I've been building similar vehicles to this over the past year and a half and people have requested that I show the process. With this one I took plenty of pictures during the building process keeping in mind that I would be creating this instructable. Hopefully it inspires others out there to build something of their own using readily available materials. It's a lot of work but also a lot of fun & you really never know exactly how it's going to turn out so there's always an element of surprise with the final product you are building.
Step 1: Wheels, Axles, & Pulley.
A good starting point is the wheels because pretty much everything else's size is going to be based off the wheel size. I used cardboard & toothpicks & elmers glue to make a strong wheel.
With wheels constructed I can now determine the size of my chassis. I use craftsticks & hot glue making sure it's square or else it will never roll straight. I build each half of the chassis frame exactly the same lengh & drill holes through both while they are held together straight. This ensures the axles will be straight not only in relation to the chassis but to each other as well.
Now I use nails to make the axles drilling the proper size holes in the chassis for them to be able to turn smoothly & freely. The rear axle I made the pulley out of a spent scotch tape roll & hot glued milk jug caps on the ends to prevent band from slipping off. I made the pulley wide so as the band has room to move back and forth without having to worry about it rubbing the end caps of the pulley. I used plastic pieces with holes as the center part of the axle which I forced each end of the nails into and applied hot glue to make for a strong axle.
Step 2: Bracing Up Chassis, Installing Wheels & Electric Motor.
With the axles and pulleys installed. I install the wheels with hot glue & begin working on installing the electric motor. I'm using a motor from a dollar tree personal fan which requires 2 AA batts. I simply use the existing battery housing & remove all unnecessary plastic. I wire in my own switch with enough length of wire to reach wherever I might mount it. I also have to wire the motor in a different position by cutting it out of the housing.
Once my motor is ready to operate. I turn it on and make sure the direction it is turning so as I know how to mount it in the chassis to move the vehicle the right direction. I determine where it needs to be placed by placing the pulley band over the motor shaft & perform many tests to find what position it turns the rear wheels best at as wheel as what angle to place it at to keep the band on the shaft. The motor has to be slightly angled to keep the band on the motor shaft during operation. It's crucial to get it just right before hot gluing it firmly into place or else the vehicle will never operate reliably. I use plenty of bracing and hot glue around the motor & hold it firmly in place giving the glue time to dry.
In order to make the band easily replaceable, I made the back of the chassic open & used screws to hold the rear axle rails in place so whenever a band breaks I can simply remove 4 screws & slip the band off the pulley and axle. I then painted the chassis and wheels being sure to keep paint away from the axle holes.
Step 3: Wiring Lights & Switch Box.
I used 2 led's & 2 small cell watch style batteries producing 3 volts to power the headlamps. I then did the same for the lantern side lights. I made the battery cells by simply running the negative & positive wires over the - and + sides of the battery & wrapping electrical tape around it all firmly. I then hot glued around it all to keep it in place. Now I had a small simple lightweight battery with a - and + wire coming out to wire to a switch. I soldered in the switch and led's & hot glued over the solder joint to keep make it stronger.
Now that I have the switches for the headlamps, lanterns, and motor I build a 3 switch panel to house the switches on the bottom of the chassis for easy access. I use a craft stick & cut rectangles in where the switches will go using an exacto knife. I then hot glue the underside around the switch wiring and soldering to keep it all firmly in place. Then I hot glue the switch box onto the chassis.
I now have a operating chassis with working lights. Now I can start building the body of the vehicle.
Step 4: Cutting Body Panels & Framing It All Up.
I use cardboard dividers from cups of catfood boxes for most of the entire vehicle even the headlamps and lanterns. I spray painted a few first the base color I chose to make the vehicle. I hold everything up to the chassis to determine the right size starting with the main body side panels. I use craft sticks & elmers glue to frame it all up.
Step 5: Making the Seat.
While glue is setting up I make the seat using an old nintendo ds case. I cut the out covering off & use the foam inside to fold up as a seat cushion. I then cut it all to the proper size & place seat covering over foam hot gluing it all in place.
Step 6: Staining Wood & Super Gluing Body to Chassis.
I apply a few coats of wood stain to all the wood parts as well as paint the inner body panels. After those are dry I fit the body to the chassis & super glue it into place.
