How to make a Pinewood Derby car in just under three hours:
1) Admit you have no wood working skills. At all. Congratulate yourself for cleverness of choosing “art car” category (car does not have to be aerodynamic or hell, even roll). Design idea around “big rectangular block of wood.”
2) Sculpey is your friend. If you buy it in the colors you need, there isn’t even going to be anything to paint! Just mold and bake. (In retrospect I wish I’d made the plungers bright red, they don’t show up very well.) Also, lesson learned from the guy who made the incredible banana slug riding a checkered Vans sneaker (which did race and was pretty fast!) — next time I’m going to make a smushed tinfoil inner core, because it’s much lighter than solid Sculpey. The weight of the White Spy’s head + hat caused it to fall off in the oven (eek!). But this is what epoxy is for. Epoxy is your other friend. So is vodka.
This was the fourth Pinewood Derby that the Hell’s Belles have thrown at the Shooting Gallery — all proceeds of the Derby and the silent auction benefit the Bay Area Women’s & Children’s Shelter. It’s always a great evening, and for once our race car (Nico’s “Broken Bone”) didn’t get eliminated in the first rounds.
In fact, the admittedly-weird-looking-but-pleasingly-fleet-wheeled Bone made it through four races and was THIS CLOSE to getting a trophy until we got knocked out by the car that ultimately took first place.
Nico did score a medal for being “Fast & Furious.” Which he definitely is. And friend little Odin was rockin’ an amazing flaming helmet-o-fire.
I was so busted snapping this gal’s coif, but it was far more amazing than this photo shows — totally black on one half of her head, bright magenta on the other, split right down the middle. Reminds me of a doll I had as kid — you could flip her scalp around and change her from a blond to a brunette!
There were also some very nifty paintings by Kevin E. Taylor up on exhibit:
Everyone I talked to is already scheming about their cars for next year — maybe I can give myself four hours to work on mine this time.