Here are the design concepts that did across the all cars and then I will get into the specifics. The first is that I really do not like to sand so I tried to make parts that were difficult sand not line up. All the insides of the cars (sedan is the exception) have parts that do not line up so I did not really have to sand things flush. I used 1/8" holes to line everything up. 10d brad nails are just under 1/8" in diameter so it makes them an excellent choice to use as alignment pegs. I do not recommend using them if they are coated in glue or slightly bent. They do not work as well.
The Sports Car
This was one of the hardest to design. The sports car had a lot of curves and needed to look good. in concept and drawing it looked good but I did not know what it would look like in reality, not bad.
The Pickup Truck
The wood is poplar and several people have commented on the color variation. Unfortunately that is the beauty of poplar and the poor planning of the woodworker. I use poplar because I really cannot beat the price of $2.25 a board foot for prototyping. If I was to make this for a client the cars would be out of a more durable wood and I would match the colors/grain better.
All the cars were designed with 1 1/4" wheels. This size fit the beetle but looked horrible on the other three. I was able to change the sports car and sedan in time, but it was a little late for the pickup truck. Part of the looks good on paper, looks bad in real life.
I designed headlights on everything but the sports car. Once I had them built I decided against trying to drill for headlights. Planning wise, I should have done it at the begining. I was not willing to risk ruining these for some holes.
Here is a little on how I designed them. I knew the width which meant that I had 6 board thicknesses/layers that I could work with. I started drawing the side of the car. Once I like the drawing I saved it then copied the design onto another drawing. I modified that drawing into the next layer making sure to maintain all the dimensions of original side drawing and hole locations. Then I moved to the next layer using the same technique. The last thing I did was the fenders.
This project took a lot longer than I had expected. The goal was Christmas now it is Valentine's day. Hope the kids enjoy it. All cars are 4 1/2" wide and are between 7-10" long. They are decent size and easy to grip with the window cut outs.