Step 7: Testing & Modifying Pulley.
Now with the extra weight added I decide to test how it pulls. It needed more torque which at this point could be achieved by either making the pulley larger or adding a secondary drive shaft. I opted to make the pulley larger by using foam sheets & hot gluing them around the scotch tape roll. This provided the perfect balance of torque and speed and the foam also helped the band make a better grip on the pulley. I've built various multiple shaft machines but the idea with this one was to keep it simple using just the single pulley system & this vehicle's size and weight allowed it.
Step 8: Making the Lanterns & Gluing Them in Place.
Now I make the lanterns out of the cardboard & place plastic lens inside and a metallic gold acrylic paint. I run the wires to them through the firewall & glue them in place.
Step 9: Making & Installing the Motor (cardboard Not Actual Motor)
With the lanterns in place I can now make the motor. I made it using cardboard and hot glue. I used perler beads for spark plugs & ran wires out of them into a firewall panel much like a real model T is set up. I then made and painted the other various parts that attach to the motor and glued them in place.
Step 10: Making & Installing Cowl Around Firewall & the Radiator.
Satisfied with the engine compartment, I moved on to making the hood and cowl support that surrounds the firewall as well as the radiator. I used craft sticks and screen wire and placed accordion bent black paper underneath the screen to look sort of like a real radiator core. I used sheathing off an old wire as the radiator hoses. At this point I added the central hood support using a toothpick with perler beads which would act as hinges for the eventual hood to be able to raise on both sides.
Step 11: Making the Headlamps & Installing Them.
I make the headlamps using cardboard & hot glue. I then figured out where I wanted to position them & hot glued them to the radiator.
Step 12: Adding the Roof & Making Hood Panels.
I used foam sheets to make the roof. I wanted the roof to have a slight curve so I cut cardboard supports to give it the desired shape. I then glued it in place & painted it using acrylic paint.I also went ahead and shaped the hood panels and glued them to their perler bead hinges so as each side would open independent of the other.
Step 13: Cutting Out the Front Fenders & Painting Radiator & Headlamps.
I cut out the front fenders the width I want & bend them around to the right shape & size and cut them the proper length. I then carefully hot glue them into place making sure they are straight. I paint the headlamp housings & radiator as well as hot glue aluminum foil inside the headlamp housing to make the headlamps look more realistic.
Step 14: Making the Rear Doors, Hinges, Latch, & Windows.
I cut out the rear door panels & cut oval shaped windows in each. I then glued in a piece of plastic to look like the glass. Once again I use the perler beads acting like hinges over a toothpick to make them operate smoothly. Getting them in the proper position required a bit of trial and error. I then cut out the door handles & drilled a hole to run a small wood dowel through to keep them closed tight. Also after getting the doors in place I cut out the lower rear panel under the doors & glued it in place.
Step 15: Cutting Out & Installing Rear Fenders.
Now that the back doors are installed I cut out the rear fenders & installed them the same way as I did with the front fenders. I had to bend them into shape holding them in place as I hot glued.
Step 16: Adding Headlight Lens, Front & Rear Bumpers, Steering Wheel.
Next I made the headlight lens gluing them in place. I made the front and rear bumpers using 2 different size craft sticks hot gluing them in place and then painting. I used aluminum wire to make the steering wheel as well as the rear step bumper side posts.
Step 17: Making the Warp Pipe.
The vehicle's theme is Mario Bros plumbing so I made a warp pipe out of cardboard to fit in the back. I also wanted the back big enough to accommodate some amiibo which it does so nicely.
Step 18: Drawing Up the Side Advertising Signs Along With Pinstripes & Other Details.
I came up with a couple of advertising signs for the side of the vehicle & used gel pens to add in the details. I then used elmers glue to hold them in place. They were trying to bend out a bit so I placed some tools on each to hold them in place as they dried. I used gel pens to do a lot of other details like pinstriping. I added a spare wheel on one side & a tool box on the other. I Installed windshield & windshield brackets too along with other small details here and there.
Step 19: Finished. Link to Video of It in Action.
I have a youtube video link up as well showing all the pictures you saw here along with a video of it in action as well.It's pretty fast but really would you expect anything less from the Mario Bros?