Yellow Submarine Pinecar

For this year’s, and presumably our last, Pinecar Derby, Acacia and I built the Yellow Submarine. Every year I ask her what she wants her car to be (“Caterpillar!”, “Whale!”, “Unicorn!”), but this year, since she’s become a big Beatles fan, I proposed the Yellow Submarine idea, which, of course, she loved.

We used the same methodology as the Gray Whale from three years ago, but that one was whittle-able (with a carrot peeler, for safety (she was only 9 then)). This one has more complexity, and more “inside curves”, so we cut the basic profile shape from a block of balsa, and just started working on the 3D shape by hand, using the sanding drum. There are no pictures (in the movie) of the sub from the top or bottom, so we just got to (had to) fake the plan view shape.

I whittled the periscopes while she sanded and painted, and we made the handrail around the top out of some 1/8-inch solder I had, super-glued together and painted red.

The painting was a lot harder than the all-gray whale, but we didn’t have to make perfect lines ‘cuz they got covered up by the red vinyl pinstripe tape. We did the hatches with masking tape, and the windows (with the little Beatles in them) and main “flower(?)” decoration were printed to scale on CD label sticker stock. The clear lacquer overcoat gives the flat acrylic paint, and everything else, the same shininess, and hopefully will keep the stickers safe.

The base is the original car block, cut off short, and covered with a printed piece of paper. I found a picture of an original cel from the movie showing the Sea of Holes, and PhotoShopped the Beatles out of it. Acacia pointed out that one of the holes should be green, ‘cuz they went through that one to get to the Sea of Green. The clear shaft that connects them together is a piece of a mini-blind control rod.

There was no race or design competition this year (to save both the dads and daughters the worry of trying to compete in everything), so it was just for fun, and for show. Of course, we got lots of impressed people, but we also have a fun decoration on permanent display in her room, and lots of memories.

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