created to keep our level line.
We continued to template the top of the tank with chipboard. The relationship to the foam work now comes into question. Was that foam work at all useful? Are we going to just kick it to the curb? Are we going to dig out more foam to try again?
Nemo and I talked about this again over bourbons the other night. I believe we both found the foam work to be fun and useful. It allow us to work through many geometries extremely quickly and to come to a rough agreement about general form and shape. It also allowed us to see things physically. This was a huge change for me, as I'm used to working either digitally, or in scale models. There is rarely a chance to work in 1 to 1 in the architectural process. End result? Glad we did the foam, we learned a lot, but it's in the scrap bin and we are improving on this first and crude design. I'm glad we aren't laying fiberglass, as we might have simply built it as the foam was....