Do It Yourself
Putting a Personal Stamp on It
Scotty Lachenauer - June 10, 2014 12:05 PM
I wanted a cool period correct look with 360 callouts. On the original, the 361 call-out is large and bold. This number was easily changed from 361 to 360 and the idea was put onto paper. The final sketch looked like this and the next step took care of making sure “Supercharged” was spelled right.
The drawing was sent to a graphic artist in my area. They took my concept and designed a nice mock-up in two dimensions. They sent it to me in a jpg form so I could check it out easily. I also asked for the drawing in a STL (Standard Tessallation Language) file.
The next step is usually the most costly, taking the drawing from two dimensions and giving it depth. This is needed if we are going to make a 3D form of what we are building. This is done most often using the AutoCad software, or something similar. I looked at a few emblems I had laying around and chose ¼-inch for my maximum thickness. From there, the Cad writer drew in cuts and indentations. The Autocad designer should now present you with a 3D STL file, which can be used in several ways.
You have to make a decision on material. I had mine done in polyamide, a strong flexible material that takes paint well. I located a reputable printer and sent them the file. For approximately $25, I received two copies of my file from imaterialise.com. They were well packaged and done quickly.
I chose to try something new. Instead of the typical plastic chroming process, I chose a company which sprays on chrome. I contacted Alternative Chrome in Lyons, Pennsylvania. They use a process of treating the surface with a platable base over which a silver coating is added. Here is the emblem after adding a coat which seals the plastic substrate.
The emblem has now been coated with a platable base that will host the shiny process.
The silver plating being sprayed on in a nice even coat across the emblem.
The pieces came back with a serious shine, a dead ringer for a full-on metal chrome job. The final touches would be the trickiest.
We started detailing the badges out in black semi-gloss enamel. It takes a smooth hand, but can be done by an amateur. (I had a pro do mine.) Keep some “Goo Gone” handy for quick touch-ups.
The finished goods! Some 3M Emblem Adhesive will get them on the spot and keep them glued to the fender. Curious folk will now know exactly what’s under the hood of my Barracuda.
The emblem is now installed. There are no secrets here and it sets the car apart from the rest.
You’ve been building your creation, putting in the time, the effort, and of course serious boatloads of cash, just to see your vision come to reality.
After months (but more likely, years) of work, you’re down to the final stages of the build. Perhaps you’ve created a one off masterpiece, unique in many ways.
How do you identify it as different? Are you just gonna slap the standard emblems on the fenders and pass it off as some mishmash of a standard make and model? Don’t you need that little special something to set it apart?
One option would be your own custom badges to truly show what you have created. You could go down to your local auto parts store and buy some cheap chrome letters and stick them on your new ride, but think about it. Why settle when you could have a custom piece of art to be proud of? All it takes is a little cash, a little skill, and some determination. You’ve come this far, so you can’t skimp now!
I’ve been building a custom one-off Barracuda for the last four years. It’s come down to the last few details … touch ups here and there, small electrical details and trim pieces. I really wanted something that would set my car apart from the other ’65s and also tell people what I really had under the hood. So, I set out to create custom badges for my ’65 360 Supercharged Barracuda.
I started by researching mid-’60s badges from Plymouth, as I wanted mine to be period correct. I came upon an emblem that graced the sides of the full-size Plymouths powered by the long cancelled 361. It read Commando 361 and sat on the lower fenders.
This was my starting point. I was going to use this as my inspiration for my new design. The original emblem served as the focal point for period correct fonts and design elements.
Follow along as the creation becomes the added touch to the journey of this build.